Tips for the Right Prescription Sunglasses

Protection from UV radiation, glare and more: Things to consider when buying prescription sunglasses.

Article first published: June 2022

For people with low vision who need to wear prescription lenses, it is important to wear prescription sunglasses outdoors to protect the eyes from glare and harmful UV radiation while maintaining good, clear vision. ZEISS offers a wide range of different sunglasses, from high and low prescription glasses to progressive lenses. To ensure you get the best possible protection and still look fashionable, we've put together a few tips to keep in mind when buying new sunnies with a prescription:

1. Make sure your sunglasses offer full UV protection

Any prescription sunglasses lens should protect against UV radiation up to 400 nanometers. The UV protection has nothing to do with the color of the eyeglass lenses, as the protection is in the lens material itself. It is therefore important to check certification labels. Those who want to be on the safe side should ask an eye care professional to assess the UV protection level of their glasses or have their next pair of prescription sunglasses made directly at a specialty store.

2. Choose the right filter category and the right color of the lenses

Basically, it is possible to choose between different tint levels, which are divided into five categories (0 to 4, where 0 is clear or nearly clear lenses). They regulate the absorption of incident light and should be tailored to the field of use of the sunglasses: not too dark and not too light.

  • Level 1-2 for everyday use
  • Level 3 for sunny conditions such as beach vacations
  • Level 4 is only for special situations like skiing and mountain tours but is not suitable for driving
There are almost no limitations when it comes to choosing a color for your sunglasses lenses, but the purpose you plan to use the sunglasses for should be taken into consideration. For those who want to wear their sunnies frequently or for a long period of time, it is best to opt for more classic colors. Eye care professionals can help to choose the right color, especially when it comes to sunglasses for driving.

3. Choose the right sunglasses coating and useful extras

  • Prescription sunglasses lenses with a mirror coating minimize reflections that can occur on the inside of the lenses from light entering from the side or above while looking fashionable and attractive.
  • Polarized lenses, in addition to single-tinted lenses, provide higher contrast and clear vision in the presence of strong light reflections. This is beneficial, for example, for those who are sensitive to bright light, often on the road or when doing snow or water sports.
  • For all those who travel a lot by car, it is worth having professional sun protection with tinted ZEISS DriveSafe lenses, optionally available with a polarization filter. The special coating improves contrast perception while reducing irritation caused by glare because of harsh sunlight or reflections from bright surfaces.
  • Additional anti-reflective coatings such as the ZEISS DuraVision Sun coating, which is applied to the back of prescription sunglasses lenses from ZEISS, ensure clear vision and reduce disturbing light reflections on the inside of the lens. Since all high-quality ZEISS lens coatings always come in a package with a hard coating and a special care layer, this coating additionally ensures durability, easy care, and all-around protection for the lenses.

Sunglass coating

4. Useful tip: Self-tinting lenses with prescription

For those who prefer a more comfortable, fashionable lifestyle, it may also make sense to consider sunglasses like ZEISS AdaptiveSun. These sunglasses lenses automatically adapt their color intensity to the level of UV exposure, while providing full UV protection and glare protection at all times.

5. Frame selection and quality of the sunglass lenses

Glare and UV radiation also reach the eye from the sides or through reflections off the back of the lens. Sunglasses frames should therefore be large enough and wrap around the eye. High-quality lenses also have no streaks, bubbles, or inclusions, as these can negatively affect visual acuity and good vision.

For sunglasses with prescription, the well-known ZEISS engraving can also give information about the quality of the lenses. The trademark stands for know-how, research, and passion. Don't worry: This discreet ZEISS brand engraving is entirely invisible to the wearer and can only be seen when looking closely.

6. Finally: the perfect fit

Every prescription sunglass lens is not always suited to any frame, and the perfect fit is also determined by consultation and adjustment in a specialist store. The eye care professional will carefully consider factors such as head shape, temple width, eye distance, and position of the ears.

Overall, prescription sunglasses from specialty stores offer the same visual acuity and comfort as clear lenses. Even sunglasses without a prescription should offer some quality features. The next time buying sunglasses, it's best to consult with an expert to make the right choice for your needs. Find an optician near you here.


Get in Touch with Us

Joachim Kuss
Head of Communications: General topics and Sustainability
Mail: joachim .kuss @zeiss .com

Phone: +49 (0) 151 42112288

Maria Conrad
International PR: Instruments, Tools and Digitalization
Mail: maria .conrad @zeiss .com

Phone: +49 (0) 7361 591-1378

Latest News