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4 Lens Recommendations from Your Eye Doctor (secrets about lenses)

At 4Sight iCare your eye doctor will make recommendations about the lens features that work best for you based on your exam results and questions about how you might use the medical appliance as a vision tool once it is made.  Everyday glasses recommendations may differ in power and features from driving glasses, reading glasses, computer glasses, sport goggles, sunglasses, safety glasses, and more.  Wherever you go for your exam, the doctor ought to be able to prioritize these recommendations into one of 4 categories:

  1. Aesthetic Wants:  This is a feature of the lens that makes it so that the lens looks better (your optician will also help with this once you have a frame selected).
  2. Prescription Needs: You need this feature in the lens because your prescription demands it.
  3. Vision Wants: This is a lens feature that may improve the ease of use for a specific task.
  4. Doctor Wants: Often times the doctor will want something for you because it improves your vision or protects your eyes.  Some examples of lens features that improve vision include: polarization in a sunglass and non-glare treatments in a clear lens.  Some examples of lens feature that protect your eyes from harm include: transition lenses or a backside AR with UV treatment that shield the eyes from 100% of Ultra-Violet radiation, and blue/violet-light filtering lenses that protect the eye from long-term retina damage.

Based on how much value you put on each of these features, you may choose to take all, some, or none of the doctor’s recommendations.  Understand the options when you make your lens choices.  [This next part pulls back the curtain a bit and some people won’t like that I’m sharing it but here’s the truth about industry secrets and choices from materials to anti-reflectives…]  At 4Sight iCare the doctor offers 4 things to consider beyond the design (single vision vs. multifocal) and sun/blue-light protection in the lens when selecting a pair of glasses:

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.18.07 PM1) Anti-Glare, Non-Glare, Anti-Reflective, AR lens coatings and treatments.  BEWARE of the coatings.  Often times you’ll be given 3 to 5 price points on classes or grades of anti-reflective coatings.  At 4Sight iCare we don’t bother with the spray or dip coatings that are not a lens treatment because we know better.  Get the lens treatment that will protect from more than just glare and survive as long as the glasses.  We offer only premium and super-premium product because our doctor has seen the cheap stuff make the lenses difficult to get clean, scratch easily, distort vision, and flake/crackle or come off unevenly across the lens.  Non-glare treatment also protects the eyes from reflected UV on the back of the lens and improves vision in all lighting conditions: most notably at night and in front of a computer monitor.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.18.56 PM2) A better execution of your prescription known as digital asphericity reduces distortion and improves vision.  Most prescriptions aren’t the same in every part of the lens and the distance between the edge of a lens and our eye differs from the center to our eye, but traditional glasses produce an image that is bending light as if it were the same.  Improving the type of lens to a digital aspheric design will reduce distortion and improve vision because it more closely matches the shape of your eye.  It is recommended often because it helps to produce a better image.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.18.31 PM3) Higher Index or strength of the lens material will bend the light more even with less lens thickness and weight making the lens look thinner, feel lighter, and fit into the frame better.  There are typically three types offered: Basic, Mid-Index, and High-Index lens materials.  At 4Sight iCare our basic lens is made of mid-index polycarbonate because its impact resistance is far better than basic plastic.  Our next tier is Trivex; a more optically clear and slightly thinner option.  In the High-Index classification we use 1.67 or for really demanding prescriptions 1.74.  BEWARE the places charging you more for 1.60 as a high index lens; in our professional opinion this does not provide the patient with a significant difference to justify the expense.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.19.20 PM 4) Personalization with custom measurements makes your prescription truly yours.  BEWARE “HD lenses” without special measurements; they can’t compensate for the way it fits if you without specialized fitting measurements.  It improves your vision and does so to a greater degree for those people who turn their eyes more than their head when they track an object or read.  The effective power to the eye is consistent across the prescription because the distance is compensated for in the prescription lens as it is made just for your face in the frame you selected with the optical center placed where your pupil lands in your glasses.  This is the best way to to see the most natural, crisp and comfortable vision.