Lens Types

Anti-reflective Coatings

Anti-reflective coating (also called AR coating or anti-glare coating) improves both your vision through your lenses and the appearance of your glasses.

AR coatings are similar to the coatings found on microscopes and camera lenses. They consist of several layers of metal oxides applied to the front and back lens surfaces. Because of the layering effect, AR coatings sometimes have a hint of green or purple color, depending on the individual manufacturer’s formula.

Each layer is scientifically calculated to block reflected light. The result is that you’ll see a reduction in glare, annoying reflections and halos around lights. This is a great safety benefit when you’re driving at night.

Also, research shows wearing AR coated lenses improves night driving vision and increases comfort during prolonged computer use (compared to wearing uncoated lenses).

AR coating is especially beneficial if you choose high-index lenses. These thinner, lighter lenses reflect more light than regular plastic lenses unless anti-reflective coating is applied.

When cleaning AR-coated lenses, use only products that your optician recommends. Lens cleaners with harsh chemicals may damage the anti-reflective coating. Don’t ever attempt to clean AR-coated lenses without wetting them first. Using a dry cloth on a dry lens can cause lens scratches. And because anti-reflective coating eliminates light reflections that can mask lens surface defects, fine scratches will be more visible on AR-coated lenses than on uncoated lenses.

Bifocal Lenses

For many people, different lenses are needed for seeing at different distances. Bifocal lenses allow the wearer to look through two areas of the lens. One area focuses on distant objects, the other is used for reading. A little-known fact is that bifocals were invented by Benjamin Franklin, and his “Franklin” style bifocals are still available today.

With most modern bifocals, the reading area is generally smaller, shaped like a bowl or sideways “D” and found toward the bottom of the lens. This style is referred to as a “lined” or “flat-top” bifocal. To focus on distant objects, you peer through the top half of the lens. To read something at arms-length, such as a book or newspaper, you focus using the lower reading area. The Franklin style lenses are no longer common, likely because they are split horizontally across the middle of each lens. The difficulty that most people notice when using bifocals comes from dealing with the line between the two vision areas. Advances in technology have introduced a new lens type called the “no-line”, or “progressive” lens which eliminates any such line.

BACK TO TOP

Cosmetic & Specialty Tints

Just as a wardrobe would, eyeglasses present an opportunity for you to show off your unique style. There is a broad spectrum of frame styles to choose from, but there’s also many ways to improve the appearance of your lenses as well. Cosmetic tints have become increasingly common. This option offers a kaleidoscope of color with some lenses even offering color gradation. That is when the color gradually fades out from top to bottom. Some tints are even considered functional, since they can enhance the contrast or brightness of a specific lighting environment. There are many ways to personalize your lenses, so embrace the style that suits your personality.

BACK TO TOP

High Index

Before research and development brought about improved lens materials, the only choice to make was between glass and a hard resin called CR-39. More recently, high index lenses have become available. High index materials are so named because they offer a higher index of light refraction. Basically, they can do the same job that glass or CR-39 does, but high index lenses are much thinner and lighter. With high index lenses, you can avoid having “soda bottle” lenses.

Polycarbonate:

The first and still most popular high index material is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate was originally developed for fighter jet cockpits. It is light, and very resistant to impact. Most sports lenses are made of polycarbonate.

Mid-Index:

High index materials are classified by numbers. The higher the number, the thinner and lighter the lens. The lower numbers are classified as mid-index lenses. Mid-index lenses, such as 1.54, 1.56, and 1.57, are thinner than glass (1.53), and nearly as strong as CR-39 plastic (1.49).

High-Index:

High index lenses, such as 1.60, 1.66, 1.70, and 1.71, are much thinner than regular glass or plastic. Talk with our trained optician to decide which high index lens is right for you.

BACK TO TOP

Progressive Lenses

One of the main problems with bifocal and trifocal (multi-focal) lenses is that the lines separating the various focal ranges are visible to the wearer, and often cause images to “jump”.

An improvement in multifocal design is the no-line or progressive lens. No-lines provide a smooth transition from focusing on nearby to focusing on distant objects because they do not have a distinct line which separates the focusing powers. Instead, a gradual change in power allows the wearer to focus on objects at all distances. Distant objects are viewed through the upper portion of the lens, while near objects are viewed through the middle or lower portion of the lens. These are also great for computer users.

BACK TO TOP

Photocromics

If you have ever felt frustrated at needing both prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses to accommodate an outdoor lifestyle, you should consider photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses darken when exposed to UV rays. The change is caused by special molecules that are found throughout the lens or in a coating on the front of the lens. When the wearer goes outside, the lenses darken or tint. When the wearer goes back inside, the lenses become clear again.

There are a variety of photochromic options available with choices in color or darkness of tint. An important fact about photochromic lenses is that they do not darken as fully when worn while driving a car, because the windshield absorbs much of the UV light required to activate the lens.

BACK TO TOP

Polarized Lenses

Glare from wet roads, light reflecting off other vehicles, and glare from your own windshield can be annoying and dangerous. To eliminate this glare, we offer polarized lenses. Polarized lenses significantly reduce glare, decreasing eye strain and increasing visibility. Polarized lenses are the most effective way to reduce glare.

Most glare comes from horizontal surfaces, so the light is “horizontally polarized.” Polarized lenses feature vertically-oriented “polarizers.” These polarizers block the horizontally-polarized light. The result is a glare-reduced view of the world. Polarized lenses can make a world of difference for any outdoor enthusiast. Fishermen can eliminate bright reflections from the water and actually see into the water more easily than with any other sunglasses. Golfers can see the green easier, and joggers and bikers can enjoy reduced glare from the road. In addition, drivers can enjoy the safety and comfort that polarized lenses provide while driving.

BACK TO TOP

Scratch Resistant Coating

If you chose hard resin lenses, including high index, you should consider getting a scratch resistant coating. Resins and plastics are more susceptible to scratches than glass. Scratches damage the cosmetic look of the lenses and compromise their performance. With a scratch resistant coating, you do not have to worry as much about minor scratches on your lenses. Another advantage of scratch resistant coatings is that most coatings come with a one-year warranty. They are a great investment to prevent minor scratches. However, it is important to remember that scratch resistant does not mean scratch-proof. All lenses are susceptible to scratches.

BACK TO TOP

Specialty Lenses

We all have heard the phrase, “Different strokes for different folks.” Well, this holds true in terms of selecting glasses. There are different lenses for just about everybody. No matter what your particular need, there’s probably a specialty lens designed for you.

For example, a specialty lens that is becoming increasingly useful is designed for computer users. Computer lenses have “windows” designed for viewing your computer screen, documents on your desk, the keyboard, and near objects for reading. The lenses are designed to reduce Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, which is characterized by headaches, eye strain, neck and back aches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and double vision.

Another example is called the double D-segment lens, also known as the double flat-top lens. If you look through the center portion of the lens, you can focus on distant objects. But you can also look through a D-shaped segment near the top of the lens to see nearby overhead objects more clearly. This is very useful if you are involved in work where you’re looking at nearby objects above your field of vision, as with carpenters and pilots. The D-shaped segment near the bottom of the lens allows for reading.

BACK TO TOP

Trifocal Lenses

Bifocals allow the wearer to read through one area of the lens, and to focus on distant objects through another area of the lens. As the eyes age, though, a stronger prescription is needed to read. As the bifocal power increases, the range of focus with it becomes more shallow, making it difficult to focus on objects at middle distances, such as grocery items on a shelf or your speedometer. Thus, trifocals are necessary for a third prescription for intermediate focusing.

Trifocals, also known as line trifocals, feature three areas of focusing power, each separated from the other by a distinct line. The three windows allow for focusing on distant objects, intermediately distanced objects, and for reading. The downside of trifocals is dealing with the lines between the different focusing powers. The advantage of this design is that the intermediate and near sections are wider than those of progressive lenses.

BACK TO TOP