How to Buy Sunglasses as a Senior

Designer sunglasses are not just for young hipsters concerned about looking cool whenever they leave the house. They are for people of all ages interested in protecting their eyes against both UV rays and direct sunlight. Sunglasses are even for seniors.

You might say sunglasses are more important to an older generation concerned about things like cataracts and macular degeneration. Indeed, with age comes a higher risk of all sorts of health issues – including those that affect the eyes. So it is just as important for seniors to wear sunglasses.

The big difference for seniors is the shopping experience. Your typical senior may not care what the latest styles are. He or she might not be interested in dropping several hundred dollars on a designer brand just because some celebrity wears them. Needless to say, seniors have their own concerns.

Consider Health Concerns

Olympic Eyewear, a Salt Lake City company that designs and sells more than two dozen brands of wholesale sunglasses, encourages seniors to consider their health concerns first. Speaking with the doctor before making a purchase is a good idea. Seniors need to know what they are looking at, health-wise, before they can decide what kinds of sunglasses are best.

As previously mentioned, cataracts and macular degeneration are always a concern. But so are things like cancer and photokeratitis, a condition that is essentially sunburned eyes. Protecting against such eye damage is a function of both UV filtering and tinting.

Understand that tinting only offers protection against direct sunlight. The darker the tint, the more protection. As for UV protection, it is accomplished by way of a filter applied to eyewear lenses. That filter is transparent. And know that UV rays cannot be seen by the naked eye, so a UV filter does not need tinting.

Quality of Vision

The next thing seniors should consider is the quality of their vision. A person already suffering from poor visual acuity will discover that an extremely dark pair of sunglasses makes it much harder to see. It might be better to go with a lighter tint – just so long as UV protection is not compromised. Everyone who buys sunglasses should insist on a UV rating of at least UV 300. A rating of UV 400 is even better.

Activity Level and Type

When seniors are buying sunglasses, they should also consider their activity level and type. In other words, how active are they during the course of a given day? How much of their daily activity has them outside, driving in the car, etc.?

Greater amounts of time spent out of the house indicate a greater need for a quality pair of sunglasses. On the other hand, a person who is mostly housebound can get away with a cheaper pair of sunglasses that will only be worn on occasion.

Activity type is important to the extent that certain kinds of lenses can enhance or inhibit activity. For example, a senior who walks several miles per day would do well with a pair of sunglasses that offer good contrast. Being able to clearly distinguish changes in the ground surface will mean a safer walk.

Buying sunglasses as a senior doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. It’s all about asking the right questions and considering one’s lifestyle. With a little thought and some sound advice from eyewear experts, finding the right pair of sunglasses should be a big deal.

Are you a senior concerned about eye health? If so, get yourself a good pair of sunglasses you can wear whenever you leave the house. Your eyes will thank you for it.