Most people protect their eyes with sunglasses. Personally, I don't like them. I like my colours bright, clean and untinted. For that reason, I made sure my bifocals block both types of UV radiation. It is not the tint that provides the protection but the UVA and UVB filtering properties of the lenses.
Because sunglasses provide important protection for our eyes, it's important to get the word out. Despite what Anita Sharma of Sun Media says, better quality sunglasses will not "have you reaching deeper into your pocket."
Foster Grant: Total UV Protection
- Sunglasses don't have to be expensive. I found Foster Grant glasses, left, with 100% protection from UVA and UVB, $12.97.
- I found Roots distortion free, 100% UV protection, sunglasses at $30.
- I found fashionable, full-protection Aviator sunglasses from Alfred Sung for $24.95
- Dockers Aviator sunglasses, available at the Bay in Canada, are priced at $28.
- I saw Foster Grant Baby sunglasses with full UV protection and a wraparound design providing additional protection at only $5.97. I bought them. I have a grandchild on the way.
And now a little about Aviator glasses. I started wearing Bausch & Lomb Ray-Ban Aviator glasses back in high school in the '60s. At that time the frames were gold filled rather than gold plated. The difference? Gold filling resulted in a thicker layer of gold than gold plating. It made for more durable frames. I never did wear them out.
In 1937, some seven decades ago, when Bausch & Lomb brought out the metal framed, large lensed style, eye protection was, even then, a main goal. The glasses soon gained a following among pilots in the United States Airforce, but when General Douglas MacArthur was photographed wearing them, they gained important recognition.
But it was Hollywood that made Aviators cool. Think Men in Black, Blues Brothers or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Who can forget Tom Cruise in Top Gun wearing his Ray-Ban's? The late Michael Jackson wore them.
And, so did I, for forty years. One thing I learned in that time was that Aviators are not "always sexy, smart, in style" — well, maybe they were but I sure wasn't. Don't be too quick to part with $650 for David Yurman Phantom Aviator glasses, not unless you're Tom Cruise, then go for it. On you, Tom, all will be cool.
Addendum: from Best Health Magazine, Summer 2009, and featured by Sympatico
How good are most sunglasses?The good news: Most sunglasses do provide enough UV protection, says Stephen Dain, director of the optics and radiometry laboratory at Australia’s University of New South Wales. “We test about 2,000 pairs a year, and failure to meet standards is less than one percent.”
Ralph Chou, an associate professor in the school of optometry at the University of Waterloo points out that all too often, "...sunglasses have been marketed as fashion items rather than eye protection.”
What you get for the price
So does price matter? Sunglasses with hefty price tags aren’t necessarily better than the $20 variety. “UV protection costs only pennies so you can get it at any price,” says Chou.
I checked The Dollar Store and sure enough I found sunglasses offering full protection for a buck. (I've read lab tests of these of cheap glasses and the lab results confirm that the cheap sunglasses can offer full UV protection.)
Are there any problems with the cheapies? According to Chou, “...inexpensive lenses may have marginal optical quality. This won’t do any damage, but the distortion can cause headaches or dizziness that can leave you feeling miserable.”
A Note to Sun Media and Quebecor
Hire some editors to go over copy looking for errors. You can't run good quality and bad quality in the same paper and not understand that you are sowing distrust of all you publish when you so willing publish so much chainwide shallow, error prone, filler.