How do I Choose the Best Prescription Sunglasses?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Prescription sunglasses come in a variety of styles.
Prescription sunglasses come in a variety of styles.

Prescription sunglasses come in three basic forms, and people may be attracted to any of the three for a number of reasons. There is really no best choice for each individual, and it’s more about determining needs, trying on, thinking about extra features, deciding if price is an issue and then making a decision. Knowing what’s available can help people along the path to choosing the best prescription sunglasses for them.

A pair of prescription polarized sunglasses.
A pair of prescription polarized sunglasses.

One of the three most common options in prescription sunglasses is regular glasses that have a clip-on sunglass feature. These are often sold with the glasses so that they perfectly match the size of the glasses, and there are a number of relatively inexpensive and attractive styles that may be fully serviceable. Another choice is to purchases glasses that darken in the sun, and some people really like these lenses because they don’t have to bother with using two different sets of glasses. Others feel these don’t get dark enough, and they may vary as to the amount of UV protection they provide.

A pair of prescription sunglasses.
A pair of prescription sunglasses.

Another option is to purchase prescription sunglasses that are made to a person’s individual eye prescription. As with the two other choices, these might have different UVA and UVB protection levels, and people might want to consult with their eye doctor about recommendations on the proper strengths to buy. Higher levels of protection are usually pricier.

Consult with an optometrist when deciding which glasses are best for you.
Consult with an optometrist when deciding which glasses are best for you.

Clearly, with any of these choices, people want a good-looking frame. This means it’s worthwhile to plan to spend some time trying on glasses at the local optometrist or an eyeglass store. Many people do this when they have an eye examination, but it’s suggested if that exam will include eye dilation, people save the shopping for another day when their vision is not impaired. People do keep their glasses for a while, so it’s definitely worth taking some time to make a flattering choice. To extend life and fashionability of choice, stick to glasses with simple and classic designs that won’t become outdated in a year or two.

At the same time frames and lenses are selected, it’s a good idea to consider extra features. These include the UV ray protection of glasses or whether they darken, but it also might include things like sporty features that keep frames from breaking or extra coatings that might protect the prescription sunglasses from more weather exposure. Sometimes paying for protective coating extends the life of the glasses.

Cost is another thing to consider when choosing prescription sunglasses. Sometimes stores that sell lots of lenses and frames have discounts, and people can usually find glasses in an acceptable price range. If really short on money, consider clip-on lenses with current glasses, to be spared the expense of paying for more prescription lenses. For the thrifty, probably the least expensive option is to purchase the type of prescription eyeglasses that have clip-on sunshades as a feature.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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    • Prescription sunglasses come in a variety of styles.
      Prescription sunglasses come in a variety of styles.
    • A pair of prescription polarized sunglasses.
      A pair of prescription polarized sunglasses.
    • A pair of prescription sunglasses.
      A pair of prescription sunglasses.
    • Consult with an optometrist when deciding which glasses are best for you.
      Consult with an optometrist when deciding which glasses are best for you.