A killer pair of sunglasses is a staple of our summer wardrobe and it’s probably a staple of yours too. For us it’s not just about looking good; it’s also about protecting our precious eyes from the harsh bright sunshine. It’s one of the reasons why National Sunglasses Day was established on the 27th June; to highlight the importance of wearing high quality eyewear to protect against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

If you’re in the market for a new pair of sunglasses, we have a few tips to help you pick the perfect summer accessory. From what styles and shapes are in to learning about the different levels of protection and how to pick a frame to suit your face shape, we’re here to help you find the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Will the shape of my face make a difference to what sunglasses I can wear?

Just as it does when choosing your prescription glasses, your face shape can help determine what frames will suit you best. If you’ve got an oval face, consider yourself lucky because most shapes will suit you well. People with longer faces tend to suit chunkier frames, especially in block colours. Wider frames such as a wayfarer style are ideal for people with rounder faces, while aviator frames are best suited to square faces. If you’ve got high cheekbones, look at cat’s eye styles. It’s worth noting that aviator and cat’s eyes are two of the most popular styles at the moment. So if you like keeping up with the trends, you won’t go far wrong with either of these two.

What’s the difference between the different levels of protection?

You probably know this already, but not all sunglasses are created equal. For the highest protection you need to look for sunglasses that will block 100% of those nasty UV rays. They will be marked 100% UV protection.

The colour of the lens is less important. The colour you choose won’t affect how well protected your eyes are. But because they distort colour perception least of all, most people opt for sunglass lenses in either grey or brown. It’s a myth that sunglasses with darker lenses provide better protection for your eyes. They don’t.

Why is 100% UV protection so important?

Our eyes are so precious. And yet we seem to take them for granted and don’t look after them as well as we should. Some studies have shown that UV rays may be linked to cataracts, eye cancer and pterygium also known as surfer’s eye, which is a growth on the eye. Prevention is key to good eye health, and that’s why we advise only wearing sunglasses labelled with 100% UV protection. We’re not just talking about wearing sunglasses on bright sunny days either. Sunlight is the main source of UV, but those pesky UV rays can penetrate clouds and still cause damage to your eyes. Just something to bear in mind on overcast days, of which we get plenty of here in the UK.

hat’s the difference between the different types of sunglass lenses?

There are a number of different lenses on the market. The tint you should go with may depend on your lifestyle. For example, polarised lenses help to reduce the glare from bright sunlight reflecting off a flat surface. These lenses are high performance and given their anti-glare properties, they are especially useful if you’re driving because they help to enhance vision. Similarly, if you ski or spend a lot of time around water, sunglasses with polarised lenses are a great choice.

Photochromic lenses are another option. The level of darkness of the lens is determined by the amount of UV light. So if you go from lounging around an outside pool in bright sunlight to sitting inside a café or restaurant, the darkness of the lenses will change to accommodate your new surroundings. If you don’t like the hassle of having to carry both glasses and sunglasses, photochromic lenses are the solution.

We have a fantastic collection of optical and sun wear at our boutique optical store in Market Harborough. As a stockist for some of the best independent eyewear designers in the world, you’re sure to find something to take your eyewear game to the next level. Pop by and take a look at our collections from Caroline Abram, Booth & Bruce, Woow, Vinylize, Theo and many others. The most favourite part of our job is spending time with our clients, trying on different frame shapes and styles. So swing by, let us make you a coffee and together we’ll find the perfect pair of sunglasses for you this summer.

For further reading

https://www.respectaclecompany.co.uk/photochromic-lenses/

https://www.respectaclecompany.co.uk/sun-glasses/

https://www.respectaclecompany.co.uk/eyewear-protection-tips-winter-sports/

Respectacle Company is a SPECS network optician. To celebrate Sunglasses Day on 27th June, snap a sunglasses selfie and enter to win a Virgin Gift Card to the value of £100. The competition closes on Sunday 30th June. You can find out how to enter here.

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