Sunglasses are a powerful fashion detail that protect your eyes from the sun. Once upon a time, it was believed that glasses could help you see into the future, but although this may not be true, they do have the power to correct impaired vision and protect your eyes from the sun.
Modern sunglasses first appeared in the 1930s. Big movie stars gave them an aura of glamor and pilots celebrated them in their own way. As much as they can emphasize the beauty of the face and generate a mysterious, flirtatious, or serious note to the look, you must not forget that the role of sunglasses is primarily to protect you from the sun.
In this article, you will learn what you need to know to choose the perfect model for you, because a bad choice can not only cost you money but also seriously affect the health of your eyes.
What exactly is the spectrum of sunlight?
The sun emits almost all colors, but the human eye can see only colors in the visible spectrum. Light is actually vibration of an electromagnetic field and is therefore a form of electromagnetic radiation. Another way to understand light is to look at it as a wave. In this sense, you can distinguish the distance between the two peaks of the wave – the wavelength of the light ray. The amount of energy emitted by light is inversely proportional to its wavelength: the longer the wavelength, the lower the energy of the wave (i.e. ray of light1).
As for color, the energy of the wave actually represents the color we perceive. Green and yellow colors have a medium wavelength and are therefore have medium-strength energy; whereas orange and red have longer wavelengths, which means they carry less energy; and all these colors belong to the part of the spectrum that is not harmful to us. Light with shorter wavelengths has the highest energy, and this includes blue, violet, and indigo light. This is the light that is the most dangerous for our health, not only for the eyes but also for the skin2. It is precisely in this group of colors that ultraviolet (UV) rays belong to, and it is these wavelengths from which you should protect yourself the most.
Sunlight: advantages and disadvantagesAlthough sunlight has multiple beneficial effects on the body, long-term and uncontrolled exposure, just like excessive use of any drug, can lead to unwanted effects. The green, yellow, and red spectrums of sunlight are undeniably important and beneficial for overall human health – such light has a beneficial effect on hormonal status, immunity, and the synthesis of vitamin D3. Secretion of serotonin (the “happiness” hormone), melatonin (the sleep hormone), and cortisol (the stress hormone), is related to how much we are exposed to natural sunlight during the day. However, if you don’t protect yourself from the ultraviolet spectrum, the damage can be severe.
Why do you need to protect yourself from UV radiation?
The eyes are particularly sensitive to rays in the UV spectrum. If they are exposed to these rays often and for a long time, serious damage can occur, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, eye melanoma, and photokeratitis4. A simple solution to protect yourself from UV rays is wearing high-quality sunglasses. Therefore, if you think that price guarantees high quality, and you don't have to think about other aspects of protection at all, you are really in danger of exposing your eyes to major damage.
What is it really about? Even the biggest, well-known brands that are synonymous with style do not pay so much attention to the quality of UV protection and use outdated methods of simply repainting the glass, concentrating instead on the trend. Such glasses, although they often look really beautiful, provide a very modest level of protection and sometimes even cause more harm than good. When you don't wear sunglasses, your eyes are protected by the pupil shrinking, and when you wear low-quality sunglasses that don't provide protection but simply allow you not to squint, the pupils dilate and let dangerous ultraviolet rays through. Furthermore, eye fatigue can be a serious risk for vision health in the long term.
You may have noticed that when you are by the sea or in the mountains, the glasses you wear normally are not enough for you. This is because the sunlight is more intense in those environments, which, of course, represents an additional risk, so you should definitely keep that in mind when choosing glasses.
It is better to invest in a pair of high-quality sunglasses than to expose yourself to unnecessary risk. However, once you try high-quality glasses, you will immediately feel a significant difference and you will hardly be able to adapt again to lower-quality alternatives.
How do I recognize high-quality sunglasses?
You are probably already wondering, if brand and price are not a guarantee of quality, then what is? For those who never wear sunglasses, think of buying sunglasses as a one-time investment that should last you indefinitely.
This is not a time to be frugal but a time to be very thoughtful. Not only you should check whether your sunglasses provide the optimal UV protection but also how they provide such an effect. Simply blocking that spectrum of sunlight is the cheapest but not the safest method of protection.
UV rays are not the only thing you need to protect yourself from. Natural light from the red, yellow, and green spectrums directly affects the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that affect your biorhythm, mood, immunity, and overall health5.
On the other hand, spending too much time in front of your favorite digital device and being exposed to the harmful blue light emitted from it not only tires the eyes but also inhibits the secretion of melatonin and affects many other biochemical processes in the body6. If you protect your eyes only when you are in the sun, it is simply not enough, because artificial light from LED lamps and various screens harms you equally on many levels.
Sunglasses as a fashion detail: how to choose the perfect frames
If you know how to choose frames that bring out the best in your face, even eyeglasses can be a decoration rather than a corrective tool. As you have already realized, you must choose a frame that suits you, and you can freely ignore trends, because people perceive beauty as a general harmony, not modern detail that catches the eye. So, the first thing you need to do is determine what type of face you have.
Oval face shape. This face shape is the most flattering, and a wide range of frames will suit you quite well. A “cat” frame is great if you want to accentuate seduction and a rectangular one if you prefer a more professional look. With this face shape, the shape of the eyebrows can have a lot of effect on the impression given. Pay attention to how much your eyebrows follow the line of the glasses: whether they stick out a lot or are not visible at all. Ideally, the upper line of the frame should follow the line of the eyebrows, but if your eyebrows are not too dark or striking, you don't have to worry too much about this.
Square face shape. To draw more attention to these features, try dark, rounded, oval, or aviator frames that will best emphasize the beauty of a square face. Larger frames that cover the eyebrows can also look quite cool on this face type.
Heart face shape. This is also a very flattering shape, but butterfly frames will look especially beautiful on this face shape. You can easily wear a large number of frames, and as with the oval type, pay special attention to the eyebrows.
Diamond face shape. This shape is characterized by a stronger lower jaw, so glasses are perfect for balancing facial features. Choose frames that have a more pronounced upper frame. Rectangular, classic glasses will look good on you.
In addition to the shape of the frame, also consider the color of the frame, which should go well with your character. Hair color also plays an important role in the choice of frame color. Consider whether you want to achieve the effect of contrast or harmony. If you rely on fashion, which is always fleeting, and the prestige of powerful brands, you will get a one-off trendy look and a basic level of protection. You can certainly find frames that suit you well, and even if you wanted to, you coulldn’t follow every trend, because not every frame goes with your face shape.
Some sunglasses that offer optimal protection are MIRA sunglasses. MIRA sunglasses, including Aviator, Diva Black, Midnight, Sparkle, Edge, and many more, have polarized lenses that block 100% of the harmful UVA and UVB rays while providing clear vision. They are also very comfortable and fit everyone's face. You can be fashionable and modern at the same time: these sunglasses are stylish, and you can combine them with your favorite clothes. They are easy to clean and maintain, and they come with their own microfiber carrying bag.
It's better to choose a high-quality pair of sunglasses that suit your style than to follow a fashion that often won't work for you. Price does not guarantee high quality, and even if you choose prestigious brands, consider whether it is the best you can afford.
Investing in fashion is a very risky investment, but investing in your health is the only investment that is sure to pay off without having to compromise between aesthetics and quality.
1. Sliney DH. What is light? The visible spectrum and beyond. Eye (Lond). 2016 Feb;30(2):222-9. doi: 10.1038/eye.2015.252. Epub 2016 Jan 15. PMID: 26768917; PMCID: PMC4763133.
2. Sapkota R.P., Pardhan S. Eye Complications of Exposure to Ultraviolet and Blue-Violet Light. ResearchGate. Sep, 2016. DOI:10.5005/highlights-45-2-2.
3. van der Rhee HJ, de Vries E, Coebergh JW. Regular sun exposure benefits health. Med Hypotheses. 2016 Dec;97:34-37. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2016.10.011. Epub 2016 Oct 19. PMID: 27876126.
4. Taylor HR, West S, Muñoz B, Rosenthal FS, Bressler SB, Bressler NM. The long-term effects of visible light on the eye. Arch Ophthalmol. 1992 Jan;110(1):99-104. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1992.01080130101035. PMID: 1731731.
5. Bedrosian TA, Nelson RJ. Timing of light exposure affects mood and brain circuits. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Jan 31;7(1):e1017. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.262. PMID: 28140399; PMCID: PMC5299389.
6. Zou L, Dai J. [Blue light and eye health]. Zhonghua Yan Ke Za Zhi. 2015 Jan;51(1):65-9. Chinese. PMID: 25877712.