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Transitions and Polarized Lenses for Prescription Sunglasses

Transitions lenses are a great way to have both clear and tinted prescription lenses in the same frame. These light-sensitive lenses are clear when indoors, and they darken when exposed to sunlight. The more sunlight they're exposed to, the darker the lenses get. This allows your prescription lenses to seamlessly adapt wherever you go.

Polarized lenses help keep light from reaching your eyes. They also reduce the distracting glare that occurs around reflective surfaces like water and roads. Polarized prescription sunglasses can improve your visual clarity by minimizing glare in these environments.


Can any sunglasses be made prescription?

We can apply a vision prescription to most of our sunglasses. When you purchase a pair of sunglasses through an optical retailer, whether online or in-store, the option to add your prescription is usually available.

Can you get polarized prescription sunglasses?

Yes, you can get your prescription sunglasses polarized! There is an additional cost to having your prescription lenses polarized, which varies depending on where you buy your sunglasses.

Will insurance cover prescription sunglasses?

Whether insurance will cover the cost of prescription lenses depends on what kind of vision insurance you have. It’s best to consult with your insurance carrier to determine the details of your coverage.

Most vision insurance plans cover the cost of either contact lenses or one pair of prescription glasses each year. It's up to you whether you get traditional eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses.

If you have supplemental coverage, like a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), those funds can also be used toward the cost of a pair of prescription sunglasses. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay the full cost out of pocket.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Prescription Sunglasses?

The cost to add your prescription to sunglasses depends on a few factors, including your prescription type and where you purchase the frames. When you buy sunglasses from Eyebuydirect, there's a flat rate of $20 to add a single-vision prescription to the lenses. Adding a multifocal prescription is significantly more expensive (between $109 and $129).

But the savings you get from purchasing your frames from Eyebuydirect makes it possible to add prescription lenses — even a multifocal prescription — to your sunglasses without breaking the bank.

Are Prescription Sunglasses as Good as Regular Glasses?

With regard to visual clarity, yes, prescription sunglasses offer the same level of vision correction as regular eyeglasses. This is because the sunglasses are created with the exact same vision prescription that your regular eyeglasses would have. The only difference is that the lenses have a darker tint and a UV-protective coating to help safeguard your eyes from UV rays.

Keep in mind that regular eyeglasses may also have a UV-protective coating, but they don't have darkened lenses like sunglasses.

Who Should Wear Prescription Sunglasses?

People who usually wear prescription eyeglasses are great candidates for prescription sunglasses if they also need a sun-blocking tint in their lenses. Prescription sunglasses can greatly reduce exposure to harmful UV rays while comfortably correcting your vision.

All you need to buy prescription sunglasses from Eyebuydirect is an up-to-date vision prescription from your eye doctor. After that, you can choose from a variety of lens options, including multifocal and light-adjusting Transitions® lenses.

Can You Wear Prescription Sunglasses While Driving?

Sure! As a matter of fact, we encourage those with a vision prescription to wear their prescription sunglasses while driving during the day.

While prescription sunnies can come in handy for any outdoor activity, driving requires especially clear and focused vision. Wearing Rx sunglasses while driving can provide distraction-free visual clarity and protection from harmful UV rays.

Can You Wear Prescription Sunglasses for Night Driving?

Wearing sunglasses while driving at night or in low-light conditions can be extremely dangerous and is not recommended. Yellow-tinted “driving glasses” are available for purchase, but research shows they may not offer much assistance.

A recent study on the effectiveness of driving glasses found that the lenses did not improve visibility for drivers. In fact, some participants said the driving glasses actually made their visibility worse.

If you have trouble driving at night or in low-light conditions, it’s best to book an appointment with your eye doctor and discuss your options.

Are Prescription Sunglasses Better than Transition Lenses?

Both photochromic lenses (like Transitions®) and prescription sunglasses have their unique benefits.

Photochromic lenses offer the convenience of adjusting automatically to UV exposure so you don’t have to change out the glasses you’re wearing when you go outside. However, they may not darken completely when you’re driving. This is due to the fact that windshields block a high percentage of the UV rays that photochromic lenses require to “transition.”

The best option for “photochromic driving” may be Transitions® XTRActive® new generation lenses. Designed with driving in mind, they are the darkest photochromic lenses in the car.

Prescription sunglasses don’t offer the convenience of automatic adjustment to sunlight, but once you have them on, you know that the level of UV protection and lens tint you’re getting is effective and consistent.

Before investing in either option, it’s important to consult with your eye doctor to help determine what the best option is for your vision and eyewear needs.

Can I Wear Prescription Sunglasses with Contacts?

Wearing prescription sunglasses with prescription contact lenses is not recommended.

The prescription contacts already work to correct your eyesight. Adding prescription sunglasses on top of them can cause headaches and eye strain, and can even damage your vision.

We suggest buying a pair of high-quality, non-prescription sunglasses to wear on days you choose to wear contact lenses.

How Do You Know What Size Prescription Sunglasses to Get?

If you already own a pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses that you feel is a good size, you can easily find its measurements and use them to shop for your next pair.

To find the measurements on your current frames, check the area of the glasses located near your temple. If there are no measurements present, check the bridge of the glasses on the side that rests against your skin.

What you’re looking for: Your frames may have various numbers or symbols on the temples or bridge, but not all of them have to do with size.

The eye and bridge sizes are each made up of a two-digit number, while the temple size is made up of a three-digit number. Here's how to pinpoint them:

  • Eye size ranges between 40 and 62
  • Bridge size ranges between 14 and 24
  • Temple size ranges between 120 and 150

Eye size and bridge size are normally side by side, but sometimes have a little box symbol between them. The temple size can either immediately follow the eye and bridge size or may be separated by some other information.

Use these measurements to find a pair with a similar fit to what you already wear and prefer.

Don’t have a pair of frames to reference? No worries! Use our Fit & Style Eyewear Quiz to determine what frame styles, sizes, and colors work best for you.