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People wear sunglasses for a multitude of reasons. In the early days of the Roman Emperor, different forms were used to cut the glare of the sun. The early Chinese used pieces of flat quartz to keep the sun's glare from their eyes. Emeralds, quartz, and crystals were some of the materials used in the early days to keep the bright sun from shinning into eyes. During those periods, they even used this material to hide facial expressions. Tinted lenses came from experiments around the mid 1700s. In prehistoric times, a type of glass that had slits was used to help keep the sun's rays from entering the eyes. Today, the uses of sunglasses protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

A great deal has happened since prehistoric times. Sunglasses are worn for protection from the sun, as well as being a fad. When movie stars started wearing sunglasses, they quickly became a fashion craze. Movie stars wear sunglasses to avoid being recognized by crowds of people as well as keeping their eyes protected. When Jackie Kennedy began wearing wrap around sunglasses in the 60s, wrap arounds quickly became the trend of many Americans. Gamblers wear dark colored glasses so that opponents cannot see their eyes or expressions. People that drink heavily or are on drugs try to hide the appearance of their eyes that could reveal their current state.

Sunglasses that people wear today offer better clarity, comfort and protection. Many people wear prescription sunglasses, which are more expensive. Others wear sunglasses that are less expensive and made to fit over their prescription glasses. Sunglasses can help eliminate headaches caused by the glare of the sun and the reflection off water, glass, metal and other objects.

The biggest advantage of sunglasses is the protection of ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation can cause many harmful diseases of the eyes and can cause both short term and long term problems. Some of the problems caused by ultraviolet radiation are eye cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration, snow blindness, photokeratitis and many other eye problems. Sunglasses that meet the standards for protecting against the sun are labeled. All sunglasses are not the same and do not give the same protection. It is important that when choosing sunglasses for protection that you find a pair that is labeled at UV 400. These sunglasses will filter out 99-100% of UVA. Make sure they fit snug around the nose and temples to eliminate as much sun exposure as possible.

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