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Eyeglasses: More Lens Options Than Ever

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While contact lenses are easier to wear and care for than ever before, aging can mean your contact lenses just don't work anymore. Presbyopia, which is the normal farsightedness that affects most adults over the age of 40, can be corrected with special bifocal contacts, but they do have a few drawbacks. Bifocal contacts are pricey, they require daily wear to lessen changes to the eye, and they aren't sufficient for everything. For example, reading very small print, such as that on a prescription bottle, will still be nearly impossible to read.  

Most contact wearers don't want to switch to glasses, however; once they realize they will likely need reading glasses anyway, many are willing to ditch the contact lenses completely and give eyeglasses a try again. Thankfully, technology has improved eye glasses considerably over the past few decades.

Are Different Lenses Available?

Yes. Eyeglasses used to be heavy, as the lenses were almost always made of glass. Today, there are many lightweight options.

High-Index Plastic

For those with a strong prescription, eyeglasses used to be noticeably thick and were jokingly referred to as "coke bottle" glasses. They also tended to give the wearer an unattractive bug-eye effect. High-index plastic solves this problem -- even strong prescriptions can now enjoy lightweight plastic that is thin and doesn't distort the eyes.


Lenses made from polycarbonate are good for active people, especially those who play in contact sports, because they are difficult to break. This also makes them a good choice for children who don't always take care of their glasses as well as they should. Additionally, they come with UV protection already built in.


Similar to polycarbonate, Trivex lenses are lightweight and thin. Their advantage over polycarbonate lenses is they offer greater optical clarity.


These lenses are usually the best bet for those with a different prescription in each eye. The lenses are thin, and the way the lenses is shaped reduces the distortion others see when looking at a wearer with a strong prescription.

What Are The Differences Between Bifocals, Trifocals, and Progressives?

Bifocals and trifocals are traditional glasses with an area specifically for the changing eyesight of older adults to see up close and small print. They have a visible line dividing the segments. With progressive lenses, there isn't a clear line of demarcation. Your optometrist can help you decide which type of lens is best for you based on your prescription as well as whether you spend a lot of time doing computer work, in the sun, reading, or playing sports.

If you're looking to buy new glasses soon, you can find out more here.