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What are Single Vision Lenses?
Single vision lenses have only one prescription for a given distance. Most reading glasses and distance glasses have single vision lenses because they’re for people who have trouble seeing either near or far. Some people are able to use their single vision glasses for both far and near, depending on their type of prescription.
You might choose to wear single vision reading glasses to correct your eyesight if you have difficulty reading text on your phone or computer screen, for example. Meanwhile, you might wear single vision distance glasses to help you make out traffic signs while driving.
Single vision lenses for wearers with farsightedness are thicker at the center than single vision lenses for wearers with nearsightedness, which are thicker at the edges. Despite this subtle difference, single vision lenses generally range between 3-4mm in thickness. The thickness varies depending on the size of the frame and lens material chosen.
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There are many of benefits to wearing single vision lenses beyond restoring your ability to see clearly:
- Single vision lenses may boost the overall quality of your life with improved visual health and acuity
- Single vision lenses can help relieve you of eye strain and ensuing fatigue and migraines
- Single vision lenses, like all types of eyeglass lenses, will help to protect your eyes from impact, trauma, and common irritants like dust, sand, and insects
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 simply 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, however, 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 all types of visual needs with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Glasses with single vision lenses, for example, can correct the following most common refractive errors:
- Myopia. Myopia refers to nearsightedness. Objects that are far away can be difficult to see clearly. Single vision distance lenses can help.
- Hyperopia. Hyperopia refers to farsightedness. Objects that are close up can be difficult to see clearly. Single vision reading lenses can help.
- Presbyopia. 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. 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, and it blocks 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, as well as 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 like asphalt, snow, and water. 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
Comparatively, eyewear can have bifocal or progressive lenses. 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, generally within one meter. 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.
While bifocals and progressive lenses correct vision in people with more than one refractive error, you may only need single vision lenses, which tend to be less expensive.
How Much Do Single Vision Lenses Cost?
Consumers spend an average of $400 on frames and lenses at eye doctors and independent eyeglass shops without vision insurance. Keep in mind that higher-end brands like Warby Parker will have steeper prices than stores like Costco.
Several other factors will impact the cost of your eyeglasses with single vision lenses, as well. 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 Eyeglass Rule, your optician must give you your prescription at no extra cost (whether or not you ask for it). You should take that prescription to shop around to find a pair of glasses with single vision lenses that fit your budget.