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Although there is plenty of advice available on what style sunglasses looks best on what shaped face, whatís the latest fashion, and what is the best buy, sunglasses today are more than a fashion statement: they are an important way to protect your eyes from sun damage. Whether you get your sunglasses at the corner store or special order them, here are some features you should look:

  • Lens should block both UVA and UVB radiation to protect eyes from cataracts and eye diseases.
  • The color of tinted lens should match the type of activity you are doing
    • gray, brown and green donít distort color and are good for medium to bright conditions and everyday activities.
    • yellow and amber gives good contrast and good depth perception; good for sports and activities, especially in snow or water.
    • rose provides good depth perception and contrast in low-light conditions for activities in cloudy weather and against blue/green backgrounds like boating.
  • Lens made from polycarbonate are durable and lightweight but tend to break and scratch more easily. Glass is durable but is heavier and might be uncomfortable to wear. Acrylic is inexpensive but may provide some distortion and be less durable.
  • Polarized lens block the reflected light from snow, water and highways and are good for skiing, water sports, mountaineering and driving.
  • Frames are made from a variety of materials. Metal ones can be more easily adjusted to fit your face. Nylon frames usually arenít adjustable but are more durable and less expensive. Frames with special springs that let the frame bend/flex provide protection against breakage.
  • Glasses with side shields, wide earpieces or that wrap around the face help stop light from entering from the sides of the glasses. Besides offering protection from light, they also protect against rain, wind, and bugs -- all of which make them good for cycling.

One last note, sunglasses are not just for adults. Special glasses are made for children and babies (the frames are soft and bendable) because itís never too early to start protecting your eyes.

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