Selecting Your Eyeglasses

Our professional opticians and optometrists can help you select the frames and lenses that are just right for you.

There are many factors to consider when selecting eyeglass frames and lenses. This page will help you learn about the different options so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to pick out your own prescription eyeglasses.

Eyeglass Frames

Our Opti-mart stores carry some of the best selections of frames in the area. There are hundreds to choose from and there is something for everyone, from traditional metal frames to designer and fashion plastic frames. Come into any Opti-mart store and see the huge selection of top styles and brands, including:

We are sure to have the eyeglasses and sunglasses styles you’re looking for at great prices!

Lens Material Key Features and Benefits
High-index Plastic The thinnest lenses available, blocks 100 percent UV, lightweight
Polycarbonate Superior impact resistance, blocks 100 percent UV, lighter than high-index plastic lenses
CR-39 Plastic Excellent optics, low cost. Downside: thickness
Crown Glass Excellent optics, low cost. Downsides: heavy, breakable

Eyeglass Lenses

When it comes to selecting the right prescription lenses for your needs, there are many factors to consider. Below, you’ll find some information to help you select the perfect lenses.

Lens Material

Below is a table with popular eyeglass lens materials. Except for the crown glass, these are all plastic materials.

Non-Glare Lenses

Non-Glare lenses (also known as AR or Anti-Reflective) have been treated with a coating that helps improve vision and appearance. Today’s non-glare coatings help eliminate virtually all light reflections coming from the front and the back surface of the eyeglass lenses, allowing more light to pass through the lens for better vision. The coating also makes the lenses appear more transparent, allowing people to see your eyes and your facial expressions.

Non-glare coating is especially beneficial when used on high-index lenses, which reflect more light than regular plastic lenses. Generally, the higher the index of refraction of the lens material, the more light that will be reflected from the surface of the lenses.

The benefits of wearing lenses with non-glare coating include clearer, sharper vision with less glare (especially when driving at night) and greater comfort for the wearer, particularly during extended computer usage.

Bifocals and Progressive Lenses

We frequently receive questions about the difference between bifocal and progressive lenses. Basically, a bifocal lens is created with two separate areas of vision correction. These are divided by a visible line that crosses horizontally across the lens. The top section of the lens is for seeing objects in the distance. The bottom section of the lens is for objects up close. You may hear a term called “flat-top 28.” This is a bifocal lens that has a section near the bottom that has reading power built in. That section is 28 millimeters wide and is shaped like a sideways “D.”

Progressive lenses also allow the wearer to see objects both distant and close. However, progressive lenses have no visual line. Progressive lenses provide a graduated range of vision, including distant, intermediate and up close. For those who would prefer a “seamless” appearance, but who require additional strength for reading or seeing up close, progressive lenses are a great alternative.

Polarized Lenses

You probably already know how important it is to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. You may also want to consider another closely-related option: polarized lenses.

Polarized lenses are created with an embedded chemical film where the molecules are lined up to create “slots” through which light passes. It’s kind of like Venetian blinds that block all light except that which passes through the openings. With polarized lenses, these “slots” are horizontal. This means the lens will only allow horizontal rays of light through.

This is popular especially with boaters, fishermen and other water sports fans because the polarized lenses are great at blocking vertically-aligned light waves bouncing off the water’s surface. They’re also great for blocking light waves bouncing off that shiny car windshield when driving.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses allow the wearer to enjoy the benefits of regular eyeglasses and sunglasses combined into one! This is due to the fact that photochromic lenses darken automatically when exposed to direct sunlight. When not exposed, they fade back to clear. With today’s advanced technology, photochromic lenses are clear (or nearly clear) indoors and darken to a medium sun tint outdoors.

There are many brands of photochromic lenses, but the most popular is the Transitions brand. Other brands include LifeRX, PhotoFusion and PhotoViews.

Photochromic lenses are available in nearly all lens materials and designs, including high-index lenses, bifocals and progressive lenses. An added benefit of photochromic lenses is that they shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Protect Your Eyes From Harmful Blue-Violet Light

The damage UV rays can do to our eyes is well known. With the increased use of digital devices such as computer screens, tablets, smartphones and televisions, there is a growing concern that certain blue-violet light is damaging our eyes. More and more lens companies are developing special lenses to block these harmful rays to protect our eyes, including Crizal Prevencia, BluTech, DuraVision Blue Protect, SeeCoat Blue, and more.

In a recent article in 20/20 Magazine about the impact of UV and HEV on the aging eye, it was suggested that the blue-violet light wavelengths centered around 430 nm, known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light, play a role in the incidence and severity of AMD (age-related macular degeneration).

As with UV rays, damage from blue-violet light has a cumulative effect over the course of a lifetime. As a result, older people are more likely to display the effects. However, since younger generations are growing up with these digital devices, and use them many hours each day, it’s very important to protect young, developing eyes.

Ask your Opti-mart optician or optometrist to recommend lenses that block this harmful blue-violet light for you and your family.

Video from our friends at thinkaboutyoureyes.com

Lenses For Kids

When it comes to eyeglasses for kids, there are many things to consider. The right eyeglasses can help improve your child see clearly so they can focus and learn. In addition, you want to consider some of the following when selecting eyeglasses for your children:

  • Protection from glare and reflections
  • Scratch-resistance
  • Smudge-resistance
  • Impact resistant materials (frame and lenses)
  • UV Protection
  • Protection from High Energy Visible (HEV) light (blue-violet light waves)

Ask your Opti-mart optician or optometrist for recommendations to get just the right frames and lenses for your child.

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