The Different Types of Glasses Lenses

The Different Types of Glasses Lenses

Once you leave the eye doctor with your vision correction prescription in hand, you’ve got more options than you probably care to realize. From frame shape to impressive coatings, there is a plethora of ways you can style your eyes, protect them from intrusive light, and of course, correct your vision. 

One choice you’ll need to make is the type of glasses lens you want. No, glass isn’t the only option. Together, we’ll talk shop, carefully exploring the exciting world of vision correction and learning about new eyewear options you probably didn’t know about. 

Even if eyewear doesn’t spark as much joy for you as it does for us, that’s okay. By the end of this quick read, you’ll be well-versed in all things eyewear and understand the lingo so you can impress your optician and find the eyeglass lenses that are right for you. 

First things first, let’s talk about what your lenses are correcting. 

What Are Refractive Errors?

Refractive errors are vision issues that are correctable with certain types of lenses. There are four common types of refractive errors that are most common. 

  • Nearsightedness. Also referred to as myopia, this type of vision correction is the most common. It refers to a condition that makes it hard for someone to see things in the distance. No matter the lens type you choose, it will be a concave lens to correct this vision issue. 
  • Farsightedness. The second most common type of vision correction is farsightedness, also referred to as hyperopia. This makes it hard for you to see objects that are close up. Convex lenses are used to correct farsightedness.
  • Presbyopia. Presbyopia is like farsightedness, but it isn’t the same. Presbyopia refers to farsightedness that occurs due to normal aging of the eyes. Usually, people present with presbyopia between the ages of 35-45. If you haven’t gotten there yet, don’t worry. It’s inevitable. 
  • Astigmatism. This type of refractive area affects the shape of the cornea, causing it to be more football-shaped than round. This results in halos and starbursts around certain objects. Having astigmatism can make it really hard to drive at night. Oncoming headlights may look like starbursts, making it virtually impossible to see clearly.

There are, of course, numerous other vision problems that corrective lenses and glasses can help with. Your eyeglass prescription contains all the information about your vision that your optician needs to craft a pair of specs that help you see clearly. 

What Do Lenses Have To Do With It?

It seems simple enough. Get an eye exam, get your script, and buy a pair of glasses. However, there are a lot of options available, some that you need, and some you probably don’t. Your optician will likely ask you what type of lens you want in your frames. If you’re a “know before you go” type of person, you’ll appreciate this breakdown of available lens types.

1. Progressive Lenses

You may have more than one refractive error. For instance, you may need vision correction for both astigmatism and myopia. You might also need vision correction for distance and farsightedness. Just a few decades ago, you’d be limited to bifocal lenses or trifocal lenses. These lenses have two or three different vision correction formats in one lens, but they also have lines that are very obvious and are slowly becoming obsolete to progressives.

Today, we’ve got progressive lenses. These types of lenses offer multifocal lenses offer vision correction in one streamlined lens. There are no lines on the lens material, but they do take some adjustment. For instance, you’ll likely need to use the lower portion of the lens for focal points that are close up, the middle part of the lens for objects that are within arm’s reach, and the upper portion of the lens for distant objects. 

2. Prism Lenses

Sometimes, your eyes don’t line up evenly, which can lead to double vision and eye strain. Your optometrist will likely recommend prismatic lenses to help realign your vision. The prism inside your lens will have its own refractive index, or strength, which helps correct vision misalignment. 

3. Glass

The OG of eyewear is still available for eyeglass wearers. Glass can, of course, be used for vision correction, but it’s not the most popular option. It’s heavy, usually more expensive, and not available for all frame styles. Although no other lens type offers the level of crystal clear vision that glass does, the drawbacks (longer manufacturing time included) usually make them less of a viable choice for most. 

Glass is also more scratch-resistant than other types of lenses, even if those lenses have a scratch-resistant coating. 

4. Plastic

Most of the eyewear available today is made with lenses that are crafted from some type of high-index plastic. Plastic is durable, affordable, and now available in options that are extremely compatible with the clear vision offered by glass. 

Polycarbonate lenses, like the ones we use in Stoggles, offer crystal clear vision and a higher level of durability than other types of plastic lenses. Trivex lenses are another option that offers clear vision and durability.

5. High Index Lenses

If you have a strong prescription and are afraid you won’t be able to find eyewear that is as low profile as you’d like, your best lens options are high-index lenses. These are made to bend light more effectively, allowing for a higher refractive index that helps a person who needs stronger magnification get it without a thicker lens. 

6. Blue Light Blocking Lenses

Possibly one of the best options you can choose for your eyewear is blue light blocking lenses. Stoggles blue light-blocking lenses are created by injecting a blue light-blocking compound into the lens itself at the time of manufacture, so this isn’t a lens coating — however, in many cases, it is just an applied coating. 

Blue light is an intrusive light form. It is emitted from the sun, but also from devices like LED televisions, smartphones, and laptops. Just so you know, every pair of Stoggles we create comes preloaded with blue light blocking, polycarbonate lenses. 

7. Photochromic Lenses

You might not be familiar with the term photochromic, but you probably know the term Transitions® lenses or light-responsive lenses. These lenses respond to UV light rays. When UV rays hit these lenses, they gradually darken to make it more comfortable for you to see. When you move back indoors, they fade back to clear. 

It’s important to note that simply having photochromic lenses doesn’t guarantee you are getting UV protection. For that, you need heavy-duty, ultraviolet-blocking lenses. You can find photochromic comfort and UV protection in Stoggles Dimmers. Our Dimmers give you all the safety features you’ve come to expect in Stoggles, with the added convenience of light-responsive lenses. 

8. Monochrome Lenses

Your shirt? Black. Your pants? Black. Your shoes? Black. Now, you can enjoy the same single-color look you love in your eyewear. 

Stoggles Monochromes feature lenses in the same color as the frames, so you can keep the monochromatic style going.

9. Anti-Reflective Coating

Glare can significantly interfere with your vision. There are two ways to correct glare. One way is to buy lenses that have an anti-reflective coating. This coating makes it easier for you to see without glare from a computer screen or light reflected into your eyewear at night (like when you’re driving). 

Polarized lenses help keep glare to a minimum when you’re in the sunlight. Think on the boat or the beach, or on the slopes. Polarized lenses reduce glare and help protect your eyes from “snowblindness.” Anti-reflective lenses are handy indoors for screentime, while polarized lenses are used to help control and cut glare emitted by the sun — essentially, you can think of them as indoor and outdoor eyewear.

10. Impact-Resistant Lenses

Even if you don’t need a high level of impact resistance, you probably do want lenses that can take at least a small drop or strike without breaking. The best lenses for the job are almost always going to be plastic and, most certainly, polycarbonate. 

Stoggles are all made from polycarbonate, which is lightweight, durable, and tested to the ANSI Z87.1-2020 standard. This certification ensures that your Stoggles eyewear can take a high-velocity strike without breaking and shattering into your eyes. 

But that’s not the only safety feature we offer — in addition to blue light protection, UV-blocking lenses, and impact resistance, we add several more features to our lenses to ensure your eyes are always protected. 

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The Stoggles Standard

When we created Stoggles, we wanted to develop a hybrid style of eyewear that would keep your eyes safe and offer impeccable style at the same time. After all, no one had ever given much thought to style when crafting safety glasses, and it showed. 

Most safety glasses are either bulky and science lab-esque, or hypermasculine with wraparound lenses that look like they were created for the Tour de France. There wasn’t a good in-between, especially when considering women, since most safety eyewear was always designed around men (hence the hypermasculine look). So we created them. 

Our Style

We offer frame shapes that are unexpected in safety eyewear, like cat-eye, aviator, and round lenses. No matter what frame shape you love, we’ve probably got it. We also offer a myriad of colors so you can match your favorite eyewear to your outfit or your attitude. 

Our Safety

We’ve already addressed the safety aspects of Stoggles as they pertain to light and shatter resistance, but we also have a few other safety features that are important. 

  • Fog resistance. Eyewear that fogs isn’t safe, and it’s not even remotely comfortable. All Stoggles are crafted with anti-fogging compound sealed onto the lenses to ensure you don’t have to remove your eyewear and wipe them down.
  • Side and top shields. No more weird wraparounds. Our low-profile side and top shields protect your eyes in vulnerable spots without interfering with your style. 

Your vision is important, and because retinal cells don’t regenerate, it’s irreplaceable. Eye care involves eye protection, and with Stoggles, you never have to sacrifice form for function. 

Our Options

We offer more options for Stoggles than most other safety eyewear companies have even considered. In addition to frames and colors that are iconic, we also offer our eyewear with photochromic lenses and with the option of polarized lenses. 

If you need prescription lenses or readers, we can do that too. Simply upload your prescription to your website, and we’ll take care of the rest. 

Through Our Lens

Taking care of your eyes is one of the best returns on investment you can make, and with Stoggles, the decision to practice eye safety is easy and aesthetically appealing. So grab your prescription and head over to our website. We’ll help you pick the best pair of Stoggles for your needs so you can stay stylish, safe, and incredibly savvy. 


Refractive Errors | National Eye Institute

Myopia (nearsightedness) | AOA

Astigmatism | NHS

Blue light has a dark side | Harvard Health

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