Summer is here, so it is time to talk about sunglasses once again. Every Summer our favourite fashion stores are flooded with the latest fashionable sunglasses for us to choose from. Every year I do ask myself the same question. Are these sunglasses safe for our eyes? Can a pair of sunglasses that are as cheap as £2 offer the same protection as a pair of sunglasses that cost £100 or more. There have been many debates over this but from my understanding, there are more to them than just UV protection.
Over the years I am not going to lie, I have been buying sunglasses from the high street. In fact, I had never bought any sunglasses from an optician, apart from when I was little and living in Hong Kong because that is the only place you can buy them. My reason is probably the same as most consumers. Why pay £100 for a pair of sunglasses if a pair that cost £2 says the same thing on the label? Right? Plus the styles we can pick from a fashion store is simply amazing! So I hear you all, but now I have been working in the eyewear industry for 5 years and learning more I do want to raise awareness on this topic. With working in eyewear, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to try out some of the most amazing sunglasses with some of the best lenses available. So I have first-hand experience and able to compare. I can certainly tell the difference between lenses on a cheap pair of sunglasses and lenses on an expensive pair of sunglasses, but the most important question we all want to know is, what are the health benefits between the two, if any?
So, I have spoken to two brands, and they are two very different brands. One is a very well known lenses brand Essilor who manufacture some of the best lenses around. Transitions lens is also part of their umbrella so Essilor certainly knows an awful lot on lenses and sunglasses lens. The second company is Maui Jim who produce some of the best sunglasses in the world. Their sunglasses range are so good that year after year many sports professionals (and personalities) has become their loyal customers. Maui Jim is known as a sunglasses brand, but they are a lens focused company. The questions I have asked them below are questions I get asked, and some I feel consumers need an education on because there are many confusing messages out there. I hope I have covered all basis with these two brands. One is a well-known lens brand, and the other is a well-known sunglasses brand who design lenses with sun protection in mind.