People wearing nonprescription eyeglasses has recently become a thing. No, we are not talking about nonprescription sunglasses you wear outdoors on sunny days. This trend involves clear lenses worn just as if they were prescription glasses. People wear them at home, at work, and at play.
This trend may seem somewhat foolish if your eyes are healthy enough to not require prescription lenses or contacts. It might seem even more foolish if you have to wear some sort of prescription. After all, why on earth would someone wear glasses if he/she didn’t have to? The answer is as intriguing as the question.
Actually, there are multiple reasons. A good place to start is by talking about UV protection. We are all familiar with the idea as it relates to sunglasses, but our knowledge is more limited when it comes to clear lenses.
What UV Protection Does
This sun puts off all sorts of light and varying wavelengths. What we call ultraviolet (UV) light is found at wavelengths of up to 400 nm. It is the most dangerous kind of light for human eyes. Therefore, the goal of UV protection is to filter out that light. That is just what sunglasses with UV protection do.
UV protection is achieved by embedding a special layer within the lenses. That layer is transparent, even if the lenses themselves are not. The fact is that you can achieve UV protection without any regard to color or tint. So it is entirely possible to make eyeglasses with clear lenses and adequate UV protection.
Olympic Eyewear is a Salt Lake City designer and wholesaler of more than two-dozen brands of sunglasses and glasses. Visit their website and you will find numerous models sporting clear lenses. But guess what? They all offer UV protection. That is why some people buy and wear them. They want UV protection at every waking hour whether they are in the direct sun or not. A pair of clear lenses gives them that protection even without a prescription.
Other Reasons for Clear Glasses
The New York Times’ Jane Brody wrote a very compelling piece on this topic published in mid-July 2019. As a senior, she has taken to wearing nonprescription lenses just as though they were regular glasses. She has had corrective Lasik surgery in the past, but she continues to wear clear lenses, nonetheless.
UV protection is right at the top of the list of her reasons for doing so. But there are other reasons as well:
- Shading the Sun – Brody’s glasses boast transitional lenses. As such, they gradually darken as she goes outside into direct sunlight. This makes her life easier in that she doesn’t have to carry around a pair of sunglasses.
- Dirt and Debris – A pair of glasses, regardless of their lenses, is particularly good at protecting the eyes against dirt and debris flying through the air. Brody says this is another reason she appreciates her glasses. She doesn’t have to worry as much while being out and about on windy days.
- Eye Dryness – For seniors and those who deal with naturally dry eyes, glasses can be a lifesaver. They help prevent dryness by not allowing the eyes to be directly exposed to moving air. By the way, this is the primary reason professional cyclists and speed skaters wear sunglasses.
For Brody and others like her, wearing nonprescription eyewear at all times has a lot to offer. Nonprescription lenses can protect against UV rays, keep dirt and debris out of your eyes, and prevent dry eyes. Those all sound like pretty good reasons, don’t they?