Choosing the best lenses for you
Your vision is one of the most important senses of the body. Unfortunately, many people are not taking good care of their eyes. The Vision Council of America estimates that 75% of adults worldwide rely on some form of visual correction product. Statistics also reveal that only 64% of this group wear prescription glasses.1
When it comes to the sun, it’s also interesting to note that reportedly 85% of the world’s adult population wears sunglasses.2 And while most wear them as a form of sun protection, some people use prescription sunglasses with corrective lenses.
Eyeglasses have also become fashion accessories and besides helping you look good, they should provide you with comfortable, clear vision. Choosing the right lenses for your eyes might be confusing. Don’t worry! We’re here to help.
Finding your purpose
The first question to ask yourself is: what do you need your vision for in your daily life? Reading, outdoor activities, sports, travelling etc. From there, you can focus (pun intended) on the lenses that best suit your needs. Some people are used to single vision lenses, others are comfortable with progressive lenses, and others just need a good pair of reading glasses for work and leisure.
Designs and geometry
1. Single vision lens: Single vision lenses have the same focal power throughout the entire surface of the lens and can be used to correct myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism.
2. Multifocals lens or Progressive lens: Our eyes are used for a wide variety of tasks, both near and far, throughout the day. Thus, multifocal or progressive lenses are great options for you to conquer the day with confidence and comfort both indoors and outdoors. Progressive lenses are the best option to address presbyopia, which is a natural consequence of the eye’s ageing process. Nikon Lenswear offers a plethora of choices that gives clear vision, better aesthetics and optimal comfort – all within one single lens.
3. Reading glasses and lenses for eye strain: Eye fatigue or eyestrain is primarily muscular fatigue that occurs when performing near-distance activities, such as reading or using a screen-based device (i.e. what you’re doing right now!) Nikon Lenswear is a pioneer in this area, offering lenses that relieve and reduce strain while limiting the negative impact of new technologies on the eye.
As technology advances, so do lenses. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how far we’ve come in terms of materials and their benefits.
Glass: In the early days of vision correction, all eyeglass lenses were made of glass. Glass lenses offer exceptional clarity but are heavy and can break easily, potentially causing a serious eye injury or even loss of vision. Hence why glass lenses have fallen in popularity over the years.
Plastic: Did you know that Nikon was one of the first manufacturers of ophthalmic lenses to use plastic in the 1950s? Indeed, this change from glass to plastic was carried out at the same time that camera lenses were being equipped with plastic lenses instead of glass for the same sake of lightness and durability. Plastic lenses are about half the weight of glass lenses. They are relatively inexpensive and have excellent optical qualities. They also are more impact-resistant than glass lenses.
High-index plastic: This new type of plastic lens has been introduced in the past two decades, with several variations. These lenses are lighter and thinner than the old-school super-thick ones you may have had in the past. High-index materials offer the highest quality technology available in eyeglass lenses. Nikon pioneered this technology at the start of the new millennium by introducing its highest index material available to date.
Polycarbonate: These lenses are made from strong and lightweight plastic. The first of these were made for safety glasses and introduced back in the 1970s. Since then, polycarbonate lenses have surged in popularity. These impact-resistant lenses are a good choice if you play sports, work where your eyeglasses could easily get damaged or have kids who are tough on their spectacles. They also have built-in UV protection.
With each lens material comes unique features. Here are some of the key details of these features.
Index of refraction: The refractive index of the lens material is an indicator of how efficiently the material refracts (bends) light. In short, for any given power, a lens made of a material with a high refractive index will be thinner than a lens made of a material with a lower refractive index.
Aspheric design: Nikon is also a pioneer in aspheric lenses. How? Because, in 1968, Nikon Lenswear introduced the very first camera lens to use an aspherical lens element. What sets these lenses apart? Aspherical lens elements are lens elements with complex curved surfaces, where the radius of curvature changes to optimise light transmission and correct distortions that can occur in ‘normal’ spherical lenses. Nikon then applied this precious knowledge to ophthalmic lenses.
Lens treatment and coatings
Your lenses can also have the following add-ons to make your eyeglasses even more effective as there are almost as many types of coatings as there are lenses.
Anti-scratch coating: All plastic lenses are more prone to scratches and abrasions than glass lenses. If you’re concerned about the durability of your lenses, consider SeeCoat Next by Nikon Lenswear. This best-in-class topcoat maximises the durability of your lens even after prolonged use and allows for maximum clarity in any situation and under any condition (water/dust) with great cleanability.
Anti-reflective coating: An anti-reflective coating eliminates reflections in lenses that reduce contrast and brightness, especially at night. They also make the lenses almost invisible, with no irritating glints and reflections in photographs. It is especially important in the case of high-index lenses, as they cause a significant glare.3 People who work for long hours on digital devices should definitely consider adding an anti-reflective coating.
UV-blocking treatment: Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation and intense blue light from our digital screens have long been associated with age-related eye problems including cataracts and macular degeneration. Hence, UV and blue light protection coating is essential not only for active outdoor goers but also for intense digital users who are exposed to blue light all day long.
Photochromic treatment: These lenses darken automatically in response to the sun’s UV and high-energy visible (HEV) light rays. The tint then quickly disappears when you go indoors for a seamless transition from indoors to out and vice-versa. Discover Transitions®, the most popular brand of photochromic lenses that automatically adapt to variable light conditions with unrivalled accuracy.
Treat your eyes right
With this checklist in hand, you should have a better insight into the different types of lenses, lens materials and add-ons that you can choose to fit your lifestyle needs. You should be 100% invested in maintaining your precious eye health, and with all the different options available, you can consider Nikon lenses to be your lifelong choice.
Visit one of our Nikon Lenswear partners which will not only provide you with great advice but will also offer the best materials, optical design and coatings for sharper, clearer and distortion-free vision.