History of Sunglasses

History of Sunglasses

Contrary to what one might assume, the history of sunglasses didn’t derive solely from the desire to shield the eyes from the sun. Much like one of their alternative uses today, the first documented purpose of sunglasses was to shield facial expressions instead of sunlight. Since then, sunglasses have been used for everything from blocking harmful rays while in outer space, to enabling the wearer to see through water.

Smoky Quartz in China

Ray Ban RB3025 Aviator Sunglasses

Ray-Ban (short for banning sun rays), created the avator-style sunglasses made for pilots in the 30s.

One of the first concepts of sunglasses dates back to the 12th century, when court figures in China wore glasses with smoky quartz lenses in order to hide their facial expressions. In doing so, the judges could give the illusion of non-responsiveness to the testimonies, therefore not revealing their decision until the final verdict.

Tints for Better Vision

The first sunglasses made for the public came to light in the 18th century, when designer and inventor James Ayscough from England created eyeglasses with blue or green tints. Ayscough believed that the tint could improve vision, and he sold the shades for public use. Though his intention wasn’t to block the sun, his invention was another building block in the history of sunglass design.

Sunglasses for Medical Aid

In the 19th century, a syphilis outbreak emerged in Europe. Yellow and brown-tinted sunglasses were prescribed to people who carried syphilis, to counteract one of the disease’s symptoms of visual sensitivity to light.

Mainstream Popularity History

The first milestone in sunglass popularity was started by Sam Foster in 1929. Foster, founder of Foster Grant eyewear, developed the first affordable sunglasses made for mass production. Foster sold sunglasses on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and his products soon gained widespread popularity in America. The company continued to grow in popularity in the 1960s, with their “Who’s That Behind Those Foster Grants?” campaign, which popularized the sunglasses with Hollywood celebrities.

Birth of the Aviators

Following the launch of Foster Grant sunglasses, the Army Air Corps worked with Bausch & Lomb in the 1930s to develop a sunglass lens specifically designed for pilots. Bausch & Lomb created a sunglass specific company call Ray-Ban (short for banning sun rays), which in turn created the aviator-style sunglasses made for pilots. Aviators incorporated polarized lenses with the help of Edwin H. Land (founder of Polaroid), and gained popularity when General Douglas MacArthur made a public appearance wearing a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators in the Philippines during WWII.

Lens Technology

Through the mid to late 1900s, sunglasses continued to grow in popularity. Movies, musicians, and politicians that wore sunglasses in the public eye created a widespread consumer interest, and several other sunglass companies began to develop. The science of sunglass technology continued to prosper as well, as other features of mass-produced sunglasses began to materialize, like anti-reflective coating, anti-fog coating, shatter and scratch resistant lenses, UV protection, and others.

Related – Video: Aviator Sunglasses Styles, Sizes, Gucci Aviator Sunglasses, Aviator Sunglasses: Classic Style, Timeless Fashion, Sunglasses in the City, Spotlight on Ray Ban Sunglasses, Cool Wood Sunglasses and Wood Glasses.

Are You an Outdoor Person? Then UV Contact Lenses Are for You!

Contact Lens Solutions: What They Do and Why You Need Them

Contact Lens Solution

Contact Lens Solution

Cleaning your contacts is a little more complicated than driving your car through a car wash. Though there are contact lens solutions that are multi-purpose and all-in-one, the process of cleaning your contacts can involve several steps and different liquids specifically designed to remove harmful particles that build up on their surface. Even tap water can result in harmful eye infections like Acanthamoeba when used to store contacts, so it’s important to choose the right contact solution for you. Bear in mind that whatever goes on your contact goes in your eye, so take the utmost care and consult an eye physician when selecting the proper lens solution. Here’s a list of the typical types of contact lens solutions and general descriptions of what they do.

Saline solution – Saline solution is designed to clean the lens by removing dirt, chemicals, and residue from other contact lens solutions. Commonly confused with disinfecting solution, saline solution’s primary purpose is for storage and to clean the lens before insertion, but not to be used as a disinfectant. Saline solution is generally applied by placing a single contact in the palm of your hand, submerging it under a few drops of the solution, and gently scrubbing both sides of the contact with your index finger for approximately 20 seconds.

Hydrogen peroxide (or disinfecting) solution – Peroxide solution is designed for storage of your contact lens to remove unwanted buildup. While soaking in this solution overnight, the peroxide extracts bacteria and other elements from your contact that are known to cause eye infections like Conjunctivitis (pink eye). Should you use the hydrogen peroxide solution, be sure to rinse it with saline solution prior to inserting the contact into your eye if it does not include a neutralizer. Failure to do so could result in severe pain to your eyes, due to the the acidic base of the solution.

Multi-purpose solution – Multi-purpose solution combines daily cleanser with disinfecting solution. This solution is commonly the most used, because it can serve as a daily cleanser, and as an overnight storage to remove protein. Contact lens wearers that use the multi-purpose solution on a daily basis typically don’t have a need for the other solutions, besides rewetting drops. Multi-purpose solution can be applied by soaking the contact in the solution overnight, and by placing the contact in the palm of your hand along with a few drops of the solution and using your index finger to gently scrub the contact.

Enzyme cleaner/Protein remover – This solution removes protein buildup from the contact. The tear duct of your eye naturally produces protein, which attaches itself to the contact and will eventually cause irritation. These products can come in liquid or pill form, and both usually require to be added to another solution. As with all of these products, be sure to check the directions of the specific solution to understand the specific steps in using it.

Rewetting solution – Occasionally, contact lens wearers will experience moments of dryness when wearing their contacts. When this happens, rewetting solutions can be applied to moisturize the lens and ease their discomfort. Unlike the other solutions, this solution is usually applied directly to the contact while it is in the eye.

Daily Cleanser – This solution is used to cleanse the contact prior to disinfection. It removes debris that might cause eye irritation and other discomforts. Most daily cleaners are applied by placing the contact in the palm of your hand, adding a few drops of cleanser, and gently scrubbing each side of the contact with your index finger. Daily cleanser is not recommended for storage.

Good eye hygiene is indispensable to good eye health, and contact lens wearers should get into a daily habit of practicing measures for the well-being of their eyes. The following guidelines will assist you to ensure the ongoing protection and vitality of your eyes.

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses.
  • Use only sterile products recommended by your eye care practitioner to clean and disinfect your lenses. Keep in mind that saline solution and rewetting drops are not intended to disinfect contact lenses.
  • Do not wash or store contact lenses in tap water.
  • Carefully rub and rinse the surface of the contact lens before storing.
  • Discard contact solution upon opening the case and use fresh solution each time contact lenses are put back in the case.
  • Never swap lenses with someone else.
  • Only replace lenses using your eye care practitioner’s prescribed schedule.
  • Never put the contact lenses in your mouth.
  • Do not sleep in contact lenses unless prescribed by your doctor, and never after swimming.
  • See your optometrist regularly for a contact lens evaluation.
  • Please see your eye care practitioner immediately should you experience redness, secretions, visual blurring or pain.


Related: How Contact Lenses Work, How to Wash Your Contact Lenses, Contact Lenses: What are Your Choices?, Sunglasses & Contact Lenses Go Together, Bolle Tips for Wearing Goggles over Corrective Eyewear.

It's Summer - Time for Swimming Goggles

Swimming With Contact Lenses

Swimming while wearing contact lenses is always a gamble without proper protection. You could catch an infection, garner harmful buildup on your contacts, or even worse, damage your eyes. On the other hand, infections and eye damage from swimming with contacts are relatively rare, so in the end decision is up to you. Though it might seem inconvenient to remove them before you go swimming, here are a few potential risks of swimming with contacts lenses.

“You should always consult your personal eye doctor and use your best judgment before you decide to swim while wearing contacts,” says Dr. Hodgson of FramesDirect.com.

Contacts Aren’t Designed for Swimming

Your contacts are special to you. They have a unique curvature that enables them to bond to your eyes like little suction cups to prevent them from falling out. When submerged underwater, be it a lake or a swimming pool, the excess water disrupts the bond between the contacts and the eye, causing the contacts to slip and become dislodged. This is why so many people lose their contacts while swimming; the contact isn’t designed for water submersion without some kind of protection.

Contacts Aren’t Protective

Though they may appear solid, certain types of contacts are designed to be slightly porous to allow the eyes to breath. This permeable aspect means that microbes, chemicals, and bacteria can filter through the contact and become lodged between the eye and the contact. These harmful impurities can cause infections, irritations, and damage to the eye.

Chlorine Sticks to Contacts

Small amounts of pool chlorine normally don’t affect the eye, unless there are contacts involved. Chlorine sticks to contacts, so when swimmers who are wearing contacts open their eyes underwater, the chlorine can occasionally attach to the contacts and irritate the eyes. This can lead to many bad scenarios, such as eye infection and corneal scratching or scarring.

How to Swim with Contacts

The only way to swim while wearing contacts without risking any eye damage is to wear goggles. Goggles create a natural air barrier around the eyes, which prevents infections from water, and helps secure the contacts within the eyes. Prescription goggles are also available if the swimmer wishes to remove their contacts before wearing goggles. In any case, use your best judgment.

Related: How to Wash Your Contact Lenses, Contact Lenses – What are Your Choices?, Sunglasses & Contact Lenses Go Together, Bolle Tips for Wearing Goggles over Corrective Eyewear, Online Glasses, Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses Catalog.

CFX Concept Flex Kids Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for Children

1. Lens Type

Polycarbonate is one of the most durable lenses available, so it can adhere to a child’s lifestyle without becoming a potential danger. This lens material is impact resistant, so if a child is playing and falls, these lenses won’t shatter like plastic or glass lenses do. They are also lighter than plastic or glass lenses, which helps the child’s adjustment to wearing eyeglasses.

“If your child wears prescription glasses, we strongly suggest polycarbonate lenses for their safety,” says Dr. Hodgson of FramesDirect.com. “These lenses are impact-resistant, which will help protect your child from injuries if he or she has an accident while wearing eyeglasses.”

Lenses come with several options, and a few of these are a wise idea for your child. Scratch-resistant coating on the lenses will ensure that your child’s eyeglasses will last even if they’re dropped or mishandled. Most polycarbonate lenses come with UV protection, so be sure to check with your eye doctor to make sure this option is included.

2. Frame Type
Plastic frames used to be the preferred lens type for children because of their durability, until metal materials became more useful and durable. Flexon frames are lightweight, stylish, come in a variety of colors, can bend in different directions and always return to their original form. These frames are very useful if your child occasionally mishandles their frames or tends to fall asleep while wearing them.

3. Frame Look

Fortunately for parents, many designers make specialty children’s frames that fit their needs and have an attractive appearance. Though your child may want to pick out frames on their own, parents should oversee the procedure to make sure they are getting frames that function correctly for them. For instance, rimless or semi-rimless frames are generally not recommended for children, because the frames don’t secure the lenses as effectively as other frame types. If rimless frames are mishandled, they can simply loose the lens, or in more severe cases, the lens can become chipped inside the frame and cause a potential injury.

4. Nose Pads

Another benefit of metal frames is that most of them come with adjustable nose pads, with non-slip pads available as an option. This benefits the child in two ways: they can adjust the nose pad so it fits comfortably and securely, and the non-slip pad will ensure that the glasses stay properly fixed to the child’s face.

5. Goggles

Though Flexon and other frame types are relatively durable, if your child is an active sports enthusiast then goggles are recommended. Typical eyeglass frames don’t secure to the child’s head during active moments, and if the glasses fall off repeatedly they could cause an injury. Prescription goggles secure to the child’s head so they don’t fall off, and the material is much more shatter resistant and durable than typical eyeglasses.

6. Warranties and Spare Pairs

Most doctor offices and eyewear designers offer warranties on eyeglasses for children. Make sure you find a pair of eyeglasses that has at least a one year warranty. Aside from a warranty, it’s also a good idea to have spare pair of glasses on hand in case your child’s glasses are lost or broken, and you have to wait for another pair to be ordered.

Also see: Sunglasses for Children, Prescription Sunglasses for Children.

Fashion at the Coachella Festival

Style & Function: Choosing the Best Glasses

Combine Function and Style for the Best Pair of Glasses

Did you know that, according to The Vision Council, more than 153 million Americans wear glasses, and they spend up to $19.2 billion on frames and lenses each year?

There are a lot of things to consider when picking up a new pair. Style, function, and overall quality all come into play. Ask yourself these questions to determine what pair of eyeglasses will work best for you.

What Frames Will Complement Your Face?

Did you know that the amount of online purchases increased by as much as 26.7% in just a year, from 2011 to 2012? Whether you choose to buy your glasses online, or in person, you need to think about shapes first. What is your face shape ? The beauty industry defines seven basic face shapes, including oval, square, round, oblong, triangle, heart, and diamond.

Once you have determined your face shape, choose frames that will contrast the natural angles of your face. If you have a round face, choose square, or boxy, frames. If you have a square face, avoid sharp angles. Opt instead for a round or oval pair.

What Will You Be Doing?

There are all kinds of glasses out there. The largest market share owned by one particular eyewear brand is less than 6%, meaning that there are a number of different brands to choose from. Function can help narrow down your choices quite a bit.

What is your profession? What kind of impression are you trying to create? If you work in business, or a professional office environment, stick to traditional colors. Black is always a safe bet, but you can also choose from browns, silver, and clear frames, too. If you are an artist or designer, on the other hand, you may want to show off your creativity with retro or vintage glasses.

If you are an active athlete, vintage glasses are not going to help. You may want to consider more expensive, specialized frames instead. In fact, a number of eyewear manufacturers make sport-specific eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses. Special lens features can further enhance your athletic performance: Polarized lenses can help reduce glares from water and pavement, while polycarbonate lenses are completely shatter-resistant.

Wear glasses just about every day? Choose the right pair. Whether you settle on rectangular glasses, vintage glasses, or sports glasses, keep in mind the styles and shapes that complement you most as well as the functional features you may need to perform your day-to-day activities.

Try the Style Me option on the FramesDirect.com website today to see which style fits your face the best.

Eyeglasses as Fashion Accessories

Focus on Fall: Great Deals on Eyewear Top-Sellers

Focus on Fall: Great Deals on Eyewear Top-Sellers

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First Virtual Optical Store Serves Military Personnel

Military Wives Use Internet to Provide Premium Eyewear to Troops

AFEyewear.com Celebrates Fives Years of Service to Military and First Responder Families

A passionate team of military wives leads the day-to-day operations at AFEyewear.com, the world’s largest online eyewear provider to the U.S. military and government employees. Working from different locations across the United States, this unique group of employees brings a deeper understanding of the military customers’ needs that allows them to drive enhancements to the customer experience.

Discounted Sunglasses for Law Enforcement OfficersNow celebrating five years of supplying premium quality eyewear at discounted prices for U.S. military active-duty personnel, veterans, retirees, and their dependents, AFEyewear.com has extended their exclusive pricing to law enforcement and first responder personnel and their families as well.

Unique Employee Perspective

So what makes AFEyewear.com unique? Before AFE, military families had few options available for purchasing eyewear on military bases and while deployed.

AFEyewear Employee with Air Force

Marketing Manager Lauren Purcell with the Boom Operator on the KC10 Spouse Flight

“As a military spouse, I understand the importance of having access to affordable eyewear,” said Lauren Purcell, marketing manager of AFEyewear.com. “While some bases do have an optical store on site, the prices and selection offered on AFEyewear.com cannot be beaten. Plus, AFEyewear can ship glasses directly to any APO or FPO address in the world.”

AFEyewear.com is the exclusive military discount brand of FramesDirect.com, the world’s leading prescription eyewear experts. Five military spouses oversee operations at AFEyewear.com, and 15 percent of parent company FramesDirect.com’s employees have served or have relatives who have served in the military or as first responders. According to Purcell, the reason the company has so many employees with ties to the military is that “AFEyewear.com allows us to work for a cause that is close to home, serving those who serve.”

About AFEyewear.com

Founded in 2008 at the request of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (The Exchange), FramesDirect.com launched AFEyewear.com to provide exclusive prices and selection to U.S. military members and their families. Headquartered in Austin, Texas and led by a group of military wives stationed throughout the United States, AFEyewear.com offers a special discount on quality eyewear to those who serve, including U.S. military active-duty personnel, veterans, retirees, law enforcement officers, as well as fire and emergency medical services personnel and their families.

Since its initial launch, AFEyewear.com has helped more than 30,000 families receive up to a 30% discount on more than 100,000 products and 200 brands, including Oakley, Wiley X, Costa Del Mar, and Maui Jim.

Learn more about AFEyewear.com’s Military and First Responders Discount


Weekly Eyewear Updates for 2011-04-02

Customer Eyewear Faves: Check Out the Top Picks and Save Up to $70

Better than Ever Customer Eyewear Faves | Top Eyeglasses Favorites | Save Up to $70 in our Fall Sale

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