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How to Pick Good Sunglasses

How to Pick Good Sunglasses Rebecca Anderson, Licensed Optician with Vanderbilt Eye Institute, spoke with Stacey Bonner, Family Services Coordinator, on how to choose the correct pair of sunglasses.


Stacey Bonner: Welcome to this edition of the Vanderbilt University Health and Wellness Wellcast. I am Stacy Bonner with the Child and Family Center.

Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory. They are an important protection for your eyes against the damaging rays of the sun. Rebecca Anderson, Licensed Optician with Vanderbilt Eye Institute will discuss how to choose the correct pair of sunglasses. Rebecca, what are the benefits of wearing sunglasses?

Rebecca Anderson: It is imperative that we protect our eyes from the sun. The ozone layer has been burned from all the chemicals that we use in the world today, and we are losing a lot of our ozone layers. That is just pouring in UVA and UVB rays down on us causing cataracts earlier in our ages, and we are seeing a lot of damage from sun. So, it is imperative that we wear sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection so that we can retard the progression of cataracts.

Stacey Bonner: What are some things to consider when purchasing a pair of sunglasses?

Rebecca Anderson: You want to consider that you have a good quality lens when you are buying prescriptions. You want to make sure that you have the UVA and UVB protection on your lenses. Whether you are buying plain old nonprescription or prescription, quality is really important. You can get less expensive sunglasses but sometimes the lenses have little works in them, and that can be strain and stress on your eyes. So, just make sure that you are getting a good pair of quality eyewear.

Stacey Bonner: What is the difference between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses?

Rebecca Anderson: Polarized has a new technique of how they do it now. To put it in simple terms, it would be two pieces of plastic fused together at a certain angle and it eliminates glare, and so that was invented years ago for people that worked on water, fisherman. If I am not mistaken, Ray Ban may have been the first one to come out with polarized lenses. It is just imperative to have the glare eliminated even as you are driving. Non-polarized lenses, you had a lot of glare. There is good protection, there is good UVA and UVB protection in non?polarized lenses, but polarizing would really give you more benefits because it eliminates the glare.

Stacey Bonner: Should you just rely on a price when purchasing a pair of sunglasses or should there be other things that you look for?

Rebecca Anderson: You just want to make sure you have a good quality pair of glasses. Inexpensive eyewear like that would be somewhere at $10 to $15, but a good quality pair of sun-wear is important because you want to make sure you are getting the protection you need, and you can get a great pair of sunglasses that are polarized for a reasonable price in the industry today. They have really tried to make it available for everyone out there because we are concerned about their vision.

Stacey Bonner: Besides for the things you mentioned earlier, how important is proper fitting?

Rebecca Anderson: Fitting is really a key to having a good pair of sunglasses. The proper fitting would be the most important because you want to make sure they are covered and make sure that they fit well and are comfortable. If you are wearing these glasses long-term like a trip across the country, you want to make sure that they are not uncomfortable and you have to keep taking them off and on and causing problems for you on your trips. So, just make sure you get a really good quality pair of glasses with a good fit. Any optician can do that for you at any time. If you need an adjustment on your glasses and if you feel like they are loosening up or not fitting properly, just stop by the optical shop, and anyone can adjust those for you to make them feel more comfortable for your everyday use.

Stacey Bonner: They can do that for sunglasses?

Rebecca Anderson: Yes, they can do it. Sunglasses, regular eyewear, polarized, you can get line bifocals and no-line bifocals and trifocals. So, everything is out there for you in a sunglass lens in prescription or nonprescription. So, it is just important that we cover all our bases and make sure that we are giving our eyes the best benefit of protection from the sun.

Stacey Bonner: Thank you Rebecca.

Rebecca Anderson: Thank you.

Stacy Bonner: Thanks for listening. If you have a story or suggestion, please email us or you can use the Contact Us link on our website at

-- end of recording (05:10) --

Posted 2013-07-05 06:00:24.