Here are some of the latest trends in eyewear, and considerations for how to care for your eyes while looking good.
Sunglasses are a major fashion accessory, and also a great way to protect your eyes. Unfortunately, even expensive designer sunglasses don't guarantee proper protection.
Whether you want new aviators or need prescription sunglasses, here are guidelines for sunglasses that are good for both your eyes and your look.
The sun: We assume that sunglasses protect our eyes from sun damage, but this isn't always true. The darkness or colour of a lens doesn't indicate how well your shades block out UV and blue light: lenses have to be tested against UV protection standards. In the US, lenses should block out 99% of UV-B, and let in UV-A at 30% the rate of visual light.
Ourselves: Sunglasses block visual light, so can critically impair our driving. Sunglasses should never be worn while driving at night, and should be approved for daytime driving.
Other risks: Neither standard nor prescription sunglasses are intended for protecting against artificial light sources (such as sun lamps) or for industrial safety.
Want to look good, but also see clearly? The wiggly line test helps check for lens issues. The wiggly line test: Look at a vertical edge or line. Move your head back and forth, allowing your eye to sweep across the lens as you look at the line. If the line wiggles, the lens may have a defect and you should look for another pair.
When you wear glasses every day, you want them to suit your personal style. Fortunately, there are many designer frames for both men and women, in all sorts of modern and retro fashions. Before settling on one of the latest eyewear trends, check with your optician to ensure that your prescription glasses are right for you.
Fashion contact lenses
Decorative, or cosmetic, contact lenses for people are a growing novelty. Some current trends include:
Colour contact lenses
Standard contact lenses are often slightly tinted for easier management, but are invisible once applied. Colour contact lenses change or enhance your natural eye colour by covering more of your eye. You can have blue contact lenses, or any of a range of colours.
Costume contact lenses
Many filmmakers and makeup artists use costume contact lenses to achieve special effects in movies and adverts. These are typically scleral contact lenses, which extend to cover the whites of your eyes. While they create stunning looks in the studio, they often also obscure actors' vision.
Circle contact lenses
Circle contact lenses, sometimes casually called "big eye contact lenses," make your eyes look bigger. This is achieved by covering part of the whites of your eyes with colour. Circle contact lenses originated in Asia, where the doe-eyed look of anime characters is popular.
Decorative contact lenses, like all contact lenses, pose major risks when worn without professional guidance. Because of increasing problems in wearers who buy fashion contact lenses without consultation, you can't and shouldn't purchase either decorative or corrective contact lenses without a prescription.
There are many ways to make your eyes look good while keeping them healthy. Talk to your optician about what's right for you.