Eye-Q... FAQs about Eyewear

Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun

Function... Lifestyle & Eyewear

Fit... Well chosen Eyewear enhances appearance


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When making an eyewear purchase, it is important to consider your daily routine and any special needs. To help you better understand the options available to you—plus their features and benefits— following is a roundup of specific lifestyle applications where the proper eyewear can make all the difference.

Let’s face it, Australians are spending more and more time behind the wheel than ever before, especially busy Mums and Dads. Between commuting to work and shuttling the kids everywhere, it’s not uncommon for someone to spend 3 hours a day on the road. The following eyewear options can help improve your driving while keeping you stylish and safe on today’s congested highways.????

Night Driving
Night driving is difficult for many Australians so making sure your prescription is up-to-date is usually the best way to see clearly at night. If driving at night still poses problems, insist on an anti-reflective treatment for your lenses, which can further reduce the difficulty of seeing at night. You should also know that people who have received LASIK surgery often have increased sensitivity to glare at night.

In the Office
There are many lens options to suit a variety of work situations. One of the most beneficial is computer lenses—for those who spend much of their day tied to a PC. These lenses can help keep a cap on eye fatigue by reducing glare from the computer screen and, thus, strain on the eyes. Also, ask about the variety of lightweight lenses made of higher index materials. They can make a huge difference in comfort when worn all day long. For example, perhaps you work on the computer all day at the office and then play a round of golf or tennis in the evening. Adding AR coating will also assist in reducing glare, and scratch-resistant coating will increase the life of your eyewear.

Everyday Tasks
Photochromic lenses are ideal for everyday eyewear. These light-sensitive lenses shift from clear to dark when the wearer steps outside; conversely, they quickly move from dark to light when indoors. There is no longer a need to repeatedly juggle eyewear, switching from glasses to everyday sunglasses. They are perfect for those individuals constantly going in and out of buildings—and running errands. Another option for those who enjoy spending time outdoors is having prescription sunglasses tinted and protected against UV rays.

On the Playing Field
When it comes to sports, one of the best eyewear options is polycarbonate. This lens’ impact-resistance will ensure safer vision for your eyes. Scratch coating is instrumental in protecting your investment while participating in rigorous activities. Trivex™, a slightly more costly option, offers great optics as well as impact resistance and strength for sports from cycling and golf to baseball and soccer. Both of these options are also great for kids, who require special protection for their young eyes. Impact-resistant lenses can guard against injuries in ball sports. When it comes to water sports, including fishing and boating, polarized lenses offer the best visual field by reducing glare off the water. Also good for daytime driving, these lenses include a sunglass tint and UV protection, making it a complete package. The same goes for snow sports. Skiers, snowboarders, and hikers alike will find that polarized lenses will give them an edge in the powder. Again, UV protection is crucial as snow will reflect the sun even stronger, potentially damaging uncovered eyes.

Looking Good
For the fashion conscious, thin and light higher index lenses, especially those that have increased impact resistance, can ensure an elegant look even for those with a high prescription. These lenses can also be beveled and polished for a sophisticated style—and they are ideal for today’s popular rimless eyewear styles. Rimless frames feature an “airy” look because lenses are mounted to the temples only with tiny drill points. This creates the illusion of floating lenses. ARcoating is also key for a high-style fashion look as it reduces the amount of glare that bounces off the lenses. Clear, glare-free lenses are aesthetically pleasing.

Boomers and Beyond
This powerful group includes those at the magic age of 40 and above. Baby Boomers, technically, are those people born between the years of 1946 and 1964. As the majority of this group tips into their 40s and 50s, presbyopia (the inability to see up close) has become a strong reality. The need for reading glasses, bifocals, or high-tech progressive lenses is a certainty to maintain visual quality. For reading, people who are presbyopic should definitely ask about progressive-addition lenses (otherwise known as PALs or no-line bifocals). Even if you don’t need glasses for distance, progressives are more comfortable and provide better vision than other reading options. Reading glasses are also an option, but many Boomers anxious to hold on to their youthful looks are opting for the technologically advanced progressive addition lenses. Aesthetically, PALs are preferable because they feature no prominent telltale line on the lens, like their sister bifocal. From a visual standpoint, they are superior as the strength of the lens changes progressively, not suddenly as with bifocals and trifocals.

Aging Eyes
Regular eye exams are as important over age 60 as they are before age six. According to Vision 2020 Australia, a vision-robbing disease known as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), which affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp vision, is the most common cause of visual impairment among Australians over age 65. By age 75, more than a third of the population suffers from macular degeneration. And even earlier than that—by age 40—15 percent of Australians show signs of the disease. Aging eyes can also benefit visually and aesthetically from UV protection as well as anti-reflective (AR) coating. Sunwear or photochromics with ultra-violet coating are a key defence against the harmful rays of the sun.

This is a summary of the most common lens terms referred to by eyecare practitioners:

These lenses have gradually changing non-spherical curves; they feature good vision, a thin profile, light weight, and cosmetic appeal.

This lens has two viewing areas—one for distance and one for near—with a visible line between the two.

Computer Lenses:
Near and mid-range variable focus lenses are good for occupational environments such as computer work. Ask your eyecare professional about other occupational lenses that might be right for you.

Progressive Lenses:
Also known as PALs, no-line, or invisible bifocals, these replace the unsightly segment lines of bifocals with a smooth, gradual transition for clear vision up close, far away, and in between.

Single Vision:
Single prescription lenses can be for near or far.

This plastic lens material is much lighter than glass, but more easily scratched if left uncoated.

Though heavier than newer materials, glass has outstanding optics and is less susceptible to scratching.

High Index Plastic:
Great for strong prescriptions, especially high minus, there are a variety of high index lenses and materials. Because of the ability to bend light more than other materials, high index plastic lenses are lighter and thinner, especially at the edges. Some are also impact resistant.

Also called Poly, this is a high-index material that is tough, shatter-resistant, and safe for active wearers. Its light weight also makes it a good choice for everyday wear.

This new material is lightweight and good for everyday use, but is also shatter-resistant and safe for active wear.

Anti-reflective Coating (AR):
This treatment eliminates nearly all reflections from lenses, making them crystal clear and improving both vision and appearance.

These changeable lenses darken outdoors and lighten indoors.

Good for outdoor sports and daytime driving, these sunlenses block polarized light that causes the glare that can come from any horizontal surface (from bodies of water to the hood of your car).

Scratch-resistant Coating:
It increases durability and resists scratching and abrasion.

Color treatments can make lenses cosmetically flattering for everyone.

UV Coating:
This lens treatment helps protect the eyes against potentially damaging ultraviolet radiation (UVR).

Because of an irregularly shaped cornea, vertical curve is not the same as the horizontal one. The main symptom is blurring.

Hyperopia (farsighted):
This means you need vision correction to see up close.

Low Vision:
Vision impairments that cannot be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery, or drugs— problems can range from moderate (e.g., the inability to do daily tasks such as read a newspaper) to severe vision impairment or “legal” blindness.

Myopia (nearsighted):
This is the inability to see well at distance.

A normal process of aging, this is the inability to see up close — it results from the gradual hardening of the eye’s lens.


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