Tennis and Eyeglasses

“George, Do players who wear glasses, and need different prescriptions for reading and for playing, find that they can play well with one pair which combines both? Or do they find that it’s better to have one pair for playing tennis, driving, etc. and a separate pair for reading?” Best regards, Andrew Kessler

This answer from my brother the eye doctor:

“The combination prescription is called progressive lenses. If you are someone who wears them all the time, you can easily adjust to playing tennis with them. If you are not used to playing with a prescription, it will take some adjustment.

If glasses help you see better, then ultimately you will play better tennis with them. Some sportsmen don’t give themselves enough time for their brain to get adapted and choose to play with just a distance prescription.”

Bill Wachtel. O.D.

And eye doctors around the country highly recommend players wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the damaging rays of the sun. So regardless of playing better, it is smart to wear them to save your eyes.

But what if you need a prescription? Two solutions: Get a pair of prescription sunglasses or, if you really prefer playing with “wrap arounds,” like Bolle, get a pair of prescription inserts made (see picture of mine).

I ordered the insert frame from my pro shop and my brother had the prescription lenses (with my “progressive” combination) made and inserted. For me, they work well … allowing me to see the ball and protect my eyes at the same time.

5 thoughts on “Tennis and Eyeglasses

  1. Good information. I have been wearing Bolle with non-progressive prescription inserts for seven years, since detached retina surgery. It has made a world of difference.

  2. I use the progressive lenses with no problem But the inserts sound interesting since I would like the protection of sunglasses. Thanks for the tip. What about the glasses that turn dark in the sun? Anyone have experience with those? That’s the way I was leaning before reading this.

    Mike – i thought about those (i believe they are “transition lenses”); but they don’t give the wrap-around protection. geo

  3. do sun glasses cause any depth perception issues ?

    Steve – i, for one, feel the Bolle green lenses can actually improve seeing of the ball under challenging sun conditions. geo

  4. I played for quite a few years with progressive, transition lenses with UV protection; one set of glasses for everything. It was quite satisfactory. Then cataracts developed and I started seeing double overlapping tennis balls coming at me. I had my eyeball lenses tossed and plastic UV protected replacements. Now I play tennis with no glasses if it is overcast or sunglasses is there is any sun.

  5. Being somewhat nearsighted , I used to have an extra pair of non-bifocal shatterproof glasses in my bag for tennis and soccer. This was somewhat of a pain, so when I next changed prescriptions, I asked the optometrist to put the lower part of the bifocal lens much lower. Now, I don’t need the extra pair to play tennis because the ball does not enter the lower lens until I’ve nearly made contact. Also,I can read at the same time as watching football on TV without moving my head. Works for Me!

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