Written by:  Leesa Nesty


We are excited to present a new blog series on Sports Vision!  As promised, we have guest bloggers from time to time, and this week is one of those times.


This blogger is extra special.  He is Solar Bat owner Gary Nesty, O.D..  Dr. Nesty graduated with honors from the Indiana University School of Optometry.  He has been an outdoor and sports enthusiast longer than he has been an optometrist.  Doc is kicking off this blog series with an explanation of the difference between more expensive optical quality sunglasses and lower priced sunglasses.  This post will be followed with information on how the proper sunglass design and lens tints can actually improve your performance in your chosen sport.  We hope you enjoy this, the first of the series, and all the posts to follow.




by Dr. Gary Nesty


     I am often asked, “Why should I spend over one hundred dollars for a pair of sunglasses when I can purchase sunglasses for under $20?”  This is a legitimate question deserving of a serious answer.  First, let me say that I realize everyone does not have the same level of intensity when it comes to sports equipment.  It is because of this that Solar Bat(R) offers sunglasses at a variety of price points.  Solar Bat is now designing a new line of sunglasses called 3 Legged Dog that will retail for under $20.00.  We currently have a line of sunglasses called NOCS that retail for under $60.00.  Price points follow an upward progression with our PNVX and the top of the line PNVXD Solar Bat sunglasses.  Each sunglass is the best possible value for dollar spent, but the 3 Legged Dog and the NOCS do not possess the quality of the PNVX and PNVXD.  You need to purchase the best quality sunglasses that you can afford remembering that any of these sunglasses are far better than not wearing any sunglasses at all.  That being said, I believe you should be well informed when deciding how much money to spend on sunglasses.


     This initial blog post revolves around vision and eyestrain.  As a general rule, the less you pay for a pair of sunglasses the more distortion you will experience in the lenses.  Some very inexpensive lenses have so much distortion as to reduce the clarity of your vision.  Most do not have distortion to that degree, but enough to cause eyestrain and discomfort.  Distortion in lenses means that the surfaces of the lenses, either front, back or both, have irregularities.  These irregularities cause the lenses to actually have very small amounts of prescription and that amount of prescription will vary across the surfaces of the lenses from right to left and will not be the same in the right vs. the left lens.  Your eyes have the ability to change focus (this is called accommodation) and this ability decreases as the eye ages.  When the eye changes focus or level of accommodation the pupil size will vary as well.  When wearing  lenses that are not optical quality and have inherent distortion the eyes have to constantly change focus when looking through various sections of the lenses.  When the eyes adjust focus to keep vision clear the pupils also change size.  Muscles control focusing and pupil constriction just like any other movement or action of your body.  Fatigue is the result of constantly working any muscle in your body and that is how inexpensive sunglass lenses, when worn for extended periods of time produce eyestrain.


     The more expensive the sunglass the better the optical quality of the lenses and true optical quality lenses are found typically in sunglasses in the $100 plus price range.  These sunglass lenses will have perfect alignment  of the front and back curves of the lenses with no distortion of the lens surfaces.  When looking right or left and up or down there is no need for your eyes to change focus to keep your vision clear.  Your eyes work less during the day so they are more relaxed at the end of the day.  There are other additional reasons that more expensive sunglasses result in more comfortable vision and I will get into that in future blog posts.  I hope you enjoyed this information and stay tuned for the next in the series.  Email your visual questions to