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Lenses & Coatings

Anti-Reflective Lenses

Normal eyewear often creates glare, reflections, and “ghost images.” Now all that can be eliminated with an anti-reflective coating.

What we see is a result of light being sensed by our eyes. With normal glasses, much of the light reflects off the lenses. This produces glare. It also reduces the wearer’s visual acuity. In other words, the light reflection is both a cosmetic and visual problem.

Anti-reflective coatings increase light transmission through the lenses to 99.5 percent. They make it easier to see and easier for others to see you. These coatings are especially useful for those viewing computer screens and driving at night.

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Progressive Lenses

One of the main problems with bifocal and trifocal lenses is the problem of eye fatigue. It is difficult to switch from one focusing power to another. It can make your eyes tired, and it can even lead to a headache, sore neck and sore back.

A recent variation of bifocals and trifocals is the no-line lens or progressive lens. No-lines provide a smooth transition from focusing on nearby to focusing on distant objects because they do not have a distinct line which separates the focusing powers. Instead, a gradual change in power allows the wearer to focus on objects at all distances. Distant objects are viewed through the upper portion of the lens, while near objects are viewed through the middle or lower portion of the lens. These are also great for computer users.

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HD Digital Lenses

Does your doctor insist that you have 20/20 vision when you wear your glasses but you still feel dissatisfied with how you see? If so, you might benefit from high-definition digital lenses.

Even if your prescription eyeglasses fully correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism you may still experience distortions in your vision due to corneal defects called higher-order aberrations. These defects can affect color perception, low-light contrast sensitivity, and image resolution which results in less-than-perfect visual acuity.

For those suffering from higher-order aberrations, there is a solution. Recent advances in digital lens manufacturing have made possible new high-definition eyeglass lenses that correct these aberrations, potentially giving you sharper vision than you have ever had before with eyeglasses. These lenses are designed to provide better color perception, sharper vision in all lighting conditions, and higher image resolution.

With digital high-definition lenses, the fabrication of the lenses from the wearer's eyeglass prescription is optimized with computer-controlled surfacing equipment that is much more precise than conventional tools. In fact, digital technology can surface lenses in power increments of 0.01 diopter (D), compared with 0.125 to 0.25 D increments of conventional eyeglass lens tooling.

High-definition lenses are fully customized to your prescription, frame, and fitting measurements. Digital manufacturing requires more measurements from your optician to fabricate lenses capable of correcting higher-order aberrations. These measurements will often include pupil placement within the frame outline, frame size and shape, distance of pupil from lens, and the angle of the lens both vertically and horizontally in relation to your facial bones. These combined measurements create the most accurate lens power and the sharpest vision possible. High-definition digital manufacturing is available in most premium lens materials and styles, so a high-definition vision solution exists for you.

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High Index Lenses

Until recently, the only materials available for use as lenses were glass and a hard resin called CR-39. These materials were good, but they left much to be desired for patients with strong prescriptions which often make eyeglasses heavy. The solution was a new family of materials called high index. High index materials are named because they have a higher index of light refraction which creates greater optical clarity and reduces peripheral distortion. These characteristics make high index an especially good choice for eyeglass wearers with strong prescriptions or moderate to high astigmatism correction. High Index lenses are also thinner and lighter than their CR-39 and glass counterparts, making them more comfortable to wear and more cosmetically pleasing. Down with soda-bottle lenses!

When learning about high index lenses, you may hear many unfamiliar numbers and terms. Here are a few things to remember.

Polycarbonate

The most common alternative to CR39 and glass is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate was originally developed for fighter jet cockpits. It is very strong, very light, and resistant to scratches and breaking. These qualities make polycarbonate the best choice for children’s lenses as well as sport and safety glasses. Polycarbonate is a great choice for most light to moderate prescriptions, however better high index options that are thinner and provide better optical clarity exist for very high prescriptions.

Mid-Index

Beyond polycarbonate, other high index materials are classified by numbers. The higher the number, the thinner and lighter the lens. The lower numbers are classified as mid-index lenses. Mid-index lenses, such as 1.54, 1.56, and 1.57 are thinner than glass, and nearly as strong as CR-39. These materials are most commonly used as a comparable alternative to polycarbonate if it is unable to be used due to prescription limitations.

High-Index

High index lenses, such as 1.66, 1.67, and 1.74, are much thinner than regular glass or plastic. These materials provide the best optical clarity and create the thinnest lenses making them the natural choice for strong prescriptions. Some prescription and frame combinations will require the use of a high index material to insure quality and durability. Talk with your optician to decide which high index lens is right for you.

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Photochromic Lenses

If you have ever felt frustrated at needing both prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses to accommodate an outdoor lifestyle, you should consider photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses darken when exposed to UV rays. The change is caused by photochromic molecules that are found throughout the lens or in a coating on the front of the lens. When the wearer goes outside, the lenses darken or tint. When the wearer goes back inside, the glasses become clear.

There are a variety of photochromic options available. Depending on what you choose, you can customize the lenses to your needs. Some lenses darken only in direct sunlight, while others darken in little or no direct light. Some are designed to darken while you are in the car to reduce road glare while you are driving. You can even choose the color of the tint. Ask your doctor what options are available.

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Polarized Lenses

Glare from wet roads, light reflecting off water, and the blinding sun reflecting off windows—all of these things can be annoying and dangerous. They can also be avoided with polarized sun lenses. These lenses filter out excess environmental glare, thereby reducing eye strain and increasing visibility.

Most glare comes from horizontal surfaces, so the light is “horizontally polarized.” Polarized lenses feature vertically-oriented “polarizers.” These polarizers block the horizontally-polarized light. The result is a glare-reduced view of the world. Polarized lenses can make a world of difference for any outdoor enthusiast. Fisherman can eliminate the bright reflections from the water and actually see into the water more easily than with other sunglasses, golfers can see the green easier, and joggers and bikers can enjoy reduced glare from the road. In addition, drivers can enjoy the safety and comfort that polarized lenses provide while driving.

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Bifocal Lenses

For many people, different lenses are needed for seeing at different distances. Bifocal lenses allow the wearer to look through two areas of the lens. One area focuses on distant objects. The other is used for reading.

Most of the time the “reading” area is smaller, shaped like a sideways “D”, and found in the lower hemisphere of the lens. These bifocals are called lined bifocals or flat-tops. If you are focusing on distant objects, you look through the top half of the lenses. To read a book, magazine, or newspaper, you look through the “reading” area. One thing that some people find challenging about using bifocals is dealing with the line between the two vision areas.

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Trifocal Lenses

Bifocals allow the wearer to read through one area of the lens, and to focus on distant objects through another area of the lens. As the eyes age, though, a stronger prescription is often needed to read. This would be fine, but the stronger prescription that allows for reading makes it difficult to focus on objects at intermediate distances, such as grocery items on a shelf or your speedometer. Thus, trifocals are necessary for a third prescription for intermediate focusing.

Trifocals, also known as lined trifocals, feature three areas of focusing power, each separated from the other by a distinct line. The three windows allow for focusing on distant objects, intermediately distanced objects, and for reading. A drawback of trifocals is that the lines are visibile, which some people may find distracting.

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Specialty Lenses

We all have heard the phrase, “Different strokes for different folks.” Well, this also holds true when it comes to selecting glasses. There are different lenses for just about everybody. No matter what your particular need, there is probably a specialty lens designed for you.

For example, a specialty lens that is becoming increasingly useful is designed for computer users. Computer lenses have “windows” designed for viewing your computer screen, documents on your desk, and distant objects. The lenses are designed to reduce Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, which is characterized by headaches, eye strain, neck and back aches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and double vision.

Another example is called the double D-segment lens, also known as the double flat-top lens. If you look through most of the lens, you can focus on distant objects. But you can also look through a D-shaped segment near the top of the lens to see nearby overhead objects more clearly. This is very useful if you are involved in work where you are looking at nearby objects above your field of vision, as with carpenters and pilots. The D-shaped segment near the bottom of the lens allows for reading.

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Scratch Resistance Treatment

If you have hard resin lenses (CR-39), you should consider getting a scratch resistant coating. Resins and plastics are more susceptible to scratches than glass. Scratches damage the cosmetic look of the lenses and compromise their performance. With a scratch resistant coating, you do not have to worry as much about minor scratches on your lenses.

Another advantage of scratch resistant coatings is that most coatings come with a one-year warranty. They are a great investment to prevent minor scratches. However, it is important to remember that scratch resistant does not mean scratch-proof. All lenses are susceptible to scratches.

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Cosmetic and Specialty Tints

Eyeglasses do not only have to be functional; they can also be a stylish accessory.People often think that the frame is the only part of eyewear that can express personality, but there are also many ways to improve the appearance of the lenses through cosmetic tints. These tints offer a variety of colors and shades that span the rainbow and can be functional as well as fashionable. Some lenses are clear at the bottom and gradually get more colored towards the top of the lenses. There are many ways to customize your lenses to whatever style suits your personality.

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Blink Eyecare | Reading Glasses McKinney TX

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