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All About Vision

Nonprescription Sunglasses

While sunglasses with nonprescription lenses are a great way to accessorize and add style, they are worn as more than just a fashion statement. Nonprescription eyewear protects your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and acts as a barrier against wind or dust when outdoors. Called “plano” sunglasses in the eyewear industry, the market selection is wide and varied, with many types of designer frames and materials.

One reason that nonprescription sunglasses are so popular is due to the huge number of contact lens wearers. More than 30 million Americans currently wear contacts! In addition to blocking the sun, sunglasses also help prevent contact lenses from drying out when outside.

Trends in Fashion

No matter what look you favor, there is a pair of plano sunglasses to express your unique personality. In the past few seasons, styles have ranged from glamorous cat-eyes and Jackie O’s to sporty wraparounds. Teeny retro shapes and oversized bubbles have graced many faces, in addition to angular, rectangular forms. Rimless and semi-rimless frames often present unique geometric lenses, cut in new and unusual angles. Without a full frame, these types have a wire or plastic thread that secures the lenses in place.

Similar to jewelry, sunglasses are often chosen and worn as attractive accessories. Many modern styles, such as sleek wraps and Jackie O versions, come embellished with sparkling jewels. Eye-grabbing features, such as crystals, cubic zirconia faux diamonds and rhinestones, adorn many pairs of chic sunglasses. Some plastic plano sunglasses feature cut-outs and other refined details that grant a distinctive, cool look.

Color also makes an appearance in the lenses, which are tinted in a rainbow of hues beyond classic black, such as rose, yellow, blue, orange, coral and purple. Gray lenses are considered the best because they distort external colors the least.

Sunglass Materials

The materials used to construct sunglass frames span the gamut. Sturdy and good-looking versions are available in plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, beryllium and titanium. These premium metals are durable, yet lightweight and hypoallergenic for enhanced comfort. For long-lasting function, they are also corrosion-resistant. Hybrid frames that combine both plastic and metal are contemporary and popular.

Choose the Right Lenses

Most important is that the sunglass lenses block 100% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Even inexpensive versions should offer this high grade protection. If you need sunglasses for playing sports, your best choices are lightweight and provide extra safety with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses. If you spend time boating or fishing, polarized sun lenses help reduce glare and ease eye strain while on the water.

Guidelines for Sunglass Shopping

First and foremost, your nonprescription sunglasses need to fit comfortably on your face. The following tips are helpful for determining a proper fit:

  1. Choose frames that are wide enough for your face. The frame edges should extend beyond the sides of your face slightly. This ensures that the temples won’t squeeze your head as they reach back to your ears.
  2. Make sure the temples are long enough. The curves at the end of each temple should go over your ears without pressing down. Note that some specific styles have straight temples that are not designed to curve around the ear.
  3. Ensure that the frame fits snugly without the nosepiece pinching the bridge of your nose.
  4. Move around a bit, like you do in daily life. Turn your head, nod up and down, and bend over to pick something up from the floor. With a good fit, the sunglasses should remain in place.
  5. Stay within your personal zone of style and choice. Choose plano sunglasses in a shape and color that you prefer. Consider prescription sunglasses if you normally wear prescription eyewear to see. In addition to protecting your eyes and vision, sunglasses are a significant part of your appearance!


Prescription Sunglasses

Prescription sunglasses are an absolute must for anyone who currently wears eyeglasses for vision correction. Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism, a pair of prescription sunglasses will provide sharp and comfortable vision outdoors. Squinting strains your eyes, reduces vision quality, and is not the perfect solution for driving or walking on a sunny day!

If you generally wear contact lenses and a pair of nonprescription (plano) sunglasses, there will always be times when lenses are unsuitable. Think about a day at the beach – when the wind is blowing, sand is flying into your face, the sun is blazing and the waves are spraying salt-water. Contact lenses will not help you battle these elements, and you’ll suffer from discomfort if they dry out or become gritty. Prescription sunglasses will allow you to enjoy (and see!) your time outdoors, hassle-free.

Convenient for Driving

Everyone who drives knows that traveling into the glare of the sun can be uncomfortable and impossible for keeping a clear watch on the roadway. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, there are a few options for how to cope with this problem.

Clip-on sunglasses, or more modern versions with a magnetic attachment, are one solution. Yet it can often be challenging to put these on without removing your eyeglasses, which can place you in a dangerous predicament. Clip-ons also need to fit your frame just right or they run the risk of scratching your lenses.

A pair of photochromic prescription eyeglasses is an alternative option. These lenses darken progressively in response to outdoor light. However, because some of the sun’s UV rays are blocked by your vehicle’s windshield, photochromic lenses do not always function properly inside a car or truck.

Prescription sunglasses are the ideal solution for crystal-clear vision in bright sunlight. For ultimate convenience, keep a pair in your car or boat so they’re always on hand when needed.

Your Choice of Styles

The shapes, styles and fashions of prescription sunglasses are virtually unlimited. With the exception of extreme wraparound styles, prescription sunglasses can be crafted in just as many versions as nonprescription sunglasses.

An extensive array of lens materials and designs are available on the contemporary market. Progressive (no-line bifocals) lenses and high index plastic lenses are popular features. Polarized lenses grant optimal glare protection from light that reflects off the surface of water or roads. If you use power tools or engage in sports and recreational activities that could cause eye injuries, a good choice for you would be lightweight lenses constructed from polycarbonate or Trivex. Sunglasses made from these materials are much more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses.

Sunglasses for Kids

Whether they are engaged in sports, recreation or simple fun in the park, kids spend hours outdoors in the sun. Experts claim that by the time we reach 18 years of age, we’ve already absorbed half of our lifetime exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (harmful UV rays). In light of all their time outside, wearing sunglasses is even more critical for children than it is for adults.

Super Styles for Kids

Although many children are not interested in the fashion potential of sunglasses, there are many attractive and fun styles that will convince them to add sunglasses to their wardrobe. You should have no trouble finding a suitable pair for your child’s taste.

With the addition of prescription or nonprescription lenses, almost any pair of children’s eyeglass frames can be transformed easily into sunglasses. Due to their sleek expression, scaled-down wraparound styles have a unique appeal to kids. These types also offer ultimate UV protection, with coverage for eyes and the delicate surrounding skin. Durable frames made from quality metals are another preferred version, as they stand up to tough use.

Lenses with 100% UV Protection

The most significant criterion for children’s sunglasses is their level of UV protection. The lenses should block a full 100% of the harmful rays. Damage from ultraviolet light is cumulative over our life span. Therefore by decreasing childhood exposure, the risk of future problems, such as cataracts and other adult eye conditions, may also be reduced.

Lightweight and highly resistant to impact, polycarbonate lenses boast 100% UV protection built in. An added benefit is that they can be tinted to almost any hip hue your child wants!

Kids who need vision correction will do well with photochromic polycarbonate lenses. These sunglasses darken progressively and automatically in response to UV rays – providing 100% protection. When indoors, their tint returns almost instantly to a clear state. Essentially, your child gets two pairs of glasses in one.


Sunglasses for your children are an investment worth protecting. Purchase a tough, hard-shell case for them to tote around. It’s also advised to teach your kids how to care properly for eyewear, keeping them safe, clean and dry. Special cloths are available in many fun patterns.

Sunglass cords are a featured accessory item. Also called “retainers”, these cords attach to the frame temples. Your child can then remove the sunglasses and leave them hanging from their neck, with no fear of losing them.

The latest trend in kids sunglasses these days are manufacturers who not only warrantee their glasses against defects, but also against loss. Most parents with kids who wear sunglasses are quite aware of kids often losing them. Once these glasses have been registered online simply request a new pair from the manufacturer if your child happens to lose them.

Performance and Sport Sunglasses

Extreme sports adventures and outdoor recreation activities are currently all the rage. Physical endeavors such as snowboarding, mountain biking, golfing, rock climbing, kayaking and in-line skating are some favorite ways to spend leisure time. All of these actions have created a boom in the demand for specialized sunglasses.

Eyewear that is designed for outdoor activity is light and comfortable, yet durable enough to withstand the tests of extreme weather conditions and strenuous pursuits. Made to stay in place throughout all types of movement, sunglasses for performance and sports will also upgrade your game.

Sunglass Lenses

When it comes to effective sunwear for your eyes, visual clarity is of supreme importance. When playing hard and fast, you need high optical quality in order to react quickly. An extensive array of lens tints is available to modify light and enhance visual contrast – so you see the ball with more than enough time to make contact.

The lenses of choice for most sport sunglasses are made of polycarbonate, which is exceptionally strong, lightweight and highly impact-resistant. Polarized lenses are another option, as they are effective at reducing reflected glare from surfaces like a flat field of snow or a lake. However, professionals debate about the wisdom of wearing polarized lenses for sports such as mogul and downhill skiing, because sighting the reflection of icy patches on the slopes may offer safety benefits.

Sporty Frames

Sports sunglasses are generally composed of materials like polyamide, which offers maximum strength and minimal weight. It also tends to maintain shape, even when under stress.

As for style, performance sunglasses often follow aerodynamic design, with sleek and streamlined forms. Features include non-slip nose pads and temple grips, which hold eyewear in place even when perspiration accumulates under the heat of competition.

Name Your Game

Sport-specific sunglasses address the unique visual requirements of each type of sport. Whether you swing clubs on the golf course, bicycle on rocky trails, sail the waters or climb steep cliffs, specialized frames and lenses are available to meet your needs.

Depending upon your sport, the tint of your lenses can grant your performance a superior edge. Certain lens tones may help a golfer detect subtle movements in the blades of grass, which will affect the line of their putt. Yet a hunter may need a totally different tint in order to spot the contrast of a bird gliding through a dim, cloudy sky. People who pride themselves on being a pro at many sports will appreciate multi-purpose performance sunglasses. These sunwear frames offer interchangeable lenses with a variety of tints to suit different environmental and lighting conditions.

Are Contact Lenses a Good Choice for Kids?

Brothers Outside Looking Up potomac md

Does your child want to wear contact lenses instead of eyeglasses? You are probably wondering if it’s a good idea or not. Actually, contact lenses offer specific benefits over other vision correction eyewear for children.

More than age, maturity is the main consideration that goes into deciding whether contact lenses are appropriate for your child. Physically, children’s eyes can tolerate lenses from a very young age. Even babies with certain eye conditions present at birth are treated with contact lenses. In addition, a recent study conducted on nearsighted children between the ages of 8 to 11, demonstrated that 90% of the kids had no difficulty inserting or removing one-day disposable lenses – with no help from an adult.

Note: Your child could start earlier, but it depends on the child and parental involvement. Daily disposables can be worn for kids under 15, but parents must be responsible to make sure the contacts are removed no later than 12-hours. Children who participate in sports have started as early as elementary school, but parents play a big role.

Signs of Maturity in Your Child

How do you know if your child is mature enough for contact lenses? You’ll need to assess whether they are able to insert, remove and take care of the lenses independently. One indication of the maturity necessary for these actions is your child’s general level of responsibility.

Does this child take on and successfully manage responsibilities at home? If so, that’s a good sign. Or does your child need constant reminders to do daily chores? Do they have poor grooming habits? If so, that’s an indication that wearing contact lenses may be premature.

Regardless of age, a conscientious child is the best candidate for lenses.

Advantages of Contact Lenses for Children

There are a number of reasons why contacts may be better suited than eyeglasses for your child’s visual condition and lifestyle. Some of these benefits include:

  •         Contact Lenses for Sports

When playing hard, running or engaging in physical contact sports, eyeglasses tend to slip off due to perspiration, get knocked off or fog up. Eyeglasses also limit your child’s peripheral vision, which is key for top sports performance. Contact lenses may resolve all of these issues. Specially tinted contacts may even help your child see the ball easier!

Soft contact lenses are generally the ideal choice for sports. Larger and with a more secure fit on the eye than rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses, soft lenses don’t carry the same risk of getting dislodged or knocked out during a game.

  •         A Way to Control Nearsightedness

Hard, rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses may be a superior option for children with myopia (nearsightedness). Durable GP lenses typically offer crisper vision than soft lenses.

Orthokeratology, referred to as ortho-k, is a modified technique for fitting GP lenses in order to temporarily reverse myopia. The ortho-k contacts are worn nightly while sleeping and removed in the morning. Nearsighted children should then be able to see clearly with no lenses needed throughout the day.

Multifocal soft lenses, which have various lens powers within different zones of the contact, have also been found to help control myopia.

  •         Boost Self-Esteem with Contact Lenses

Is your child embarrassed to wear eyeglasses? Many children are so uncomfortable with their appearance in glasses that they become very self-conscious about how they look. In this case, contact lenses are an excellent way to enhance your child’s self-esteem. Participation in school and social activities often improves when children make the switch from eyeglasses to contact lenses.

happy mother daughter glasses potomac mdHold On to those Eyeglasses!

An up-to-date pair of eyeglasses is still necessary to keep around even if your child begins to wear contact lenses. Eyes need to breath, and contacts that are worn daily must be removed at least an hour before bedtime. There may also come a time when your child prefers eyeglasses over lenses. In the event of any eye redness or discomfort, contact lenses must be removed immediately.

Motivation is the Main Criterion

Who wants the contact lenses, you or your child? This is the most important factor in determining success with lenses. Just because you may wear contacts and simply love them doesn’t mean they’re right for your child. Some kids favor eyeglasses and the cool, fashionable look they can create!

Timing is also significant. Your child may decide against contact lenses right now, but become interested in wearing them a few years later. For success, good vision and healthy eyes with contact lenses, it’s important to never push children into wearing them.

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