Sunglasses Galore

What's new in sunglasses? - just about every shape, size, colour, and quality imaginable. Here's a quick buying guide for the family:

Shapes go from huge 22-in. circles to tiny triangles. Odd shape alone won't hurt your eyes, say the specialists. But too small a lens means side-glare, little comfort. Also, corrective lenses often won't give the needed result if they've been fitted into oddly shaped frames. Tip: Too wide temple bars (a fad) cut side vision; they can be especially dangerous when you're driving.

Vivid offbeat colours (blue, pink, orange) are bad for the eyes. They fail to filter out ultraviolet or infrared rays, and give an uneven screening to the visible spectrum. And note: They distort colors and, eventually, colour perception. The best colour is neutral gray, with tan or pale green rated second. Quality lenses come in three colour tones: light (impractical), medium (best for general use), and dark (best for the beach or water sports).

Top brand names include British Opticians, Vision Express, and Titmus; at quality department and sporting goods stores - and sometimes, chemists - in a £12 to £25 price range. A pair of £12 sunglasses may not hurt; sometimes, though, they're bad.

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Suntan - and Sunburn

The noonday sun may be fine for some people, but it can be murder for fair-skinned persons. If you're bent on getting a tan, don't overdo it. Remember, too much sunning can be dangerous. If you are over age 50, it can lead to heat prostration, sunstroke, and severe burns; it can aggravate some serious diseases. And prolonged overexposure is pinpointed as the leading cause of skin cancer. At least 110,000 cases of this will show up in the UK. this year.

Light-skinned persons - especially red-heads and blonds - are most vulnerable to skin cancer because their skins can't build up protective pigment against the sun's burning rays (strongest from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.). So if exposure to the... see: Suntan - and Sunburn