Single Vision: This all-purpose lens is available in all materials, and can be used for either distance or near vision correction.
Progressive Lenses: Correct for far (driving a vehicle), intermediate (viewing the dashboard), and near (reading a book) vision all in one lens. Because there is no visible line, progressives have the appearance of single-vision lenses and are therefore the most cosmetically desirable multifocal. Progressives are available in all lens materials.
Computer/Office Lenses: If you’re viewing a computer video display terminal (VDT) for more than two hours a day, you may need variable focus lenses. These lenses help correct vision for the specified length of your eye to the computer screen and the immediate vicinity. A variety of computer-specific lenses include special filters, tints, and anti-reflective properties.
Bifocals: provide both far and near correction in one lens, with a visible line.
Tri-focals: Provide both far, intermediate, and near correction in one lens. The majority of the lens is for distance viewing, while the center portion is divided into intermediate and near viewing segments, with two visible lines.
Thinner, Flatter Lenses: Recommended when a prescription is either “high-minus,” meaning lenses are thicker at the outer edges, or “high-plus,” when lenses are thicker in the middle. Flatter lenses enhance lens appearance by reducing edge or center thickness. They are lighter weight and can provide edge-to-edge visual clarity by utilizing an aspheric or atoric design.
Aspheric: Offers less magnification or minification of the eyes, as well as in images viewed. Edge-to-edge visual clarity means that as the eyes move, vision will remain clear rather than “blur-out” when the viewer looks away from the center of the lens.
Atoric: Also helps reduce visual aberrations, allowing for a wider field of view as well as a cosmetically pleasing slim and lightweight lens. Ask your optician which flatter lens option—aspheric or atoric—is better for your particular vision.
Anti-reflective: Opticians suggest anti-reflective, or AR lenses, to help reduce eye fatigue in all situations, particularly while viewing computer screens and driving at night. In addition to enhancing vision by removing distracting reflections, AR lenses are cosmetically desirable, as the wearer’s eyes are clearly visible behind the lenses.
Photochromic Lenses: Sometimes called “comfort” lenses, photochromic lenses darken and lighten according to light exposure. If the wearer is in the sun, photochromic lenses darken, if indoors, the lenses are light. Photochromic lenses are available in virtually all lens materials and lens designs.
Polarized Lenses: The top pick for eliminating glare. Hunters, boaters, fishermen, golfers and drivers are a few who benefit from polarized lenses’ glare-reducng properties. Any surface can create glare in sunlight, including water, sand, snow, windows, vehicles and buildings. Polarization eases eye stress and fatigue in the sun, and comes in several color and density options.
Scratch-resistant Coatings: Recommended to protect lenses from everyday wear-and-tear. Some materials, such as high impact resistant, high-index lenses, and several new plastic lens designs, include scratch protection.
UV Protection: The sun’s ultraviolet rays pose potential harm to your eyes. UV protection on lenses accomplishes the same thing as sunscreen lotion on your skin—it shields your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Plastic and glass lenses may require UV coating, while high-index and high-impact resistant lenses provide UV protection inherently in the lens materials.
High Index: Thinner, lighter high-index lenses create a thinner profile for those with strong prescriptions. These lenses are more comfortable as well as cosmetically desirable, as high-index plastic usually is lighter in weight than standard plastic lenses.
Impact Resistant: Opticians recommend high impact resistant lenses for two good reasons: they are lightweight, yet are the most impact-resistant lenses available. Your optician will likely suggest high impact resistant lenses for children, teens, active adults, occupational safety, and anyone needing superior eye protection.
Plastic: Plastic lenses are lighter than glass lenses, and can be tinted to almost any color and shade.
Glass offers superior optics and the best scratch-resistance. However, glass lenses must be specially treated for impact resistance and can be heavier than other lens materials.
Astigmatism – A condition in which the cornea is irregularly curved. This causes an image to focus at multiple points, resulting in blurry or multiple vision.
Hyperopia (farsightedness) – A condition that occurs when the cornea is not steep enough or the eyeball is too short. Light rays reach too far into the eye, effectively focusing behind the retina. This causes objects near to the eye to appear blurry, while distant objects will appear in focus. Previously, farsighted patients had few options for correction of this condition.
Myopia (nearsightedness) – A condition that occurs when the cornea is excessively curved or the eyeball is too long. Light rays cannot reach far enough into the eye and do not focus on the retina as they should. This causes objects that are close to the eye to appear in focus clearly, while distant objects appear blurred.
Presbyopia (loss of reading vision) – Beyond the age of 40, most people begin to have more difficulty reading fine print and seeing close objects clearly. The eye’s lens gradually loses elasticity over the years, and this makes it difficult to focus on nearby items, leading most people to rely on reading glasses or bifocals.
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