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The Difference is in the Lens

At Arlington Optical, we make it clear to our patients that all lenses are not created equal. In fact, selecting the right lens is a complex science. Fortunately, our licensed opticians are trained to help you choose a lens that best suits your lifestyle and budget.

Whatever you select, you can be sure that Arlington Optical uses only the best lenses on the market. Because when it comes to your vision, there is no room for compromise.

At Arlington Optical, we never settle for old technology. That’s why digital lenses top our list of options. When this new technology first entered the marketplace, we took the time to educate ourselves—and it has made all the difference. Why? Because putting outdated lenses in swanky, new frames simply makes no sense.

Take a closer look at the four elements our trained opticians use when designing a pair of specs for our patients.


Lens Type

Based on your prescription, the optician will choose from the following lens types: single-vision or a lens with two, three—or an infinite—range of powers.

Single Vision: This type of lens features one power throughout the entire lens. It is typically for people between the ages of 1 and 40 as it is used either to correct problems with distance or for special needs, including magnification. A single-vision lens can also be used for reading only.


Bifocal: A bifocal lens is equipped with two ranges of power—far and near. Bifocals are easily recognized by the line that separates the far range from the near range. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as a line bifocal.



Trifocal: As the name implies, a trifocal lens has three, separate ranges of power—far, intermediate and near—marked by two, distinct lines. Like the bifocal, it’s easy to see the lines that differentiate between the three ranges.



Progressive: Blessed with an infinite number of focal points, this type of lens changes gradually so that it can adjust to a wide variety of distances. As a result, the user can see far, intermediate and near distances without any lines of demarcation.



Computer/Reading: Computer eyeglasses work much like reading glasses in that the lenses are used for a specific purpose. When you look at a computer screen, and who doesn’t these days, the pixels of light cause a slow-down in your eye’s ability to focus. As the eyes struggle to lock on to the computer screen, they get caught up in a vicious cycle between lagging and refocusing. This results in what is more commonly known as eyestrain.

Here’s the good news: Our optometrist—or yours—can write a prescription for computer lenses that eliminates the problem. And, this lens is available in three options: single vision (one power), bifocal (intermediate and near powers) or progressive (intermediate through near powers).


Lens Design

Because we offer literally hundreds of lens designs, the choices can be daunting. Don’t worry. Our licensed opticians will simplify the process, making it easier to select the right lens design for your lifestyle and budget. Here’s a breakdown of the two, basic options: conventional and digital.

Conventional versus digital lenses

Conventional:This traditional lens is crafted using a semi-finished lens blank, which was originally molded using glass molds. The lens design, base curve and add power are molded onto the front surface of the lens, and the patient’s prescription is then ground into the back surface of the lens blank. While this type of lens can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism, high aberrations may still exist. Unfortunately, these aberrations can affect your vision. Lucky for you, there is an alternative.

Digital: Enter the new age of lens design. Today’s high-definition lenses can actually correct aberrations, offering the potential for sharper vision than their conventional counterpart. They are designed to provide sharper vision in all lighting conditions and provide wider progressive lens corridors. They also keep the prescription optically true over a much wider zone in the lens and reduce glare for nighttime driving and other night vision tasks.

Frankly, digital lens surfacing is six times more accurate than conventional lens processing. Why? Because new digital surfacing equipment requires less tooling and has direct contact with the lens, which translates to greater accuracy. Think analog TV versus HD TV. You get the picture. Now here’s the result: highly defined vision with unmatched depth and clarity.


Lens Material

Choosing the right lens material for your eyeglass frames is an important step in the process. Our licensed opticians are trained to help you make the right selection based on the following parameters.

Polycarbonate: Although this material is impact-resistant, it still scratches easily. Truth is, it’s an older industry lens material, and while still functional, it’s not the best choice. Kind of like that VHS player you have stored away in the basement, it may still work, but modern technology offers other, more advanced alternatives. Still, it’s worth noting that children’s lenses should be made of polycarbonate or trivex for your child’s safety.

Trivex: This material is both impact- and scratch-resistant. No wonder our opticians like it the best. And because it’s also highly durable, Trivex is the preferred lens option for children’s eyeglasses, rimless and semi-rimless frames, and frames designed for safety eyewear. Hands down, it’s the most durable lens material available today.

Hi-Index: For people who want the lightest, thinnest specs with UV protection, hi-index lenses are the perfect solution. High on comfort and attractiveness, these lenses come in varying degrees of thinness, measured by an index that ranges from 1.6 – 1.67 – 1.70 – 1.74.


Lens Treatment/Coatings

Our opticians can help you select a lens treatment or coating that’s right for you. Here’s a rundown of the options.

Scratch-Resistant Coating: Although this special coating helps resist scratches on the surface of the lens, it is not scratch-proof. If handled improperly, the lens can still be scratched.

UV Protection: Ultraviolet radiation can play a significant role in the development of various eye conditions, such as cataracts, skin cancer, pterygium and macular degeneration. That’s why we’re committed to only selling sunwear with 99- to 100-percent UV-A/UV-B protection.

View without anti-reflective coating

View with anti-reflective coating

Anti-Reflective Coating: This is especially useful for night driving as it helps to avoid the blinding effect from headlights and streetlights. It’s also helpful for people who spend a great deal of time staring at a computer screen, which can lead to eye strain and is often associated with symptoms like blurry vision, dry eyes and irritation. Have you ever noticed that a glare on someone else’s eyeglasses can prevent you from seeing that person’s eyes? It simply means that his or her specs don’t have an anti-reflective coating. Over 90% of Arlington Optical patients prefer anti-reflective coating.

View without Polarization Lenses

View with Polarization Lenses

Polarization: A favorite of sports enthusiasts—especially boaters and fishermen—this technique blocks dangerously intense glare, which is the result of scattered light traveling in a horizontal direction. Polarized sunwear lenses reduce the glare with a special filter that blocks the intense reflected light.

Photochromatic: This type of lens gradually adjusts its tint level in response to UV light exposure. You may have heard of brands like Transitions or Driveware. Photochromatic lenses eliminate the need to switch to sunglasses when you venture outdoors for most activities. Much like sunblock protects your skin, these lenses block out 100 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, because Transitions need UV light to activate, they won’t darken when you’re driving a car. That’s because car windshields have built-in UV blockers. Driveware, on the other hand, is always tinted and will darken in the car but will not transition to totally clear indoors, making it an outside-only lens.