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Eyeglasses That Do the Job

Have you been wearing the same pair of eyeglasses every day for work, sports, hobbies, driving, reading, and/or watching TV? If so, you may not be getting all the vision help glasses can offer.

Here's where you can learn about the different types of lenses available in eyeglasses for various lifestyle activities.

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How Do Eyeglasses Sharpen Vision?

Eyes with vision problems do not focus light where they should. Eyeglass lenses change the direction of light entering the eyes so that it focuses properly on a special part of the back of the eye known as the retina.

How Often Do You Need a New Prescription for Eyeglasses?

Call your eye doctor for an exam if your vision changes. But you should also expect to have eye exams regularly as an essential part of maintaining healthy vision. This is especially important since your eye doctor also checks for eye diseases and disorders.

The Basics of Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses may be prescribed with lenses providing:

  • One vision correction for all distances (unifocal)
  • Correction for both near and distant vision (multifocal: bifocals, trifocals, progressive, or no-line lenses)
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light protection -- a lens coating to block the sun's damaging and invisible UV rays
  • Antireflective coating to lessen light reflection off your glasses, reducing daytime glare and the nighttime "starburst" effect around lights

You may want to ask your eye doctor about other lens enhancements, such as:

  • Photochromatic lenses, which darken in situations where you'd otherwise wear sunglasses and act as "regular" eyeglasses in normal (usually indoor) light
  • Scratch protection (recommended for plastic lenses)
  • Tints -- typically cosmetic but also useful for people whose eyes are sensitive to light

Eyeglass frame styles change with fashion. Frames may be made from:

  • Plastic
  • Plain metal
  • A combination of plastic and metal
  • "Specialty" metals such as titanium and carbon graphite, both highly damage resistant

Eyeglass alert! Your new eyeglasses should feel -- well, almost as if you aren't wearing them! They shouldn't rub uncomfortably against your ears or nose, fall off easily, or otherwise not feel "right." Of course, allow a reasonable amount of time for getting used to them. However, if problems persist, let your eye doctor know.

Eyeglasses for Different Activities

Some activities may call for wearing special eyeglasses. For example:

Computer work. Especially after age 40, spending long hours staring at a computer screen and focusing the eyes at specific distances may lead to eyestrain. Some eye doctors treat this problem with eyeglasses, prescribing either:

  • A different prescription for a person who already wears eyeglasses
  • A prescription for eyeglasses for someone who doesn't otherwise wear them

When indicated, the eye doctor may also recommend treatment for dry eye syndrome. When focusing intently, people tend to blink less and eyes can dry out.

WebMD Medical Reference

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