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Sunglasses that Protect: A Must Have

When gathering your traveling gear, don't forget your eyes. There's many a time I've stopped in a drug store or a gas station to buy a pair of sunglasses because I forgot mine at home. Actually, I break and lose sunglasses regularly. The latest mishap was my dog chewed one pair beyond redemption. Luckily, spending a lot of money on sunglasses isn't necessary to protect your eyes. It is necessary to protect your eyes, though. Cataracts and macular degeneration (decreases sharp vision by changing the retina) are caused by sun damage, for example.

Here's what is recommended for the ultimate in sunglasses protection:

  • Glasses that block at least 99 percent of both UV-A and UV-B light. Look on the price tag or the sticker on the lens.
  • Grey, green or brown tints are the best for blocking out visible light.
  • Grey lenses are better for recognizing true colors
  • Check the lens to make sure the color is uniform throughout. Imperfections confuse the pupils and can promote damage.
  • The stems should be the wider kind close to the lense to help block the sun from the sides.
  • Look for lenses that wrap more around your eyes.

For more info, check out the American Optimetric Association web site. The site also mentions if you are a sports type, polycarbonate lenses are a must.

Because I have such bad luck with sunglasses, I tend to buy the cheaper kind. Here are some links to places that offer sunglasses to fit the traveleing lifestyle. After browsing the Lonely Planet Travel Gear and Clothing Store Web site, and Eastern Mountain Sports', I may have to change my cheap factor. There are several styles to chose from. Eastern Mountain Sports varieties aren't so hard on the wallet.

Filed under: Gear

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