Did you know that nearly 8 in 10 Americans over 55 years old require prescription eyeglasses? If you are one of them, you should first know these two key aspects, namely, size and lens material, before making your purchasing decision. Your ophthalmologist will obviously guide your decision but it still pays to know the basics, especially as you will be using the prescription eyeglasses for prolonged periods.
Size: Function First, Fashion Second
While you can find many prescription eyeglasses that combine function and fashion, you should always prioritize function over fashion in certain cases. This is true in presbyopia, a medical condition wherein the lens of the eyes suffer from a natural stiffening resulting in the reduced ability to focus well at close-vision tasks.
In this case, your doctor will likely recommend multifocal lenses with a vertical height of at least 1.25 inches, which are not exactly the slim and sleek fashionable kind. You must, however, follow the advice of your doctor even when it’s on the unfashionable side because your vision matters more than your fashion.
Lens Materials: More High-tech than Usual
The glass lenses of yesteryears have been replaced by high-tech plastics, which have been engineered to be thinner, lighter, and more durable (i.e., less likely to shatter into pieces when dropped). Your eye doctor will choose from several lens materials including:
- Basic lens, known as CR-39, is the most affordable lens material usually used for regular glasses.
- Mid-index lens are lighter and thinner than the basic lens. Your eye doctor usually recommends these lens for photochromic and anti-reflective treatments especially for farsightedness.
- High index lens are the thinnest and lightest as well as the most expensive but these are worth the price. You will enjoy the best clarity and comfort although you should ask for an anti-reflective coating. Your eyeglasses will already have ultraviolet and scratch-coating for added protection.
- Polycarbonate lenses are the latest in high-tech plastics as well as the priciest for a reason – these are virtually unbreakable, provide similar benefits as the high index lenses, and already include ultraviolet protection.
Aside from these basic treatments, you can also ask for polarized lenses designed to eliminate glare and enhance contrast.
No matter your choice in lenses, you should always ask your eye doctor about it. The right glasses can enhance your vision while the wrong ones can ruin it – truly, a thought that should motivate you to take better care of your eyes.