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Best glasses and sunglasses for cataracts

woman with cataracts wearing sunglasses for cataracts

With an eye condition such as cataract, it is critical to protect your eyes from harmful bright lights and other various discomforts that may cause stress on your vision. Symptoms of cataracts can also disrupt your quality of vision, from blurriness and light sensitivity to experiencing glare or seeing yellow tints.

While eyeglasses and sunglasses do not have the power to treat cataracts, they can treat the blurriness and discomfort associated with the condition. Some features of cataract sunglasses can even help prevent the condition from worsening.

The following recommendations can help guide you in your decision when selecting a new pair of glasses or sunglasses to treat the symptoms of your cataract(s). These recommendations may be helpful to you, whether or not you’ve had special cataract treatment or undergone cataract surgery.

Cataract sunglasses

Protection from the sun is important for everyone’s vision — especially for those with cataracts. Sunlight can cause even more damage to eyes and worsen the side effects of cataracts. Fortunately, there are some sunglasses that are designed to help with this. 

Note: The following protective features are recommended whether you have had cataract surgery or not.

Ultraviolet (UV) protection

For the best protection from the sun, make sure the label or online description for your sunglasses states that they provide 99-100% UV protection against UVA and UVB, or 100% protection against UV 400. 

Polarized lenses

Polarization can reduce the intense glare projected by surfaces like water and pavement. This feature is especially beneficial for those who live an active lifestyle, and even for everyday activities such as driving. 

Wraparound frames

Most sunglasses protect the front of your eyes, but it’s important to remember that sunlight can enter the sides of your eyes, too. With wraparound frames, sunlight is blocked from all entry points, giving your eyes full protection. 

Best cataract sunglasses

With many models of cataract sunglasses to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the best pair for you. Some of the highest rated cataract sunglasses, all of which are designed to fit over prescription eyeglasses include:

  • Optix 55 HD day/night driving glasses: These frames are popular thanks to the comfort and anti-glare clarity they offer, especially for activities such as driving.

  • LensCovers sunglasses: These frames are polarized, offer 100% UV protection, and come in a variety of sizes and colors.

  • Yodo sunglasses: These sunglasses are rated highly for cataracts, as well as for sports. They are polarized and include 100% UV protection as well.

These particular frames are also designed to prevent light from entering the sides of your eyes.

SEE RELATED: Best sunglass options after cataract surgery

Cataract glasses

If a cataract is a primary concern for your vision, it should be treated quickly and appropriately. Though glasses cannot prevent or treat cataracts on their own, many lenses have the technology to prevent the condition from worsening.

Anti-reflective lenses

Light sensitivity is a major concern for many cataract patients, which makes anti-reflective lenses beneficial. These lenses have the technology to prevent extra light from entering through the lenses, combatting some of the discomfort from brightness before it begins.

Blue light protection

Eye strain is a common irritation for those with cataracts. When you use a computer or digital screen, you expose your eyes to harmful blue light that is emitted from the screen, which can cause digital eye strain.

Blue light protection can be added to your eyeglass lenses to lessen any discomfort and help prevent long-term effects of digital eye strain.

Photochromic lenses

Photochromic lenses automatically darken when they are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is another benefit for those who experience light sensitivity. Some photochromic lenses can also block blue light to an extent.

Note: If your condition worsens enough over time — to the point where a new prescription won’t help — your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. Should this be the case, be sure to take protective measures for your condition after surgery as well. 

Based on personal vision needs, some may opt for reading glasses or other special lenses like the ones listed above after surgery.

Best cataract glasses

So what are the best glasses for cataracts? Again, it’s important to remember that cataracts cannot be cured with eyeglasses — but they can temporarily help correct the blurriness and other impacts on vision that are associated with the condition.

Depending on your personal vision, some eyeglasses may serve you better than others. Discuss your symptoms with your eye doctor in order to determine which style of glasses will best help you.

Are glasses still needed after cataract surgery?

The vast majority of cataract patients will see a significant improvement after surgery, but some may still need corrective lenses to see with full clarity. This depends on the type of artificial lens implanted during your cataract surgery, in addition to your personal vision needs.

Should you still require vision correction, your eye doctor or cataract surgeon will be able to recommend the best glasses/sunglasses features (likely including one or two from the lists above), as well as the recommended power for your lenses after surgery. 

Can you wear old prescription glasses after cataract surgery? Many patients choose not to wear their old glasses after cataract surgery, simply because of the improvement in their vision. You will not harm your eyes by wearing your old frames — it simply may not be necessary. 

How to get cataract glasses

Ultimately, your eye doctor will be able to recommend the best product for your individual condition, based on your medical history and your general lifestyle, as well as whether or not you have had cataract extraction surgery.

After discussing your needs with your eye doctor, and weighing the pros and cons among features, we’re confident that you’ll find a great pair of eyewear to help treat the side effects of cataracts, before and/or after surgery.

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