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Posted on 05-03-2016

Which Lens Treatments Do You Really Need?

Debating what to include when you fill your new eyeglass prescription? Prescription glasses are intended to help you see better regardless of what type of eye conditions you have. By selecting the proper material and lens treatments, you can enjoy improved vision above and beyond what a basic pair of glasses can provide. Going beyond the basics can make your initial investment more costly, but the results are well worth it.

What To Look For In Lens Materials

Today, most prescription lenses are made of plastic material. The optics offered by glass may be slightly better, but glass lenses are breakable and heavier, which has prompted most consumers to opt for the newer lighter material. In evaluating lens materials, what you should look for are:

  • High Abbe values, a measure of how much the material causes blurred vision or optical distortions around lights.
  • High refractive values, a measure of how the material bends or refracts light and how fast it does so.

You want glasses that offer you clear vision without thickness. Some of the properties of common materials are listed in the chart below:

Crown glass
CR 39 plastic
High index plastic
High index plastic
Refractive Index
Abbe Value
Excellent optics, low-cost, but heavy and breakable
Low cost but thick, while offering excellent optics
Lightest weight, blocks 100% UV, impact resistant
Lighter than high index, blocks 100% UV, superior impact resistance
Thin and lightweight with excellent impact resistance
Thin and lightweight, while blocking 100% UV
Thinnest lenses on the market, lightweight, 100% UV blocking

The more you value a thin, lightweight product with the best optical properties, the more it benefits you to invest in more than the CR-39 plastic used for basic glasses.

Lens Treatments For Improved Function

Besides lens materials, there are other lens treatments you can purchase that will make your glasses more functional in various conditions. For example:

  • Tinting your glasses in a light color can give them a fashionable look, while a deep shade can make them usable as sunglasses when combined with other lens treatments to block UV rays and reflect light.
  • Adding photochromic treatment to your glasses can make them dark in the presence of HEV (high-energy visible) and UV rays, and then return to their normal clarity inside.
  • UV blocking treatment, which wards off ultraviolet radiation, is built into many glass types, but basic CR-39 needs special coating.
  • Anti-reflective coating (AR) eliminates glare and reflections in lenses that can cause reduced contrast and clarity, while making the lenses nearly invisible. This coating is particularly needed in high impact lenses which reflect more light.
  • Anti-scratch coating can protect your glasses from abrasions and scratches. Since the most impact resistant glasses are also the softest and most susceptible to scratching, this coating is often applied at the factory.

Since glasses can last you several years, paying extra for improved function at the time of purchase can be well worth it in the long run. For the best in modern lens materials and treatments, come to Eye Site Texas. Call today for an appointment for an exam and then work with one of our optical specialists to select glasses that will serve you well.

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