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Sunglasses That Fit Over Prescription Glasses: The Options

Sunglasses have been trendy for a long time (ask any celebrity) and they also do a great job of protecting your eyes. If your vision is good, you can buy non-prescription sunglasses right off the rack in many stores. But what if you already wear prescription eyeglasses — which can be pricey enough — and you don’t want to invest even more in a separate pair of prescription sunglasses?

Old-school solutions to this dilemma include not-so-cool flip-up tinted lenses or sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses. While these options certainly do the job, there are now alternatives available that both protect your eyes and look good doing it.

Let’s clarify why sunglasses are so important and how sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses work. Then we’ll look at some alternatives that are just as effective and affordable — and did we mention stylish?

Why You Need Polarized Sunglasses

Sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses: woman happily wearing a pair of sunglasses

As much as we love the sun, we all know that getting too much of it isn’t good for us — and that applies to our eyes as well as our skin. Overexposure to UV rays increases your risk of developing cataracts, growths on the eye, and even eye cancer, all of which affect your vision. So just as we might use sunblock and a hat to protect our skin from UV rays, we also need eye protection.

While normal sunglasses reduce the intensity of bright sunlight, allowing you to see more easily, UV-blocking sunglasses also offer protection from a certain amount of UVA and UVB rays.

Pro Tip: Check the label on your sunglasses to find out exactly how much UV protection they offer — 100% is always the top choice.

Polarized lenses take that sun protection to the next level, providing a kind of solar shield on bright days by blocking the glare from reflective surfaces. They make activities like driving, boating, and skiing that much easier on your eyes, and you’re less likely to end up with eye strain or a headache.

Bottom line: If you live in an area where there’s a lot of sun, you need sunglasses. The question is: Are sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses the answer?

How Do Sunglasses That Fit Over Prescription Glasses Work?

Glasses wearers have been grappling with how to add sun protection to their prescription lenses for a while now. Clip-on sunglasses have been around since about the 1930s and were rocked by James Dean and a young Jack Nicholson, amongst others. Flip-up sunglasses were all the rage in the ’80s and into the ’90s.

Modern sunglasses that fit over prescription lenses — or over-glasses sunglasses — were developed around the 1970s. The frame is designed to be wider and they usually also have wide temple arms to hide the prescription glasses underneath, so they often look a bit like wraparound sunglasses.

This type of sunglasses fits over most normal-sized glasses, including distance glasses and reading glasses. Because they’re so big, fit-over sunglasses offer good coverage from the sun and they’re fairly sturdy — which is why they’re often used as sports sunglasses.

If you look on sites like Amazon, you’ll find many different variations of sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses. While some are well designed, many look very clunky. Also, wearing two pairs of glasses can take some getting used to and after a few hours, they may start to feel like they’re weighing you down.

Perhaps sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses will work for you. But if not, you now have some other options.

Alternatives to Fit-Over Sunglasses

Women wearing glasses

Perhaps the most obvious alternative to sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses is to buy a separate pair of prescription men’s or women’s sunglasses. But if you prefer not to do that, you have some other options — and the great news is that both of these alternatives only require one pair of glasses.

Alternative 1: Light-Responsive Transition Lenses

Transition lenses are light-intelligent lenses that react to UV light, changing color as the conditions change. So, when you go outside and the light gets brighter, the tint of the lenses darkens accordingly, and when you go back inside (or it’s nighttime), they lighten up again until they’re almost clear. Transition lenses are extremely useful if you move inside and outside regularly during your day.

Alternative 2: Pair Eyewear Sun Tops

Pair Eyewear is cleverly designed so you can select a Base Frame that complements your face shape and then add a Top Frame that suits your personality, interests, and activities. Top Frames are only 2mm thick and extremely lightweight. They attach to the Base Frame using tiny magnets, blending seamlessly into one light pair of glasses — a far cry from the weight of wearing two pairs of glasses.

One of your Top Frame options is Sun Tops, which instantly turn your normal glasses into polarized sunglasses. When you’re inside — or outside at night, for example, doing some night driving — you can wear your Base Frames as they are or add another Top Frame of your choice. And when you head out into the sunlight, you simply switch to your Sun Tops.

Pair Sun Tops are effective, stylish, comfortable to wear, and, very importantly, 100% UVA and UVB protective.

Start by choosing a Base Frame style.

The Wanda or The Ella are classic women’s styles, with a cat-eye shape that suits many different types of faces.

Or choose a unisex style like The Larkin, The Finley, The Casper, or The Kirby — these rectangular styles suit more rounded face shapes.

A rounder style like The Twain, The Soto, The Otis, or The Reese complements more angular faces.

Our Virtual Try-On feature and Fit Guide can help you to choose the perfect pair for you.

Then add your choice of Sun Tops. For example:

If you’re not going with Sun Tops, during the ordering process you can choose other options like light-responsive transition lenses, blue-light filters, or, if your prescription is a bit more complex, ultra-thin, lightweight Premium Plus lenses.

All Pair lenses are made of impact-resistant polycarbonate and can accommodate any prescription, from non-prescription to single vision, reading glasses, or progressive lenses. Before you reach checkout, consider adding a Top Frame Case in green, tan, or navy to keep your Sun Tops and normal Top Frames safe while you’re out and about.

Protect Your Eyes From the Sun With the Right Solution for You

Person wearing eyeglasses and holding 2 pairs of glasses

When you’re going about your day outside in bright sunlight, UV-protective, polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from sun damage and help you see clearly, no matter what you’re doing.

However, there are many ways to get the sunglasses effect — for example, with sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses, or by choosing light-responsive lenses or Pair Sun Tops.

Pair Eyewear is a great choice if you’re looking for quality, stylish glasses that cover all the bases and are excellent value for money. With glasses starting at $60 you can’t go wrong, and your eyes (and your bank account) will thank you.