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Millbrook, NY
Eyeglass Primer

Patients are overwhelmed by the eyewear choices available in the marketplace today. We will attempt to help you by giving you some valuable information that will enable you to make an informed choice when selecting eyewear.

Your eye doctor will make specific recommendations based upon his findings during your eye exam as to what he feels will best suit your prescription. 

Working with your optician you can determine which frames best fit you and your prescription and which lenses, tints and coatings will fill your needs. 

There is much to consider.

Frame selection:

Adults and children alike want to look and feel great about their eyewear. Your frame has to accommodate your prescription. A frame may look and feel great without the lenses but may not accommodate a heavier lens or a prescription that requires a larger eye size. Frame fronts are made of either metal or plastic. Your frame must fit you properly in the eye size, bridge and temple length. Plastic is not forgiving; if you have difficulty fitting a frame to your nose, as with a young child, metal may be the best due to the adjustable nose pads. 

If eyeglasses are not to be worn all the time cable temples will not be the right choice but may be helpful for a child or an adult to help keep them secure if the eyeglasses are to be worn all the time.

Spring hinges are a great feature for those who frequently take their eyeglasses on and off.

Your optician will be the best judge as to whether a frame fits you properly.

Lens Choice:
There are a variety of lenses and coatings available to you today.

Lenses for Reading:

Purchasing ready-made, over the counter, glasses has a disadvantage, in that one size fits all, in terms of prescription and frame. The prescription is the same for both eyes. Most people do not have the same prescription in both eyes and using these glasses can result in one having headaches and eyestrain. You should visit your eye doctor for a customized eyeglass prescription but also to be sure that you are not missing any eye health issues that you may not even be aware of.

When you are not able to read at about 12-18 inches you may need glasses made in a reading prescription. There are two main styles: a full frame in which the entire lens is reading prescription only or a half-eye which sits lower down on your nose. The advantage to the half-eye is that you are looking through a specific area and can easily look over the top for distance. In the future, if a distance prescription is needed, you may make the transition more easily if you choose to go to a progressive lens. 

If you are using reading glasses for work on a computer this may not be working well. Reading printed matter is done at a closer range than viewing a computer which is neither distance nor close. Please read our page on Computer Use.

Multifocal Lenses:

Many options have become available to multifocal wearers.

The bifocal lens is a lens with two points of focus – usually one for distance and one for near. Some may choose to wear this lens even if they do not have a prescription for distance so that they do not have to take the glasses on and off when not reading.

Near vision segments may come in several shapes:

  •  A half-moon, which is also called a D segment or flat top. 
  •  A round segment.
  •  A narrow rectangular area, known as a ribbon segment.
  •  A full bottom half of a lens usually called an executive style.

Generally, you look up and through the distance portion of the lens when focusing on points farther away, and you look down and through the bifocal segment of the lens when focusing on reading material or detail work up to about 18 inches away.

Similar to bifocals are trifocals. These are lenses with three points of focus – usually for distance, intermediate, and near. 

Computers are an example of something that is in a person’s intermediate zone. Motorists who need to see in the distance to drive, to see the gauges on the dashboard, and to read a map also would benefit from a trifocal. The most common are flat - top or executive. 

There are multifocals that are suited for performing a particular job or hobby and are not meant for everyday. These are referred to as occupational lenses.

Progressive Lenses:

A progressive lens is a special lens with no lines that incorporates all corrections, from distance to near, with no separation of various visual zones by line. Progressive lenses eliminate the visible lines of traditional bifocals and trifocals. They provide a seamless progression of many lens powers for all viewing situations. You can look up and see clearly at distance, look ahead and view you computer in the intermediate zone and gaze downward to read and do fine work comfortably.  Your optician will measure you carefully and expertly to be certain that the transition is smooth and correct for the way the frames fit you. It is imperative that the measurements are correct and that the frame is fitting you correctly. 

Some progressive lenses are made specifically for computer use. They would have a wider intermediate zone. Others have a larger reading portion. 

High Index Lenses:

Thinner and lighter high-index lenses have impacted eyeglasses in a very significant way. Thin eyeglasses are attractive and light eyeglasses are comfortable.

Chemists have created a variety of new plastic lens materials that bend light more efficiently than conventional plastic lenses. This means less material can be used in high-index lenses to correct the same amount of nearsightedness.

AR Coating is a perfect companion for high-index lenses by allowing more light to enter the eye, AR coatings provide sharper night vision with less glare. Because AR coatings also eliminate lens reflections, they make high-index lenses appear even thinner. 

Aspheric Lenses:

Most aspheric lenses are also high-index lenses. The combination of an aspheric design with high-index lens materials creates a lens that is noticeably slimmer, thinner and lighter than conventional glass or plastic.

Aspheric lenses provide a slimmer profile for all prescriptions, but the difference is especially dramatic in lenses that correct high amounts of farsightedness. Lenses that correct farsightedness are thicker in the center and thinner at their edge. The stronger the prescription, the more the center of the lens bulges forward from the frame.

Wavefront Lenses:

Wavefront lenses are a new technology that greatly reduces visual distortions and improve lens clarity. These lenses often achieve much finer precision in vision correction than conventional lenses. 

Wavefront lenses also cost 25 to 30 percent more than comparable conventional lenses depending upon the lens you choose and may not be covered by some insurance plans.

Essilor wavefront technology known as W.A.V.E. used in Varilux Physio lenses helps eliminate certain vision distortions commonly associated with or not corrected by previously available, conventional lenses.

“The transition between near, intermediate, and distance zones with Varilux Physio progressive lenses is much smoother” officials of Essilor say. They claim that a 30 percent increase in contrast sensitivity with these lenses enhances the ability to better distinguish colors and details. This is especially important for people with low vision, such as those who have suffered vision losses from common eye diseases including macular degeneration. 

Photochromic Lenses:

Photochromic Lenses are light enough in color to wear indoors and change from light to a sunglass shade when exposed to ultraviolet light.

There are many brands with different advantages. Transitions lenses are available for nearly every lens design, refractive index and prescription. Performance features include advance variable-tint technology that allows rapid darkening when you go outside and rapid return to clear when you go inside with 100% UV protection.

They come in regular, lightweight plastic materials as well as high-index plastic and polycarbonate. They have a front-surface coating that changes color to gray or brown when exposed to ultraviolet light. The changeable coating means that the color darkens evenly regardless of lens prescription or thickness.

Transitions also make a few specialty products such as Drivewear, which features a lens that remains dark behind the windshield of a vehicle. Most lenses will not darken behind the windshield because the glass blocks out the UV rays that cause the lenses to change color. 

Color Lenses:

Color lenses are lenses with a tint that remains constant. Tints are available on plastic as well as glass lenses and can be had in almost any color. Lighter fashion tints are used primarily for cosmetic purposes. Darker tints allow the wearer to use the lenses as sunglasses.

Typically, fashion tints are applied in light pink, brown or gray, while sunglasses are usually gray or brown.  A tint can be solid when the entire lens is the same color, or gradient, which is a gradual fade from dark to light, usually fading from the top down.

Other colors can be applied to lenses for different purposes:

Yellow, referred to as “blue-blocker” because the color keeps blue light from entering the lens, is often the color of choice for target shooters because it decreases haze and makes objects appear sharper, with more contrast.

Green is sometimes used as a sunglass, though brown and gray are the most popular sun shades.

Lens Coatings:Anti-Reflective, Scratch-Resistant, Anti-Fog and Ultra-Violet

Anti-Reflective coating improves both your vision through you lenses and the appearance of your glasses.

Each layer is scientifically calculated to block reflected light. The result is that you’ll see a reduction in glare, annoying reflections and halos around lights. This is a benefit for night driving.

AR coating is especially beneficial if you choose high-index lenses. These thinner, lighter lenses reflect more light than regular plastic lenses unless anti-reflective coating is applied.

When cleaning AR coated lenses, use only products that your optician recommends. Never clean them without wetting first or you will cause scratches.

No lenses are scratch-proof.

Lenses that are treated front and back with a clear, scratch-resistant coating have a much harder surface that is more resistant to scratching. 

Anti-Fog Coating  eliminates the condensation of moisture on lenses that causes fogging, keeping your lenses and vision clear when you make the transition from a cold environment to a warm one.

Ultraviolet treatment blocks UV light. Regular plastic eyeglass lenses block most UV light but adding a UV-blocking dye boosts the UV protection to 100 percent. Polycarbonate and most high-index plastics have 100 percent UV built-in.


Good eye protection from UV rays is important for everyone! Sunglasses are essential for preventing sun damage to your eyes; they can improve your vision and also make a fashion statement. 

Children’s Eyewear:

Early eye exams for children are extremely important because vision problems often are related to poor performance in school. 

Healthy vision is vital for success in life. It begins with good nutrition, regular eye exams in early childhood, and if necessary, the right prescription and eye protection in sports and from dangerous UV rays. 

Children with scratched lenses will not see well and this will impede their learning.

Back up pairs are important for everyone but especially for children. Their prescription sports goggles or sunglasses can act as back up pairs in an emergency. 

Sports/Recreation Eyewear: 

It is imperative that you have the most protection when participating in sports and activities that could cause harm to ones eyes.

Polycarbonate lenses provide protection in normal circumstances, but when the frame is continually impacted, a sports goggle will provide the most protection against eye injury. The larger eye opening, in the right goggle, will help keep an impact away from the eye socket edge.

We offer discounts on multi pairs!