We are so lucky to have the gorgeous coastline with all of its beaches and rocky trails. One day I was enjoying a day hike at Point Lobos State Reserve just a few miles south of Carmel off of Highway 1. I was marveling at the breathtaking seascapes when I came upon a fellow hiker coming toward me. She was a fit young woman all decked out in the latest hiking boots and cargo pants with an array of pockets and pouches. She wore a running sport top, had a knobby pink Ironman watch and carried the latest water bottle strapped to her palm. Totally prepared for her hike, I thought. But she wore a pair of clear prescription glasses and she was squinting at the sun big time as she greeted me.
I see this a lot. As an eye doctor I want to tell her, “Please get a pair of prescription sunglasses with UV and polarization to protect your eyes!” If you need prescription glasses and you are an outdoor enthusiast, why not put the two together with some cool Rx-able sunglasses like Wiley X or Ray Ban? Ladies, it’s not just wrinkles you get when you squint. An ultraviolet coat on your lenses along with various tinting options protects your eyes from the damaging sun’s rays.
In the exam room we see everything from dry irritated eyes, to inflamed pinguecula and pterygia to early cataracts that are directly related to unprotected eyes in the sunshine. Also, sunglasses like bolle’ or Maui Jim with your prescription in them can include a “wrap” which curves the lenses around your head to reduce glare coming in from the sides and top. Polarization cuts the unique glare that comes from being near water surfaces too. That means hiking or running near the ocean, lakes and streams or snowboarding down a black diamond, your lenses are cutting through some nasty glare making your vision clear and sharp. And you look cool too. People sometimes don’t think their prescription would work in sporty sunglasses. Nay Nay I say! Good quality frame manufactures coupled with a knowledgeable optician to set you up with good lens options can make a very cool sunglass package for you. Check it out.