When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Sunglass Lenses?
More than a fashionable accessory, sunglasses are absolutely essential to maintain good eye health light-blocking properties of sunglasses allow your eyes to see better in bright outdoor light as well as shield them from both short- and long-term damage due to UV radiation. Without proper UV eye protection, you could be exposed to retina damage, cataracts, vision losses, macular degeneration, or other issues. Your eyes are incredibly sensitive, so wearing sunglasses to keep them healthy for as long as possible is your safest bet!
When shopping for shades, you need to pay close attention to their label and only purchase models that provide 100% UV Protection. This indicates that the sunglass lenses absorb a full spectrum of UV light wavelengths, allowing less UV light to reach your eyes. Once you find a pair that you love and offers the right protection, you will be good for about 2 years. The thing is, over time, even the most durable sunglass lenses will become less effective in shielding your eyes from UV radiation. Once their efficacy decreases, it can’t be restored, which means your lenses will eventually have to be replaced.
According to a study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo, sunlight deteriorates the lenses of sunglasses, making them less effective over time. Lenses may become lighter and thus change the category under which they are classified, become more brittle, diminishing their impact resistance. Professionals on the matter claim that most sunglasses are safe to wear for a period of two years for users who wear them for a maximum of two hours a day.
The great news is, you don’t have to entirely replace the glasses you love so much – you can simply replace their lenses. If you opt to replace lenses in old frames, you’ll save a considerable amount of money, while enjoying the new splendor of your old shades. But, how can you get sunglass lenses replaced? Well, there are many companies that offer lens replacement services. They just take a sample of your current lenses and frame and customize new lenses that will fit your frame. Replacing lenses in old frames is very common nowadays and it is a great way to prolong the lifespan of your favorite shades.
If you want to find the right lenses for your sunglasses, it helps to know what to look for. There are different types of lenses available, each providing the user with a set of unique benefits.
- Optical glass lenses – are ground and polished to meet standards that assure distortion-free vision. These lenses are extremely durable and scratch-resistant. The main advantage of these lenses is high levels of distortion-free as well as scratch resistance. The disadvantage regarding optical glass lenses is that they tend to be more expensive and when impacted sometimes spider or break, which can be dangerous for active sports.
- Polycarbonate lenses – are the best option if you will be moving and shaking in your sunglass. These lenses are made from a similar material to that of aircraft windshields and virtually indestructible. Light and scratch-resistant, polycarbonate lenses offer a high level of optical clarity. They are also 50 times more impact resistant than optical glass, which makes them a very strong, distortion-free lens. The downside of these lenses is that they are a slightly lower level of scratch resistance and its optical clarity is not as quite as good as optical glass or NXT.
- NXT polyurethane lens – one of the best options. It combines all the advantages of optical glass with all of polycarbonate’s performance capabilities. NXT polyurethane lenses are made with Trivex, which is an advanced polymer material that is extremely impact-resistant, offers superior optical clarity, and is the ultralight weight. All these qualities make these lenses the best choice for anyone who can afford them.
- Acrylic – an affordable and ideal solution for casual and fashion sunglasses. Acrylic lenses retain much of the durability and optical clarity of more expensive options but without the high price tag.
Tints and Colours
Different lens colors add to the performance of the lens in different lighting conditions but don’t contribute to increased UV protection. For example, grey and green lenses provide crisper contrast which helps reduce eye strain in brighter situations. Brow tints also give the wear increased contrast but can cause color distortion. Mirrored lenses are a great option if you have high sensitivity to bright light.
- Polarized lenses – use horizontally-aligned polarizing micro crystals that block all vertical light to protect the eyes from glare. They are particularly suitable for water sports, cycling, and driving in areas with a high degree of reflective glare. Still, they don’t offer extra UV protection.
- Photochromic lenses – automatically adjust to changing light intensities to protect you in a wider range of conditions. They get darker on bright days and lighter when conditions get darker.
- Gradient lenses – tinted from the top-down, these lenses are good for driving because they shield your eyes from overhead sunlight, allowing more light through the bottom half of the lens.
- Double gradient – the top and the bottom are darkest and the middle has a lighter tint. These lenses are a great choice for when you want a sunglass that isn’t too dark but does a great job at shielding your eyes against bright overhead sunlight and light reflecting off sand, water, and other reflective surfaces at your feet.