Eyeglasses have come a long way over the years. As the general population continues to age, more and more people are wearing glasses. Eyeglasses themselves have become fashion accessories. The variety of lenses on the market, meanwhile, has made consumer awareness more important.


  • Glass is more durable and resistant to scratches, but less impact resistant.
  • Plastic lenses are thinner and lighter, more impact resistant, but scratch more easily.
  • Polycarbonate is like plastic, but even more impact resistant.


  • Unifocal
  • Bifocal
  • Invisible bifocals
  • Progressive lenses
  • Trifocal or multifocal
  • High index (thinner lenses for strong prescriptions)
  • Photochromatic or light sensitive
  • Safety lenses
  • Tinted lenses can be functional, fashionable, or both.
  • Sunglasses soften indoor or outdoor light. Lens tints can be uniform or gradient, lightening gradually from top to bottom.

Chemical coatings serve many purposes: anti-scratch coating minimizes lens abrasions; anti-reflective coating eliminates frustrating reflective glare; metallic or mirrored coating is popular with sunglasses; and UV coating blocks solar ultraviolet radiation.

All content is provided for education and information, and is no substitute for the advice of your optometrist. This information is provided courtesy of the British Columbia Association of Optometrists (B.C.A.O.). The B.C.A.O. assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any errors or omissions or from the use of any information contained herein.