How to Choose a Tint for Sunglasses

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Sunglasses are made to shield the eyes from bright light--most commonly the sun. They protect eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation which may lead to cataracts. Sunglasses are also worn as a fashion statement. Some individuals, like movie stars, choose to wear dark sunglasses so that people cannot see their eyes. Sportsmen often wear polarized sunglasses to distinguish contrast--such as fish in the ocean or birds in the sky. Choose a tint for sunglasses based on your needs.

No matter what tint you choose, commit to buying sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection as it will protect against cataracts and other damage. See Resources for more information.

Determine what you will use the sunglasses for--driving, exercise, hunting, skiing or fishing? The activities you participate in while wearing your sunglasses will affect the type of tint you should choose.

Understand the different tints. Colored lenses affect light and how you will see things. For instance, amber tinting blocks blue light and provides greater contrast. However, these sunglasses are not suitable for driving as they may distort vision. Gray tinted sunglasses do not distort vision or alter color, but they don't provide as much contrast. Find more information on different lens tints in the Resources section.

Choose lighter density sunglasses for daily wear or driving. Lighter tinted glasses such as gray, brown or green will not distort colors for driving.

Choose darker and polarized sunglasses for sporting events that take place in bright light with a lot reflection--such as skiing and fishing. Amber or blue-blocker sunglasses are best for hunting. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare when skiing or fishing.

Choose colored tinting for fashionable wear. You may choose orange, pink, blue or red-tinted lenses to match an outfit. However, these colored lenses are not suitable for driving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that your sunglasses cover your entire eye to get the most protection and light-blocking benefits.

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