How to choose the best lenses for your glasses

So why is choosing the right lenses for your glasses so important? Simply speaking, pick something unsuitable and you won’t be maximising the benefit the correct lenses can make to your life!



So, what do we mean by ‘choose the right lens?’ Surely one lens is as good as the next right? Well not necessarily. The first thing everyone needs to ask themselves before choosing new lenses is:


What do I want or need to wear my glasses for?

This might sound like a stupid question... ‘So, I can see better, duh’. However, in the world of optics these days it need not be as boring as that and solutions to fulfill every individual visual requirement really are out there!


This vast choice might sound daunting but optical staff are trained to help patients determine exactly how they can fully benefit from picking the correct lens type for their own personal needs. So, let’s examine exactly what we mean by this.


What prescription do you have?


This will often be the most important factor which influences the choice of lens. If you are presbyopic – meaning a separate reading prescription is now required on top of any distance prescription, then a solution to being able to see in focus at all different distances in a single pair of specs may be your number one priority.


That wasn’t so hard was it?


Well, this opens some new questions. So, we know you only want one frame but will bifocals, varifocals or even trifocals be the answer? Each of these has their merits and it is only after discussion about the patient’s individual needs and wants that the correct lens can be recommended.


Similarly, a presbyopic patient may come in and explain how frustrated they are with their bifocals when trying to work at their computer. This is because although these lenses will give them clear vision for distance and reading, the pesky computer situated at arm’s length is never quite in focus. Don’t worry though, a solution for this is available too!


Whether it’s trifocals, varifocals or office progressive lenses – designed for patients with exactly this problem – or even a single vision lens solely for computer use, the right lens is normally out there for you!


What about if you wear varifocals already and find they work really well for you in your day to day life, but find when you get home and want to paint those tiny miniature model soldiers you’ve been working on for so long, that you find you can barely see them? This is often due to the reading portion in the varifocals being too small but once again there is an answer in the form of a lens designed specifically for this up close and detailed task! The more information that is known, the more easily optical staff are able find a lens which will work specifically for you at whatever distance you need to see at.


The material you choose can also make a big difference to your lenses. You may not be aware but there is more choice out there then you might imagine. ‘Just plastic or glass, right?’ Well that’s correct to some extent. However, both plastic and glass lenses come in different refractive indices meaning the way they refract light differs. More importantly to the patient however, it means the lenses will be thicker or thinner depending on the choice of material they make. For cosmetic or weight issues, this can be a huge influencer!


The list of problems and solutions go on and on so don’t be afraid to tell your optician exactly what you want. Does the sun and glare hurt your eyes or are you a keen fisherman or driver? Photochromic? Tinted? Polarised lenses? All a possible solution!


Is price or cosmetics a concern? Cheaper, thinner, less reflective lenses are all available! Have a rare hobby? No problem, a suitable optical solution is out there for this too!


Just remember you can never be too specific or detailed enough when explaining what you want. Otherwise you’ll be missing out on the amazing opportunities waiting out there just for you!

Always consult a qualified optometrist to confirm a diagnosis!

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