Thursday, September 29, 2011

Defending My Eyes

Outside of my home, I wear sunglasses pretty much constantly. So, I'm rather picky about them. They can't be too tight or too heavy, lest they trigger a migraine. They must have large lenses and they must be adequately protective from light. Doesn't sound TOO hard, does it?

I know many of you are rolling your eyes right now, you know what it's like. The cheap sunglasses at the gas station and Target are mostly useless, maybe one of every fifty pairs can be worn for more than ten minutes. Cheap sunglasses are usually cheap for a reason. And even if I do find a good pair, I make up for the monetary savings in migraines, because the acts of donning and removing frames, and looking through different colored lenses, are all very migraine triggery. Head pain, nausea, confusion, dizziness; I don't enjoy shopping for sunglasses one bit.

So, I started looking around on the internet, and saw quite a few interesting possibilities that I couldn't afford. I wanted polarized lenses, but comparing lens size, weight and fit of each pair was impossible. I didn't find a single online sunglass retailer that had this information available on their website. Disappointing.

What I did find was Polaroid Sunglasses. At my inquiry, they sent me a pair of sunglasses to review, free, but rest assured, my opinions are never bought.

A little background on the company: Polaroid Eyewear has been around since 1937, and their first item ever sold was actually not the camera, which is the popular understanding of the company, but sunglasses! Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, was also the inventor of polarization, therefore every pair of glasses they produce are polarized. It's widely recognized that polarization protects your eyes, decreases glare and increases visibility. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to give their glasses a try.

Of the many beautiful styles offered by Polaroid, I picked Miriam.

Hello, Miriam.

After I chose my favorite style (it was tough! SO many cute looks!), I was able to choose between two lens colors, and I went with gray over brown. The polarized lenses are really fantastic. My vision is clear, but the light is significantly dimmed. There are days I wish they were darker, but usually they're perfect. The fit is better than average, and they only make my face ache on my worst days. They're comfortable over my ears and are a little tight some days, but a gentle stretching of the arms usually makes them workable. The style is very attractive and I wear them almost every day. I'm amazed that I haven't yet managed to scratch them, and that's a real testament to their durability because I've been using them all summer, have dropped them at least six times and last week I carried them in a pocket with my key ring for a few hours. I'm not saying that they're magic or anything, but... they might be.

The flaws with these sunglasses are few. Like I mentioned, on my bad days they are a little too heavy and can be a little too tight. My arm-stretching technique is often effective, but isn't necessarily sanctioned by Polaroid. And while these aren't nearly the most expensive brand on the market (as of the writing of this review, Miriam is only $50 on the website!), the cost would still require some intensive financial planning and saving on my part.

The pros outweigh the cons, here, and I can definitely recommend these glasses for everyday migraineur use. If I had the cash, I'd try several other styles. Check out these lovelies!




Thanks Polaroid! It's been a pleasure.

All of the above images are courtesy


Jessica said...

Did you get to keep the pair you reviewed? I certainly hope so! I can't go anywhere without my shades either...I realized I was even wearing them yesterday in the grocery store...which was actually pretty great, but I'm sure people thought I was an idiot.

steph said...

I did get to keep the sunglasses! I love them.

I felt weird about wearing sunglasses indoors for a long time, too. People sometimes look at me funny, or ask why I'm wearing sunglasses, or ask me to take them off, as if I'm being rude, but most people ignore them.

My favorites are the people who think I'm just rude.

"Um, can you take off your glasses? I can't even see your eyes!"



Anonymous said...

I like wearing my sunglasses at night. Singing that song to myself never gets old, but if someone else sings it, I'm not as amused.

Also, online retailers should put the weight of their products online. I'd like to find a good chunky necklace, but searching by weight isn't an option. And never mnind typing in "not jingly." That doesn't work.

steph said...

I have the same problems with jewelry! I can't wear rings anymore or heavy, clanking bracelets, and necklaces can't be to fiddly or heavy either.

And you're right, searching for quiet jewelry doesn't quite get the results I'm looking for. In fact, the website quietjewelrydotcom has a collection of extremely not quiet jewelry, hence the non-link. It's all metal and super jingly and clanky. It's cool-looking, yes. But certainly not quiet. Maybe calling it quiet is just a metaphor I don't understand. :p

Migrainista said...

I have only one pair of sunglasses taht I can wear for more than 15 minutes at a time - and they are so old the covering on the frame is beginning to just fall off the plastic base. I can't seem to find another pair that works as well so I just keep wearing this old pair.

Maybe it is time to think about investing...
Great post!

jasminepw said...

Great article. I'm interested in the Melody style :)

There's a company called MigraShades, and their polarized glasses are supposed to be even darker. I can't afford them at $139, but just thought I'd share.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about how blue light waves can be a trigger for migraines. It has to do with the way blue waves are focused on the front of the retina and they cause eye strain and fatigue. Shades in the amber color family block out the blue rays. I already wear glasses so I found a place that sells sunglasses that fit over glasses that work for me.

Carl said...

Steph, I really like the black and grey website- so much more comfortable to read!

I used to be a chronic migraine sufferer - now I get migraines around every 2mths. Vision was a huge problem for me.

What did I figure out? Glare, sunlight, fluorescent lights, light from TV or phone in a dark room were all aggregating factors.

How to manage? As you said - wear comfortable POLARISED sunglasses outdoors that cover your entire field of vision. The bigger the better - don't let any of that glare in!

What about inside, like the office? For years I wore prescription glasses. But I didn't need them, 3 different optometrists got it wrong. Actually what I needed were colored lenses. Yep, I wear a pair of orange lenses that shields me from the LED light from computer screens and fluorescent lights above. There is a pic of me on my website wearing them if your curious.

You can by a pair off ebay for $8 which aren't as stylish or comfortable, but may be a good way to test if they bring relief from staring at the computer screen. Search for 'UVEX orange glasses" and they will come up.

Anyways, just thought this might help you or some of your readers!