Shamballa Eyewear, designed and produced by Larry Sands

5 questions to ask before you buy a pair of sunglasses

With temperatures hitting the mid-90's this week, the sun is at its peak.

The best way to protect your eyes is to slip on a pair of shades. Wearing sunglasses isn't just about fashion. Shades protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, says Wendy Salle, licensed optician and founder of Salle Opticians in Phipps Plaza.

Salle offers these five tips for choosing the right sunglasses for your face and your life:  

How will you use your sunglasses? Will you be lounging by the pool or beach, or are you a runner, biker or boater?  A sports frame is made to fit and perform differently than a fashion frame.  Make sure your sunglasses fit your activity.  

What is the right shape for your face? There are four basic face shapes:  Heart, round, oval and square, and these sunglasses go best with each shape:

What lens color should you choose? It really comes down to preference, but you need to make sure and protect your eyes from UV light. Basically, wearing sunglasses without UV protection is more damaging that not wearing sunglasses, because your pupils will dilate behind dark lenses, letting in more harmful UV rays. Your optician can test your sunglasses to make sure you have 100% UV protection.

What about frame color? Have fun with all the colorful frames that are out today. From clear to opaque, ornamentation to basic black, there are hundreds of ways to express yourself.

How do you determine the best fit? Fit is important, as poorly fitted sunglasses may not provide enough protection and you may be less likely to wear them. When glasses are too small or too large, they may let in light from the sides. Your optician can show you how sunglasses should fit properly.  

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