Checklist for Buying New Glasses
Time to buy some new glasses? Want to know what options are available and right for you? Here are some things to consider so you’ll end up with optimal vision, comfort and style – all within your budget!
First, ensure your eyes have been recently checked and your prescription is up to date – or schedule an Eye Exam if you feel your vision isn’t optimal or may have changed.
Your eye exam will usually be done by an Optometrist (Doctor of Optometry), who will examine the health of your eyes (ie check for glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts), write glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and refer you to and work with other specialists if necessary (such as Ophthalmologists, who are doctors/surgeons specializing in eye diseases). Do you need an optometrist? Find one near you.
For your eye exam, you will likely be asked about your family medical history (as it pertains to eye health) and your medical history, including current medications. Bring your current prescription eyewear including glasses and contact lenses with you to your appointment. Also ask in advance if your eyes may be dilated as part of the exam, as this may temporarily blur your vision somewhat for an hour or more and make you sensitive to bright lights or sunlight. If so, you may wish to bring sunglasses and have someone else drive you home.
Once you have your prescription, you’re ready to go shopping! Your Optician will fill your lens prescription, and can advise you on the most suitable frame types for you and the various lenses/ coatings available. Opticians are not licensed to write lens prescriptions or do eye exams, although they can do simple vision tests. Find a store location near you.
Some points to consider when shopping for your new glasses:
- What did you like/not like about your current frames/glasses?
- For what types of situations will you be using your glasses ie computer work, driving, reading, watching television, sports?
- Do you have a high index prescription (ie are you very near or far-sighted?). If so, ultra-thin lenses (known as High Index Lenses) may be useful for you.
Single Vision vs Progressive Lenses
Which Lenses Are Right for Me?
Single Vision Lenses
Chances are, if you’re under 40, you’ll likely need Single Vision glasses, which have the same lens prescription – and same level of vision correction – over the entire piece of specialty glass (or plastic, if that’s the material you’ve chosen). Or you may wear contact lenses and simply need a pair of Single Vision glasses to wear with your contact lenses for reading and/or computer work.
As we get older, our eyes’ ability to quickly focus on objects near to us lessens. This is called Presbyopia and it happens to just about all of us – especially after 40. You may notice that you can still see clearly at distances through your glasses but hard (if not impossible!) to read anything up close. You may find yourself moving a book further away or moving your glasses down your nose to see clearer. Or taking your glasses off altogether in frustration.
To correct this problem, Progressive Lenses have three different lens prescriptions – and three different levels of vision correction in each third of each lens (from top to bottom), so that you can see clearly at a distance, near distance and close up (ie reading). Essentially they’re trifocals without any visible lines. You can drive a car, walk down the street, look at your smartphone or map or read a restaurant menu – and see crisply and clearly all with the same pair of glasses!
Single Vision and Progressive Lenses are available in both Plastic and Specialty Glass. We also carry the latest selection of Ultra-Thin Digital Lenses so that even those who have high prescriptions can have lightweight thin lenses!
Which Lens Material is Right for Me
Glass or Plastic?
Glass Lenses offer some of the clearest, sharpest, thinnest lens options available. They’re also more scratch resistant and will always be thinner than Plastic Lenses. They’re also what most Progressive Lenses are made of. They break easier than plastic, so they’re usually not recommended for children, sporting activities and certain work activities like welding,
Grinding glass lenses used to be done by hand. At Hakim Optical, we use special machines guided by computers where we input your person vision measurements – like the size and shape of your glasses, exactly where your pupils are positioned in each lens and up to X more measurements. Then the computer guides state-of-the-art lens surfacing equipment to provide you with the highest level of lens customization available over the entire surface of the lens! You’ll truly have the best vision with our Digital High Definition Lenses.
Plastic Lenses are lighter, don’t splinter, and are much more impact resistant than glass – so much safer for children and sporting activities. You can also add more colored tints than with glass. On the flipside, they can only be made in Single Vision Lenses (John is this true?) and tend to be thicker than glass lens options at higher prescriptions. They are also less scratch resistant than glass, but you can add one of our special coatings to help offset this.
Task Specific Lenses
The Right Lens for the Right Job
Sunglasses – Stylish Fashion with UV Protection
Choose from our wide selection of fashion-forward tinted lenses and gradients to suit your frames, face and skin tone – all with UV protection, of course! A Just like your skin, your eyes need UV protection too. Our sunglasses have 100% UV protection and our various colors and coatings reduce glare and bright light so you can see better, clearer and more comfortable – with less eye strain. Add a cool mirrored finish for the ultimate in urban chic, or try our self-tinting lenses which automatically go from clear to dark and back again, depending on the lighting.
We even offer specialty sunglass frames – in sleek styles that curve around your face – for the highest level of glare and UV protection! Choose the type of tint that’s right for you –all available in a wide variety of the latest fashionable colors.
Graduated Tints: Best for
These are darker at the top of your glasses, gradually getting lighter and finally totally clear at the bottom. Looking straight ahead while driving, walking or cycling? Fully tinted, with optimal light and glare protection. Looking at the dashboard while driving? Lightly tinted, so you can see clearer. Walking around, looking down to read, check your smartphone or watch? Crystal clear!
Mirror Coating: Best for
A Mirror Coating reflects glare, rather than absorbing it – which allows wearers to have better vision in extremely bright light.
Self-Tinting: Best for
These lenses are a technological marvel – a special coating covers your regular plastic or glass lenses that stays clear indoors and darkens in shades proportionate to the degree of UV light. Bright sunshine, sunny slopes? They turn dark. Cloudy day? Light tint. Indoors? Totally clear! Available in a wide variety of colors.
Solid Tints: Best for
Great all-purpose sunglasses! We offer a wide variety of solid tints in varying intensity. You choose the color and how light or dark you’d like them. They’re also available in non-prescription clear glass or plastic – for wearing with contact lenses, for example, or just to customize the right frame and color that you’re looking for.
Polarized Lenses: Best for
Ever been blinded by sunlight by driving on a very sunny day, or driving into the sun as it’s setting? Vision reduced by glare in a snow storm? Then polarized lenses may be right for you. These lenses have a special filter that blocks light bouncing off of surfaces at a specific angle – like in driving. This reduces the brightness intensity and glare, so you can see more clearly, comfortably, safely and reduced eye strain.
Because polarized lenses drastically reduce glare, there may be some instances where these aren’t the best choice for you – for example, driving on roads with icy patches (you’ll want to see these). Discuss whether Polarized Lenses are the right option for you with your Hakim Optical eye care professional.
Best for: Individuals who wear progressives/bifocals and spend a lot of time with computers and digital screens.
Progressive lenses have three vision zones: Far (straight ahead), Near (just below midline) and Close (lowest part of your lenses). However, if you’re working at the computer all day long, you may be finding yourself keeping your head tilted back so that you can clearly see out of the lower levels of your glasses! Not so comfortable – and you may find yourself with neck and eyestrain.
Computer Glasses are designed so the widest area of vision is for near (about 8 feet – walking around, being seated in a boardroom etc) and close up (computer work). These vision zones can be customized to your individual needs, but the most popular are:
- Very Close – Reading – with the largest vision area focusing on reading.
- Very Close/Close – Computer/Desk work – Best for those spending most of their time at a computer/reading books or digital devices
- Close/Room – Ideal for those who work both at a computer screen and walk around a room (for example, an automobile showroom).
One more item you may wish to add to your Computer Glasses: Our special ‘Blue Light Reduction’ coating. Ever get headaches or feel eye strain from fluorescent and LED lighting? It’s also in computer screens and adding this clear coating will help reduce the effects of blue light.
Best for: Everyday Wear, Low Light and Night Driving
Those driving at night can relate: The almost blinding glare from oncoming headlights can make it difficult to see the road ahead – not so safe! Clearer, safer, more comfortable vision is yours with Driving Lenses that reduce glare from streetlights and oncoming headlights in low light and night conditions.
How it works: A high-tech clear, colorless coating is applied to your lenses that reduces glare from streetlights and oncoming headlights. And since it’s crystal clear, you won’t even notice it in your regular day to day activities.
Sport Lenses (Wrap Arounds)
Best for: Outdoor sporting activities; those with special vision needs ie high prescription, certain eye conditions
Are you an avid cycler, outdoor sportsperson, tennis, volleyball or golf player? Then you’ll know how important it is not only to protect your eyes from all sides from sand, wind and dust – which wrap around glasses and lenses do extremely well. They do even more – the curved lenses are digitally cut to provide you with the sharpest vision available on the sides (periphery). Add your choice of Sunglass Coatings and your eyes will also have UV and bright light protection!
Best for: Those individuals that would like to add a pair of glasses to enable them to read up close.
These are task specific glasses, and are also ideal for those who wear contact lenses and need to periodically read or work at the computer. These are single vision glasses optimized for one distance only.
Anti-Reflective Coating – This coating does two wonderful things: 1. When people look at you wearing your glasses, they’ll see your eyes clearly without their or the background’s reflection distorting your eyes and 2. You’ll see clearer as those same reflections won’t interrupt your vision.
Anti-Scratch Coating – Almost a must for Plastic Lenses and an added layer of protection for Glass Lenses, an anti-scratch coating will help protect your lenses and make it harder for you to inadvertently scratch your lenses.
Anti-Static -: Constantly cleaning your classes? Even if you’re diligent about not touching your lenses, dust builds up throughout the day and your vision is not as clear. Our anti-static coating repels dust, lint and sand. Our Keep Clean Coating, which repels dirt, dust and grease – even water rolls right off!
Water Repel – Say goodbye to raindrops and thumbprints blurring your vision on your lenses! Most? All?? water runs right off these coated lenses. Thumbprints are almost a thing of the past.