Eyeglass Lens Material
Plastic (Hard Resin)
Conventional plastic lenses are half the weight of glass lenses and can be tinted to almost any color and density. Plastic lenses are more easily scratched than glass but can have an optional scratch protection applied. More impact resistant than glass, plastic lenses do not require tempering.
High Index [lighter, thinner lenses]
Modern technology has created lenses that bend light differently so that stronger corrections are thinner than when made in conventional materials. Such lenses are call "high index" and stronger corrections are more attractive because they are slimmer. Glass lenses are also available with the slimming advantages of high index but are considerably heavier. High index plastic uses less material so they are often lighter in weight. High index lenses absorb all harmful UV light and can be tinted to any shade or color
These new lenses provide special visual and cosmetic benefits for stronger corrections and increase edge to edge clarity. Flatter than conventional lenses, aspherics eliminate the "bulgy" appearance of stronger plus lenses (far-sighted corrections) and improve the appearance of finished eyewear. Near-sighted persons also benefit from thinner, lighter weight glasses when the lenses are aspheric. Aspheric lenses can be ordered in high index materials for the ultimate in attractive thin lenses.
Photochromic [lenses that darken in the sun]
These are lenses that darken as you go from indoors to outdoors. They are available in glass, plastic and polycarbonate. Originally made to darken to a moderate shade, new versions are available that darken to a true sunglass.
Polycarbonate lenses are the most impact resistant lenses available and are the lens of choice for protective eyewear. Polycarbonate lenses are high index and are therefore lighter in weight. They absorb all harmful UV light and can be made ultra thin because of their unique strength. Polycarbonate lenses are a softer material than plastic but can also have an optional scratch protection applied.
Eyeglass Lens Design
Single vision lenses function as all purpose glasses for persons who have normal accommodation. Persons who normally wear bifocals or trifocals can use single vision for distance or near glasses. Single vision lenses can also function as occupational glasses for certain type of work. Single vision lenses can be ordered in all materials
Bifocals are available in a variety of designs: flat top, round or franklin style Flat top bifocal is the most popular bifocal form. Flat top and round bifocals are available with the reading portion made in a variety of widths to aid in various close-up occupations. Bifocals can be ordered in every type of lens material.
Trifocals are like bifocals but with an added segment to provide clear visions at arm's length distance, that middle area that is often blurred for bifocal wearers. Trifocals also available with the reading and intermediate portion made in a variety of widths to aid in various occupations. They can be ordered in all lens materials.
These modern lenses provide all the benefits of bifocals but add the feature of continuous clear vision all all distances, including mid-range distance (arm's length). People like progressives because they look like single vision lenses, never revealing the need for bifocals. Progressive lenses are available in all lens materials. Because of all these advantages, they are becoming the lens of choice for bifocal and trifocal wearers.
Many jobs impose demanding visual requirements on people who wear bifocals or trifocals. Special occupational designs are available to solve these special needs where in some cases reading portions are needed on top and bottom of lenses. We can determine what will work best for your personal visual requirements.
All sorts of special lens designs are available for the special visual needs of sports enthusiasts. Polycarbonate is usually the material of choice for active sports. See our sport lens tint guide for more information on lens color for sports use.
There are a variety of special lenses for computer users. These include special filters, tints and anti-reflection coatings.
Polarized Sun lenses
These are the exciting sunglasses that eliminate reflected glare. These are especially appropriate for drivers, fisherman, hunters and all types of outdoors activities.
Optional Lens Treatment
Scratch Protection Coating
Light weight plastic and polycarbonate lenses can be more easily scratched than glass lenses. Special coatings have been developed to help protect lenses from normal scratching. The modest additional cost for such scratch coating is usually a prudent investment. Some of the newest lens materials include factory scratch coating.
The ultraviolet rays found in sunlight can pose potential harm to the eyes. Special treatment is available for plastic lenses that completely blocks hazardous UV light. Lenses like polycarbonate, high index and photochromic lenses already have built-in UV protection.
Special anti-reflection coatings are now available for spectacle lenses, much like those used for fine camera lenses. These coatings are particularly effective for reducing eye fatigue for computer operators and anyone driving at night. And, of course, AR lenses enhance appearance by removing all distracting reflections. Click here to see an example of anti-reflection coating.