Choosing the Correct Lenses to Match Your Lifestyle
Frame style isn't the only decision you'll need to make when selecting new eyeglasses. Once you've chosen a frame that complements your face, you'll need to consider which lens type best fits your lifestyle. From lenses that reduce glare to styles that protect your eyes when you play your favorite sport, today's lenses offer more flexibility than ever.
Do You Need Single Vision Lenses, Bifocals, Trifocals, or Progressives?
Before you choose a lens material, you'll need to think about the type of lenses you want. Choices include:
- Single Vision. Single vision lenses offer the same lens power throughout the lens and can be used to improve your vision if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. They can also be used for reading glasses if you have presbyopia.
- Bifocals and Trifocals. These lenses contain two or three zones separated by a noticeable line. For example, bifocals might contain one lens power for far vision and one for near vision. Bifocals and trifocals eliminate the need for multiple pairs of glasses, but some people find the lines distracting.
- Progressives. Progressive lenses eliminate the lines, allowing a more seamless transition between lens powers than trifocals or bifocals.
Are Plastic Lenses Right for You?
Plastic lenses are made of Columbia Resin 39 (CR-39), a lightweight plastic polymer that resists breaking. If you have a high (strong) prescription that would normally require thick lenses, high-index plastic lenses may be a good choice for you. The lenses are thinner than normal and fit your eyeglass frames better.
- Who Can Benefit from Plastic Lenses? Plastic lenses offer a good option for most people. The lenses are the least expensive choice and are ideal for reading, driving, hobbies, using digital devices, and other everyday activities.
Polycarbonate Lenses Help You Avoid Eye Injuries
Polycarbonate lenses are even lighter than plastic lenses and were originally designed for Air Force helmet visors and bulletproof glass in banks, according to All About Vision. The thin lenses are a good choice for nearly any prescription and are often used in sports goggles and safety glasses.
- Who Can Benefit from Polycarbonate Lenses? Polycarbonate lenses won't shatter if dropped and are impact-resistant, making them a safe choice for children. If you work in construction, other hazardous jobs, or enjoy home improvement projects, adding polycarbonate lenses to your glasses or safety glasses will help protect your eyes. Goggles with polycarbonate lenses reduce the risk of eye injuries when playing sports. The lenses are also a good option for anyone who prefers thin eyeglass lenses.
Trivex Lenses Decrease the Weight of Your Glasses
Made with urethane-based monomers, Trivex lenses are lighter than polycarbonate or plastic lenses, yet still impact-resistant. The lenses provide a little clearer vision than polycarbonate lenses and offer excellent peripheral vision.
- Who Can Benefit from Trivex Lenses? Ideal for sports, highly detailed work, or reading, Trivex lenses provide sharp vision without the weight of plastic or polycarbonate lenses. The enhanced side peripheral vision makes Trivex lenses worth considering if you need good side vision for driving or sports.
High-Definition (HD) Lenses Use Digital Technology
Limitations in the traditional lens manufacturing process can cause slight distortions if your prescription is high. Thanks to the digital technology used to create HD lenses, you'll enjoy crisp vision, excellent contrast, and reduced glare.
- Who Can Benefit from HD Lenses? Is fuzzy vision or eyestrain a problem for you? HD lenses offer superior vision for people with high prescriptions and may even reduce your eyestrain. The lenses also eliminate halos or starbursts around lights, make night driving more comfortable, and decrease adjustment time if you wear progressive lenses.
Other Lens Choices
You can also choose coatings to add to your lenses or select specialty lenses. Coatings can be added to prevent scratches, block blue light, and reduce glare.
Computer glasses may be a good option if you experience digital eyestrain when using your laptop or desktop. The glasses provide clear vision in the intermediate area between near and far vision, reduce glare, and decrease eyestrain symptoms.
Although most eyeglass lenses block 100 percent of UV light, it's still important to wear sunglasses when you're outdoors. Standard sunglass lenses or photochromic lenses that darken outside and lighten when you're indoors will help you reduce your risk of cataracts and cancer. Polarized sunglass lenses reduce glare, improving your comfort whether you're driving, enjoying a day at the beach, or playing sports.
Do you need a comprehensive eye examination before getting a new pair of eyeglasses? Contact our office to schedule your appointment.
All About Vision: How to Choose the Best Lenses for Your Eye Glasses
WebMD: Eyeglasses That Do the Job
Verywell Health: The Different Types of Eyeglass Lens Materials