Lenses & Coatings
|Anti-Reflective Coating||Bifocal Lenses|
|Cosmetic & Specialty Tints||High Index Lenses|
|Polarized Lenses||Scratch Resistant Coating|
|Specialty Lenses||Trifocal Lenses|
Normal lenses often create glare, reflections, and "ghost images." Now that can be eliminated with an anti-reflective coating.
What we see is a result of light being sensed by our eyes. With normal glasses, much of the light reflects off the lenses. This produces glare. It also reduces the wearer's visual acuity. In other words, the light reflections are a visual and cosmetic problem.
Anti-reflective coatings increase light transmission through the lenses to 99.5 percent. They make it easier to see and easier for others to see you. These coatings are especially useful for those viewing computer screens and driving at night. The performance of anti-reflective lenses continues to improve with the arrival of the newest generation of ultra-premium anti-reflective coatings! They are highly advanced technology and some are even more scratch resistant than glass.
Anti-reflective coatings also have the benefit of making your eyes more visible to those around you. Not only do you see better, you can be seen better!
For many people, different lenses are needed for seeing at different distances. Bifocal lenses allow the wearer to look through two areas of the lens. One area focuses on distant objects. The other is used for reading. A little-known fact is that bifocals were invented by Benjamin Franklin, and his style of bifocals are still available today.
Most of the time the “reading” area is smaller, shaped like a sideways “D”, and found in the lower hemisphere of the lens. These bifocals are called lined bifocals or flat-tops. If you are focusing on distant objects, you look through the top half of the lenses. To read a book, magazine, or newspaper, you look through the “reading” area. The Franklin style lenses are less common, and are split horizontally down the middle of each lens. One thing that is challenging about using bifocals is dealing with the line between the two vision areas. Fortunately, technology advancements have developed a better type of multifocal lens, called the no-line, or progressive, lens.
One of the main problems with traditional bifocal and trifocal lenses is the problem of eye fatigue. It is challenging to switch from one focusing power to another when it is separated by a hard line. It can make your eyes tired, and it can even lead to a headache, sore neck, and sore back.
The newest variation of bifocals and trifocals is the no-line lens or progressive lens. Progressive lenses provide a smooth transition from focusing on nearby to focusing on distant objects because they do not have a distinct line which separates the focusing powers. Instead, a gradual change in power allows the wearer to focus on objects at all distances. Distant objects are viewed through the upper portion of the lens, while near objects are viewed through the middle or lower portion of the lens. These are also great for computer users.
Advances in progressive lenses have produced lenses which have larger reading areas, more natural vision, less noticeable transition areas, easier adapation.
Cosmetic & Specialty Tints
Eyeglasses can be a stylish accessory, a part of your personality, or a way for you to be different. There are a variety of frames to choose from, but you may not know that there are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of the lenses, too. Cosmetic tints are available. These tints offer a variety of colors and shades. You can choose light blue or any color under the rainbow. Some lenses are clear at the bottom and gradually get more colored towards the top of the lenses. There are many ways to adjust your lenses to whatever style suits your personality. Some tints are also functional.
High Index Lenses
The most common materials available for use in lenses used to be glass and a hard resin called CR-39. But recently, more materials have become available. High index materials are named because they have a higher index of light refraction. Basically, they can do the same optical job that glass or CR-39 does, but with less lens material. That makes high index lenses thinner and/or lighter than regular lenses. With high index lenses, you can avoid having “soda bottle” lenses. Not only are the lenses thinner, but they are also lighter, making your glasses more comfortable. When learning about high index lenses, you may hear many unfamiliar numbers and terms. . Basically, remember the higher the index of refraction, the thinner the lens.
- Trivex: This material is the newest in the lens category. It has a mid index, but it is so light that it almost floats on water! It is a great choice for safety for impact resistant eye wear. It also works very well for rimless eyeglasses as it is one of the strongest lens materials available.
- Polycarbonate: The first and still the most frequently used high index plastic is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate was originally developed for fighter jet cockpits. It is very strong, very light, and resistant to scratches and breaking. Safety glasses and most sports lenses are made of polycarbonate. In addition, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends polycarbonate lenses for all children.
- Mid-Index: High index materials are classified by numbers. Again, the higher the number, the thinner and lighter the lens. The lower numbers are classified as mid-index lenses. Mid-index lenses are those with numbers such as 1.54, 1.56, and 1.57. These lenses are thinner than glass (1.53), and nearly as strong as CR-39 (1.49), or plastic.
- High-Index: High index lenses, typically ranging from 1.53 to 1.74, are much thinner than regular glass or plastic. Talk with your doctor to decide which high index lens is right for you.
Photochromics (Lenses darken with sunlight)
If you've ever felt frustrated at needing prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses to accommodate an outdoor lifestyle, you should consider photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses darken when exposed to UV rays. The change is caused by photochromic molecules that are found throughout the lens or in a coating on the front of the lens. When the wearer goes outside, the lenses darken or tint. When the wearer goes back inside, the glasses become clear.
There are a variety of photochromic options available, with choices in color and darkness of tint. One consideration with photochromic lenses is that they do not darken fully when driving in a car because the windshield absorbs most of the UV light needed to activate the tint.
Glare from wet roads, light reflecting off other vehicles, and glare from your own windshield can be annoying and dangerous. To eliminate this glare, we offer polarized lenses. Polarized lenses significantly reduce glare, decreasing eye strain and increasing visibility. Polarized lenses are the most effective way to reduce glare.
Most glare comes from horizontal surfaces, so the light is "horizontally polarized." Polarized lenses feature vertically-oriented "polarizers." These polarizers block the horizontally-polarized light. The result is a glare-reduced view of the world. Polarized lenses can make a world of difference for any outdoor enthusiast. Fishermen can eliminate bright reflections from the water and actually see into the water more easily than with any other sunglasses. Golfers can see the green easier, and joggers and bikers can enjoy reduced glare from the road. In addition, drivers can enjoy the safety and comfort that polarized lenses provide while driving.
Scratch Resistant Coating
If you wear any of the hard resin lenses, including high index you should consider getting a scratch resistant coating. Resins and plastics are more susceptible to scratches than glass. Scratches damage the cosmetic look of the lenses as well as their performance. With a scratch resistant coating, you don't have to worry so much about minor scratches on your lenses. Another advantage of scratch resistant coatings is that most coatings come with a one-year warranty. They are a great investment to prevent minor scratches. However, it is important to remember that scratch resistant does not mean scratch-proof. All lenses are susceptible to scratches.
We all have heard the sales pitch “One size fits all.” Well, this also is far from true when it comes to selecting glasses. There are different lenses to suit the visual needs of just about everybody. No matter what your particular need, occupation or hobby, there is probably a specialty lens designed for you.
For example, a specialty lens that is becoming increasingly useful is designed for computer users. Computer lenses have “windows” designed for viewing your computer screen, documents on your desk, and distant objects. The lenses are designed to reduce Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, which is characterized by headaches, eye strain, neck and back aches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and double vision. These lenses are particularly useful if you routinely use a computer more than 2 hours a day.
Another example is called the double D-segment lens, also known as the double flat-top lens. If you look through most of the lens, you can focus on distant objects. But you can also look through a D-shaped segment near the top of the lens to see nearby overhead objects more clearly. This is very useful if you are involved in work where you are looking at nearby objects above your field of vision, as with carpenters, mechanics and pilots. The D-shaped segment near the bottom of the lens allows for reading.
Bifocals allow the wearer to read through one area of the lens, and to focus on distant objects through another area of the lens. As the eyes age, though, a stronger prescription is needed to read. As the bifocal power increases, the range of focus with it becomes more shallow, making it difficult to focus on objects at intermediate distances, such as grocery items on a shelf or your speedometer. Thus, trifocals are necessary for a third prescription for intermediate focusing.
Trifocals, also known as lined trifocals, feature three areas of focusing power, each separated from the other by a distinct line. The three windows allow for focusing on distant objects, intermediately distanced objects, and for reading. The downside of trifocals is dealing with the lines between the different focusing powers. The advantage of this design is that the intermediate and near sections are wider than those created in progressive lenses.