Lenses and Coatings
Normal lenses often create glare, reflections, and “ghost images.” Now that can be eliminated with an anti-reflective coating.
What we see is a result of light being sensed by our eyes. With normal glasses, much of the light reflects off the lenses. This produces glare. It also reduces the wearer’s visual acuity. In other words, the light reflections are a visual and cosmetic problem.
Anti-reflective coatings increase light transmission through the lenses to 99.5 percent. They make it easier to see and easier for others to see you. These coatings are especially useful for those viewing computer screens and driving at night. The performance of anti-reflective lenses continues to improve with the arrival of the newest generation of ultra-premium anti-reflective coatings! They are highly advanced technology and some are even more scratch resistant than glass.
Anti-reflective coatings also have the benefit of making your eyes more visible to those around you. Not only do you see better, you can be seen better!
For many people, different lenses are needed for seeing at different distances. Bifocal lenses allow the wearer to look through two areas of the lens. One area focuses on distant objects. The other is used for reading. A little-known fact is that bifocals were invented by Benjamin Franklin, and his style of bifocals are still available today.
Most of the time the “reading” area is smaller, shaped like a sideways “D”, and found in the lower hemisphere of the lens. These bifocals are called lined bifocals or flat-tops. If you are focusing on distant objects, you look through the top half of the lenses. To read a book, magazine, or newspaper, you look through the “reading” area. The Franklin style lenses are less common, and are split horizontally down the middle of each lens. One thing that is challenging about using bifocals is dealing with the line between the two vision areas. Fortunately, technology advancements have developed a better type of multifocal lens, called the no-line, or progressive, lens.
One of the main problems with traditional bifocal and trifocal lenses is the problem of eye fatigue. It is challenging to switch from one focusing power to another when it is separated by a hard line. It can make your eyes tired, and it can even lead to a headache, sore neck, and sore back.
The newest variation of bifocals and trifocals is the no-line lens or progressive lens. Progressive lenses provide a smooth transition from focusing on nearby to focusing on distant objects because they do not have a distinct line which separates the focusing powers. Instead, a gradual change in power allows the wearer to focus on objects at all distances. Distant objects are viewed through the upper portion of the lens, while near objects are viewed through the middle or lower portion of the lens. These are also great for computer users.
Advances in progressive lenses have produced lenses which have larger reading areas, more natural vision, less noticeable transition areas, easier adaptation.
Cosmetic & Specialty Tints
Eyeglasses can be a stylish accessory, a part of your personality, or a way for you to be different. There are a variety of frames to choose from, but you may not know that there are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of the lenses, too. Cosmetic tints are available. These tints offer a variety of colors and shades. You can choose light blue or any color under the rainbow. Some lenses are clear at the bottom and gradually get more colored towards the top of the lenses. There are many ways to adjust your lenses to whatever style suits your personality. Some tints are also functional.
High Index Lenses
The most common materials available for use in lenses used to be glass and a hard resin called CR-39. But recently, more materials have become available. High index materials are named because they have a higher index of light refraction. Basically, they can do the same optical job that glass or CR-39 does, but with less lens material. That makes high index lenses thinner and/or lighter than regular lenses. With high index lenses, you can avoid having “soda bottle” lenses. Not only are the lenses thinner, but they are also lighter, making your glasses more comfortable. When learning about high index lenses, you may hear many unfamiliar numbers and terms. . Basically, remember the higher the index of refraction, the thinner the lens.
Trivex: This material is the newest in the lens category. It has a mid index, but it is so light that it almost floats on water! It is a great choice for safety for impact resistant eye wear. It also works very well for rimless eyeglasses as it is one of the strongest lens materials available.
Polycarbonate: The first and still the most popular high index plastic is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate was originally developed for fighter jet cockpits. It is very strong, very light, and resistant to scratches and breaking. Safety glasses and most sports lenses are made of polycarbonate. In addition, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends polycarbonate lenses for all children.
Mid-Index: High index materials are classified by numbers. Again, the higher the number, the thinner and lighter the lens. The lower numbers are classified as mid-index lenses. Mid-index lenses are those with numbers such as 1.54, 1.56, and 1.57. These lenses are thinner than glass (1.53), and nearly as strong as CR-39 (1.49), or plastic.
High-Index: High index lenses, such as 1.60, 1.66, 1.67, 1.70, and 1.71, are much thinner than regular glass or plastic. Talk with our trained optician to decide which high index lens is right for you.
Photochromics (Lenses darken with sunlight)
If you’ve ever felt frustrated at needing prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses to accommodate an outdoor lifestyle, you should consider photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses darken when exposed to UV rays. The change is caused by photochromic molecules that are found throughout the lens or in a coating on the front of the lens. When the wearer goes outside, the lenses darken or tint. When the wearer goes back inside, the glasses become clear.
There are a variety of photochromic options available, with choices in color and darkness of tint. One consideration with photochromic lenses is that they do not darken fully when driving in a car because the windshield absorbs most of the UV light needed to activate the tint.
Glare from wet roads, light reflecting off other vehicles, and glare from your own windshield can be annoying and dangerous. To eliminate this glare, we offer polarized lenses. Polarized lenses significantly reduce glare, decreasing eye strain and increasing visibility. Polarized lenses are the most effective way to reduce glare.
Most glare comes from horizontal surfaces, so the light is “horizontally polarized.” Polarized lenses feature vertically-oriented “polarizers.” These polarizers block the horizontally-polarized light. The result is a glare-reduced view of the world. Polarized lenses can make a world of difference for any outdoor enthusiast. Fishermen can eliminate bright reflections from the water and actually see into the water more easily than with any other sunglasses. Golfers can see the green easier, and joggers and bikers can enjoy reduced glare from the road. In addition, drivers can enjoy the safety and comfort that polarized lenses provide while driving.
Scratch Resistant Coating
If you wear any of the hard resin lenses, including high index you should consider getting a scratch resistant coating. Resins and plastics are more susceptible to scratches than glass. Scratches damage the cosmetic look of the lenses as well as their performance. With a scratch resistant coating, you don’t have to worry so much about minor scratches on your lenses. Another advantage of scratch resistant coatings is that most coatings come with a one-year warranty. They are a great investment to prevent minor scratches. However, it is important to remember that scratch resistant does not mean scratch-proof. All lenses are susceptible to scratches.
Bifocals allow the wearer to read through one area of the lens, and to focus on distant objects through another area of the lens. As the eyes age, though, a stronger prescription is needed to read. As the bifocal power increases, the range of focus with it becomes more shallow, making it difficult to focus on objects at intermediate distances, such as grocery items on a shelf or your speedometer. Thus, trifocals are necessary for a third prescription for intermediate focusing.
Trifocals, also known as lined trifocals, feature three areas of focusing power, each separated from the other by a distinct line. The three windows allow for focusing on distant objects, intermediately distanced objects, and for reading. The downside of trifocals is dealing with the lines between the different focusing powers. The advantage of this design is that the intermediate and near sections are wider than those created in progressive lenses.
Contacts and Solutions
Contact lenses, when used properly, are very convenient and, with the latest advancements in technology, are extremely comfortable. Most of the time you will hardly know you are wearing them, though you will certainly notice how clear your vision is. Contact lenses are small lenses worn, on the surface of the eye to correct vision.
We are happy to discuss the options available for you. Many patients choose contact lenses for their primary vision correction and glasses for an alternative or part-time wear. Many patients prefer to wear glasses for the majority of their day, but have activities and events where they’d rather not wear their glasses and choose contact lenses for these times. No matter which option you choose, it is very important that contact lens wearers have glasses for those times when contact lens wear is not appropriate.
Contact Lens Types
The type of contact lenses available has literally exploded in the past five years. There are now contact lenses available for almost everyone. New contacts are being introduced every year, meaning many of our patients were unable to wear contacts in the past are finding great success with them now. You owe it to yourself to see what is new. We carry many options, and promise to do our best in selecting contact lenses that you will love wearing. The following is a brief list of some of the options available. During your contact lens appointment a significant portion of the exam is spent discussing your visual needs in order to determine which contact lens style and design will best suite you.
Conventional Soft Lenses
Soft lenses are comfortable and come in a variety of types, depending on the wearer’s needs. Conventional soft lenses are designed to be worn during the day, cleaned, and stored at night. Usually once a week the lenses must receive an additional cleaning using an enzymatic cleaner, which removes protein deposits. These lenses can last for up to a year if your prescription stays the same and you take good care of them. As technology improves, this older type of contact lens is being replaced by frequent replacement and disposable soft contact lens. Special customized contact lenses fall into this category. These lenses are not used as frequently as they were in the past, because of newer, more breathable disposable options.
Disposable Soft Lenses
Disposable soft lenses are much more popular than conventional soft lenses. These lenses are worn for a period of time and then, of course, thrown away. The most well-known disposables last for two weeks or one month but that is quickly changing to the one-day disposables These are perfect for many patients who were told they could not wear contact lenses because of allergies or mild dry eye conditions. They have a low cost per lens, are extremely convenient and reduce the risk of contact lens related eye infections making them ideal for teenagers, college students and any busy adult. They are also popular for athletes and hobbyists who do not necessarily want to wear contact lenses every day.
Tinted Soft Lenses
Next, you have tinted soft lenses, available in conventional, disposable, or frequent replacement types. With tinted soft lenses, you can change or enhance your eye color. Even if you do not need corrective lenses, you can use “plano” colored contacts to change your eye color. It is important to be fitted by an eye doctor for colored contact lenses even if you do not need a prescription; wearing the wrong fit can damage your eyeball. Having a lens that is too tight, too loose, or not oxygen permeable enough can damage the surface of the eye.
Multifocal Soft Lenses
Recent technology has greatly improved bifocal or multifocal soft lenses. Many patients past their 40s who need bifocals can now enjoy the comfort and benefits of soft contact lenses. Multifocal lenses allow the eye to focus at many distances, allowing most patients to see at both distance and near without having to pick up reading glasses.
Toric Soft Lenses
Toric lenses are used to optically correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is a vision condition where a non-uniformed shaped cornea affects the vision. In the past, the only options for those with astigmatism were either glasses or hard gas permeable contact lenses. But toric soft contact lenses, which are lenses with a special design, now offer a fantasticalternative. There are several types of toric lenses to choose from–with a design to suit most visual requirements including disposables.
Extended Wear Soft Lenses
Extended wear lenses, the result of new technology in lens materials, transmit more oxygen to the cornea of the eye. Some of these lens materials can be worn up to 30 days, day and night, with appropriate cleaning and care. Extended wear lenses can last one week, two weeks, or one month, depending upon the lens material and your doctor’s recommendations. These lenses are particularly appealing to those patients who need the convenience of being able to have clear vision during all hours of the day and night.
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses
As the name implies, these lenses are hard and gas permeable. If you’ve been told you cannot wear soft lenses, RGP lenses are often a great alternative. RGP lenses are available in specialized designs to correct just about any vision disorder. These lenses are often used in patients who have an irregular ocular surface in order to produce a crisper visual result.
There are a variety of solutions available from many different manufacturers. The important thing to remember is that not every solution is right for every type of contact lens. Some contact lenses require the use of multipurpose solutions, while others require separate solutions for the four steps in contact lens care: disinfecting, cleaning, rinsing, and enzyming. Use only the lens solutions that are recommended by your eye doctor. If you wish to change brands, check with our office first.
Contact Lens Instructions
Few things affect the quality of your life more than your eyes-never put them at risk. Contact lenses are prescription medical devices. To make sure your eyes and vision stay healthy while wearing contact lenses, please follow these few guidelines or the instructions recommended by your doctor.
Ocular complications and/or long-term corneal damage are the consequences of contact lenses that are worn longer than recommended. Remember the longer that you have worn contact lenses the less your eyes are able to feel problems starting, because the ocular surface becomes desensitized over time. Oftentimes, your lenses will still feel good even when you are over-wearing them. Do not wear your lenses overnight unless they are approved for extended wear and your doctor has discussed this with you. Overnight wear increases the risk of infection and other complications.
It will take at least a few days for your eyes to get used to wearing contact lenses, and it is advisable to build you wear time up gradually. The best way to insure maximum visual comfort and keep your eyes healthy is to patiently and faithfully adhere to this wearing schedule. Great ways to help remember when to change your contact lenses include marking it on a calendar or planner, or setting an alarm in your cell phone to ring at your appropriate change schedule.
Sports and Sunwear
If you play sports, you should keep two things in mind related to your vision: protection and precision.
Sports lenses protect the wearer’s eyes. Sports such as tennis, baseball, softball, and racquetball may see ball speeds of 90 mph or more. In baseball alone, there are over 500,000 injuries per year! But that is not the most common cause of sports-related eye injuries. Most eye injuries occur in basketball, where an elbow or a finger jabbed into the eye can cause corneal abrasions, fractured bones, retinal detachments, or even blindness.
Polycarbonate lenses are more resistant to impact than glass or plastic and offer protection for 90% of eye injuries. Protective eyewear fits well, features a padded bridge, has prescription or non-prescription lenses, and has deep-grooved eyewires to prevent the lens from falling out.
The specialized lenses also optimize your vision. Depending on your sport, certain lenses are more appropriate than others. Dark, UV protection lenses are great for baseball and other outdoor sports. Golfers can benefit from gray-brown colored lenses which make it easier to outline the course. Even if you do not normally wear glasses, non-prescription sports lenses can benefit your performance. Some people think that lenses prevent the wearer from seeing the action, but many sports lenses have anti-fog, glare reduction, and scratch resistant properties. Some are also designed to maximize peripheral vision.
To reduce exposure to UV rays and their effects, we recommend you invest in a set of sunglasses which can provide at least 98% protection from UVA and UVB rays. While cheaper sunglasses can range from poor to excellent UV protection, our sunwear lines provide the best protection from the sun. We carry a large selection of styles and colors.
Another product to consider is a pair of polarized sunglasses. Polarized lenses block light reflected from surfaces such as a flat road or smooth water. If you are involved in activities such as water sports, skiing, golfing, biking, fishing, and even driving, polarized lenses can be very helpful in reducing glare and giving a clearer view.
Finally, if you have a youngster in the family, it is never too early to fit them with sunglasses. Children under the age of 20 are the most susceptible to the damaging effects of UV light. One concern of parents is that their child will scratch, break, or lose the sunglasses; we are here to help you make the best choice for your child. Developing good habits for sun protection can help prevent cataract progression, delay the need for bifocals, and protect against other damaging UV affects on the eyes.
We feel it is important that you understand that when it comes to vision care products, they are not all created equal! Across the eye care industry there is a large variance in quality and craftsmanship. We take pride in using a wide-range of top quality materials with great product support to provide you with the best possible eye care products. We meet regularly with manufacturer’s representatives to make sure that we have the latest and greatest available. Our value is in knowing what is available and what best meets your needs.
When considering where to purchase your eyeglasses, contact lenses, and sunwear, remember to consider the following. . .
Total Eye Health
Our office is part of this community. We want you to have sharp vision and great comfort with your glasses and contact lenses. The health of your eyes is our major concern. That is why we stand behind our products and services with unique warranties, and a professional and well-educated team. Different prescriptions require certain frame styles and lens treatments in order for your glasses to perform well and look great. Our trained opticians can guide you through this process. Our dispensary has hundreds of frames from which to choose, including a large selection of children’s frames. We can help you find the size, shape and color of frame that is perfect for all family members. When it comes to contact lenses we offer a full spectrum of the latest and best performing products. Even if you have been told before that you cannot wear lenses, we may have a solution that is right for you.
At Black Mountain Family EyeCare we offer competitive pricing, affordable eyewear packages, and multiple pair savings. You are also welcome to take advantage of manufacturer rebate programs and special promotions through our office. Be sure to ask about our convenient contact lens direct shipping program.
Black Mountain Family EyeCare offers a wide selection of products in our office as well as through custom orders. We use only the highest quality materials and will courteously recommend eyewear and contact lenses that fit your lifestyle and fashion – all within your budget.
We offer a two-year frame and lens warranty. If for any reason under normal wearing conditions your frame breaks, we will replace it for two years. If you scratch your plastic lenses, we will even remake your lenses once during the first two years. And with our guaranteed contact lens program, you will love your lenses or we will buy them back.