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Selecting Proper Eyewear


Seeing the World Better

Eyeglass lenses are, of course, what makes your corrective eyewear work. By bending light, lenses correct refractive errors, enabling you to see better. Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, presbyopic or astigmatic, it will be important to select the lenses and treatments that will optimize your corrective eyewear. Here you’ll learn more about lens types and how to determine what kind is right for you.

Today’s lenses and treatments allow eyeglass wearers to customize their glasses. You’ll want to work with your doctor and optician/frame stylist to order lenses that work best for your prescription and your lifestyle.

Find Your Lens Profile

Which of the following best describes you? You may find more than one profile applies, and that’s okay. Lens types and options can often be combined to create an ideal lens.

Active and Outdoorsy

I need glasses that resist wear and tear.

I play sports or participate in other physical activities.
I’m interested in making my lenses thinner.
I want to protect my eyes from harmful sun rays.

Recommended: Polycarbonate lenses are made from a thinner, lighter weight material than traditional lenses. They are more resistant to scratching and impact (though no lens is completely unbreakable or shatterproof). Children, athletes and those needing safety glasses frequently use this material.

Sun Protection without an Additional Pair

I will wear this pair of glasses both indoors and outdoors.

I want sun protection but don’t want a separate pair of prescription sunglasses.

Recommended: Photochromic lenses darken when they are exposed to sunlight and lighten when the wearer returns indoors. Photochromic lenses are useful for people who want the protection and comfort of sunglasses without having to switch eyewear. If you do a lot of driving during the day, though, you might want to consider a separate pair of sunglasses, as traditional photochromic lenses do not respond to light through windshields.

Presbyotic – Need Far and Near Vision Correction

I have multifocals (lenses for near, far and/or intermediate distances).

I want the “lines” of my multifocals to be less noticeable.
I want my corrected vision to be as close to natural vision as possible.

Recommended: Progressive lenses are often referred to as “no-line” bifocals or trifocals. They allow the wearer to have the benefits of multifocal lenses with a blended lens. The result is not only more attractive, but provides a more natural vision correction. Progressive lenses come in a variety of brands categorized into “Premium” and “Standard.” If you’re new to progressives, you may need some time to adjust to them. Work with your dispensary to determine the best brand for your needs.

Night Driver

I frequently drive at night while wearing my glasses.

I have a hard time with reflections, glare and halos around light.
I might have high index lenses.

Recommended: Anti-reflective coating is a treatment that eliminates reflection and glare. It is especially helpful in reducing halos and light brightness when driving at night. It is also ideal for high index lenses, which inherently let more light enter the eye.


I want to protect my eyes from the sun without a tint.

I am at risk for cataracts or retinal problems.

Other lens treatments may also be useful for you:

  • Tints reduce visible light or create a fashion accent.
  • Polarized lenses offer the greatest glare reduction.
  • Scratch-resistant coatings help lengthen the life of the lenses and are often built into standard lenses offered by dispensaries.
  • Most dispensaries offer lens treatment packages that combine the most popular and beneficial lens treatments with additional elements like dirt/dust repellent and easier cleaning.

Your doctor and dispensary staff will help you choose the lens material and options that best meet your needs. The checklist below will help you provide the office staff with helpful information in determining the appropriate lenses and treatments for you. You can also download this checklist (.pdf) and take it with you when you pick out lenses.
I will wear these glasses:
Blue Checkbox Full-time
Blue Checkbox Part-time
Blue Checkbox For reading or close work only

I will perform the following activities while wearing my glasses: (check all that apply)
Blue Checkbox Driving (daytime)
Blue Checkbox Driving (nighttime)
Blue Checkbox Playing sports
Blue Checkbox Using a computer for several hours at a time
Blue Checkbox Outdoor activities

I wear:
Blue Checkbox Single vision glasses
Blue Checkbox Bifocals
Blue Checkbox Trifocals
Blue Checkbox Don’t know

I am nearsighted and/or would like thinner lenses.
Blue Checkbox Yes
Blue Checkbox No

I would like sun protection included on my glasses.
Blue Checkbox Yes
Blue Checkbox No

I expect this pair of glasses to last for:
Blue Checkbox One year
Blue Checkbox Two years
Blue Checkbox Three or more years

I own (or plan to own) more than one pair of glasses in my current prescription:
Blue Checkbox Yes
Blue Checkbox No

I plan to purchase an extra pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses:
Blue Checkbox Yes
Blue Checkbox No

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