An Explanation of the Various Types of Sunglasses

Feb 09, 2012 Olympic Eyewear

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Have you ever wondered about all those types of sunglasses? What do those terms really mean? For instance, what's the difference between Polarized Sunglasses and Blue-Blocking lenses? Though the various terms can be difficult to understand, it's actually a pretty simple explanation.

Polarized lenses. This type of sunglass reduces glare. However, not all Polarized Lenses offer UV protection. Make sure the label says the sunglass lenses were treated with a UV coating.

Blue-blocking lenses. This term is confusing because blue-block lenses are actually tinted amber. They are supposed to make objects in the distance easier to see, especially in low light. Users have reported that blue-blocking plastic lenses make it hard to tell what color a traffic light is, which could lead to a traffic accident. Be aware that not all blue-blocking lenses offer adequate UV protection.

Photochromic lenses. These lenses will reduce glare and make objects more clear. They sometimes take more time to adjust to various light conditions. Not all photochromic lenses offer adequate UV protection, so be sure to check the product label.

Mirror-coated lenses. Mirror-coating is more of an aesthetic feature. It doesn't really protect your eyes any better than other types of sunglass lenses. They do make it hard for someone standing in front of you to look into your eyes.

Polycarbonate lenses. These lenses offer protection for those involved in physical activities such as sports. They can shield the eyes from impact injuries that can occur while playing football or tennis. Polycarbonate lenses do provide adequate protection from UV radiation.

Most standard prescription eyeglasses can be treated with any of the processes discussed above. You can even get eyeglasses that are clear and un-tinted but do offer UV protection. If you wear contact lenses, you still need to wear sunglasses for UV protection anytime you are outdoors.

Be sure to choose wholesale sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Reading the label is the best method of knowing for sure whether sunglasses will offer adequate protection. If the label says "cosmetic" or if it doesn't give you details on UV protection, then it's best to skip it. Wraparound sunglasses have become very popular in recent times. These are very stylish and offer exceptional UV protection.

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