Ever wonder where “dark UV” Sunglass tints came from. Too young to remember. When and why tinted Sunglasses was offered to the general population?
After World War 11, American Air Force Icons wearing Aviator Sunglasses for ‘glare’ (in the Skies) were marketed as cool and winners of the skies. As a result, enter… Aviator dark Sunglasses. Back then and as early as the 1980’s, UV was not a problem to the Eyes… only glare. UV has always been naturally blocked by our Optical defence anatomy starting with: the Cornea, the Crytalline lens, Aqueous humor chamber and finally the Vitreous liquid chamber… UV never reaching the all important Retina for seeing.
Dark UV tints actually have a reverse effect on the eye in that it ‘dilates’ the pupils to allow in more UV (to be blocked by the aforementioned and now allows todays… UVB that actually reaches our Retina. In 1980 and before, Seniors were prescribed dark tinted Sunglasses by Eye surgeons after Cataract surgery. Why? For ‘glare’; not UV protection. With today’s Climate Change UVB, it is this radiation that needs protection from.
All Optical manufacturers now offer the newest UVB protection in their signature Lenses (Essilor, Nikon, Zeiss, Hoya). Why? Their mandate… the prevention from early Cataracts and AMD (Macular degeneration). All children’s glasses are offered the same UVB protection. Simply stated… children are in front of their Electronic devices 8-16 hours a day eliciting artificial UVB from the screens. Manufacturers will continue with UV protection for glare; the real problem is UVB.