Today there are many choices in the type and quality of lenses you have available. Your prescription can be placed in Single Vision lenses, Line Bifocals, Trifocals, or Progressive (No-line Bifocals). Our Opticians are trained to assist you with which lens options fit your visual requirements, lifestyle, while also keeping you looking great in your new eyewear.
We offer a wide variety of lenses, materials and lens enhancements specific to each individual. Finding the right lens can actually enhance your lifestyle and appearance.
A few of the most common types:
- Single Vision Lenses
- Multi-focal Lenses (bifocals and trifocals)
- No-Line Bifocal Lenses (also called Progressive Lenses)
Progressive Lenses (No-Line Bifocals)
Vision correction has come a long way since the days of the bifocal. Presbyopia is the name of the eye condition where the eye’s focusing system begins to give patients trouble. Presbyopic eyes are more easily fatigued after a long day at the office, and near vision clarity will often be compromised. While age is the main factor in the onset of presbyopia, our digital lifestyles certainly don’t help. The human eye just isn’t designed to spend all day staring at computer screens or reading! No matter the cause of near vision difficulties, the solution is to supplement the power of the eye, providing the appropriate lens powers to see without effort at any viewing distance that you need to.
Progressive lenses, also known as ‘no-line bifocals,’ offer a great way to see at every distance you like, all while maintaining binocularity and clear vision out of both eyes simultaneously. Progressives work by creating a custom-designed, digital power gradient across your field of vision. Near vision requires the most reading power and the appropriate reading power sits at the bottom of the progressive lens. Computer screen distance (also known as ‘intermediate’ distance viewing) occurs through the center of the lens. The uppermost portion of the lens is dedicated to distance viewing. Discussing progressives in terms of just three distances (near, computer, and distance) is an over-simplification –In fact, a progressive lens has an infinite number of powers connecting all those distances. Compared to the limitation of only two powers that bifocals offer, progressives are much more natural and easy to adapt to.
When it comes time to selecting a progressive lens, there are many types available. Our opticians recommend the digitally-designed progressive lenses. These lenses offer crisp optics and given its quality and digital design, and is the easiest progressive to adapt to. Our optical department fits a wide variety of progressive lenses and brands, so please ask about how a progressive will fit your visual needs.
Bifocals and Trifocals
The need for reading glasses is brought about by an eye condition called presbyopia. With presbyopia, patients quickly find that they have two different glasses prescriptions: a distance prescription and a near prescription. Bifocals allow both of those distances to be viewed out of the same lens and prevents the wearer from having to switch glasses throughout the day. While our opticians try to get most new bifocal wearers into progressive lenses, bifocals still have their place.
Do you spend all day working at a computer? We all know that can be difficult on the eyes. But great lenses exist to help ease your focusing! Our computer lenses offer a similar arrangement seen in progressive lenses, but they allow extra room for computer use. You’ll be amazed what it feels like to work in a lens that’s designed for what you do!
Polycarbonate is a shatter-resistant material with reasonable thickness and weight. Our opticians highly recommend polycarbonate for patients under 18 because of it’s shatter-resistance. Most safety glasses need to be made from polycarbonate. Polycarbonate inherently blocks ultraviolet light (UV) which makes it an ideal material for children. Some patients also like to have Transitions® in their lenses to allow their lenses to darken outdoors to address light sensitivity, but as far as UV getting through polycarbonate, you’re covered from the start. If you have a lot of astigmatism, trivex offers superior optical quality without the distortion seen in polycarbonate. If your prescription doesn’t include too much astigmatism, polycarbonate is a fantastic option. Polycarbonate is lightweight, thin, and blocks UV –a nice package deal of a material!
Selecting trivex as your lens material will result in a lightweight lens, superior optics, inherent UV-blockage, and shatter-resistance. This is a great material for adults who need to be in shatter-resistant lenses. Some frame styles dictate which lens material would work best. A standard, full-rimmed frame can use any type of lens, while a 3-piece, or semi-rimless frame should be made of trivex to prevent chipping or cracking of the edge of the lens. In a semi-rimless frame, a thin groove must be carved along the outside of the lens, and standard plastic doesn’t hold up well over time. Skimping on trivex in a 3-piece frame will likely mean a mid-year repair job which may require complete replacement of the lens.
For smaller adult prescriptions, regular plastic (also known as CR-39) works great if it is coupled with a good UV coating or Transitions®. CR-39 is half the weight of glass and was developed in the 1940’s as an lens material to replace crown glass. It is not considered shatter-resistant, but does have great optical qualities. In higher prescriptions, it tends to be a rather thick.
If your prescription is high, either because of high nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you should use a high index lens. Index refers to how thick a lens material is, and thus how thick your glasses lenses will be. The higher the index, the thinner the lens. If your goal is to minimize the thickness of your glasses, a high-index material, digitally-designed lenses, and a high-quality antireflective coating is how to achieve it.
Be sure to ask our optometrists and opticians about what materials they recommend to protect your eyes and get you looking great and seeing comfortably.
The benefits of a good anti-reflective, or anti-glare, coating are numerous, and our doctors and opticians universally recommend these coatings on our ophthalmic lenses. An anti-reflective coating allows more light to pass through the lens, preventing glare and allowing your eyes to be seen rather than a reflection off the front of the lens. Anti-reflective coatings also reduce glare when viewing bright objects such as computer screens or headlights. For those patients with lower prescriptions, their lenses tend to be more susceptible to issues with night-time driving glare. Patients with lots of power in their glasses also benefit because the anti-reflective coating not only helps maintain optimal clarity, but also makes their lenses appear thinner. High quality anti-reflective coatings such as Crizal and Super HiVision EX3 are guaranteed to be scratch-free for 2 years, and thus act as an extra layer of protection for your lenses. To see your best, be sure you ask our opticians to use a good anti-reflective coating on your lenses!
The classic example of the benefits of a polarized lens is the fisherman who can see the fish through the hazy reflection of the water’s surface. While that is certainly a benefit to polarized lenses, a more common benefit is being able to see clearly when driving. Polarized lenses make grime and snow on a windshield less visible, allowing the driver to concentrate on the details of the road. For outdoor enthusiasts, polarization enhances colors of the foliage and sky.
A lens tint is a great way to add some color to your lenses. Contrast can be enhanced in some sports by tinting your lenses a specific color. For patients who need sunglasses, but have jobs that prevent them from wearing polarized lenses, having the lenses tinted is a great way to assure that they can be comforted in bright light environments.
Eye disease prevention is a priority at InVision Eye Care. We recommend UV protection especially given Denver’s higher altitude and our tendency to play outdoors. Preventing early-onset cataracts and macular degeneration should be priorities for all our patients. Some lens materials inherently block UV light and require no coating. Standard plastic lenses do not, and require either a clear UV coating or adding another UV-blocking feature such as Transitions®.
For the patient on the go, Transitions® Signature™ is a great choice for having sunglasses and regular glasses all rolled into a single convenient pair of glasses. Step outside, and Transitions® Signature™ technology makes the lens darker. Return indoors, and the lens quickly grows clear again. Transitions® Signature™ is available in its standard form as well as Transitions® XTRActive® which gets especially dark outdoors, and even darkens behind your windshield. Transitions®’ latest technology is Transitions®Vantage™ which acts similar to Transitions® XTRActive®, though it also incorporates polarization.
If instantaneous tinting is required, a clip-on lens may be a good option. The clip-on itself has no glasses power, and is individually-sized by our opticians to fit your glasses. When you step outside or sit behind the wheel, you simply apply the clip-on onto the outside of your glasses and you’re up and running!