Sunglasses are not a new concept; the idea of wearing items to protect one’s eyes from intense sunlight goes as far back as 12th-century China, when early sunglasses protected people’s eyes from the sun and could hide faces in court. As of the 20th and 21st centuries, sunglasses have risen to become a staple accessory among consumes along with regular eyeglasses, watches, gloves, and jewelry, and sunglasses and their lenses may vary widely in price, style, function, and more. Some lenses are meant just to polarize light and protect the eyes, while other lenses might offer night sight such as light vision lenses. Crystal clear lenses may be bought for a fair price, and replacement lenses may be bought if a person’s sunglasses become damaged or defective. How might someone get the sunglasses they need?
Polarized sunglasses got their start back in 1936, when a man named Edwin H. Land developed polarized lenses by making use of his skills as a lens crafter and with polarized film. Until then, sunglasses were tinted to reduce the glare of sunlight that was exposed to the eye. In the years leading up to World War II, Ray-Ban developed the anti-glare, aviator model of sunglasses, and they used the polarized lens technology that Mr. Land created. These sunglasses had a drooped frame perimeter so that they could better protect the eyes of airplane pilots (aviators) and allow them to look down at their vehicle’s instrument panels without exposing their eyes to strong sunlight. At the time, many pilots were given these aviator-style glasses without charge.
Sunglasses grew even more after the second World War and entered the civilian market in earnest. As of 1998, Ray-Ban sold some 10 million units in that year alone, and its best-known model, the Wayfarer, has been on the market since 1953. Many report it being the best-selling style of sunglasses of all time. Today, sunglasses lens may come in an even wider variety, along with the frames themselves.
Models of Sunglasses
Unlike eyeglasses, sunglasses do not actually correct the wearer’s vision; they only polarize sunlight, but it is possible to have things both ways. A person can have prescription sunglasses made if their regular eyeglasses prescription data is used, and such sunglasses can at once correct vision and shade the wearer’s eyes, and the material and color of the frames and the color of the lenses can be customized. Often, sunglasses may have either plastic or metal frames, and the lenses may vary in color, such as brown or gray, depending on preference. Often, sunglasses may come with their own accessories, such as a carrying case to keep them safe and a cloth for wiping off dirt that gets on them.
Sunglasses are often damaged or wear out, and a person can take a pair to their local eye glasses shop and have them fixed, such as bending metal frames back into place, replacing a cracked or missing lens, or re-attaching or bending the nose pads so that they sit better on the face. And today, many consumers enjoy buying items that are multi-function, and this includes sunglasses. Sunglasses are already conveniently situated on the head, and this makes it possible to add some more features for customers. Oakley developed the sunglasses model known as Thump in 2004, which had a digital audio player built into it. The next year, in 2005, the company also came out with the Razrwire, which was a pair of sunglasses with a built-in wireless cell phone headset for convenient use. Interested customers can visit the online catalogs for their favorite brands and find sunglasses that fit their needs. Some may be a simple pair with plastic frames; others might be a metal frame pair with a wireless cell phone headset or extra-powerful polarizing lenses. Sunglasses have more options available than ever before.