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 Sunglasses: Form Versus Function 
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Post Sunglasses: Form Versus Function
Sunglasses: Form Versus Function
by: Nathan Sauer



The incorporation of sunglasses into contemporary pop culture has brought the fashion aspect of glasses to full throttle. Individuals purchasing sunglasses today look first to style and only second to functionality. And while the ‘coolness’ of sunglasses is certainly vastly better today than the rigid frames of just a couple of decades ago, the emphasis on style threatens to undermine the most important characteristic of sunglasses: protecting your eyes.

Acute eye damage does not affect just those that spend hours outside day in and day out. In fact, just a single outing in the bright sun can cause severe sun damage. This is because of direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is a component of the light emitted from the sun which damages our eyes. While our eyes are usually able to cope with a few short term episodes of damage through intense UV exposure, exposure to repeated intense cycles has been linked to long term vision damage. That means that individuals that go snow skiing just a few times without sunglasses can get permanent damage. While less common, those that simply spend one day a month outside, particularly between the hours of 10 and 2, can develop permanent vision problems.

As a result, it is extremely important that shoppers not just look for the most popular sunglasses on the market, but rather are also cognizant of some important characteristics that all good sunglasses should have. If the functional purpose of sunglasses is to protect against UV exposure, then the most important characteristic glasses should have is a UV coating. While the plastic or glass from which the actual sunglass is made will block some of the UV rays, buyers should look for those glasses which block 400nm rays, as this effectively means that they block all rays. Another important consideration is how much coverage the glasses offer. Even if the glasses that you purchase protect up to 400nm, if they are not large enough to effectively block out unfiltered light from reaching your eyes, they are not effective.

While the fashion aspects of sunglasses are certainly important, these concerns should be viewed as secondary to the primary purpose of sunglasses, which is to protect your eyes. In shopping for your pair of sunglasses, be aware that you are purchasing something which will not merely make you ‘look good’, but also help you ‘see good’, for years to come.

About The Author

Nathan Sauer enjoys playing extreme sports and prefers custom Oakley sunglasses. See http://www.technical-gear.com/sunglasse ... lasses.htm for more information.



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Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:03 pm
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