Sunglasses help guard your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays and help reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
Still, most people who wear prescription glasses for eye problems may be discouraged from buying sunglasses as they may need prescription lenses to be able to see properly. This is where prescription sunglasses come in.
Market research from Statista indicates that the UK prescription glasses market was valued at $3 billion (£2.35 billion) in 2022.
As people plan more outdoor activities and may need prescription sunglasses that adhere to their eyesight needs, and as such they are also seeing a rise in demand.
If you plan on spending time outdoors or need a fashionable addition to your outfits without compromising your eyesight, then a pair of prescription sunglasses may be just what you need.
However, it’s essential to know how to buy the right ones for you to ensure eye protection and comfort for long-term use. Below, we’ll discuss some must-know tips for shopping for prescription sunglasses online:
Select the right frame size
You’ll be asked to select your frame size when buying a pair of prescription sunglasses online. Like choosing and buying clothes, it’s crucial to find the right fit to ensure your comfort.
Moreover, some prescription lenses require more specific frame styles to support their weight and thickness.
The eye, bridge, and temple sizes are the three critical measurements on sunglasses frames. Poorly fitting sunglasses can be uncomfortable for long periods and even cause pain.
A Reader’s Digest’s feature on eyewear sizes emphasizes the importance of getting the right frame size. After all, everyone’s facial dimensions come in different shapes and sizes.
A pair of sunglasses that works well for your friend may not be a comfortable fit for you. Moreover, different designs, lenses, and frames may need different measurements.
If you have a rectangular frame with an eye size of 56, a rounder frame for your dimensions may have an eye size of 50. So regardless of the sunglasses design you’re after, be sure to get the right frame size for you.
Select a pair that look good
You’ve got to feel confident in your prescription glasses, and as such, it’s important to select a pair that not only fit you but also suits you. Luckily, buying prescription sunglasses is a process with lots of options and choices in terms of style.
Oakley, one of the world’s top eyewear brands, allows you to put prescription lenses in their top models, such as Holbrook and Valve.
They’re not alone either – many top brands, including Prada, Ray-Ban, and Armani, are flexible when it comes to lenses, meaning you can not only see well but also look good when wearing your sunglasses.
You don’t even have to travel to a shop to try them on.
Many online providers now leverage augmented reality on their sites to let you try their glasses on from the comfort of your desk. Remember, prescription glasses are no longer purely functional – they can be highly fashionable as well.
Measure pupillary distance
Your pupillary distance is the measurement of the distance between the centres of your pupils. This measurement determines where on your lens you look and should be as accurate as possible.
On average, an adult’s pupillary distance is between 54 and 74 mm. For children, it ranges between 43 and 58 mm. While your pupillary distance may change as you age, it should stay relatively the same in adulthood.
This is why it is advised prescription sunglass shoppers measure their pupillary distance to ensure the lenses are shaped accordingly.
When wearing sunglasses or any eyewear, your vision is centered on a specific section of your lenses.
If your pupillary distance measurement is off, you may experience dizziness, headaches, or blurred vision. While a small margin of error is okay, it’s always better and more comfortable in the long run to be as accurate as possible.
Check your insurance coverage
Finally, a key difference between prescription sunglasses and their non-prescription counterpart is that the former is meant for vision correction as much as it provides eye protection from sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
Due to their medical nature, prescription sunglasses may be covered by vision insurance. GoodRx’s feature on purchasing sunglasses and flexible spending account (FSA) highlights that vision insurance generally provides coverage for annual eye exams, prescription glasses, and scratch-resistant coating.
If you don’t have a vision insurance policy, you can opt to pay for your sunglasses with an FSA.
Prescription sunglasses may be a qualified vision expense for an FSA if you have an IRS-approved medical reason for the sunglasses, such as vision correction. You must also have a prescription from a doctor.
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