Essay Lens Types: Single Vision, Bifocal, Trifocal, and Progressive

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Lens Types
It is essential that all people have a basic understanding of lenses. Eventually, all people will need reading glasses if they do not need glasses from the very beginning of their life. The user needs to have a general knowledge of what is available and the different characteristics of some basic lens types. Also, the understanding of one’s own needs is necessary to avoid being steered into a more lucrative sale for the commission paid optician. Eyeglass lenses are one of the many different types of lenses. The lenses used in eyeglasses can fit into a few specific categories such as: single vision, bifocal, trifocal and progressive types.
As an optical lab manager and technician for the last 15 years, I see and use these various types of lenses daily to fill the prescriptions and needs of the user. The position of lab manager also gives me the specific knowledge of the remakes produced that are generated by opticians more interested in selling what they make the most commission or get the greatest kick backs from. It is these influences that make it imperative that the user of the glasses has an understanding of how each lens type could affect the usefulness of how the glasses are used in his or her individual activity.
Lenses are broken into two main categories: single vision and multifocal. Single vision lenses are used to correct focal point problems within the eye, as well as distortion problems. To accomplish this task, single vision lenses are categorized into spherical power lens and lenses that also have cylinder correction. Most end up being a combination of both focal point and distortion correction. Spherical lenses are broken down further into plus and minus correction depending on whether the patie...

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...r years will, at some point, need glasses for correction of their near vision. This is accomplished with any of the single vision, bifocal, trifocal or progressive types. All these lens types have specific purposes and reasons for their use with advantages and shortcomings for each design and purpose. It is important that the user understand his or her options to make a wise selection to fulfill his or her needs the best. The user cannot always assume the optician or salesperson has a full understanding of the specific user’s requirement when a commission or kickback is involved. With this fact in mind, it is always best if the user has a basic understanding of the different lens types available.

The Eye Info Network. (2011). Choosing eyeglass lenses. Retrieved from All About Eyeglasses website:

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