What’s most important when you’re buying a new pair of eyeglasses?

With the complex variety of lens options available, it’s essential to find an optometrist who makes time for you and provides you with detailed information and advice.

Glasses should be perfectly tailored to you and your lifestyle. Here are key factors to consider:

High-index (polycarbonate or CR-39 plastic) lenses are the right choice if you want thinner, lighter lenses, and glasses that are as attractive and comfortable as possible. Polycarbonate lenses are as much as 10 times more impact-resistant than traditional plastic or glass, and were originally developed for U.S. Air Force helmet visors. They provide 100 percent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Polycarbonate lenses are lightweight, enhancing comfort; low-cost; and provide excellent optical qualities. CR-39 plastic polymer shares these qualities, although they are slightly thicker.

Progressive, or bifocal lenses. Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses that look exactly the same as single-vision lenses, but help you see clearly at all distances without the annoying (and age-defining) “bifocal lines” visible in regular bifocals and trifocals.

Scratch-resistant Trivex lenses are thin, lightweight and much more impact-resistant than regular plastic or glass lenses. Trivex lenses are composed of a urethane-based monomer and made from a cast molding process. This gives Trivex lenses crisper optics than injection-molded polycarbonate lenses.

Anti-reflective coatings (also called “AR coatings” or “anti-glare coatings”) improve vision, reduce eye strain, and make your glasses look more attractive. These benefits are due to AR coating’s ability to virtually eliminate reflections from the front and back surfaces of your lenses, especially important at night.

Ultraviolet protection, or UV protection, means blocking the ultraviolet light from reaching your eyes, just as sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV damage. It’s possible to block 99 percent to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays from reaching your sensitive eyes and causing damage.

Blue-light-blocking coatings help protect the eyes of anyone who uses computers, smart phones, and other similar electronic devices. This is the perfect coating for gamers, office workers, or anyone who daily looks at screens for long periods.

Photochromic lenses darken in sunlight; are clear or nearly clear indoors; and darken automatically when exposed to sunlight. They adapt to environmental changes (indoor, outdoor, high or low brightness); provide greater comfort by reducing eyestrain and glare; and provide daily protection by absorbing 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Casco Bay EyeCare offers high-quality eyewear and lens options for all budgets and lifestyles. Stop by the newest office at 1440 Congress Street, in the Westgate area. Convenient to the mall and easy parking! Try on some new frames, and talk to their opticians about the best lenses for you.

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