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Glasses Lenses Types


There are so many types of glasses lenses, it’s hard to know where to begin. So here we are providing you with a whistle stop tour of everything you could possibly need to know about eye glasses lenses. 


Prescription Glasses Lenses


At SmartBuyGlasses you can customise your glasses lenses to suit your exact prescription. You can also choose the lens type depending on your RX and personal preference. 


Arise HD Clarity Lenses


For high quality everyday glasses lenses, we highly recommend the Arise HD Clarity Lenses. These lenses can be used to correct all sorts of visual impairments, such as presbyopia, myopia and astigmatism. They can also serve as driving or reading glasses. They are made with top-notch technology to ensure that they protect your eyes during a whole host of activities.


Aspherical Glasses Lenses


For the highest quality lenses, treat yourself to aspherical lenses. The technology behind them ensures that the light is focused incredibly accurately. This type of lens therefore offers a superior service compared to cheap reading glasses or a magnifying glass. Thanks to their advanced design, these are great glasses lenses for those with stronger prescription powers for nearsightedness. Historically, classic thick lenses for this kind of problem would give someone “bug eyes”. However, aspherical lenses are the thinnest glasses lenses, which limits the magnifying effect. As a result, the glasses are more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing. Luckily for you, all our lenses at SmartBuyGlasses come with this type of lens, so you never have to compromise on quality.


Reading Glasses Lenses


If you struggle to read text up close, you may have developed presbyopia (long-sightedness), and should consider buying reading glasses. Although it is possible to buy cheap reading glasses online or in shops, there are a variety of magnification levels to choose from. It is important that you see an optician to determine the severity of your presbyopia, as this will dictate the type of reading glasses you need. If you get this wrong, you may find that wearing the glasses leads to discomfort and blurred vision. It is also possible that each individual eye needs a different level of support from the glasses lenses. In addition, the optician will be able to recommend different types of glasses lenses for your particular prescription. You may need bifocal or progressive lenses for example, whereas cheap reading glasses are only available as single-vision lenses.


Bifocal and Varifocal Glasses Lenses


This type of lens is useful for those with more complex visual impairments than simple presbyopia. Bifocals offer two different optical powers in one single lens. The bottom half of the lens usually facilitates seeing objects up close, while the larger upper half allows you to see things that are further away. The two sections are split by a visible line through the centre of the lens. Varifocals work the same way, but with an added intermediary section in the middle.


Progressive Glasses Lenses


Whereas bifocals and varifocals are completely separate parts of the lens, split by visible lines, a progressive lens blends the different powers seamlessly together. The eye therefore adapts to transitioning between different prescriptions. Many people prefer this type of lens, as they believe them to look nicer than bifocals. Progressive glasses lenses can also reduce headaches and disorientation sometimes caused by bifocal lenses. However, it can take time to get used to wearing progressive lenses. During the transition period, people can experience dizziness and disorientation, particularly when depth perception is involved, in activities like climbing the stairs. Nevertheless, these symptoms usually subside within a couple of weeks.


There are four different types of progressive lens:


1. Standard Progressive Lenses: a large proportion of the lens is dedicated to near vision. A drawback is that the glasses frames available to match with these lenses is limited. This because this type of lens requires more space to achieve the smooth transition between prescription powers.


2. Short Corridor Progressive Lenses: the near vision section is narrower, which can take some time to get used to, and may not be ideal if you read a lot. However, it means that the lenses take up less space, and can therefore be inserted into a wider variety of glasses frames. They are compatible with smaller, more fashionable frame designs.


3. Computer Progressive Lenses: this type of lens focuses on the intermediate vision prescription. They are therefore popular with those that use a computer for most of the day.


4. Premium Progressive Lenses: these lenses are completely customizable to your needs. You can therefore combine a larger near vision area with any frame size or shape.


Lens Thickness


The lenses we provide are compatible with any prescription. Different vision impairments are corrected with varying lens thicknesses. You can therefore choose a lens thickness of any of the following:

- 1.50 CR39 standard plastic 

- 1.61 mid-index plastic (20% thinner than 1.50 CR39)

- 1.67 high-index plastic (30% thinner than 1.61)

- 1.74 very high-index plastic (20% thinner than 1.67)


Plano Glasses Lenses


If you are lucky enough not to need prescription lenses, you don’t have to miss out on the joys of wearing glasses! If your eye test results show SPH, PL, PLANO or 00, you don’t need a prescription, and these lenses are made for you. They are mostly worn for cosmetic purposes, and are the only safe way to do so. If you think you can get away with wearing demo glasses, think again. These plastic lenses that arrive with purchased frames are not actually suitable for wearing, and can damage your eyes if worn for any lengthy period of time. Plano glasses are therefore the best option, and although they cost the same amount as prescription glasses, you can add lens coatings to them to gain a variety of benefits.


What Are Glasses Lenses Made Of?


When you choose any type of glasses, it is good to understand the different materials on offer. Here is an introduction to 5 different options:


1. High-Index Plastic Lenses: These are thin and lightweight, and recommended for strong prescriptions.


2. Polycarbonate Lenses: This material is incredibly lightweight and impact resistant, making them safe for children and sportsmen and women. The lenses also offer 100% UV protection, and have a higher price tag than traditional plastic lenses.


3. Trivex Lenses: These offer all the exact same benefits as polycarbonate lenses, and then some. Their higher Abbe value means they offer better clarity of vision, so they are good options for those with stronger prescriptions. 


4. CR-39 Plastic Lenses: Although these lenses are half the weight of traditional glass lenses, they are still thicker than most standard plastic lenses. However, they do offer good clarity of vision.


5. Crown Glass Lenses: For better optics, go for glass lenses, as they refract light better than plastic. However, they are much thicker and heavier.


Glasses Lens Tints


To add extra benefits to any pair of glasses, add a color tint. There are five colors to choose from, and each offers certain advantages, and are recommended for particular activities. See our guide here for the full low-down on glasses tints.


Blue Light Blocking Glasses Lenses


A third of all visible light is blue, and close proximity to it for long periods of time can lead to digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. As all sorts of digital screens emit such light, it is good to find a pair of blue light blocking lenses to filter it and keep your eyes feeling healthy. They can even reduce headaches and help you sleep.


Photochromic Lenses


This type of lens reacts to different levels of UV light, so will darken in bright sunshine, and lighten as soon as you enter a darker indoor space. 

Clip On Glasses Lenses


At SmartBuyGlasses you don’t just have to settle for one pair of lenses. You can buy an everyday prescription pair for your favorite frames, and then buy clip ons to add over the top. This saves you buying separate frames for sunglasses and blue light blocking. Instead, simply purchase clip on driving lenses, polarized sunglasses or blue light lenses.


Glasses Lenses Coatings


Whichever glasses lenses you choose, you have a further option to add a coating. This can offer even more benefits in just one pair of glasses. 


Anti-reflective coating: also known as an anti-glare coating, this feature eliminates reflections from the front and back of your lenses. This improves the clarity of vision, and is highly recommended for driving.


UV protection: this coating is only needed for lenses that don’t already offer it, like plano lenses. It is an invisible layer that blocks 100% of UV light.


Polarized lens coating: this additional coating reduces glare, which is mostly caused by surfaces like water and snow. It is highly recommended for those that spend a significant amount of time outdoors.


Blue light blocking: if you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, you should strongly consider this option. It blocks the blue light emitted, which reduces eye strain and can help you sleep. 


Scratch resistance and Impact-X: this protects your eyes even in the toughest conditions, and saves you having to fix scratched glasses lenses. You will still need to store and handle your glasses correctly to avoid replacing glasses lenses frequently. 


Anti-Fog: it can be dangerous if your glasses steam up often, as it can cause temporary blindness. The anti-fog coating prevents condensation, so you can transition from cool to warm places without losing your vision.


Superhydrophobic coating: this coating uses water repellent technology to keep your glasses as clear as possible.