Our top 10 tips for sports eye wear

November 21, 2019

What should you keep in mind when purchasing sports eye wear? Learn more about how to improve your athletic performance while still protecting your eyes.

There are a few factors to keep in mind so that you get the most from your sports eye wear, including a suitable tint and a snug, comfortable fit. Off-the- rack sports eye wear is often sufficient – but for certain types of sports or special visual impairments, individually fitted sports eye wear can generally do a whole lot more, particularly if contact lenses aren't an option. But what should you pay attention to when purchasing sports eye wear? And how do you distinguish between sports eye wear and a normal pair of glasses?

BETTER VISION has 10 tips to help you make the right purchase.

1-What sports eye wear is best for my favourite sport? Here are all the categories at a glance – the five different protection levels for sports eye wear:

Generally a distinction is made between five different protection levels with lens tints. The following table will give you an overview of the different sports eye wear options and the suitability of each category for particular conditions.

Either Category bright or Light Ideal for protection

  • very absorption: against bright
  • Category Bright to 0 - 20% Light insects or the wind Ideal for cloudy skies and
  • semi-absorption: some bright 20 - 57% sunshine; contrast- enhancing Ideal for Category Dark Light normal
  • absorption: sunlight, Category 57 - 82% Light e.g. in summer Ideal for
  • Very dark absorption: winter 82 - 92% sports, spending Extremely dark Light time in the mountains or on the beach ideal for light conditions on a glacier, on Category and/or absorption: the water with a reflective coating 92 - 97% or in the desert (but not suitable for driving!)

2- What is important when selecting lenses and frames for your sports eye wear? What is the best material?

The most important thing when purchasing sports eye wear is selecting the right material for both the lenses and the frames. Injuries when playing sports can cause severe injury to the eye, but sports eye wear can help. Although the type of sport determines which eyewear is best for you, the basic principles are the same.

Your eyewear should be as durable and lightweight as possible with a snug, but comfortable, fit. Your glasses should be close enough to your eyes that no stray light gets through – at the same time, your eyelashes should not touch the lenses. The material should not splinter and be as durable as possible while still remaining malleable and flexible. These properties reduce the risk of injury, i.e. when falling, because your eyewear 'gives way' instead of

breaking. Choosing the right material also significantly affects wearer comfort.

Here's a rule of thumb: the lighter the eyewear is, the more comfortable it sits on your nose. For this reason, and because it reduces the risk of injury, eyewear made of plastic (such as polycarbonate and polyamide) should be your first choice: compared to lenses made of glass, they can be manufactured to be up to 50% lighter.

Note: when choosing your frames, make sure they don't contain any elements which could injure you, i.e. glass or metal parts. Also: a hard coating for your plastic lenses is always a good idea to protect them from scratches.

3- What tints are available? And which tint is best for which type of sport?

First of all: not only do tints reduce the intensity of the light hitting the eye, but they also change its spectral composition because of their colour properties. Colour sensitivity varies from person to person, and each of us perceives tints very differently. Selecting the right tint is thus a very personal choice, and not every spectacle wearer will feel comfortable with every tint. When selecting a tint, take your time and try out different options at your optician.

 

But no matter what tint you select, ensure that it's not too dark. The intensity and colour must fit the type of sport and the expected brightness. The different protection levels can give you an overview (see 1). The amount of solar radiation tends to be higher when skiing or playing water sports than with many other outdoor activities. For this reason, the tint should be a bit darker. An additional mirror coating is also recommended. Water sports enthusiasts as well as fishermen may benefit from a polarisation

filter in the lens. The special coating reduces irritating reflected light, i.e. when sunlight hits a wet road, snow, water or metallic surfaces. The result: fewer annoying reflections, giving you clear, comfortable vision – even in bright sunlight. A special tint such as ZEISS Skylet can provide additional visual comfort: the sunglass lens improves contrast and colour perception. This makes it easier to see, particularly in challenging vision situations such as in the mountains or on the water.

The ZEISS Online Vision Check How well do you see contrast and color? Check your vision quickly and simply here!

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4- Here's how to ensure that your new sports eye wear is optimally fitted for your sport, even when wearing a helmet and other equipment.

Playing sports often requires additional equipment such as a helmet. In this case, you should bring your equipment with you when visiting your optician. This way they can assess the situation and find the ideal solution for you. The wearer's posture during use is extremely important for the lens design and the subsequent fitting. A suboptimum visual point could mean that you might not enjoy excellent vision with your new eyewear. Marksmen, golfers, hunters and archers should ideally have their eyewear fitted on-site, i.e. at the shooting range or on the golf course followed by a trip to their optician for final adjustments.

Note: progressive lenses, sometimes also called varifocal lenses, are a good choice for most types of sports, including biking and gliding. However, they are not suitable for golfing. Progressive lenses are fitted to perform in a very particular position, but golfing requires you to switch your gaze as you line up your shot, meaning your head moves and your posture changes.

Playing sports often requires additional equipment such as a helmet. In this case, you should bring your equipment with you when visiting your optician. This way they can assess the situation and find the ideal solution for you. The wearer's posture during use is extremely important for the lens design and the subsequent fitting. A suboptimum visual point could mean that you might not enjoy excellent vision with your new eyewear. Marksmen, golfers, hunters and archers should ideally have their eyewear fitted on-site, i.e. at the shooting range or on the golf course followed by a trip to their optician for final adjustments.

Note: progressive lenses, sometimes also called varifocal lenses, are a good choice for most types of sports, including biking and gliding. However, they are not suitable for golfing. Progressive lenses are fitted to perform in a very particular position, but golfing requires you to switch your gaze as you line up your shot, meaning your head moves and your posture changes.

5- Protecting your lenses from scratches, making them easier to clean and providing UV protection – useful coatings.

Sports eye wear is more likely to be damaged because it undergoes a lot more wear and tear than a typical pair of glasses with corrective lenses. Sports eye wear is subjected to different ambient conditions and must endure being transported in a gym bag – all of this puts the material to the test on a regular basis. Thus an appropriate coating to protect against scratches is a must- have for sports eye wear. Remember: if your eyewear is scratched, you should replace it immediately – that's why it's a good idea to prevent scratches in the first place. A hard coating such as ZEISS DuraVision Platinum not only protects your lenses against damage, but also effectively repels dirt and water, simplifying daily lens care. This way your lenses remain dirt-free for longer

and are easier to clean. Another must-have: 100% UV protection against UV-A and UV-B radiation. Most spectacle lenses and sunglass lenses supposedly feature UV protection, but unfortunately there are always some which aren't quite up to par. Your optician can check how reliable your sunglasses' UV protection really is. This isn't a problem with quality products (e.g. from ZEISS). Ask your optician about appropriate solutions for you – they'll be happy to help.

6- Prevent your lenses from misting up: frames for sports eye wear with air circulation

More importantly, fogged-up eyewear can quickly become a risk or cause a competitive disadvantage during a game or competition. When purchasing your sports eye wear, make sure that it allows for effective air circulation. This prevents your lenses from fogging up. A special coating can also ensure that your lenses stay clearer for longer.

7-Wrapped eyewear – what's most important for ideal protection and optimum vision?

Wrapped eyewear is indispensable: it provides effective all-round protection against dirt, sunlight or small dust particles in the air while ensuring razor- sharp vision, even in the peripheral zones.

But please note: in spite of the wrapped shape, your own visual impairments must still be perfectly corrected to prevent visual distortions. Even with a large lens diameter and strong wrapped frames, the lenses for your sports eye wear should still be flat and stable (e.g. with ZEISS Cosmetic Edge®).

8 How to handle your sports eye wear properly.

To ensure that you'll enjoy your sports eye wear for a long time to come, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. Just like other pairs of glasses, sports eye wear doesn't like being subjected to extreme heat for a longer period of time. High temperatures or temperature fluctuations can damage the frames and the coating. Thus it is recommended that you always keep your sports eye wear in a case when you're not using it. And avoid leaving it in your car on a hot sunny day.

It all comes down to this: the more careful you are, the longer you'll be able to enjoy your sports eye wear. Use the appropriate accessories – these make cleaning easier and help ensure that your new eyewear will last for a long time to come.

9- A convenient alternative for skiing and water sports: sports eye wear with your prescription or daily contact lenses.

It's not always necessary to purchase sports eye wear in addition to your everyday pair of glasses. For skiing and water sports, for example, daily contacts or sports eye wear with your prescription could be a convenient alternative. Did you know that you can even wear your dailies when swimming without any problem? The vacuum ensures that the contact lenses sit securely on your eyes. However, a degree of caution is required – contact lenses do not offer sufficient protection against UV radiation because they only cover a portion of the eye. That's why contact lens wearers should always have a good pair of sunglasses featuring UV-A and UV-B protection handy.

10- And what should I keep in mind when selecting contact lenses for my favorite sport?

There are three important features which affect the wearer comfort of contact lenses: the quality of the lens, a professional fitting and careful lens care using a high-quality cleaning agent. No matter what kind of contact lenses you choose, contact lenses should be fitted by your optician – just like your glasses. Your optician will determine your visual performance, measure the corneal surface of your eye, and check the condition of your tear film so that they can recommend the ideal contact lenses for you.






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