October Newsletter: The Advantages of Prescription Sunglasses

Woman wears mirrored sunglasses during fall.

The Advantages of Prescription Sunglasses

Sunny days pose a problem if you wear prescription glasses. Drugstore sunglasses don't offer the clear vision you need, while clip-on sunglass lenses rarely fit well. Fortunately, prescription sunglasses are available.

Why It's So Important to Wear Sunglasses

Exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVA) light from the sun raises your risk of skin cancer and wrinkles. However, your skin isn't the only part of your body damaged by the sun. Your eyes may also suffer if you don't protect them from the intense rays of the sun.

UVA and UVB light exposure may increase your chances of developing these eye diseases and conditions:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Growths on the Whites of Your Eyes
  • Photokeratitis (sunburn on the cornea, the clear, rounded tissue on top of your iris and pupil)
  • Cancer In or Around the Eyes
  • Wrinkles Around Your Eyes

The longer your eyes are exposed to the sun, the greater your risk is for developing an eye disease or condition. You might develop cataracts or age-related macular degeneration after decades of sun exposure, while photokeratitis could happen in a single afternoon if you don't wear sunglasses on the beach or ski slope.

How You Benefit from Wearing Prescription Sunglasses

What's not to like about wearing eyeglasses that help you see more clearly and offer built-in sun protection? When you wear prescription sunglasses, you'll enjoy these benefits:

  • Complete Protection from the Sun's Rays. The prescription sunglasses your optometrist offers block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Unfortunately, drugstore sunglasses don't always provide 100% protection. Although the glasses shade your eyes, you may still be at risk for developing eye diseases in the future.
  • No More Glare. Sunglasses reduce glare that makes driving or playing sports difficult on sunny days. Ask your optometrist about adding polarized lenses to your prescription sunglasses. These lenses have a special coating that filters out the light that causes glare. Polarized lenses are very helpful for outdoor sports and activities, like boating, golfing, water sports, and skiing. Although polarized lenses offer the ultimate sun protection, the American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that they may make it a little harder to see screens that use liquid crystal displays (LCD), like your car's control panel, your cellphone, and automatic teller machines.
  • A More Comfortable Experience. Prescription sunglasses are ideal for outdoor activities ranging from gardening to hiking to walking along a beach. Since the glasses are adjusted to fit your face, you won't have to worry that they'll slip or rub when you're climbing a hill or watching dolphins play in the ocean.
  • A Variety of Styles. Your optometrist probably offers many types of sunglass frames, in addition to the usual frame selection. Sunglass and polarized lenses can be added to most frame styles, allowing you to choose sunglasses that not only shade your eyes but also look stylish. Want a little more protection from the sun? Wraparound styles prevent the sun's rays from entering at the sides, top, and bottom of the frames. If you don't want to keep switching from your everyday glasses to your prescription sunglasses, consider transition lenses. These prescription lenses darken in response to sunlight and lighten when you return inside.
  • Multiple Tints. The tint is one of the most important aspects of your new sunglasses. Tints aren't just an aesthetic choice but can sharpen your vision on sunny days. Gray lenses reduce glare and help your eyes feel less fatigued, while green lenses improve contract and reduce glare and eyestrain, according to All About Vision. Wearing brown sunglass lenses could improve contrast, particularly on cloudy days. Your eye doctor can discuss the benefits of tints with you and help you choose the best tint for you.
  • Better Sports Experience. A second of glare can ruin your day if you participate in an outdoor sport, like baseball, pickleball, tennis, golf, skiing, or snowboarding. Prescription sunglasses prevent glare, ensuring that you don't miss a crucial shot. For extra protection, ask your optometrist to add prescription sunglass lenses to shatter-proof goggles.

Need a pair of prescription sunglasses or goggles? Call our office to schedule an exam with the optometrist or stop by to take a look at our frame selection.


American Academy of Ophthalmology: What Are Polarized Lenses For?, 6/15/2022


All About Vision: Why Different Lens Colors in Sunglasses?, 6/19/2023


National Eye Institute: Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun’s UV Light, 7/5/2022


WebMD: How to Pick Prescription Sunglasses, 8/17/2022


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