The Power of Multiple Pairs
Most people have multiple pairs of shoes. You’ve got your running shoes for working out, your dress shoes for special occasions, and a pair of super comfortable shoes that you can wear wherever. The same goes for clothing. We’re not like cartoon characters with only one outfit; we have different shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses for different occasions. It’s easy to recognize the need for a variety with other aspects of our wardrobe, so let’s explore why your eyewear also needs some variety.
Though many people have never thought it, most glasses are not a “one pair fits all situations” deal. Most lens designs make some compromises, rather than providing a perfect solution. Therefore, having more than one pair of glasses for your different visual situations makes complete sense. For example, let's say you work at a computer all day but also have a long drive to and from work. You’re already in a progressive lens, but you just haven’t been able to find the right combination of head tilt and screen height to make working on the computer comfortable visually and physically. In this instance, opticians would recommend an occupational lens that would give you more room in the computer zone for work, and a regular progressive for driving and doing other tasks that are not so focused on a computer.
As you can imagine, there are many different instances where more than one pair of glasses might be the best solution. These are the most common reasons for needing another pair of glasses:
Sports: So many different sports require different things visually. While all sports players require the impact resistance of their lenses to be taken into consideration, contact sports such as wrestling, basketball, football, etc, are the most important. Sports goggles/glasses differ in impact resistance not only in the lenses, but also the frame itself. People who play indoor sports will benefit from a pair of goggles with an anti-reflective treatment applied to them to cut glare and improve the scratch-resistance of the lenses. Outdoor sports players have a plethora of different tints to choose from. These tints can be used to enhance contrast. For example, a blue tint makes white pop against green. This is great for golfers who are wanting help keeping an eye on their golf balls on the putting green. Not all glasses for sports need to be safety rated; you can get special blue lenses in a regular ophthalmic frame.
Safety: As with sports goggles, safety goggles are also rated for their impact resistance. Safety glasses can also be upgraded to include no-line bifocals, anti-glare treatments, and transitions lenses if you work somewhere that's particularly sunny. Many of our patients work dirty jobs and would much rather wear their safety glasses on the job than risk ruining their everyday glasses.
Computer lenses: If you struggle seeing your computer, or any digital device, you might be a candidate for a computer lens! Computer lenses are designed for working in the intermediate arm’s-length distance. In a traditional no-line bifocal, the computer area is actually the smallest part of the lens. Because we do so much computer work now, optical companies have designed entire lenses for helping your eyes see as clearly as possible on your computer and other devices. These lenses work best when used in your “workspace”, so you won't be able to drive in them. For getting around the office, sitting in meetings, doing computer work, and other such activities, they are the most comfortable solution. Many people also report relief from neck and shoulder pain after switching to a computer lens!
Polarized sun lenses: Most sunglasses you buy from big box stores tout a sticker that says “100% UV protection”. While protecting our eyes from UV radiation is one goal of sunglasses, it is not the only one. Reducing glare, shielding brightness, and removing eye strain associated with being in bright conditions are all different objectives of sunglasses. There is only one type of lens that accomplishes all of those things: polarized lenses. Polarized lenses cut glare off of bright shiny surfaces like water or dashboards; they also help shield our eyes from the sun with a dark tint. The polarization process deflects UV rays so that they do not penetrate our eyes or harm the delicate skin around them.
Regardless of age or visual needs, only having one pair of glasses is a compromise. Specialty lenses and additional pairs of glasses are the true solution to solving life's many visual problems.