Patient Education

Eyeglass Lenses

What Are All These Extra Options?

For consumers, purchasing eyeglasses can become confusing once they have selected their frames and are ready to purchase. Most lenses in the market are made of plastic, while the higher quality ones are made of polycarbonate material for more impact resistance. Many chain store eye outlets have their own lenses which have these features already added. This section is designed to educate consumers on eyeglass lens extras that they may consider and are not prescription types.

Polycarbonate Lenses – Durable Eyeglass Lenses

Polycarbonate lenses are extremely impact resistant, and are often used in eye wear where there is a lot of activity or possible damage to the lenses. This hi-index material allows for UV protection, scratch protection, lightweight and thin designs. Many big eye wear franchises use polycarbonate as basis for their lenses, especially when using trademarked names.

Hi-index Lenses – Thinner Eyeglass Lenses

The old days of huge coke bottle eyeglasses were over with the development in creating hi-index lenses. Hi-index lenses allow consumers with very high prescriptions to shrink the size of the lenses by huge degrees. This allows for better designs to fit smaller, sleek eyeglass frames that do not hide the eyes, or take away too much attention from the face. For consumers with very bad vision, these materials can thin lenses for more appeal. These lenses surpass polycarbonate lenses in many areas and can be combined with other features as well.

Anti-Reflective Coating

Anti-Reflective Coating, which is sometimes referred to anti-glare coating, is designed to transmit more light and limit the reflection off the lenses. This means improved quality for consumers who look at lights from a computer screen, fluorescent office lights, car headlights, and similar sources that can cause glare. AR coating is more noticeable when driving at night, when the glare from car headlights and night lamps are reduced greatly. This feature for lenses may not be needed for everyone, but it’s a cheaper coating combined with scratch guard for improved quality.

Scratch Resistance

Scratch resistant lenses are coated with a special material to help prevent scratches from appearing on the lenses. The coating is not 100 percent effective, but can help limit scratches from rubbing the eyeglasses against something or dropping them without much force behind. Scratch resistance lenses can really be worthwhile, as this feature really adds to the durability of the lenses. Most polycarbonate and hi-index lenses usually come with this type of coating.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses are a technological improvement in eyeglass lenses that allow for changes in the lenses to match the amount and type of light hitting the eyes. These eyeglass lens types with brands like Transitions®, Plutonite®, Inteletint™, and other names not only block 100% of harmful UV rays, but change from clear to a dark shade much like sunglasses, in the present of ultraviolet light. This eyeglass lens feature is more of a wellness and extracurricular activity one, and many outdoor consumers prefer these types of lenses for beaches, golfing, and other recreational or outdoor activities.

These special features may not be all offered for eyeglass lenses, but these are the main ones that consumers are asked to include with their eyeglasses. Depending on lifestyle and preference, consumers should be able to decide which of these special features to include for their lenses.


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