The 6 Different Types of Prescription Lenses

The 6 Different Types of Prescription Lenses

The next time someone calls you four-eyes, remember you’re in good company. More than 197 million people wear corrective lenses, with eyeglasses being the vision correction tool of choice, followed closely by contact lenses. 

In addition, numerous other people wear non-prescription corrective lenses, like reading glasses. If those people were honest, they’d probably admit they need to see their eye doctor and get a solid pair of glasses that really help them see properly. 

If you’re one of those folks with ten pairs of reading glasses stowed all over your house, workspace, and car, let this be your sign. Taking your vision seriously is important, and trust us, you won’t “outgrow” your reading glasses; you’ll just end up needing ones that are stronger. 

The team at Stoggles knows eye care and eye style. We’ll help you understand what’s available for vision correction and give you some tips on how to keep your eyes safe while you see crystal clear. 

7 Different Types of Prescription Lenses

You might not have known that different vision issues require different vision corrections. Refractive issues are issues with how light enters the cornea and reaches the retina. These issues are corrected with different types of vision-correcting lenses. For each issue, there’s a specific lens.

1. Single-Vision Lenses

The most common refractive issues are nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and presbyopia. 

  • Nearsightedness. The most common refractive issue, this makes it challenging for someone to see objects in the distance.
  • Farsightedness. Second most common, this causes problems with up-close vision. You might find it hard to see a book or a smartphone. 
  • Astigmatism. People with astigmatism will experience blurry vision or even double vision with objects at any distance. This is especially true when driving at night. 
  • Presbyopia. A classic optometrist joke is that three things are certain: death, taxes, and presbyopia. This condition describes how our eyes change as we age, making it harder for us to see things close up. 

If you only have one of these refractive errors, you’ll likely need a single-vision lens for correction. These lenses correct the refractive area over the entire lens so that when you look out of your eyeglasses or contacts in any direction, you’ll get the same type of vision correction. 

Single-vision lenses can also be purchased with anti-fatigue lenses. These have one single vision correction over the entire lens, with a small space of magnification at the bottom of the lens to help with viewing close-up material like your smartphone or a book. 

Unfortunately, single-vision lenses become rarer and rarer as we age. With age, we are more likely to have two or three refractive errors. That might call for multifocal lenses. 

2. Multifocal Lenses

What if you have astigmatism and nearsightedness? Or the one-two-punch combo of presbyopia and farsightedness? For these issues, you’ll need a multifocal lens (unless you want to continually swap out your single-vision lenses).

If you use reading glasses and notice that you continually have to take them off when looking into the distance, you get the idea. Single-vision lenses can only do one job. 

There are several different types of multifocal lenses. Bifocals, multifocal, and progressives. 

  • Bifocals. The classic “Benjamin Franklin” eyewear, these lenses are delineated into two separate parts. One portion of the lens corrects one refractive error; the other half corrects a different refractive error. 

If you have presbyopia and farsightedness, for instance, you may get bifocals. The lower half of the lens would help you see objects close up, and the upper portion of the lens would help you see far away. 

Trifocal lenses work similarly but allow for three different vision corrections in one lens. 

  • Progressive lenses. These lenses are the newer, better bifocal and trifocal lenses. Bifocals and trifocals have one big, blinding drawback: there are visible lines in the lenses that make it easy to see you’re wearing them. 

These types of lenses work best and are the most commonly prescribed, but if you have different vision issues, you might need a more specialized lens.

3. Prism Lenses

Experiencing double vision can cause you to panic, especially if you develop it later in life. Although you’ll want to run the gamut of tests to ensure nothing medically serious is happening, you might have a simple (and benign) condition called strabismus. This happens when your eyes are misaligned.

Thankfully, prism lenses can help correct your vision. Prism lenses are lenses that contain a prism that corrects the way light refracts into your cornea. If you have other vision errors, you may have a double prescription for your prisms and for your other refractive errors.

4. Cylindrical Lenses

Astigmatism is caused by an uneven curvature of the eye. If a normal eye is shaped like a football, the eye of someone with astigmatism is shaped more like an uneven basketball or an over-inflated football. 

To correct this, you’ll get a prescription with cylindrical lenses that correct for this uneven curvature.

5. Spherical Lenses

For nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia, you’ll get assigned a spherical lens. These lenses help correctly focus light on the surface of the retina instead of in front of it or behind it. 

Now that you know the types of corrective lenses you’ll get when you finally go see your eye doctor, you can learn about how to keep your eyes even safer with safety eyewear that’s available in your specialized prescription. 

6. Readers

Reader lenses are somewhat similar to bifocals, and the evolution of the bifocal lens. Essentially, reader glasses work to magnify what you’re looking at… like the a book with the tiniest print you’ve ever seen (or struggled to see). 

At Stoggles, our full reader, blended reader, and progressive reader lenses are all part of our family — and you can even get Stoggles in your favorite reader prescription and can choose between the full reader and the blended reader.

Safety Eyewear That Works

Eye safety is a big deal, and chances are you haven’t even thought about it. Keeping your eyes healthy is essential because not doing so could quite literally cost you your vision. Eye injuries are common, with more than 2,000 happening per day in the U.S.

Here’s what you can do to keep them safe (and still look superiorly stylish).

Protect Against Blue Light

Blue light comes from the sun, but it also comes from your favorite devices like computers, smartphones, tablets, LED televisions, and LED light bulbs. Our exposure to blue light is heavier than sunlight, and most of us don’t do much to protect against it. 

Blue light, like UV rays, can penetrate the cornea and reach the retina. This could have serious long-term effects, which researchers are still studying. In the near term, we know that blue light can lead to eye strain and fatigue and interferes with our sleep cycles. 


Fogging eyewear is a serious annoyance. Removing your pricey prescription lenses to wipe away fog can damage them and shorten their lifespan. Instead, grab some fog-free specs. Stoggles, for instance, have been treated with a magic, fog-free solution that keeps your eyewear from fogging even under the steamiest conditions. 

How do we do it? Magic and unicorns … and anti-fogging chemical that is sealed onto our eyewear at the time of manufacturing so that it lasts for a really long time. It took us nine months to whip this recipe of ours, and it’s worth the wait — goodbye, fog!

Shatter Resistance

If you have a dangerous task (like lawn work, home improvement, or anything involving a nail gun), your regular prescription lenses won’t cut it. If they get hit with a rogue nail or rock, they can break, shatter, and send shards of glass into your eyes. 

Instead, you need shatter-resistant technology, and, of course, Stoggles has it. Our eyewear is certified with the ANSI Z87.1-2020 seal, which means every pair has been tested against high-velocity impact without shattering. 

UV Protection

Fun fact: even if you have really dark shades, they might not be protecting your eyes from the sun. UV protection does not increase as the tint of your shades darkens. Stoggles are made from lightweight, ultra-durable polycarbonate material, which is naturally UV-blocking. 

Also important: wearing UV protection on cloudy and partly cloudy days. Stoggles Dimmers™ do it, and they do it with finesse. Just like traditional, transitional lenses, Dimmers are UV light reactive. When the sun’s out, the lenses get darker in the sunlight. They lighten back to clear when the sun recedes.

Magic or science? You be the judge. (It’s science.)

Side and Top Shields

Another way your regular eyewear leaves room for an injury is in their design. They leave gaps at the top of the eyebrows and on the sides of your temples, where splashes, spills, splatters, and debris could enter your eye area. 

Top and side shields are a streamlined way to protect these areas and maintain a low-profile, non-lab student look. No offense to lab students, of course. 

These shields are also another option for people who need prescription lenses in their safety eyewear and have had trouble with wraparound lenses. Some wraparounds can warp a prescription lens, making it difficult to see peripherally. 

You’ve Got Options

In terms of vision correction, you’ve got options, and with Stoggles, you’ve got stylish ones. Keep your eyes safe and your vision on point. Stoggles gives you the safety you need in your customized prescription, wrapped up in an ultra-stylish, uber-comfortable package that keeps you looking fabulous and feeling as relaxed as sipping a margarita by the pool (probably). 



Myopia (nearsightedness) | American Optometric Association

Diplopia (Double Vision) | Yale Medicine

Astigmatism | NHS

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