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Expert optician Sarah M. knows all too well the common mistakes of sunglass buying, as she daily talks with customers looking to make a purchase. Here, she lists some of those mistakes and offers advice on how to overcome them and choose the best sunglasses available:

1. Choosing frames that don't cover enough of the eyes.

Protect your eyes AND the area around your eyes by purchasing a frame that will offer great coverage. Sunglasses that cover the sides of the eyes will increase sun protection. Also, the skin around your eyes is very sensitive, and you can get skin cancer even on your eyelids, so protecting it is very important.

2. Overlooking important lens features.

Use polarized lenses vs. a tinted UV lens. Tinted lenses may fade with time and will not cut out the glare from the sun and other surfaces as well as a polarized lens. (Polarized lenses also cut down on squinting, thus preventing premature aging!)

3. Leaving sunglasses off in overcast conditions or at dusk and dawn.

Even though it may not be bright outside, the UV rays are still present, so it is just as important to protect your eyes with sunglasses in less than sunny conditions. Additionally, you'll experience greater clarity in lower light if you wear polarized lenses.

4. Choosing the wrong lens for your lifestyle.

Educate yourself on the sunglass lens options available for varying sports, activities and conditions and you'll see you might need to invest in a couple of pairs of sunglasses. You need a completely different type of lens to drive with than you would to play golf with. Think of it this way: You wouldn't wear dress shoes to jog in, right?

5. Playing sports without sunglasses.

Anytime you're outside, wear sunglasses - even when playing sports. Not only will you improve your game because you're not squinting but you'll also have increased contrast and visual clarity.

6. Not protecting children's eyes.

Start getting your children into the good habit of protecting their eyes with sunglasses. Just like you would protect their skin with sunscreen, protect their eyes with UVB and UVA lenses. The sooner you do, the less likely they are to get macular degeneration later in life.

Finding the right pair of sunglasses can be overwhelming; hopefully, these sunglass buying tips will help shoppers make the most informed decision possibe.

Click here for a list of specialty sunglasses. You can also look through our Sunglasses Lens Color Guide to find lens colors suitable for your needs. On FramesDirect.com, you can choose regular sunglasses or prescription sunglasses online in a variety of shapes, sizes and top brands. Happy sunglass shopping!

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