What is the difference between trivex, polycarbonate, glass or CR-39 plastic lenses?
Glass: Glass offers the best optical clarity, meaning that there is virtually no distortion in glass lenses. This is why it is the material of choice in manufacturers such as Ray-Ban, Revo, Vuarnet, and Serengeti. However, glass is the least impact resistant of all of the material, and may shatter upon impact. Shattering means that the lens will split into small pieces which can easily enter the eye and cause permanent eye injuries or even blindness. Therefore, glass is not recommended for any active sports where a fall or a hit by a ball can shatter the lens. It is also the heaviest of all the materials which may limit the length of time these lenses can be worn. However, glass is the most scratch resistant of all materials.
Plastic: CR-39 refers to the type of plastic that is used to make prescription lenses. This is optical plastic and provides very little distortion (more than glass but less than polycarbonate). It is more lightweight and thinner than glass making it comfortable to wear. It is more impact resistant than glass, but may still break and shatter upon impact. Therefore, it is not recommended for active sports. It is more scratch resistant than polycarbonate, but will scratch if not properly taken care of.
Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is an impact resistant material. Most good polycarbonate can be shot at with a .38 caliber bullet and not shatter. It is becoming used more and more today especially for sports eyewear and sunglasses. Although polycarbonate is impact resistant, it should not be consider breakproof or shatterproof. However, polycarbonate is the strongest material available and will have the tendency to break in large pieces versus small pieces which are not as dangerous. Polycarbonate is the thinnest and lightest of all materials. However, the lens also has the most distortion of any lens, especially in wrap frames unless the lens is decentered. However, only those very sensitive to distortions will really notice it. Although tough, the material is actually softer meaning it is more susceptible to scratches. However, most polycarbonate lenses have scratch resistant coatings built in to help prevent scratching.
Trivex(Phoenix): Phoenix originated in the defense industry. It is as safe as polycarbonate but offers better optical clarity (same as CR-39 plastic). They are also more scratch resistant than standard polycarbonate and is more resistant to chemicals. Trivex meets FDA and ANSI Z87.1 impact safety standards at 1.3mm. It is the lightest lens available. 100% UV protection is also standard and does not need to be added.
Eyesize is a term we use in the optical industry to measure frames. The first number in the eyesize refers to the distance in millimeters across (horizontally) one lens. The second number in the eyesize refers to the distance between the two lenses or bridge size (measured in millimeters). This information can help assist you in sizing a frame for your face. To better understand the frame size, double the first number and add the second. This will give you the distance across the full front of the frame. For example, an eyesize of 51/16 means that the frame measures 118 mm across (51 x 2 + 16 = 118). You can then put the ruler up on your face to see how big the frame will be on you. If you only have inches on your ruler, 25mm equals 1 inch. So, in our example, this frame would measure 4.72 inches (118 divided by 25).
Or, if you wear glasses, you can easily compare this measurement to your glasses. Look on the bridge of your frame or on the temples. You should see a similar number separated by a box. This is your frame's measurements. You can see how it compares to the frame you are looking at on our website. Note: If you are wearing a metal frame, most likely your frame has a small eyesize and doesn't go to the end of your face. If this is the case, the first method is a better way of calculating eyesize. You want the frames to be larger than your regular glasses for more coverage and better peripheral vision.
Some brands may also give other measurements. The "B" is the height of the lens top to bottom in millimeters. The "ED" is the distance diagonally across the lens in mm. "A" is the distance across the lens (same as mentioned above) The DBL is the bridge size (same as referred to above). The TL is the length of the temple or earpiece.
First, do you really need bifocals or progressives?
Most sports utilize mostly distance vision. For fast moving ball sports like baseball, racquetball, etc. you can't move your head fast enough to get into the intermediate/near portion of the lens so paying the extra money for progressives/bifocals may not be of any benefit for you. In these circumstances, single vision is the best and least expensive option. For cyclist who need to read bike computers, you may benefit from progressives as you often switch between distance and intermediate during the ride and have time to move your head to get into the right position. But progressives pose issues for cyclists in that when you are on your bike, you are looking at the top portion of the lens which will have a different prescription. Thus reaction time may be slowed by looking through the incorrect prescription. You may want to have the progressive fit high, but then note that when off your bike, your distance vision may be fuzzy. A bifocal or stick on bifocal may still be the best for a cyclist who wants uses the glasses for multiple uses on and off the bike. Fishermen may also benefit from having full near vision to tie flies, bait hooks, etc. but again can get away with a lined bifocal or stick on bifocal. But most ball sports, water sports, etc., you don't need multifocal lenses. Distance only is best for these situations. If you get the glasses in single vision and really decide you need to have progressives, you can always utilize our one time exchange policy and since you will have the frame in hand at this point, you can always get measured, and send the glasses back for the one time remake into progressives or bifocals.
If you do need bifocals or progressives.....
If you are local and can come into our retail store in the Portland, OR metro area. There are companies that do offer progressives or bifocals online. We think this is unethical. Bifocals and progressives require taking precise measurements with the frame on your face. It is frame dependent so the measurements you have from your regular glasses don't help us determine what the proper placement of the bifocal line or progressive starting point will be without seeing the new glasses frame on your face. If we made it with just a standard height (like we assume online dealers who offer these online do), you run the risk of having them be unusable (as line is too high or too low) or having to use them with your head in an unnatural position causing neck strain.
We are beta testing offering on our website right now. But we still believe a proper measurement is required. Thus, if you see the option online for progressives or bifocals and choose this option, we will send the frame to you for fit first. We will not build the prescription lenses into the frame without the measurement so please allow extra time for the whole fabrication process to include shipping the frame back and forth for measurements.
You can then take the frame and then take it locally to have someone measure what is called the segment height. This is the measurement we need to properly fit bifocal and progressive lenses. If you can't find a local place to do this, we can walk you through the process to take the measurements yourself. A layman's measurement is better than no measurement like other companies do. We encourage a professional measurement though. Once you have this precise measurement, send them back to us to have the prescription lenses made. This is a great option for manufacture direct lenses that your local optical shop can't duplicate the technology. Please Note: Prices listed on the website are for single vision lenses only (except for beta test products that do offer pricing for multifocals). Please call first for bifocal or progressive pricing. Also, your local optical shop should be able to also make multifocal lenses for you in your new frame if no special technology is required.
Some dive masks, for instance, come with a pre-determined bifocal height so they can be done in lined bifocals. You will see this offered on a product page if it is available. For some other products such as dive mask inserts or ski goggle inserts where you don't need read naturally (i.e.to read a map, scorecard, gauge, etc.) we can make a lined bifocal and put the line at the very bottom of the lens to ensure it is out of the line of sight for distance vision. You may have to hold at an unnatural position to use the bifocal this way but it is there for short near reading tasks. It would not be good if you wanted to sit down and read a book. But for reading a map, writing a score card, etc., this can be done. Please contact us via email or chat if you want to do this option.
The other option is press on bifocals. These are stickers that have reading power and can be applied to any eyewear. The optics are not good enough to read for long periods of time but again are good for short tasks like changing a flat tire, reading a map or scorecard. These are great for golfers because you can stick then anywhere on the lens so you can keep the reading power out on the periphery so the reading power doesn't interfere with your line of sight on the ball on your backswing. They are also great for changing a flat tire, reading a map or cell phone, or gauges. See Hyrdro-Tac stick on magnifyers or 3m Press on Bifocals for ordering information.
Don't all sunglasses have UV protection? Why do I have to have 100%?
See UV information page here. All sunglasses A Sight for Sport Eyes carries have 100% UVABC protection. All products with Polycarbonate lenses (ie. ski goggles, sports goggles, swim goggles, etc. also have 100% UVABC protection. Refer to brand pages for any exceptions, but there are only a few things we offer that don't have UV protection (Barracuda CR-39 lenses). Also, 100% UV can be added to all custom prescription lenses for an additional charge (included on polycarbonate lenses)
Is there any place I can try the glasses on before I purchase them?
Unfortunately, we only have one retail location in Portland, Oregon metro area. However, we do offer a buy, try and return option. You simply order all the styles you would like to try (please limit to 3). You will be charged, but your order should come to over $50 so there will be no shipping charge. Try on the items, and return the ones that you don't like for a full refund. If you are returning the trial pairs and are having one pair made with prescription, we will pay the return shipping fee. Email us for a mailing label. We don't discourage this policy as we know sunglasses are a difficult item to purchase without trying them on. This is especially true for prescriptions. Since prescriptions are not returnable, it is best to try them on first, then send them back to have the prescription lenses made.
The best option is to call in. We don't do a lot of these so our system is limited online. To use your gift certificate when ordering by phone, simply tell the operator your code and we will apply the gift certificate at the time of the order.
If you wanted to use it online, do your order with a credit card and then email us the gift certificate number with your order number. We will manually add it to the order before processing the credit card so your card will either not be charged or be charged the difference between the gift certificate amount and your order total.
To use your coupon with an on-line purchase, simply place the code in the "discount code" box in the cart (top right corner). The cart will automatically apply the discount. Note: You can only use one coupon per order.
To use your coupon when ordering by phone, simply tell the operator your code and we will apply the coupon at the time of the order.
This is usually not written on your prescription, but is a measurement taken by the optician filling the prescription. The best option is to call wherever you had your regular eyeglasses made to get this measurement. Tip: be sure to tell your doctor that you are getting "swim goggles", "sports goggles", etc. as this will make them more likely to help you. If it is a product they don't sell, they will be more likely to give you the measurement. Otherwise, they will think you are going to a competitor and will not be so forthcoming with the information.
If you are unable to get it from your doctor, here is the best way to get the measurement yourself. A PD refers to your pupilary distance, or the distance between your pupils. Do not attempt to take this measurement yourself in the mirror. When you look in the mirror you would be taking a "near" PD as your eyes converge. You want to take a "distance" PD so you will need another person to measure this for you while you look off into the distance. It is the distance from the center of one pupil to to center of the other pupil in millimeters. (If you take it in inches we can do a conversion to mm for you). A PD ensures that the center of the lenses line up with the center of your pupils where you will get the best vision. If you don't provide one, we will use a standard unless we feel that your prescription is too high and too much distortion will be induced if we use a standard one. PD is not necessary for step diopter products. PD is usually written like this: PD=60 (binocular). Or it could be split per eye like 30/30 (monocular)
The other option is to put on your glasses and have a friend or family member take a dry erase marker and put a dot where your pupil is. Then take your glasses off and measure the distance between the two dots, again in mm. Make sure you use a dry erase marker so the markings will easily come off.
If you have an IPad, you can download this app: PDMIrror (note we can't guarantee accuracy using 3rd party applications)
RX8 Frame is an 8-base wrap. 8 base frames are typically limited in the level of prescription they can handle. Typically the range is +2.00 to -6.00 with a max of 2.00 cylinder. Powers above this typically result iin poor optics and we don't recommend them. These usually are more expensive and subject to an additional base curve charge or special manufacturing charges for rimless styles.
RX6 Frame is a 6 base frame which is good for higher prescriptions. This means the lens is slightly curved, but not as curved at the 8 base style. Thus most prescription powers can be made in RX6 frames.
RX4 Frame is a 4 base frame (similar to what is in regular eyeglasses) with no prescription limitations.
RXADT Available with a prescription insert or adapter. This is a frame that is the carrier of the prescription lens and then snaps in behind the front lenses of the frame. This creates a double frame effect but is advantageous for those who want interchangeable lenses. This allows you to essentially have several pairs of sunglasses with only one prescription lens. It is also a good option for those with higher prescriptions that need very wrapped coverage. You get the wrapped coverage of the non-prescription frame and lenses but without compromising on optical clarity by having a flatter lens in the adapter.
RXDAD: Direct Adapter. This is similar to the lenses being made into the frame as a RX6 or RX8 would be, but the direct adapter is an extra piece that replaces the non-prescription lens. It is different from RXADT as it doesn't snap in behind the non-prescription lenses. It replaces the non-prescription lenses so it can be mounted differently in the frame. Depending on the brand, the only real difference you will see from this and the RX8/RX6 type frames would be either a thin, nylon cord (fishing line) holding the lens in. Or it may be that there is a rim around the lens to either make the lens flatter or less surface area on the lens to allow for prescription lens manufacturing. If you go to the product page and scroll through the main photos, it typically shows you a picture of what the DAD looks like.
Why don't you carry certain brands or don't carry them on-line?
Certain brands are trying to maintain a brand image and do not want their product sold online. Thus, we can't offer them online. But we can order anything from these brands lines (Nike, Kaenon, Zeal, Maui Jim, etc.) by phone or online chat. We also encourage you to go their corporate websites and request that vendors be allowed to sell online. Some companies don't realize the future is online and maybe we can help convince them!
There are other popular brand names that we don't sell because we don't believe in their product. They either have poor quality/price relationships where you are basically paying for a brand name but not getting the quality at the price point, or they don't have good customer service where they stand behind their product line or make it difficult for the consumer to claim warranty. We stick to only good quality brands that have good customer relationships to ensure you are satisfied with what you buy from us for years to come!
Can I get lenses that change color in different light conditions?
Yes. These are commonly referred to as photochromic or photochromatic lenses. In prescription glass lenses, we use the PhotoGray or PhotoBrown lenses. In CR-39, Polycarbonate and Trivex lens materials, we use Transitions lenses (most current generation--we do not use past generations of lenses--be warned that some places may charge less because they are using previous technology. We only use the most current technology for all our lenses). We also offer NXT branded lenses for Trivex. These can be ordered from our Prescription Information page to almost any style. Many of the manufacturers are offering light changing lenses as well in non-prescription. Rudy Project has the ImpactX lens. Wiley-X has the Light Adjusting (LA) lenses. Panoptx has Day & Night lenses. You can also go with an interchangeable lens style. This allows you to manually change the lenses out of the frame for various light conditions. Many brands have this option.
Insurance: Yes. Currently the only insurance plans we accept are EyeMed. We expect to add more in the coming months. Please email , call or use online chat to give us the product you are interested in, along with your name, date of birth and your plan member number. We can verify what your plan will cover and take your order via phone, email or online chat.
Many insurance companies will also reimburse you for services at a non-network provider. Please check with your insurance company. We can fill out any paperwork you need so you can be reimbursed by your insurance company. You can then order online like you normally would with your credit card and submit the receipt you get with your order for reimbursement from your insurance company.
If you would like us to start accepting your insurance plan, please let us know and we will see what it takes to become a provider (note: Because we only have opticians on staff and no doctors, plans like VSP will not allow us to take their insurance because we don't offer exams.)
HSA and FSA: Yes, we can take any HSA/FSA plans that are billed on a Visa or Mastercard. Just place the order as you would with your attached Visa/MC. However, the FSA/HSA card will be declined if you don't have exactly the amount needed for the charge. So if you need to bill partial to a FSA/HSA card and then bill the rest to another card, please call us to do this.
We also do accept Care Credit which is a medical financing program to help break the cost up into reasonable payments. You also get no interest for 3 months on orders over $200.
Occasionally we do have coupons and specials. We post all the general promotions on our promotions page. For limited time offers, we post these on our Twitter account or via our newsletter. You can follow us on Twitter for the weekly deals, or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly deals. You can use the right side bar of most pages to sign up for newsletters or Twitter ID is sporteyes. We post different deals often to newsletters and Twitter so you'll want to sign up for both. With Twitter, you can also see past deals that still may be active.
According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), more than 850,000 Americans injure their eyes annually during home and work activities or while playing sports. Yet wearing protective eyewear can substantially reduce the risk of injury. There are different ways of classifying the safety ratings of eyewear. ASTM F803 and ANSI Z87 are the ones we most commonly use on our website and for sports eye protection. These are performance standards set by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
For ball and stick sports, frames typically must meet ASTM F803. This covers racquetball, handball, tennis, men's lacrosse, men's field hockey, and basketball, squash, badminton, paddleball and three levels of baseball (youth: 40 mph, mid: 55 mph and adult: 85 mph). All of these standards involve performance tests using head forms with various projectiles being shot at different speeds and angles. For eyewear to pass the tests, there cannot be any displacement of the lens from the frame, any displaced fragments or complete fracture of a frame or any touching of eye socket or face form. A 3.0mm center lens thickness is also required. Some sports, like girl's lacrosse and field hockey, or in certain states baseball under 40mph ball, also require independent certification. Thus, the blanket ASTM standard doesn't always apply. All this means is that in addition to the ASTM F803 that covers sports in general, the eyewear is also tested separately using a lacrosse ball, for example, instead of just a general test projectile at a certain speed. Note: When you see on our site that a frame meets ASTM for this or that sport, it doesn't mean that these are the only sports they are good for. Most sports don't have any eyewear standards. For sports where no eyewear standard is required or recommended, the ASTM standard ensures you have the highest level of eyewear protection. For instance, for basketball, there is an additional test called the finger poke test where a dowel of a specific width cannot fit anywhere between the head form and the frame. But if a frame meets the ASTM F803 standard, this covers all ball and stick sports, even if not mentioned or not independently certified. If a brand/style pays essentially for the extra certification for that particular sport, that is just a bonus. But as long as the eyewear is ASTM F803 rated, most leagues (except girl's lacrosse and field hockey) will accept the eyewear as safe for the sport. ASTM rated frames require 3mm thick polycarbonate lenses and when doing a prescription in them, you want to make sure that wherever you get lenses made, they are using at least 3mm thick polycarbonate and not 1mm standard polycarbonate. This is why you may see price differences between us and other sites. The thicker polycarbonate lenses are not stock lenses and must be custom ground for you. Places using mass produced stock 1mm polycarbonate can obviously do it cheaper because they are using stock lenses and not custom making the lenses specifically for you. Make sure if you are not using us to do prescription lenses that whomever you use is using 3mm polycarbonate when making the lenses for you.
ANSI is The American National Standards Institute. These are the minimum standards all eyewear should meet (but not required). The Standard for protective eyewear is Z87.1-2010 (2010 being the date it was updated). Minimum lens thickness is no longer part of the standard. The lens just need to pass what is called "drop ball" imipact testing. As long as it passes, thickness is not required. The new rating also refers to “non-impact” and “impact”. Impact rated ones are marked Z87+ and are required to pass the drop ball test with a higher velocity and heavier "drop ball". Non-impact lenses are marked Z87 without the + and are typically used for occupational use (prevent splash, fluids, sawdust, etc. from entering the eye). The other thing to note is since ANSI is a "recommended" standard, it is subject to internal quality control procedures and doesn't have "requirements" that ASTM standard does.
Typically the frames we sell that are ANSI Z87+ rated are for military use and sports like hunting. We also do carry Z87 frames are also used for occupational uses like medical and contractors. However, if doing other sports, having an ANSI Z87+ rated frame is far better than having a sunglass with no safety rating at all (must have the +). We strongly encourage the ASTM F803 standard for all sports use. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently went as far as to call ANSI Z87.1 “not satisfactory” for eye-injury risk sports, recommending the ASTM standard instead.But we understand that the looks of these styles aren't for everyone. Thus, having the ANSI Z87+ (not without the +) at least have undergone some impact testing. They will not properly protect your eyes for ball or stick sports. But they should hold up better than non-rated sunglass styles with no rating. Again, legally anyone making the lenses in a Z87 frame doesn't have to follow the "recommendations" of ANSI. This means if making the lenses elsewhere, you want to make sure they will follow the ANSI recommeded standard. There are companies that don't follow the rules and will make them cheaply for you without the standard. With some brands, this will void the warranty on the frame so look out for that. If lenses are made properly to ANSI standards, they will have etching in them indicating the ANSI Z87+ rating. If you get the lenses somewhere else and they don't have the etching in the lenses, beware that theses lenses are not properly protecting you to the government standard.
Sources: "Socket it to Me" 20/20 Magazine, Optician U "Sports Safety Glasses for Eye Protection"
Can I just get lenses replaced into my existing frames if my prescription changes?
Yes, if your prescription changes and your frame is in good condition, you can just send your frames to us to have your new prescription made into the frames. We don't accept responsibility if the frame breaks duing instalation but if your frame is in good condition (not brittle, no hairline cracks, etc.) it is normally not a problem. Fill out this form, package them up and send them to us!
What if I have prism in my prescription. Can that be done?
Yes, we can accommodate prism in any 6 base frame (prism is not recommended for any of the RX8 styles). There is a $15 charge per eye for prism. You can add it to your cart from the additional prescription lens options page. In the comments section of this page, please notate your full prescription including prism. Or you can fax or email the prescription to us for verification.
For a few brands, you may see options that says "(frame color)/no lenses (for RX)". This means that the frame comes with no real plano (non-prescription) lenses and can only be used for the insertion of RX (prescription) lenses. The reason we offer this option, if applicable, is to save you money. Typically when doing prescription, you are paying for the non-prescription lens that comes with the frame and we just toss this lens and replace it with a prescription lens. Thus, you end up paying for a lens that you won't be using. When frame manufacturers offer a "no lens" option, we turn around and pass that discount on to you by only charging you the price we pay for the no lens version. Please note: If you purchase a frame with no lenses and are NOT having us make the prescription lenses, you cannot wear the frame without any lenses. The frames will not offer any protection for your eyes with no lenses and your eyes could be seriously injured or you could go blind. Do not attempt to wear any of the frames without lenses. If you do plan to have the prescription filled locally, you may want to order the frame with lenses. Often prescription labs, if they are not accustomed to doing a certain manufacturer brand, need the lens as a "pattern" to cut the lenses. Our lab already has the pattern for all or frames, or they use tracing technology where they can trace the inside of the frame instead of using a pattern. This is why we are able to offer the "no lenses" version of the frames.
These systems let you see what the shape will look like with your facial features but do not give an accurate representation of size. After various review, we found that customers were disappointed after using virtual try on systems when they actually received the glasses because they were much bigger or smaller "in person" than they were with the virtual try on systems. As technology progresses, if we find a virtual try on system that will give an accurate representation of sizing, we will reconsider this option. But we think this would cause more issues than help in regards to sizing. We suggest you order a few frames first for try on, then send back what doesn't work for a refund and prescription in the ones that do fit. There is no good substitution to try something on in person!