21 December 2013 - Advanced Sunglass Care

Advanced Sunglass CareIt's no secret that people across the world love sunglasses. Ray-Ban Wayfarers, made famous by the Blues Brothers, have been around since 1953 -- and sold 10 million units in 1998 alone. Even fictional characters love them. The round lenses of The Matrix's good guys and the rectangular ones of the bad guys made an impression on the world's fashion conscious. Still, sunglasses are so much more than just fabulous accessories. The vision care market generated $34.54 billion in 2012, and that number would be higher, except that 20% seem to think that sunglasses aren't important to their health. Even the military recognizes their importance and had special dark-green tints created to protect pilots form high-altitude glare.

If you're a sunglass devotee like myself, you've probably run into every snafu imaginable with your shades. Here, we'll look at some advanced care tips for your favorite pair of sunglasses, from how to fix scratched sunglass lenses to how to replace them.

How to Fix Scratched Sunglass Lenses

There's nothing worse than a scratch across one of your lenses. There are a few different materials that can fix scratched sunglass lenses if applied with a lint free cloth and rinsed off afterward. Try vehicle wax, brass or silver polish, lemon pledge, toothpaste, or baking soda and water.

How to Clean Polarized Sunglass Lenses

It's important to check your manufacturer's recommendations first, but this process should work for all polarized lenses. Use a clean linen or cotton cloth to rub away marks and smudges. If something is stuck, first try rubbing it with warm water. For a really stubborn stain, you may try a very mild detergent, but even this is risky. Your best bet is to obtain a specialized spray and cloth from an optometrist.

How to Replace Sunglass Lenses

You can order replacement sunglass lenses either from the manufacturer or from aftermarket providers. Sunglass lens replacement is easier for metal frame sunglasses than for plastic ones, but both are certainly doable. For metal frame sunglasses, loosen the screws, keeping the frames together, and pop in the new lens before tightening the screws back up. For plastic frames, soak the sunglasses in warm, soapy water for a while before popping the old lenses out and the new ones in.

Caring for your favorite sunglasses is all about keeping up with maintenance. Keep them clean, store them safely, and make sure the screws are always tightened appropriately. If you follow those steps, you might be able to avoid needing these tips in the first place.

13 December 2013 - That Time I Broke My Favorite Sunglasses

Surfer SunglassesI take my sunglasses pretty seriously. I've been surfing since I was a kid, and I got a scare pretty early on when my friend's dad, another surfer, lost his vision to cataracts. He was sure it was because of UV rays, and the research doesn't contradict him at all. UV rays are the real deal. They're invisible to the human eye, and they can do irreparable damage both to your eyes and the skin around them. It's no wonder than 40% of those who wear sunglasses in the U.S. do it for their health, instead of for the fashion.

Anyway, I'm pretty intense about my sunglasses. Other people buy theirs for style reasons. I read somewhere that Wayfarers, the ones the Blues Brothers wore, are the best-selling sunglasses in history, and that Elton John owns more than a thousand pairs of accessory sunglasses. Mine are a little more utilitarian. They're polarized, blocking UV rays from all angles, and they also have a gold tint which dims the blue of the ocean and helps me see what's going on a little better. They're made by Revo, a company that makes great glasses for sports and activity, and I love them. At least I did, until a particularly messy fall on my board broke the lens.

Whether Revo replacement lenses are available through the manufacturer remains a mystery. I couldn't find them on their site, and I was pretty disheartened about it. I had almost resigned myself to ordering an expensive second pair when I found a site that sold aftermarket replacement sunglass lenses. All it took was a Google search for "Revo replacement lenses," and I was in business. They aren't technically Revo replacement lenses, but they're still polarized and gold, and they fit my frames. So, I ordered a pair of replacement polarized lenses and waited patiently.

When they came, I did a little more swift Googling to find out how to perform sunglass lens replacement, and it turns out that replacing sunglass lenses is pretty simple. I had to soak my glasses in hot soapy water for a little while, and then both lenses popped right out of the frames. I popped the new ones in, made sure they were lined up correctly, and I was all set. It was that easy.

I'm still not sure if actual Revo replacement lenses are out there, but I'm honestly not super worried about it. These ones held up to the polarization test and they are just as clear as my old ones. Have you guys ever had a similar problem? Does anyone know if Revo even sells replacement lenses? Let me know!