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Can I wear prescription glasses when I'm playing sports?

Dr. Michelle Calder-Cardwell is the owner and lead optometrist
at Urban Optiques Vision & Eyewear in Northville, MI.

Q. I'm very active indoors and out, but rely on prescription glasses. Are there any glasses that I can wear while playing sports or during other activities where I need to see my best?

A. It's great that you're active. More than 50 million Americans participate in sports, and many need vision correction, so you're not alone! Wearing the right eyewear is a must to help you see clearly, protect your eyes from injury, and help you play your best.

According to Prevent Blindness America, 40,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur every year, and over 90% of them can be prevented with the proper use of sports eyewear. Don't be part of these statistics—take steps to protect your eyes.

Your first priority is to get a prescription for sport-safe eyewear. See your VSP doctor for an eye exam and tell her about your athletic activities. She can help you find the corrective eyewear best for you.

Also, make sure to ask for shatter-proof frames and lenses. Eye doctors frequently recommend polycarbonate lenses for athletes, because they're virtually unbreakable.

Since most sports are outside, remember to protect your eyes from harmful rays from the sun. UV protection can be added to polycarbonate lenses, protective goggles, and sometimes lenses for your helmet.

Tints are also an important component of your sports eyewear. Lenses can be tinted a variety of colors to help enhance your performance whether you're a golfer, runner, or cyclist. Learn more about the benefits of tints in our Guide to Sports & Activities Tints.

Some companies are developing special products for the sports minded. For example, Nike offers performance sunglasses in prescription and non-prescription that feature customized fit, high-precision sport optics, and maximum vision clarity to help you get the most out of your sport.

Remember, you only have one set of eyes! Before you hit the field, make sure to put on your sport-appropriate eyewear, and then go have some fun!