Non-Glare Lenses

Non-glare lenses (or anti-reflective) are a common and cost-effective feature that many eyeglass wearers elect to have put in their frames. It’s one of those things that you usually don’t notice or think about when you have it, but you notice when it’s not there!

Non-glare lenses are simply lenses that have this anti-reflective coating applied to the lens. Anti-reflective coating works by eliminating the reflections of light from the front and back the lens. Typical anti-reflective coating allows 99.5 percent of light to pass through, meaning that there is only a very faint hint of light on the lens even in the brightest conditions. The anti-glare protection allows more light to come through, and results in better vision for you as well as a better view for others. When people look at you, they won’t see a glare off of the lenses of your glasses. Glares off of your glasses can ruin pictures and be distracting to people speaking with you because the glare obscures the view of your eyes.

Beyond the cosmetic reasons, the largest benefits of anti-reflective coating are sharper vision when driving at night, and more comfort when using a computer for long periods of time. You won’t experience a glare from the computer screen, and the sharper vision will mean easier focusing for your eyes.

It’s also a good idea get the anti-reflective coating applied to the back surface of your sunglasses. This helps eliminate glare from sunlight when the sun is behind you. Most AR coatings now also include a layer that prevents water spots, thus making them much easier to clean. There are even coatings that help resist skin oils while also making smudges easier to wipe off.

Glasses that have anti-reflective coating should be given special care, as some lens cleaners contain chemicals that could damage the anti-reflective coating. With any eyewear, make sure you know how to care for your gear to give it a long and useful life. Ask your eye care professional if you have questions about care for your eye wear, or would like to know more about non-glare lenses.

Digital Lenses

The idea of digital lenses may conjure up futuristic, electronic eyewear that gives you heat-detecting vision and the ability to zoom in real life, but the truth is that digital lenses look exactly like traditional lenses in a side-by-side comparison. There are no batteries involved! Digital lenses, also called high-definition or free-form lenses, are much different when you see through them, however.

Every eye is different, so getting digital lenses vs. traditional lenses is like the difference between getting an outfit off the rack and getting something made especially for your body to fit all of your various measurements perfectly. With high-definition digital lenses, the creation process takes into account the position of your pupil, the angle of the lens in the frames, and the shape of your frames. Many wearers also benefit from the ability to create progressive lenses that give you a similar effect to bifocals, but without an obvious line. Wearers find that their eyes are much more comfortable and it’s easier to adapt to the high-definition vision they have using a more gradual transition.

High-definition digital lenses are made with an optimized computer-controlled scanning process which allows for much greater precision than how regular glasses are made. Conventional tools don’t allow for the same sort of control so they can lead to a perfect prescription for your eyes that still feels like it could be sharper. The way conventional lenses are made will sometimes create spots that aren’t as clear, or a bending effect toward the edges of your peripheral vision because of the shape of your glasses. This is not an issue with digital lenses. You will have better peripheral vision, less glare, and improved contrast sensitivity.

To further improve the creation process, your eye care professional will usually take some added measurements based on your frames. This will ensure an exact fit and tailoring to your eye and eyewear choice.

Further considerations for digital lenses include the question of who can benefit from them. The great thing about digital lenses is that everyone can benefit from them! People with difficult prescriptions, astigmatism, and presbyopia (farsightedness) will see the greatest change between traditionally manufactured lenses and their new, high-definition vision with digital lenses.

The next question is one we hear a lot: but how much extra do they cost? Unlike the price difference between a high-definition television and the old tube models, digital lenses are not too much extra. They are more labor-intensive to create, so typically you can expect to pay about 25–35% more for your lenses. Once you become accustomed to the high-definition lenses and sharper vision, you’ll be surprised how inadequate your old lenses seem!

Talk to your eye care professional if you’re interested in getting digital lenses for your eyewear.

Golfing, Fishing, Winter Sports, and More

Just as sports officials are becoming more concerned with overall physical safety for athletes, more people are wearing specialized eyewear to protect their eyes and give them protection and sharp vision while performing their sport. Sports eyewear options are available and tailored to just about every sport. All you have to do is know your sporting needs and talk to an eye care professional to discuss your options. It’s nice to know what to expect and what you can get other than just wearing contact lenses.

Here are some of the most common options and things to consider for glasses, goggles, or other sports eyewear with unique capabilities to increase your sporting performance.

Darkened/tinted or photochromic lenses.
Is your sport outdoors? Protection from bright sunlight and UV rays is crucial! Watersports and winter sports involve glares coming up from the snow or water. The bright light is damaging to your eyes and very uncomfortable if you’re not protected. Certain color tints can also help make sports glasses more functional. Golf glasses, for example, often use a copper or amber color that improves the contrast of grass and sky so you can read the course better. Make sure that you invest in glasses that will fit your outdoor setting.

Fitting with other gear. Eyewear for activities like motorsports, cycling, or football will need to fit with headgear. Be sure to test your eyewear with your uniform or additional gear, and talk to your eye care professional about the other items you’ll be wearing along with your eyewear.

Durability. In sports like racquetball, or really any sport with objects that are swung or flung around, you face the risk of getting hit and injuring your eyes if they’re not protected. This also means that your glasses or goggles are likely to take a beating while protecting your eyes. Scratch-resistance and high-impact polycarbonate materials are often used in sports eyewear to be sure that they will have a long life and will be able to shield your eyes from harm.

Considerations for contact lenses. Those who wear contact lenses and will be doing their sport in the elements can benefit greatly from glasses that wrap around the face. Protection from wind and debris will ensure that no irritants enter the eye and affect your contact lenses.

Protection from other substances.
Watersports may come to mind when you think of goggles that protect your eyes from liquid, but there are other sports like paintball that could greatly damage the eyes if not protected. Specialty masks with breathable vents that allow air in will be sure to keep paint out. Goggles for watersports have similar features to keep water out of your eyes so you can see clearly under the water or above.

Polarized lenses. Probably the most important aspect of eyewear for fishing is polarization. Polarized lenses make it possible to see under the surface of the water because the lenses are specially made to cut down refracted light. Once the sunlight bouncing off the water is minimized, it’s far easier to see into the water and read important fishing features like vegetation, depth, underwater landscape, and even fish! Other water and winter sports can benefit from polarization as well to prevent the eyes from glaring sunlight.

Make sure that you’re prepared for your sport with protective gear and the right sports eyewear to keep your eyes on the prize. See an eye care professional to give your eyes a sporting chance!

Polarized Sunglasses

Squinting into the sun and focusing in bright light is very hard on your eyes. Eye care professionals stress the importance of sunglasses and shading your eyes to protect your vision, but many people aren’t aware of the benefits that come from polarized sunglasses. They’re not just for fishermen to see into the water!

When you’re not on the dock or deck of your boat, you will continue to see the benefits of polarization. Polarized sunglasses can help cut glares off of surfaces like the road in front of you or the hood of your vehicle. Even bright light outdoors or through windows can be mellowed with polarized lenses.

The reason that polarized sunglasses work is that they cut out certain waves of light. Normal light tends to go in all directions, but light that bounces off of a surface tends to “polarize” and align itself horizontally. So sunlight beating down on the water doesn’t appear as ambient light once it bounces off the water, because it hits that reflective surface and bounces up, glaring into your eyes. Polarized lenses are specially made with a vertical polarization so that they cut out that intense reflected light and let you see more of the natural light you’d see if there was no glare. Pretty cool, right? You can even experiment with glasses to see if they’re polarized by holding them out and rotating the lens to see if the glare lessens or not.

Some people may notice instances where polarized lenses are not helpful, however. Cell phone screens, LCD and GPS displays can be more difficult to read. In some cases, much brighter light is something you need to see, like in downhill skiing. A bright patch alerts the skier to ice, and polarization would make it harder to see. But most everyday skiers and snowboarders would like to ease the bright light reflecting off of the snow if they’re not in icy conditions. Other than a few rare occasions, polarized lenses can do a lot to improve your vision for many applications. Ask your eye care professional for help deciding if polarization is right for your eyewear.