Consequently, eye care manufacturers allocate significant resources to testing sport-specific eye care products, in the laboratory and in the field. This has led to significant improvements in performance as well as increasing numbers of product enhancements to specifically address the concerns raised by athletes.
Before their sports vision products are released, manufacturers carefully test their frames and lenses for safety and durability. By simulating conditions such as wind, rain, cold and heat, these manufacturers are able to determine the short and long-term effects these elements can have on the performance and lifespan of their products.
Sports eyewear manufacturers also use wind tunnel testing to ensure that their products withstand extreme wind conditions. Road cyclists, for example, will have their heads at different angles to mountain bikers, so cycling eyewear manufacturers test how wind affects riders at different angles. Wind tunnels are also fitted with UV lamps to check the light protection offered by different lenses.
To test lenses’ resistance to impact, objects are thrown at lens surfaces from varying angles and distances. Frames are also impact tested to measure material durability, along with tests to determine how well they survive being stood or sat on.
Because nothing beats real-world testing, athletes are also sponsored to test sports vision eyewear. Feedback is used to improve existing products as well as develop new ones, and information gathered includes visual acuity, the comfort and fit of the frame, and how well ventilated the sports glasses are – fogging of lenses can be a major issue.