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A good pair of prescription sunglasses can protect a person’s eyes from the sun’s UV light, prevent glare, and allow clearer vision when outdoors. For people looking for prescription sunglasses online, there are many brands and retailers from which to choose.

The following article provides some information that may help a person choose a suitable pair of prescription sunglasses.

Numerous retailers offer prescription sunglasses online. People can find traditional sunglasses lenses or light-adaptive lenses that darken in brighter light. It is possible to apply a person’s prescription to both options.

Many online retailers allow a person to upload their prescription directly to their website. Some offer prescription services, such as a simple vision test. Others have an online tool that can read a person’s current prescription directly from their glasses.

Many people find online shopping more convenient than shopping in-store and, sometimes, less expensive. However, finding the right frames for a person’s face may be slightly more challenging when shopping online.

Many companies offer a free virtual try-on service that involves a person uploading a photo of their face to their website. Some may also operate extended return periods to give a person enough time to decide on their choice of sunglasses.

Learn more about buying glasses online here.

Many boutique and large-name companies offer prescription sunglasses online, giving a person many options that can be both helpful and overwhelming. Some companies offer brand-name sunglasses, while others provide unique own-brand frames and lenses. In many cases, a person will select frames and then choose lenses that protect from the sun’s rays.

Current prescriptions

Before looking for prescription sunglasses online, it is good to have the most current prescription to hand as some retailers require the information from the prescription upfront. Some other online retailers allow a person to directly upload their prescription to the site at the time of sale or email them a copy after completing their order.

Some retailers, such as GlassesUSA, offer free tools to read a person’s prescription by analyzing their current glasses. Others, like Visibly, offer straightforward vision exams for a small fee. Both options allow a person to purchase new lenses based on the test results.

However, some eye experts believe that these online eye tests are inaccurate, resulting in unsuitable sunglasses lenses. The best way to determine a sunglasses prescription is through a refraction test carried out as part comprehensive eye exam by an optician.

Learn about different kinds of eye doctors here.

Insurance

How a company accepts prescriptions, warranties, and return policies vary between companies. Many online glasses retailers accept Health Savings Account (HSA) payments, and some will accept insurance upfront. In other cases, a person may need to file a claim with their insurance company for reimbursement.

However, always check the policy first, as not all insurance companies will refund the total amount, and others do not provide refunds for online glasses or sunglasses.

Learn more about Medicare and vision care here.

When starting a search for prescription sunglasses online, some things to consider include:

  • Cost. Are the frames and lenses affordable?
  • Insurance coverage. How does the company handle insurance reimbursement?
  • Style. There are hundreds of different frames to choose from, and often the choice comes down to a person’s individual preferences.
  • Materials. Different frames and lenses have different weights and levels of durability, which can affect comfort.
  • Transition lenses or traditional sunglasses. Photochromic lenses develop more or less tint depending on UV light exposure. Traditional sunglasses are typically only used outdoors due to the permanent darker lens tint.
  • Look for UV protection. Sunglasses should block 99-100% of UV light.
  • Health Saving Plans. Many retailers allow the use of HSA funds to purchase prescription sunglasses.
  • Reviews and reputation. Trusted, independent online review sites can give a good insight into a retailer’s customer service, product quality, and objective personal experiences. A person should consider the company’s standing with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or TrustPilot.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation adds that a person should consider some specific features when looking at sunglasses, including:

  • wrap around lenses
  • mirrored lenses
  • impact resistant lenses
  • lens tint gradients, which can benefit a person when driving
  • polarized lenses that prevent glare
  • overall lens quality

In a 2018 study, researchers found several factors affect a person’s UV radiation protection when wearing sunglasses. While they found all sunglasses can block 100% of UV radiation, factors such as lens size, wearing position, and exposure condition can affect how well they work.

Learn about some types of polarized sunglasses here.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

BBB and other ratings are correct at the time of publishing this article.

GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA is an online retailer that offers prescription and non-prescription sunglasses and glasses. They offer several frames and lens styles to choose from, add-ons, such as lens coatings, and accommodate several prescription strengths and types.

The company asks for prescription details at the time of selection. However, they also provide an opportunity to add prescription information after checkout.

The BBB does not accredit the company and has awarded them a B rating with 3.65 stars out of a possible 5, based on an average of 1,012 customer reviews.

They also offer a tool that helps individuals find their prescription based on their current glasses.

Learn more about GlassesUSA here.

EyeBuy Direct

EyeBuyDirect offers its own brand and other branded prescription sunglasses and non-prescription glasses. After selecting their frames, a person must enter their prescription to complete their purchase.

Individuals can also select add-ons for their lenses, such as polarization, other lens materials, or mirrored lenses.

The BBB gives them an A+ rating and 4.02 stars out of a possible 5 based on an average of 336 reviews.

Learn more about EyeBuyDirect here.

ShadyRays

ShadyRays offers an own-brand selection of prescription sunglasses and glasses made in the United States. Once individuals choose a frame, they can select additional extras, including polarization, lens material, and lens color.

The company asks for a person’s prescription before checking out. However, they also give the option for an individual to receive a reminder email to provide their prescription information later.

ShadyRays earned an A+ with the BBB, and they have 4.74 stars out of a possible 5, based on an average of 119 reviews.

ShadyRays sunglasses vary in price, depending on any additional coatings or features an individual adds.

GlassesShop

GlassesShop offers several styles of own-brand frames for their prescription sunglasses, with many of their styles starting at affordable prices.

As with other retailers, a person selects their frames and can choose their lens type and any other add-ons for an additional cost. Individuals must enter or upload their prescription information as, without this, they cannot check out and complete their purchase.

GlassesShop earned an A- rating with the BBB and 1.34 stars out of a possible 5, based on an average of 35 customer reviews.

Sunglasses play an essential role in eye health and safety.

Older research from Hawaii shows that wearing sunglasses when outdoors can help reduce the risk of cataracts. However, it also showed that only about a third of the population wears sunglasses outdoors.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) states a person should look for lenses with at least 99% of UV protection. Ideally, they should use lenses that protect the eyes from 100% of UV radiation. They also recommend a person wears sunglasses when outside at all times, but stress the importance of wearing sunglasses:

  • when near or in water
  • when using medications that create light sensitivity
  • when participating in or spectating winter sports
  • during summer months

Researchers have been aware of the damaging effects of UV light for several decades. A 1991 study indicated that UV exposure could increase the risk of cataracts in addition to age-related degeneration. More recent studies affirm the findings and suggest that UV exposure puts a person at a higher risk of developing certain eye-related cancers and other eye diseases.

Learn more about how to protect eyes here.

Online shopping offers a convenient way to find and purchase prescription sunglasses. There are many retailers and brands to choose from, which can be both helpful and overwhelming.

A person should look for sunglasses that are larger in size, offer 100% UV protection, and fit their face correctly.

In some cases, a person can take advantage of online tools to update their prescriptions. People should see their eye doctor if their vision is unclear or if they suspect they may have an infection.