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Different Types of Eyeglass Lenses


When it comes to getting new eyeglasses, most of a patient’s attention falls to the frames. With so many different choices in shape, color and materials, choosing just the right pair of frames to match your style and personality can be quite a task. Obviously, the main reason that you’re getting glasses at all is contained in the lenses and not the frames.

The corrective prescription given by your optometrist is to help you see clearly but the actual lenses that will go in your frames can be made of a number of different materials with a few interesting features. Once upon a time, all lenses in eyeglasses were made only of glass, but as technology has improved, so has the quality of lenses. Lenses for glasses today are much lighter and usually made from plastic to prevent shattering or cracking. You can also have different filters included as part of your eye glasses lenses to help protect your eyes from ultraviolet light.

Polycarbonate lenses are very durable and resistant to most types of impact, which makes them ideal for glasses that will be worn while playing sports, or in physical jobs where the likelihood of scratching the lenses is higher. Polycarbonate glasses lenses also protect against UV rays. Trivex glasses lenses have similar characteristics to polycarbonate lenses, but are made with a newer type of plastic and might help some people see a little more clearly.

If you’re someone who needs a stronger prescription, high index plastic lenses are probably the best choice for your eyeglasses. High index plastic lenses are thinner and lighter than the thick, obvious lenses someone with really poor vision would typically require. Aspheric lenses for eyeglasses take on a slightly different shape than the traditional sphere, and allow for more usable space over the area of the lens. Photochromic lenses for glasses may be made from plastic or glass and are the type that switch from clear to tinted when they’re exposed to light. This type of lens means you won’t have to get prescription sunglasses.

The specific vision issue that you have will be the guide for the shape of lens you need for your glasses. Some lenses curve inward, while other curve outward; still others are shaped like a cylinder. The different shapes help to project light onto your retina at different angles to address different problems. If you have more than one problem with your vision, you will likely need multifocal lenses for your eye glasses. Multifocal glasses lenses such as bifocals or trifocals have two or more prescriptions contained in the same lens. In the past, multifocal lenses for glasses could be spotted a mile away because they had lines running through the glass, but present day progressive lenses often make it virtually unnoticeable.

Your corrective lens requirements will determine the shape of your eyeglasses lenses, but be sure to talk to your optometrist about what type of lens is best for your lifestyle. By identifying your needs at the outset, you’ll be able to make an informed choice you’ll be satisfied with for the life of your glasses.

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