Imagine this summertime scenario: You’re sunning yourself by the pool. Your text chime goes off, and you can tell by the special sound that it’s work-related. You jump out of your comfortable position, and fumble through your belongings looking for your phone.
Once you find it, you can’t read the message anyway, because you’re only wearing sunglasses, not your prescription eyeglasses. You finally find those, but now it’s too bright to see the message. Eventually, you get the prescription glasses tucked under your sunglasses, and although you look ridiculous, you manage to read and reply to the important message.
Imagine avoiding all this with one simple solution — prescription sunglasses. What if you had a pair of sunglasses that could shield your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet rays, while allowing you to read books, magazines, text messages and email?
Contacts are effective until you need to remove them to swim or because of sand or debris blown in your eyes from the wind. It’s still possible to buy clip-on sunglasses, but you know how attractive those are. If you even own a pair, do you know where to find them?
Summer is around the corner, so now is the time to act. You can keep your old sunglasses if you want to, but get yourself a pair of prescription glasses you can rely on.
Why Are Sunglasses Important?
You love warm summer days, and you love the sun — until you can’t see because it’s shining directly in your eyes. All of us know the uncomfortable feeling of being blinded by light. In addition to providing comfort, prescription sunglasses can help prevent some of these common eye diseases.
- Macular Degeneration:The sun’s rays can damage the retina and destroy your central vision. This is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
- Cataracts: This is when the eye’s lens clouds up and diminishes sight. About 20 percent of these cases are related to sun exposure.
- Pterygium: Overexposure to ultraviolet rays can cause this tissue growth over the white part of the eyeball. It can result in a curvature or astigmatism.
Driving while blind — more specifically, the inability to see through sunglare — has been the cause of too many car accidents. People who rely on prescription glasses to drive often have to make a choice between keeping out the glare and being able to see.
Some people don’t need their prescription glasses to drive, or only have to use reading glasses. For these people, a regular pair of sunglasses suits them fine. But if you’re someone who needs glasses to drive, you would be wise to purchase a pair of prescription sunglasses, not just for convenience, but for the sake of safety.
Where Can You Get Prescription Sunglasses?
The first place you might think to get prescription sunglasses is your local optometrist. Some people pay a little extra for “transition lenses,” photochromatic lenses which automatically darken and lighten based on lighting conditions. With transition lenses, you never have to worry about finding your sunglasses. However, you may not feel comfortable wearing these. You may want to choose for yourself when you will be sporting dark glasses.
See your optometrist, or if it’s more convenient, shop online. Getting prescription eyewear online might seem unusual, but it has become quite common. Find a reputable online eyewear company, and you’ll be amazed at the wide selection to choose from. There are only two decisions you need to make.
What type of frames should you choose? If you’re comfortable with the frames you have on your prescription glasses, you can just duplicate them for your prescription sunglasses. But maybe you want to have a little more fun with these. It really just depends what you are using them for.
If you’ll primarily be using your prescription sunglasses while driving, or visiting the beach, pick out something zany or extravagant. If ordering online, have your friends help you decide. Many online glasses shops also allow you to upload a headshot and try on frames virtually. An optometrist will consider factors like the shape of your face when helping you select frames. Speak up if you want something different. Just make sure you don’t pick something you won’t want to wear.
Choosing frames is the fun part of shopping for glasses, but lenses are the most important because they’re helping improve your sight. You have no choice what your prescription is, but you do have some say in what kind of lenses you have. You can choose progressive lenses, also known as “no-line bifocals,” which blend in different powers of magnification into one lens. Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and more durable than traditional lenses. Choose these if you are active in sports or just prone to breaking your glasses. You may also opt for special coatings, such as anti-glare or anti-scratch.
When purchasing prescription sunglasses, make sure they are rated to block both UVA and UVB rays. Many cheaper sunglasses found in dollar stores and the like do not provide this level of protection.
Online retailers will need your current prescription. All you have to do is pick your style and frame, and they will deliver the finished glasses directly to your home. It’s easy and convenient, and you won’t have to deal with salespeople or wait to be assisted.
However you decide to get prescription sunglasses is up to you. The important thing is that you get some before you end up squinting into your windshield and slouching into your steering wheel, desperately trying to see what’s in front of you. Act now before the summer gets into full swing. That way you can enjoy the sun’s rays safely, comfortably and in plenty of fashion.