Get fashion and function with your new glasses.

In many ways, shopping for glasses is like shopping for any other fashion accessory. You peruse the styles. You try them on. You decide what looks best on you.

When it comes to glasses, fashion is important. But that doesn’t mean it should trump functionality. (When was the last time a purse or set of cufflinks helped you see life to the fullest?)

The eyewear you select can have an important impact on your vision health and wellness—from proper fit and safety to protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun.

As you look for the right eyewear, consider the following:

  • Frames: Frame fit depends on a few factors, such as what you do and the shape of your face. Your eye doctor and staff can work with you to find a pair that reflects your preferences and lifestyle needs. When you choose frames that fit in with your life, you’re more likely to wear them, and they’re less likely to be a distraction, which is good for your vision and safety.
  • Lenses: By bending light, lenses correct refractive errors, enabling you to see better. Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, presbyopic or astigmatic, it is important to select the lenses and treatments to optimize your corrective eyewear. A few lens types to consider are explained below:
    • Polycarbonate lenses: Made from a thinner, lighter-weight material than traditional lenses, polycarbonate lenses are more impact resistant. Children, athletes and those needing safety glasses frequently use this material. Polycarbonate lenses also block most UV rays.1
    • Photochromic lenses: These lenses darken when they are exposed to sunlight and lighten when the wearer returns indoors. Photochromic lenses are a good choice for people who want the protection and comfort of sunglasses without having to switch eyewear, and they protect the eyes from harmful UV radiation.
    • Progressive lenses: Often referred to as no-line bifocals, progressive lenses allow the wearer to have the benefits of multifocal lenses with a blended lens, enabling more natural vision correction.
  • Contacts: Whether you have an active lifestyle, need peripheral vision correction or simply want freedom from wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses could be the right choice for you. But in order to wear them properly and to avoid potential complications, you need to be committed to a slight lifestyle change. Your eye doctor can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for contacts.
  • Sunwear: You might sport sunglasses for fashion, but they also can protect your eyes from UV rays, which harm both the internal and external structures of the eye. UV rays result in both short- and long-term effects. So when looking for eye protection, make sure the lenses block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.2 Wraparound sunglass frames can offer even greater protection.

Make a statement for your health. The next time you’re choosing eyewear, go ahead and express yourself. Because when you find the eyewear that fits your needs and lifestyle—from frames that feel just right to prescription sunglasses that look cool and protect your eyes—you’re making a statement that helps keep your vision in top form.


1. American Optometric Association, “Sunglass Shopping Guide,” 2008.
2. United States Environmental Protection Agency.