Choosing Glasses and Sunglasses

Choosing Glasses and Sunglasses

Protection from the Sun

It is essential to protect your eyes outdoors—whether you are out for a short walk or spending an entire afternoon at the park. Polarized, photochromic, and tinted lenses with UV-blocking treatment – shield eyes from the sun and prevent damage caused by UV light.

Most, but not all, photochromic lenses block UV rays and also transition quickly from clear to dark when exposed to natural light, making it more comfortable for your eyes. Polarized lenses reduce surface glare from water, snow, and roadways, and are ideal for anyone spending a lot of time outdoors. A no-glare treatment applied to the back of sunglass lenses will also eliminate bright reflections when the sun is behind you.

Learn more about choosing the right pair of sunglasses here.

Sports Protection

Eye protection is vital during any sport. Whether you participate in a fast-paced game like racquetball, or prefer an outdoor activity such as skiing, proper eyewear can boost your performance and prevent injuries. Wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear that fits properly. Here are some helpful tips to consider when choosing protective eyewear:

  • All protective eyewear should meet American Standards for Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) impact standards. 
  • Lenses should be made from polycarbonate materials. They provide the highest level of protection and can withstand the impact from a ball or other projectiles traveling at 90 miles per hour. 
  • Everyday fashion or corrective eyewear does not offer the same protection as protective eyewear labeled for sport use. For example, on impact, the lenses in regular eyeglasses can easily pop out and puncture or cut the eye. Or, a frame damaged by impact could also cause injury.
  • Protective eyewear can be purchased at sporting goods stores as well as at eye care providers’ offices.

Review the list of sports below to help you choose the best options for protecting your eyes while engaged in that sport:

  • Badminton (sports goggles)
  • Baseball (batting: face guard attached to helmet; fielding: sports goggles)
  • Basketball (sports goggles)
  • Cycling (cycling eyewear)
  • Fencing (full face cage)
  • Field hockey (goalie: face mask; others: sports goggles)
  • Football (face shield attached to helmet)
  • Handball (sports goggles)
  • Ice hockey (helmet with full face protection)
  • Lacrosse — men (helmet and full face protection)
  • Lacrosse — women (minimum: sports goggles; recommended: helmet and full face protection)
  • Racquetball (sports goggles)
  • Shooting sports (shooting glasses)
  • Soccer (sports goggles)
  • Squash (sports goggles)
  • Street hockey (goalie: full face cage; others: sports goggles)
  • Swimming (swim goggles recommended)
  • Tennis — doubles and singles (sports goggles)
  • Water polo (swim goggles recommended)

To learn more about eye protection and sports, click here.

Workplace Eye Protection

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are nearly 800,000 work-related eye injuries each year, but 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable if workers wear eye protection that specifically designed to protect their eyes based on the type of work they perform. While eye injuries occur most often among those who operate heavy machinery or equipment with moving parts and among those who work in construction, any worker performing manual labor is at risk and should wear eye protection. Learn more about the different types of eye protection that are available.