Sports sunglasses are so popular now. With more and more people participating in outdoor and extreme sports adequate eye protection is a must. The two biggest dangers to the eyes in this environment are ultra violet light from the sun and impact from a direct blow to the face.These are features that many “fashion” sunglasses lack. For this reason fashion prescription sunglasses should never be worn during sport. They are unlikely to withstand impact and may shatter causing eye or facial injury. Many times people find a sports style sunglasses they like and want to stick with the same style. But something they should keep in mind when choosing sports sunglasses.
First, select lenses carefully
Polycarbonate lenses –The ideal material for sports eyewear is polycarbonate which is a thermoplastic polymer. This material is lightweight and has excellent impact resistance. Most good brands offer polycarbonate lenses which are up to twenty times stronger than ordinary lens glass.
Interchangeable lenses – Useful for varying light conditions and also as spare lenses should one set become scratched. Most good brands offer dark, light and clear lenses, the latter being useful for evening or night riding.
Photochromic lenses – These tints lighten and darken automatically in changing light conditions, making them very beneficial for outdoor activities lasting several hours. As weather conditions change or the sun begins to set, photochromic lenses will adjust to allow the optimum amount of light to enter your eyes for good vision.
Polarized lenses – These offer riders improved clarity of the contours of a trail as, according to Al Gleek of lens maker Carl Zeiss, Inc. polarization “blocks scattered light and lets in only very focused light.”
Mirror coatings. For very bright conditions, such as hiking, skiing or snowshoeing at high altitudes, consider adding a mirror coating to the front surface of your sports sunglass lenses. These coatings can block an additional 10 percent to 60 percent of visible light for greater comfort in highly reflective full-sun environments.
Second, make sure it is the best for you
Comfort – If possible, try on glasses while wearing a helmet to ensure a good fit. Look for glasses that can be adjusted if, for example, a sweat band is required under a helmet in hot conditions.
Weight – Sports sunglasses should be light and offer enough ventilation within the wrap around styling to prevent glasses misting up in humid conditions or when riding hard uphill.
Protection – Always check the label on any sports sunglasses to ensure that the lenses offer maximum UV protection. Exposing the eye to UV light can contribute to the develoment of cataracts, eye tumours and macular degeneration.
Sports people at all levels should be wise to take some time in considering the type of sports sunglass they choose.