While the lens materials don’t have much to do with how well your glasses help you see, the lens options available to you have a lot to do with your activity and lifestyles. When eyeglasses first came about, lenses were made of just that – glass. Though scratch-resistant, wearers soon came to the realization of exactly how unsafe it was to have breakable glass less than an inch from their eyes.
As time moved forward and glasses technologies advanced, manufacturers turned to plastic for constructing lenses for glasses. It’s true that there are dozens of different lens options available today. In this article, however, we’ll focus on the 7 most common lens options for glasses.
“High-Index” is a fancy term that means these lenses are better at providing clear vision for those with stronger prescriptions. High-index lenses bend light more efficiently, meaning that they will have thinner edges than other lenses with the same prescription power.
- Myopia (Nearsightedness)
- Very strong prescriptions
Hitting its stride in the 1970s when NASA started using it for astronaut helmets, polycarbonate lenses are more than 10 times stronger than glass or regular plastic lenses. This super-strong plastic was originally developed to serve as a impact-resistant cockpit cover for fighter planes. Because of its strength and durability, polycarbonate lenses are a great choice for anyone who stays active!
- Hazardous job environments
- Rimless frames
Relatively new to the world of eyewear, Trivex is very similar to polycarbonate lenses but providing clearer vision. Trivex lenses are a bit thicker than polycarbonate lenses, but still considerably lighter than regular plastic lenses.
- Kids’ glasses
- Safety glasses
Anti-Reflective Lens Coatings
This special treatment not only makes your lenses appear thinner, they also improve quality of vision. An anti-reflective coating can decrease sun glare during the day and also decrease light halos at night. Because of the cosmetic advantage, this can be a valuable lens treatment for anyone who requires a strong lens prescription and also works in an appearance-centered environment.
- Anyone working night job
- Anyone who has a slight decrease in night vision
While it should be noted that there is no such things as a “scratch-proof” lens, this lens treatment makes your lenses much hard to scratch when dropped or rubbed on a hard surface. Many specialty lens options are already resistant to scratches, so be sure to clarify with your optician if you need extra scratch protection.
- Parents of young children
- Outdoor work environments
Ultraviolet Lens Options
While it’s a great idea to have at least one pair of prescription sunglasses to go along with your regular eyeglasses, ultraviolet treatments can offer an extra layer of sun protection during the day. It’s vital to eye health that your eyes remain as protected as possible from harmful UV rays. Longterm exposure to UV rays can lead to the speed-up development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Anyone working back and forth between being indoors and outdoors
- Daytime reading or driving
You’ve probably seen this listed as one of the popular lens options available for sunglasses. These specialty lenses are treated to block incoming vertical light, thereby reducing glare and squinting. If you’re an outdoorsman, polarized lenses are definitely for you.
- Fishing or boating
- Law enforcement/military
No matter the research that goes into buying a new pair of glasses, there is really no substitute for expert advice. Call us today at 239.566.9300 to schedule your premium eye evaluation with our independent Doctor of Optometry.
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