Sunglasses that have non-prescription lenses are designated as plano sunglasses. Plano sunglasses have a great deal of variety in regards to styling, designer name brands, and frame materials.
Some of the popularity of plano sunglasses stems from the usage of contact lenses by approximately 30 million Americans. Those who wear contact lenses also require the usage of plano sunglasses in order to shield their eyes from the harm that the sun’s emitted UV radiation can bring. Sunglasses help prevent the person’s contacts from drying out when he/she is outdoors. They also help block windblown debris that can go into the eyes.
Let’s not forget the fact that sunglasses just look cool!
We have seen a wide range of both shapes and styles of plano sunglasses for men and women alike for the past few seasons, including sporty Wraparounds, trendy Cat-Eyes and “Jackie Os,” which feature sleek, suave futuristic styles that hug the contours and curves of the face. There have also been small, retro-looking shapes, the large and even sometimes bulbous Bubble Wraps, Rectangular and Angular styles. Surprisingly enough, we’ve even seen an increase in the number of sunglasses that have been enhanced with jewels.
Sleek wraps and Jackie Os are some of the more recent, modern styles that have been energized with details such as semi-precious rhinestones and faux diamonds made of cubic zirconium. These types of sunglasses have their lenses tinted in a multitude of colors, including Blue, Yellow, Rose, Orange, Purple, Black and Coral.
Both the rimless and semi-rimless varieties of plano sunglasses are characterized by their very distinctive lens shapes, which are cut in unusual angles. Their lenses are held in place by a wire or plastic thread. Some of those sunglasses that have frames made of plastic exhibit cutouts and other details for a more unique look.
Sunglasses Frame Materials
Non-Prescription sunglasses have a great deal of diversity when it comes to the materials that their frames are comprised of. These materials include Acetate (often called “zyl”), Propionate (nylon-based plastic), and premium metals such as Titanium, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Beryllium, and Flexon. The metals in particular are sturdy and corrosion-resistant yet very lightweight and comfortable, and also hypoallergenic.
Many styles of sunwear today incorporate and combine both metal and plastic into the design of the frames give them all of the advantages of both plastic and metal materials in one package, as well as a unique look.
Shopping for Sunglasses
The first thing that you need to do when you shop for sunglasses is ascertain that the frames fit comfortably on your face. As with choosing prescription optical wear, you should follow these tips to determine that you have a good fit:
1. Choose frames that are wide enough for your face. This is identified by the protrusion of the edges of the frames slightly beyond your face in such a way that the temples will not create pressure on your head as they extend back to your ears.
2. Are the temples long enough? You can figure this out by checking to see that the curve at the end of the temples extend over your ears without pressing down upon them. Do be aware that some styles of sunwear have straight temples that don’t curve around the ear.
3. Check the nosepiece for both fit and comfortability. The frames should make for a secure fit without pinching the bridge of your nose.
4. While wearing the sunglasses, move your head up and down, left and right, and bend over (as if you’re moving to pick up something up from the floor). If the sunglasses should stay comfortably in place, then they’re a proper fit.
Don’t be afraid to go bold when selecting the shapes and colors of the frames – plano sunglasses are just as effective as a fashion statement as they are a form of protection for your eyes. Personalize your sunglasses to fit your wants and desires.
Choosing the Right Lenses
It is crucial that you establish that the lenses offer 100% complete protection from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. This level of protection doesn’t require a whole battery of additional costs to ensure.
Performance and Sports Sunglasses
Recent years have seen a boom in the participation of outdoor sports activities such as snowboarding, skiing, in-line skating, golfing, kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. It comes as no surprise there is now a huge demand for sports- and performance-oriented sunglasses.
These special-purpose sunglasses are designed to be exceptionally light and comfortable, able to withstand extreme conditions, endure all different types of impact, mitigate the effect that the sun has on impairing vision, and stay comfortably in place during any activity.
Optical clarity and acuity and visual enhancement properties are arguably the most significant aspect of the lenses of effective sports sunwear. In particular, sports and performance sunglasses have lenses with a wide variety of tints that each modifies light in certain ways to enhance contrast. One advantage of this customization option is that it allows you to see certain objects (ex. baseballs, tennis balls) with greater clarity so as to enhance your reaction time and hit the balls as they come flying at you.
Polycarbonate lenses are the lenses of choice for most types of sports and performance sunglasses because they are lightweight, possess super strength, and have far more considerable impact resistance than lenses made of other materials.
Polarized lenses are also high in demand because of their ability to reduce glare that comes from reflection of light off of flat surfaces, such as water or a field of snow. However, there has been some contention regarding the advisability of polarized lenses for sports like downhill and mogul skiing, since the sight of sunlight reflected from icy patches on the slopes is often beneficial to the athlete.
Performance and sports sunglasses have frames that are made out of lightweight and durable materials such as polyamide, which retains its shape even when under stress. Their styles are typically aerodynamic and have sleek lines. Some popular features are no-slip temple grips and nose pads, which help to keep the eyewear in place despite the perspiration of the weather during the heat of competition.
What’s Your Sport?
Each sport has its own exclusive visual requirements, which has led to the development of different types of sports-specific sunglasses. For examples, there are now sunglasses with frames and lenses that are designed specifically for a golfer, cyclist, boater, rock climber and so on and so forth.
There could be a certain lens tint that may help a golfer notice subtle changes in the direction of the blades of grass on a green, which could affect the line of their putt. There could be a completely different tint that may better help a hunter see the contrast of a flying bird against an overcast sky.
For those of you who prefer to be a Jack (or Jill) of all sports, there are also multipurpose sports sunglasses that feature a set of interchangeable lenses with different, separate tints for different sports and lighting conditions.
If you currently wear eyeglasses to correct nearsightedness (AKA myopia), farsightedness (AKA hyperopia), or astigmatism, then you should strongly consider purchasing a second pair of glasses for yourself: prescription sunglasses.
“Why would I do that”? You should purchase prescription sunglasses because they are often the best solution to having clear and comfortable vision outdoors in spite of the sun. They eliminate glare and the need to squint in conditions of bright light, which can impair vision and strain the eyes.
Even if you normally wear contact lenses and non-prescription (AKA plano) sunglasses, there will still be those times when your contacts dry out or otherwise become uncomfortable – especially on the beach, where you face off against the environmental hazards of sun, sand, wind, and water. Prescription sunglasses allow you the gift of being able to be outdoors all day without experiencing any problems of discomfort that have to do with your contacts and/or the environment.
A Better Solution for Driving
If you normally wear prescription eyeglasses, then you undoubtedly face a dilemma when driving on sunny days. You can purchase clip-on sunglasses (or a modern magnetic variant) for your eyeglasses. They have the disadvantage of potentially scratching your lenses. They may also prove to be difficult to put on without first taking off your glasses, which is an unnecessary risk.
Another solution is to purchase a pair of prescription eyeglasses that have photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses adjust to the level of incoming light and darken automatically when outdoors. The major con here is that these lenses often won’t darken properly inside a vehicle because the windshield glass could block most of the sun’s UV radiation.
For your convenience and comfort, the best solution for you to see in the sun is prescription sunglasses. If you favor easy access and don’t want to forget them whenever you go outside, then you should store them in your car or boat. That way, they’ll always be there whenever you have need of them.
Many Lens Styles Available
Prescription sunglasses are available in a plethora of different lens materials and designs, including high index plastic and progressive (AKA no-line bifocal) lenses. For boating, fishing and driving, polarized lenses offer excellent glare protection from the light reflecting off of water surfaces and roadways.
If you plan on wearing your prescription sunglasses whenever you’re playing sports, working with your power tools, or engaging in other activities that pose a risk of eye injuries, then you should choose lightweight lenses made of polycarbonate or Trivex. These lens materials produce lenses that are far more impact-resistant than other materials.
As with regular prescription eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses have a nearly infinite amount of frame styles. The only difference between the two is that prescription sunglasses cannot be made in the same severe variety of Wraparound styles that some non-prescription sunglasses have. However, there are models of prescription sunglasses with a lesser-curved Wraparound style are available.
Sunglasses for Kids
Children may not be as interested as adults are in regards to wearing sunglasses as a fashion statement. But because kids spend so much time outdoors in direct sunlight, they need sun protection just as much, if not even more than adults.
In fact, some experts say we get up to 80 percent of our lifetime exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation by the time we’re 18 years old.
Many Styles Available
You should have no trouble finding sunglasses that your child will enjoy wearing. Children’s sunglasses are also available in a multitude of different styles and sizes. And just about any children’s size frames can be transformed into sunglasses by adding prescription or non-prescription sunwear lenses.
Metal frames are very popular for children’s sunglasses because of their sturdiness. Wraparound styles, like those worn by adults, are also popular as scaled-down versions for kids. Since they fit closer to the face than do traditional frame styles, wraparound sunglasses provide high-class UV protection for both the eyes of your child and the delicate skin around their eyes.
Choose Lenses With 100% UV Protection
The most important thing when choosing children’s sunglasses is to ascertain that the lenses feature 100% protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The damaging effects of UV radiation accumulate over our lifetime. By limiting your child’s exposure to UV rays during his/her childhood, you will be decreasing their risk of developing cataracts and other eye maladies when they become adults.
Polycarbonate lenses are an excellent choice due to their built-in 100% UV protection, being lightweight, and have much more resistance to impacts than do lenses made of other materials. Additionally, they can be tinted to nearly any shade of your choice.
Photochromic-polycarbonate lenses are a superb choice for children who need prescription eyewear. These lenses will darken automatically when exposed to UV radiation and then quickly return to a clear state indoors. They also provide the 100% UV protection idiosyncratic to polycarbonate lenses. Essentially, one pair of sunglasses pulls double duty!
Don’t Forget the Accessories!
To protect the investment that you have made in your child’s sunglasses, you should purchase a durable, hard-shell carrying case for them. Furthermore, establish that your son/daughter knows how to clean and care for their eyewear. Getting sunglass cords (AKA retainers) is a good idea in this respect. These are attached to the temples to help your child remove their sunglasses and the eyewear will stay with them, hanging from their neck instead of getting lost or misplaced.