There are three main reasons: To use as a back-up in case they misplace their current eyewear, for convenience purposes (to have different pairs in different locations) and for functionality (to have different pairs for different activities), according to the Vision Council VisionWatch Fashion vs. Function Eyewear Report. Approximately 39.3% of multiple pair owners keep additional pairs of eyeglasses on hand to serve as back-ups or spares just in case they lose their current newest pair of eyeglasses. There was very little demographic difference between eyeglasses wearers who owned more than one pair for back-up purposes, although it seems that women and eyeglasses wearers from the Northeast were a little more likely to keep extra pairs of eyeglasses around in case their current eyeglasses are misplaced.
The most straightforward argument for multiple pair sales is the need for an indoor pair of eyeglasses and an outdoor pair of eyeglasses. No one pair can do everything for all situations. Just as dentists, as a group, tell patients they need their teeth cleaned every six months, eyecare professionals need to be united in telling patients they need an indoor pair of eyeglasses and an outdoor pair of eyeglasses.
The best discussion to have with patients about outdoor eyeglasses is to focus on safety and function. Safety means the ability to drive a car and minimize disabling glare from the sun with polarized sunwear or the ability to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes with UV blocking lenses. Function means the ability to comfortably read while sitting by the pool or to comfortably work in the garden in the mid-day sun.
From a tactical perspective, always present the outdoor prescription to the patient before presenting the indoor pair. This approach is most effective. The bottom line here is quality patient care. Patients who have indoor eyeglasses and outdoor eyeglasses have a higher quality of visual functioning than those who do not. Our goal is to help patients achieve the highest quality of visual functioning. Addressing this issue helps patients move in that positive direction.