Sunny days are beautiful, but they also bring harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can harm your eyes. Extended exposure to UV rays has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other types of eye damage.

It used to be that if you have prescription glasses, your only options were to wear a sunglass attachment or wear contacts and sunglasses. Now, you have the option of getting a pair of prescription sunglasses. And just like your prescription glasses, there are some things that you would want to consider when buying prescription sunglasses.

UV Protection

When getting sunglasses, its UV protection should be your primary concern. Just because the lenses are dark don’t mean that it blocks UV rays. Whenever you wear dark lenses your eyes’ pupils widen to allow more light in. This means that if your very dark sunglasses don’t have proper UV protection, it can actually damage your eyes. Read the labels and if you’re not sure, your eye-care specialist can help you. A good pair of prescription sunglasses should block 100 percent of UV rays.

Lens Material

Just like regular prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses can be made of different materials which can affect the cost:

  • High-Index – These lenses are popular as they are thin and light even for high prescriptions. This can help the sunglasses look more fashionable, especially when you have a strong prescription.
  • Polycarbonate – These are strong and impact resistant lenses. Active people and children can benefit from this type of lens.
  • Plastic – Most modern prescription lenses are made from plastics. It is a good type for light prescriptions and casual wearing.
  • Glass – Glass lenses still offer the best vision, however they can be easily shattered.
  • Photochromic – These types of lens are also called “Transition Lenses” after the leading manufacturer: Transition Optical. They change from clear to dark in the presence of UV rays and can be quite convenient as you don’t want separate prescription glasses and sunglasses.

Fit

Prescription sunglasses can have a variety of frames. And regardless of which frame you choose, you should pay close attention to how well they fit you, not just for fashion but also for comfort and protection.

Sunlight (and UV rays) can slip through the gap between the top of the sunglasses and your brow. The sunglasses should fit to your brow but not too close that your eyelashes touch the lens. It should also rest snugly on the bridge of your nose and your ears for comfort.

Some frames are of the wrap-around variety and these offer more protection as they also decrease the UV rays from coming in from the sides.

Glare Protection

While it doesn’t protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, polarized sunglasses do help care for your eyes by reducing the glare from reflective surfaces like water, snow, and sand. You no longer have to squint, which helps lessen eye strain and fatigue. Do note that it may make looking at digital devices like cell phones a bit difficult.

If you need expert assistance in getting the right pair of prescription sunglasses, make an appointment at Planet Vision Eyecare in Greenacres, Florida. Dr. Hetel Bhakta has years of experience in helping people find comfortable eyewear to see better and look good.