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How to get the best lenses in your glasses

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Do you get overwhelmed when choosing which glasses to buy? At On Sight Optometry we take the time to get to know you and understand your needs in order to recommend the perfect glasses. Let me explain some of the different features of prescription glasses to make you feel more confident in your glasses purchase.

Firstly, when it comes to buying glasses the lenses are really what is important. Glasses lenses are made of different qualities of plastic and some are better than others. The Phoenix lens material is the lightest, most durable lens on the market and it has complete UV protection. Let me help you understand the different features and upgrades available on glasses lenses.

Step 1: Choose a lens material

How do you make your glasses last a lifetime?

Purchase Hoya Pheonix lenses because they are the most durable lens available. The Pheonix lens is lightweight, thin, durable and is distortion-free. The lenses also come with a minimum 1-year scratch warranty. This means that you can forget to put your glasses in their case, accidentally drop them, or put them in the same pocket as your keys and you will still be able to see clearly through the lens.

Why are durable, long lasting glasses important?

Doesn’t it seem like anytime you scratch your glasses it is right in the centre of your vision and you just can’t seem to avoid looking directly through the scratch? This is why durable lens materials are so important! The most common lens materials on the market are the lenses that scratch easily. The reason why these lower quality lens materials like polycarbonate are so common is because they are inexpensive. You forget to put polycarbonate glasses in the case once and it’s game over. Get a high-quality lens material like Pheonix and your glasses will last you a lifetime because your lenses come with built in scratch resistance due to the durability of the lens. The lens material is also lightweight and has sun protection.

Which lens materials are the most scratch resistant?

Most to least scratch resistant: Pheonix / Trivex > High Index > Standard Index > Polycarbonate

1. Pheonix / Trivex: Lightweight, scratch-resistant, impact-resistant, UV protection, distortion-free

Standard lens  High Index lens
Standard lensHigh Index lens

Pheonix lens material is a Trivex lens made by Hoya. Trivex is the most scratch-resistant lens on the market. It has very clear optics and minimal distortion. It is a safe lens as it is extremely resistant to impact.

2. High Index: Lightweight, thin, scratch-resistant, UV protection, distortion-free

High index lens materials is the preferred option for high prescriptions. Near sighted prescriptions over -3.00D would benefit from a lighter, thinner high index lens. They also have UV protection. These lenses are more expensive than Pheonix but still have scratch-resistance and will reduce the thickness of the lens in higher prescriptions.

3. Standard Index: Basic lens material

Standard index plastic (1.50) is a good cost-saving option. It has a scratch resistant coating but the lens material itself is not as durable as Pheonix. This lens does not have built in UV protection.

4. Polycarbonate: Lightweight, thin, impact-resistant, distortion-free

Polycarbonate is the least scratch resistant but extremely resistant to impacts. It is a thin and lightweight lens material but scratches easily.

Step 2: Choose what coatings you want

What are anti-reflection coatings?

Anti-reflection coatings reduce the glare of reflections on glasses. The anti-reflection coating also allows you to see more clearly through the glasses. There are many different types of anti-reflection coatings. Basic anti-reflection coatings only cut glare. They are more likely to separate from the lens with high heat and can make the lens coating look like it is an irregular texture which is called crazing. Premium anti-reflection coatings are designed to be very high quality and will never craze or separate from the lens. Premium anti-reflection coatings heighten the scratch resistance, reduce fingerprints, repel dust, and are easier to clean. Blue anti-reflection coatings are a premium lens coating that also reduces the amount of blue light entering the eyes when using digital devices.

Anti-reflection coating.jpg

Real people need quality eyewear

 If you are an active individual that likes to spend time outdoors then the Pheonix lens with a premium anti-reflection coating is perfect for you.

Step 3: Do you want them to change into sunglassesPhotochromic technology makes your lenses darken outdoors.

If you are someone who mainly uses glasses for reading and does not wear glasses full time, a scratch resistant lens like the Pheonix would be a good choice as it is unrealistic to always remember to put your glasses in their case. If you use them for digital devices like a computer or phone or iPad then a blue anti-reflection coating could be a good upgrade to reduce eyestrain.

Give your children Pheonix lenses so that their lenses stay scratch-free for as long as possible. Also, using a sport band to keep glasses on their heads is an excellent way to prevent glasses from falling off during your child’s busy day.

Tips for buying quality glasses

Always talk to your optometrist as they can help you achieve your best vision. Having an updated glasses prescription and ensuring healthy vision is important before purchasing eyewear. Having a conversation with your optometrist so that they can help you find the perfect glasses for your lifestyle. If you live an active life, Pheonix lenses are the right choice for you.

Written by Mindy Blumberg

Dr. Mindy Blumberg is an optometrist registered with the BC College of Optometrists and is a member of the BC Doctors of Optometry. She graduated from the University of Waterloo and moved to Whistler, BC, to live in the mountains. Mindy grew up alpine ski racing and now has a special interest in sports vision. She helps with performance vision training with the Canadian Ski Cross and the BC Alpine Ski Team. Dr. Blumberg brings expertise on post-concussion vision rehabilitation and performance sports vision. She also uses these functional vision skills and vision therapy to improve reading and comprehension in children by enhancing the visual systems needed to have academic success.
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