Trendy, stylish, and also durable, sunglasses have long been the go-to accessory for protecting your eyes when spending time outdoors, at the beach, or simply walking when the sun is high up in the sky.
Some types of eyewear are designed for protection against the elements such as wind, dust, snow, and sand. In patients who have had eye surgery, sunglasses protect the eyes while they are healing.
People who have frequent bouts of headaches or migraines triggered by bright lights may also benefit from wearing sunglasses. What’s more, the tint can minimize eye fatigue and strain, which provides more comfort, regardless of what you’re doing outdoors.
With so many uses and benefits to wearing sunglasses, you’d want your own trusty pair to last as long as possible in the best condition. Let our experts share a few tips for keeping your sunglasses in peak condition for years to come, and for using them properly.
1. Clean your sunglasses regularly
It may seem like an insignificant detail to keep your tinted lenses clean, but it is standard practice. Clean lenses look better and let you see clearer. Clean your glasses before use — daily, if you use these frequently.
But, before you grab just any type of cleaner, it is worthwhile to know what materials and fluids are safe. Shirts and scrap rags may be abundant but are not recommended for use on your eyewear. As soft as some types of fabrics may appear to be, the surfaces are rough and may damage your accessory.
Instead, use a microfiber cloth. Finer and softer than silk, a piece of microfiber cloth does its job in removing the dust, dirt, or even grime without damaging any part of the tinted specs.
Ideally, you should use eyeglass cleaners with your microfiber cloth. The liquid is specially designed to clean the lenses and other parts. Using the right cleanser is critical, especially if your shades feature an anti-reflective (AR) coating.
But if that’s not available, you can also use regular tap water and some dishwashing soap. However, since most dishwashing soaps are often concentrated, just remember to use a tiny bit to avoid leaving your lenses with a layer of soap once the water dries.
Disposable pre-moistened spray cleaning are available from shops that sell glasses or cameras as well. These can also work as a convenient alternative when you are traveling or on the go. To avoid leaving scratches when you use spray cleaning, carefully inspect and blow away any larger pieces of dirt or debris on the lens before wiping.
2. Store sunglasses in their own case
Perhaps you own a pair of sunglasses that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You certainly don’t want it to get damaged. Protect your investment by taking care of each component, however minute or insignificant some may appear.
How you carry and handle your sunglasses is just as crucial in keeping your sunglasses in good condition as any other tip on this list. If they’re not on the bridge of your nose, put your shades back in their case. Putting them down anywhere else increases the risk of damage.
There are some types of lenses that scratch easily. As such, never set your sunglasses down on any surface, especially face down. The smallest movements can leave scratches or marks that could end up becoming permanent.
Even something as seemingly harmless as throwing your sunglasses into your bag could damage the lens. We’ve all done this at some point. If you have, stop it now and simply put your eyewear in its proper case or container when not in use. You’ll be sure to thank yourself for it later.
3. Put on sunglasses the way they are designed to be worn
You may have seen YouTube videos of other uses for sunglasses. A person may have used it as a makeshift stand for their mobile phone. Exciting as the idea may be, don’t be tempted to follow suit.
Sunglasses were not designed for any other purpose than to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays or other similar sources of light. Using your sunglasses for anything else other than its intended purposes will damage, not just the lenses themselves, but also the other components that hold it all together. The same goes for putting shades anywhere else other than in front of your eyes.
It’s common to see people who put their glasses on the top of their heads or hanging from their shirt collar or a pocket. Doing so could damage the frames or loosen the screws. Your shades could fall off as a result.
Given that the lenses are made for protecting against UV rays, they should not be worn other than outdoors during the day. It may seem fashionable or trendy to wear them during the night or indoors, but it’s not safe. You could trip on, bump into, or break objects along the way. In some situations, wearing sunglasses indoors may be considered rude or impolite.
The only situation where you may need to wear shades all the time is if they have been prescribed medically. Otherwise, avoid wearing them on any other occasion.
4. Take off your sunglasses when speaking to someone
In addition to removing the glasses when indoors or during night time, it is also wise to avoid wearing your sunglasses while talking to people. You may see yourself as Maverick from the movie “Top Gun,” but other people are unlikely to see it that way. Instead of giving a relaxed vibe, wearing them could make you appear aloof and obnoxious.
As mentioned earlier, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, you may be performing in front of bright lights, such as in the case of singers, musicians, and club DJs. They need the glasses to be able to work while having spotlights directed towards them.
Driving, working in the yard, or being at the beach are other potential situations. In most other circumstances, remove your sunglasses, especially if you are talking directly to any individual. It is not only polite but also expected of well-mannered individuals.
Unlike regular prescription glasses, the dark lenses on sunglasses can create a barrier between you and other people. Give respect by removing your shades while speaking, and respect will be given to you.
Sunglasses have increasingly become as integral a part of a person’s wardrobe as handbags or hats. Take these helpful tips from our experts to heart to protect your eyes, look great and make your investment last for years to come.
Firas Saab is the Training Manager at Al Jaber Optical in Dubai, the leading optical and eyewear company in the UAE that offers a comprehensive range of eyewear and optical services across the board, through a wide range of modern optical products and facilities. Firas is an enthusiastic trainer with more than a decade in the retail and optical industry and has recently acquired HND in Business and Management in addition to his Optical qualifications.
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