Ray Ban Sunglass Styles and Protection From Ultraviolet Rays

Updated on November 7, 2019
Jesse Drzal profile image

I enjoy talking about various styles of sunglasses and passing along information I have learned.


The wayfarer sunglass design, first developed by the Ray-Ban company, is often credited with being the highest-selling sunglass style of all time and the blueprint for modern fashion eyewear. The style is now produced by many companies worldwide.

First manufactured in 1956, they were the first to shun all-metal construction in favor of a plastic molded technology. These quickly became a favorite. The style was easy to imitate, and it became the fashion for movie stars and celebrities of the time. Wayfarers again exploded in popularity in the 80s, with the Blues Brothers movie. Other stars were also wearing them during the 80s, and wayfarers remain cutting-edge and relevant to this day.

Wayfarer by Ray-Ban
Wayfarer by Ray-Ban | Source


Aviators are a very popular sunglass style. This type of eyewear was first used by the United States Airforce and were worn by pilots in fighter battles of the Second World War. First produced by the Ray-Ban company, these eyeglasses helped protect the fighter pilots immensely, dramatically reducing unwanted glare by using new polarization technology. At war's end, these sunglasses went on to become a staple for citizens craving quality eyewear and helped launch the popularity of the Ray-Ban brand. Today, the aviator remains one of the top sunglass style options.

Ray-Ban aviator
Ray-Ban aviator | Source


Highley used in sporting, wraparound sunglasses protect the eyes from sunlight rays reflecting from the frames and into the eye, and also provide more protection via a tighter, closer-fitting frame, thus offering protection from all angles. Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Maui Jim are popular manufacturers of this style of eyewear.

Wraparound | Source

Ray Ban Video


Wire metal rimmed with small circle lenses is what best describes teashade sunglasses, a design made famous by John Lennon in the 60s and 70s. These are basically for aesthetics only, as these do not offer proper all-around protection from the sun's rays, especially for sporting purposes.

Clip-on Lenses

For the prescription eyeglass wearer, clip-on options are available for your everyday eyeglass frames and offer the flexibility of an all-in-one option because you can flip the UV lenses up and down, or remove them as needed. All the lens options still apply, as you can tailor these lenses for individual needs as well.

Teashade sunglasses
Teashade sunglasses | Source

Sunglasses Protect Our Eyes From Harmful Rays

While modern sunglasses give us the style and look that we are searching for, the sunglass lens serves another important function: they help protect our eyes from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. There are three types of ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC rays do not pose a threat to the eye because they are absorbed and neutralized by the earth's ozone layer. However, UVA and UVB exposures cause long and short term negative effects on the eyes.

One of the short-term effects of damaging ultraviolet rays is a condition referred to as Photokeratitis, which is likened to a ''sunburn'' of the eye. Other symptoms of Photokeratitis include painful redness and excessive tearing. Long-term exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays can cause cataracts, as well as a condition called Pterygium, or ''surfers eye'', which is a growth around the eye corner. Another condition of long-term ultraviolet light exposure is Pinguecula, a raised lesion that forms on the white of the eye.

Harmful effects of HEV radiation, or blue light, is being researched for possible degenerative effects of the eye as well. Always choose a sunglasses lens that blocks 99–100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, and if in question about a certain product or want the best sunglass options, contact an Optometrist.

Sunglasses Lens Types and Features

The most economical and common lens material would be plastic, which is light, durable, and shatterproof. Plastic can also be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. A Polycarbonate lens is especially helpful to those who participate in sports and are impact resistant as well.

Glass is also a commonly used material. A mirrored lens is a cosmetic feature that allows the eye to be hidden from view. Lenses come in a variety of tint options as well, giving your view and surroundings a colored effect, if desired. Many of these lens types come with an anti-scratch coating as well, protecting your sunglasses for years to come.

Polarized Lens

Polarized lens technology was invented in 1936 by Edward H. Land, who used Polaroid filter technology. What a polarized lens does, in effect, is neutralize glare. Glare is referred to as the sun's rays reflecting off a surface, whether it be water or any hard surface, such as metal or glass or any other solid areas. As glare is typically horizontally polarized, the lens of the glasses is vertically polarized, thus neutralizing the effects of glare. This is a great feature used for outdoor enthusiasts alike, including fishing, surfing, hiking, and snow sports as well, amongst other activities.


Frame Materials

There are many frame options as well, with Titanium, Memory Metal, Beryllium, and Stainless Steel being some of the metal options. Plastic frame types include Zyl, Propionate, and Nylon. Combination frames are available too in metal and plastic offerings. Many of these materials are of an indestructible design and will last the wearer many years of durable duty, if not an entire lifetime.


From the hardcore sporting enthusiast to the casual wearer, there is a sunglass option for everyone. It is the utmost importance to protect one's eyes, and an approved ultraviolet blocking lens is a must. With ever-evolving fashion and functionality, and new materials, sunglasses are here to stay and continue to play a big role in our everyday activities, such as they did in the past. Without a doubt, there is a style to fit everyone's purpose and needs.

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Questions & Answers

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        23 months ago

        W e are getting UVC readings. The ozone layer has diminished allowing more UVC to come through. Sunglasses that protect from UVA and UVB will not protect from UVC.


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