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Eyeglass Lens Buying Guide

How do I pick the best lenses for my prescription?

Lenses are made of a variety of materials, each with its own special qualities. Some materials may be better than others for active lifestyles or more complex prescriptions.

What are the differences in lenses?

The type of lens you choose is important when considering the strength of your prescription, tinting, cost and the total weight of the glasses. Here are the different types of materials and how they compare:

  • Plastic - lightweight, shatter and scratch resistant, and can be tinted.
  • Polycarbonate - can withstand severe impact without shattering, as scratch resistant as plastic, but thinner; however, cannot be tinted.
  • High Index - special materials create an even thinner, lighter lens with UV blocking capabilities.
  • Glass - twice as heavy as other materials and more scratch resistant, but less shatter resistant. Not used in rimless/partially rimless glasses or any children's eyewear.

How do I decide which coatings or tints are best for my lenses?

Tinting and other coatings for lenses are an important consideration for a great look and for improving vision in certain conditions:

  • Comfort Tint - lenses darken in bright light, lighten in lower light, but cannot be substituted for sunglasses, particularly because this tint will not darken behind a car windshield. These type of lenses are available in Transitions Lenses.
  • Polarized Lenses - filter out not only unwanted light but glare, which reduces squinting. These lenses increase safety while driving and also make outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and golfing more enjoyable.
  • UV Filtering - stops UV rays from damaging eyes, and helps them focus faster; this filtering is recommended for all prescription lenses.
  • Fashion Tints - popular colors allow for blending of frames and lenses into complexion, or for producing high color contrast for a bold look.
  • Sun Tints - provides extra protection to block 60% to 85% of external light, with gray tint providing the truest color vision; green tint a little less true color vision, but better depth perception than gray; and brown tint distorting most colors, but providing the best depth perception and vision contrast.

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