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Why prescription sunglasses are a game-changer - expert tips for enlightening your patients

Given certain misconceptions around – and resistance to – prescription sunwear, it’s important to convey the advantages of prescription sunglasses to your patients.


The 6 most common objections to prescription sunglasses:


  1. Cost: The extra expense of a second pair of glasses may cause hesitation.
  2. Style: Patients may perceive the style of regular sunglasses as more fashionable than prescription sunglasses.
  3. Convenience: Switching between prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses can be inconvenient, especially if they need to carry both with them.
  4. Prescription changes: If they have a rapidly changing prescription, they may be hesitant to invest in prescription sunglasses that may not be useful for very long.
  5. Limited use: If they only need sunglasses for certain activities like driving or outdoor activities, they may be reluctant to buy a separate pair of glasses.
  6. Forgetfulness: Some people may be forgetful and may not remember to bring their prescription sunglasses with them when they need them.


Sunglasses are a staple accessory for most people, especially during the summer months. Not only do they protect our eyes from the bright sunlight, but they also add a stylish touch. 


However, if your patients wear prescription eyeglasses, regular sunglasses do not correct vision problems, which can be a safety issue when driving or engaging in other activities that require clear vision.


This is where prescription sunglasses come in. They combine the benefits of regular sunglasses with the vision correction of prescription eyeglasses, making them an essential accessory for anyone with a vision problem. In this blog post, we will explore HOYA’s prescription sunwear products to enable eye care practitioners (ECPs) to explain to their patients why they are worth the investment.


Need a little help starting the conversation? Here’s how to communicate the value of prescription sunwear to your patients.

Benefits of prescription sunglasses

1. Disease prevention

Most patients aren’t aware that the sun can harm the eyes and the skin around the eyes. Use research to educate them during their visit. For example, the National Eye Institute has shown that UV rays can increase the risk of cataracts, and up to 20% of cataracts may be caused by overexposure to UV rays, according to the World Health Organization. 


2. Safety

Sunglasses protect against sun damage to the eyes and other elements when outdoors. Sunglasses guard against harsh wind, dust, sand, and other airborne debris that irritate the eyes or could scratch the cornea. 

Make this point with your patients: when the eyes are protected and you’re seeing at your best, you’re also protecting others. For example: when driving with polarized lenses, your reaction time is noticeably faster than when not wearing sunglasses. Sunwear reduces glare and keeps you safe when navigating situations that require full attention, such as driving or riding a bike.


3. Less strain, fewer headaches

Your patients probably know about the term “blue light” as it relates to working in front of a screen for hours a day — and that it can cause digital eye strain and several other symptoms, such as headaches, tired or burning eyes, and more.  

Your patients may not know that the number one source of blue light is the sun, and in fact, 15 minutes in the sun equals 12 hours in front of a screen1. An estimated 25% to 30% of sunlight consists of solar blue light rays, so you can make an impression on your patients with this info while diving into the harm of solar blue light exposure


4. Improved dark adaptation

Sunglasses increase visual clarity by blocking UV rays and reducing glare during the day. They can also have a positive impact on sight at night.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), studies have shown that daytime exposure to ordinary sunlight can produce temporary but cumulative aftereffects on dark adaptation and night vision. In addition to daytime benefits of sunglasses, your patients should know that high-quality polarized sunglasses can also help reduce night vision loss.


5. A better outdoor experience, year-round

Non-wearers often rely on compensatory behaviors (some extreme) when outdoors. Through discovery, you may find that your patients squint, wear non-prescription sunglasses, or avoid the sun completely. Prescription sun lens users have a better outdoor experience – even in winter. They enjoy the comfort, clarity, protection, and emotional freedom that comes with prescription sunglasses. 

Helping your patient choose prescription sunglasses

Prescription sunwear is the best eye health solution to protect the eyes, eyelids, and skin around the eyes from sun-related damage. With so many advancements in lens technology just over the last decade. 


Why patients love photochromic lenses 

Practitioners often say that their patients are ultimately attracted to the convenience of the two-in-one solution: sun protection and the easy fade back to clear. 


This built-in convenience simplifies the patient’s life, much like sneakers, yoga pants, and denim are convenient for everyday use. Sure, having two pairs will always be more useful, but always having the lenses they need when they need them is the most compelling. 


Patients are also attracted to the price benefit: having one pair of frames and lenses that do both rather than having a specialty pair for sunglasses or work and another for clear. 

The full Sensity®family 

The ECP’s core responsibility is the health and protection of the eyes against UV light. And with about 66% of patients claiming they have severe or moderate light sensitivity, the ECP has an opportunity to address this issue directly.


By actively prescribing photochromics, ECPs can differentiate themselves from the commoditized clear lens market.


As you’re talking to your patients about sun damage and UV eye protection, key in on the benefits of the Sensity® family.

Sensity® 2

Sensity® 2 provides all day comfort for light sensitive eyes, no matter the climate, season, or lifestyle. 


  • Best balance of fade back speed and darkness for most patients
  • Darkens to a dark category 3 sun tint Extremely clear indoors
  • 100% UV protection in all light
  • Consistent, cross-climate performance
  • Indoor and outdoor blue light protection 
  • Excellent glare reduction 


Sensity® 2 doesn’t compromise on style, comfort, or color perception. Instead, we offer four deep, natural tints developed by color specialists:   

Sensity® Fast

Sensity® Fast is our fastest light adaptive lens, rapidly fading back from dark to clear. 


  • Best balance of fadeback speed and darkness for most patients
  • Darkens to a dark category 2 sun tint 
  • Extremely clear indoors


Sensity® Fast greatly reduces that awkward in-between period that most other lenses have  for a seamless experience moving from outdoors to indoors.

Sensity® Dark

Sensity® Dark lenses are engineered for outdoor activities and driving – ideal for an active lifestyle.


  • Best for the most light-sensitive patients
  • Our darkest Sensity lenses outdoors
  • Lenses darken behind most car windshields
  • Slight tint indoors for those sensitive to indoor light


Sensity® Dark lenses deliver extra darkness outside and behind the car window, offering the performance your patients require in their outdoor activities. Indoors they quickly fade back again to exceptionally clear lenses.

Sensity® Shine

Sensity®  Shine combines comfort, convenience, and fashion with a mirror coating on a photochromic lens.


  • For wearers who want a fashionable mirror lens
  • Fades back quickly to an attractive mirror shine indoors
  • Lenses darken behind most car windshields

Sensity® Shine lenses give your customers an exclusive look thanks to a mirror coating that is more intense in the light yet subtle when indoors. Sensity Shine lenses also deliver extra darkness when outdoors.

Which Sensity® option is suitable for your patients? 

There is a Sensity® option for every patient looking for both blue light protection and light-reactive features in their lenses: 


  • Sensity® 2: Provides all day comfort for light sensitive eyes, no matter the climate, season, or lifestyle.
  • Sensity® Dark: Engineered for outdoor activities and driving – ideal for an active lifestyle. 
  • Sensity® FAST: One of the fastest light-reactive lenses, as it rapidly changes from dark to clear for a practically seamless experience moving from outdoors to indoors.
  • Sensity® Shine: Combines comfort, convenience, and fashion with a mirror coating on a photochromic lens.

HOYA Polarized Sun Lenses

Enjoy more time by the pool, in the mountains, or at the beach with HOYA’s Polarized Sun lenses.

  • Three fashion-forward colors

  • Available in a wide range of designs including iD Lifestyle 3 Sun

  • Available with new HOYA mirror coatings

  • Available for all ages

With HOYA’s polarized lenses, blinding reflections and visual discomfort are

no longer an issue. Reduced glare and enhanced contrast offer improved visual performance, comfort, and protection.

1. Coppertone HEV Gray polycarbonate lens vs standard 1.50 polarized gray lens between 380nm-460n.
2. HEV brown lenses

HOYA Diamond Tint®

HOYA Diamond Tint Lenses meet consumer needs for function and fashion.

  • 100% UV Protection from the sun

  • Clarity and crispness of color are unbeatable – HOYA’s pressurized pore processing application prevents fading for long lasting color

  • Tint color will not change with HOYA anti-reflective treatments

HOYA’s variety of Diamond Tint lenses let you further enhance the solutions you offer your patients for a range of activities. HOYA’s Diamond Tint Lens colors work in combination with all frames as well as with a broad range of HOYA designs and treatments.

HOYA Mirror Coating

Optimal sun protection reflects the light away from the lens surface.

  • Offers optimal sun protection by reflecting light away from the lens surface

  • Reduces discomfort and eye strain caused by glare

  • Features a fashionable mirror finish

Available in both prescription and non-prescription, HOYA’s Mirrored lenses can now be part of the wearer’s personal lifestyle, accessorizing their everyday look and protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Tips for the patient conversation


Start with your questionnaire or ask questions mid-exam  


Getting the conversation started is often the hardest part for eye care providers. Add questions to your intake form to help initiate the conversation. Focus on family history, time spent outdoors, and time driving. Another tip: ask them to bring their prescription sunglasses to the exam during scheduling or confirming their appointment.


If you don’t have a patient questionnaire, your second opportunity is during the slit lamp part of the exam. You’ll start to pick up on changes in the anatomy of the eye, including early signs of UV damage, which is a good moment to talk about the sun. This presents a natural segue into the topic of prescription sunwear, rather than feeling like a hard sell.


Talk about eye anatomy

You’re the eye health expert. To help your patients understand the danger of sun damage, start by breaking down the major structures of the eye, and use visual aids. Follow up with a brief explanation of how the sun can inflict damage on those parts specifically, from the eyelids, the skin around the eyes, and the front surface of the eye to the lens and retina.


Stay conversational 

As you discuss the importance of prescription sun lenses with your patients, keep it conversational and educational. Show concern and care rather than being too assertive or authoritative. This makes patients more comfortable opening up about their barriers to sun lenses. 


Put pricing into perspective  

People believe that prescription sun lenses are expensive and worry that they might invest in glasses that will get lost or broken. Help patients save by using insurance, maximizing benefits, and utilizing FSAs or BOGO half-off deals. Inform patients that because of the higher value, most people take better care of prescription sunglasses.


Keep the conversation going through sun season

Sunglasses can benefit your patients and your practice all year long. Use these tips and benefit breakdowns to offer your patients value and safety this season.


For more information about our 50% Off a Second Pair of Glasses Program and products that qualify for Visionary Alliance points, contact your Territory Sales Manager.

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