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Eyewear and sport

As sponsors of the Magners League Specsavers Fair Play Award and GAA Ladies Gaelic Football referees, Specsavers is a champion of Irish sport.

But Ireland’s most trusted optician¹ offers much more than sponsorship. Specavers stores throughout Ireland also support individual sportsmen and women – both amateur and professional – with athletic eyewear, suitable for a range of sporting and leisure activities.

Contact lenses provide a popular optical alternative for many specs wearers and Specsavers easyvision one-day daily disposables are ideal for sport. There’s no cleaning involved, so you don’t have to worry about pots of solution. You just throw away the lenses after wearing them and put in a fresh pair the next time.

Soft contact lenses are also a good option, as they are very pliable and cannot be dislodged easily from the eye.

Prescription sports goggles are also available and offer a practical alternative for many fast-moving activities, such as racquet sports. The goggles are tough and hard-wearing, with vented sides and a comfortable strap, to hold them in place.

Mountaineers, climbers and hikers prescription can protect their eyes with a range of strong, lightweight prescription sports sunglasses. And if you’re taking to the water, don’t forget that prescription swimming goggles are also available from your local Specsavers store, along with diving masks with prescription inserts.

But there’s more to sports eyewear than specialised frames, goggles and masks. Your optician can also advise you on lens options to suit your needs.

For skiers, the sun’s rays on the piste are heightened by glare, which occurs when the light is intensified as it reflects off the surface of the snow. But, in the mountains, the sky can become overcast within a matter of minutes.

Reactions are Specsavers own photochromic lenses, which adapt to changing light conditions to give you comfortable vision in both bright light and shade. In low-light conditions, or indoors, the lenses are clear. Outside they quickly darken in sunlight, giving you 100% UV protection.

Glare also occurs in bright sunshine on a calm sea, which can make it difficult for yacht or dinghy sailors to spot racing or navigational marks. Anglers and yachtsmen favour Polaroid lenses, which absorb glare, making them perfect for use on the water.

If you compete in motorsports, you may want to try Specsavers’ Ultradrive lenses, which are specifically designed for drivers. This lens blocks all UV light and up to 92% of blue light, making colours appear sharper. Ultradrive is available in two different versions for day and night driving.

If it’s a high level of eye protection that you need then Specsavers can offer specialist polycarbonate safety lenses, which are thinner and lighter than normal plastic lenses. They also offer 100 percent protection from the sun's harmful UV rays and are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses. Specsavers Reactions are also available in this super-tough material.

Standard, varifocal and bi-focal lenses can also be modified, to meet the demands of a particular sport or hobby. An anti-reflection coating will cut glare, while a clear, ultra violet (UV) coating protects the eyes from damaging UV light and is usually combined with a dark tint in sunglasses. Choose from a wide choice of colour tints - brown, grey or green are best for sunglasses.

Ask your optician for advice, as some colours are more suitable for particular activities.

Choosing the right accessories will also help to keep you competitive. Sports bands keep specs in place during competition, while cleaning products and kits help to keep your vision pin-sharp when it counts most.

From the depths of the ocean to the highest peak, there’s an optical solution to suit every activity. With so many eyewear options to choose from, there’s no reason to let your prescription limit your sporting enjoyment or potential. Visit www.specsavers.ie to see what’s on offer, or www.specsavers.ie/stores to find your nearest store.

¹ Specsavers was ranked as Ireland’s most trusted optician - Source: Millward Brown Lansdowne Jan/Feb 2010.