Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear, designed primarily to prevent bright sunlight from damaging or discomforting the eyes. Sunglasses are also a popular and sometimes iconic fashion accessory. Sunglasses come in varying quality and price ranges, although the two factors are not necessarily linked.
Sunglasses can be purchased from many different retail outlets such as department stores, convenience stores, fashion boutiques, specialist sunglass outlets and also online. Designer sunglasses are high fashion items released as part of a designer fashion range, usually on a seasonal basis. These sunglasses may be sold by the designer themselves, or as part of a range of sunglasses in a department store or specialist sunglass retailer. Prescription sunglasses are dispensed by optometrists, with prescription lenses fitted to any suitable glasses frame. Designer sunglasses frames are often available from optometrists, with our without the inclusion of prescription lenses.
Sunglasses may comply with the relevant international or Australian Standard but this not mandatory. The Australian standard has five ratings based on the amount of absorbed light, from “0” - some protection from UV radiation, to "4" - high protection. Australia introduced the world's first national standards for sunglasses in 1971.