- What is the best eyewear for sports?
If you wear glasses, they can seem hazardous when playing sport. Get the right product and advice from your optician, however, and they can help protect your eyes. In general, plastic or CR39, lenses are safer than glass. Your optician will also recommend polycarbonate and Trivex materials as they are safer and stronger than regular plastic lenses.
Any conventional spectacle frame, without adjustable pad arms as found on most metal spectacle frames, can be suitable for sport. It should cover the orbit, the bony rim round your eye, and be worn with a sports band attachment. The Bridge of the frame should sit snugly around the bridge of the nose. There are wrap-around frames with full cushioning which are purpose-designed for sport and will give optimum safety and comfort.
If there are no contra indications, contact lenses are an excellent alternative to wearing spectacles and offer a safe alternative to glasses when you are playing sports.
Visit your local optical practice and speak to the registered dispensing optician who can help you find the best solution so you can see well and stay safe while playing sports.
- I need glasses, but love to swim. Can I get prescription swimming goggles?
Poor vision and the salt or chlorine in water can make swimming an uncomfortable experience. If you normally wear specs or contact lenses, you will find that prescription goggles can help you. Ready-to-wear prescription goggles, incorporating basic lens powers are available, or your dispensing optician can order goggles with your accurate prescription incorporated.
Call in to your local optical practice and ask the registered dispensing optician for more advice on the best goggles to help you make the most of swimming.
- I wear glasses. What eyewear can help me see when diving?
It is important to protect your eyes whether you are scuba diving or snorkelling. You should wear a water tight facemask which fits firmly.
If you are a spectacle wearer, your optician can order in masks that will also help you see under water. Some masks come with inserts for prescription lenses, while others allow the prescription lens to be stuck/cemented to the rear surface of the mask, accurately centred on your eyes.
Call in to your local optical practice and ask the registered dispensing optician for more advice on the right masks with prescription lenses for diving.
- How should I protect my eyes when cycling?
More people are enjoying cycle sports, and it is important to think about eye protection while taking part. The right robust eyewear can protect you from wind, dust and impact injuries.
Goggles are good for all round protection, and can be fitted with prescription lenses. The right tint on the lenses can help protect you from visible and UV light while outdoors. A tint can also improve your perception of contrast.
A firm and stable fit is vitally important. Some optical practices specialise in sports eyewear, and a dispensing optician can assess your needs and order the best protective eyewear for you to wear when cycling.
- What is the best eye protection for squash and other and racket sports?
Squash is a particularly hazardous sport as the squash ball is almost equal in size to the eye’s orbit. All squash players should wear eye protection. There are specifically designed goggles for squash use which must be fitted with the most efficient impact resistant lenses. These can be made up with lenses to match your spectacle prescription.
For all racket sports, as well as sports like cricket, rounders or baseball that are played with a hard ball, impact resistance is the prime concern. Plastic, CR39, lenses may be used, but polycarbonate or Trivex are preferable.
Talk to the dispensing optician in your local optical practice. They will be able to guide you through the best options to protect your eyes and give you great vision.
- What are the best lens tints for shooting or archery?
A bronze tint should be used for skeet, clay-pigeon and trap shooting. It is also the tint of choice for hunting. For black on white target shooting yellow tints offer good contrast. Targets may vary in colour. For orange targets use an orange tint. Red and pink tints are good for black and green targets and are also effective on orange targets and for hunting; they also reduce the effects of a green background, grass, trees and shrubs. A red tint can improve colour differentiation for people with a colour vision problem. Tints should not be too dark, as this results in an enlarged pupil, which can adversely affect the shooters’/archers’ performance.
- What should I wear to protect my eyes when playing football?
If you wear glasses, they can seem hazardous when playing football, but get the right product and advice from your optician and they can help protect your eyes. Plastic or CR39, lenses are safer than glass for football and any other sport. Your optician will also recommend polycarbonate and Trivex materials as they are safer and stronger than regular plastic lenses.
Any conventional spectacle frame, without adjustable pad arms as found on most metal spectacle frames, can be suitable for football. It should cover the orbit, the bony rim round your eye, and be worn with a sports band attachment. If you want something specifically designed for sports like football, there are wrap-around frames with full cushioning which are purpose-designed for sport and give optimum safety and comfort.
If there are no contra indications, soft contact lenses are an excellent alternative to wearing spectacles and offer a safe alternative to glasses when you are playing football.
Visit your local optical practice and speak to the registered dispensing optician who can help you find the best solution so you can see well and stay safe while playing football.
- What should I wear to protect my eyes when playing cricket?
Cricket and other hard ball sports can be hazardous to the eyes. If you want to protect your eyes, opt for plastic lenses. CR39 plastic may be used, but polycarbonate or Trivex is preferable. There are specifically designed sports goggles for cricket use which are fitted with the most efficient impact resistant lenses and can be made up with lenses to match your spectacle prescription.
Talk to the dispensing optician in your local optical practice. They will be able to guide you through the best options to protect your eyes and give you great vision when playing cricket.
- What should I wear if I play darts?
As the Darts World Championships are taking place during January 2016, dispensing optician Jo Holmes has some advice for serious darts players who need specs. She says, “I would suggest a large lens and eye size with an anti-reflection coating on the lenses. You should probably opt for a metal frame so a rim is not in the way, maybe a matt or coloured metal so there are no bright reflections when you are looking at the board. Alternatively, choose a rimless frame for clear vision all round. If you are short, the frame may need to be large enough to sit above eyebrows so you can clearly look at the board.”
- Do I need to think about UV protection for my eyes during winter sports?
UV light can contribute to premature aging of the eye, and is a factor in eye problems like cataract. Light is reflected off snow, even on a cloudy day, and the higher you are, the greater the exposure to UK, so check that your ski goggles or sunglasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. A good sunscreen applied regularly through the day will protect the skin and good quality sun wear will protect the eyes. Read the label and ask a registered dispensing optician for advice.
- How should I protect my eyes when snow skiing?
Eye protection for skiing is usually used in goggle form. If you normally wear glasses, prescription inserts can be fitted inside the goggles. Snow reflects visible and UV light, increasing the overall brightness, so in sunny conditions you may want lenses with a very dark brown tint. For overcast, flat light days, in which there is an over-abundance of blue light, yellow or rose tints may be best. Grey tints reduce transmittance across the spectrum. Polarised lenses may also be used, but these tend to mask small contours on the slope. Visible and UV transmittance may also be further reduced by the use of mirror coatings. Ask a dispensing optician about the best options to protect your eyes when skiing.
- What is the best lens material for ski goggles and sunglasses?
Look for lenses made from polycarbonate as this is stronger than regular plastic. Polycarbonate is lighter than regular plastic lenses, is very impact resistant and will not shatter. It also is more fog-resistant and naturally absorbs UV light. Trivex is another strong, lightweight plastic with superb impact resistance that is suitable for sports wear. Avoid glass lenses for active winter sports.
- What are the best frames for winter sports wear?
Pick plastic frames over metal every time: plastic frames with moulded nose pads are safer than metal ones. Plastic frames can be made to curve round your face providing a wider field of view and better protection from wind and glare. You can achieve a better fit with mouldable plastic: ask a dispensing optician for help with fitting sunglasses before you leave so your frames don’t shift while you are active. Select a lightweight plastic frame for maximum comfort when wearing all day. Some frames have vents built in for better airflow and less fogging. Look out for no slip temple grips and nose pads, foam inserts and elastic straps so that your eyewear is guaranteed to stay in place.
- Should I choose polarised lenses for winter sports?
Polarised lenses will help reduce glare reflected off the snow. Some people find that this makes it more difficult to distinguish ice from snow, so you may want to try both and see what works best for you. Mirrored lenses are another option if you don’t like polarised lenses.
- Should I choose photochromic lenses for winter sports?
Photochromic lenses get darker in bright sunshine. They work most effectively at cold temperatures and can save you having to swap eyewear depending on the conditions.
- Should I choose mirror tinted lenses for skiing and snowboarding?
Mirror coating a lens cuts the amount of light reaching your eyes, and can reduce the dazzle of snow while still allowing you to see the reflected glare off icy patches. Mirror coatings are available in a graduated tint, cutting light levels where you need it most.
- Is anti-fog important for eyewear for skiing or snowboarding?
A number of specialist sports products now come with an anti-fog coating on the lenses and vents to allow better airflow. This can save you from having to remove your eyewear to defog as conditions change.
- What is the best colour lens for winter sports?
Different colour lenses will help with different conditions.
Grey: great for all weather use, block glare without changing your colour perception.
Brown, Amber, Rose: good to enhance contrast against a white background, so you can see shadows, ridges and bumps. Choose brown for bright sunshine, and amber or rose for lower light levels.
Yellow: Great for low light and overcast days. Filters out blue light to enhance your perception of shadows. Better contrast and perception of better visual acuity.
Some eyewear comes with interchangeable lenses which can help with varied weather conditions.
- Should I choose goggle or sunglasses for winter sports?
Snowboarders use goggles whatever the weather, while skiers may only use them in more extreme conditions. When choosing a goggle, make sure it is well vented to prevent fogging. Check how either type of eyewear will fit with your helmet.
- I wear specs already: how will this work for skiing?
Prescription lenses can be fitted in most sunglasses. Wrap style frames and goggles may require a prescription insert. There are also goggles that are made to fit over your glasses. Contact lenses can also be a good choice. Talk to your dispensing optician about the best option for you.
- Why do I need to protect my eyes when I’m playing sports outdoors?
When you are outside you are exposed to UV (Ultraviolet) rays from sunlight. There are three types: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the earth, but the other types of UV light are linked to possible cataract formation, skin cancer and/or retinal damage with long term exposure. A good pair of protective eyewear can cut those risks so you can enjoy the sports you love without worrying about your eyes.
- What’s the best eyewear for sailing?
It is important to protect your eyes when sailing because not only are you outside and exposed to UV light, but the water also reflects the sun’s rays and causes glare. Polarised lenses which are the only truly anti-glare lenses are great for use on and around water. A mirror coating on polarised lenses will counteract the increased UV being reflected from the water if you are out all day. Ask your registered dispensing optician about lenses for daytime use which combine photochromic technology with polarisation. They can also advise on non-slip frames and straps that ensure that you don’t lose your sunglasses even if you capsize.
- What’s the best eyewear for tennis?
There are two hazards to your eyes when playing tennis: UV light, and the risk of being hit in the face by a ball, or even a racket when playing doubles. A good pair of sunglasses can help cut both those risks, and can also improve your performance on days when glare is an issue. Ask your registered dispensing optician for advice on robust lenses and frames for protection: polycarbonate lenses are a good option. The material can eliminate 100% of UV light and is stronger than regular plastic lenses. You can also discuss the different colour lens tints available, as some may work best for grass while others can be good for had courts.
- What’s the best eyewear for cycling?
In cycling you need to combine protection from physical hazards, such as stones bouncing up off the road, with protection from exposure to UV light when you are outdoors for a prolonged period of time. Cycling eyewear also tends to be streamlined and aerodynamic. Ask your registered dispensing optician for advice on robust lenses and frames for protection: polycarbonate lenses are a good option. The material can eliminate 100% of UV light and is stronger than regular plastic lenses. You can also discuss the different colour lens tints available. Different tints work well for different weather conditions. Photochromic lenses which become darker in bright conditions can save you from having to take sunglasses with you and change over in the middle of a race. The DO can also help you find a close fitting frame that won’t fall off, and will fit with your cycling helmet.
- Why do I need to protect my eyes when running?
If you run on a regular basis, particularly with long distance training, you will be increasing exposure to UV & Blue light. Research shows an association between sunlight exposure and macular degeneration so UV protection is essential, especially when spending a vast amount of time outdoors. Gill Bickle is an active runner as well as being a Registered Dispensing Optician. She says, “I always advise runners to choose eyewear with UV protection. Choose a frame that’s lightweight, wrap around, which fits firmly and doesn’t move when you run.