If you thought the trickiest part of choosing a new pair of glasses was the frame selection, think again. You should be putting just as much thought and consideration into the lenses that you select for your new specs.
Here’s why: the quality and type of lenses in your eyeglasses will not only correct your visual acuity, but they will allow you to continue to see your best through various conditions. Whether it is keeping the lenses free from scratches, fog, glare or UV rays, or making them stronger or more attractive, your eyeglass lenses can help to keep your eyes safe and comfortable wherever the day (or night) takes you.
Here are a variety of coatings that you can apply to your lenses to maintain optimal vision and comfort and to protect your lenses and your eyes.
Anti-reflective (AR) also known as anti-glare coatings help reduce the reflections and glare on your lenses, improving your vision and comfort in high-glare environments, and improve the look of your glasses as well (someone else can see your eyes clearly without a reflection on the front of the lens). Reflections from the sun, television, computer screens and bright lights (especially when driving at night) can cause eye strain, headaches and difficulty seeing. AR coatings and lenses can reduce this effect, improving your vision quality and comfort in these circumstances.
Blue Light Coatings
An area of eye care that has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years is blue light coating. Blue light coatings are a subtype of anti-glare coatings, specifically recommended for those who use screens. Our time on screens has only increased during the pandemic, which has made this type of coating a hot topic. While its benefits continue to be researched extensively, it is fairly well accepted that blue light exposure can impact ones circadian rhythm, or internal sleep clock. If you have a hard time “winding down” at the end of the day, or if you’re on a screen to late hours at night, you should consider this as an option incorporated into your eyewear.
Scratch Resistant Coatings
Scratches not only affect the smooth look of the surface of your glasses but they can disrupt your vision. A scratch-resistant coating adds an extra layer of protection on the surface of the lens to significantly reduce scratching. This coating is particularly great for kids who may tend to be a little more rough with their eyewear.
Ultraviolet (UV) coatings protect your eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun. This coating can turn standard lenses into UV blocking lenses that can block 100% of the UV light from entering your eyes. UV is linked to the development of a number of eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal damage. UV protection can also be inherent to the lens (embedded into the lens matrix in manufacturing).
Particularly if you live in a cold climate, you may have experienced walking indoors from the cold and having your glasses lenses fog up completely. This can take a few minutes to resolve and can be dangerous if you are driving or need to see clearly. Anti-fog coatings will eliminate this effect, creating a smooth transition from cold to hot environments.
You may want to go with an upgraded lens to improve the look, strength or functionality of your glasses.
High Index Lenses
High index lenses have a higher refractive index which means they reflect more light than standard prescription lenses. What this means for you, the consumer, is that they can be made thinner and lighter than traditional lenses. High index lenses are particularly popular with those that require a high prescription as they are able to avoid thick lenses, adding comfort and a smoother look.
Trivex or Polycarbonate Lenses
Trivex or polycarbonate lenses are impact resistant lenses – a fantastic choice for sports and safety eyewear as well as standard sunglasses and eyeglasses for active individuals or kids. These lenses also offer full UV protection and are lightweight for optimal comfort.
Polychromatic lenses are made with special technology that turns them into sunglasses when exposed to sunlight. The lenses darken automatically when you go outside and return to normal when you go back indoors. Polychromatic lenses can come in a number of tint colors and are great when you need prescription sunglasses but don’t want to carry around another pair of glasses.
Aspheric lenses use advanced technology to create a slimmer, flatter and lighter lens than standard prescription lenses. While aspheric lenses can improve the appearance of any prescription lens, they are especially beneficial for those who are farsighted since those lenses tend to bulge out in the middle.
The next time you are in the market for new eyeglasses, speak to your optometrist or optician about the best lens choices for your eyes, your vision and your lifestyle.
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