The primary purpose of sunglasses is to guard your eyes from damaging UV rays. With the majority of even the cheapest products advertising 100% UV protection, are cheap sunglasses worth it?
In most situations, cheap sunglasses are not worth it. While they’re better than nothing, they may not properly protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Higher quality sunglasses ensure protection while providing optimal vision and durability.
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As we age, most of us become more conscious about eye care. Over twenty years ago, I had corrective laser vision surgery. Ever since then I’ve become diligent in protecting my eyesight.
While hubby has always had 20/20 vision, nowadays, he’s also become more aware. The fact neither of us can read the backs of pill boxes without a magnifying glass is a reminder we’re not getting any younger.
When it comes to fun in the sun, we insist on quality sunglasses that are reasonably priced.
The Benefits of Cheap Sunglasses
The million-dollar question, are cheap sunglasses worth it? Low prices, convenience of purchasing and fashion are some of the benefits of cheap sunglasses. Heck, for under ten bucks, you can pick up a pair almost anywhere.
Who doesn’t like a little variety in styles and colors? As long as they have a UV sticker, you should be good to go, right?
Who hasn’t forgotten, misplaced or sat on their shades? Oops!
You’re out and about so a pair of cheapies is better than nothing. For some folks, they’re prone to losing them. When that’s the case, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy more expensive ones.
In addition, some of the brand name ones can get pretty pricey! You know you’re paying an inflated price just because of the name.
You can buy a pair almost anywhere. Walk into any drug store, supermarket or even the dollar store and you’ll find a wide selection. Most of the time, they have a mirror nearby to see which one looks best on you.
Being inexpensive, some people prefer multiple pairs to coordinate with their wardrobe. Like a fashion statement, those red frames go great with a red outfit. Likewise, other frames perfectly complement other articles of clothing.
The Disadvantages of Cheap Sunglasses
Are cheap sunglasses worth it? As appealing as the low cost might be, there are definite reasons to invest in a more expensive pair. These include protecting your eyes, vision sharpness and quality of construction.
How Much UV Protection Do They Give?
The most important aspect is how well your eyes are protected. In spite of a sticker, the cheaper lens may not block out all these ultraviolet rays. The industry standard is UV 400 protection which block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
According to the Mayo Clinic, UV exposure contributes to cataracts, ocular melanoma and macular degeneration. Further, they recommend quality glasses should screen out 75% to 90% of visible light. And, the higher protection the better.
Further, if you have diabetes your eyesight is at greater risk of vision problems. So, it's even more important to have quality sunglasses that offer the maximum protection.
As if that’s not enough to be concerned about, according to Columbia University Department of Ophthamology, 5 - 10% of all skin cancers occur in the sensitive area around the eyes. This again reinforces the need for effective protection from the sun.
As my eyesight is very important to me, I simply don’t trust inexpensive products always meet these higher guidelines. With no enforcement of the UV 400 standard, even a sticker isn’t a guarantee of the level of protection.
While you can have them tested, I’d be embarrassed to take a $4.99 purchase into an optometrist. After putting them on their photometer, undoubtedly, they’d try to sell me on their high-end solution.
Level of Clarity and Comfort
The second aspect to consider is vision sharpness and comfort. In other words, less expensive sunglasses may not provide the vision clarity and even create eyestrain. Design elements include:
Quality of Construction
How they are constructed is also a big differentiator. For instance, those cheapies are more easily scratched and damaged.
Higher quality lenses are typically made out of glass or high-end polyurethane. Not only are they durable, they also provide great visual clarity. While costing more, they can stand up to years of wear and tear.
The frames are also of superior construction and designed to last longer. Most name-brand manufacturers do extensive testing and use stainless steel, titanium or composite materials.
Less expensive products are made more cheaply using plastic or less durable metals.
How Much Should a Good Pair of Sunglasses Cost?
Prices can range from $50.00 to over a $1,000.00. The most expensive ones would be “transition lenses” from an optometrist.
On average, the best name brands will set you back at least a couple of hundred dollars. We should know as we’ve owned Ray-Ban and Oakley in the past.
However, I don’t believe anyone needs to spend that much unless you’re into name brands. Several years ago, we discovered "Eagle Eyes".
These might be the highest quality sunglasses ever produced! Even better, they’re affordable with many models less than a quarter of the cost of other name brands.
Related options might include signing up for a pottery course, fiction writing or astronomy.
Why We Wear Eagle Eyes Sunglasses
What most impressed me about Eagle Eyes was the research that has gone into their eye wear. In fact, their sunglasses were developed from original NASA optic technology. The stuff the astronauts use!
Eagle Eyes has perfected the Trilenium® Lens which allowed them to be certified by the Space Foundation. Needless to say, their UV protection is first-rate!
In addition to blocking 99.9% of UVA/UVB, they also protect against damaging blue light. An added feature is they bring out so much more detail than other ones.
A friend of mine wears prescription glasses. She tried on my Eagle Eyes to see how they felt and to experience the amazing clarity. They were so clear, she exclaimed, “how can I can read with these?!”
Closing Thoughts on Are Cheap Sunglasses Worth It?
As appealing as they might seem, in my opinion, cheap sunglasses aren’t worth the risk to your vision. Especially as we get older, it’s crucial to protect our eyes from damaging UV rays.
Whereas some women love their jewelry, my sunglasses are my pleasure! For the price of one of those expensive name brands, I’m able to buy 3 or 4 pairs of Eagle Eyes. They have a vast number of styles and variety.
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