KW Vision Centre


Keep Eyes Healthy with Stylish Prescription and Designer Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses not only is a fashion statement, it is also an excellent habit which helps to protect the health of your eyes as they can be damaged by the sun, just like your skin.

Sunglasses also protect the delicate skin in the eye area from premature signs of aging due to UV rays and sun damage. However, you can’t protect your eyes with sunscreen like you do your skin. Your only defence is to wear protective UV blocking sunglasses. This is important for prescription and non-prescription sunglasses alike.

Shopping for Sunglasses

Whether you are shopping for men’s or women’s sunglasses, the majority of sunglasses lenses today are made from a material called ‘polycarbonate’. Polycarbonate lenses, sometimes referred to as “poly” or “poly-carb”, naturally block the ultraviolet rays of the sun. They are, however, more susceptible to scratches. As a result, many companies have turned to higher-end material, such as glass, which offers superior optical quality and is naturally scratch-resistant.

Just like ophthalmic lenses, the quality of sunglass lenses is a very important factor. When wearing a pair of dark-tinted sunglasses, our pupils dilate and essentially open up the eye, increasing the risk of UV-ray absorption. High quality sunglass lenses, such as Ray-Ban’s “G15 lenses,” have the capacity to reduce the harm caused from the sun’s rays, be it through better material, or polarized filters within the lenses. However, poor quality sunglasses are not regulated, leaving the wearer vulnerable to damage within the eye caused by ultraviolet light.

Polarized Sunglasses

The sun’s light vibrates and radiates outward in all directions. When the light is reflected off of a flat surface, such as a road or body of water, this light generally travels in a horizontal pattern. This is known as horizontal polarization and occurs both naturally and artificially. We see an example of natural polarization every time we look at a lake. The reflected glare off the surface is the light that does not make it through the “filter” of the water, and is the reason why we often cannot see anything below the surface, even when the water is very clear. This creates a visual obstacle and an occasionally, dangerous concentration of light which we experience as glare.

Polarized lenses will reduce glare from flat surfaces such as waterways and roads, decreasing glare and increasing visual clarity. While they have always been popular with water motorists and those who like to fish, the popularity of polarized lenses, such as those made by Oakley, has caught on with the broader public, as they are ideal for driving and almost all outdoor activities throughout Canada.

Oakley sunglasses

Gradient Lenses

Gradient lenses are a popular sunglass tint option. Gradient lenses are recognized by the change, or graduation, of tint from the top to bottom of the lens. They begin with a darker tint at the top of the lens and gradually lighten towards the bottom. This style provides a more fashionable appearance and can also make reading while wearing sunglasses easier as the lower portion of the lens transmits more light.

UV Protection

Protection from ultraviolet, or “UV,” rays of the sun is one of the main reasons to wear sunglasses, but it’s important to remember that the colour, designer name and cost of sunglasses does not determine the ability to block UV light. UV-blocking attributes can be found by choosing the right material, such as polycarbonate, glass, or hi-index lenses, which offer a denser material and naturally block UV rays, or by adding a UV-blocking chemical during manufacturing, or through the addition of certain lens coatings.

The shape and fit of sunglasses can further aid protection from the sun. Sports sunglasses that offer a wraparound fit and sit closer to the wearer’s face can prevent UV-light from entering through the sides of the frame. Protective lenses are inhibited when the frame does not offer a proper fit.

The next time you’re in the market for a new pair of designer sunglasses, be aware of your options and seek advice from your optometrist in Kitchener. Inexpensive, poor quality fashion sunglasses with labels wrongfully claiming to provide protection are not the best choice.

Speak to Your Kitchener Optometrist Today for Expert Advice

At KW Vision Centre, our team will assist you in buying sunglasses that offer you comprehensive eye protection as well as style. We carry a wide range of designer and fashion sunglasses from leading name brands for both prescription and non-prescription users that offer great value for money. Whether you are looking for a statement item, sports sunglasses or custom clip on sunglasses, we can assist you. Contact us today to find out more about our range or to book an eye exam.