When you are choosing glasses, specific lenses and coatings are a must but are not mandatory as it can depend on your lifestyle, how you use and wear your glasses. When your Optometrist offers them to you, you can rest assured this is not a scam as these coatings make a significant difference in the physics of light and how light actually interacts with your glasses and your eyes.
These upgrades can make a real difference for your vision, whether it’s transition lenses, anti-glare coatings, or another high-tech feature.
We have compiled an easy to understand explanation about each type of option so you can decide before you buy it these are of value to you.
High Index lenses
If you have a strong prescription and therefore need thick glasses, high index glasses are thinner and more comfortable. Think about the old fashioned “coke bottle” glasses, these are now a thing of the past with thinner lenses that feel comfortable, don’t weigh down your on face or limit your frame choices.
No matter how well you look after your glasses, scratches are typical, so for the longevity of your glasses anti-scratch is a must,
UV Eye Protection
The risk of eye damage from the sun increases as we get older, so it is crucial that we limit the amount of sun into our eyes as possible. Most UV coated lenses offered by your Optometrist can block up to 99% of harmful UV rays. However, if you wear prescription glasses, be sure to ask your optometrist about the level of UV protection they provide.
The Cancer Council states:
- “The Australian/New Zealand Standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles does not cover either tinted or clear prescription glasses. However, some tinted or clear prescription lenses may provide protection from UV radiation. Certain lens materials and coatings provide UV protection. Lenses that darken when exposed to sunlight provide additional comfort by reducing glare but do not necessarily filter out more UV radiation. Prescription glasses used for sun protection should be close-fitting and wraparound to provide maximum protection.”
Today’s advanced anti-reflective coatings can virtually eliminate the reflection of light from eyeglass lenses, allowing 99.5 per cent of available light to pass through the lenses and enter the eye for good vision.
Anti-Reflective coating allows your eyes to be more visible to others, and it also helps reduce reflections at night time with lights from cars, street lights etc. Reflections become very annoying, so this is a must-have, primarily if you work on computers. Anti-reflective glasses also are more attractive, so you can look your best in all lighting conditions.
If you don’t like carrying around multiple pairs of prescription glasses, i.e. one pair of sunnies, one pair of standard spectacles. Transition glasses may be an option for you. Transition lenses are an all-in-one option that eliminates the need for separate glasses and sunglasses, and they provide 100% UV protection. More modern transition lenses also include blue light protection.
As our eyes age, there is a greater need for multifocal glasses. Multi-focal (also called progressive) lenses correct both short and long-sighted vision, usually in the 40+ age group. You don’t necessarily need multifocal lenses, but you could end up with reading glasses, vision glasses and sunglasses, so multifocal glasses limits the load.
The key is to talk with an optometrist about your lifestyle so that you receive the right glasses for you. While add ons aren’t always a necessity, often they will give you more longevity out of your glasses and lenses, plus take better care of your eyes.