Lens Options for Glasses

Are you considering new glasses?  What about Contact lenses?  Do you want to know more?

Let's talk about lenses for glasses.  Single vision vs. Bifocals.  Traditional bifocals vs. Progressives.  Non Digital vs. digital Freeform.  There are so many options today- what's best for me?

Many patients need a single vision lens to provide all the clarity they need.  Perhaps distance is the issue or reading is the issue.  The  single vision lens performs very well for those tasks.

Is a traditional line bifocal (flat top or round segmented) a better option or is the progressive (invisible bifocal) the way to go?  Both have their benefits.

Traditional bifocals are older style technology, are relatively easy to adapt to, and are relatively inexpensive.  The round segment line bifocal is a really nice traditional option.  They do magnify the lower portion of your vision, making stepping down stairs problematic for some patients.  Once adapted, this lens works well for many patients.  But there is an alternative.

Progressive Add Lenses (PAL)- otherwise known as invisible or multifocal bifocals- provide seamless distance to reading vision clarity.  There are natural distortions in the lenses which take some time to adapt to.  However, the newest Freeform HD PAL- a digital lens- reduces the distortions inherent in the older style PAL and provide wider zones of clarity- better than ever before!  The technology is truly amazing but these lenses are more expensive than the older traditional line bifocals.  This is an excellent choice for patients who are having more reading difficulty and are ready for the step up to multifocal lenses.  

I want "feather weight" lenses.  What materials are best for me?  What about glass?

Many people want their glasses to have light weight lenses- this makes sense as it reduces the strain on the nose with full time glasses wear.  However, it is best to avoid polycarbonate lenses as they are inferior optically.  There is one polycarbonate type lens that is actually quite decent - ask us about the Pheonix lens (1.53) which is a great option for semirimless frames as it is guaranteed not to chip.  Polycarbonate is typically specified in safety applications because it will not shatter, but is a poor choice optically.

A better option is to specify a high index lens (1.6, 1.67, 1.73).  Our excellent doctors and staff can help you decide why one option is better than another and whether your prescription would benefit.

There is very little use of true glass lenses today.  They are nearly scratch proof, but heavy and are not safe to use in industrial applications.  I recall an incident where a young mother nearly lost her eye when her youngest accidentally hit mom's glasses with a thown rock at the beach.  Food for thought.

I spend hours on the computer at work?  My eyes are tired from the computer?  Is there a lens for me?

In a word, YES!  We have exciting news!  The new HOYA Recharge lens is available as of February 1st, 2015.  Essilor's Preventia is a great choice as well.  This lens is a specially coated Antireflective lens, which reduces the blue light emitted by modern flat panel computer screens.  Check out our link to BLUE LIGHT issues and learn more.

Several studies as well as data from OSHA and ISO, all show there are hazards associated TSM meetingwith the High Energy Visible (HEV) Blue Light portion of the light spectrum. Blue light, including HEV Blue Light, is emitted from hand-held devices such as smart phones and tablets. Symptoms as diverse as sleep disorders in children and adolescents, headaches, blurred vision, and fatigue can be due to exposure to blue light radiating from hand- held digital equipment. HOYA has developed and launched RechargeTM, an anti-reflective lens treatment that reflects the harmful Blue Light away from the eyes.

“Our eyes were designed for us to use as hunters and gatherers. Now we hunt and gather on Google” stated Barney Dougher, President of HOYA Vision Care, NA. “We are not fully equipped to handle all of the demands placed on our eyes by today’s technological devices. Independent eye care professionals know the questions to ask and have access to solutions like Recharge to help their patients cope with fatigue and other symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome.”

Within the visible light spectrum there is “good blue light” and “bad blue blight.” The good blue light helps our body’s biorhythms and sleep patterns. While overexposure to the HEV, or “bad blue light,” attacks us with a wide range of annoying and chronic conditions associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and Digital Eye Strain (DES). HOYA’s new Recharge anti-reflective treatment reflects the portion of blue light emitted from back-lit hand held devices that is “bad” and ensures the portion of blue light we need for optimal contrast and other health benefits is allowed to pass through. In a sign of our times, studies show many children, and people in their 20s who grew up with hand-held devices as part of their lives, are spending as much as half their day staring at a screen barely an arm’s length away. This generation is most certainly overexposed to blue light emitted from their smart phones and tablets and suffering unnecessarily from fatigue.

“We are a society seeking efficiency and convenience, however the very devices that bring those benefits have a downside, especially eye fatigue” noted Dr. Thomas Gosling, an early adaptor of Recharge, “The eye has a muscle that tenses up as it tries to focus on back-lit screens, hour after hour. When this muscle locks up it causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. By reducing the amount of blue light that enters the eye, patients will be able to increase their comfort level and reduce eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision and other related discomfort that can hamper the efficiency we use our smart phones and tablets for in the first place!”his patient ‘Digital Media Use Questionnaire’ and made it available to our accounts.” stated Dougher, “Recharge is only available to patients from their local independent eye care provider.”