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How to Choose the Right Lenses for Your Glasses

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Most of us spend quite a bit of time choosing frames for a new pair of glasses. It makes sense. After all, your glasses are part of your signature style. They influence how people perceive you.

But what about lenses? They may not alter how people perceive you, but they absolutely can alter how you perceive the world. Even though frames are really just carriers for corrective lenses, most of us are happy to shop for frames and accept the optician’s standard lens.

Lens technology has come leaps and bounds, even in the last few years. There are so many new specialized lens options that can really optimize your vision in practically every setting.

In order to choose the right lenses for your needs, you need to know what’s out there. Let’s talk about some of the advanced lens options that might be available to you.

Specialized Lenses for Your Daily Needs

Your eyes encounter different challenges and stressors depending on where you are and what you’re doing. If you really want to get the most out of your vision, you can invest in different glasses with lenses optimized for different activities.

Here are some examples of lenses that are specifically designed to improve your optical performance in particular scenarios

Digital Lenses

When you hear the term and digital lenses, you may think of computer glasses. Digital lenses can certainly be used for computer glasses, but not every pair of computer glasses will use digital lenses.

The simplest way to describe digital lenses is high-definition eyewear.

Digital lenses are shaped based on your prescription using highly-advanced technology. The surfacing process is far more precise than traditional lenses, offering sharper vision without distortion at the edge of the lens.

Digital lenses offer such detailed clarity; they can even make nighttime driving easier by reducing the glare around lights.

Anti-Fatigue Lenses

Young woman working at her computer with anti-fatigue lenses in her glasses

Anti-fatigue lenses are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time on their phone or computer. The exact features may vary a little bit depending on the brand of lens. For the purposes of this article, I’m using Essilor’s Eyezen lenses as my example because that’s what we use in our dispensary.

There’s some debate discussing the source of digital eye strain. Some say it’s linked to blue light, while others say it’s linked to font size and reading distance. A good anti-fatigue lens mitigates all of these factors at once, keeping your eyes comfortable and protected.

In Eyezen’s case, the lenses block approximately 20% of blue light from reaching your eyes, while enhancing your vision to prevent strain from hours of near work.

Transitions

You’re probably familiar with Transitions lenses, the lenses that start as clear, single vision lenses and turn into prescription sunglasses when you step outside. “Transitions” is actually the brand name for photochromic lenses.

Photochromic lenses are filled with tiny molecules. When UV light hits the lenses, the molecules restructure, shading your eyes from the sunlight and protecting them from UV damage.

Photochromic lenses first hit the market in 1991. However, the technology behind these lenses has come a long way since then.

Modern premium Transitions adapt to light far faster than other photochromic lenses. They’ve been optimized to get even darker in UV light, giving you a more comfortable experience in a wider range of settings. Generation 8 Transitions lenses turn clear indoors faster than ever, stay completely clear out of sunlight, and offer blue light blocking when you’re working at your computer.

Chart comparing different types of multi-focal eyeglass lenses

Progressives

It’s possible to need different prescriptions for different tasks, especially for adults over the age of 40. Pretty much everyone will need reading glasses at some point in their lives. And that’s inconvenient if you already wear glasses for myopia or astigmatism. Some people choose to keep one pair of glasses for near work like reading and one pair for general wear.

Progressives give you the option of multiple prescriptions in a single lens.

There are other types of lenses that provide several corrective powers at once. Bifocal and trifocal lenses both offer the benefit of multiple levels of magnification at once. However, there’s usually a line between each level. Some people find the sudden change in magnification jarring for their vision, while others just don’t like the look.

Progressive lenses are different because each corrective power blends into the next. The wearer benefits from seamlessly clear vision at every distance without disruptive and unsightly lines.

Different types of progressive lenses offer additional benefits, too. For instance, the Varilux® X series is designed to optimize your near vision for multi-tasking instead of just reading. 

The traditional progressive lens offers near-medium vision between 40 and 70 cm. But that’s not really how we use our near vision. Varilux® X offers extended near vision, so everything within arm’s reach should be clearly visible.

You Don’t Have to Settle for Standard Lenses

There is so much advanced lens technology out there right now. You deserve to see what your glasses could do for you before choosing a standard lens. Don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing necessarily wrong with standard lenses, and I’m not implying that standard lenses are of poor quality. But it’s important to remember that you do have options. 

Your glasses are an investment in your visual abilities. By choosing specialized lenses based on your lifestyle, you can make sure you’re getting the absolute most out of your eyewear.

Written by Dr. Madison Baldwin

As a Kansas native (born and raised in Kingman), I am thrilled to be able to practice what I love so close to home. I can’t imagine anything better than to be caring for my community and building strong ties to new friends and colleagues.

When I’m not in the office caring for my patients, I enjoy making memories with my husband, Aaron, and our dog-child, Dexter! You’ll often find me playing piano, hosting our friends and family in our home, or out for a run. Aaron and I enjoy traveling to warm places and recently became open-water scuba diver certified!

I chose eye care as my career because I’ve always wanted to help people. The quality of care I provide is incredibly important to me. In an age where doctors spend just a few minutes with their patients, I am proud to give my patients the time and diligence they deserve. More than to simply “see” you, I want to learn more about you and how I can best serve your needs. Our relationship matters.

I invite you to make an appointment for yourself or your children, whether you have an eye concern or are simply seeking an updated corrective lens prescription. I will always do my best to provide you the best eye care available anywhere in Wichita.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Member, Kansas Optometric Association (KOA)
  • Member, American Optometric Association (AOA)
  • Member, Business Networking International (BNI)

Education

  • Bachelor of Science (chemistry) – Bethel College, 2007
  • Doctor of Optometry – Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry, 2011
    • Graduated Magna Cum Laude
    • Member of the Beta Sigma Kappa honor society
    • Presented with “Outstanding Clinician in Ocular Disease” award.
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