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How to Choose the Best Lenses for Your Glasses

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An optometrist smiling and holding a prescription eyeglass

If your optometrist identifies a vision problem during your eye exam, may require glasses to treat the problem or to help you see clearly. It can be easy to assume getting glasses is a one-step process if you’ve never had them before. 

However, there are many factors to consider when finding the right glasses, from your frames, lifestyle needs, and the lenses themselves. 

The best way to choose the right eyeglass lenses is with help from your eye doctor. They can recommend lenses that can solve your vision needs

Your glasses fitting comes after your eye doctor completes a comprehensive eye exam to assess your vision and ask about your lifestyle. 

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Suppose you have a refractive error like myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. Your eye doctor can write you a prescription and recommend specific lenses they feel meet your vision needs, whether they’re single-vision, polarized, progressive, or another option. 

They can then direct you to an optician in their office to help fit your glasses and pick out a pair of frames that match your style. 

Types of Lenses for Glasses

There are many eyeglass lenses available today. New technology produces personalized design and clearer vision, some lenses are more impact-resistant, and some offer multiple prescriptions in a single lens. 

The right lenses for you depend on your vision needs and personal preferences. Your optometrist can help identify these during your eye exam.

Digital Lenses

Digital lenses are lighter, thinner lenses that are precisely made for each prescription. Their design reduces distortions, and increases viewing areas by up to 3 times, improving the quality and size of your vision. 

High Index Lenses

High Index  lenses are made of denser plastic, offering thinner and lighter lenses. They provide better visual results with higher prescriptions, reducing the thickness of prescription lenses. Some high index lenses actually have improved optics over regular plastic options. 

Additionally, these lenses provide additional protection against UV rays. 

Progressive Lenses

Progressive lenses are ideal for patients with presbyopia, a vision problem many develop in their 40s. Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that makes it harder to see close-up images, like when trying to read a book or something on your phone. Because of this, many patients look into multifocals—lenses that feature multiple prescriptions. 

Progressives are a type of multifocal lens that increase magnification from the top of the lens to the bottom. They provide clear vision from all distances and offer a smooth transition between lens powers. Differences in technologies drastically improves the performance and view area of these lenses.

They work similarly to bifocals and trifocal lenses, but progressives lack the distinct lines separating lens powers that bifocals and trifocals have. 

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses, sometimes called anti-glare glasses, block incoming light to reduce glare. UV rays from the sun can bounce off different surfaces, from water to snow on the road, making it harder to see. Polarized lenses have a special filter that prevents this light from entering your eyes. 

The filter applied to your lenses helps block horizontally travelling light rays, meaning you still get plenty of light in your eyes. However, you don’t need to worry about glare because the amount of light entering the eye is heavily reduced. 

It’s important to note that polarized lenses make your vision slightly darker, but the images you see tend to look clearer.

A senior woman sitting in an optometrist's office, smiling and talking to her eye doctor

Don’t Forget About Lens Coatings

Glasses are more than just lenses and frames—coatings on lenses are very important to reduce glare or protect against wear and tear. Like all products, not all coatings are created equal. Differences in technology can impact the quality of coatings available.

Your eye doctor can recommend some lens coatings that meet your lifestyle needs. 

  • Anti-reflective coatings can help reduce reflection on your lenses, making it easier to see.
  • Scratch-resistant coatings protect your glasses from everyday wear and tear. 
  • Photochromatic lenses feature a specialized coating that helps them change colour. They darken in sunlight to give you a pair of sunglasses and eyeglasses in one set of frames. 

Enjoy Clear, Comfortable Vision

You’re not limited to one option with your glasses. Many lenses are available with today’s technology—the right ones are waiting for you. You can find lenses to fit your vision needs with help from your optometrist. 

Contact Discover Eyecare if you’re interested in a new pair of glasses.

Written by Dr. Jonathan Laudadio

Jonathan was born and raised in Quebec. He moved to Abbotsford, BC, where he attended high school before moving on to UBC for his undergrad. Jonathan completed his Doctorate of Optometry at the Université de Montréal in 2004 with some training at the Portland VA Medical Centre. He has been in private practice since graduating and has worked six years in a laser surgery/ophthalmology clinic. He is a very proud father of 2 girls, plays sports, loves his Montreal Canadiens, and baseball.
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