Prescription Sunglasses: Your Key to Summer Eye Safety in Knoxville, TN

Summer poses plenty of threats to your vision, from fireworks to yard work. While you already know the sun can damage your skin, you may not have realized that it poses a significant threat to your vision, too. Prescription sunglasses are one of the best ways to protect your eye health and look good doing it.

The sun damages your eyes due to its UV radiation which comes in two types — UV-A and UV-B. You’ll need to evaluate different pairs of sunglasses’ UV-blocking capabilities, fit, lens quality, and lens type to find the right pair for you. For the best look, choose frames that compliment your face shape so that you’re always looking in style.

UV Radiation: How the Sun Threatens Your Eyes

Short for ultraviolet radiation, UV radiation is energy created by the sun that eventually makes its way to Earth. It comes in two primary types:

  • UV-A radiation
  • UV-B radiation

UV-A radiation can easily make it past our planet’s atmosphere and to the surface. It is the source of many cases of premature aging and skin cancer. UV-B radiation is largely prevented from reaching the Earth’s surface. Unfortunately, UV-B rays that do make it through can also cause premature aging and skin cancer as well as sunburns and snow blindness.

Click here to read our blog on whether prescription sunglasses are worth it or not!

Finding the Right Pair of Prescription Sunglasses in Knoxville, TN

Our eye doctors can provide you with a wide variety of lenses and frames at our Knoxville optical shop. From single vision lenses to progressives and frame brand options including Maui Jim, Georgio Armani, Ray-Ban, and Tiffany & Co., you’re sure to find your dream pair of prescription sunglasses in Knoxville.

But there’s more to buying a pair of prescription sunglasses than frame styles. You also need to consider: 

  • UV-blocking
  • Correct fit
  • Lens quality
  • Lens type


The most important feature of prescription sunglasses is their ability to block UV rays. Unlike blue light-blocking glasses used for working on the computer, these lenses block rays from the sun to protect your vision. Look for lenses that block 99 – 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. You can also choose lenses rated UV 400 or higher, which provide the same protection.

To learn more about blue light glasses, click here!

Correct Fit

The fit of your prescription sunglass frames is about more than comfort. A good fit will also compliment your face shape, providing a close fit that prevents light from getting through to your eyes. Take time to move your eyes around to ensure that they provide full 360-degree protection.

Lens Quality

High-quality lenses are a must for any pair of glasses, prescription lenses or otherwise. They will help ensure that you can see well as they block the sun’s rays. You can check the quality of the lenses by looking at a square pattern such as a tile floor. If you notice that the lines are distorted then you know that the lenses aren’t of very good quality and to find another pair.

Lens Type

You have a ton of lens options to choose from so finding the right type for you should be no problem. These features are designed to suit your lifestyle, making your prescription sunglasses a part of your everyday life rather than something you forget in your glove box. This way, you get a pair of sunglasses that do much more than block the sun’s rays.

Popular types of lenses include:

  • Polarized lenses
  • Transition lenses
  • Polycarbonate lenses

Polarized lenses are a very common option that reduces glare from the sun that gets reflected from surfaces such as water and sand. Transition lenses (photochromic lenses) shift from light to dark depending on the brightness of your environment. Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant, making them ideal if you live a more active lifestyle.

Choosing the Best Frames for Your Face Shapeprescription sunglasses near me

There’s more to choosing a pair of frames than finding a style that you like. While you may favor a certain style, your face shape could cause them to not look as good as a different style of glasses might! Faces come in a few primary shapes — round, oval, square, diamond, and heart-shaped.

Round Faces

Round faces benefit most from angular frame shapes. This includes rectangular and square shapes that offset round faces. These frames also tend to be wider than your face, giving it a slimmer and longer look. Avoid frames that are round, rimless, or small.

Oval Faces

For oval faces, opt for frames that have a strong bridge that’s wider than the broadest part of your face. You should also look for geometric-shaped frames such as squares and rectangles over circles and ovals. Avoid large frames that cover half your face or more since that will throw off its natural balance and symmetry.

Square Faces

Unlike round and oval faces, square faces benefit from less angular frames. Round and oval eyeglasses will balance your facial features and make their angular aspects appear thinner. Avoid frames with a boxy or angular shape that will make your own facial features appear bulkier.

Diamond Faces

Cateye and oval frames are ideal for diamond-shaped faces. They draw attention away from your narrow forehead and chin by sweeping upward or being wider than other shapes, accentuating your cheekbones and other features. Avoid narrow or boxy frames that highlight the width of your cheeks. This draws attention to your features instead of enhancing them.

Heart-Shaped Faces

For this face shape, your goal is to balance the width of your forehead and the narrowness of your chin. This can be done with round frames or square frames with rounded edges. They tend to have heavy lines and low-set temples that add width to your narrower facial features. Avoid any type of frames that have embellished tops or decorative temples.

Are you ready to step up your prescription sunglasses in Knoxville this summer? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!


UV radiation in the form of UV-A and UV-B rays can do serious damage to your eyes. The best protection is prescription sunglasses that help you see clearly while protecting your vision. Be sure to evaluate their UV-blocking, fit, lens quality, and lens type before buying. You should also choose frames that match your face shape so that you feel confident in your new sunglasses.

Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical has been serving Knoxville since 2009. Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Catherine Abbott specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions, and problems and are committed to improving the quality of life in the Knoxville community through enhanced vision. Located at 10904 Spring Bluff Way, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (865) 888-0892.

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Thompson was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. His family has lived in the Hardin Valley area since 1998, and he graduated from Karns High School in 2004. Dr. Thompson runs Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical alongside his wife, Dr. Catherine Abbott.

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"Dr. Thompson is super professional, and has some of the best 'bedside manner' that I have ever witnessed from any doctor. His staff was very helpful in assisting me with picking out regular frames and sunglasses. I’d happily recommend Dr. Thompson to anyone looking for a eye doctor."
Cody C.