11 reasons you might need prescription sunglasses

man trying on prescription sunglasses in optical store

What’s not to like about sunglasses? They’re the international symbol of summer, and their ability to reduce sunlight can be just as important as the style they add to our daily lives.

Customize them with your personal vision prescription and they’re even more worthwhile.

From UV protection to convenience, the following are a few reasons you might want to add a new pair of prescription sunglasses to your collection:

Top 11 reasons to buy prescription sunglasses

1. You want to protect your eyes

Sunglasses block the ultraviolet rays, a harmful form of radiation emitted by the sun. Just make sure you get 100% UV-blocking shades, also called UV 400 sunglasses, for maximum protection.

Beyond UV rays, sunglasses can shield your eyes from debris like sand, dust and other irritating particles. Sunglasses won’t block 100% of these particles, but they will protect your eyes from many of them.

And speaking of UV rays… 

2. The sun is always out — or not

Protecting your eyes is crucial when the sun is shining, but even if the sky is overcast, it’s important to remember UV rays are still a threat to your eye health. As many as 90% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, especially when cloud cover is thin or patchy.

SEE RELATED: 5 reasons you should wear sunglasses in winter

3. You’re tired of wearing sunglasses over your glasses

Without prescription sunglasses, it can be tempting to grab plastic shades from the junk drawer and wrestle them over your eyeglasses. Prescription sunglasses let you ditch this short-term fix and go back to sporting one pair of eyewear at a time: eyeglasses at home and work and sunglasses outside.

4. You’ve had your old pair for a decade (or two)

Style trends come and go, and if fashion isn’t one of your top priorities, you probably aren’t concerned about keeping up with the latest fad. Something that’s harder to ignore over time is your changing vision.

If you’ve noticed any changes to your eyesight, including blurriness or strain, an outdated prescription could be the culprit. Maintaining an up-to-date glasses prescription — even if you don’t get new frames to go with your new lenses — and getting an annual eye exam is especially important if you’re over 40.

WHEN WAS YOUR LAST EYE EXAM? If you don't remember, it's time to find an eye doctor near you and make an appointment.

5. You want an active alternative

Sure, those metal aviators go well with business casual, but they might not cooperate with your morning jog around the block. Upgrading to a pair of impact-resistant performance sports sunglasses can add comfort and protection to exercise or physical activity. 

6. You’re prepared to polarize

Many prescription sunglasses are available with polarized lenses, which are great at reducing glare and improving visual clarity. They go hand in hand with daytime driving and outdoor activities like fishing and kayaking.

7. You’re nearsighted and wear glasses sparingly

Prescription sunglasses are especially useful if you have trouble seeing objects in the distance. If you’re nearsighted, also known as myopia, and tend not to wear glasses while you’re reading, working or getting things done around the house, prescription sunglasses can bridge the gap once you’re outside on a sunny day.

8. You want to upgrade your lenses

Glasses wearers with basic prescription lenses might be interested in trying other lens features. Common upgrades include different levels of anti-scratch and anti-reflective coating, polarization and mirrored finish, and progressive lenses for presbyopia.

CONVINCED IT'S TIME TO GET PRESCRIPTION SHADES? Shop for prescription sunglasses at an optical store near you or at an online eyewear retailer.

9. You want more contact lens “skip” days

Some days you just don’t feel like wearing your contact lenses. Owning prescription sunglasses means you can give your eyes a break once in a while, and still have ample sun protection.

10. Clip-on shades aren’t working for you

Clip-on sunglasses can be great when they work, but if they don’t fit just right, clip-ons can be frustrating, clunky and still leave your eyes exposed to sunlight. A separate pair of prescription sunglasses makes fidgeting with clip-ons a thing of the past.

11. You’re paranoid not having a backup pair

Having backup when you need it is ideal for a lot of things in life, whether you’re talking about plans, photos, important documents … or sunglasses.

No matter how many times you’ve lost or broken your sunglasses, it’s hard to understand how crucial a backup pair is until you need it. And that’s doubly important during vacations and important events.

READ NEXT: How many pairs of sunglasses do you need? Meet some people who have way more than one pair of sunglasses.

CONVINCED IT'S TIME TO GET PRESCRIPTION SHADES? Shop for prescription sunglasses at an optical store near you or at an online eyewear retailer.

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