I wear transition eye glasses so why am I writing a review of Cocoons Fitover Sunglasses? Well, I have recently had some eye issues that mean I required some additional help with Italy’s bright sunshine!
Review of Cocoons Fitover Sunglasses
I have written about Sjogrens Syndrome in an earlier blog. I was diagnosed with Sjogrens over 30 years ago, but moving through menopause worsened many of the symptoms.
What is Sjogrens Syndrome?
Sjögren’s – ‘show-grins’ is an auto-immune disorder that can be Primary (as in my case) or Secondary to other conditions. The most common symptoms are dry eyes and mouth. The condition is much more common in women than men, and people over the age of 40, though I was 30 when I was originally diagnosed.
Symptoms of Sjogrens Syndrome
Symptoms of Sjogrens can be quite wide-ranging and include:
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin and skin rashes, sometimes aggravated by the sun.
- Vaginal dryness
- Stomach problems such as gastritis
- Bladder problems
- Jaw and ear problems
- Muscle or joint pain or stiffness
- Lung issues – such as a persistent dry cough
- and more!
As you can see, Sjogrens is not for wimps. But for the purposes of this review of Cocoons Transition Sunglasses I focus on my eyes. As well as being dry they are incredibly light sensitive. I have to avoid bright lights (no, I am not a Gremlin) and bright sunshine can be painful. Forget night driving with all the headlamps. I wear wide brimmed hats to shield my eyes during the sunny part of the day and we have dim lighting in our living room in the evening.
Recent Eye Problems
I developed some recent eye problems. Unconnected to Sjogrens, I stood up from lunch one day and my left eye suddenly had lots of lights flashing to one side, like lightning. It was very scary but lessened slightly. A bit later in the day I went out to feed the cats, and suddenly I couldn’t see properly out of my left eye, there was this huge swirling mass of shadow, like a wriggling snake moving all over my field of vision. I rang my eye specialist immediately and he gave me an emergency appointment the next morning to check it was nothing serious. By serious, he mentioned over the telephone the possibility of a tear or retinal detatchment (eek).
Bear with me, this detailed background is relevant to my review of Cocoons Fitover sunglasses as you will see.
Posterior Vitreous Detatchment
By the next morning the eye was pretty bad and I was seriously worried about what the outcome of the visit would be. Luckily, it turned out to be neither of these things. It was Posterior Vitreous Detatchment. There is a wonderful explanation, in clear language, written on the website of the Royal Institute Of The Blind.
Broadly, is a condition where your vitreous gel comes away from the retina at the back of your eye. It can, in rare cases lead to tears or retinal detatchment so needs to be monitored carefully. A person can only get this twice in their life, one for each eye. The second eye is likely to develop the condition some six months or more after the first occurence. It takes time to settle down and your brain eventually filters out the floaters so you are not so aware of them. It is scary to begin with, and offputting when you can’t see as clearly as normal, but it does improve.
My left eye improved quite rapidly, though I was relying on Barnet Boy to drive me places. It can take months for the eye to get back to normality. However, five days after this initial scare, I had a similar experience with my right eye! Same thing and now I had both eyes with a problem. Luckily the right eye has also not developed anything more serious. A check up after ten days showed things were improving and no signs of worrying developments.
Swatting Non-Existent Mosquitoes
As well as going to let ‘the cat’ out of the front door at night only to find they were a floater in my eye, I developed a great line in swatting non-existent mosquitoes. I find sitting out on our lovely back terrace with the great landscape and endless sky incredibly tiring on my eyes. The floaters seem much worse and at times I have been furiously waving my arms to put off a flying insect only to realise it is one of the floaters! I wear a broad rimmed hat (my skin is also sun sensitive) but my eyes still suffer.
My already light sensitive eyes, as mentioned above, thanks to the Sjogrens, are now much worse. I tend to lurk in the shadows and avoid the bright sunlight. And that is difficult as I live in Italy! Car travel is torture! Sitting on our back open back terrace with gorgeous views and large amounts of sky is just so bright! Putting washing out on the line to dry in the garden can also be a trial when it is in full sunshine.
And that is how I came to start researching fitovers for my prescription eye glasses. A little additional help was required at times!
The Idea Of Fitover Sunglasses
Fitovers are a pair of glasses that you can wear over your existing ones. They provide complete cover for your eyes so you can avoid glare. For people like me with Sjogrens, they also protect the eyes from the effects of drying wind.
Choosing The Fitovers For Me
There are many of these types of glasses available, ranging in price and quality of course as you would expect. Some of these have different colour lenses, yellow, orange, etc and some of them are quite funky. I wanted something that would work and last for a while – some of them look a bit fragile, so I spent some time looking around at what was available. In deciding what to choose I had to bear in mind that, drawn to the coloured lenses as I was, as an artist I didn’t want anything that would affect how I perceived colours. I also was not at all sure how they would work over transition lenses and hesitated. Then I came upon the Cocoons website.
Review Of Cocoons Fitover Sunglasses
What a great website! Clear explanations, great photos of the product and a very detailed size guide. The only issue was the price, compared to many these were not cheap. But I really liked the look of them so I investigated more. I started to get excited as I thought these fitovers looked like they could resolve my problems.
Great Customer Service
First, the issue with my transition lenses that I was concerned about. I wrote an email to their customer service as follows:
Hi, I have Sjogrens Syndrome and even though I have transition lenses in my glasses I am struggling with light sensitivity. Particularly as I live in Italy where the sun is particularly bright!
Can you wear fitovers over spectacles with transition lenses or does that make everything too dark? If it does make them too dark can you suggest an alternative?
They wrote back quickly with a very helpful response assuring me that I can wear the Cocoons over spectacles with transition lenses. They explained that it won’t be too dark for one main reason. Transition lenses are activated by UV light. The more UV light available, imagine a bright, sunny day, the darker the lenses will become. On cloudy days, not so much. Wearing a pair of Cocoons, most, if not all the UV light will be absorbed by the Cocoons lenses. Therefore, the original spectacle lens will not get too dark. This makes it possible to wear both and still have enough available light to see well.
They also pointed out that Cocoons are a great option to help with light sensitivity because of their unique design. They attached to the email a printable Cocoons sizing guide to help determine the correct size that I needed.
The size guide was easy to use. And on the website you can enter the actual measurements of your eye glasses to see what size would fit. Both my estimate from the size guide and the actual measurement analysis gave me the same result and I went for the size ‘Pilot’.
Now To Choose The Colour
I decided to give them a try, the only problem was which of the many choices to pick! They even have a selection for night driving. In the end I went with the colour amethyst. As for the colour of the lenses, I with gray as this would not affect my perception of colour. You can read all the detail of this on their website.
Ordering And Shipping
I ordered the fitovers on a Tuesday afternoon and it was easy to do. They cost €71.95 plus €7.93 for delivery from The Netherlands to Italy. The fitovers were delivered exactly one week later. There was no confirmation email of the sale at the time of ordering which suprised me, but the very next morning after I had ordered I received a confirmation and dispatch notice. Tracking was available so I could see where my purchase was at all times.
Excitement On Arrival
The fitovers go over your existing glasses and they were very comfortable. The only thing I noticed was that there was quite a bit of space at the side of my main lenses. My glasses fit beautifully height-wise but were quite narrow within the fitovers. This did not make any difference at all to my vision.
My sister thinks they look a little sci-fi and I think she is right. But I love the colour. They are quite large, but my own eye glasses are a large size. I said all along, how they look is not really an issue for me though I like them!. However, the big questions remained, were they worth the money and do they help with the problems I outlined above?
Actually Using The Fitovers
I went straight outside to look at our lovely view and the relief on my eyes was immediately obvious. I wore them to get the washing in from the line (coincidentally I had washing on the line when the fitovers arrived). What a difference! No more headaches just from putting in or bringing out the washing.
The next day I wore them driving and that is when I really noticed the most benefit. I suffer from TMJ problems with pain in the jaw and teeth. Until I wore the fitovers in the car, I hadn’t realised that the squinting I was doing with my eyes was having a knock on effect on my jaw. I was very aware, however, that after driving I suffered with jaw and neck pain. Until I wasn’t doing it anymore. My eyes feel wide open and my face is relaxed as I drive. What a result.
The fitovers did exactly what I had hoped they would in the three main areas I had outlined needing help with. I feel they were good value for money given the ability to choose the correct size, frame colour and style and the colour of the lenses. Plus the customer service is excellent. Would I recommend them? That’s a definite yes.
Where You Can Purchase Cocoons Fitover Sunglasses
I bought mine from the Cocoons online shop, the HQ is in The Netherlands. The site has a store locator which enables you to find authorized dealers in Europe and Internationally. If you are outside Europe, there is a Cocoons website for you.
Note: I received nothing for writing this review of Cocoons Fitover Sunglasses, I am not affiliated with them in anyway. The review is a genuine desire to share something that has really helped with my eye problems.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art, and where you can buy prints, at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!