Should I Wear Sunglasses or Goggles for Skiing and Snowboarding?

What do you wear on your eyes when you hit the slopes? Snow stings at high speeds, and the bright sun reflecting off the ice can strain your vision. You need some sort of protection, but which is best? Should you wear sunglasses or goggles when you go skiing or snowboarding?

In Most Cases, Go with Goggles.

Generally speaking, goggles are the smarter choice. Compared to sunglasses, they offer:

  • A wider field of vision. Where sunglasses shield just a section of your face, goggles wrap give you a full panoramic view.
  • More coverage. Goggles protect more of your face, blocking cold air, snow, and ice particles from pelting you near your eyes.
  • A snug fit. Most goggles have an adjustable strap to keep them tight against your face, and most can fit over a helmet. Sunglasses are easier to lose or break when you’re zooming down the mountain.
  • Less fog. You’re gonna deal with foggy lenses, whether you wear sunglasses or goggles. As you go down the hill, air hits your chest and instantly shoots upward, passing in front of your lenses, along with your breath, fogging up your lenses. However, you’ll deal with less fog if you go with goggles, since the airflow is restricted. Most goggles have vents that allow some air to pass between your eyes and the lenses.
  • More protection. Sturdier and stronger than sunglasses, goggles are more likely to survive falls and crashes (and your eyes will thank you!)


What Kind of Goggles Should I Get?

You’ve got a few things to consider before you buy yourself a new pair of skiing or snowboarding goggles.

Lens Color. You’ve probably seen goggles that have a variety of lens colors, but it’s about more than coordinating the perfect ski outfit. Darker lenses or mirrored lenses block lots of light, making them ideal for bright, sunny days. Alternatively, if you’re carving up the slopes on a cloudy or foggy day, yellow, green or pink lenses would work better, since they let in more light.

For night owls hitting the slopes after dark, go with clear lenses.

Lens Type. There are two main options here: cylindrical and spherical.

Cylindrical lenses are more common. They curve around your head, horizontally, and they’re flat vertically.

Spherical lenses are curved both vertically and horizontally, giving you a wider field of view and less distortion compared to cylindrical lenses (which usually cost less than spherical).

Fancy Extras. To reduce fog, you can find goggles with an anti-fog treatment and double-layer lenses. Plus, you can find glasses with a tiny fans to dispel fog as it builds up!

What a time to be alive.

Should I Get Polarized Lenses for Skiing and Snowboarding?

Polarized lenses might seem like a great idea at first. After all, they reduce the bright glare you get when the sun bounces off an extra shiny slick of ice.

Unfortunately, this could create a safety hazard. Since polarized lenses make harder to see those icy patches, it could lead an injury or accident.

And if you wear polarized lenses on darker days, they will further darken your vision and make it harder to see the slope.

Polarized sunglasses for snowboarding may be a good idea on an extra bright day… just keep in mind they may hide potential dangers from you.

When Should I Wear Sunglasses While Skiing or Snowboarding?

While goggles are generally a better, safer choice for skiing and snowboarding, sunglasses are probably fine on warmer, clearer days, or if you have other activities in mind after hitting the slopes.

Sunglasses are lighter, and less bulky, and they can be fitted with your prescription.

You can always get the best of both worlds with over the glasses goggles, or OTG goggles. These models let you wear your prescription glasses underneath goggles, so you can see every breath-taking detail of the mountain while keeping your eyes safe.

What do you think? Do you stick to sunglasses or goggles when you go skiing or snowboarding?

Best Fishing Glasses? Why Polarized Sunglasses are Better for Fishing

Polarized sunglasses are indeed useful for fishing. They reduce glare and help the angler better see into the water to spot fish, habitat, and structure. Professional anglers know this, and you won’t find one without polarized sunglasses on the water. Fishing guides also understand the value of polarized lenses. But you don’t have to be a pro to take advantage of polarized lenses for fishing. A recreational angler can gain the same advantages.

For a limited time: Get a free solar charger when you purchase a new pair of Costa sunglasses! Perfect for keeping your phone charged on the fishing boat. 

Polarized Fishing Sunglasses Provide Better Vision

It’s no secret that polarized sunglasses cut glare and provide sharper, clearer vision. That makes a huge difference on the water. The sun’s rays reflect off the water’s surface, making it harder to see. Polarized sunglasses cut that glare so fishers can see above the water, and also into the water. Depending on the water’s depth, polarized sunglasses often help anglers see all the way to to the bottom. When you know the structure of a shallow lake, pond, or river, as well as submerged rocks, logs, and vegetation—you increase your chances of success. Of course, in certain conditions, seeing the bottom can also help the angler spot fish, such as trout holding in the river current, or a bass near a submerged log. And remember that prescription polarized sunglasses are available if you wear prescription glasses.

Make Sure your Fishing Glasses have UV Protection

Improving your sight and thus improving your angling success is the key advantage to wearing polarized lenses, but it’s important to protect your eyesight against ultraviolet light. UV rays can cause permanent damage, and the intense sun coming off the water puts anglers at particular risk. Ensure that your polarized lenses offer 100 percent UV protection. Polarization alone does not protect against UV rays—UV protection is another layer that must be added to the lenses.

Buying Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

There are a few sunglasses manufacturers who specialize in polarized sunglasses for fishing, including Costa Del Mar and Maui Jim. Good fishing sunglasses will also block light entering through the periphery of the frames, so wraparound designs are helpful. And don’t forget the strap for your glasses. A short strap allows you to remove your fishing sunglasses when you need to, and keeps them out of the way while you’re trying to land a fish, or release that fish back into the water. Some straps also have flotation built in, giving you an extra measure of security if they somehow get knocked into the water.

Get a new pair of Costa fishing sunglasses and a free solar charger now at while supplies last!

Should I Wear Sunglasses While Driving?

You should wear sunglasses while driving to improve safety and comfort, both of which will be enhanced if you choose the right lenses for your sunglasses—lenses with the proper tint, polarization, and UV protection.

How Do Sunglasses Help While I’m Driving?

Seeing clearly while driving is essential, and wearing sunglasses will help in most cases. Whether it’s bright and sunny out, or even when the skies are overcast, sunglasses help out a ton. And polarized sunglasses in particular reduce glare coming off the road, other vehicles, and from other sources. Polarized lenses not only reduce the glare, they make objects sharper and enhance colors on the road, providing a crisp view and safer driving.

Should I Wear Polarized Sunglasses?

Yes, you should wear polarized sunglasses while driving. Polarization is what provides the clarity when there is glare on the road, one of the biggest impediments to safety behind the wheel. The sun coming off another car’s windshield, a piece of metal, or the wet road can make it extremely hard to see. Police reports often cite glare as a cause of a crash. But even if you are able to arrive at your destination safely, driving without sunglasses can leave you fatigued and can lead to vision problems in the long term.

Sunglasses May Help in Rain and Fog

Sunglasses will help, but polarized lenses in your driving glasses will help you see better in rainy or foggy conditions. Without polarization your glasses will simply make it darker and harder for you to see. But a lens with a lighter tint and polarization can make foggy or hazy conditions more clear. Polarization helps clear up the glare caused by light reflecting off the wet road and objects. Polarized lenses also filter the haze caused by humidity in the air.

How Dark Should My Driving Sunglasses Be?

Good driving sunglasses will not allow too much or too little light to get through. Sunglasses you use at the beach or for other activities outside in the bright sun may not be the best for driving. Many drivers will buy two or more pairs of sunglasses for driving. Glasses with a dark tint will be appropriate for the brightest days. But you’ll need a lighter tint on days when the sun is less bright, or for overcast, foggy, or even rainy days. Drivers too often buy the darkest tint they can find and ignore them when it’s cloudy. That’s a mistake. Good sunglasses can be helpful on days with less sun, providing a crisper view and improved visibility. But how much tint do you need?

  • Strong sun – 70% to 85% tint
  • Medium sun – 40%-55% tint
  • Low sun – 15% to 30% tint

Avoid wearing sunglasses darker than 5% to 10% for driving at night.

Other Types of Lenses for Driving

If you’d prefer to buy only one pair of glasses, there are a couple of options. Photochromic lenses change with the amount of light — turning darker the more light is detected. Just make sure you buy lenses that are sensitive to visible light as well as ultraviolet light. Vehicle windshields often have UV filters, which can make your photochromic glasses react differently to UV light than they will to visible light.

Another popular type of lens is the graduated tint lens, ideal for drivers who find wearing darker sunglasses difficult when they try to read the car’s instrument panel. But you don’t have to settle on one tint for the entire lens in your driving sunglasses. Graduated lenses can have a darker tint in the top portion of the lens to block out the strongest sunlight, giving way to a lighter tint near the bottom to better see your instruments inside the vehicle.

Ray-Ban New Wayfarer RB2132 with Gradient Tint

Should I Get UV Protection Sunglasses?

Yes, ultraviolet light protection is important in all glasses, but particularly in sunglasses. The darker tints in sunglasses let your pupil enlarge, exposing your eye to potential UV damage. Contrary to popular belief, polarized glasses do not automatically include UV protection—it has to be added to the lenses.

What is UV Protection and How Do UV Sunglasses Help?

UV glasses, which protect against ultraviolet radiation, are growing in popularity as more and more people learn about the harmful rays from the sun. While most people protect their skin from the sun, some don’t realize they should protect their vision. After all, your eyes absorb the same harmful rays. UV blocking glasses can help prevent serious damage. The health risks are real and include cataracts and macular degeneration. UV protection sunglasses may help prevent the damage UV radiation can do to your eyes.

Risks of Eye Exposure to UV Light?

There are three different types of ultraviolet radiation — UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. You probably don’t hear much about UV-C because the earth’s ozone layer absorbs it so its threat is minimal to nonexistent. But UV-A and UV-B each can cause long-term and short-term damage to your eyes and your vision. And while the sun is the daily risk when it comes to ultraviolet radiation, welding machines, tanning beds, and lasers can also produce UV rays.

Short-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation without wearing UV protection sunglasses will most likely cause short-term effects similar to a sunburn, but in your eye. Your eyes may be red and puffy and could feel gritty, like you have sand in them. You could be very sensitive to light and may suffer excessive tearing. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually only temporary. But if your eyes are exposed to long-term solar radiation, you stand a greater risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life.

What are UV Protection Sunglasses?

UV protection means blocking the ultraviolet light from reaching your eyes. Just as sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV damage, UV glasses block most of the ultraviolet rays reaching your eyes. It’s possible to block 99 percent to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays from reaching your delicate eyes and causing damage.

UV sunglasses, however, must offer both UV-A and UV-B protection to block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation. They should also block 75 percent to 90 percent of all visible light to maximize protection. Be cautious of buying sunglasses that are not UV-blocking glasses. The dark tint may allow your pupils to remain larger, exposing you to greater impacts from UV radiation.

Anybody who spends a lot of time outdoors should consider wearing wraparound UV glasses to cut down the amount of UV radiation that may enter the eyes from the periphery. And, it’s important not to forget children and teenagers. While it may be tempting to skimp on children’s UV sunglasses, don’t! Protecting children’s eyes is especially important because they spend so much time outdoors.

Does Polarization Mean UV Protection?

Some people get confused by the difference between the terms polarization or polarized sunglasses and UV sunglasses. They are not the same thing, even if some companies advertise them together. While most polarized lenses are also UV-blocking glasses, polarization by itself does not protect your eyes from UV radiation. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, “polarization is unrelated to UV protection, so you still need to ensure UV absorption of the lenses.”

The effects of a polarizing filter on the sky in a photograph. The picture on the right uses the filter.

Do Regular Glasses Have UV Protection?

UV protection may be applied to regular sunglasses. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says “UV coatings on prescription clear lenses are as effective as those on sunglasses.” The AAO points out that it is not the dark tint that blocks the UV radiation, but the UV coating that is applied. Also, the type of lens material matters. According to the AAO, polycarbonate lenses block ultraviolet radiation without any coating, but plastic lenses must have the coating added to be considered UV blocking glasses.

Make sure you buy sunglasses with UV protection or you’re risking eye problems later in life. And when you get regular prescription glasses, opt for the UV coating to better protect your eyes all the time.

Featured image: jase on Flickr

Is It OK to Wear Glasses All the Time?

Is it OK to wear glasses all the time? The internet is awash with claims that wearing eyeglasses will ruin your eyesight. Does this myth sound familiar? While many seem to believe that wearing corrective lenses will hurt your vision, it is just not true. The reality is that because you are used to seeing clearly with your glasses, it takes longer to adjust when you remove them. Also, because your vision deteriorates with age, your vision will continue to decline after you get prescription eyewear. This timing may make it seem like your eyewear is the cause. However, the vision problems are likely age-related and have nothing to do with how often you wear your glasses. You will not damage your vision by wearing eyeglasses, and your eyesight will not improve if you stop wearing them.

Is it OK to wear glasses all the time?

Should you remove your glasses throughout the day, or wear them all day long? That depends on why you wear them in the first place—you should follow your eye doctor’s recommendations on the matter. Since wearing glasses will not cause your vision to deteriorate, there is no reason to deal with blurry vision throughout the day. If you are more comfortable wearing your glasses all day, then do it. If you need them only for reading or driving, there may be no reason to wear them otherwise.

Wearing prescription glasses when you need them will prevent eye strain, headaches, blurry vision, and other discomfort, and anti-reflective and UV coatings will protect your eyes from the sun and glare. If you choose not to wear your glasses, you may experience eyestrain and spend your day squinting to see clearly.

Can I wear reading glasses all day?

A pair of nonprescription drugstore glasses may be helpful when you need to see for activities such as reading, sewing, gardening, and using your computer or phone, but if you notice you are using them more throughout the day it is time to visit an optometrist. Reading glasses are intended for occasional use, and while wearing reading glasses won’t permanently damage your eyes, an eye doctor will be able to provide you the appropriate vision correction for full-time use. Consider progressive or bifocal lenses to correct both up-close and distance vision.

When should I avoid wearing glasses?

If glasses help you see better while watching TV, driving, working, or for another activity, wear them. If you are comfortable, there is no reason you shouldn’t wear your glasses all the time—with a few exceptions.

Wearing Glasses While Sleeping

Of course you don’t need your glasses while sleeping since you’re closing your eyes. Still, here’s a friendly reminder that you should avoid falling asleep in your glasses. When bedtime comes around, put them in a case to prevent breaking or bending them.

Wearing Glasses Playing Sports

Glasses and sports don’t always mix. Prescription sunglasses may be better suited to some outdoor sports, and you should always use UV protective lenses while you’re out in the sun. Wearing regular prescription glasses while playing contact sports can be hazardous. You could bend or break your glasses or shatter your lenses, which could hurt your eyes. Glasses may slip or fog up, and may not perform well in glaring sun or lights. Protective eyewear, goggles, or rugged eyeglasses made for sports should be worn for activities like football, basketball, skiing, running, and biking.

Nor are glasses the best choice for swimming. Water splashing on the lenses is a hassle, losing your eyewear at the bottom of a lake is no good, and chlorine from pools can damage your glasses. If you can see to swim without them, your optometrist will thank you. If not, consider prescription goggles. Avoid wearing contact lenses when swimming—water trapped behind the lens could cause a bacterial infection.

Titmus SW 06E-SWRx

Wearing Glasses at Work

When you face eye hazards at work—such as flying wood, metal, dust, or other particles, the presence of chemicals, or exposure to bodily fluids—absolutely wear protective eyewear. This practice should extend to the home as well; wear safety glasses while working in your home wood shop, doing yard work, and engaging in activities where a foreign body or injury to the eye may occur.

Prescription eyeglasses usually don’t meet workplace standards for protective eyewear. Safety glasses have impact-resistant lenses and offer additional coverage. Wearing your safety glasses is imperative to prevent eye injury on the job, but clear vision is also necessary. If you need prescription eyeglasses and don’t wear contacts, choose prescription safety glasses, goggles, or safety glasses made to fit over your eyeglasses to best protect yourself.

Your glasses give you clearer vision and you can wear them all day without detriment, but there are times when it may be better to go without or to choose eyewear specific to your activity. While avoiding glasses on these occasions has nothing to do with prescription glasses ruining your vision, eye health and safety are definitely at stake. Choosing the appropriate eyewear in all circumstances will keep your eyes safe.

What Happens if You Wear Glasses When You Don’t Need Them?

Your friend has new eyeglasses, and curiosity has gotten the better of you. You’ve never needed glasses and you wonder what it’s like to wear them. But after trying on the flashy new specs, you feel disoriented, dizzy, or even get a headache. Your eyes have a difficult time focusing, even after you remove the glasses. It seemed harmless to wear your friend’s new prescription glasses, but now you wonder if you’ve damaged your eyesight. Can wearing glasses when you don’t need them, or wearing someone else’s prescription, ruin your vision?

You can relax. While wearing glasses when you don’t need them may cause discomfort, it won’t permanently damage your vision. Wearing glasses doesn’t change your eyesight—they won’t weaken your eyes or make them stronger. The appropriate strength lenses allow your eyes to focus to provide clearer vision only while you’re wearing them.

Should You Wear Glasses You Don’t Need?

Though you won’t damage your eyes by wearing someone else’s glasses, the wrong prescription—or even a new prescription in your own glasses—may cause headaches, eye strain, blurry vision, watery eyes, and dizziness. What causes these symptoms? Your eyes and brain ‘speak’ to each other, and wearing a pair of glasses made for someone else confuses the message sent to your brain. Your retina sees an image that is out of focus, blurry, and distorted as the correction isn’t appropriate for your eyes. Both your eyes and brain have to work harder, which causes eye strain and discomfort. The discomfort caused by wearing someone else’s prescription will ease soon after you remove the glasses.

Eyeglasses, whether prescribed or unprescribed, will not accelerate deterioration of your vision. Weakening vision is something that happens to all of us as we age, with or without corrective lenses. Likewise, you will not improve your eyes by wearing glasses. Glasses don’t change your eyes –  the lenses only bring the world into focus to allow you to see clearly while you are wearing them. You won’t make your vision better or worse as a result of wearing glasses.

Wearing glasses when you don’t need them will not damage your eyes, but there’s no reason you should be uncomfortable if you want make a statement with eyewear. If you want glasses for fashion rather than for vision correction, save yourself the headache and order your frames with plano, or non-prescription lenses.

Main image credit Matt Stratton on Flickr.

Are Contact Lens Prescriptions and Glasses Prescriptions the Same?

Are contact lens prescriptions and glasses prescriptions the same? In other words, can you use your glasses prescription to order contact lenses? The short answer is no, probably not. Glasses prescriptions and contacts prescriptions are not interchangeable.

Your eyeglasses prescription is not likely to be the same as your prescription for contact lenses. That means that even if you already have glasses, you will need a separate prescription for contact lenses. A current prescription is required by law for any retailer to sell you contact lenses, as many factors come together to determine your ideal contact lens prescription.

How do glasses and contact prescriptions differ?

A contact lens rests directly on your eye, while eyeglasses sit 10-12 millimeters away from your eyes. Glasses prescriptions take into consideration the distance from your eyes to the lenses. That means the same prescription would be too strong for contact lenses.

Your eye doctor will check for proper fit and prescribe contact lenses based on the size and shape of your eye. He will determine the base curve (BC), or shape of your cornea, and diameter (DIA), or size of the lens—measurements you would not find on a prescription for eyewear. If you have an astigmatism, your glasses lenses would be shaped to correct it, but contact lenses need to be properly fitted to ensure the appropriate correction.

A prescription for contacts also specifies a brand, as fit and material vary from brand to brand. A change in brand requires another visit to an optician to ensure the new lenses fit as they should.

Lens strength and measurements aren’t the only considerations. Contacts are not appropriate for everyone. Conditions such as dry eye, blepharitis, hard to fit eyes, or an uncommon prescription may cause damage or discomfort. Discuss contact use with your optometrist if you have any of those conditions.

What about online prescription calculators?

While online conversion tools are readily available, only professionals should use them. A prescription for contacts also expires after a year, while eyeglasses prescriptions can be valid for two years. Further, while eye doctors can convert glasses prescriptions to contact prescriptions, this practice doesn’t work in reverse.

If you are considering contact lenses, visit your optometrist for a contact lens consultation and fitting. Your eye doctor is required to provide you a prescription after a contact lens fitting so you may purchase your contact lenses online or through another retailer.

So, if you’re ready to switch out your frames for a pair of contact lenses, either part-time or full-time, head to the eye doctor’s office to figure out exactly what prescription will give you the best possible vision.

What’s the Difference between Miu Miu and Prada?

Prada and Miu Miu frames, along with over 100 brands, are currently 40% off at! Check out the full list of participating designers here.

Since both brands fall under the same umbrella, many wonder: what is the difference between Miu Miu and Prada?

Aside from the fact that both spring from the mind of fashion mastermind Miucci Prada, Miu Miu and Prada have very little in common. They come from entirely different schools of thought when it comes to design.

As Prada explains in 2015 interview with System Magazine:

“Designing for me is a very complex process. There are many ideas that I want to express in one object, very often contradictory. The creative process in Miu Miu is completely different from that of Prada. Rather than being young, Miu Miu is immediate. Prada is very sophisticated and considered; Miu Miu is much more naïve. The solution, when I am working on Miu Miu, has to come immediately, instinctively, spontaneously with whatever is available at the moment. If I think three times, I stop.”

In other words, the difference between Prada and Miu Miu is the difference between a stand up routine and improv.

The difference between a flight you booked a month ago and a drive to the beach you decided on five minutes ago.

The difference between Instagram and SnapChat.

It’s the difference between an opera that took years to write, and a brilliant idea that sprang into your head without warning (it’s happened: J.K. Rowling said that the character of Harry Potter jumped into her mind while she was riding a train).

You can see this philosophy reflected in their eyewear as well.

Look through their catalogs and you’ll see bold, risk-taking, artful flourishes in the Miu Mius. Had they gone through a design committee, some of the more eccentric touches may have been edited out. As they stand, they have a pure, impulsive and exuberant feel.

The Pradas, meanwhile, are more thoughtful and deliberate: carefully constructed with a softer aesthetic. Not quite as shocking, but just as stunning.

Here’s some examples of both Prada and Miu Miu glasses so you can see for yourself.

Miu Miu Eyewear:

 Miu Miu MU 02SS

MU 04RS MU 04SS New! MU 06SS  MU 51QV  New! MU 54SS

Prada Eyewear:

  PR 03UV PR 09QS PR 10TS  PR 27NS  PR 51SSPR 65TS



Both totally different approaches for different tastes.

We can see a big difference between Miu Miu and Prada. Which one do you prefer?

And don’t forget: all these frames are 40% off at FramesDirect! Prescription lenses are also 50% off.

Why Do My Eyes Hurt While Wearing Glasses?

Your eyeglasses prescription is supposed to help you see the world clearly, but when wearing glasses makes your eyes hurt it seems as though the tradeoff isn’t worth it. Why do your eyes hurt while wearing glasses? A few things could be causing this problem, and there are many easy solutions to help reduce eye strain caused by wearing glasses.

Check your eyeglasses prescription

If you are experiencing eye fatigue, pain, or headaches, and your prescription has been around a while, it’s time for an eye exam. Your optometrist can check your vision, and make adjustments to your prescription as necessary. She may also discover a misaligned lens or improper fit, which could be to blame for eye strain.Hypertropia: A Vertical Misalignment of the Eye

Alternatively, a new prescription has a slight transition period. You may need 24-48 hours to adjust to a new prescription, especially if it is a large change from your previous lenses. While resting your eyes by removing your glasses may help with discomfort as you adapt to your new prescription, you should wear your eyeglasses as your optometrist has prescribed. If you are repeatedly removing your glasses, your eyes and brain must work harder and it will take longer to adjust. If you are still experiencing problems after a week of regular wear, contact your eye doctor to check your prescription and make sure the lenses are accurate.

Check your glasses fit

There is more to wearing glasses comfortably than just your prescription. Heavy frames or improperly fitted eyeglasses may put pressure on your nose or sides of your head, causing discomfort. Loose frames may slip down your nose or rest in the wrong place, so your eyes have to work harder to compensate. Your lenses may have slipped in the frame. The wrong frame shape could be causing your pain. The same goes for glasses that are too close or too far away from your eyes. An optician can ensure your glasses fit properly.

Consider a lens coating

Spending a significant amount of time looking at a screen or reading may cause your eyes and head to hurt. Focus on an object in the distance regularly to give your eyes a chance to rest. Digital light protection can be added to your lenses to reduce the harmful blue light produced by a computer screen.

Looking through old, scratched lenses may cause eye discomfort, so replace lenses as necessary. Consider lenses with an anti-glare coating to lessen eye strain. An anti-glare, or anti-reflective, coating reduces the amount of light that reflects off the front and back of your lenses. This lets more more light pass through to your eyes. It also allows for better visual acuity, or sharper vision.

Vision concerns

Your eye doctor can address dry eye, a common complaint and cause of discomfort. Drops may alleviate dry eye irritation, but consult your optometrist for additional recommendations.

Calisthenics for the Eyes to Maintain Vision

Presbyopia, a normal condition that occurs with age, may be the cause of eye pain for individuals over 40. Difficulty focusing or reading small print and subsequent eye strain occurs when the lens of the eye becomes less elastic. You may want to switch to progressive lenses.

Consult your eye doctor to rule out more serious concerns if your change in vision or discomfort is sudden.

Eyeglasses are supposed to make your vision clearer and more comfortable. If they seem to be doing the opposite, these tips should point you in the right direction. Even if you are not experiencing discomfort, visit your eye doctor annually to discover and correct vision problems.

Are Non-Prescription Glasses Safe?

As we age we may find it more difficult to make out smaller print or fine details; many often joke about needing longer arms as they stretch to read a book. Changes in the eye due to presbyopia make it harder for eyes to focus, and it happens to all of us beginning around the age of 40. If you can’t see your crossword puzzle as clearly as you used to, a little magnification may be all you need. Inexpensive reading glasses may be tempting, but are non-prescription glasses safe? Will you damage your eyesight if you use a pair of glasses without the okay from your optometrist?

How do reading glasses work?

Reading glasses offer magnification in lens powers from +1.00 to +3.00. Non-prescription glasses are used for focusing on close-up work such as reading, computer or smartphone use, or even outdoor hobbies. Both lenses offer the same strength and do not provide correction for astigmatism or other vision conditions. These lenses only magnify, making it easier to focus on text or other details. While over-the-counter readers are available without a visit to the eye doctor, bifocals or progressive lenses may be a better option if you already wear prescription glasses.

Will reading glasses damage eyesight?

Non-prescription glasses will not damage your eyesight or change the structure of your eyes. Glasses lenses work by bending light to help your eyes focus. An incorrect lens strength may cause symptoms of eye strain such as dry or watery eyes, sore eyes, headaches, or sore neck and back. The good news is that  the symptoms go away after you remove the offending lens. When you’ve found the appropriate strength, the magnification offered may be enough to make reading or close-up work more comfortable.

How do I choose reading glasses strength?

Consider the activity for which you will wear the non-prescription glasses when choosing your lens strength. Different strengths may be necessary for reading than for using your computer or gardening. You may want a pair of readers in one power for your morning newspaper, and a pair for the golf course in another.

The racks of reading glasses at discount stores can help determine your correct power. Try on some drug store readers and look at a magazine; the glasses are too strong if you find yourself holding it unnaturally close. You can also use your age to get a ballpark number. If you are in your 40s, start with a +1.00 to +1.25, and then add half a unit for every decade older you get.

While cheap reading glasses will give you an idea of what lens strength you may need, the power may not be consistent from pair to pair. The glasses at the drugstore are inexpensive, which means you sacrifice quality. The designer reading glasses at are made to look better and last longer.

Can anyone use reading glasses?

While one of the diopters, or strengths, found in reading glasses will work for most people, many people have one eye that is stronger than the other or may require additional vision correction for conditions such as astigmatism. You may also find the optics in the ready-made readers are not centered for your pupil measurement. Even if reading glasses work for occasional use, visiting your eye doctor for a regular check-up is still recommended. If you find you’re wearing your reading glasses more and more throughout the day, an optometrist can provide an option that best suits your needs.

Can I wear glasses if I don’t need them?

Gone are the days of hiding your eyewear; glasses have made the jump from annoying requirement to chic fashion accessory. If you don’t need glasses but want to wear them anyway, reading glasses—even weak ones—may cause eyestrain and discomfort. If you want glasses solely for the style factor, request plano lenses, or lenses without correction. While you may not need glasses to see better, there are benefits to wearing ‘fake’ glasses. Non-prescription lenses can include an anti-reflective (AR) coating that reduces symptoms of eye strain and deflects harmful blue light, and an anti-UV coating can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

While regular trips to your eye doctor might seem like a hassle, they can solve problems as they arise. Non-prescription readers may be helpful as a backup pair or for occasional use. However, you should consult your optometrist if you experience eye strain or worsening vision. Whether you choose readers or prescription glasses, flaunt your fabulous frames (and give your arms a rest).