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Sunglasses: What to consider when choosing them

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your entire […]

By Published On: 30 June 20173.3 min read

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your entire life, you should already know that the sun’s ultraviolet light is harmful to your eyes.

Protection from UV-light is critical as these rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium and other eye diseases. While many people have a transition coating on their prescription spectacles, this won’t provide sufficient protection for the eyes and they can’t be relied on as a proper pair of sunglasses.

Looking good and feeling comfortable in your sunglasses are imperative. Here are some important things to consider when choosing your next pair.

What are your needs?

Fashion dictates which styles we wear but you may want to think about when you wear your sunglasses:

  • It it’s mainly on weekends, when you’re in relaxed mode, you may prefer to wear what’s trending.
  • Week days, for getting to and from work in a smart suit or dress, a classic look in a neutral tone can look most professional.
  • If you’re an outdoorsy type, comfort and lightness are important considerations, as is durability.
  • If you’re a man who wants to keep his sunglasses handy, you may need to choose a less curved style, that slip into your jacket pocket without being too bulky.

Coverage is also very important; the purpose of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from UV light. If the light can get in over the top and around the sides, it defeats the purpose. Larger or closely-fitting styles, with curved, wraparound lenses provide the best possible coverage.

Where will you be wearing your sunglasses?

Well outdoors obviously! But try to think more specific. Will you wear them when driving, playing golf, fishing off a boat? This will determine the style, shape and lens type of your ideal pair of sunnies.

Your prescription

If you wear glasses for distance vision, you will usually need prescription sunglasses. Prescription lenses are available for a wide range of sunglass designs, but sometimes are not possible in very curved or wraparound styles.  The Eye Practice stocks a range of sunglasses that are available in prescription lenses, including sporty and wrap styles such as Maui Jim. Maui Jim are even available in bifocal designs, to allow reading vision without having to take them off.

Lens type

If you’re going to be using your sunglasses on the water or at the snow, definitely think about polarized lenses. Light reflected from the surface of water or snow becomes partially polarized. Polarised light can cause strong symptoms of glare but the good news is that the glare can be eliminated by wearing polarized lenses. These lenses are available in a wide range of sunglasses and ski goggles.

What colour lens?

In everyday sunglasses, this often comes down to personal choice and what suits your colouring. But when it comes to skiing, some tints are designed for special purposes, e.g. a warm yellow lens in your ski goggles will not only filter out blue light, but also improve contrast and enhance definition, allowing you to spot those moguls and icy spots. They are great for overcast conditions but you may need something darker (mirror coated black lens) if you plan to ski in bright, sunny climes.


Transition lenses darken in response to increased levels of light, and are very popular with people who just want one pair of glasses. But they don’t always work that well in the car. If you’re suffering from glare when you drive, think about keeping a pair of sunglasses in the car for driving in bright conditions, and never wear tinted lenses at night, even if you suffer from glare.

Sometimes you need some help getting it all right. The Eye Practice is here to help! Call in for a chat or make an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable frame specialists and let us tailor a pair of sunnies to your unique requirements.

Call us on (02) 9290 1899 or make an appointment online.


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