Sun spectacles: How the right lens treatments can keep you sun-ready

woman wearing sunglasses holding sunscreen

Sun salutation, meet polarization

While sun protection is necessary year-round, it’s good to perform a gut check as we spend more time outdoors. That means wearing the right lenses for the right activities or making sure you’re wearing sunglasses at all.

According to The Vision Council, more than a quarter of American adults don’t typically wear sunglasses when they venture outdoors.1 Perhaps prescriptions or high-impact activities are part of the reason, but the number of lens treatments invented over the past few decades could soon reflect higher numbers of sunglass wearers.

Let’s hope so, since the sun’s longwave ultraviolet rays cause the most damage to vision health. And consider these numbers: A recent VisionWatch survey found that prolonged UV exposure caused eye irritation among nearly 16% of adults, and trouble seeing among nearly 15%. And there were other reported symptoms of UV over-exposure, like wrinkles, red and/or swollen eyes and eye sunburn. Yet just 27% of survey respondents said they talk to their eyecare providers about UV eye protection.2

It’s time to talk. Target Optical® carries sunglasses that not only cover a range of styles, but also can be fitted with a spectrum of lens treatments to suit your on-the-go, warm-weather lifestyle, while looking quite cool.

What’s your activity? We have a lens to fit it

People in every state of the country should expect at least 600 hours of sunshine this spring, and some will see more than 1,000 hours.3 As it beckons you out of the house, be sure to keep your eyes sheltered. Here are a few common outdoor activities, and the right lens treatments for each.

Group yoga — the need for feather-light flexibility.

Those who enjoy outdoor group yoga (and other classes like tai chi) don’t have to choose between seeing and stretching. There are several light and impact-resistant lenses that can be customized to a prescription while protecting your eyes from UV rays and glare, so you can maintain focus as well as balance. Pro tip: Be sure the glasses are flexible with tight sidearms.4

Dog walking in sun or shade, with possible “ruffness.”

Whether you’re taking Max through a sunny park or a tree-lined street, you can keep your glasses on with photochromic lenses like Transitions® now available at Target Optical®. These lenses adjust to changing light, so you are equally protected in the shade and sun. And because dogs will be dogs, your Transitions® lenses come with a scratch-resistant coating that helps protect your lenses. The coating will hold up to rambunctious pooch play and prevent scuffs.5

Biking — in the fast lens.

From daily commuting to intense exercise, biking factors into many lives in many ways. Likewise, bike riders encounter a range of visual challenges from wind and glare to hairpin turns. That’s why you might think about specific treatments designed to protect against UV rays, glare, scratches and falls, and even technology that helps filter blue light from the sun.6 Many active lenses are also thin and lightweight, just like biking clothes. And polarized lenses help reduce glare, so street signs stay clear.

Community gardening — weeding out bleary-eyed Susans.

Gardening can require long hours of focus, and when it’s a community activity, that focus shifts from flowers to friends. In addition to seeking UV and glare protection, you could garden with sunglasses fitted with polarized lenses to provide hi-definition of color and clarity for sharper focus on weeds. This technology can even be provided without a prescription. Also, depending on what you grow (thorny roses or vegetables) it might be worth considering scratch-resistant lenses as well.

When life’s a beach, your eyes need an umbrella.

If you want to kick back and enjoy sun, fun and shade while also looking as cool as a breeze, polarized premium polycarbonate lenses, like Ray-Ban®, frame up form and function. That’s because polarized lenses contain laminated filters that block potentially harmful glare, so you can comfortably experience improved color contrast, clarity and color perception. They also come in a variety of colors, packing both a style and protective punch.7

There might be other activities you enjoy — running, skateboarding or softball — and there’s likely a sunglass lens treatment to accommodate your need. This is especially the case for those who wear corrective lenses. An eye doctor can make recommendations, or you can ask a trained team member at your nearest Target Optical®for guidance.

But be prepared. 600-plus hours of spring sunshine is worth seeing.

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1. “UV Eye Protection”; The Vision Council; https://thevisioncouncil.org/content/uv-eye-protection; accessed Jan. 23 2020.

2. Ibid; accessed Jan. 23 2020.

3. “Average Spring Sunshine by State”; Current Results Weather and Science Facts; https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-sunshine-in-spring.php; accessed Jan. 23 2020.

4. “Yoga Tips for People That Wear Glasses (Plus the Best Glasses for Yoga)”; Aligned and Well; https://alignedandwell.com/glasses-for-yoga/; accessed Jan. 23 2020.

5. “Lens Treatments”; The Vision Council; https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/lens-treatments/adults; accessed Jan. 23 2020.

6. “Blue light: It’s both good and bad for you”; by Gary Heiting; AllAboutVision.com; November 2017; https://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/blue-light.htm; accessed Jan. 22 2020.

7. “What to Know About Polarized Sunglasses”; by Troy Bedinghaus; Nov. 15. 2019; https://www.verywellhealth.com/polarized-sunglasses-3422163; accessed Jan. 23 2020.