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Protect your eyes from sunburn: How to pick shades

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Updated: 6/20/2013 2:59 pm

(BPT) - Finally! Warmer weather is here, and for most people, this means more time outside. While everyone wants to enjoy summer to the fullest, outdoor enthusiasts must remember that the sun, with all the benefits it brings, also has many dangerous effects.

The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest during the summer, and can damage unprotected eyes in as little as 15 minutes. While wearing sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection is important throughout the year, taking extra sun-safety precautions during the summer is especially important.

The need for sunglasses is universal, but tastes and lifestyle needs vary. But whether your tastes run to aviators or wayfarers, mirrored or tinted, the sunglasses you choose affect far more than your style; they can directly impact your eye health, too. Fortunately, it's possible to find sunglasses that protect your eyes and celebrate your sense of style. As you're shopping for sunglasses, keep these tips in mind:

* Pick the right shape. Just as the shape of your face influences your choice in haircuts, it will affect what type of sunglasses look good on you. People with oval faces can wear almost any shape of sunglasses. Rectangular frames and lenses will help add length to a round face, and oval glasses will complement diamond or square faces. If your face is more oblong than oval, consider a round or square frame that rests at the widest part of your face.

* Choose the right lenses. Choose lenses that provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB light. WebMD.com says you should look for a label indicating the lenses block 99 to 100 percent of UVB and UVA rays, meet ANSI (American National Standards Institute) requirements, and provide UV 400 protection. If glare is a concern, polarized lenses filter out sunlight reflected off flat surfaces such as water or pavement, making them a good choice if you'll be wearing them boating or while driving an automobile.

* Find the right solution. Eyeglass wearers should use sunglasses too, but many go without proper sun protection because of the high cost of prescription sunglasses or the inconvenience of having to switch glasses when they move from indoors to outdoors. Solar Shield has solved cost, style and convenience issues with a range of attractive Fits Over sunglasses that slip on over prescription eyewear and clipon sunglasses that attach to virtually any style of eyeglasses. Significantly less expensive than prescription sunglasses, these options make it cost-effective to keep multiple pairs wherever you need them - in the car, office, at home or in your gym bag. A variety of styles ensure you can easily achieve the right look for any personality and every occasion. Lenses block 100 percent of UVA/UVB rays, are polarized to reduce glare and are scratch resistant. Log on to www.solarshield.com to learn more.

* Wear the right lens tint. Lens tint impacts more than just personal style. UV protecting coating is clear, so a lighter-hued lens can be just as effective at UV protection as a darker one. The color of the lens will, however, affect your perceptions of color. For minimal color distortion, choose gray, green or brown lenses, especially if you'll wear them while driving.

* Spend the right amount. Remember that while many low-cost shades probably won't provide adequate UV protection, you still don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good pair of sunglasses. Options like Solar Shield are affordable, durable and high-quality alternatives to prescription sunglasses or high-priced designer shades. And regardless of how much you pay, it is always important to evaluate the quality and durability of every pair before you buy.

To learn more about sunglasses, protecting your eyes from UV rays and stylish, affordable sunglasses, visit www.solarshield.com.

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