Purchasing optical lenses isn't an easy task. Choosing the right type of lenses is important to achieve the clearest and sharpest vision. When looking for lens types, there are various factors that you must consider. Here’s a complete guide on everything you need to know about optical lenses.


Why is it important to select the right Optical Lenses?

Most people don't make any considerations while purchasing spectacle lenses. However, it’s one of the most common mistakes they make.

Understanding your visual needs and making an informed choice is important to achieve the desired visual outcome. Different prescriptions have different lens solutions. For example, if you are near-sighted (myopic) or long-sighted (hyperopic), your lens choice will be different to someone who has presbyopia (the gradual loss of the ability for the eyes to focus on near objects). People with presbyopia may need special lenses such as bifocal, progressive or multifocal lenses to correct their vision.

You also need to consider the lens type, materials, coating and designs before settling on lenses for your spectacles.


Glasses Lenses

What are the different types of Optical Lenses?

There are various types of optical lenses available in the market.

Each lens type provides different visual solutions.

Let’s understand each of them in detail:

Single Vision Lense

Single vision lenses are ideal for correcting myopia (near-sightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness), and/or astigmatism. In other words, they have a single optical prescription correction throughout the whole lens.

Bifocal Lenses


Bifocal lenses are designed to correct two different prescriptions, usually a combination of distance and near correction. They help in correcting both the far-sighted & near visions. They can be distinguished by the visible line across the lens.

Trifocal Lenses


Trifocal lenses are made up of three different prescriptions; usually distance, intermediate and near. These enable you to focus on three different focus distances which can be suitable for presbyopia. These lenses can be distinguished by two visible lines across the lens.

Progressive Lenses


Progressive lenses (or multifocal lenses) are designed with a smooth progression from a distance prescription from the top of the lens, down to a near prescription. This enables the wearer to see all the way from the distance, up to near focus lengths, and everything in between. Progressive lenses have become the lens of choice for most people with presbyopia as it helps the viewer see all focus distances without a visible line.

Extended Focus Lenses


Extended focus lenses are similar to progressive lenses in that they are a smooth transition from different focus distances. They are usually prescribed to correct intermediate and near vision, and everything in between. These lenses are particularly useful for presbyopes in the office.

Lens Treatment

What are the different types of Lens Treatment?

Lens treatments are important when it comes to protecting your lens surface and vision quality.

Lens treatments improve durability, appearance and the performance of your glasses. It helps to protect your lenses from minor scratches, in case you drop them. They also help to reduce the amount of light reflections, helping with visibility and light sensitivity.

Here are a few different types of coatings available:

Anti-Scratch Coating

Anti-scratch coatings are designed to protect optical lenses from scratches and grazing. They are usually a protective coating on the outer surface of the lens that act as a barrier to minor scratches. This makes the surface of the lens harder and more durable, making the lenses scratch-resistant.

Anti-Reflective Coating


Anti-reflective coatings reduce the reflections from your optical lenses. This helps reduce the amount of light going in to your eyes, helping with light sensitive eyes. In addition to that, they make your eyes more visible through the lenses, as they have less light reflecting off the lens surface. This is particularly useful when you are wearing glasses in photos.

UV-blocking Treatment


UV-blocking treatments reduce the amount of UV transmitting through the lens. This helps reduce the amount of exposure to the sun's harmful UV radiation which can lead to eye issues such as cataracts and pterygiums. UV blocking treatments help protect the eyes from sun damage.

Photochromic Treatment


Photochromatic treatment, often referenced as Light Adaptive, is when a normally clear lens turns dark when exposed to direct UV sunlight, and turns back to clear when indoors (without UV). This is particularly useful when transitioning from indoor to outdoor environments frequently during the day, as it works like a sunglass when outside.



The polarisation treatment can be found in sunglasses to reduce glare. It works by blocking horizontal light rays which. This enables the wearer to see better with enhanced comfort and vision clarity, without the effects of glare. This is particularly useful for driving and in environments with water.

Tips for choosing optical lenses

Tips for choosing the Perfect Optical Lenses

With so many choices available, choosing optical lenses for your frames can be an overwhelming experience.

Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect lens to fulfil your requirements.

The right prescription

To select your spectacle lenses, it is vital to determine your prescription to correct your vision needs. It is important to have your eyes checked regularly to determine the most up to date prescription. Wrong or out of date prescriptions can lead to worsening vision or eyestrain and headaches.

The right prescription will also help determine the type of lens that is suitable for your vision needs.

The correct type of lenses


The correct type of lens will be based on your prescription and vision needs. Lifestyle and workplace environment are also factors you need to consider when choosing the type of lens. These will vary from single vision, progressive, or extended focus lens types.

The material of lenses


Lens material matters when selecting your lenses. High prescriptions make the lenses thicker, therefore choosing a high index lens material will help reduce the thickness of the lens. Other types of lens materials include polycarbonate or trivex which are more impact resistant.

Your routine life


Consider your lifestyle and vision needs as a whole. For example, you may be sitting in an office all day at work, and enjoy running or outdoor sports on the weekends. In this case, you may benefit from an extended focus lens design to help see screens and documents at work, and sunglasses with polarisation for outdoor activities.


The correct glasses make you happy


With so many things to consider when selecting the right lenses, it’s important to have a great team of optometrists and optical dispensers look after your vision needs. They have the expertise to help you with the best selection of optical lenses suited for your individual life.

Visit your nearest The Optical Co store  and have your eyes tested.