Fun Facts About Sunglasses You Probably Didn’t Know

Love sunglasses? We do. And with the summer sun shining brightly, we’re pulling out our coolest and most protective pairs. And you should be too if you want to save your vision.

Here are some quick facts you probably didn’t know, but you can now randomly drop into your next conversation with someone who loves sunglasses just as much as you do. (Check out this fun infographic on sunglasses styles through the decades.)

A 30-second history of sunglasses

Did you know that sunglasses were first invented in the late 1200s? But before that, people were already cutting glare by looking through gems, like the Roman Emperor Nero, who used green gems to watch the gladiator games. Judges in China wore smoky shades to hide emotions before reaching a verdict. In 1430, the Italians created prescription sunglasses. Many iterations later and modern sunglasses were born. Today, sunglasses have become a statement piece that reaches everywhere from Hollywood to the streets to the beaches. And through it all, sunglasses have become a critical (and evolving) part of everyday sun protection for us all.

The benefits of sunglasses

You already know that sunglasses were meant to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of the sun. But did you know what they’re actually saving your eyes from? UV rays can cause a lot of damage, including an early onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. But they can also lead to eye or eyelid cancer. But thanks to sunglasses (the right kinds, that is) you can protect and keep your vision healthy.

The great eyebrow debate

Thus far, it’s inconclusive whether or not your eyebrows should show over your sunglasses. Some consider it a fashion faux pas. Others say it’s all based on your personality and face shape. When in doubt, we say bigger is better because larger sunglasses provide greater protection against UV rays reaching your eyes.

Sunglasses in pop culture

We love our sunglasses so much that we even sing about them. Ever spin these tunes? “Sunglasses At Night” by Corey Hart, “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top or “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” by Timbuk 3.

Freedom-fighting shades

Ray-ban sunglasses weren’t always the high fashion piece they are today. They were originally created for US Air Service pilots as a way of blocking out the color of high altitude sky to prevent sickness and headaches. But they soon became an icon of fashion, and in 1998, Ray-ban sold 10 million sunglasses. And they’ve maintained their popularity through today.

Why the sunglasses market is going strong

In America alone, we lose, sit on or break our sunglasses every 14 minutes. Yikes.

Elton John’s glasses

Singer Sir Elton John is rarely seen without some pretty cool or wacky sunglasses. And with a collection of about 250,000 pairs, it’s no wonder. Did you know his love of shades inspired a play back in 1998 called ‘Elton John’s Glasses’?

The most expensive sunglasses

Elvis Presley changed the world of music forever. And because of that, his sunglasses became the most expensive pair ever sold, at $159,900.

Block all those rays

One of the most important factors for any sunglasses is that they block 100% of UV rays. Found a too-cool design that isn’t sporting that little sticker showing its ray-blockability? You’d better pass on them and find something with that little sticker to save your eyesight.

One fashion company to rule them all—er, most of them

Most high-fashion sunglasses brands are owned by Luxottica, an Italian company. The company designs and produces everything from Chanel, Burberry and Ray-bans to Oakley and Ralph Lauren.

Sustainable sunglasses

In light of the trend toward a healthier, plastic-free world, wooden sunglasses have become one of the latest trends. Available in wood and bamboo, they not only stand out as a key (and durable) fashion accessory, but minimize the effect on the environment too.

Cheap can still be effective

A brand name pair of sunglasses can easily put a several hundred-dollar dent in your wallet. Don’t fall victim to the notion that expensive sunglasses are better. As long as they block the UV rays (100% of them!) that $10 pair does the job just as well as that $400 pair. And you’ll have money leftover to enjoy the summer! (Keep in mind, though, that the more expensive brands might offer other protective technology, like special coatings for blocking certain light frequencies.)

Do you want to switch up your sunglasses, or start your own Elton John-like collection, but are stuck wearing expensive prescription shades this summer? We can help you ditch your prescription lenses for good. Call us today at 888.539.2211 or email appointment@iqlaservision.com today to book a free consultation and see how you can have your best vision yet (and look your best and coolest this summer and long into the future).

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