A cool pair of designer sunglasses can cost you an upwards of $120 depending on your lifestyle, brands and designs on offer.
Call it the necessity of modern life; owning comfortable sunnies is important as they protect eyes from harsh UV rays and itching, while you drive or walk.
For those who have spectacles, getting a stylish pair of prescription sunglasses is possible with so many high end brands designing frames to accommodate prescription sunnies. Reason? It all’s about the quality of lenses in your glasses. For example, a high quality polarized lens can cost as much as $300 for a pair; frames are important but it’s really the lens that makes all the difference.
Sunglasses are a preventive health product as much as buying sunscreen or a hat. They are worth an additional investment.
Here’s a Buying Guide for prescription sunglasses
1. Are Prescription Sunglasses Covered by Health Funds?
You can claim anywhere between $180- $ 300 on prescription eyewear whether its reading glasses or sunglasses.
All health funds offer rebate on optical as an extras cover besides dental, physiotherapy and more. It’s important to have an optical eligibility cover to get the rebate in a year. Some health funds offer zero waiting period to upto 2 months waiting period for optical services.
You can enjoy more benefits if you choose a Members First optical partner. So find out if your health fund has tie ups with leading optical chains like SpecSavers, OPSM, Vision Direct etc.
For example: If you spend $350 for a pair, you only have to pay $110, if your cover has an optical claim of up to $260 in a year.
2. Shortlist, compare prices to get the best bargain
Collections at most stores differ from each other, so it’s advisable to visit at least 2-3 stores to find out your choices, or shortlist them online.
Privately owned stores will charge you for an eye test which you can get a rebate from Medicare.
If you don’t want that, then choose optical chains like OPSM, SpecSavers with bulk-billed options, which means there is no out of pocket expense, assuming that you have Medicare and a health cover.
Go for a comprehensive eye test at stores like OPSM, SpecSavers, for no extra cost. Get your eyes examined with prescription details.
The optometrists give professional advice on lenses and tints suited to your needs and lifestyle.
You can also get your frames adjusted, fitted anytime.
Most stores will tell you that a prescription is valid for three years.
Image courtesy: OPSM
4. Why prescription sunglasses are so expensive?
The main expense of your sunglasses is the lens. Good quality lens can cost anywhere between $150-$200 for a pair.
Some lenses are specifically designed to help you while driving. For example, a polarized lens enhances contrast, while also adapting to varying light conditions, be it outside or inside your car’s windscreen.
All prescription sunglasses come with anti-scratch, anti-reflective, UV protective coatings. It’s add-ons like polarisation or different lens tints that increase the price.
5. What prescription frames do I need?
Tell the store rep that you are looking for prescription sunglasses, so that they can recommend you the right full rim sunglasses.
Better to go for plastic or acetate frame materials, as they are lightweight, spreading the weight evenly.
Image courtesy: OPSM
6. Watch out for Discounts!
Look out for discounts offered by stores, to save on frames and lens.
Easter, end of season sale, pre-Christmas are the best time to make the most of these discounts. During this time stores also offer discounts on lenses for nearly 50%
You can also get special discounts on prescription sunglasses if you buy them at the same time as your regular spectacles. Ask the staff when you visit the store.
Short-list your favourite sunglasses comparing their prices and features, to enjoy a good bargain.
I did all of the above to buy my Ray Ban sunnies from OPSM and my experience was great right from the eye test, helpful staff and the discount I was able to avail on lenses.If you have any questions, inbox me – firstname.lastname@example.org