Sunglasses For Eyeglass Wearers – Let’s See

See, I didn’t forget about those of you that need to wear prescription glasses. There are definitely sunglasses for eyeglass wearers out there. We’ll be exploring a few of your options.

Don’t worry, they won’t make you look like you just walked out of a doctor’s office after having some kind of eye procedure done. No welding goggles, I promise. We’ll have you outdoors and styling, in no time. You won’t be left in the dark.

When considering any of the following, always check for the UV protection! I know that I keep repeating this in my posts, but it is the one thing that can not be stressed enough.

First Of All – Maybe The Best Solution

Some of you, sometimes me, need to wear your eyeglasses. What I didn’t know for a long time is that you can a lot of times, get the same prescription in sunglasses that you use for your everyday lenses.

This is something that had never crossed my mind because I generally only need glasses for reading or doing anything where I need to see up close. After an eye exam one day and since my eyes hadn’t changed, I was just going to get a back-up pair of eyeglasses.

While I was considering doing this, my optometrist brought up the idea of getting prescription sunglasses. I never knew I could do that. I am outdoor’s a lot, so I jumped all over it. Surprisingly enough there are a lot of name brand sunglasses out there that can offer you this. To be honest, since my vision isn’t that bad, I generally wear other sunglasses. But in many cases I can see where this would be the best solution.

I put in a picture of my own prescription sunglasses to the right. Obviously I’m not a professional photographer, but I tried to show some contrast in the background through the lenses.My own prescription sunglases

Just like your normal glasses, you need to know your prescription.  And just like regular glasses or sunglasses, you have a lot of frame options and styles.

One thing I would suggest is to buy a neck strap to attach to them so as not to lose your investment.

Anyway’s, this is something to discuss with your optometrist and may be an option well worth considering.

One Of The More Common Solutions

Photo gray lenses are another way to go for eyeglass wearers. A lot of you out there know what they are and are already using them.

Simply put, these are lenses that are treated so that they will constantly be changing to different ultraviolet light conditions. This allows you to keep the same pair of glasses on when moving from indoors to outdoors, and visa versa. For those of you that are constantly doing this, they may be ideal.

They may be suggested to you by your eye doctor for some eye conditions.Photo gray sunglasses

One of the biggest selling points for a lot of people is that they are not having to change glasses every time they go outdoors, however in that case you are stuck wearing the same style outdoors as you are indoors. In some cases, although it is purely cosmetic, one lens may appear to be darker than the other because of the individual eye conditions.

Again this is something that needs to be discussed with your optometrist. Please forgive me if I ever accidentally say obstetrician. You’ll figure it out. Moving on.

Making The Transition

Transitional sunglasses, another type also known as photochromic, are highly similar to photo grays. They do pretty much all the same things and a lot of the same considerations apply.

Similarly, these glasses are treated with a chemical that reacts to varying degrees of ultraviolet light. Again they have the advantage of being worn indoors and outdoors, doing away with carrying two pairs of glasses.Transitional sunglasses

Transitional glasses may take a bit of time, not much, to adjust to quickly changing light, like walking indoors from outside.

Transitional glasses have been around a long time, and a lot of people that don’t already wear them may be glad to know that they can come in a variety of different colored lenses, where photo grays are prone to gray or brown lenses. Redundantly, check with you optometrist.

With both photo grays and transitional, be aware of how they react while driving. Like most sunglasses they are advantageous but may take a little getting used to, or may not be appropriate for certain driving conditions.

Covering Up

Some may have never considered the option of sunglasses that go over prescription glasses, because of how they may look. They may slightly add a bit of bulkiness, but for the most part, there are a lot of stylish ones out there.

A cool thing about this is that, depending on the ones you choose, they may offer more protection from different angles of light coming in because they are designed to fit over your particular shape of glasses. There are a lot of different frame styles and lens color options to choose from, but don’t sacrifice the amount of protection when doing so.

Clip-Ons: The Old Standby

These have been around for what seems like forever. They are exactly what the name implies. These quite easily just clip on to your existing glasses. A lot of these may be hinged to remain on your glasses if you like, and merely flipped up when not needed.Clip on sunglasses that flip up

They are okay for certain applications, but keep in mind that you are pretty much limited to the amount of area coverage as your present glasses provide, and they may not cover your lenses to their exact shape. Some eye glass providers may offer you clip-ons that custom fit your regular glasses perfectly.

So Go Ahead – Step Outside

To a lot of you, much of this is nothing that you didn’t already know. For some, it may open up a couple of ideas you might not have thought about and may want to now consider.

To those of you that may think of this as an additional inconvenience to your already existing need for glasses, take a moment to think about the importance of protecting your already impaired vision. In fact, this consideration may already be, or should be one of your top concerns. Perhaps at the very least, this is a good reminder.







  1. Hello Steven,
    Interesting topic indeed. I wear prescription glasses for reading and funny enough, the thought of getting some for sun-wear never crossed my mind. Thanks for the tips and suggestions. You have opened a new world of thought for me.
    All the best.

  2. Interesting post, I’ve never thought that there is so much knowledge of sunglasses! You are a man/woman of erudition, I think I would beware of choosing sunglasses when I buy one.


  3. My Dad has to wear eyeglasses because of his age. Down the road, I will probably have to wear them too. I am glad to hear there is the option for me and my Dad to wear prescription sunglasses. I will tell him to get a pair. It will do him a lot of good.

    I do have a question though. Until my eyesight begins to decline and I need prescriptions, what is the best pair of sunglasses you recommend? I am always on the lookout for a quality pair of sunglasses.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Hey Alex, Thanks, comments are always welcome. As for your question, I’ll tell you what I generally wear. I live in a place where, one direction is high desert and the opposite direction is the Sierra’s. So I get all different kinds of elements thrown at me. Personally, most of the time I wear wrap around polarized sunglasses, because of the wind, dirt, etc., when I am hiking around. Also the polarized lenses really do help in the winter time snow, which a lot of the times is combined with wind. That’s why I like the wrap around type. They have a little more protection from the sides. Hope this helps! (100 % UV protection!)

  4. My husband has bi focal glasses and for years wore a pair of bulky coverups. They were very medical procedure looking. I hated them. However when he tried transitions he found that going back inside after being out in the sun was not a fast enough transition when he was at work. He worked in a tunnel with large machinery and lots of hazards. So we had to go back to the cover ups. this time around though I was able to help him find an awesome pair that look like regular sunglasses. Even made by Oakley. Its great to know there are other options out there still. Thank you

  5. I used to wear transition lenses back in the 90s – my only complaint about them then is that they would sometime change color inside as well. I’m sure they have come a long way sense then :). Thanks for this very informative post for all those looking for options for prescription glasses wearers!

  6. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for a great article and for someone who wear glasses, this is an issue I am also faced with.

    In your opinion, do you see any potential issues with Photochromic Glasses as compared to normal sunglasses in that photochromic by design will tend to be flatter and not shaped thus leading to more unfiltered peripheral light entering from the side?

    This has always been in the back of the mind when I have considered this option as I am concerned with damaging the eye resulting from peripheral light exposure.

    Thanks again.

    • Hey Richard. Good question and not to worry. You just need to look for a “wrap-around” style. In fact, a lot of the style’s that go over your regular glasses are that design by nature, as they are made to completely cover including the sides. Look for one’s that have protected windows on the sides for extra peripheral vision. You will have no problem finding this style and now day’s many are very fashionable. If they didn’t know any better, most people won’t even realize that they are over your regular glasses. Hope this answered your question and put’s the “back of your mind” at ease. All the best, Steve

  7. Great post! I learned a bit while I was here. I’m not a glasses wearer, but I have plenty of friends and family are. It can certainly add a whole new set of challenges to life. Keep up the good content!

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