If you are shopping for new glasses in Olympia, this blog will guide you through the process of choosing the right glasses for you. There are a variety of options for lenses, frames, and lens coatings. Before discussing this topic it is important to highlight that you should always have an eye exam and discuss with your eye doctor what type of eyeglasses will work best for you before purchasing eyeglasses. The purpose of an eye exam is not only to determine the proper prescription for your glasses, it is also to assess the overall health of your eyes, your visual system, and symptoms that may be eye or vision related. Since vision is such an important part of our lives, it is so important to make sure that you are not just finding out your prescription but also ensuring that your eyes and vision remain in great condition for many years to come.

Different Kinds of Lenses

In general, you can either opt for a single vision lens that focuses for either distance or near such as reading, or a multifocal lens that includes bifocals and progressive lenses, which have multiple powers of focus.

  • Single vision lens - A single vision lens is designed to focus on a single distance. Many people, especially those under the age of 40, wear single vision lenses and can accomplish their everyday tasks perfectly well. After 40, or after you reach a certain age when your near vision becomes blurry, you will need reading glasses and distance glasses. When that happens, some people need bifocals or progressive lenses. As a side note, children that have a minus prescription (also known as nearsighted or myopia), should work with an optometrist that does myopia management in order to slow down the progression of their myopia.
  • Bifocal eyeglasses - These glasses are segmented; the top portion is designed to look far away whereas the bottom half or ⅓ is focused for reading or near work. This allows you to wear one pair of eyeglasses and look at objects at different distances with it. Depending on the tasks you perform throughout the day, our eye doctor may prescribe just one pair for distance and another for reading. Then you can switch your glasses between tasks.
  • Multifocal lenses  - Multifocal lenses are similar to bifocal lenses but also include mid-distance viewing. These lenses often have multiple zones within them that allow for the wearer to switch seamlessly from near, to mid distance (such as watching a tv or using a computer), to far.
  • Lens coatings  - There are many types of coatings that you can get for your lenses. These include UV protection, transition lenses that change when you go from a darker to lighter area, scratch resistant lenses, anti-reflective or anti glare, and blue light protection.
  • Anti-glare coating - The most important coating you can have on your eyeglasses is anti-glare or also called anti-reflective coating. What it does is that it is going to block some of the extra light entering the eye. We recommend anti-glare coating for almost everyone.

Why is Getting a Polycarbonate or Trivex Lens a Good idea?

Most lenses are made of plastic these days, which is actually safer for the eyes since it cannot shatter into your eyes. Additionally, they're lighter, so they stay on the face better. There are different types of plastic lenses that are even more safe or more impact resistant, that includes a material called polycarbonate or trivex. Impact testing is usually done to test the safety of the lens.

They're usually recommended for children or if you're playing sports or in an environment where your glasses are likely to break. Another use for polycarbonate or trivex lenses is if you're monocular, which means that one eye has better vision than the other. So to protect the good eye, our eye doctor would recommend this kind of lens.

What You Should Know Before Buying Frames and Lenses Online or at an Optical

The frame comes in a variety of price ranges. While choosing a frame, you should always keep in mind that the price of the frame doesn't necessarily equate to the quality of the frame. A lot of frames can be strong and resistant and won't break easily. A lot of it depends on the shape and the style that you want of the frame. However, the price of the lenses can usually equate to quality. You should always get your frames and lenses from an eye doctor's clinic with the guidance of an optometrist and optician and not order them online since many of the lenses made online don't pass the safety test and do not provide the best vision.


Get superior care when you schedule an appointment for an eye exam at our state of the art optometry clinic in Olympia, conveniently serving patients from Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey. Call (360) 491-2121 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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