What are Single Vision Lenses?
Single vision lenses have only one prescription for farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism.
Some people are able to use their single vision glasses for both far and near, depending on their type of prescription.
Single vision lenses for farsighted people are thicker at the center. Single vision lenses for wearers with nearsightedness are thicker at the edges.
Single vision lenses generally range between 3-4mm in thickness. The thickness varies depending on the size of the frame and lens material chosen.
Your eye care is important. Here’s what you should know about how single vision lenses can help you:
What Refractive Errors Can Single Vision Lenses Correct?
If your optician tells you that you have a refractive error, it means that the shape of your eye bends light incorrectly. The result is blurry vision. There are various types of refractive errors that each affect your eyesight in different ways.
Each can cause the following symptoms:
- Blurry near or distance vision
- Double vision
- Seeing glare or halos around bright lights
- Eye fatigue
- Eye soreness
Fortunately, you can correct nearly all types of visual needs with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Single vision glasses can correct the most common refractive errors:
Myopia refers to nearsightedness. Objects that are far away can be difficult to see clearly. Single vision distance lenses can help.
Hyperopia refers to farsightedness. Objects that are close up can be difficult to see clearly. Single vision reading lenses can help.
Presbyopia refers to the loss of near vision due to age. Objects that are close up can be difficult to see clearly. Single vision reading lenses can help.
Astigmatism is a condition that makes vision blurry at all distances because of the cornea’s asymmetric curvature. Both single vision reading lenses and single vision distance lenses can help you achieve clear vision.
Types of Single Vision Lenses
There are a few different single vision lens options for vision correction. Here are three prescription lenses you should know:
1.59 Polycarbonate Single Vision
Polycarbonate single vision lenses are characterized by their durability and impact resistance. They often include an anti-scratch coating or anti-reflective coating.
This lens type is much lighter and thinner than a traditional plastic lens. They also block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, offering maximum UV protection.
1.57 Mid-Index Single Vision
Mid-index single vision lenses are 15 percent thinner than regular plastic and moderately lighter and stronger. Like polycarbonate single vision lenses, they often feature an anti-scratch coating and an anti-reflective coating.
More importantly, these lenses are an ideal option for people with relatively higher prescriptions. However, they are not as thin as polycarbonate lenses.
Polarized Single Vision
Polarized single vision lenses are sunglasses that protect your eyes from light that bounces off smooth, highly reflective surfaces.
The lenses work by controlling certain light properties and limiting specific wavelengths. They boast a vertical filter that doesn’t allow horizontal glare to pass through.
Single Vision vs. Bifocal Lenses vs. Progressive Lenses
Eyewear can have single vision, bifocal, or progressive lenses.
Bifocals and progressive lenses correct vision in people with more than one refractive error.
Bifocals have two focal lengths for anyone who needs help seeing both close-up images and objects at a distance. The lower portion of the lens helps wearers to view objects at near. The upper portion of the lens helps them see clearly beyond that distance.
Progressive lenses simply add an intermediate field of vision between the near and far corrective zones.
Single vision lenses are for people with only one refractive error.
How Much Do Single Vision Lenses Cost?
Consumers spend an average of $400 on frames and lenses without vision insurance.
Several other factors will impact the cost of your eyeglasses.
Your prescription, any lens coatings (anti-reflective coating, blue light filtering, etc.), and your frame material, as well as where you live and where you shop for your glasses, may significantly change the price.
An eye exam is necessary to determine your vision prescription. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC's) Eyeglass Rule, your optician must give you your prescription at no extra cost. You should take that prescription to shop around to find a pair of glasses with single vision lenses that fit your budget.
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Best Places to Buy Glasses
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.
Best on a Budget
EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.
Best Places to Buy Contacts
1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.
GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.