Over the years, patients have used eyeglass lenses to fix various refractive errors. Whether you are suffering from astigmatism, myopia, or hyperopia, there are eyeglasses best suited for your condition. And thanks to technology, eyeglasses have evolved to the point where you can find one lens suited for different purposes.
Depending on your eye defect, your optometrist can prescribe single vision, multifocal, or progressive lenses. Alternatively, you can opt for specialty lenses to optimize your vision for various applications. This post looks into the different types of lenses to help you understand which suits your vision condition.
Types of Lenses Available for Vision Correction
Different eyeglass lenses help in correcting different eye conditions. If you’re looking for glasses to fix your eye problem, visit your eye doctor for an eye exam. This will help in determining the type of lenses you need.
Besides choosing the ideal lenses, your doctor can help you go through the various materials and coatings available for these lenses. Here are the different lens types available for glasses:
Single Vision Lenses
Single vision lenses are designed to correct a single field of vision in individuals with myopia (short-sightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness). These lenses offer one prescription for short-sightedness or far-sightedness.
Most patients with eye problems use single vision lenses to help them read, view images, or look at phone and computer screens. If you’re hyperopic, your single vision lenses will be thicker at the center. Your lenses bulge at the center, depending on the prescription’s strength.
On the other hand, lenses for myopic individuals tend to have thick edges with thin centers. Similarly, your lenses will be thicker at the edges if you require a stronger prescription.
Generally, the thickness of single vision lenses ranges between 3-4 millimeters. Other factors, such as the lens material and the size of the frame, determine these lenses’ thickness.
If you have trouble seeing close-up things, such as reading a book or viewing images near you, your eye doctor can recommend single vision reading glasses. These glasses are ideal for hyperopic people to help them see things near them.
Conversely, if you have trouble seeing distant objects, you can use single vision distance glasses. These lenses will help you see images and objects like traffic signs.
Single vision lenses are available in different options depending on the type of condition they treat. These options include:
- 1.57 mid-index single vision: Patients with higher prescriptions can use these single vision lenses.
- 1.59 single vision polycarbonate: These lenses protect your eyes against ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- Polarized single vision: These lenses protect your eyes from the light that tends to bounce off reflective surfaces.
Multifocal Lenses (Bifocal and Trifocal)
Multifocal lenses offer multiple prescriptions within one lens. The lens has more than one vision zone to correct presbyopia (age-related far-sightedness), short-sightedness, and astigmatism. That means you can use one pair of glasses for multiple vision corrections.
Multifocal lenses are available in two types, bifocal and trifocal lenses.
These lenses have two lenses used for correcting both far-sightedness and short-sightedness. In most cases, these lenses apply to individuals over 40 years whose eyes have trouble focusing on near and far objects.
Bifocal lenses have a visible line dividing them into two sections. The upper section corrects distance vision (far-sightedness), while the lower section corrects near vision (near-sightedness).
When wearing bifocal lenses for the first time, you may need an adjustment period to help you easily transition between the two vision zones. This involves using the upper section to see things far away and shifting to the lower section to see objects near you and vice versa.
Trifocal lenses feature three vision zones, distance, intermediate, and near. They are ideal for correcting far-sightedness, intermediate vision, and short-sightedness. Unlike bifocal lenses, you can see two lines in your trifocal lenses.
The upper section (distance) helps you focus on things far from you. You can use this section when driving to see traffic signs.
The intermediate section in the middle helps you see things at an arm’s-length distance. You can use this section to view computer and phone screens.
The lower section (near) helps you focus on close activities. If you experience difficulties reading a book or a message on your phone, this section will help solve the problem.
Trifocal lenses are also useful for people with cataracts. You’re likely suffering from cataracts if you’re experiencing a clouded vision that makes it difficult to see when reading or driving. You may consider using trifocal lenses before going for cataract surgery.
Similar to bifocal lenses, you need an adjustment period to get used to three vision zones in your trifocal lenses. The best way to speed up the adjustment process is by wearing your glasses throughout the day.
Progressive lenses are similar to multifocal lenses, only that they don’t feature visible lines. They’re sometimes called “line-free multifocal lenses.”
Due to their lack of visible lines or segments, progressive lenses are similar to single vision lenses. They’re ideal for correcting vision at any distance (far, intermediate, and near) within one lens. You can use progressive lenses designed as bifocal or trifocal lenses.
These lenses have become popular in recent years because they offer smooth transitions between prescriptions. If you want to view objects from various distances, these lenses will allow a seamless transition into the required vision zone. This is a great way to prevent the ‘image jumping’ problem seen in multifocal lenses.
Progressive lenses are ideal for far-sightedness, intermediate vision, and short-sightedness. Typically, doctors prescribe these lenses to correct presbyopia in patients aged 35 to 40. Children can also use progressive lenses to prevent myopia.
Like multifocal lenses, you need an adjustment period to get used to your lenses. Wear them often and train to use the different vision zones for specific purposes.
Special eyeglass lenses are designed for specific applications such as sports, driving, computer use, and hobbies. These lenses have unique features to enhance performance, boost comfort, provide protection, and match outfits and moods.
Examples of specialty lenses include the following:
Computer lenses can be prescription or non-prescription eyeglass lenses. Apart from protecting your eyes from blue light, these lenses protect you against eye strains, headaches, irritated eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, and computer vision syndrome (CVS).
According to research, up to 90% of individuals who use electronics develop eye strain symptoms at some point. Wearing computer lenses can help prevent digital eye strain if you spend more time at your computer.
These lenses can also help correct intermediate vision that can lead to eye discomfort and fatigue when using computers.
Sports lenses improve visual clarity for athletes in various sports. These lenses can enhance performance while offering protection to the eyes of cyclists, shooters, boaters, and golfers.
You may not use your regular eyeglass lenses for all occupational activities at home or the workplace. Thankfully, occupational lenses can correct vision problems such as myopia and hyperopia. They’re also suitable for day-to-day activities, such as painting, driving, reading, and writing. They also offer protection from debris that might enter your eyes.
Specialty Lenses for Fashion
If you’re looking for specialty lenses designed to match your outfits, specialty lenses for fashion can be your best bet. These types of lenses can complement your complexion and face shape.
Specialty Contact Lenses
Special contact lenses suit individuals with astigmatism, presbyopia, myopia, keratoconus, dry eyes, and irregular corneas. These lenses are frame-free and sit directly on your eyes’ surface to cover the cornea. These lenses are available in different options to suit your unique eyes. Below are the types of specialty contact lenses:
- Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses: Suitable for people with irregular corneas.
- Scleral Lenses: Used to correct conditions such as astigmatism and keratoconus.
- Toric Lenses: Used for astigmatism correction.
- Multifocal Lenses: The specialty contact lenses correct multiple eye problems such as presbyopia and myopia.
- Orthokeratology Lenses: Used for reshaping the corneal.
- Cosmetic Contacts: These lenses are worn for fun or fashion to change the eyes’ appearance.
Specialty lenses come in various materials and coatings to enhance their usefulness. The most common types of lens materials used in specialty lenses include:
- Plastic lenses
- Glass lenses
- Polycarbonate lenses
- Trivex lenses
- High-index plastic lenses
When looking for specialty lenses, you should pick one whose coating suits your needs. The following are the types of coatings available:
- Scratch-resistant coating to prevent them from scratches
- Anti-reflective coating for eliminating reflections
- Anti-fog coating for eliminating the effects of fogging
- Ultraviolet (UV) protective coating for protecting eyes against UV rays
- Blue-light protective coating for protecting eyes against the blue light from digital devices
Get the Right Lenses From Art of Optiks
Eyeglass lenses are available in various types to correct different eye conditions. The most common types of lenses you can choose include single vision, multifocal, progressive, and specialty lenses.
You can use specialty lenses for specific applications or correcting vision conditions such as astigmatism, presbyopia, keratoconus, and myopia.
Do you need help with the lens type to use? Book an appointment with Art of Optiks today, and get the right lenses for your condition.