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

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.

The Story Behind the Wayfarer: Ray-Ban’s Most Rebellious Frames

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is one of the most iconic pieces of eyewear of all time. You may not know the name, but you know the look.

Since 1937, Ray-Ban has been a leading manufacturer of premium American eyewear. One of their earlier designs – The Aviator – put them on the map. Aviators were designed specifically for pilots who had trouble seeing focusing their eyes due to the ultra bright blue and white hues of the sky. The design took off.

Then in 1952, Ray-Ban had its second big hit with the Wayfarers. The inspiration came from two unexpected sources: the Eames lounge chair and tailfins from the classic Cadillac design.

An odd mix, sure, but the result is a stunning piece of American fashion that’s endured for decades.

At a time when most glasses were metal, these were made of plastic, and the temples had a distinctive flared angle. Designs like this may seem standard to our eyes today, but half a century ago, these were revolutionary.

‘Unstable Dangerousness’

As 1970s fashion critic Stephen Bayley puts it, the Wayfarers “spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness.”

When movie star bad boy James Dean was seen wearing Wayfarers, it cemented the frames as a symbol of rebellion.

Other stars followed soon suit.Audrey Hepburn could be seen sporting the specs, followed by Cary Grant, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe. It wasn’t just actors: artists and musicians like John Lennon, Andy Warhol, and Bob Dylan all embraced the defiant, radical spirit of the Wayfarers.

Of course, seeing every major icon of the ‘50s and ‘60s sporting these had a tremendous impact on sales. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. It wasn’t until the 1980s when then Wayfarers came thundering back into the public eye.

 

The 80s Resurgence

Ray-Ban made a product placement deal in 1981 that put Wayfarers onscreen over 60 times in movies and TV shows. After Tom Cruise paired Wayfarers with tighty whities in Risky Business, sales skyrocketed. Viewers saw them on Don Johnson in Miami Vice, on Bruce Willis in Moonlighting, and on Tom Cruise again in Top Gun.

Almost every major musician of the ‘80s wore them at concerts: Michael Jackson, Madonna, U2, Billy Joel, Queen… the list goes on!

And they’re still going strong. James Franco, who once played James Dean in a TV movie early in his career, can be seen wearing the specs some 50 years after Dean rebelled without a cause. Celebs like Johnny Depp, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johanson, Bruno Mars, Joe Jonas and Robert Pattinson avoid the paparazzi in the distinctive Wayfarer frames.

Are You a Wayfarer?

Ray-Ban Wayfarers have unquestionably survived the test of time, remaining a top seller a half decade after their premier.

Wayfarers look stunning on oval-shaped or round faces, and the design is perfect for males and females.

 

This is the perfect time to get your your own pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer eyeglasses and save big at FramesDirect.com. Click here to get some of your own.

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9 Bold & Stylish Glasses Guaranteed to Make an Impression

You’re not looking for “boring.” You don’t want “standard”.

You deserve better than “ordinary.”

You want frames that match your unconventional spirit. Here are 9 daring, inspiring and stylish glasses that you won’t soon forget.

Best of all, all of these frames are currently 40% off at FramesDirect.com, along with eyewear from over 100 premium brands. Prescription lenses are also 50% off! Click here to see the full list of participating designers and brands.

Carrera CA1008/S Sunglasses

With a retrofuturistic design and color scheme, these eye-popping Carerras are sure to stand out from the crowd.

Caviar 5611 Champagne

As the name implies, the breathtaking Champagne frames from Caviar are the definition of elegance, grace, and sophistication. Pure class.

Dolce & Gabbana DG 1287

Dolce & Gabbana delivers a stunning silhouette as always, but what really sets these frames apart is the intricate webbing detail in the temples.

Kate Spade Amara/S Sunglasses

Easily the most understated look on this list, the design is striking nevertheless. The black accent atop the clear frame perfectly mirrors the shape of the temple, creating a timeless, satisfying look.

Marc Jacobs Marc 16/S Sunglasses

That classic circle shape with the cat-ear accent. Those beaded details. The way it adds drama and an upward accent to any woman’s face. Perfection.

Miu Miu MU 54SS Sunglasses

Speaking of drama… Miu Miu took sunglasses and made them a work of art. If Audrey Hepburn made Breakfast at Tiffany’s today, she’d be rocking these. Available with an extra-protective mirror coating.

Prada PR 07TS Sunglasses

The best fashion brings you joy just by looking at it. These playful curlicues and fearless accents bring a smile to anyone who sees you wearing these.

Roberto Cavalli RC1024 (CARDUCCI) Sunglasses

Can you tell that Italian designer Roberto Cavalli started his career as an artist? The whimsical flourishes he brings to these frames are daring and experimental, and the result? Class, sophistication, and artistry.

Tommy Hilfiger TH1481 Eyeglasses

Simple concept, stunning execution. There’s a good chance you know someone who’s style perfectly matches this classic, black and white, Tim Burton meets Daria aesthetic. Maybe it’s you.

Is it time for a fresh new pair of specs? Any of the above frames will add grace, beauty and confidence to your look!

Act now to get any of the above (plus eyewear from over 100 top designers and brands) at a staggering 40% off. Plus, you can add prescription lenses for 50% off!

I have to warn you, this is a temporary offer… the page linked below might be down already.

Click here to see all the participating brands and designers.

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golden globes 2017

Golden Globes 2017 Eyewear Edition: Glasses of the Stars

The stars came out in droves for the 2017 Golden Globes awards ceremony last night. All eyes were on the red carpet, checking which celebrities brought their A-game. While La La Land was the clear winner, the film Moonlight and the television show Atlanta were on everyone’s lips as they collected the accolades. The audience was also filled with excitement when Brad Pitt took the stage to present.

But the big moment of the night went to Meryl Streep, the recipient of this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award. Streep is regarded as one of the finest actresses in the film industry. She used her platform of recognition last night to address political concerns and issue a call-to-action for artists and journalists. Always the epitome of class, Streep looked regal in a black gown with bejeweled applique and, of course, a pair of glasses.

Lulu Guinness L750 Eyeglasses

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If you’re in the market for a coppery, semi-rimless, cat-eye frame like Meryl’s we’ve come up with a few options that fit the bill. The Lulu Guinness L750 eyeglasses are comparable. And this Vera Wang pair (Caitlin) are also similar. But you can take this look to the next level, with Lafont Indigo frames, a true style statement.

Billy Bob Thorton accepted the trophy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Drama) for his performance in the Amazon Original Series Goliath wearing sunglasses that look a lot like the Ray-Ban Clubround.

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And Steve Carell, along with Kristen Wiig, introduced the films nominated for best animated feature film. While handing out the award to Zootopia, Carell wore some interesting two-tone acetate frames that gave his look a retro twist. You too can be quirky-cool like Steve in these Shuron Sidewinder eyeglasses. Choose the “Black Fade” option or the popular “Crystal” clear version to take part in this throwback trend.

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Prada, Michael Kors, Persol, and Tory Burch Caught on Film

Here at FramesDirect.com we sell the highest quality designer glasses from the most fashionably aspirational brands.  Four of our favorite brands got the Hollywood treatment when we created some imaginative video vignettes. These original narratives speak to the unique brand stories of Tory Burch, Persol, Michael Kors, and Prada eyeglasses and sunglasses.

First up, a ton of Tory Burch sunglasses go on vacation to the Hamptons. We find our Tory Burch fanatic trying to pack her suitcase for the weekend (wearing a gorgeous Tory Burch shift dress), but there’s not quite enough room for every style that she wants to squeeze in. Do you think she will sacrifice her books and bottle of wine for a wardrobe of sunnies? Watch the video to find out!

If you’re not already familiar with the Persol brand of eyewear, this is a beautiful introduction. These hand crafted, Italian frames are perfect for the man who is passionate, creative, and discerning – just like the artist in the video. Watch as he gets inspired to create a colorful mural while wearing 3 different sophisticated spectacles.

Michael Kors is a beloved American sportswear brand whose designer has also become a famous personality due to guest appearances on Project Runway. Much like the contestants on that show, in our video a fashion designer is experiencing a creative block. That is, until some Michael Kors sunglasses become the pièce de résistance of her design.

Finally, we have Prada – the final word in chic eyewear. A brainy yet fashion-forward pair of scientists are working in the lab when the equations on the wipe board create a surprising pattern. Can a love of fashion lead to chemistry? Anything is possible.

We had a great time on set creating these videos. Thanks to the team at Sparksight, here in Austin, TX, who turn fashion dreams into reality.

 

high index lenses

#FDAnswers: I have a strong prescription. What lenses do I need?

Full disclosure, this post is personal. I have terrible vision. I started wearing glasses when I was about 8 years old. By the time I was 11, I was begging my Mom for contact lenses. This was in the 80’s when high school girls and secretaries in movies would take their glasses off and suddenly be transformed from invisible to gorgeous. Glasses were not pretty – that’s the message I received loud and clear. Thus began a lifelong struggle with glasses, I would only wear them at home, if at all, never in public, and half the time I fell asleep with my contact lenses on. Even as the decades passed and glasses became the fashion accessory du jour, I couldn’t enjoy them. Why? Because my vision is so bad my lenses looked like the proverbial coke bottles, and turned my eyes into blinking little beads.

So that brings us to today. My prescription is -8 in my right eye and -11 in my left. I can’t see ANYTHING without glasses or contacts, but I have found a way to wear my glasses without feeling completely self conscious – three words: High Index Lenses. If your prescription is crazy high like mine, you should get the thinnest possible lens, which is the High Index 1.74. Anything +/- 6 you definitively need them. Another trick I’ve learned is to ask for no edge polish. When your lenses are VERY thick, polished edges call even more attention to them.

Here’s one of our expert opticians, Amanda, talking about the benefits of High Index 1.74 lenses.

 

If your prescription is between +/- 2 and 6, you could get the High Index 1.67 lenses. The 1.74 are the thinnest, but they aren’t available with tinting or progressives, so you may need the 1.67 if you’re looking for those add-ons. The other varieties of lenses – plastic and polycarbonate – aren’t great if you have a prescription that’s +/- 3. High Index lenses are a bit more expensive but well worth avoiding the coke bottle look!

All our high index lenses come with scratch resistant and UV coatings for no additional cost. You can learn more about all the lens types we offer at FramesDirect.com here.

Also see How Do Glasses Work?

Adult Styles in Kid Friendly Sizes: Changes in Kids Eyewear

2015-07-21_11-20-49The eyewear pictured below isn’t for adults, it’s for kids! Today, large eyewear companies like Lilly Pulitzer, Penguin, and Ray-Ban have begun creating kids eyewear. These new eyeglasses and sunglasses are not traditional kid glasses, but smaller version of adult bestsellers to ensure that your kids will love them, and more importantly, wear them.

Symptoms from not wearing glasses are headaches, blurry vision, and fatigue. This affects grades in school and confidence levels in extracurricular activities. Its important to pick out a pair of glasses that your kids will love and will want to wear everyday. A pair that is comfortable, durable, and trendy.

bannerMore and more children, preteens, and teens are demanding more “adult” looking frames that remind them of what they see on their parents, and what they see on TV. Traditionally, kids glasses were styled as, well, “kids” glasses. They featured cartoon characters with over the top patterns and colors. But, as more teens and preteens start wearing glasses, demand for more fashion forward options has emerged.

Today, tops brands are simply creating kid-sized versions of their most popular, adult glasses. Now, teens and preteens can wear the same frames as their favorite TV stars and musicians (which means they will actually wear their glasses). This school year, make sure you get your child their annual eye exam, and make sure to get them a pair of frames they’ll love!

Here are some awesome, trendy children’s eyewear options you can find on FramesDirect.com

 

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Why Do I Need Reading Glasses?

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Reading glasses are an inevitability for most people, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the $10 pair from the drug store with cheap lenses and little beads hanging off the temples…

It’s going to happen to everyone and you can’t fight it but that doesn’t mean that you have to get a boring pair from the drugstore down the street! Reading glasses (or readers) are a pair of glasses that help with close vision for activities like reading. Today many different, designer brands have been making stylish reading glasses that are cost effective, and for those who are not ready for bifocals.

Who needs reading glasses?

Deteriorating close vision is a symptom of an extremely common condition called Presbyopia. There is no treatment for Presbyopia because it is a natural phenomena that happens to our eyes as we get older. When we reach our forties, the lenses in our eyes start becoming less malleable, and it becomes more difficult for them to easily bend into the correct shape for up close vision. That means that activities like reading and driving can become more difficult. This is when adults in their forties begin to hold up books and menus at arms length to read them!

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Why don’t I just get bifocals?

Bifocal lenses are for people who need help with both far and near vision. The line on bifocal lenses can also be difficult to get used to. Bifocals can cost up to double what reading glasses do. Progressive lenses (which are like bifocals, but without an annoying line) can cost even more. If you are looking for a solution for just close vision, reading glasses are your best bet! Reading glasses come in six, generic powers that fit a majority of people (+1.00, +1.50, +1.75, +2.00, +2.25, +2.50, +3.00).

But reading glasses are ugly!

But they don’t have to be! Certain brands such as Private Eyes Readers and Corinne McCormack make beautiful readers that are fashion forward, professional, and not too expensive. If you need sunglasses, well-known sunglasses brands like Costa and Maui Jim make Costa C-Mates and Maui Jim Readers, which still have the style and innovation that is associated with the Costa and Maui Jim names, but at a more affordable cost!
More questions about reading glasses? Check out these awesome reading glasses below and our reading glasses page at FramesDirect.com!!

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