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All eyes need protection from the burning rays of the sun. The most dangerous rays are called ultra violet (UV) and they are broken into three categories. The shortest wavelengths, UVC are absorbed in the atmosphere and never make it to the surface of the earth. The middle range (290-315nm), higher energy UVB rays burn your skin and are absorbed by your cornea, the clear window on the front of your eye. The longest region (315-380nm) called UVA rays, pass to the interior of your eye. This exposure has been linked to the formation of cataracts as this light is absorbed by the crystalline lens. Once a cataract is removed the very sensitive retina is exposed to these damaging rays. Most modern lens materials naturally absorb these burning rays of the sun. A specialized filter can also be added to basic lens designs to offer this protection.

Color can be added to almost any lens material. Each color has a descriptive name and a numerical designation that references the percentage amount of light that is removed (absorbed) by that treatment. Cosmetic tints can be virtually any color and range between 10% and 20% absorption. These fixed tints can be solid, or gradient. In a solid tint the color remains uniform across the lens. A gradient is typically darker at the top and fades toward the bottom. While the idea of a cosmetic tint is to enhance the overall impression made by your new eyewear, any amount of tint lessens available light. It is not advisable to reduce the available light by more than 20% when driving at night. A true outdoor sunglass lens absorbs between 60% and 80% of the light that strikes the surface.

In addition to lessening the intensity of the surrounding light, the wearer’s color recognition is paramount in choosing the tint for a sunglass.

Brown lensesBrown lenses absorb light in the UV and blue end of the spectrum while reducing the intensity of the surrounding light. While there may be some difficulty that attends recognizing colors, some feel a brown lens can enhance contrast.

Yellow lensesYellow lenses filter blue light. These shorter wavelengths bounce off water particles in the air intensifying the impact of fog and haze. A yellow lens can reduce the impact of that haze, but still reduces the amount of available light and should never be worn at night.

Polarized LensPolarized Lenses – Glare Control Polarized sunglass lenses remove reflected light, reduce glare and filter harmful ultraviolet radiation. Many people feel as though they want a very dark sun lens because their eyes are sensitive to light. It is, however, usually the reflected light that increases the wearer’s sensitivity. Light bouncing off of water, snow, the roadway ahead, even the hood of a car can be distracting and even dangerous. Ultra-violet light is more than twice as intense when direct radiation is compounded with reflected glare. The efficiency of the polarized lens allows the wearer greater comfort and protection without the restrictions of a darker colored lens. Polarized lenses are the new standard in sunglasses design.

transitionsTransitions® Changeable lenses darken in response to sun light. Bright light and glare can make you uncomfortable outside. Through advanced technology, Transitions® designs give you the benefits of clear lenses indoors and at night, with the advantages of sunglasses outdoors – all in the convenience of one lens.

See more colors on our Sports Lens Tints page.

Let the eyecare professionals at Parrelli Optical® discuss your needs and recommend the best lens for your sunwear.

Shop with confidence! All Eyewear from Parrelli Optical® is covered by our exclusive “You Must Be Totally Satisfied” written guarantee.