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Blue Back Square
65 Raymond Road
(across from REI)
West Hartford, CT 06107
Brian Mann, OD PC
Independent Doctor of Optometry
Call (203) 557-8440 to schedule an eye exam
If you own a pair of glasses frames that just need to have the lenses replaced, we can help you. Having to replace an entire pair of glasses or sunglasses because of broken, cracked, or scratched lens is expensive when you consider the price of new frames with the cost of new lenses. If you have a pair of perfectly good frames, pair of favorite frames, or have just bought a pair of vintage frames and need only new lenses, save some money by getting replacement lenses.
There are a few steps that need to be followed when buying replacement lenses. First you need to have a prescription for the replacement lenses or we will duplicate your prescription from the glasses you send us. If you are changing prescriptions or have an eyewear frame with an old prescription, we will need your new prescription information, as well as your “PD” Pupillary Distance measurement. You can request the pupillary distance measurement when you go to your optometrist for an eye exam or if you have an optician where you have had other lenses fitted for glasses frames, they may have your PD record. Request it from them.
Since you already have your eyeglass frames which are either full rim, half rim or rimless, the next step in getting replacement lenses is choosing the lens type, single vision, bifocal, trifocal, or progressive along with the type of material you want your replacement lenses to be made from: plastic, polycarbonate, hi-index, or glass. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each, so that you can find the perfect replacement lenses for your needs.
Single Vision Replacement Lenses
Single vision lenses have the same focal power throughout the lenses from top to bottom. Single vision lenses can be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, among other eye disorders. They are the simplest, the most common for folks under the age of forty, and the least expensive replacement lens type. Single vision replacement lenses are great for longer distance, intermediate (such as computer glasses), or near (such as reading or close up work) vision needs.
Unlike single vision lenses bifocal, trifocal, or progressive replacement lenses have more than one vision power ground into them.
Bifocal Replacement Lenses
Bifocal lenses are divided into two parts with different focal powers. The upper part of the lens is normally used for distance vision, while the lower part is used for near-vision tasks such as reading. Most people think of bifocal lenses as having a demarcation line, which can be seen pretty easily. However, advances in bifocal lens designs now offer the consumer other shape choices for the near vision correction component of bifocal lenses. The most popular bifocal lenses are still the half moon or flat top segment. But you will also find a “round” near vision correction component segment, or a bifocal lenses with the entire bottom half of the lenses that have the near vision correction component. People with presbyopia, which is the deterioration in the ability of the eye's natural lens to expand or contract in order to focus on close up objects often will get bifocal replacement lenses since they need a special lens for reading, but need a different lens for seeing in the distance. Presbyopia is common for many folks over the age of forty-five.
Trifocal Replacement Lenses
Trifocal lenses, as their name implies, offer three focal points, usually for distance, intermediate, and near vision. You can see the demarcations lines in trifocal lenses.
Progressive Replacement Lenses
Progressive lenses eliminate the visible demarcations lines of traditional bifocals and trifocals. They are often referred to as "no-line bifocals." Progressive replacement lenses provide a seamless progression of many lens powers for all viewing distances, which is a more natural correction of presbyopia than offered by bifocal or trifocal prescription eyeglasses. Since they offer the most natural vision correction and are the most attractive lens to wear, progressive replacement lenses are very popular.
Choosing Your Replacement Lens Material
Replacement lenses are available in glass, standard plastic, polycarbonate, and hi-index plastic. It is good to remember that your eyewear lens material determines how well those lenses will perform in every day situations.
In the past eyewear lenses were only made from glass. You can still buy replacement lenses made from glass. However they are substantially heavier and more expensive than plastic lenses. Glass lenses are optically clearer than plastic, and are extremely scratch resistant. However they are much less impact resistant than plastic glasses even though in accordance with FDA regulations, glass lenses are safety hardened.
Fifty percent lighter than glass lenses, standard plastic replacement lenses are the least expensive material from which eyewear lenses are made. However to provide the high optical quality of standard plastic lenses (CR-39), the result is the trade-off of offering less strength and reduced durability. Because of the reduced durability of plastic lenses, if not properly taken care of, they will become scratched resulting in a loss of some of their visual clarity. We recommend that plastic lenses have a scratch resistant coating applied to them to protect against such damage.
Polycarbonate replacement lenses are ten times more impact resistant than standard plastic lenses. They are ideal for everyday wear since polycarbonate lenses are tough, shatterproof or impact resistant, and lightweight. However, due to their flexibility or softness, which makes them so impact resistant, all polycarbonate lenses need a scratch-resistant coating to prevent surface scratches. Unlike regular glass lenses, polycarbonate lenses block 100 percent of the sun's UV rays without the need for special UV- blocking lens coatings.
Trivex replacement lenses are one the newest additions to eyewear material competing head to head with polycarbonate replacement lenses. Trivex lenses are some of the thinnest lenses available for ultimate comfort, with the least visual distortion around the edges of the lens. Trivex lenses are about 10 % thinner and thus 10 % lighter than polycarbonate lenses. Just like polycarbonate replacement lenses, Trivex lenses are shatterproof or impact resistant, but need a scratch-resistant coating to prevent surface scratches. High tech scratch-resistant coatings can make the surface of Trivex lenses nearly as hard as glass. You can get distance vision lenses, progressive lenses, bifocal (with line) lenses, trifocal lenses (with lines), lenses for reading and lenses for computer work made from both polycarbonate and Trivex replacement lenses.
You will see a lot about high index a, mid index and low index eyeglass lenses. The “index” that is being referred to is the refractive index of a lens material. The higher the index number of a given lens material, the more the light will refract as it enters. If a lens material has a greater ability to refract light, less of a curve is required to obtain a specific power. Less curve results in a thinner eyeglass lens. Both the standard plastic CR-39, and glass are considered base or low index with an index of 1.498 for CR-39 plastic lenses and 1.52 for lenses made from glasses. When you see an eyeglasses lens index over 1.58 or greater it is considered high index.
High index replacement lenses can be made of a variety of plastic and glass materials. They are lighter, thinner, and more scratch-resistant than standard plastic, or polycarbonate lenses. However, as the index increases and the hardness increases, the lenses become more brittle and less impact-resistant. Other downsides to take into consideration are their highly reflective nature, which causes glare and some distortion along with their higher cost. High index lenses require anti-reflective coating to avoid distracting and vision-compromising glare. Some prescriptions and activities that require impact resistant eyewear are not suitable for high index lenses. Since many eyeglass wearers consider high index replacement lenses as some of the highest quality lenses you can order, many people order high index lenses simply because they think the lenses look better, or because their optometrist recommended them.
However, you need to choose the lens material that will best suits your needs.
Choosing Your Replacement Lens Options
Once you have chosen a lens type and lens material, you now have several options for your replacement lenses. Some lenses need a UV Coating to protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays. While some lenses will need a super hard, scratch-resistant coating and an anti-reflective coating with hydrophobic finish to make them more durable and comfortable to wear. The numerous lens options available may differ depending upon which specific replacement lenses you chose to buy. However, these lens options will protect and /or enhance your replacement lenses.
Sunglasses Replacement Lenses Tinting Options
There’s no reason to discard a perfectly good pair of sunglass frames just because you need to replace the lenses. If you have bought a fabulous pair of vintage sunglasses, which often come without lenses, we will add the lenses so when you hit the streets or the beach you will look as glamorous as the old time movie stars and celebrities. We offer various tint options for your sunglasses replacement lenses: regular sunglasses tints in various colors and densities, fashion tints in most fashion colors from a light density tint 15% to a dark density tint of 35% , and gradient tints.
If you are unsure of what type of eyeglasses replacement lenses would be best for your frames and needs, give us a call. Choosing replacement lenses can appear complicated due to the numerous options available, but our knowledgeable customer service representatives are here to help.