As Always, this was written and conceived by Ric Peralta, The Optical Jedi
I recently received a request through my Facebook page for a piece on contact lenses…and I am still crafting this, but in the meantime I wanted you to have something to whet your whistle, so today we’re gonna review some common misconceptions from non-industry (i.e. patients) about what’s going on in glasses. If you have been reading my blog for a while, this may be considered a review course. Consider it prep for the test .
Misconception I: Anti-Reflective scratches easy
You may find and overarching theme develop throughout this article, but…
Not all Anti-Reflective Coatings (No-Glare) are created equal! It may be hard to believe, but there are literally hundreds of variations on this multi-layer metallic ionic, light-bending coating. And while all do some amount of reflection reduction, some also prevent (not eliminate–there’s no such thing) scratches! Some can even make the lenses repel oil and water to make them easier to keep clean! And a select few even have an anti-static component to make dust repel away from them too!
If you’ve had difficulty with a no-glare coating in the past, it probably means you just had an inexpensive version which only eliminates reflections and does nothing to improve durability.
The elimination/minimization of reflections can mean that any scratches that do occur are not because the coating made your lenses more prone to scratching. It means that since there are no reflections to hide the scratches, you can see the scratches that were happening anyway.
Misconception II: “I Can’t wear Progressives”
Possibly the most common misconception in the entire industry. Many patients think that all progressives are the same. With close to 3000 lens designs on the market and still available, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are still designs available (and commonly sold at some larger “big box stores” which are at least 30-40 years old).
To put this in some perspective. Trying a progressive, having a bad experience, an deducing that you cannot wear progressives at all is sort of like saying you tried driving a Model T Ford and couldn’t so you that means you can’t drive a car at all.
The advancements constantly happening with progressive lens technology is staggering. Even just in the span of my career in the industry (approximately 28 years), I have seen the number of progressives go from maybe 300 to 3000. And the latest advancements or so technologically and experientially different from older progressive designs that it’s almost like going from an old fashion original cell phone to an iPhone X. Yes they both make calls, but that’s almost wear the similarity ends.
Misconception III: Online Glasses are just the same
As I very recently detailed, online glasses have many, many shortcomings. From the issue of questioning the power of the prescription, the mounting of the lenses, fit of frame, and construction of frame; online glasses are very much an inferior option to a pair properly fitted by your local optician.
I understand that there can be any number of reasons to buy online, and cost can often be a major factor. But the likelihood that you will have visual discomfort, if not outright headaches, is greatly increased with an online order. And the ease with which you can have a problem fixed is also complicated. It can quickly devolve into a he said/she said type of scenario between the manufacturer and the doctor who provided the prescription…but keep in mind that the vast majority of problems will go back to the online retailer.
Misconception IV: Your Optician/Optometrist is gouging you
Of course there is an exception to almost every rule and it is possible you’ve been visiting one of the bad eggs in our industry, but rest assured the vast majority optical industry professionals are recommending the best possible frame and lens solution for your needs. It is not about nickel-and-diming you and trying to upgrade to increase profits. We recommend the “upgrades” we do because there is a very specific visual benefit to each one. I even have friends who work in offices who don’t offer things like Anti-Reflective as an upgrade. It is mandatory with all orders. All of us are dedicated to enhancing your vision the best way possible.
Misconception V: Kids can get the cheapest lenses
It’s commonly thought that since kids are just getting single vision lenses, and they are rougher on their stuff, they don’t need any coatings or special treatments but this is most definitely not true. The right Anti-Reflective actually makes the lenses more durable than uncoated. On top of that, the No Glare treatment is especially important in today’s world where the majority of school work is done on a computer or tablet screen. Looking at the bright light source of a digital device screen increased reflections and glare, to make focus even more difficult and distracting.
Transitions can both protect your children’s eyes from the harmful Ultra-Violet light (which is known to contribute to cataracts development) as well as The Harmful Blue Light (which has been linked to increased risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration). In addition it can make your child much more comfortable during outdoor activities, including the ever popular soccer, baseball, and football.
Eyezen Lenses are critical to making sure your children’s eyes are protected and relaxed both indoors and out, by protecting the eyes against Harmful Blue Light. Children today are exposed to a significantly higher amount than children of previous generations due to the proliferation of computers and tablets in the classroom.
Misconception VI: I’m more than one person