There seems to be a different pair of sunglasses for every conceivable outdoor activity these days. From driving, walking, playing sports, skiing, cycling and the list goes on. Then there are the many styles: square, cat eye, aviator etc. Then for different conditions: bright sunlight, glaring headlights, for night vision etc. On top of that there are the coatings: mirror, tinted, polarized etc.
But when it comes down to it, are they doing the job you want them to do? Are they protecting your eyes?
In this website, I talk a lot about trying to keep your eyes relaxed as possible at all times (for more on this click here). This is one of the fundamentals for maintaining and also improving distance vision. So wearing sunglasses outdoors to prevent squinting and straining your eyes really helps here.
Also, we want to protect our eyes from harmful UVA and UVB light in sunlight. These can harm the front part of the eye (the cornea and the lens) and the back (the macula which is part of the retina). The damage caused by too much exposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration or cataracts.
So please take a look at my review below as to what I think are the best sunglasses to protect eyesight.
Why All Sunglasses Are Not The Same
One pair of sunglasses may look very similar to another pair of sunglasses. But they may not do the same job. What we need to be looking for is those sunglasses that block out 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB light. Sometimes this is described as ‘UV400’ on the label on the sunglasses.
If you have this you are sure to have the best protection against the UVA and UVB light. You can go that one step further and purchase wrap around sunglasses. This way the sunlight can’t reach your eyes unfiltered through the frames of the sunglasses.
In addition to this, a wide brimmed hat adds extra protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
So below I review the following which are specific for those of us who wear glasses already:
- sunglasses to wear around prescription glasses
- magnet sunglasses
I also consider the alternative to sunglasses (or can be an addition to sunglasses) when driving without the need for sunglasses.
Sunglasses to Wear Over Prescription Glasses
These are a great alternative to costly prescription sunglasses or having to get prescription glasses with photochromic lenses. These type of lenses darken or lighten depending on the amount of light you are seeing. As you would expect, given that they have to go around your normal glasses, they are larger than your average sunglasses. However, some are not so big as to make you look like a bug. They are lightweight too.
The ones that I recommend (other than being UV400 as discussed above) are mirrored. Of the other ones that I have seen, the lenses are not dark enough so the glasses behind the sunglasses can be seen. Which is why I have opted for the mirrored versions. Also, I have picked ones that are polarized which means they cut out glare from sunlight and other bright light (such as car headlights). Be sure to measure your glasses though so you buy the correct fit. My top picks from Amazon are shown below (suitable for both men and women):
Magnet sunglasses? No, this does not involve fixing magnets to your normal prescription glasses.
Well, they are a variation of the clip on glasses.
But instead of having a big clip visible over your nose, they attach to your glasses by way of two magnets either side of the frame that is provided. Most come with a variety of different sunglasses such as ones for night driving or for everyday conditions.
The only downside is that you have to get new prescription lenses for the frames the manufacturer provides! However, I like the style of these frames and the lens fit squarely on to the frame with the magnets at each end. There is only a small inconspicuous clip on the bridge too.
The ones that I like from Amazon are the Veroyi TR2208 Advanced Mirror Eyeglasses. They come with a polarized lens which block out 99-100% of UVA and UVB light. They also come with a yellow night vision lens for night driving to cut out the glare from those strong car headlights. For the sporty among you, it also comes with arms that extend to the end of the head and they can be joined by a clip.
An Alternative When Driving
If you don’t like wearing sunglasses at all when driving (or if you want something extra to block out glare), you could consider buying sun visors instead. My favorite is the VZCY polarized car visor extender. The visors block sunlight and sun glare coming through the windscreen and the driver’s side window. It cuts out 100% of UVA and UVB light. You simply attach it to the existing visor in your vehicle. So no tools required for this.
The main flaw with this product is it can be tricky to adjust so usually this can only be safely done once the car is at a standstill. The visors will fit cars, SUVs and trucks.
Protection in Sunlight is Crucial
While being outdoors is great for our eyes (getting our eyes away from the close up screen work and allowing them to take in distant objects (letting them do what they were designed for!)) they also need to be protected from the sun’s rays. Protection from these rays by way of good UVA and UVB ray blocking sunglasses could prevent painful eye conditions later on and what’s more keep your eyes relaxed and fatigue-free.
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