If you wear glasses, you’re probably thankful that they help you see clearly. But what else can your glasses do for you? Some eyewear goes above and beyond the call of clear vision, supporting and protecting your eyes and vision in innovative ways.
Today’s performance eyewear offers a wide array of features and benefits to help you see clearly and live fully every day of the year. Here are our five favorite features for frames and lenses that enhance and protect your vision:
- Ultraviolet (UV) Protection
One of the most basic and important ways glasses can help support your eyes is by providing UV protection. Without this feature, exposure to UV rays can put you at risk for potential eye problems both in the short term as well as the long run.
Do you often spend days at the beach or on the water without proper UV protection for your eyes? Such exposure to UV rays can lead to corneal sunburn. Also known as photokeratitis, corneal sunburn can be extremely painful and may cause temporary vision loss.
For those who work outdoors or spend most days outside, UV ray exposure can eventually cause a growth called pterygium—or surfer’s eye. It’s a pink, fleshy growth on the white part of your eye.
Ultraviolet light exposure over your lifetime can even lead to macular degeneration, a primary cause of vision loss for older adults, and cataracts.
The solution? Be sure that your lenses block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB rays, and wear them year-round—yes, even on cloudy days. You’ll look cool and your eyes will thank you.
Considering a new pair of shades? Ask about the benefits of polarization. In these specialized lenses, an invisible filter is added to reduce glare. By preventing reflected light from entering the eyes, visual clarity and comfort are improved.
Polarization can neutralize the harsh glare of sunlight reflecting off of water, snow, or even a flat road, which has been known to temporarily blind drivers and result in accidents.
Fortunately, polarized lenses eliminate glare and are available for both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses.
- Anti-reflective lenses
While polarized lenses filter out reflected light in sunglasses, anti-reflective lenses offer a similar result for regular glasses. This feature reduces distraction and eye strain.
By eliminating reflection from both the front and back of your lenses, anti-reflection treatments allow more light to pass through your lenses and enter the eyes. This reduced level of reflection enhances visual acuity and, as an added benefit, anti-reflective lenses are also nearly invisible to the naked eye and in flash photos. The reduced glare often results in improved night driving because the glare from streetlights and oncoming headlights is neutralized.
- Scratch-resistant coatings
Everyone who wears glasses knows it can be difficult to keep your glasses pristine so you can see your best. Whether you knock them off accidentally, drop them on a hard surface, or they fall between the seats of your car, glasses are prone to scratches. So, a convenient performance feature you can add to lenses is a scratch-resistant coating that protects them in these common scenarios.
- Impact Resistant: Polycarbonate frames and lenses
Gone are the days of shattered lenses and broken frames when you choose the impact-resistant properties of polycarbonate.
Originally designed for use on fighter planes, polycarbonate hit the consumer market in the 1980s. With 100% UV protection and nearly ten times the impact resistance of plastic or glass, the material was quickly adopted as a safe, durable, lightweight alternative. Polycarbonate has been the gold standard for impact-resistant eyewear ever since.
The durability of polycarbonate makes it an ideal choice for those working in hazardous job conditions. And there’s another segment of the population who are great candidates for these frames and lenses: Your kids! Whether they’re climbing the jungle gym or playing sports, polycarbonate is the ideal material to hold up against your child’s active lifestyle and tendency to drop their glasses during play. For the same reason, sports goggles are often made from polycarbonate, too.
Glasses are a daily accessory, so be sure you have a pair that accents your lifestyle while delivering performance that enhances your vision. If you’re not sure whether your current lenses include these features, or you’d like to get a pair that does, we’re happy to help!