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Fashion sunnies are here, there, and everywhere. From garage shops and pharmacies to flea markets and clothing stores, you’ll find racks of reasonably priced sunglasses in the latest styles.
Tempting as it might be to have a few pairs to suit the flavour of the day, there are good reasons why prescription sunglasses are the smart choice.
Here are our top five reasons to stick with prescription sunglasses.
If you wear prescription lenses to correct and optimise your vision, you should be wearing these lenses all the time, including when you are out in the sun or driving. Off-the-rack sunnies will not provide the vision support you need.
You can get your distance prescription and multifocal prescription in sunglasses. In fact, prescription sunglasses are available for almost any lens prescription. Don’t worry about the old fashioned, thick, and heavy lenses that were once typical of prescription sunglasses. Lens manufacturers are continuously innovating to produce lighter and thinner lenses, with a range of coatings to meet certain vision requirements and support different lifestyles.
Your sunglasses should protect your eyes against both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV damage contributes to the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on the skin around your eyes. Off-the-rack, fashion sunglasses will not give you the level of protection you need against the harsh South African sun.
Cheaper sunglasses may block some of the light, causing your iris to open to allow in more light, including more UV light. This can cause more damage to your retina than if you weren’t wearing sunglasses. Prescription sunglasses block 100% of ultraviolet rays and the lens colour can be adjusted to individual preferences.
Your contact lenses are there to correct your vision, but they won’t protect your eyes against sun damage or stop glare. Some contact lenses have built-in UV protection. However, conventional, unfiltered contact lenses only block a very small percentage of UV rays and they do not protect the skin around your eyes.
Wearing sunglasses also shields your eyes from the wind and can help prevent dust and debris from settling on or under your contact lenses. If you have been wearing your contact lenses as well as sunglasses when you are out in the sun, you will find it more comfortable to wear a pair of prescription sunglasses rather than wearing both.
Polarised sunglasses minimize glare to give you a clear, crisp view. Your average pair of fashion sunnies are likely to be tinted but not polarised, making them quite ineffective for preventing glare. Thanks to advances in technology, polarised coatings can be added to your prescription lenses to cut out glare while ensuring clear vision.
This is especially important when you are driving. Polarised lenses stop glare from headlights, the sun and wet road surfaces. In misty and foggy conditions, polarised lenses sharpen details and improve contrast. Wearing your polarised, prescription sunglasses will improve your safety and comfort while driving.
Aside from being customisable to your vision requirements, a quality pair of prescription sunglasses can also be customised to suit your personal style and your lifestyle. Prescription lenses can be fitted to most high fashion frames and your optometrist can help you to select a frame that suits your face shape.
An array of coatings, such as anti-glare, as well as tints can be added to your lenses. Tinted sunglasses are all the rage now, and you can stay on trend with your tint of choice for your prescription lenses.
When choosing a pair of sunglasses, you should consider your lifestyle and sporting pursuits. A quality pair of prescription sunglasses will be made from superior materials that will last longer than off-the-shelf sunnies, while optimising your vision and protecting your eyes.