Sunglasses symbolize summer to me. Fashion or prescription, they show up en masse with the weather warmer and people spending more time outside. Sporting sunglasses protects your vision; I recommend everyone wear a pair outdoors. Studies link UV rays to increased risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.

So, why do some people with low vision wear tinted shades? People like me have light sensitivity and glare issues. Imagine how you squint when a bright light shines in your eyes, or the reflections off a lake on a sunny day make you blink. Now, imagine that simply moving from one room to another with different lighting or glancing at a reflective surface causes eye fatigue and visual distortions.

Wearing a tinted amber or plum lens minimizes my negative side effects of light. Depending on my environment (natural light, fluorescent light, headlights, stage lights, etc), my need for lens filtering varies. An overcast day translates to less light sensitivity to me. Watching a musical leads me to reach for my plum shades.

If you are in the market for lenses, I am pleased with my Polare Cocoons and NoIR sunglasses. I recommend that you undergo a low vision evaluation with a low vision specialist to figure out which shade colors benefit your situation best though since I’m not a pro.

Low vision or not, do you wear sunglasses to protect your vision when you go outside?


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Modwyn says:

    I applaud this post!
    I am extremely light sensitive and wear my shades both inside and outside! I especially where them when I perform onstage – which got me the nickname “Stevie” when I was singing with my chorus behind my big shades.
    Mine are also Cocoons, burgundy frames with a dark gray lens. I also enjoy a pair of black Vistanas with the same smoky gray lens.

    1. Thanks, Modwyn! Great story, I love the nickname.

  2. My light sensitivity has increased significantly over the last couple of years so I’ve really come to passionately love cloudy days! I had hoped to get by with only one pair of transitional sunglasses, but recently bought a new, darker pair for sitting in the car on roadtrips. I also think another pair will be needed, but my choices are limited when looking for lightweight, not too curved to handle a prescription and fashionable! Gah, it is the most frustrating thing to shop for! I had heard of Noir but not the other brand, will take a look. (love your idea that the plants are on a date, it made me smile. I think you’re right. Wonder if it’s the first or second date?!) x

    1. Lucent: the sunglasses can be difficult to shop for! I was happy that there was at least more of a choice than the huge, black wraparounds my grandfather used to rock. 🙂

  3. I am ashamed to admit that I do not own a proper pair of sunglasses. I tend to wear hat with large brim thinggy that shade my eyes instead. I really should invest in a pair of sunglasses with the glass made to suit my glasses prescription really. But they totally should run a campaign about this, not everybody realise that the glare of your PC screen, the artificial lights as well as the sun (whether a really bright sunny day or an over cast day) still affect your eyesight and in the long run could lead you to suffer from it. Next pay day, I’ll definitely get 2 proper pair of sunglasses, one for the days with contact lenses, and one for the regular glasses days. Thank you for this reminder!!

    1. Hi Cakes,
      You’re welcome. That campaign would do better if it featured moustache cookies! And seriously, yes, protecting your vision from the sun rays is important for all of us.

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