Options in Eyecare: The Different Types of Eyeglass Lenses and Coatings

When your vision relies on eyeglasses, selecting the best lenses can mean all the difference between simply being able to see and being comfortable while being able to see better than ever.

When it’s determined that you need glasses, a new prescription, or to transition from contact lenses to eyeglasses, it’s important that you choose the lenses and coatings that meet your exact vision needs.

With so many lens and coating options, selecting a pair of eyeglasses that you’ll be happy with can prove to be a complicated task. What’s the difference between each lens? What does each coating offer? Why is choosing the right eyeglass lenses so important?

To help you navigate each option, find helpful information and descriptions below:

Why Selecting Eyeglass Lenses that Fit Your Vision Needs is Important

You vision is a key component to your quality of life. Your eyeglasses – and more specifically, the lenses you choose – will determine:

  • How comfortable your eyes are
  • How well you can see
  • Your overall safety

When selecting the eyeglasses that will give you what you want in style and appearance, be sure to also consider the type of eyeglass lenses and coatings that will suit you and your lifestyle the best.

Types of Eyeglass Lenses

Progressive Lenses
Progressive lenses deliver like trifocal lenses – providing vision help for near, far and intermediate distances – but offer a seamless appearance. In other words, the lines separating the lens sections on bifocal or trifocal lenses are nonexistent on progressive lenses.
Bifocal Lenses
Bifocals lenses correct near and far vision. The top portion of the lens aids in distance viewing. The bottom portion of the lens aids in close-up viewing. Typically, bifocals are most advantageous for individuals who have experienced a decline in their close-up vision due to age.
Trifocal Lenses
Trifocal lenses correct near and far vision. They also have a magnifying section that adds a third range of vision to help individuals view objects that are a few feet away from them. This can also be described as seeing clearly at an intermediate level – which is about the length of your arm.
High-Index Lenses
While most people usually think strong prescriptions mean “Coke bottle” looking lenses, high-index lenses can help individuals with a stronger prescription achieve thinner lenses. High-index lenses are made from hi-tech plastic and, therefore, can be made lighter with less material.
Polarized Lenses
Polarized lenses help wearers transition from inside to outside easily, reducing glare and providing UV protection. Polarized lenses help individuals achieve sharper, clearer vision even when bright sunlight beams through windows. Light-sensitive and post-cataract surgery individuals tend to benefit the most from polarized lenses.
Photochromatic Lenses
Designed to act as both eyeglasses and sunglasses, photochromic lenses immediately become dark-shaded lenses when exposed to sunlight. Photochromic lenses are very versatile, covenant, and are usually available in all materials and lens designs, such as bifocals and high-index lenses.
Sports Lenses
Made for both adults and kids who need a safer eyeglass option during any type of physical activity, sports lenses are made to fit comfortably and securely while keeping eyes safe and vision clear. Sport lenses also aid in glare reduction and enhanced contrast – empowering athletes to react faster in their sport.

Types of Eyeglass Coatings

Anti-Reflective Coating

Anti-reflective delivers a wealth of benefits in one coating, such as:

  • Eyestrain reduction from reflections, glare, and “light halos” that appear around illuminated objects at night
  • Scratch and smudge proof
  • Dust and water repellent
  • UV protection (in some anti-reflective coatings)

An anti-reflective coating can provide the best overall lens and eye protection.


Scratch Resistant Coating

While no lens is ever 100% scratch resistant, a scratch-resistant coating can play a significant role in preventing scratches from damaging your lenses. A scratch-resistant coating can help lenses withstand the wear and tear of everyday use and provide more value and longevity to lenses.

Types of Sunglass Lenses

Blue-Blocker Lenses
The sun produces many different colors and shades of light rays. Blue light is a very short wavelength that produces a high amount of energy. Researchers and studies warn that exposure to blue light without proper eye protection can cause serious, long-term eye damage. Blue-blocking sunglasses block blue light and help heighten light contrast.
Gradient Lenses
Gradient lenses help protect your eyes from overhead sunlight because they are tinted from the top down. By shielding overhead light, the sunglass lenses allow more light to come through the bottom half of the lenses. These types of sunglasses are especially beneficial when driving, as they help you see the road and your dashboard better.
Mirror-Coated Lenses
Mirror-coated lenses limit the amount of sunlight that enters your eyes and make it easier and more comfortable to see on bright, sunny days, or when exposed to highly reflective surfaces, like snow. Mirror-coated lenses come in a variety of densities and colors.
Double Gradient Lenses
Double gradient lenses have a top tinted section but are primarily tinted from the bottom up. The middle section possesses the lightest tint. These lenses protect from overhead sun and ground-level reflection while still delivering lenses that aren’t too dark.

Sunglass lenses also come in polarized lenses, photochromic lenses, and with an anti-reflective coating.

Feel Confident in Your Decision. Get Expert Advice on the Lenses That are Best for You.

With so many options, how do you know which is the best choice for you and your unique vision needs?

To ensure you’re selecting the right lenses and coatings, come see the eye experts at iCare Vision. Through a comprehensive eye health exam, we will be able to thoroughly assess your vision and recommend the best lenses and products for you.

Schedule your eye health exam using the form at the top of the page. Or contact us today to get your questions answered.