As we shed off our winter coats and trade them in for more season-appropriate clothing like tank tops and sundresses, it’s important that we remember the importance of eye health in the summer. Average UV levels are around three times greater in the summer than in the winter. But if you’re soaking up some mid-day summertime rays at the beach, your UV exposure is ten times greater than it is in winter.


Even more than handbags and hats, sunglasses have become the go-to fashion accessory for this day and age. With style trends and designers constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to fashion, it only makes sense that many of us own multiple pairs of sunglasses. And while a cheap pair of shades might seem like a good bargain, they could be costing you more than you think.


Prolonged UV exposure can not only lead to eye problems such as cataracts and pterygia, it can also lead to macular degeneration and even eyelid cancer. So is it enough to trust your eyes to that pair of knock-off wayfarers you picked up at the gas station? Or should you make the investment in a pair of summertime shades that can reduce your UV exposure by up to 98%? Here are 3 important tips for shopping the perfect pair of sunglasses:


1. Shop Reputable Brands

This one should be a given. Reputable sunglasses brands not only have the “fashion” factor, they also have the “function” factor. Leading designer eyewear brands have the frame and lens technologies that can provide you with the highest level of eye protection. Simply put – quality frames usually come with quality lenses. Which brings us to our next point,


2. Shop Polarized

Your sunglasses should be reducing glare as well as shielding your eyes from UV radiation. While those cheaper sunglasses might shade your vision or reduce a little glare, the dark tint on lenses actually has nothing to do with UV protection. Even beyond glare reduction and UV protection is the fact that polarized lenses will also improve your visual comfort and greatly reduce eyestrain.


3. Shop a Great Retailer

Buying at a great retail store will not only provide you with the personal assistance in choosing the right frames, it also means that you’re getting authentic products. The staff should take the time to listen to your unique needs and help you choose the perfect pair of sunglasses from a wide selection of designer brands. They should guide you through lens options and features, as well as make sure your new frames are perfectly matched to your face shape.

If you’re in the Naples, Florida area and you’re ready to make the investment in quality eye protection, call Shades at 239.451.6975 or stop by our convenient location in the Mercato Shops!