My Italian grandmother used to tell a story about when she was a little girl and didn’t like eggplant. She always refused to eat it no matter how it was prepared. Then one day as a teenager she decided to try it, and she started to cry. Her mother saw and asked, "Ann, why are you crying?" My grandmother replied, "I missed out on eggplant all these years!"
It is possible you will cry when you try prescription sunglasses for the first time for the same reason as my grandmother. You’ve been missing out!
Do you need more validation? Dr. Greg Hicks, a partner in a three location practice in Sandusky, Ohio for 30 years, told us that everyone who has ever tried prescription sunglasses has said out loud, "Why did I wait so long to do this? These are awesome!"
Of Course, the Health Benefits
The first and most important benefit to prescription and premium sunglasses is increased protection. UV rays cause damage to the surface of your eye and the surrounding skin, while high energy visible (HEV) blue light damages the internal mechanisms of your eyes.
It’s essential to pick the right protection and materials to keep your eyes safe. This is especially true for your children as their eyes naturally filter far less blue light.
Polarized lenses protect against HEV blue light and materials such as polycarbonate and trivex lenses offer natural UV protection.
The best way to think about it is: you wouldn’t spend an extended period of time in the sun without sunscreen. Sunglasses protect your eyes and the skin around them from sunburn. They also protect the interior of your eyes from solar damage, so don’t go to the beach without them either.
Customize to Your Needs
Your vision is complicated, our eyes are delicate, and the glasses we use have a big impact on our comfort. Your eye doctor can work with you to specifically figure out what your needs are and whether they involve a prescription or not. Your sunglasses will then be customized based on what you need.
There are several ways you can also choose to customize them:
- Coatings — The right coating can help extend the life of your glasses, reduce reflections that can cause eye fatigue, and make it easier to clean while reducing pesky scratches. Ask your eye doctor about coatings and possible warranties.
- Color/Tint — You get to make your sunglasses your fashion statement. Colors, tints, and gradients are all ways you can customize. Talk to your eye doctor to make sure your color choice offers the most protection.
- Polarization — The best way to protect against solar HEV blue light is polarized lenses. To learn more about the risks of too much blue light exposure you can click here.
When you come together with your optometrist you will be able to work together to customize your sunglasses in a way that supports your eye health and your personal preferences. They’ll handle the prescriptions and features you need for health so you can focus on the style and preference.
Investing in Your Eyes
We will concede a pair of cheap sunglasses is better than nothing, but the value of a prescription pair of sunglasses will always come out ahead. There are a few reasons for this:
- Increased Comfort — If you need prescription glasses, then your eyes are likely fatigued, or you might not be able to see well with a pair of non-Rx sunglasses. The right prescription will help your eyes feel comfortable in the sun.
- They Last Longer — We’ve already touched on the importance of coatings, but the right materials will also help your glasses last longer. As long as your prescription or vision needs don’t change, a prescription pair of glasses should last at least two years and sometimes longer with proper care.
- You Will Keep Track of them — One of the most common reasons we hear for sticking to $10 pairs of sunglasses is that they are easy to lose. If this is happening to you, think about what you value. You don’t lose your phone (hopefully) or your car. If you only invest a little, then why should you care about them? Over a couple of years, though, you might even come out ahead in costs. If you are still worried about losing them, a light reactive pair might be perfect for you.
What’s Your Routine?
If you are still on the fence, consider how much time you spend in the car or outdoors on your normal routine on a weekday and then again on the weekend. When you start to break down the amount of time you should be using sun protection, you’ll start to see their value in a different light.
Don’t Knock It Till You Try It
Whether you require a strong prescription or none at all, a premium pair of sunglasses gives you more protection and support. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your visual comfort.
Don’t wait. Don’t miss out. Try prescription sunglasses today. And maybe eggplant too.