Friday, July 16, 2010

UVA, UVB, Gradient and Polarized Lenses ??



There are a number of terms used in the descriptions of our products. “UVA and UVB”, “Super Dark”, “Gradient lenses”, “Mirror coated lenses” – all are features of different products. To upgrade your shopping experience from “casual” to “informed”, we hope this information will help you make knowledgeable choices. (For more about lenses, go to INFO on our HOME page)
UVA & UVB Most everyone knows that ultraviolet light (UV) can damage your skin but we are learning that long-term exposure to UV light increases the risk of cataracts, the clouding of the eye’s lens. Also, it is now believed that UV rays increase the risk of macular degeneration, a chronic disease that affects the central vision.
Higher price doesn’t mean better protection. High-priced sunglasses are most often the result of fashion and a brand name, usually with a good dose of quality in the mix. Inexpensive sunglasses will usually provide 100% UVA & UVB protection and are oftentimes manufactured with the same materials as the more pricey ones. Look for labels, tags and stickers stating the degree of UV protection that should come on the glasses, if there aren’t any, it’s probably wise to choose another pair.
Keep in mind that most people think that they're at risk only when they're outside on a sunny day, but UV light can go right through clouds, so it doesn't matter if the sky is overcast. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 am and 2 pm. Children need protection too. It is believed that over-exposure to the sun that results in a severe sunburn before adulthood creates an increased risk of cancer related skin conditions later in life, consideration that a child’s protection to the sun’s harmful rays should include his/her eyes as well.
Lens Color The darkness or color of a sunglass lens does not indication UV protection, in fact the coating that blocks UV light is clear. The degree of lens darkness has no effect on UV rays. Gradient lenses, (which appear in our Neon Tetra Wayfarers pictured at right) were designed with driving in mind; the top and darker part of the lens is for looking up and or straight ahead while driving and the lighter bottom of the lens is for viewing the dashboard, your gauges and speedometer. Many of our sunglasses feature a gradient lens.
Mirrored Lenses We agree they make you look cool but mirror coated lenses actually limit the amount of light entering your eyes, so you're more comfortable. Mirror coatings (also called flash coatings) are highly reflective coatings applied to the front surface of sunglass, the color of the tinted lens under the coating determines your color perception.
Finally, the age-old question of “How Do Polarized Lenses Work?” we’ll blog about in another post.

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