A Guide To Prescription Eyewear Options

sunglasses in the skyPrescription lenses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the frames and lenses are manufactured from a number of different materials. Over the years, new technology has developed to create unique prescription lenses to not only correct specific vision problems, but designed to address various lifestyle tasks and to be more durable. Before you purchase your next pair of prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, educate yourself on the many lens and frame options available.

Lens options and add-ons

  • Computer lenses – Designed to reduce glare for individuals who spend long periods of time in front of their computer screen. Computers can cause the eyes to strain when trying to focus on electronic words and images. Eyewear with anti-reflective coating and a tint can help reduce glair from the computer screen and overhead lighting.
  • High-index lenses – The days of thick, “coke-bottle” lenses are gone. Thanks to new technology, even many of the strongest vision prescriptions can be put into thinner, lighter high-index lenses. Aspheric lenses are another option for individuals with strong prescriptions. Aspheric lenses are thinner on the sides to avoid the thickness of the lens.
  • Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses – For athletes, protective eyewear can prevent up to 90% of sports-related eye injuries. Polycarbonate plastic lenses and Trivex lenses are lighter and are 10 times stronger than other lenses, and better able to withstand direct contacts during sports like racquetball, hockey, and baseball.
  • Colored lenses – Lenses tinted with yellow are popular with skiers, snowboarders, cyclists and other athletes as they are known to help produce a sharper image in low light. Green-colored lenses are worn by many golfers and are thought to heighten contrast, making the white ball stand out against the green.
  • Polarized lenses – Designed to reduce glare from reflected surfaces. Sunglasses with polarized or mirrored lenses are popular with boaters, water skiers and snow skiers as they limit light coming into the eye in bright conditions.
  • Anti-reflective lenses – The anti-reflective coating is a popular add-on. This option reduces lens reflections that interfere with eye contact and glare that can inhibit night vision.
  • Lens coatings – There are several other lens coating options available, such as scratch-resistant coating, anti-fog coating and UV-blocking lens coating.

Frame options

  • Hypoallergenic frames – Most frames are made of plastic or metal, but if you suffer from skin allergies, you may need hypoallergenic frames, which are made of materials such as titanium or stainless steel. These materials will help avoid contact dermatitis caused by skin allergies.
  • Snap together frames – If you’d like the option to change the frame style based on your outfit and accessories, you may like eyeglass frames that snap together, allowing you to “mix and match” the temple pieces with the front frames.
  • Flexible frames – Especially beneficial for the active person, frames that are made to be flexible, or that are made with spring hinges are more durable and will reduce the potential for breakage.

In addition to these lens and frame options, ask your eye doctor about eyewear designed for specific sports. Performance sunglasses, diving masks and swim goggles, ski goggles, shooting glasses and safety goggles are examples of other eyewear options available.

If it’s time to purchase eyeglasses or sunglasses, visit the Key-Whitman Optical Center. We offer a variety of eyewear choices, including stylish frames and designer glasses and sunglasses. Our expert associates will help you select the options best suited for your lifestyle, face structure and personality.