Hot trend: Coloured lenses

How to go colour crazy with shaded lenses

Coloured or shaded lenses have been on the market for quite some time. Fashion trends do drive this product and the palette available covers an impressive spectrum. This article provides insights into how you will find your way through the colour jungle at your optometrist while making the best choice for your eyes – in particular when it comes to the protection from UV rays.

In addition to choosing your favourite frame, you can also personalise your glasses by adding shaded lenses. After all, a pair of spectacles is ultimately also a fashion accessory that emphasises the personal style of the owner. The motto: Look good and enjoy excellent vision. Carl Zeiss will dye your lenses in the latest fashion colours – in just one or two colours – or variegated. Before you make your selection you should consult your optometrist to determine on which occasions you will be wearing your shaded lens glasses. Will these lenses be used for sunshades only, or will you wear them daily or only during special activities?

Your optician offers a wide variety of colour samples in all kinds of shades. Use them to test the colours and make a smart decision. You can also have your lenses dyed based on your individual instructions and colour samples – for instance a fabric colour swatch - you bring in.

The filtering effects of slightly shaded lenses makes the light in artificially illuminated places easier on the eyes and also gives you an opportunity to make your own fashion statement.

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Some hints for your selection of coloured lenses:

When you are choosing a coloured shade for your lenses, less can certainly be more. If you want to wear the shaded glasses frequently, the shading should be minimal, so that the people you interact with can still see your eyes clearly. When choosing the colour, women should wear their usual eye makeup and select a matching shade. Also take into account the clothing you tend to wear the most. Your optometrist will then be able to present a matching colour selection for your glasses from his or her collection.

The trend favours especially yellow, rose or blue hues. However, if you are planning to use your glasses as sunglasses, you will have to make your choice with great care, because not all lenses do provide adequate protection from the sun, and most especially from UV rays. Some may even cause damages. Whenever you wear sunglasses, you pupils expand completely and are therefore not as well protected. Make sure that you choose glasses that filter UV rays: Glasses that reduce the light by more than 30% do provide 100 % solar UV protection Important: The colour or intensity of the shading do not indicate the level of UV protection, the only reliable indicator is the CE label. As a rule, all sunshades sold by optometrists are CE certified and therefore UV protection compatible.

Besides UV ray protection, you will have to pay attention to a second protection factor. Within the light colour spectrum, blue light causes the most severe damage to the eye. It attacks the eye where its sharpest visual power originates. Moreover, it can cause diffused light, which reduces the level of contrast. Good sunshades have to provide UV ray as well as blue light protection.

If you have misgivings about your current sunshades, your optometrist can help you by measuring their UV protection and blue light penetration levels. He or she can also check the visual quality of spectacles on location. You can also perform an initial check at home: Raise your spectacles up in a straight horizontal line and move it back and forth. If your sunglasses are of good quality, the line should not be distorted. However, this test works only with non-prescription sunglasses.

How can plastic glasses be more colourful than mineral material glasses?

Mineral material lenses, i.e. lenses made from glass, are dyed by steaming absorbing layers onto them. These thin layers consist of metal or metal oxide compositions and can be steamed on only at specific high temperatures. They also possess high natural refractivity and their degree of reflection rises. Consequently, the layers are steamed on in multiple steps to maintain the required properties of the glass. Consequently, mineral lenses are available in brown hues of different absorption levels – and as a standard feature they always have gold antireflection coating on the back.

The shading of plastic lenses is achieved by immersing the lenses into colour solutions. Consequently, plastic lenses can be dyed into virtually any colour.

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