Why You Really Need to Wear Sunglasses, According to Doctors

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Nothing transforms an outfit quite like a good pair of sunglasses. They may be the last accessorizing step before you run out the door, but sunglasses have the power to turn any old ensemble into an intentional look. This summer, a real range of styles from decades past are in vogue. With their signature upswept corners, cat-eye frames, once the fave of icons like Audrey Hepburn, accentuate the cheekbones and offer a playful sassiness. Aviators, popularized in the 70s and 80s by celebrities like George Michael, have androgynous wearability thanks to their retro round form and double metal bars. Extra-large framesranging in shape from square to rectangle to hexagonalare reliably dramatic, while sleek sporty styles tap into the viral appeal of athleisure. But the greatest perk of all? Sunglasses preserve your eye health. Theyre one of those medical devices that are not only protective, but there is also a huge fashion side to it, says Mahnia Madan, an optometrist at the Vancouver Eye Doctor clinic. Ultraviolet [UV] rays from the sun can be harmful to our eyes, the inside of the eye and the delicate skin around the eyes. Sunglasses act as a barrier between your eyes and that radiation.The key to maximizing this protection? Find a pair you actually like. The best sunglasses are the ones that youre going to wear the most, Madan says. Luckily, there are tons of 2023 eyewear trends that are both fashionable and functionallook no further than recent runways. Cat eyes went angular at Celine. Aviators were given a futuristic edge at Fendi and Saint Laurent. Colossal sunnies came down multiple runways, including Ralph Lauren and Off-White. Frames arent the only element of sunglasses reimagined this yearcoloured lens were everywhere (Marni went all in on purple) and bring a statement-making contrast to any outfit. Better yet, Madan says that variations in tint dont affect protection.But whichever style you choose, its crucial that you use your sunglasses consistentlyespecially because eye health issues are an unavoidable part of aging.As we get older, were going to get some wrinkles, were going to get grey hair and were going to get cataracts, says Madan. Some people are also prone to having macular degeneration with aging [due to] genetic factors. Both macular degeneration and cataractsa clouding of the lens of the eyecause fading vision and are exacerbated by sun exposure. UV rays can also cause dry eyes, eye sunburns, rosacea around the eyes and skin cancers around the eyelids. Along with vision issues, these conditions can cause your eyes to look red and irritated. Sunglasses reduce our chances of getting these things, or delay the onset, Madan says.Repeated exposure to UV radiation also accelerates the loss of skin elasticity and collagen, causing it to stretch and sag. Around the eyes, this leads to crows feet and pigment spots. But wearing sunglassesespecially lenses that offer 100 percent UV protectioncan slow down these effects. To find glasses with enough protection, Madan recommends checking the label to make sure they block 75 to 90 percent of visible light with UVB and UVA protection. And if it says UV 400, the glasses will protect your eyes against nearly all harmful rays. Equally important: When shopping, dont underestimate fit and lens qualitythey can make or break protection in the long run.Imagine looking through a really crisp glass versus a smudgy plastic sheet, Madan says. Some brands, especially higher-end ones, invest in top-tier lenses, so they focus light better and cut down on issues like glare and blurriness. If you buy a pair at the dollar store, on the other hand, the label may tout the same UV protection but you could be compromising on comfort and crisp vision. Ultimately, sunglasses that feel good to you are sunglasses youll faithfully reach for. So how do you go about choosing them?If your budget allows, I recommend having a couple of different pairs, says Madan. If you regularly partake in outdoor activitiesespecially around snow or water, which reflect UV rays and increase the amount of radiationyou should prioritize practicality. You want a really sturdy frame that has a good wraparound so youre getting protection from everywhere. You also want the lenses to be polarized: another kind of tint on top of the glasses that cuts glare, she adds, noting that its best to cover as much skin around the eye as possible. An everyday pair for running errands and going for walks can be more stylish and less utilitarian (think: triangular cat eyes or delicate hexagonal silhouettes). And if youre going to have only one pair, you want to make it versatile, Madan advises. For this, try bigger frames with ample coverage.Sunglasses cant help but make a statementthey sit at the very focal point of your face. But when it comes to choosing them, you dont need to compromise safety for style; you can get yourself a pair that does both. Madan is fine with any kind of sunnies at allas long as you wear them.

Find your perfect fit with these protective and chic sunnies.

Sunglasses Round Up | eye healthFrom left to right:Made of lightweight acetate, these angular cat-eye frames are on trend while being wide and functional enough to protect your eyes surrounding skin. They can be fitted with polarized lenses, and the frame is available in other shades. $219, bonlook.caThese extra-large sunnies feature temples adorned with the brands signature C logo. Their size also offers plenty of skin protection. Dark tortoise frames complement the brown-tinted polarized lenses for a soft, warm finish. $260, fyidoctors.comThe aviators vintage appeal is reimagined with this pairs modern bold hue. The lenses are polarized, while the double top bar and raised keyhole nose bridge provide a lightweight and comfortable fit. $73, clearly.caUnisex designs are often the most versatile. Take these frames by Walmarts George line. Polarized lenses and a wrap design make them suitable for everyday activity, but with a sleek matte black finish, they also double as an on-the-go accessory. $18, walmart.caWith rounded edges, this design puts a contemporary spin on the classic boxy shape. Contrasting orange temples and blue frames stand out and offer a comfortable medium fit. $169, available at all Canadian Oscar Wylee storesWith an exaggerated hexagonal design, these shades are as oversized as it gets. Combined with thin frames and elegant metal detailing, theyre also delicate and wearable. Frames come in light blue as well and lenses can be polarized. $229, bonlook.caNext: 8 Simple Tricks to Better Protect Yourself From the Sun

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