Ophthalmic Lens Options presented by The River’s Edge Optical
Prior to selecting your eyewear with a new prescription, it is imperative you have a detailed discussion with our opticians at The River’s Edge Optical regarding lens options. The choice in customizing your own ophthalmic lens is impressive when you consider material, function, lens optics and enhancement features. The ophthalmic lens selected can impact the type of frame that will best optimize your overall eyewear satisfaction. Customizing eyewear is complex. It requires understanding all the ophthalmic lens options and how they may impact performance, coupled with finding the right frame that gives you the functionality you are looking for. Adding to the complexity is the potential fashion statement you may want to present with your new eyewear. All of these considerations must be evaluated and presented to get the best in an eyewear solution. We believe our service of educating and providing all lens options will enhance your eyewear purchasing experience and provide unparalleled value.
The River’s Edge optician’s over 60 years of combined experience provides unique understanding of the versatility of different lens materials, options and how this combination of technologies will influence and impact your prescription eyewear performance. Our goal is to help you find the most suitable applications of lens technology for your prescription and budget. The menu of ophthalmic lens options is extensive, but critical to process and understand how the overall performance of your prescription lenses may be affected by these choices. Please enjoy learning about the complexities of eyewear lens options and always know our opticians and staff are there to help answer questions and serve you. (Keep in mind that vision insurance plans often limit what is available to you in terms of ophthalmic lens options. With vision insurance plans, ordering premium lenses often times will require additional investment beyond the base coverage of the plan. For more information on Vision Insurance plans you may visit our Vision Insurance section and learn about which plans are available through The River’s Edge Optical.)
Selecting Optical Clarity (Optics Design Choice)
The process of fabricating an ophthalmic lens can create various levels of distortion free image quality and reduce overall aberrations. Curvature selection such as an aspheric design is often associated with a broader range of optical purity than a single curved, standard lens designs. The inscription of correction into an ophthalmic lens blank is now best performed by a digital process improving the image quality through reduced aberrations and more precise detailing of power (1/100 power distribution capability versus 1/25 in standard processing).
Standard Process Design: historically the most common and applies to the majority single vision spectacle prescriptions filled in the U.S. It is a spherical design lens with one front surface curve, and is used in most spectacle prescriptions.
Aspheric Process: this is usually recommended for stronger prescriptions. This is where the front surface of the lens curves, gradually changing and giving the wearer the appearance of thinner lenses that provides consistent optical clarity. Often higher index material lenses include this design in the manufacturing.
Digital Process: is available in single vision, progressives and now bifocals with a line. This technology, also known as free-form surfacing, has broken from the limitations of traditional lens surfacing to establish a new level of excellence in lens production. With digital surfacing, we have the ability to calculate and grind each surface directly so that the lenses are personalized to the wearer’s particular needs.
Computerized controlled surfacing of these lenses produce a more precise spectacle lens compared to a standard design. In fact, this technology is so accurate it can produce a lens in power increments of 0.01 diopter, compared to 0.25 of a diopter in a standard design. We are all familiar with high definition television; now we can achieve high definition vision through our spectacle lenses.
Ophthalmic Lens Materials
The choice of lens material is perhaps the most critical in the customization process. The most desirable materials are thinner and are cosmetically more appealing with aspheric design, plus they offer better optical purity. The only negative is cost. Most discount eyewear optical stores do not offer the best in lens material options.
Crown Glass: the first lens material ever used for eyewear has some of the purest optics of all materials and has a high degree of scratch resistance. However, glass is the easiest to chip, crack or shatter and is the heaviest of all materials. Many of today’s modern frames are not compatible with glass, but in some cases we can still process and dispense this material.
Conventional Plastic: lighter weight and more impact resistant than glass lenses. However, it is much thicker than other materials used to make lenses, so it is sometimes less desirable for prescriptions.
Polycarbonate: this is lighter and thinner than glass or plastic and is nearly unbreakable. It has been the material of choice for children, safety and performance eyewear.
Trivex: the newest lens material available. It includes the clarity of plastic, the strength of polycarbonate and great light transmission for low light conditions. It works well for everyone, but is especially recommended for rimless and children’s eyewear.
High Index and Ultra High Index: generally recommended for people with a high optical prescription, high-index lenses can benefit anyone who would like a thinner lens profile. They can be up to 50% thinner than regular glass or plastic lenses and are much lighter in weight.
There are various coatings and treatments that will improve lens performance in certain environmental conditions. These enhancements are becoming standard in many optical stores.
Anti-Fog Coating: breakthrough technology with superior anti-fog properties. It offers an advanced anti-fog coating when combined with the Optifog-Activator that provides long lasting fog free vision; an industry first.
(Image from Essilor)
Anti-Reflective Coating: almost all lenses prescribed by our eyecare physician at Dunes Eye Consultants include Anti-Reflective Coating. The basic principal of Anti-Reflective coating is to increase light transition through the ophthalmic lens. Approximately 8 to 10 % more light is transmitted through a lens when an Anti-Reflective coat is added. Patients troubled with nighttime vision, glare off headlights, computer eye fatigue or cosmetically concerned about light bouncing off their lenses are ideal candidates for Anti-Reflective Coated lenses. All patients with eyewear benefit from anti-reflective coated lenses. (In most Asian countries, 99% of all lenses have AR coating.) The performance of Anti-Reflective coating enhances vision performance in all ophthalmic lenses, therefore, it is recommended for everyone. The growing vision problem of digital eye fatigue can be reduced by minimizing glare and lens aberration with AR lens treatments. Anti-Reflective coating technology of today is more durable than the first generation coatings of 15 years ago. There are multiple types of Anti-Reflective Coating options depending on your personal needs. Our opticians will educate and discuss all of those available options for you.
Ultraviolet Light Protection: it is imperative that when we are outside all individuals, regardless of whether they use prescription eyewear or not, are using some type of UV protection. What most patients do not understand is that UV protection normally comes from a clear filter and not from a tinted lens. Tinted lenses decrease the quantity of overall light, but without a UV filter in place, you are still getting exposure to the harmful UV rays. Many ophthalmic lens materials today incorporate UV protection within the manufacturing process. Even some of the contact lenses that we prescribe offer this benefit, as well. Our opticians will describe to you those materials. If your lens material option does not have UV protection, you may wish to add that as a coating on your lenses to help the overall protection to your eyes.
Scratch Resistant Coatings: because most lenses today are made of plastic, it is imperative that all prescriptions have scratch resistant coatings. Although these coatings are not scratch proof, they can help reduce the wear and tear on lenses. Certain work environments are more susceptible to creating dust and debris that can irritate the surface of the lens; a more durable type of coating may be indicated. Our opticians will explain to you the different options and how these coatings may work. This helps you select the most appropriate lens coating to protect your investment in your ophthalmic lenses.
Performance Enhancement Tints: One of the fastest growing area of the optical industry is Performance Eyewear. Performance Eyewear has evolved out of the different types of ophthalmic lens options available for outdoor enthusiast, gaming and computer needs. By using different types of lens tinting options, apparent contrast can be improved, eye fatigue reduced, glare eliminated and over all performance optimized by having the proper type of eyewear in place. Our opticians can discuss with you lens tints for all types of all ophthalmic options and for specific activities as well.
Specialized Ophthalmic Lenses
Ophthalmic lenses can do more than just transmit and bend light to form an image. They can also filter, reduce the amount of light or alter contrast to improve vision for specific activities. Special ophthalmic lenses are preferred by those who go in and out of buildings during the day, are exposed to glare or want improved vision performance for activities.
Transitions Lenses: lenses that darken into sunglasses when exposed to the UV rays. They will lighten to clear lenses when back inside and away from the sun.
Polarized Lenses – filter light rays so they enter through only one meridian in the lens that helps eliminate glare off of shiny surfaces. Most quality sunglasses or performance eyewear have polarization filters.
Lens Tinting for Cosmetics and Performance
The use of tints to alter the look of eyewear has been done for years, but is on the upside as an eyewear trend. Performance eyewear depends on proper tints to optimize vision for the activity they are designed for.
Grey: has neutral properties making everything seem more true to color and excellent for extreme sun days
Brown and Green: alter contrast enhancing image quality
Yellow and Orange: are best for enhancing contrast, but do little for reducing light in sunny conditions. Combined with anti-reflective coatings, this combination can reduce eye fatigue when working on a computer or gaming station for extended periods of time
Tinted Lens with UV Protection: Standard sunwear lens that are constantly dark combined with a UV filter and can be solid tint or gradient.
Cosmetic Enhancements Options for Your Lenses:
Eyewear is jewelry for your face. They can take years off your look, brighten your face and change your overall appearance. The River’s Edge Optical opticians routinely enhance eyewear through lens modification for the sole purpose of improving the cosmetics of your eyewear. This special tailoring is another way we separate our services from other optical stores, and more importantly, makes our patients happy. We take this part of the eyewear selection seriously because we respect your investment in quality eyewear and will educate you on all your options to maximize the look of your eyewear.
Roll and Polished Edges: roll and polishes the edges of your lenses to give a seamless look to the lens and frame interface. The edges can be coated to finish the look.
Cosmetic Tints: light cosmetic tints flatter your complexion and can help create a very unique look.
Anti-Reflective Coating: this lens coating is a must for the best cosmetic enhancement to eyewear, as well as, maximizing vision performance.
Getting Started: Create Specialized Vision for Your Eyes
As you scroll through the ophthalmic lens options, you begin to understand the complexity that can exist tailoring an eyewear solution for a patient. At The River’s Edge Optical, we believe the investment in eyewear should not be taken lightly and the experience should be one where the patient feels they are getting all their options presented to them. We will not cut corners! We are proud of our eyewear outcomes resulting from the shared experiences with our customers and their happiness in how we helped create personalized eyewear for them. Before you make a purchase in quality eyewear, we believe you should investigate our services, and knowledge, to help you make a great choice in your eyewear. If you need more information, please stop in at The River’s Edge Optical or call our office at 605-232-6900.
Our pride shows with each individual patient we take care of at The River’s Edge Optical. We want to be your family’s optical!