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With today’s fashionable choices and new materials, wearing eyeglasses is cool again! Sure, you put a lot of thought into picking out your frames, but what do you really know about the most important part of your glasses—the lenses?
There are several types of lenses and lens coatings to choose from. While it's easy to become overwhelmed by the lens choices available to you, VSP can help you make a smart choice. The lens guide below will make sense of the confusion and show you how much you can save as a VSP member.
Conventional lenses have a front surface that is spherical, meaning it has the same curve across its entire surface. Aspheric lenses have a more complex front surface that gradually changes in curvature from the center of the lens out to the edge. Aspheric lenses provide correction for small distortions in vision. As a side benefit, they are also typically thinner and lighter than some other lenses.
Bifocal lenses combine vision correction for near-sightedness and far-sightedness. The top of the lens is for distance viewing and the bottom half is for close-up. These are often prescribed for people whose near-vision has declined due to age.
Trifocals take the bifocal one step further by adding a section for people who need help seeing objects that are within a couple of feet or so. The magnifying power of trifocals adds to the range of vision, offering a wide field of view when using a computer or glancing at dashboard gauges while driving.
This hi-tech plastic lens is designed for people with stronger prescriptions. Vision can be corrected with less material, making the lens much thinner, eliminating that old "Coke bottle" look. They are also lighter and more comfortable.
Photochromic lenses automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, eliminating the need for separate sunglasses in many cases. Available in all lens designs and materials, including bifocals and high-index lenses, photochromic lenses are a popular choice for all ages.
Polarized lenses reduce glare reflected off surfaces, making images appear sharper and clearer. They are available for non-prescription and prescription sunglasses, and can be worn indoors by light-sensitive people, including post-cataract surgery patients and those continually exposed to bright sunlight through windows. Most polarized lenses provide UV protection, which is important to maintaining healthy eye sight.
Polycarbonate lenses are resilient, impact-resistant and a favorite among active individuals. Savvy parents choose polycarbonate lenses for children who may not take good care of their glasses. The durability of polycarbonate lenses makes them a good choice for rimless eyeglasses. Plus, polycarbonate lenses have built-in UV filters to help prevent eye problems such as macular degeneration (breakdown of macula) and cataracts (clouding of the eye lens).
Progressive lenses have a smooth progression of power, enabling the wearer to see at intermediate distances as well as near and far. Unlike typical bifocals and trifocals, progressive lenses don’t have lines separating the lens sections-a big win for the style-conscious!
Anti-reflective coating can reduce eyestrain caused from glare, reflections, and the "halos" you see around lights at night. It helps protect your lenses from scratches and smudges, and can repel dust and water. This coating makes your vision sharper and your eyes appear clearer behind your lenses. Some anti-reflective coatings reduce the amount of reflected UV from the back of your lenses, providing the best overall UV protection possible.
Nothing will make your lenses scratch-proof, but a scratch-resistant coating can help prevent scratches from damaging your lenses (and interfering with your vision). Scratch-resistant lenses can minimize every day wear and tear and help you protect your investment in quality lenses.
Overexposing your eyes to ultraviolet rays can cause serious eye problems such as cataracts (clouding of the eye lens) and macular degeneration (breakdown of macula). The combination of UV protection that's built into lenses and applied as a coating can block 98-100% of transmitted and reflected UVA and UVB rays.
*Varies by plan and purchase selection; savings determined after benefits are applied. Available only through VSP network doctors to VSP members with applicable plan benefits.