Eyeglass Basics You Should Know

Eyeglass Basics You Should KnowWhen buying eyeglasses, most people are unaware of the lenses that are available to them. With evolving technology, lenses have become much more advanced and just as important as eyeglass frames. We’ve created this simple guide to educate and help you better understand the types of lenses and wide assortment of lens options that are available. While reading this guide, you should ask yourself some questions like:

  • Do I spend a lot of time outdoors?
  • Do I play impact sports?
  • Do I spend a lot of time driving in a car, particularly at night?
  • Do my eyes become easily irritated by the sun?
  • Do I spend a lot of time in front of a computer?
  • Do I wear eyeglasses more than 2-3 hours per day?

The answers to these questions will help you determine what lenses will work best for you and your lifestyle.

Types of Lenses

After an eye exam, your provider will know your prescription and be able to recommend the type of lenses that you need. Most people require single vision lenses to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness or a multi-focal lens (i.e. bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses) when there is more than one vision problem to correct. In rare cases, some people require lenticular lenses to treat serious eye conditions such as cataracts.

Lens Materials

Once you know what type of lenses you need, you and your eye care professional will need to decide what type of materials your lenses should be made of. It is best to have a list of questions to ask your doctor to ensure that your lenses are as functional as they are fashionable.

High-Index Lenses: These lenses are manufactured using a specialized plastic that refracts light better than normal plastic lenses. High-index lenses are thinner, lighter and more comfortable than traditional plastic lenses.

Polycarbonate Lenses: These lenses are made of a hardened plastic that are more impact- resistant than standard plastic lenses and have ultra-violet (UV) protection manufactured directly in the lenses.

Photochromic Lenses:  Photochromic lenses will change from clear lenses into dark-colored lenses, similar in color to that of sunglasses, when exposed to the ultra-violet (UV) rays found in sunlight.

Polarized Lenses: . Polarized lenses, which are often used in sunglasses, will eliminate glare that is caused when direct light is reflected from a horizontal surface like snow, ice, sand or water. By eliminating glare, UVA and UVB these lenses are also extremely helpful to people that have decreased vision from eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Lens Coatings

There are a multitude of coatings available for lenses today. All of the coatings listed below can be added to lenses during the manufacturing of your eyeglasses. The type of coating(s) you and your provider may select will depend on your lifestyle and what is most beneficial to you.

Scratch-Resistant Coating: This type of coating is highly beneficial because it protects and extends the life of your lenses.

Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating: This type of coating reduces the amount of reflection on the lenses, which increases the amount of light that is able to pass through the lens.

Ultra-Violet (UV) Coating: It is extremely important to protect yourself from the long-term damages of UV rays from sunlight.  UV coating will help block these harmful rays as light passes through your lenses.

Read the original article on davisvision.com

Purchasing eyeglasses should be looked upon as an investment, so think about your lifestyle needs carefully when picking out lenses because you can achieve both functionality and fashion success with the right type of lenses and available coatings.

If you’re experiencing changes in your vision or visible changes to your eyes, these can be early warning signs of serious eye conditions.  No matter how busy you are, you must put aside some time for yourself to get your eyes looked at by a certified optometrist.  Check out our previous post on the importance of eye exams for more information.  If you’re worried about what happens during an eye exam, check out this video from About.com which shows what happens during an eye exam.

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