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Choosing Prescription Sunglasses – A Buyers Guide

Summer is here, and the sun is shining bright. While you are planning your vacation and outdoor activities enjoying the sunshine, it’s essential to make sure you have proper eye protection to protect against the harmful UV Rays.

At Dittman Eyecare, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best prescription sunglass to meet your needs.

Why Do I Need to Wear Prescription Sunglasses?

If you can’t wear contacts and already use prescription sunglasses, then prescription sunglasses are an excellent investment, especially if you spend a lot of time out in the sunlight for work or recreation. Even if you wear contacts, a pair of prescription sunglasses will give you the option to remove your contacts if they become uncomfortable or dry.

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Other reasons to invest in a great pair of prescription sunglasses include:

  • You can protect your eyes from UV rays while also letting you still see crystal clear.
  • You can add custom features if you plan to use your prescription sunglasses for cold weather or sports.
  • If you are losing sight due to complications of diabetes, then these may be useful.
  • Prescription sunglasses also help you feel more comfortable when you are outside in the bright light.

Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is crucial to preserving your vision and is key to making outdoor activities more comfortable.

How to Choose the Perfect Sunglasses

There are a variety of features to consider when choosing the right prescription sunglasses to meet your needs, including:

Lens Type

Prescription sunglasses are available in a variety of lens materials, including high-index plastic, lightweight polycarbonate, Trivex, and glass. Although glass provides excellent optical quality, it can shatter easily and is much heavier than other types of lens material. However, if you do want glass lenses, you can request them.

You may also consider purchasing lenses that have a photochromic tint, which will allow them to darken automatically in the sunlight. Keep in mind that these lenses will not darken as well while you are driving, so be sure to speak with your optician about photochromic lenses that are designed to be worn both inside the car while driving and outdoors.

UV Protection

When choosing sunglasses, the level of UV protection is a top priority. You want to make sure you are selecting lenses that block 100% of the sun’s damaging UV rays. It is important to remember that UV protection is not related to the color or density of the tint on the lenses. You can choose nay darkness or lens color you prefer. Be sure to verify with your optician that the lenses will provide you with 100% UV protection.


For more UV protection, you can browse styles with bigger frames and even wrap-around styles that help to block peripheral rays. In addition to practical styles like wrap-around frames, there are also a variety of designer sunglass options that will provide you with the stylish look you desire while still protecting your vision. Choose a bright colored frame or one with a pattern. You can also browse sleek black frames, or one with jewels, studs, or other accents that are sure to impress.

Additional Prescription Sunglass Features to Consider

In addition to choosing the type of lenses and the style of frames, there are a couple of other additional features you may want to consider for your prescription sunglasses, depending on what activities you plan to wear them for, including:

Blue-blocking lenses- With amber or brown blue-blocking lenses, you can help block the glare that comes off the snow while skiing or spending time in the snow.

Polarized lenses- With polarized lenses, you can help diminish the glare that comes off the water, windows, pavement, and other shiny surfaces. Keep in mind that not all polarized lenses block UV light, so be sure to look for lenses that can block both UV light and glare.

These additional features can make your outdoor activities such as boating, snowboarding, skiing, fishing, etc. even more comfortable.

Cost of Prescription Sunglasses: What You Can Expect

When shopping for prescription sunglasses, you can expect to see prices ranging anywhere from $28 to $1,500 or more from high-end designer brands. There are a variety of factors that can affect the pricing of your prescription sunglasses, including:

  • Brand
  • Material
  • Prescription grade
  • Additional features (polarized lenses or blue-light blocking coating)

The cost of your prescription sunglasses will also depend on the type of frames and hinges you choose. Typically, designer brands will be more expensive, whereas lesser-known brands will be cheaper.

If you are looking at Ray-Bans, they have sunglass options that start around $118 up to around $450. This brand offers a variety of lens types, such as gradient lenses and polarized lenses. Ray-Ban sunglasses are best for use while doing more conventional activities.

Oakley offers prescription sunglasses for everyday use and sells sunglasses that are specifically meant for use during outdoor activities. Their prices start around $372 and can up to around $600. Oakley is a great brand for those who like to snowboard or ski.

Designers such as COACH, Versace, and Kate Spade also sell prescription sunglasses. Their sunglasses can cost hundreds of dollars and are not typically suited for sports.

Brands like GUESS and OP-Ocean Pacific have many models that are stylish and functional. Their prescription sunglasses typically cost less than $100. The cost can vary depending on add-on features.

The type of prescription you need can also affect the cost of your sunglasses.

  • Single vision – This is a commonly prescribed lens that helps with astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness, with only one power grade.
  • Progressive (Multifocal) – These types of lenses help you to see various perspectives without having to use more than one pair of glasses.
  • Bifocals – This type of lens will sometimes have a line that differentiates between the different prescriptions on the lens. With bifocals, you can see nearby to better see things that are closer or more detailed, and they also help you see far away for activities such as driving.
  • Trifocals – With this type of lens, you can see from three different perspectives, including near, middle, and farther away. In most cases, the closest prescription is at the bottom of the lens, the middle is located mid lens, and the father distance is at the top of the lens.

Alternative Options to Prescription Sunglasses

If you are looking for an alternative to prescription sunglasses, there a couple of options you may consider, including:

  • Clip-on or magnetic lenses – These can be attached over your prescription glasses, making them a great option for people who do not want to purchase a second pair of glasses.
  • Fit-over sunglasses – These are also cost-effective and will prevent you from having to purchase prescription sunglasses. You can look for a large, regular pair of sunglasses that fit over the top of your regular glasses. Make sure the sunglasses you choose offer protection against 100% of UV rays.

Ready to Start Shopping for Prescription Sunglasses? Visit us Today! 

At Dittman Eyecare, we carry a wide selection of designer prescription sunglasses as well as a variety of other quality brands that suit all needs and budgets. If you are ready to start shopping for prescription sunglasses, or need to schedule your annual eye exam, contact us today to schedule an appointment!


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