A gift of sunglasses on Father’s Day is an investment in his eye health and can also offer a nod to his impeccable sense of style.
“Many people underestimate the significant risk that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can pose to their vision,” says Robert Layman, O.D., an optometrist and president of the American Optometric Association.
“UV rays enter the eye and penetrate through the clear covering of the front of the eye. Not only does unfiltered light cause damage to the cornea, the lens of the eye, and skin of the eyelid, but also to the retina (a nerve-rich lining of the eye) over time,” he says.
What type of sunglasses provides adequate protection? Dr. Layman suggests that the best sunglasses:
- Block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
- Screen out 75 to 90% of visible light.
- Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection.
- Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition.
- Have polarized lenses for best glare reduction
So, before you make an investment, do your research. “Generally, more expensive sunglasses may offer more stylish frames, higher quality lenses, sharper images and less glare,” says Dr. Layman. “Don’t assume all cheap sunglasses provide 100% UV protection even if a sticker on the lenses says, ‘blocks UV.”’
Here are some options:
The name comes from Maho Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands. Co-founders Alex and Chris Anderson wanted to develop an affordable brand made with premium materials. Inspired by the bayside town of Fairhope, Alabama, Fairhope Aqua fit that bill. The flattering flame works well on most face shapes and sizes, male and female. The very cool polarized aqua mirror lenses won’t impact vision but do enhance clarity. The glasses offer 100% UBA/UVA protection and come with a hard canvas case.
Abaco Polarized Sunglasses
Born in a small shop in Florida, Abaco eyewear line includes 40 unique frames and 225 different styles, lenses and variations. The Finwood Limited Edition sunglasses blend seamlessly with nature, perfect for land or sea. The elegant frames are made of a combination of four natural, sustainable woods—maple, zebra, walnut, and ebony. The UV400 lenses block 100% of all harmful light from the sun; the polarized lenses further reduce glare. Men who are careless with their glasses will appreciate the product’s lifetime limited warranty and accidental damage protection.
Marchon is one of the largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear. The Marchon Cole Haan sunglasses shown are one of many in the line that will appeal to the fashion conscious man. The custom frames are made of lightweight, two-layered handmade acetate with cut-down designs of tortoise and crystal colors in a trendy round shape. The temples feature metal cuffs with a woven design and the glasses come with a Cole Haan branded case.
Nathan Sports Running Glasses
Nathan Sports, best known for their running gear, recently launched their first-ever line of polarized, no-slip sunglasses with rugged adventurers in mind. The Summit Polarized Running Glasses are super grippy with TPE inserts on the nose and temples to ensure they stay on your face. They are made with injection-molded polycarbonate lenses, which means the polarization is embedded in the lens as opposed to an easily-scratchable film on top. These very affordable sunglasses are lightweight, impact resistant, and temperature resistant, and offer 100% UV protection.
Revo produces performance eyewear that builds upon NASA space lens technology to protect and enhance the way people see. The company offers a variety of styles of frames/lenses based on different outdoor activities. The rimless Revo Descend Fold sunglasses are uniquely suited for travelers because they are foldable, making it convenient to store them in a bag or pocket. The glasses have a stylish, understated silhouette with a choice of four different color lenses, for golfing, fishing, driving, or everyday wear. They are lightweight and filter UV, HEV and Blue Light.
Bose Frames Alto Sunglasses
Smartglasses are all the rage. An HSN Customer Pick, Bose Frames Alto are the first audio sunglasses made by Bose. A perfect gift for the man who loves music, hidden in the temples are miniaturized electronics that produce immersive sound. Those people around the wearer aren’t able to hear practically anything as he listens discreetly to music. The nylon frames have a classic angular look and the tinted lenses block up to 99% of UVA/UVB rays. Working over bluetooth, one-button control allows the wearer to accept phone calls and access Google Assistant or Siri for voice control.
Another great entry in the noise-canceling smartglasses market is made by solos, a top 15 nanotechnology company whose eyewear seamlessly integrates style with technology. The Neon S Smartglasses are amazingly lightweight given their capabilities. An extended battery life allows for all-day wear with 11 hours of music listening or 8 hours of call time. Using the AirGo™ app, wearers can track fitness goals, like calorie and step count, monitor posture alignment to avoid stiffness while working, set daily drink reminders, and more. All this with UV400 protection from harmful UV rays. The unique hinge design also allows users to personalize the glasses to fit their style.
A product of sunny San Diego, Costa glasses are a favorite of anglers, voyagers and beachcombers. Costa Lido comes with top and side shields to help keep light from leaking in, and the vented nose pad and temple tips keep the frames locked in place and help prevent fogging. The frames are made of a lightweight, plant-based, bio-resin that reduces their carbon footprint yet offer the durability required for long days on the water. Gray polarized glass is perfect for very bright sun.
Christopher Cloos Danish Eyewear
This leading maker of elegant eyewear has teamed up with Tom Brady to create the Cloos x Brady collection that is a great choice for sports lovers—football and more. The sunglasses are made from biodegradable materials, making them environmentally friendly; the design was inspired by the quarterback’s taste for a minimalist, timeless style as well as a holistic approach to health and wellness. For the first time, Cloos has introduced color lenses to the line.
Based in Australia, OTIS offers lightweight, durable men’s eyewear with mineral glass lenses and sustainable frames. Mineral lenses are scratch resistant, optically correct and better for the environment than plastic. The OTIS Strike Sport is a versatile all-year rounder in a classic shape. Sturdy but lightweight, they are great for active travelers. The understated matte finish frames comes in brown or black.
The maker of a line of premium goods, which includes well-crafted watches and sunglasses, Vincero products emphasize both quality and sustainability. With a sweeping angular design and rounded lenses, the elegant frames of The Midway come in four colors. All the lenses are polarized, providing 100% UVA/UVB protection and have a Climate Neutral Certificate.
To learn more about eye health and vision, or to find a local AOA doctor of optometry, visit The American Optometric Association website.