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Don’t Be Blinded

Sunglasses are fashionable accessories, but more importantly they provide vital UV protection to the eyes

The rays of the sun give your mind, body and spirit the sense that you are on vacation and put a smile on your face. UV protection that does not only protect your skin, but also your eyes, guarantees that you will enjoy the sun without regrets. Not wearing sunglasses can cause damage to your cornea, lens and conjunctiva. ZEISS sunshade lenses provide reliable UV protection.

Don’t Be Blinded

Sunglasses are fashionable accessories, but more importantly they provide vital UV protection to the eyes

Actors, musicians and show business people wear them all the time – in the summer and in the winter; day and night: Sunglasses. However, they are much more than a cool accessory.  The fact is, sunglasses protect the eyes against dangerous UV rays. When you buy a pair, though, make sure you choose good quality.

 

While even the lowest priced models are CE certified these days and consequently offer adequate UV protection, the lenses in cheap models are usually pressed and not cut. Consequently, these lenses may not provide good vision. Especially if you wear sunglasses for an extended period of time, this may fatigue your eyes. Cheaper lenses are also harder to adjust and even if you wear them only for short periods of time, they may leave impressions on your skin. That just is not cool.

 

Tip: Before you buy a pair of sunglasses, see your optometrist and have him give you detailed advice on glasses with good UV protection. Test the difference between quality lenses and basic pressed lenses.

 

Why you should wear sunglasses: While your eye does adjust itself to different levels of brightness with the assistance of its pupil which contracts when strong light penetrates the eye, it can only do this up to a certain level. If your surroundings are very bright, the eye may be blinded – and may not be able to see at all, regardless of your otherwise normal vision.

 

A good pair of sunglasses will prevent this from happening. Another very important factor is that it provides excellent UV protection. Intense yet invisible ultraviolet rays or extended exposure to them can eventually lead to painful inflammation of the conjunctiva and the cornea and ultimately causes damage. There are a few warning signals that will tell you that your eyes have been exposed to too much sun: They feel fatigued, red and tense. Sometimes they will tear up. If this happens, make sure you keep them out of the sun for a few days and buy a good pair of sunglasses.

Sun and glare protection

Symbol of Quality: CE Label

How can I identify a good pair of sunglasses? Look for the CE label. It ensures that the sunglasses meet the fundamental safety requirements stipulated in the European guidelines. Unfortunately, an agency that does verify compliance with these standards has still not been assigned. However, an optometrist can check your glasses with a special measuring tool.

Other parameters to look for when buying sunglasses:

  • UV protection: The most important criterion for good sunglasses.
  • Colour of the lenses: While it has no impact on the level of UV protection, it does have an effect on the protection against blinding. Brown, grey and green lenses distort the natural colours the least. You will still view things in their original colours. All other colours require the eye to make adjustments. Make sure that you choose a colour for use in cars if you are planning to wear the sunglasses while you are driving (signal recognition, DIN EN ISO 14889). All ZEISS lenses in standard colours meet this standard. Tip: Shaded lenses with absorption rates of 25 % and higher are generally not suitable for night time driving.
  • Lens quality: Just like every other decent pair of glasses, sunglasses should have cut lenses. Plastic and glass are both suitable materials. High end lenses in Category 1 do not have any streaks, bubbles or enclosures in them, which could give you headaches or fatigue your eyes. When slightly pressed against with a finger, the lenses should not move. Perform a test: An object you look at through sunglasses should not be distorted if the glasses are moved back and forth. 
  • Photochromic glasses: If you have a tough time deciding whether to buy dark or lighter glasses, choose photochromic lenses. Anyone who can't decide between clear or dark should choose self-tinting lenses. Like magic, the lens darkens in bright light and clears in the dark in seconds. For eyes that are sensitive to light, we recommend buying self-tinting lenses. If your eyes are light sensitive, we recommend you purchase PhotoFusion lenses.
  • Anti-reflective lenses: Many people forego this option thinking it is redundant. However, the reflections of coloured lenses are much more annoying – the person wearing the glasses and the person looking at him or her - than those of glasses that are not shaded.

Our Tip: Contrast Boosting Sunglasses

Carl Zeiss Vision also offers a range of sunglasses that have been treated with premium quality immersion dyes. They have been developed for specific applications that call for increased UV and blinding protection on the one hand and that meet certain contrast requirements on the other hand. Sport disciplines such as paragliding, skiing, motorcycle or bicycle riding frequently occur under extreme light conditions. Contrast rich vision is of particular importance – especially for safety reasons.

Animation: Contrast boosting sunglasses. Test the difference: With and without contrast boosting sunglasses (Click on the image)

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Special Filter Lenses for Patients with Retina Problems

Patients with retina problems need special sunglasses. ZEISS special filter lenses provide ideal solutions. They absorb parts of the visible spectrum completely. Receptors that are sensitive to this range are intentionally underexposed to protect the eye. These glasses are particularly helpful for patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, i.e. diabetic retinopathy. Carl Zeiss offers a series of so-called filter clips.

 

Image: © Darren Baker - Fotolia.com

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