What are Aspheric Lenses?

2 sources cited
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What Are Aspheric Lenses & How Do They Work?

Aspheric lenses are flatter than conventional lenses.

They still offer the same vision-enhancing benefits. They have a more attractive profile because there is less curvature.

This means they don’t have the same “coke bottle” look as you get with traditional lenses. 

Aspheric lenses have a more complex front surface with a gradual curve. They also perform better by improving the way light refracts onto the retina.

Eyeglasses wearers who have mild prescriptions may not notice a big difference.

People with a strong prescription for farsightedness (who usually wear thicker glasses) will experience a significant change.

Reducing the thickness of the lens offers other benefits. Slimmer lenses give you more options when it comes to choosing frames.

People with a strong prescription often have to settle for few options.

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What Vision Problems Can Aspheres Correct?

Aspheric lenses work for people who struggle with: 

  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Astigmatism
  • Age-related farsightedness (presbyopia)

The difference between conventional and aspheric lenses is most noticeable for people who are farsighted.

Aspheric lenses come in single vision or progressive lenses, bifocals, and trifocals.

Conventional Spherical Lenses

For most people, aspheric lenses are an upgrade from their conventional lenses.

But the significance of an upgrade depends on the prescription strength.

Conventional lenses have a spherical design and create unwanted magnification. This means people with farsightedness see objects larger and closer than they are in reality.

Their eyes are also magnified by their lenses, which means they might have a bug-eyed look when wearing their glasses.

Those who wear conventional lenses for nearsightedness experience the opposite. Objects look smaller and their eyes appear smaller or “beady.”

Aspheric lenses correct these problems while improving vision just the same as conventional lenses. They look more natural and are more comfortable to wear.

Aspheric Lenses vs. Conventional Spherical Lenses

The primary difference between conventional and aspheric lenses are their spherical surfaces.

Aspheric means “non-spherical,” so there is less of a bulge or curve.

Conventional lenses have a spherical curvature on the front of the lens (like a basketball). This increases the size and weight when a prescription is strong.

Aspheric lenses are smoother and flatter, reducing the distortion that occurs when someone wears glasses.

For many people, this improvement means feeling better in their glasses. They may be more willing to wear their corrective lenses.

In the past, the only options someone would have if they did not like how they looked in conventional lenses were:

  • Contacts
  • Laser vision procedure
  • Avoid wearing their glasses

This is no longer the case with aspheric lenses.

Conventional lenses are prone to spherical errors (aberrations) that create blurry images. Even slight blurring makes wearing glasses uncomfortable. Aspheric lenses do not have this problem.

Benefits of Aspheric Eyeglass Lenses

Aspheric lenses aren’t just about style. Many people like that they can choose the frames that best suit their face when upgrading to aspherics.

But style isn’t the only reason people choose this type of lens. Aspheric lenses offer many benefits, including:

  • Spherical aberration correction (makes corrected image less blurry)
  • Improved performance
  • Slimmer and thinner profile
  • More frame options, even for people with strong prescriptions
  • Improved image quality
  • Sleeker profile
  • Lightweight and more comfortable
  • More natural appearance
  • Improved peripheral vision
  • Multiple lens designs to choose from 

Common Questions and Answers

Are all progressive lenses aspheric?

Yes, progressive lenses are aspherical in design. The curvature of these lenses gradually changes from the top to the bottom.

Why are aspheric lenses expensive?

Aspherical lenses are expensive due to manufacturing costs. They require more precision to make and take longer to produce.

What prescription type do aspheric lenses benefit most?

People with higher order refractive errors, typically +4.00 diopters or more, are ideal candidates for aspheric lenses.

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Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

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Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

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EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

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GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

2 Cited Research Articles
  1. Carlton, Jenean. Frames and Lenses. Slack, 2000.
  2. Gasson, Andrew, and Judith A. Morris. The Contact Lens Manual E-Book. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2010.
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