Last week I talked about the importance of children wearing sunglasses. After visiting with friends who came to town recently I realized I need to educate the adults about sunglasses too!

Ultraviolet light exposure is linked to early formation of cataracts and macular degeneration. Skin cancer can be found on the delicate skin of the eyelids. We can sunburn the eyes (photokeratitis) which is incredibly painful and can cause irreparable retinal damage. Reflected light from the water, snow and sand is more powerful and thus more dangerous. Not only do we need to protect the eyes from UV but also from objects such as rocks while mowing the lawn, fish hooks, golf balls, and branches while gardening.

The good news is there are more sunglass options than ever for every activity we enjoy.

  1. UVA/UVB Protection is a must when picking out sunglasses. The level of lens darkness does not matter when it comes to UV protection.


  1. Polarized lenses decrease glare which is helpful for most tasks but mandatory if you want to catch the most fish!


  1. Copperorangeyellow/amberand brown lens tints make an environment appear brighter; enhance contrast and depth perception making them helpful for overcast, hazy and foggy conditions. Common users include fishermen (shallow water especially), baseball players, tennis players, golfers, hunters and cyclists. Some studies are indicating that this lens tint can be helpful to those who are in front of the computer for long periods of time.


  1. Green, gray and blue lens tints maintain normal color balance while reducing the brightness. Fishermen tend to prefer this color for deep water fishing. On a bright sunny day this would be the lens tint of choice as well for golfers, baseball players, and tennis players.


  1. Transitions/Photofusion lenses change from light to dark and vice versa. They come in brown and gray options. Perfect for those who don’t want to switch between their glasses and their sunglasses. They are getting better and better but there may be some limitations.


  1. Mirror is a treatment you can put on lenses for the cool factor and it reduces the transmission of light making you more comfortable and provides extra anti-glare protection.


  1. Wrap is a term to describe the frame and lens design which “wraps” around protecting the sides of the eyes. This can provide many benefits, but may also cause visual distortions. If a prescription is necessary, wrap lenses may not be an option.


  1. Glacier Glasses are certified 100% UVA and UVB protection and are fit so no light can penetrate from the sides. Often times this is accomplished with leather side shields. Used for alpine activities.


  1. Prescription Sunglasses can be made in most frames. Some sports sunglasses have an insert where a prescription can be made so you can still have that wrap. All lens tint and coating options are available in a prescription lens.


  1. Some sunglasses come with multiple lens tints so you can switch depending on the conditions or which sport you are playing.


Come on in to Katmai Eye and Vision Center for our big selection of sunglasses for sports and fashion.