Even though lenses may look the same, there can be a world of difference in the clarity, durability and function of two different lenses that may look very similar.
It’s a very exciting time in lens technology, as the rise of Free-form lens manufacturing processes have meant an unprecedented level of control over the design of spectacle lenses, and developments in surface technology have made available a range of lenses that can block scratches, reflections, UV light, or even resist fogging! They can adjust to light levels, and adapt to the task youre doing.
Task specific designs
A general purpose multifocal design may be fine for every day, but what about reading in bed while lying on your side? What about when youre cycling or playing golf? Your general purpose glasses may be fine for reading a computer for long periods, but what about if youre using a screen for the majority of your working hours? We can help you select a lens design that will be customized for the task, in the same way that you have different shoes for different tasks; you wouldnt go jogging in your high heels!
Customized free form technology
When an optometrist measures a prescription to give you clear vision, there are a range of assumptions that are made: that the lenses will be sitting at a particular distance from your eyes, and on a particular angle and with the frames being reasonably flat. There is an increased range of frames available today, and lenses has been developed to give better optical performance in these frames.
So, have your heart set on a pair of prescription sunglasses which hug your face? A standard lens would give you significant distortion, or simply not fit the frame at all. A free form aspheric lens has changes across the lens surface to give you a more natural view through your glasses through much more of the lens.
This technology is also now applied to the manufacture of progressive lenses, or what is more commonly known as multifocals. In addition to your prescription, well measure the curve of the frame, the angle it sits at and the distance from your eyes, as well as making sure the lenses are centred correctly for that frame on your face. This gives a clearer, more comfortable result with progressive lenses, reducing the distortion in the periphery and increasing the area that you have for near tasks. Some designs even take into account your dominant eye!
Thinner, lighter, stronger lenses
Lenses come in a range of materials, offering varying impact resistance, weight, thinness and clarity. If your prescription is high, our dispensing team will help you select a material that will reduce the weight and thickness of your lenses, making them more comfortable to wear. Need safety glasses for the workplace? We can make prescription safety spectacles in a highly impact resistant material, certified to Australian standards. But that same lens material wont be the best for computer use, as there are clearer lens materials for those tasks that are more scratch resistant.
Tints and surface treatments
Depending on what you want a pair of glasses for, you may not want the lenses to be completely clear! A tinted lens might be the best option for the task you had in mind. The most obvious is sunglasses, but even these can vary tremendously depending on the activity that you do most in your sunnies.
Do you do a lot of shooting? Cycling? Golf? Fishing and water sports? Skiing? Do you want your sunglasses to simply be a fashion statement? All of these activities have different tints which allow optimum vision, ranging from the well-known polarized lenses for fishing, to eliminate reflection from the water, to different coloured tints to enhance contrast when shooting.
Additionally, lenses have surface treatments that can enhance their scratch resistance, their light transmission and reflection, as well as other properties. All our lens options have a durable hard coating as standard, but some premium treatments can make plastic lenses as scratch resistant as glass!
Increasingly, many lenses have what is called a multi-coat or anti-reflection coating. These coatings, by absorbing frequencies of reflected light, reduce the glare this would normally cause and make vision more comfortable and clearer. This is particularly useful for computer use, night time driving, or other situations where you really dont want to be distracted by annoying reflections. Most AR coatings will also block 100% UV light, with some blocking even reflected UV light, reducing the risk of eye disease related to sun damage. Because these lenses make things look so clear, it does mean that fingerprints become a lot more visible on them, so all our multi-coated lenses also have a non-stick coating, to make them resistant to dirt and easier to clean.
We can also treat the surface of a lens so that the lenses do not fog up. This is perfect if you are frustrated by your lenses fogging up while youre cooking, or when you put your glasses on when youve been exercising.
Lenses that adapt to light levels
There are a variety of spectacle lens materials that change colour depending on the light levels. The best well known of these are Transitions lenses, which are clear indoors, and tint when you’re outside. Many people choose this as a great option for their primary glasses so that they dont have to carry an extra pair of sunglasses when they go outside. The technology of these lenses has been improved over the years, so they no longer have the residual tint indoors of times gone by.
Drivewear, a polarized lens tint which is designed for driving in mind. These lenses have an amber colour in lower light levels and overcast days, sharpening contrast. On brighter days, they darken to a brown when youre in the car to reduce glare, and become darker again when youre outside in direct sunlight. Theyre very comfortable to wear, and can be fitted to a very wide range of prescriptions and spectacle frames.
All sound a bit much? We dont expect you to know what the best solution is for your situation, but thats why were here! Come in and see us, and well talk about your visual requirements, and our qualified team can recommend a lens option that is best suited to your needs. But heres a summary of whats available:
- Lighter, thinner lenses
- Customized lens design
- Anti-reflection Coatings
- Scratch resistant coating
- Anti-fog coating
- Transitions lenses
- Polarized and regular tints