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How to choose sunglasses
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Buying a good pair of sunglasses: sunglasses standards and advice


© Thickstock - Buying a good pair of sunglasses: sunglasses standards and advice
© Thickstock
The season trends, brands, and a stylish image is no doubt an essential thought process when choosing a pair of sunglasses.

Nonetheless protection for your eyes should be the focus point, so we've got some advice for you when trying to choose the right pair.

> Standards:
- sunglasses should be sold with a label that indicates the name and address of the manufacturer and/or the name and address of the manufacturer's representative within the European Union.

- Check that the sunglasses you're buying have the European "CE" mark (on one of the arms or on the packaging).

They should also satisfy British Standard BSEN183 as well as having anti-UV properties.

> Shape:
The more the glasses wrap around your face, the more they will protect your eyes by preventing UV rays from getting in from the sides.

> Lenses:
- Go for polarizing lenses (they reduce glare) in polycarbonate (more resistant and lighter).

- Choose lenses with 100% UV protection and check the filter category.

- The colour of the lenses may vary depending on their use (e.g. orange for skiers so they can better distinguish reliefs in bad weather, and brown for golfers so they can better gauge distances).

Note that it's not the colour of the lens that signals how effective it is.

Finally, for absolute protection, choose lenses that also filter "blue light".

Here are the five filter categories for sunglasses sold in Europe:

> 0: Clear or very light tint: indoors or dull (transmits between 80% and 100% of visible light).
> 1: Light tint: weak sunlight (transmits between 43% and 80% of visible light).
> 2: Medium tint: average sunlight (transmits between 18% and 43% of visible light).
> 3: Dark tint: strong sunlight (transmits between 8% and 18% of visible light).
> 4: Very dark tint: exceptionally strong sunlight, not suitable for driving (transmits between 3% and 8% of visible light).

The degree of protection is usually indicated on the inside of one of the arms.

> Other advice:
If you wear glasses for your vision, you should consider investing in a pair of corrective sunglasses. Ask your optician for advice.

Quality is of great importance. A good pair of sunglasses might not come cheap but it's an investment in your health.

It's therefore not recommended to buy sunglasses from non-specialist shops or from people selling them on the street... your eyes will more likely suffer!


Health and Fitness Editor
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