The Battle of Summer: Eyewear VS the Elements

Finally, it’s summer! The season for our outdoor enthusiasts to live life to their fullest. From leisurely walks, to biking, hiking, and everything in between, many Americans will spend at least 2-3 hours per day outdoors during the summer. About 70 percent of Americans wear corrective lenses – and as the sun returns with warm temps, it reminds us to grab our sunglasses.

Cue… the battle of Summer vs Eyewear! From glasses to sunglasses, to contact lenses, we all enjoy some unique issues during July and August. Let’s address the 3 most common frame issues patients deal with. Maybe one of these tips will spare you some frustration on your next overpacked summer day.

#1- The dance of the spectacles

For those of us who wear glasses, shifting back and forth between clear lenses and sunglasses can be a bit challenging. Keeping track of each pair gets sneaky, and we see dozens of patients each year who lose, sit on, step on, or otherwise mishandle one of those pairs they’re juggling about. So, what are some ways we can fix this treacherous samba?

  1. Try out contact lenses. Wearing contacts during the summer months can free you up to wear whatever sunglasses tickle your fancy that day – or to buy a plain old, non-prescription pair if you’re on the road and your own sunglasses break. Ask your eye care professional if you are a good candidate for contacts – there are more brands and more types of contacts than ever before, so even if they didn’t work for you in the past, you just may be lucky this time…
  2. Try a bifocal in your sunglasses. For presbyopia patients, who can’t focus well on close objects anymore, this is a great option! There are many types of bifocal & trifocals available, so there is essentially something that will work for everyone.
  3. Opt for Transitions® in your lenses. Photochromic lenses have come a long way since the first types went on sale in the 1960s. With faster activation and deactivation times, they have become a functional lens option for your day-to-day eyeglass wearer.

#2- The ophthalmic slide

We are all too familiar with our glasses slowly creeping down our nose, especially in the summer. So, how can we put a stop to this nonsense? Here are a few things to try:

  1. Clean your nose pads. Our skin produces natural oils. Plus, a lot of us use moisturizers to combat the dry air; and, sunscreen should be a best friend on those fleeting sunny days in north Idaho. All these factors cause residual buildup on our nose pads, causing them to lose their grip. Dab a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a cleaning cloth, and use it to gently remove any oils or residue. Your nose pads should happily hug your nose once they’re clean, but you can always pop by a local optician’s shop to get them replaced if their surface has been compromised.
  2. Have your frame adjusted by an optician. Over time, sunglasses tend to loosen up due to heat, general wear, and being shuffled around in the off-season.  A frame that prefers doing the electric slide to staying on your face is not a great adventure buddy. So, stop by to see your optician! They can help sleuth out what is causing your frame to run wild, whether it’s spread nose pads or stretched-out temples. A well-trained optician will know just what adjustments to make to get you back to enjoying your specs.

#3- Those foggy mornings

Who doesn’t love a cool summer morning along the lakeshore? Typically, your sunglasses. Many of us leave our sunglasses in the car overnight, thus causing us to fall victim to the early morning fogging of the lenses (which happens when you put a cool frame on your steamy little self as you load up in the car for your busy summer’s day). Even worse, if you’re in and out of A/C and the hot summer air all day long, you may find you’re constantly having to pull your glasses on and off to fight this maddening cloudiness. There isn’t a quick, “your lenses will never fog again” solution to this problem, but there are a few key tricks that can help a bit.

  • Wait for your frames to warm up. If you are constantly in a hurry like me, planning ahead or having a bit of patience can be tricky.  But, with slightly warmer frames, you have less of a chance of insta-fog when you put on your lenses. Wait until they’ve adapted to the new car temperature before throwing them on your face. The alternative: put your sunnies on, and let them acclimate to your body temp (and clear up) before taking off down the road.
  • Try an anti-fog cleaning cloth. One of the best things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic was vast improvements in anti-fog solutions (due to healthcare workers having to mask up constantly at work). You can purchase anti-fog cleaning cloths or individually packaged wipes in stores, or online. Some work WAY better than others, so watch reviews, or ask a local optician for which brand they prefer to use on their winter ski goggles.

Happy solstice!
~LoreLei Henry