prescription glasses

Visiting the optometrist nowadays is very affordable thanks to bulk billing and private insurances, in many cases you can even get a trendy pair of specs without spending a single cent but it can get pricey to buy new prescription glasses if you need a multifocal lens or if you’re buying designer shades, so what do you need to know before you go shopping?

Getting your eyes tested

man getting an eye-checkup

The first thing involved in buying prescription glasses is getting your eye test done, this allows your optometrist to assess your needs and the health of your eyes and will let them give you a script to help address any issues. The lens you will need will depend entirely on your specific vision requirements, lifestyle and eye health. Your prescription glasses will be tailored to your specific health needs but it’s worth remembering that not all frames will suit your lenses.


There are almost endless lens options out there for everything from near sightedness, to helping you with reading and driving, here are few that you’ll likely have heard about or might come across.

Standard optical plastic lenses

These are the most affordable lenses that you will usually come across when getting new prescription glasses, they often come with anti-scratch coating as they can scratch easily. They’re good for low to medium sight needs but might not be good if you need stronger prescription glasses.

Aspheric lenses

These lenses are designed to be thinner which can reduce the look of bug eyes or small eyes for people who have issues with nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Polycarbonate lenses 

These make good kids glasses because they are resistant to impact and provide good protection from the sun’s UV rays. They’re not great for reading because they can pick up ‘rainbows’ in certain lighting.

Safety lenses

For people working in environments where they need eye protection there are lenses that are designed to be light on the face and impact resistant.

High-index lenses 

These are made from lightweight plastic and are great for strong prescription glasses needs.

Lenses for the office

Many people find themselves suffering from eyestrain in the office and most prescription glasses can’t handle people walking round in them and looking at screens, there are progressive lens options that make it easier for people to look at screens and glance around the office without hurting their eyes, these are often known as multi-focals and they can be pricey.

Lens coatings

woman wearing prescription glasses

After you settle on which type of lens you might need for your specific needs and lifestyle you should think about whether you require a coating to protect or magnify the impact of your specs.

There are a few common options that people might go for including; anti-scratch coatings which is sometimes also referred to as hard or super-hard coasting, for many types of lenses this is the standard option and it can prevent scratching. There are also anti-reflective coatings which mean that less light will reflect into your eyes, these are very helpful for night use and use around the computer. There are also UV protectant coating options that can help to protect your eyes from harsh UV rays which can damage your eye health.

If you’re looking at getting some news specs than the best person to talk to is your optometrist about your particular needs and heath requirements. If you have any concerns with your eye health or comfort when wearing specs, they should be able t provide you with the guidance and advice you need. Take your time and find a comfortable fit!