Eyewear for Horseback Riders

equestrian sports eyewearMany horseback riders need some degree of vision correction, and others worry about eye protection while riding horses. Which is best?

Unfortunately, traditional glasses, sunglasses and contacts can get in the way of equestrian sports. Glasses tend to bounce around on the nose if they are not fitted correctly, while dirt and dust can agitate contacts. And any type of eyewear can become a hazard while riding horses.

When the goal is to protect both the eyes and the eyewear for horseback riders, the options are definitely limited.

Eyeglasses for Equestrian Sports

Glasses are a problem because they are not attached to the head, and helmets and other head protection devices can compromise the earpieces of glasses. When simply hacking around the arena or taking a leisurely trail ride in the woods, glasses should not pose much of a problem, but what about active equestrian sports?

Sports Sunglasses for Horseback Riders

Although there are currently no equestrian-specific eyewear options on the market for horseback riders, it is a good idea to explore safety eyeglasses as an alternative. These special glasses follow rigid ANSI rules to ensure eye safety while involved in equestrian (and other) sports and activities.

They typically have plastic and hard coated lenses that will not shatter in an accident, and often have wrap-around frames that ensure better protection around the ears and brow. Other safety features to consider when purchasing eyeglasses for horseback riders include:

  • Brow guard for impact absorption
  • Side guards
  • Flexible nose bridge
  • Scratch-resistant surface
  • 99.9 percent UV protection
  • Breakaway cords for clip-on attachments

It is possible to find eyewear for riding horses that are both attractive and functional, so do not worry about the aesthetic aspect at first. Instead, horseback riders should carefully evaluate the constitution of glasses for comfort and safety, which are infinitely more important.

Riding with Sunglasses

Everyone knows that the sun’s intensity can destroy an otherwise pleasant ride. Sunglasses help to cut down not only on the painful and annoying aspects of sunlight while riding horses, but also the dangerous effects of riding with unprotected eyes.

In most cases, it is possible to fit a pair of regular safety eyeglasses with alternative lenses to make them sunglasses. Horseback riders can also use clip-on shield attachments that do not replace the lenses at all, but simply provide a protective shield.

Many horseback riders have discovered that polarized sunglasses are ideal for equestrian sports. These specialty glasses are manufactured to reduce not only the direct light from the sun, but also the glare from glossy surfaces, such as water, metal and plastic.

Horseback riders should make sure that all types of eyewear, including sunglasses, are sufficiently comfortable for equestrian sports. From the nose bridge to the ear pieces, the glasses should fit snugly to the face with no shifting as the wearer moves.

Additionally, it is important to remember that sunglasses attachments that fit over existing eyeglasses can constitute a safety hazard. For example, if the attachments are made of glass rather than plastic, wedges might make it under the eyeglasses in an accident, damaging the eye.

Riding with Contacts

Some horseback riders do not like eyeglasses at all, and prefer the flexibility and inconspicuous nature of contact lenses. However, contacts are difficult to wear while riding horses because if dust, dirt and other debris find their way into the eye, the contact lens can aggravate any damage or irritation.

Consequently, most horseback riders keep a pair of safety eyeglasses for the barn, or wear polarized sunglasses over their contacts as an additional preventative measure. There are also amber-tinted contact lenses that will create a similar protection to sunglasses.

Should dirt or debris find its way into the eye while wearing contacts, horseback riders should remove the lenses immediately and wash out the eyes with water. Nearby water hoses work well for this purpose, and some riders even wear safety goggles over their contacts to avoid such a situation.

Evaluating your Options

Horseback riders should talk to their optometrists when soliciting fittings for eyewear. Whether they prefer eyeglasses, sunglasses or contacts, a professionals can help riders to find safe, comfortable solutions for any equestrian activity.

Continue Reading...

Best Sports Prescription Sunglasses with MTB Wrap Around Styling

Best Sports Prescription Sunglasses with MTB Wrap Around StylingWhere to buy the best value top quality sports prescription sunglasses for mountain biking with wrap around styling to protect eyes from dust, mud and wind.

Mountain bikers who wear glasses for vision correction have two choices when it comes to sports sunglasses; either wear contact lenses with an ordinary pair of sunglasses or invest in a pair of prescription sports sunglasses.

This article looks at the best sports prescription sunglasses you can buy for mountain biking with wrap-around styling, where the prescription is built into the lens.

Prescription Cycling Sunglasses

Sports cycling prescription sunglasses come in two main types: either an insert known as a clip-in lens which simply clips to the inside of the frame at the nose-piece, or an in-frame prescription lens, where either the entire lens has corrective power or just the central portion.

The problem with wrap around styles of sunglasses is that it is far more costly to produce a curved lens with full corrective power, which is why many branded prescription lenses from companies like Oakley or Rudy Project only offer corrective power in the center of the lens; the result is a loss of periphery vision when looking sideways. The best option is to buy sports prescription sunglasses with full corrective power over the entire surface of the lens.

Prescription Designer Sunglasses with Mirror Lenses

Many mountain bikers prefer designer style sunglasses with mirror lenses which look super cool on the bike, but if you need prescription lenses, adding a mirror finish increases production costs even more, not to mention a complicated eye prescription which may need to allow for astigmatism or a higher power level outside the standard prescription range offered by Oakley, which, for example, is between +2.0 and -3.0.

It is possible, however, to get cool wrap-around styling with a fully built-in prescription lens, both polarized and mirror finish, for a lot less than the +$400 price tag charged by many of the top brands.

Cheap Sports Sunglasses with Prescription Lenses

The way to find cheap sports sunglasses with prescription lenses is to buy direct from an optical laboratory that offers personalized service and even international delivery. Most optical laboratories have a complete range of sports sunglasses including wrap-around styles for cycling with UV anti-scratch and anti-mist lenses as standard and frames made from “virtually unbreakable polycarbonate.” Bifocal and varifocal options are also available.

To avoid any confusion over ordering the correct prescription, customers are asked to purchase online first and are then called personally to give prescription details. Alternatively, customers can ring the company direct or send an e-mail if they are not sure whether a particular lens is the right one for them.

Either way, buyers have access to a comprehensive array of styles and lenses and the assurance that their exact prescription can be built-into the best prescription sports sunglasses available in the market, at a far cheaper price than buying from an optician.

Buy Wrap-Around Prescription Sunglasses for Cycling Online

If you want to buy wrap-around prescription sunglasses for mountain biking or road cycling, look for great value, stylish sunglasses that are high quality and built to last. After all, why pay more for a branded pair, when you can get the same look for less?

If you’re a brand junkie, then read about the best prescription sunglasses for cycling before making a purchase. If you don’t need sunglasses for vision correction, an ordinary pair of sports sunglasses for cycling will be fine, either a unisex pair or a great value pair of cycling sunglasses for men.

Continue Reading...

How to Keep Eyes Healthy for Life

How to Keep Eyes Healthy

Most people rarely think about their eyes until the day comes when the newspaper has to be held farther away to be read. A decrease in vision as we age is normal, but there are many other problems that can causes vision decrease early and impair eye health. Some of those problems can be avoided with foresight and preventative measures to help maintain healthy eyes for life.

Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors

The sun’s UVA and UVB rays can damage eyes just like it damages skin. The cornea of the eye can be sunburned when eyes are not protected from directed sunlight with sunglasses. Fortunately, a sunburned cornea is usually reversible, but there is also cumulative sun damage that occurs to the eyes with sun exposure over time that is not as easy to reverse, like cataracts.

UV protection sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses when outdoors will prevent sun damage to the eyes and help maintain eye health. For those who wear prescription corrective lens, lenses such as transition, which automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, will protect the eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Contact lens are also available with UV protection.

Add Antioxidant Rich Foods To Diet

Antioxidants for Eye Health

Antioxidant rich foods, especially those rich in lutein and omega-3 fatty acids, keep eyes healthy by protecting the eyes from age-related eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the major cause of blindness in people aged 50 and above.

Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are nuts and fatty fish like salmon. Lutein rich foods the dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, peas and kale.

Adding a small daily amount (a quarter of a cup) of antioxidant rich foods to a daily diet will help keep eyes healthy for life.

Take a 20/20 Eye Break

rest and eye health

Avoid eye strain and dry eyes when working on the computer or doing other up-close work by taking an eye break every 20 minutes. Stop the up-close work every 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

See An Optometrist
Eye Health and Optometrist Visits

Barring any earlier eye problems, by age 40 it’s time to see an optometrist for a baseline eye exam, even if there has been no change in vision. After a baseline eye exam, follow up eye exams are usually recommended every couple of years. This allows the optometrist to detect an early signs of eye problems for easier treatment.

Eyes are meant to last a lifetime. Keeping eyes healthy for life does require a little foresight by eating foods rich in antioxidants and wearing sunglasses to protect eye health, taking frequent eye breaks and seeing an optometrist.

Continue Reading...

How to Choose the Right Sports Sunglasses for Cycling

How to Choose the Right Sports Sunglasses for Cycling

Cycling specific sports sunglasses and lenses are available in a wide range of styles from leading eyewear manufacturers. While some riders may prefer to wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses to save having to buy two pairs, it’s important to understand that cycling glasses offer far more than just good looks from a top designer eyewear brand.

Why Wear Cycling Sunglasses?

Good quality sports sunglasses for road or off-road cycling protect the user from harsh sunlight but also keep out dirt, flies, dust and wind, especially important for riders who wear contact lenses. The wrap around styling that keeps undesirable light and objects out also provides a snug fit, meaning glasses won’t move around, a huge plus point if riding at speed in a competition.

Advances in technology mean that there is now a wide range of different colored lenses on the market, made specifically for varying weather and light conditions, as well as photochromatic options and a plethora of different lens coatings for both fashion and function.

Key Features of Cycling Eyewear

In addition to wrap around styling, look for the following features when buying sunglasses for cycling:

  • Polycarbonate lenses – Most good brands offer polycarbonate lenses which are up to twenty times stronger than ordinary lens glass.
  • Interchangeable lenses – Useful for varying light conditions and also as spare lenses should one set become scratched. Most good brands offer dark, light and clear lenses, the latter being useful for evening or night riding.
  • Photochromic lenses – Allow smooth transition from low light to bright light without the need to interchange lenses; useful for competition riding.
  • Comfort – Good cycling glasses fit neatly underneath a cycling helmet without pinching the side of the head; they have a comfortable non-slip nosepiece and side arms that don’t snap easily. If possible, try on glasses while wearing a helmet to ensure a good fit. Look for glasses that can be adjusted if, for example, a sweat band is required under a helmet in hot conditions.
  • Weight – Sports sunglasses should be light and offer enough ventilation within the wrap around styling to prevent glasses misting up in humid conditions or when riding hard uphill. A good example is the innovative vented lenses on the Oakley Jawbone (see picture below).
  • Polarized lenses – These offer riders improved clarity of the contours of a trail as, according to Al Gleek of lens maker Carl Zeiss, Inc. polarization “blocks scattered light and lets in only very focused light.”

Cycling Prescription Sunglasses

Riders who need prescription sunglasses can buy cycling specific branded glasses with either clip-in or in-frame lenses. The cost is higher for in-frame lenses although cheaper non-branded options exist from specialist optical laboratories and may be preferable to paying the high cost of a custom made prescription lens with a mirrored finish.

Sports Sunglasses Brands

The main brands offering cycling specific sports sunglasses are Bolle, Rudy Project, Oakley, Adidas, Bloc and Specialized.

All offer stylish sunglasses with a variety of features such as “thermogrip nosepads”from Bolle, affordable clip-in prescription lenses from Adidas or Bloc’s innovative “8 based curve” which offers a close fitting frame with improved peripheral vision. Expect to pay between $80 and $250 depending on features and type of lens.

Buying Sunglasses for Cycling

Whilst it is possible to wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses for bicycling, most riders prefer the key features offered by cycling specific sports sunglasses; practical wrap around styling and interchangeable or photochromic lenses that suit varying light conditions. Just remember to choose a style that fits comfortably under a cycling helmet.

Continue Reading...