What Are Lenses?
Lenses are the clear or tinted part of your glasses. It’s where your prescription is incorporated to allow you to see sharply and crisp.
When it’s time for a new pair of eyeglasses, most of us spend the majority of our time looking for the perfect frame style to complement our faces. Very few of us actually give any thought to the most important part of our eyewear: the lenses.
Although they may look the same, every lens is different. Each lens is a different combination of material and treatments that affects our quality of vision. For this reason, it is important for you to know more about the choices that are available to you.
- Single Vision
- Progressives (No-Line Bifocals)
- Computer Progressives
- Digital Rx upgrade available for all type of lenses
The material of your eyeglass lenses makes a significant difference in the overall quality, weight, size, and thickness of your lenses. The material you choose for your lenses will also determine the quality of your vision. The three most common choices include:
- Regular Plastic – Plastic lenses, first introduced in 1947 as an alternative to glass lenses, represent one of the oldest technologies used in eyeglass lenses today. The advantages of more premium lens materials in recent years, have led to a dramatic decline in demand for plastic lens material.
- Polycarbonate – Polycarbonate lenses deliver sharper vision and an improved cosmetic appearance. With added durability and UV protection, polycarbonate lenses are the safest lenses for children and for those with active lifestyles.
- High Index – High index materials represent the very best in lens technology. High index offers superior optics, UV protection, and the thinnest, flattest, most fashionable lenses possible. High index lenses are 50% thinner than regular lenses and are ideal for all eyeglass wearers – particularly those with stronger prescriptions, or for fashion and technology enthusiasts.
- Trivex – are composed of a urethane-based monomer and are made from a cast molding process similar to how regular plastic lenses are made. This gives Trivex lenses the advantage of crisper optics than injection-molded polycarbonate lenses, according to PPG.
High quality corrective eyeglass lenses are more than just a piece of transparent material. A good lens with have as many as three major treatments – scratch protection, anti-reflection and cleanability – bonded to each side of the lens, using as many as seven processes.
- Scratch Protection Coating – Scratch protection helps your eyeglasses last longer and look better. It will make your lenses more durable and keep them free from annoying nicks and scratches. Be sure to insist on scratch protection that safeguards both sides of your lenses. Polycarbonate Lenses have built in scratch protection coatings.
- Ultra-Violet Coating – Another beneficial lens treatment is an invisible dye that blocks UV light. Just as sunscreen keeps the sun’s UV rays from harming your skin, UV-protective treatments for eyeglass lenses block those same rays from damaging your eyes. Overexposure to ultraviolet light is thought to be a cause of cataracts, retinal damage and other eye problems. Regular plastic eyeglass lenses block most UV light, but adding a UV-blocking dye boosts UV protection to 100 percent for added safety. Other eyeglass lens materials, including polycarbonate and most high-index plastics, have 100 percent UV protection built-in, so an extra lens treatment is not required for these lenses.
- Photochromic Lenses – also block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays without the need for an added UV lens treatment.
- Anti-Reflection / Anti-Glare – Anti-reflective treatment (“AR”) helps you see more clearly and comfortably. This treatment will:
- Reduce glare from fluorescent lighting in work environments
- Scratch Protection
- Reduce glare from computer screens, TVs, laptops, tablets and smart phones.
- Help eliminate eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue
- Reduce “ghost images” at night, including traffic and vehicle lights
- Improved Night Travel Vision
- Cosmetically more appealing to make your eyes more visible to others
- AR is also beneficial for wearers over the age of 50, due to the physiological changes that take place with aging, making eyes more sensitive to light