There are several factors involved in selecting the best lens for a patient’s prescription: lens type, style and material as well as appropriate treatments. At Eye Consultants of Atlanta, our expert opticians are here to assist you in selecting the best lenses to maximize your visual needs.
SINGLE VISION: The same correction over the entire lens. Examples would be readers, distance-only or computer glasses.
BIFOCALS: Correction for two different focal points. In other words, distance correction and reading correction.
TRIFOCAL: Correction for three different focal lengths. Distance, intermediate and near correction.
PROGRESSIVES: Progressive spectacle lenses, also called progressive addition lenses (PAL), progressive power lenses, graduated prescription lenses, and varifocal or multifocal lenses, have gradual prescription (power) change as the wearer looks down thru the lens. There are many different designs of progressive lenses, meaning all progressives are not created equal. How quickly does the power of the lens change as you look down, how wide is the intermediate and near vision, how much blur is on the lens edge, and how far up into the distance vision is the blur, are just some of the factors that make up the 200 different progressive lens sold in the United States. Our opticians are here to help you get the right one!
Within each one of the lens types (single vision, bifocal, trifocal, or progressives) there are different lens styles, which are dependent on the purpose of your eyewear. Much like you have different shoes for different activities, there are different glasses for different activities.
SINGLE VISION: Computer glasses, sunglasses, piano glasses are all examples of different lens styles for single vision.
BIFOCALS: Occupational, Flat-Top 28, 35, 45, and Round Seg are examples of different bifocals.
TRIFOCALS: 7X28, 8X35, 14X35 would be examples of different trifocals.
PROGRESSIVES: Though there are many different manufacturers, Essilor, Hoya, Nikon, Shamir and Zeiss to name a few, each manufacturer makes many different progressive lenses. As technology has evolved, so have the designs of progressives. Progressive lenses are continually improving. The newest improvement is something called free-form technology. The optical or progressive design of these new lenses can be customized and optimized to the fitting and prescription requirements of the patient, taking into account the frame, prescription and use of the lens by each individual. Simply put, each lens is unique to the patient and the frame they choose. The starting point for free-form manufacturing is with the highly sophisticated software. This software allows the input of prescription, frame fitting details, and position of wear to create a truly customized lens that is not possible with traditional lenses.
CR-39 (PLASTIC): A plastic polymer first used for eyeglass lenses in 1947, which provides an economical option for the wearer. Plastic lenses are safer than glass and about 50% lighter in weight. While providing good optics, plastic lenses provide no UV protection and can chip easily.
POLYCARBONATE (POLY): Polycarbonate is a polymer that is highly impact resistant as well as being 30% thinner and lighter weight than plastic. Poly lenses are soft and may scratch more easily than other materials; however, they do provide UV protection. Standard polycarbonate with an Abbe value of 30 is one of the worst materials optically, if chromatic aberration intolerance is of concern.
TRIVEX: Trivex is a newer lense material that is the most impact resistant and lightest weight of all materials. It provides UV protection and at the same time offers far superior optical quality. It is about 20% thinner than plastic.
HI-INDEX: High-index plastics allow for thinner lenses. The lenses may not be lighter, however, due to the increase in density. A disadvantage is that high-index plastic lenses suffer from a much higher level of chromatic aberrations. Aside from thinness of the lens, another advantage of high-index plastics is their strength and shatter resistance, although not as shatter resistant as polycarbonate or trivex. For those looking for the thinnest lens possible, hi-index lenses are the answer. Hi-index lenses are available in varying degrees of thinness such as 1.60, 1.67 or 1.74.
There are many options available to enhance any lens. Depending on what benefits you want from your eyewear and which options may improve your vision, our opticians will work with your doctor to maximize your vision. ANTI-GLARE (AR): Anti-glare, also referred to as anti-reflective, is an optical coating applied to lenses to reduce glare and reflections by increasing the amount of light passing through eyeglass lenses. It is the same coating that is applied to a camera or telescope lens. Our opticians prefer to dispense anti-glare lenses because the decreased reflections make them look better, and they produce less glare, which is particularly noticeable when driving at night or working in front of a computer monitor. The decreased glare means that wearers often find their eyes are less tired, particularly at the end of the day. Allowing more light to pass through the lens also increases contrast and therefore increases visual acuity.
PHOTOCHROMIC (TRANSITIONS, PHOTOFUSION): Photochromic lenses are lenses that darken on exposure to specific types of light, most commonly ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Once the light source is removed (for example by walking indoors), the lenses will gradually return to their clear state. Photochromic lenses may be made of glass, plastic, polycarbonate, trivex or hi-index materials. Today, there are several options for photochromic lenses.
TRANSITIONS OR PHOTOFUSION: These are lenses lighten and darken when exposed to ultraviolet light. They are clear inside and darken to either a dark brown or gray when outside. They will not darken in an automobile.
TRANSITIONS XTRACTIVE: All day Transitions XTRActive lenses adapt to help protect your eyes from fatigue and strain caused by UV light and bright glare outdoors, and even activate behind the windshield. Indoors, they have a comfortable hint of tint to shield your eyes from strain caused by harsh indoor light.
TRANSITIONS VANTAGE: Thanks to breakthrough technology, new Transitions Vantage lenses don’t just adapt to changing light, they also polarize as they darken. Outdoors, the polarization adjusts to match the level of outdoor glare, which can vary as the day progresses and conditions change. That means you see life in the best light with less glare for better clarity and color.
TRANSITIONS DRIVEWEAR: Daytime light and weather conditions constantly change while driving, and so do Transitions Drivewear sun lenses. Their NuPolar® polarization removes glare off the road and car hood. Transitions® photochromic technology adjusts the color and tint of the lenses as light conditions change, providing ideal color and clarity for driving. In low light or overcast conditions, the lenses are green/yellow in color that provide high contrast and minimize glare. Behind the windshield, the lenses activate to a copper color to enhancing color recognition and depth perception. In bright outdoor light, the lenses activate to a dark red-brown, filtering excess light and providing maximum comfort.
SCRATCH-RESISTENT (FOUNDATION HARD COAT): For added protection, you may opt for the superior Zeiss Foundation super-hard scratch coating. This unique technology provides 50% more scratch resistance than any other super-,hard coating on the market and offers unrivaled adhesion and durability for exceptional lens protection.
ULTRAVIOLET PROTECTION (UV): There is no shortage of information about the damage of UV to your skin but did you know that UV light is just as damaging to your eyes? The most important thing you need to know about UV glasses is this: be certain your eyewear provides near or exactly 100% UV protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Anything less is less than ideal for the short and long-term protection of your healthy sight.