I love to travel. I love to read travel guides, books about people’s travels and travel magazines, all with an eye on where I’d like to go next. I love to go on travel web sites and check out what fellow travelers recommend in the way of sights to see, hotels to stay and restaurants to eat. And I love to watch travel shows, even those silly ones where someone like celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain journeys to Namibia to chow down on warthog brains and tree beetles.

What I’m not a huge fan of is packing. Oh, I’ve gotten better over the years, but it always seems that I have one too many pairs of shoes to cram into my suitcase or more hair and skin care products than any person could possibly use during a five day stay.

However, I have gotten good at deciding what sunglasses to bring. That’s right; I bring more than one pair of shades when I travel, whether it’s a weekend in upstate New York’s Saratoga Springs or a week-long tour of French wine country. There’s a pair of sporty polarized sunwear for playing tennis or being on the water. There’s a pair of glamorous designer sunglasses for a dressier look when heading out to early evening dinner when the setting sun can cause precarious glare. And a pair of fun every day shades for touring around.

A sunwear wardrobe is something that many of your patients can benefit from. People today have active lifestyles and a variety of hobbies—golfing, fishing, cycling, backyard BBQs, even reading by the pool. All these activities can be enhanced with different types of sunglasses. I know we forever make this analogy: you wouldn’t just own one pair of shoes, so why would you own just one pair of sun/eyeglasses, but that’s because it holds true. Make that statement to your patients and then find out a little about what they are doing both at work and at play.

See what sports they participate in or if they do a lot of driving. Then talk to them about the upside of polarized or photochromic lenses. Discuss wrap styles that go over prescription glasses as a good alternative to sun clips. Talk about sun readers as a great option for your presbyopes who spend a lot of time reading outdoors.

It’s time to start thinking about building your patients’ sunglass wardrobe. Plus, sunwear is fun… and I can tell you from experience sunglasses are a lot easier to pack than shoes.
—Jackie Micucci, 20/20 Executive Editor,
jmicucci@jobson.com