Spectacles vs. Glasses: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Bridget Reed on

We’ll make this really easy. There’s no difference between spectacles and glasses. Spectacles is an old-fashioned (think ye olde English) term for eyeglasses, which lost most of its popularity during the Victorian era. 

That said, there are different types of eyewear that are used to treat different types of vision problems. These issues include refractive errors, astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. In addition, you can wear a pair of eyeglasses designed to combat plain old presbyopia (the term that means vision loss due to aging). 

Here, we’ll cover a few of the most common vision correction tools so you can impress your optometrist and wow your optician the next time you’re in for an eye exam. 

Myopia, Hyperopia, Presbyopia (Oh My)

The most common reason people head to the eye doctor is that they have trouble seeing close up or far away. These are types of refractive errors that can start in childhood but are also really common as we get older. 

Here are the usual suspects:

  • Myopia. This is also known as nearsightedness, a condition in which you can see things close up but not far away. Certain types of single-vision eyeglasses can help you deal with myopia.
  • Hyperopia. The opposite of myopia: this makes it hard to see things close up but easy to see things far away. 

Both of these conditions are a type of presbyopia, a condition that can occur with age. (We might age like a fine wine, but our eyes might not.) These are easily corrected with a pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses, or even reading glasses. 

What About Bifocals?

Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals, which he called “doubled spectacles.” Bifocals are still as popular as ever, but today we tend to call them progressive lenses or multifocals.

These specs work like bifocals, correcting vision problems, but the lenses in these pairs of glasses are much smoother and undetectable to anyone but the wearer.

And yes, at Stoggles, we totally take care of your progressive needs (including no-line bifocals and blended readers) — your eyes are one-of-a-kind and deserve one-of-a-kind specs

Wearing Glasses for Eye Strain and Blue Light Fatigue

Sit behind a computer all day? If so, you’ve probably noticed you suffer from eye pain and strain. This can be a symptom of computer vision syndrome, a condition that can even lead to headaches and neck pain. 

Both prescription lenses and non-prescription glasses can be treated with a blue light-blocking film to keep you from experiencing eye fatigue and protect your overall eye health. 

What About a Pair of Eyeglasses for UV Protection?

You already know that UV light can damage your vision, but ultraviolet light exposure can happen even when you aren’t in the sun. If you wear corrective lenses, you definitely want to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses.

If not, you can opt for a polycarbonate pair of lenses. These plastic lenses are naturally UV-blocking. Bonus, polycarbonate is one of the most durable lens materials available (and all Stoggles are made with it). 

Safety Eyewear

We can’t cover types of lenses without discussing the importance of safety eyewear. The cells of your retina are specialized and limited, which means they don’t regenerate. If they were to be damaged due to a strike or scrape, you could potentially lose your vision. 

That’s why Stoggles makes it easy to protect your eyes by giving you options with the highest level of protection available. What’s more, we wrap it all up in a highly attractive package with more bells and whistles than you’ll find in most safety glasses. 

If you wear prescription lenses, we can take care of that, too, and send you a pair of stylish Stoggles in your customized prescription. Eye care: it’s what we do, and we do it so stylishly it’s a spectacle. 


Refractive Errors | National Eye Institute

Common Eye Disorders & Diseases That Cause Vision Problems | Cleveland Clinic

Computer vision syndrome | AOA

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