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Summer is here! That means it’s time for plentiful sunshine and fun in the sun. But, are you regularly protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays? Do you wear sunglasses, or do you have trouble finding a pair that fit your face, support your eyesight, and look stylish, too?

Choosing sunglasses isn’t as easy as you may think. There are different styles available for different face shapes. There are tons of options for lens color, prescription sunglasses, and various other types of glasses available for every style, personality, and unique need.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you buy your next pair:

Know the shape of your face.

Different glasses shapes fit different facial structures. If you’ve ever tried on sunglasses before, you know that some pairs just don’t fit properly or look great when they’re on your face. Some sunglasses will accentuate your best facial features, while others weren’t made for you—and that’s okay!

Most people have one of the following facial structures: heart-shaped, round, oval, or square. To find out your facial structure, try tracing the outline of your face—from your chin, all the way around your cheek bones, to your forehead, and back down. Keep your facial structure in mind and tell a professional what “type” you are: she can choose glasses that are perfectly suited for your particular face shape.

For example, people with heart-shaped faces are better suited wearing wayfarers and cat eye glasses, whereas people with oval faces can also wear wayfarers, but they can also sport a great pair of aviators, too! There are great, stylish glasses out there for every face shape.

Make sure they have UVA/UVB protection.

The sunshine has the potential to not only damage our skin, but it can be detrimental to our eyesight as well. When choosing sunglasses, make sure you’re picking a pair that has proper UVA and UVB protection.

To protect your eyes from UV radiation, cataracts, burns, and various types of cancer, be sure to choose glasses that have at least 99 percent UVB ray protection and 95 percent UVB ray protection. Steer clear from glasses that are labeled “cosmetic” or don’t have any type of UVA/UVB protection label on them.

Lens color is important, too.

The color of your sunglasses lenses is also an important factor to consider before making your next purchase. Different colored lenses affect the way we detect color contrast and separate colors in our line of vision. If you don’t choose lenses that are comfortable for your eyes, that strain your vision, or that make it difficult to do certain activities, you will be harming your eyesight.

Grey lenses are one of the most common types of lenses because they don’t drastically affect color, but they still reduce the intensity of light. Brown lenses are great for sports, especially skiing or snowboarding, and if you’re hiking or in the outdoors, because they enhance color contrast and block intense blue light. Yellow, red, and violet lenses are all used for enhancing particular objects and certain colors. They’re useful in driving, snow sports, hunting, and when you need to focus on a particular object.

Get your eyes examined before you purchase a new pair.

Sunglasses are fun, stylish, and useful, but before you invest in a new pair, consider getting your eyes examined by an optometrist. Sunglasses should be worn regularly, whenever you step outside, you’re driving, or your eyesight is affected by light.

Your optometrist will assess if you need corrective lenses for your glasses. There are countless styles, brands, and designer sunglasses available that support prescription lenses. Whether you need these special lenses for driving, working, or all the time, there are great solutions for all types of eyes.

Do you love sunglasses? Share your best tips for picking the right pair with us below!

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