While picking out frame shapes and styles tends to be the exciting part of purchasing new prescription glasses, selecting the proper lens is critical to your child’s comfort for all-day wear. We understand that lenses can be a bit tricky to narrow down, so we’ve created this complete guide to help you find the best lens configuration for your child’s next pair of prescription glasses.
While there are two main types of prescription lenses, single vision and progressive/multifocal, you only need to consider single vision lenses for your child as multifocal lenses include reading magnification for seeing up close. Luckily, their young eyes won’t need the reading magnification, so single vision is the way to go!
Prescription Lens Materials
While many doctors will recommend a lens material based on your child’s prescription, not all doctors will. Worry not though, we’re happy to help you pick the perfect lens material for your son or daughter’s new prescription glasses.
Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is the industry’s most popular lens material as it is lightweight, impact-resistant, optically clear, and is by nature 100% UVA/UVB blocking. Most mild to average prescriptions work best with Polycarbonate which is why approximately 90% of patients select this material.
If your child plays sports, this is a great choice thanks to impact resistance and durability.
Trivex: Trivex is similar to polycarbonate in the sense that it is shatterproof, UVA/UVB blocking, and lightweight. Trivex does boast better optical clarity than polycarbonate, which is why it tends to be labeled as more of a premium lens material. It is also slightly more scratch resistant than polycarbonate.
Trivex also works well for children with slightly stronger than average prescriptions as Trivex material will result in a thinner lens than in polycarbonate.
High Index: High index material is another plastic-based lens material, but due to higher density this material was specifically designed with strong prescriptions in mind. High index lenses are available in 1.67 and 1.74 densities, and to simplify your lens buying process, our expert lab technicians will select the best density to best correct your child’s vision needs.
For children with strong prescriptions, this material will provide the thinnest and lightest lens available.
Prescription Lens Tints, Treatments and Coatings
A standard sunglass lens is a non-polarized, tinted lens, made of any of the materials listed above. While there are almost infinite lens tint choices, here are the most popular:
Anti-Reflective Coating: Also known as A/R coatings, these treatments reduce reflections, thus improving optical clarity. By reducing reflections, especially from overhead light when indoors, others will be able to see your child’s eyes and expressions through their lenses. Your son or daughter will also enjoy distraction-free wear from the classroom to the playground.
All of our clear and Transitions lenses feature an anti-reflective coating by default because we find this essential to comfortable wear. We do offer an upgraded premium A/R coating which boasts kid-proof smudge and scratch resistance, and also features a 1-year scratch warranty.
BlueShield Blue Light Coating: Kids today are spending more time than ever looking at a screen, whether it be a computer, cell phone, or television. What do all of these devices have in common? They all emit damaging blue light which leads to eye fatigue, dry eye syndrome, and even macular degeneration and loss of night vision.
Our BlueShield coating protects your child’s eyes from this harmful blue light simultaneously providing a more comfortable viewing experience. Added bonus: our BlueShield coated lenses are clear and do not boast the traditional yellow tint that computer glasses are known for. BlueShield is also scratch and smudge resistant and helps reduce glare.
Transitions or Photochromic: Transitions is the brand that popularized photochromic lenses, lenses which lighten and darken according to light conditions. Transitions lenses are excellent for children for a number of reasons. First, instead of asking a child to care for a pair of prescription glasses and sunglasses, you’ve only got to keep track of one pair as Transitions lenses serve as both glasses and sunglasses. Second, for school-aged kids who enjoy time both inside the classroom and outside on the playground, you can rest assured that your son or daughter’s eyes are corrected so he or she can play and learn safely. Finally, Transitions lenses are excellent for kids who play sports as these lenses will adapt perfectly to light conditions whether inside or outside.
There are three main types of transitions lenses: Adaptive, Xtractive, and Vantage.
Mirror Finish: While mirror finishes aren’t as popular on prescription eyeglasses, many people enjoy the benefits of a mirrored lens with Transitions. Mirror finishes serve three main functions: aesthetics/looks, repel glare, and boost contrast. On a Transitions lens, the mirror will look like a shiny anti-reflective coating when clear, allowing people to see your child’s eyes through the lens. As the lens darkens, the mirror finish becomes opaque meaning their eyes will be hidden from lookers on.
Whenever a mirror coating is applied to the front of a lens, a backside anti-reflective coating is added to prevent reflected light from becoming trapped behind the lens for distraction-free wear.
If you have any other questions about which lenses and coatings are best for your child, we would love to be of further assistance! Please reach us via email or phone with additional questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-507-1230.