You are here


Learn why eye protection is vital during sports.


Protecting your eyes from the sun is important at any time, but it’s especially vital when you’re playing sports. Learn about why it’s essential to protect your eyes, how you can protect them, and what happens if you don’t. Whether you’re on a field, up in the mountains, or out at sea, your eyes are constantly exposed to sunlight. Without careful consideration you could put yourself, and more specifically, your eyes at risk. Therefore smart sun protection is crucial, and not being properly equipped for outdoor sports can not only negatively affect your performance, but cause long term eye damage.


Why Good Eye Protection
is Important

Reduces the sun’s glare – Visual clarity is critical when it comes to sports. A common problem with eyewear in general is glare, which is caused by bright sunlight reflecting off roads, water, snow, or shiny objects. Glare can cause discomfort and sensitivity to light, reduce contrast, affect your vision, and potentially distract you from your sport. You could also suffer temporary or permanent eye damage as a result of glare.


Protects against the elements – Your eyes are constantly under threat from your environment, especially during sporting activities. Rain, wind, pollen, and insects are hazards without a physical barrier to shield your eyes, so having protection is essential.


Reduces eye fatigue – When engaging in physical activity outdoors, low or very bright lighting conditions, as well as constant adjustments in focus, can put strain on your eyes. This may result in eye fatigue which can be as detrimental to your performance as physical tiredness.


Improves performance – The majority of perceptual input during sport comes from your eyes, so shielding your eyes properly from the sun is important. Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays allows for clearer vision, helping to improve your reactions, coordination, balance, accuracy, and endurance.


Prevents facial discomfort – If your protective sunglasses are not shaped for a comfortable fit or are made of inferior materials like insubstantial plastic or metal, they can not only negatively affect your concentration, and consequently your performance, but may also lead to you removing them completely - leaving your eyes unprotected.


Prevents vision impairment – UVA rays from the sun can cause UV damage, as well as eye irritation and problems with your vision. Prolonged exposure can lead to temporary eye problems such as photokeratitis, the inflammation of the cornea, and photoconjunctivitis, the inflammation of the conjunctiva. More severe consequences can include eye growths, known as pterygium, as well as cataracts and eye cancer.


Essential Protection for Sports
There are several ways to ensure you have the best protection for your eyes when playing sport. From frame material to lens technology, the below options can help you make sure you have the right kit.



Wraparound fit – A curved design ensures that wraparound frames fit snugly on your face and head. The fixtures around the bridge, nose, and temple keep the sunglasses firmly on your head regardless of continuous movement and sweatiness. This allows for the perfect balance between comfort and performance.

Material – Frames made from a polycarbonate are durable and lightweight, giving you a pair of athletic sunglasses that are comfortable to wear, but aren’t in danger of shattering due to the intensive movement that is part of sporting activity.


The right lenses – The right lenses can improve hand-eye or hand-foot coordination, better depth perception, and improved peripheral vision. Large and curved lenses efficiently shield against UV rays and other external threats as they provide a wider range of protection, rather than just guarding the front of your eyes.


Lens treatment – Lenses are vulnerable to a number calamites during sporting activity, so exploring different lens treatments can prolong the life of your sunglasses as well as help improve your performance. Anti-scratch treatment can provide heightened resilience to external elements, anti-fog treatment helps to prevent the build-up of condensation, and water repellence eradicates distorted vision caused by rain or sweat.


Polarisation – Glare and bright lights can severely reduce clarity of vision, which can cause performance to suffer. Polarized lenses almost completely eliminate this problem by blocking bright light with a special filter and improving contrast to make your vision clearer. They come highly recommended for those wishing to engage in sports where glare can be an issue, such as those involving snow, water or road surfaces.


Tints – Tints come in four categories, the first of which being the lightest and last being the darkest. The tints affect your glasses’ ability to filter light and are designed for different environments, therefore it is important to choose the correct tint level depending on what sport you are playing.

  • Yellow tints are good for situations where there is little light, such as dawn or dusk fishing, as they improve contrast and eliminate glare off the surface of the water.
  • Orange tints improve depth perception vision accuracy, ideal for target sports like archery and shooting.
  • Brown tints that fall into category three or four can provide an accentuated contrast and filter for more intense UV rays, optimal for high altitude sports such as skiing and snowboarding, and aquatic sports such as sailing and water-skiing.
  • A grey tint is more neutral and does not affect the colour of your surroundings, making them idea for team sports and ball games.

Essilor provide UV lenses for sports in all weathers and conditions - find the best eye protection for you today!



Visit one from our
extended network today