Question: What is the difference between cheap sunglasses and optical- quality sunglasses?
Answer: Inexpensive sunglasses and optical-quality sunglasses may look similar at first glance, but there are some key differences between the two. One of the main differences is in the quality of the lenses. Optical-quality sunglasses use high-quality lenses that are designed to protect your eyes and the surrounding skin from harmful UV rays and provide clear, distortion-free vision. Inexpensive sunglasses, on the other hand, often use low-quality lenses that can cause discomfort when worn for extended periods of time.
Another difference is in the materials used to make the frames. Optical-quality sunglasses are typically made from ophthalmic-grade plastics or metals that are designed to be durable and long-lasting. Cheaper sunglasses may be made from low-grade materials that are more likely to break or wear out quickly, or are lacking features that make them adjustable to get a proper fit. A quality frame will also often be able to have prescription lenses installed, whereas low-end pairs have not been designed to support the mounting of replacement lenses, prescription or otherwise.
While cheap sunglasses may be more affordable in the short-term, they may not provide the same level of protection, comfort and longevity as optical-quality sunglasses. Your optometrist or optician can advise you on what frames and lenses will work best for your lifestyle and whether you would benefit from having corrective lenses installed to give you maximum performance. Prescription sunglasses may even be a covered benefit if you have extended medical coverage, so be sure to check into your plan!