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Sunglasses: Your Most Important Accessory

How many pairs of shoes do you own? On average 20 for women and 12 for men (it’s true…I looked it up on the Internet.) Working out at the gym in dress shoes would be a painful experience indeed!

What about eyeglasses? Having listened to patients talk about their glasses for 35 years, I’d guess most people own one or two pairs.

This series of articles will discuss a variety of eyeglass and lens types, including sunglasses, task-specific glasses such as computer glasses, and lens treatments to enhance vision quality and comfort.

The most important second pair of glasses to own are sunglasses, whether they be prescription or non-prescription. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays, and unprotected, prolonged exposure to these rays can cause serious vision problems. They are also valuable for diminishing glare that can cause distractions while driving, working and playing.

What features should you look for in high-quality sunglasses? Certainly a larger frame, which will block out more of the sun’s rays. Optical quality lenses (no drugstore glasses, please,) with UV coating are a must.

I always recommend polarized lenses because they cut through glare and haze. Lenses come in all colors but experts agree that gray allows the wearer to see outdoor colors as they appear naturally, without glare or light pollution. Neutral tones are a popular choice and improve contrast, visibility and depth perception.

An alternative to sunglasses is photochromic “transition” lenses, which darken when exposed to UV radiation outdoors from the sun. They are certainly convenient because one pair of glasses can perform two jobs. My concern with this product is the lack of sufficient darkening while driving. Most windshields contain a UV blocker, which blunts the darkening effect of the lenses.

The optical experts at Classic Eyewear welcome the opportunity to discuss your eyewear needs. Prescriptions from other doctors are always welcome. Classic Eyewear is located at the offices of the Coastal Jersey Eye Center in Linwood and Cape May Court House.

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 30 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget. For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, please call the Linwood office at 609.927.3373 or 609.465.7926 for the Cape May Court House office. Visit online at

April 5, 2018