This year in Calgary, we have been very fortunate to have had such a mild winter and a beautiful spring and start to our summer. As our days are now warmer and longer, many of us are choosing to spend much of our free time outdoors, enjoying the beautiful weather. And although it feels great to get outside and enjoy the sun, one must not forget about the importance of sun-protection. Harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause damage to our body’s delicate tissues, and our eyes are of no exception. Many people think that sunglasses are the only form of sun protection for the eyes. But sadly, sunglasses are not always an option for everyone. For those individuals who can’t wear a regular pair of sunglasses, there are other options and alternative eyewear to sunglasses that can used to help protect the eyes from the damaging rays of the sun.
Many of us are so lucky in the fact that we can just pick any old pair of sunglasses up and purchase them straight of the rack. But for everyone, this is simply not the case. Unfortunately for some people, buying a regular pair of non-prescription sunglasses is met with barriers like prescription requirements. For many of those individuals alternative eyewear options, such as custom prescription sunglasses are available. Many people are unaware that many prescriptions can be made into sunglass lenses. For people with lower power prescriptions, often a good quality sunglass frame can be used to put prescription sunglass lenses into. This means that the glasses will look the same as how they looked with no prescription lenses. For people with higher or more complex prescriptions, sunglass lenses can also be an option, but the lenses may have to be fit into a regular ophthalmic frame. Ophthalmic are the regular frames people usually select when getting a clear pair of glasses. These frames often have a flatter curvature to the front of the frame, and are often a little smaller then regular sunglasses. Using an ophthalmic frame over a sunglass lens can often help reduce the thickness of the lens for higher prescriptions, as well as it can help reduce any distortion that can happen from putting higher prescription lenses or progressive lenses into frames with more curvature. Many sunglass manufacturers like Maui Jim and Oakley, will also put their own prescription lens designs into their frames.
Transitions lenses are another alternative eyewear option that can be added to lenses to help protect the eyes from UV light. Transitions is a filtered layers applied to a prescription lens. This layer in the lens changes colour dependent on the amount of UV light in the atmosphere. For example, these lenses remain clear indoors or at nighttime as there is very little or no UV in these settings. If the lens is exposed to really bright sunny conditions, then it will turn as dark as a regular sunglass lens. If light conditions are less then bright direct sun, such as if it is overcast or cloudy out side, the lenses become less dark. Transition lenses are a great option for people who may find it too cumbersome to carry around a second pair of sunglasses. They are also great for people who are constantly going from indoors to outside. And are a really healthy option for the developing eyes of children. Disadvantages of transitions in the past have been the speed at which lenses change from dark to clear as well as the darkness of the lens in different light conditions. Over the past few years, the manufacturer of transitions lenses have made huge advancements in the technology of transitions to help over come these hurdles and make transitions better then ever.
Clip on Sunglasses
Because some people still experience limitations and barriers with prescription sunglasses and transitions, sunglass clips might be considered as an alternative eyewear option. A sunglass clip is a custom made accessory frame that fits directly onto the front of the prescription glass frames. This accessory frame carries a second set of non-prescription tinted sunglass lens. The lenses in the carrier frame come in many different tint options and also can be polarized. These clips are usually custom made, so they match the fit and colour of the existing frame incredibly well.
A Fitover sunglass, is a second full framed sunglass that is worn directly over top an existing pair of eyeglasses. These frames are often really large, as they have to be able to fit over the person’s regular frame without touching the front of the lenses. The size of a Fitover helps avoid scratching and damaging a persons regular pair of glasses. These sunglasses provide exceptional protection because they fit very close to the face at the sides and top and bottom of the frame providing great coverage. This helps in blocking out light and UV rays that may travel behind regular eyeglass and sunglass frames from reaching the eyes. Just like clip-on sunglasses, Fitovers also come in a variety of different colours and are also available in polarized.
So, as you can see… just because you may not have been able to wear a generic pair of sunglasses in the past, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternative eyewear options for sunglass protection for you!
Article Written By: Trina Vanaalst