How Do Glasses Work?

How Do Glasses Work?

If you have an engineering mind, or even if you don’t, you probably find yourself wondering how stuff works from time to time. How does a plane fly, how does a ship float, or how do your glasses magnify your vision so that you can see the words of this article clearly? 

The brilliant team at Stoggles can help. While we’re probably not the people to talk to about chemical engineering, we are definitely the ones to help with how your glasses work to correct your vision. 

We’ll explain the four most common vision issues and how your eyeglasses work to correct them. We’ll also explain how new advances in eyewear are working to help you keep your crystal clear vision longer. 

What Are the Most Common Vision Problems?

Vision problems, also called refractive errors, cause blurry vision, trouble seeing objects close up and far away, and issues with driving at night or seeing double. 

The four most common are: 

  • Myopia. Commonly referred to as nearsightedness, this causes you to be able to see images clearly up close, but objects far away will be blurry.
  • Hyperopia. The opposite of myopia is referred to as farsightedness, or hyperopia. This causes objects close up to be hard to see, but your distance vision is still good.
  • Astigmatism. Astigmatism is an issue that causes blurry images in all fields of vision. It can also make it very difficult to see while driving at night. 
  • Presbyopia. This is similar to hyperopia, but is caused by the natural changes in vision a person experiences with age. This causes objects that are close up to become blurry. 

These refractive errors are easily corrected with prescription lenses, but understanding how your lenses work is a little more complicated. 

How Do Corrective Lenses Work?

It’s simple enough to get correct vision with the help of prescription lenses, but your eyeglass lenses do more than just work like a magnifying glass. Let’s take a look at how each type of vision correction works.


If you have nearsighted vision, the shape of your eye is too long. When light enters your eye, it lands just in front of the retina, making it hard to see objects that are far away. Your optometrist will prescribe vision correction in the form of concave lenses. Concave lenses are thinner in the center of the lens and thicken around the edges. This helps route the light rays that enter your eye directly onto the retina. 


People with hyperopia have eyes that are too short. Because of this, light that enters the eye falls behind the retina, causing images that are close up to become blurry. Your eye doctor will correct your vision with convex lenses, which bend outward. 

These lenses are thicker in the middle and gradually thin at the edges-the exact opposite of concave lenses. These lenses cause light to focus directly on the retina, instead of behind it.


An astigmatism is an issue that involves the shape of your cornea. The cornea in a normal eye is shaped like a basketball. In a person with astigmatism, the cornea is elongated and shaped more like a football. This causes light that enters the eye to be focused in different directions instead of directly on the cornea. 

To correct this, you’ll need a cylindrical lens. A cylindrical lens has differing refractive powers in each axis, thus making it able to compensate for the difference in refraction in a person’s vertical and horizontal planes and bring the light into one focal point. 


The first line of defense for presbyopia is usually reading glasses. People who suffer from age-related vision loss tend to notice they can’t see their smartphone as well or can’t focus on a book or magazine without pulling it further away from their face. 

Once readers become a nuisance, you’ll want to invest in progressive lenses, the upgraded version of Benjamin Franklin’s invention, bifocals. Progressive lenses offer a lens that is split into two parts. One part corrects vision close up, the other part corrects vision at a distance. With bifocal lenses, you only need one pair of eyeglasses to correct multiple refractive errors. 

Multifocal lenses (like bifocals and trifocals) have classically been avoided by anyone who can avoid them simply because they have a visible line that makes it easy to tell you’re wearing them… not to mention they look uncool and have become vastly unpopular.

Progressive lenses fix that problem by offering lenses that look like single vision correction lenses, with vision correction gradients that blend into one another. You can thank inventors of the 20th century for updating the look and making it possible for us to wear prescription glasses that carry a lot less stigma.

Now that you understand how regular corrective lenses work, why not level up and learn how safety eyewear works? 

Safety Eyewear: The Progression of Vision Protection 

Safety glasses have been around since the early 1900s, but just like your eyeglasses, they’ve come a long way and have new advancements that make them even more desirable. In fact, the specialized coatings and available filters that safety glasses of today offer make them a necessity for everyone. 

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UV Protection

Fun fact, the darkness of your lenses has nothing to do with the level of UV protection your eyewear offers. If you purchased your favorite shades at a discount store, be warned: they might not be protecting your eyes from intrusive light. 

UV protection should be clearly labeled on the lenses or arms of the eyewear or be obtainable by contacting the manufacturer. Stoggles, for instance, are made from polycarbonate material, which is naturally UV-blocking.

Standard Stoggles are crystal clear but still UV protective. If you want Stoggles that throw shade, opt for Sun Polarized Stoggles, which give you a comfortable level of sunshade along with polarization to reduce glare. 

Don’t feel like switching from outdoor eyewear to indoor? Try Stoggles Dimmers®, our eyewear that has UV-responsive lenses that darken when exposed to UV light and return to clear when you head indoors. 

Blue Light Blocking

The other intrusive light form that requires vision protection is blue light. Blue light comes from the sun, but it also comes from devices like your smartphone, computer, tablet, and LED televisions and light bulbs. 

Blue light can pass through the cornea and reach the retina, just like UV light. We know it can interfere with circadian rhythm and impact sleep, but researchers aren’t yet sure how much additional damage can be done by blue light long term. 

To protect your eyes, the solution is blue light-blocking eyewear. Stoggles are injected with a proprietary and state-of-the-art blue light-blocking compound at the time of manufacture, so you never have to worry about a coating wearing off. 

Shatter Resistance

Safety eyewear wouldn’t really be safety eyewear if it shattered and broke into shards when struck with a flying object. That’s why our eyewear and its design and construction at Stoggles is certified to meet the ANSI Z87.1-2020 standard. This means your eyewear can take a strike or a scrape without harming your eyes. 

Fog Resistance

If you’ve ever felt personally victimized by fogging eyewear, we feel you. When we created Stoggles, we knew it was something we wanted to tackle, so we coat every pair of Stoggles with anti-fogging compound. No anti-fog solution is permanent, but the anti-fog coating we use lasts so long that you’ll forget what fogging glasses look like. 

When your lenses need a boost, you can apply our Anti-Fog Drops directly to the lenses to extend the anti-fogging protection.

Side and Top Shields 

Your regular eyewear leaves your eyes vulnerable at the sides and top of the lenses. If you were to take a hit or get splashed with a dangerous fluid, you could sustain an eye injury. One solution is to use a wraparound lens. This can work, but sometimes the curvature of the lens can make it impossible to get a prescription lens.

The Stoggles solution is to use side and top shields. These shields are low profile in design and won’t interfere with a vision correction prescription if you need one, but they still provide the coverage and function of regular safety eyewear. 

Even More Options

Stoggles is home to stylish eyewear, and we know style isn’t one size fits all. You can choose from numerous frame shapes and colors to match your own personal style. 

Once you have that eye exam and receive your vision correction prescription, head over to the Stoggles website and upload your script. We’ll outfit you in a pair of Stoggles customized with your specific prescription so you can keep your eyes safe, your vision corrected, and your style on point simultaneously. 

Stoggles: Reinventing the Way Safety Eyewear Works

You need corrective lenses to keep your vision sharp, and you need safety eyewear to keep your vision safe. Stoggles makes it easy to do both, and look great too. 


Nearsightedness: What Is Myopia? | American Academy of Ophthalmology

Hyperopia (farsightedness) | American Optometric Association

Astigmatism - Symptoms & causes | Mayo Clinic

Presbyopia | National Eye Institute

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