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Polycarbonate Lenses

Polycarbonate prescription lenses are the most common choice for eyeglasses for several reasons.  Polycarbonate lenses are thinner than regular plastic lenses, and they offer the best eye protection capability because it is virtually shatterproof.  Polycarbonate lenses are a good all around choice, even though plastic lenses have better visual acuity.  Polycarbonate lenses are recommended for children and active/sporting adults.  Polycarbonate lenses are a good “thin” choice for prescriptions up to +/-5.00. If your prescription is higher than that, you would achieve a thinner and lighter lens by selecting a lens with a higher index, 1.67 or above. 

Polycarbonate lenses are a very common choice for prescription sunglasses.  Lenses can be tinted to the color of your choice, and anti-reflective coating and/or mirror coatings can be applied.  For high performance custom sunglasses, we recommend using the Trivex material, which has a better visual acuity than polycarbonate, but is also more expensive.

Single Vision

Crystal Vision Polycarbonate
$65
Our basic, high-quality lens Read More All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Crystal Vision Polycarbonate with Anti-Reflective Coating, Low RXs
$85
Our basic package with anti-reflective coating, for stock range prescriptions Read More Our basic no-glare coating improves visual clarity in all situations, and especially for night driving.  Limited to prescriptions in the range -4.00 to +2.50 sphere, and up to -2.00 cylinder.  There are many exclusions for this stock lens.  All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-4.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Crystal Vision Enhanced Polycarbonate SV
$99
Our pick for the best quality lens. Read More Crystal Vision Enhanced polycarbonate lenses are made by a world leader making top quality lenses.  All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings.  Read less
Crizal Alize Polycarbonate Anti-Reflective, Low RXs
$139
Basic lens package no-glare, anti-reflective coating. One year anti-scratch warrantee. Read More If your prescription falls inside this range ( -7.00 to +3.00 sphere, and -2.00 to 0.00 cylinder, no prism or slab) and each lenses is no more than 52mm wide, you qualify for this lens package.  Crizal lenses  have Scotchgard Protector, which reduces nighttime glare from headlights/streetlights for safer driving and fights reflections from computers and overhead lights.  Crizal lenses are clearer so wearers can look better, see better and feel better!  Follow this link to learn more about Essilor Airwear lenses.  Crizal  combines excellent smudge resistance with superior dust repellence, thanks to new i-Technology ™, while maintaining glare reduction and scratch resistance excellence. These lenses come with a two year anti-scratch warrantee.  If they scratch, you can send them back to us and we will redo them (in the same prescription and frame) at no charge! These lenses are thicker than non stock lenses. Read less
Essilor 360 Polycarbonate Digital SV
$169
Digital surfacing provides superior clarity and sharper vision. Read More Essilor's 360 Digital polycarbonate lens is designed for people that want superior clarity and the sharpest possible vision in a polycarbonate lens.  Essilor Single Vision 360 is a digitally surfaced lens and it is carved on both sides. Essilor Single Vision 360 is based on W.A.V.E. technology: Wavefront Advanced Vision Enhancement. This technology is typically used to enhance Progressive lens designs and is now available in Single Vision for patients that demand superior visual experience. Essilor Single Vision 360 lenses are especially effective in patients with strong prescriptions.  Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-12.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Eyezen Poly SV Blue Block HD Digital
$198
The highest quality blue-blocking lenses Read More The Essilor Eyezen lens has clearer, sharper vision across the entire lens: Wearers experience wider fields of vision and superior sharpness even in low light conditions.  Also includes Smart Blue Filter.  Please specify if you want Eyezen 0,1,2 or 3 at checkout.  Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less

Progressive (No Line)

Crystal Vision Polycarbonate Progressive
$169
Our basic lens pick Read More The standard polycarbonate Progressive lens is a good, basic lens choice for modest corrections. It comes with scratch resistant coating, and you can add a basic anti-reflective coating at a good price. However, if you want additional coatings you may need to choose a Varilux lens.  All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Varilux Comfort DRX Polycarbonate
$239
Wider viewing area than the Crystal Vision Read More Available in our stores, the Varilux Comfort DRx polycarbonate progressive lens has a wider "corridor" than the standard progressive lens, which makes it more comfortable to wear.  The "corridor" is the hourglass-shaped area in the middle of the lens that you can see through.  With a wider corridor, you do not have to move your head as much to see objects on the sides.  This lens works for prescriptions in the range of -9.00 to +6.00 sphere, and -4.00 to +3.00 cylinder, and up to +3.00 add (prism and slab offs excluded). However, if your prescription if higher than -6.00 sphere, you should consider a high index lens in order to minimize lens weight and thickness.   Varilux is made by Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.    Read less
Varilux Physio DRx Polycarbonate
$289
Digital lens, wider viewing area than the Comfort. Read More Available in our stores, the Varilux Physio Polycarbonate lens has a wider "corridor" than the Varilux Comfort lens.  The "corridor" is the hourglass-shaped area in the middle of the lens that you can see through.  With a wider corridor, you do not have to move your head as much to see objects on the sides which makes it more comfortable.  The Varilux Physio CR39 polycarbonate lens is available in this range:  -8.00 to +6.00 sphere, -3.00 to +3.00 cylinder, and up to +3.00 add.  However, if your prescription exceeds -/+6.00, you should consider a high index 1.67 lens in order to minimize lens weight and thickness. In addition, the Physio lens improves contrast sensitivity by helping people in day to day situations, such as driving at night, reading the newspaper and experiencing the vivid colors in a bouquet of flowers.  Varilux has developed an innovative design and manufacturing process—W.A.V.E. Technology—which literally corrects progressive vision to deliver the sharpest progressive vision.  Sharp vision has two key components:  Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.   By dramatically reducing or eliminating higher order aberrations, Varilux Physio delivers an improvement in contrast sensitivity—the ability to see visual details and colors--by up to 30%.  Varilux Physio is the only lens proven to increase.  The result is an advanced general-purpose lens that delivers unsurpassed progressive performance to all people.  Bring yourself even closer to “real world” vision with optimal clarity, depth and dimension with Varilux Physio.    Varilux is made by Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.    Read less
Crystal Vision Polycarbonate HD Digital
$319
Our basic digital lens pick Read More The Crystal Vision Digital Progressive lens is a great lens at a great price. This lens is digitally carved on one side to provide improved vision with the thinnest and lightest weight.   All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Varilux Physio W3+ Polycarbonate
$359
The best digital lens on the market, with a wider viewing area than the HD-Digital Crystal Vision lens or the Varilux Physio DRx. Read More The best digital lens on the market today, the Physio W3 lens is digitally carved on both sides to provide the most comfortable, and widest viewing area possible.  The name has been change to W3 from "Enhanced", which means that the lens is digitally carved on both the front and back side of the lens.  This results in less distortion and a wider "corridor" or viewing area in the middle of the lens.  As a result, you get the most comfortable and easy to wear progressive lens that is available on the market today.    The recommended prescription range for this lens is -6.00 to +6.00 sphere, and -3.00 to +3.00 cylinder (slab off and prism excluded). The Varilux Physio W3+ polycarbonate lens is even more comfortable to wear than the Physio or the Comfort Lens.  It is comparable to the Definity Digital Lens. In addition, the Physio lens improves contrast sensitivity by helping people in day to day situations, such as driving at night, reading the newspaper and experiencing the vivid colors in a bouquet of flowers.  Varilux has developed an innovative design and manufacturing process—W.A.V.E. Technology—which literally corrects progressive vision to deliver the sharpest progressive vision.  Sharp vision has two key components:  Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.   By dramatically reducing or eliminating higher order aberrations, Varilux Physio delivers an improvement in contrast sensitivity—the ability to see visual details and colors--by up to 30%.  Varilux Physio is the only lens proven to increase.  The result is an advanced general-purpose lens that delivers unsurpassed progressive performance to all people.  Bring yourself even closer to “real world” vision with optimal clarity, depth and dimension with Varilux Physio.    Varilux is made by Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less

Readers

Crystal Vision Polycarbonate
$65
Our basic, high-quality lens Read More All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Crystal Vision Enhanced Polycarbonate SV
$99
Our pick for the best quality lens. Read More Crystal Vision Enhanced polycarbonate lenses are made by a world leader making top quality lenses.  All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings.  Read less
Crizal Alize Polycarbonate Anti-Reflective, Low RXs
$139
Basic lens package no-glare, anti-reflective coating. One year anti-scratch warrantee. Read More If your prescription falls inside this range ( -7.00 to +3.00 sphere, and -2.00 to 0.00 cylinder, no prism or slab) and each lenses is no more than 52mm wide, you qualify for this lens package.  Crizal lenses  have Scotchgard Protector, which reduces nighttime glare from headlights/streetlights for safer driving and fights reflections from computers and overhead lights.  Crizal lenses are clearer so wearers can look better, see better and feel better!  Follow this link to learn more about Essilor Airwear lenses.  Crizal  combines excellent smudge resistance with superior dust repellence, thanks to new i-Technology ™, while maintaining glare reduction and scratch resistance excellence. These lenses come with a two year anti-scratch warrantee.  If they scratch, you can send them back to us and we will redo them (in the same prescription and frame) at no charge! These lenses are thicker than non stock lenses. Read less
Eyezen Poly SV Blue Block HD Digital
$198
The highest quality blue-blocking lenses Read More The Essilor Eyezen lens has clearer, sharper vision across the entire lens: Wearers experience wider fields of vision and superior sharpness even in low light conditions.  Also includes Smart Blue Filter.  Please specify if you want Eyezen 0,1,2 or 3 at checkout.  Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less

Computer Vision

Crystal Vision Polycarbonate
$65
Our basic, high-quality lens Read More All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Essilor Anti-Fatigue
$95
Features a "boost" zone, reducing eye strain. Read More The "Anti-Fatigue" lens has a +.60 correction at the bottom part of the lens, a "boost" zone, which helps your eyes focusing more easily, and assist in eye strain. Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Crystal Vision Enhanced Polycarbonate SV
$99
Our pick for the best quality lens. Read More Crystal Vision Enhanced polycarbonate lenses are made by a world leader making top quality lenses.  All Crystal Vision Lenses  are made in the U.S., to exacting specifications, in an Essilor laboratory, and we are able to offer them at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings.  Read less
Crizal Alize Polycarbonate Anti-Reflective, Low RXs
$139
Basic lens package no-glare, anti-reflective coating. One year anti-scratch warrantee. Read More If your prescription falls inside this range ( -7.00 to +3.00 sphere, and -2.00 to 0.00 cylinder, no prism or slab) and each lenses is no more than 52mm wide, you qualify for this lens package.  Crizal lenses  have Scotchgard Protector, which reduces nighttime glare from headlights/streetlights for safer driving and fights reflections from computers and overhead lights.  Crizal lenses are clearer so wearers can look better, see better and feel better!  Follow this link to learn more about Essilor Airwear lenses.  Crizal  combines excellent smudge resistance with superior dust repellence, thanks to new i-Technology ™, while maintaining glare reduction and scratch resistance excellence. These lenses come with a two year anti-scratch warrantee.  If they scratch, you can send them back to us and we will redo them (in the same prescription and frame) at no charge! These lenses are thicker than non stock lenses. Read less
Essilor Computer
$185
Specifically for intermediate distance, computer use. Read More Essilor Computer lenses provide full screen vision at intermediate distance. The near area is wide and provides a smooth transition for looking at the keyboard. This lens also offers a full clear distance area for effective sight at all distances. Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-3.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less
Eyezen Poly SV Blue Block HD Digital
$198
The highest quality blue-blocking lenses Read More The Essilor Eyezen lens has clearer, sharper vision across the entire lens: Wearers experience wider fields of vision and superior sharpness even in low light conditions.  Also includes Smart Blue Filter.  Please specify if you want Eyezen 0,1,2 or 3 at checkout.  Essilor is the leading lens maker in the world, and all of the Essilor lenses we sell are made in a U.S. laboratory.  We are able to offer these at a great price point.  This lens is a good choice for corrections up to +/-6.00, and it is available with a variety of options such as Transitions, UV protection, sunglasses or fashion tint, standard Anti-Reflective coating, and the top-quality Crizal Alize and Crizal Avance coatings. All of our lenses come with our Perfect Lenses Guarantee.  Read less

5 Easy Steps For Prescription Lenses
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Prescription Lenses

 

Prescription lenses for glasses are easy to buy online, if you follow our simple steps, and you can save more than half the cost compared to retail stores, for the same high quality lenses. In this guide, we are going to walk you through the steps, because the more you know about eyeglasses, the less money it will cost you!

You can buy a frame with prescription lenses online. Or, you can send in frames for replacement prescription lenses (we call that "replacement lenses"). Replacement glasses lenses are perfect for online mail order.

Varilux Progressive Lenses

Buy Prescription Lenses Online in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Get your prescription
  2. Choose a type of eyeglass lenses based on your lifestyle
  3. Choose a lens material based on your prescription
  4. Pick a lenses model
  5. Add lens options
  6. Checkout. Then submit the invoice to your vision insurance plan

 

Get Your Prescription

When you go to your doctor for an eye exam, be sure to leave the office with a paper copy of your prescription with the pupil distance on it. State and federal law requires that doctors give you this information. Once you have it, you can then submit your prescription to us, and we will make your lenses accordingly.

If you are not sure if you need prescription eyeglasses lenses, you can try an online vision test. You cannot use a contact lenses prescription for eyeglass lenses.

 

Choose A Lens Type Based On Your Lifestyle

Lenses For Your Lifestyle

The type of prescription eyeglass lenses you choose is determined by your lifestyle and your needs. It is not determined by your doctor, although a doctor can help you make your decision. For example, if you need your glasses only for distance vision, or only for reading, then single vision lenses are the best choice.

Choose progressive lenses if your prescription has a reading addition AND you want your prescription glasses lenses for both distance and reading/computer vision. Progressive lenses are also known as "no-line" bifocals; they are great for most people, but some people experience problems with progressive lenses. In these cases, regular bifocal lensess or trifocal lenses may be a better choice.

For us to make progressive lenses in new frames, we may ask you for a segment height measurement. For replacement lenses, we can read the segment height from the lenses so you don't need to send it to us.

 

Choose A Lens Material Based on Your Prescription

Most of the time, your prescription will determine the best lens material to use. In general, a high index lens will be thinner, but ONLY if you have a high enough prescription. If your prescription is under +/-3.00, then spending more money on a higher index lens will not help you. Conversely, the thinnest lenses for a high prescription will be the higher index lenses.

Lens Material

Regular Plastic/CR39/1.56 Index Lenses

Good for glasses prescription up to +/-3.00. Least expensive. Cannot be used for rimless glasses.
 

Polycarbonate, 1.59 Index Lenses

Good for prescriptions up to +/-5.00. Used for sporting activities, prescription sunglasses, kids glasses, and prescription safety glasses.
 

1.67 High Index Lenses

Good for prescriptions from +/-5.00 to +/-8.00.

1.67 High Index Lenses

1.74 High Index Lenses

Thinnest lenses for high prescription. Good for prescriptions over +/-8.00.
 

Trivex Lenses

This is a specialty material that is recommended as a substitute for polycarbonate lenses. It is used to make rimless glasses, and also for prescription sunglasses. It is more expensive than polycarbonate.
 

Glass Lenses

Glass offers the best optical clarity of any lens, but with some drawbacks: it is considerably heavier, more expensive, and takes 3-4 weeks to process.
 

 

Choose A Lens Brand And Model

We only use the highest quality lenses available in the U.S. - Crystal Vision Lenses, and Varilux lenses. For every lens group, you will see a "good, better, best" choice within that group. We do not sell any low quality, cheap lenses.

 

Prescription Lenses

Add Lens Options

Once you have picked out a lens, you can then add options and features. Here are the most popular ones:

- Anti-Scratch Coating (FREE, included on every lens)

UV Coating (FREE on all lenses, except for regular plastic)

Anti-Reflective Coating (Reduces glare)

- Crizal Prevencia (Blue Blocker Glasses)

Crizal (Super hard and anti-reflective coating, 2 year warrantee)

- Lens Tinting (For fashion, or sunglasses)

- Polarized Lenses (For sunglasses)

Transition Lenses (Photochromic, color-changing lenses)

Lens Options

Prescription Lens Services

For people that really know how to buy lenses, and what they need, we also offer a menu of prescription lens services.

Checkout, And Use Your Vision Insurance Wisely

Once you have used our easy step by step system for choosing the perfect lenses for your needs, it is time to checkout. If you have vision insurance, there is a hack to get the most out of your plan: Send your invoice to your insurance company and receive your out of network benefit. Follow this link to find your vision insurance plan.

How Are Prescription Lenses Manufactured?

We use Essilor to make all of our lenses. Essilor is the largest and highest quality eyeglass lens maker in the world, with over 200 lens labs in the United States alone. So when you ask Eyeglasses.com to make your lenses, you are not getting a local guy cutting lenses in the back room on aged equipment. You are getting the very best plastic (or glass) lens, installed in a quality controlled, ISO 9000 lens-making laboratory. Your lenses pass through 16-21 quality control stations before they are finally released. If the lenses fail at any one of those stations, they are returned for further processing, or they are scrapped and begun again. Perfect lenses, guaranteed.

How Are Prescription Lenses Made?

What Is An Eyeglass Lens?

Eyeglass lenses are nothing more than a carefully carved block of clear plastic. Lens quality is determined by four factors:

1) The clarity of the plastic

2) the precision of the carving

3) the accuracy of the prescription and pupil distance measurement, and

4) the accuracy of the cutting of the lens to fit your frames.

Who Makes The Lens?

Five different groups are involved in the making of prescription lens. A problem in any one of these groups can lead to less effective lenses. The store you choose to make your lenses must insist on quality at every level in order for you to receive the best quality product. This kind of quality control is essential in order to ensure consistent results.

1) The maker of the plastic determines the clarity of the plastic: Essilor, Zeiss, Pentax, Seiko, many others.

2) The cutter of the plastic determines the precision of the carving. The plastic maker does the surfacing for stock lenses.

3) The lens laboratory does the carving for surfaced lenses.

4) The eye doctor determines the optics for the lens such that it will work best for your eyes' condition. An eyewear store employee measures the pupillary distance.

5) The person that cuts ("edges") the lens for your frame installs lenses so that the optical centers match the pupillary distance measurement. This could be an eyewear store employee, or lens laboratory.

About Lens Laboratories

There are hundreds of lens laboratories around the country, several in each state. A typical lens laboratory will do a minimum of a few hundred lenses a day with a large staff of highly trained and experienced technicians. A few optical stores (like Lenscrafters) have small surfacing facilities in each of their stores doing much smaller lens volume.

To surface a lens, the lens laboratory takes the blank and puts it through a series of grinding machines, which grinds the surface the lens and shapes it exactly to the specifications of the prescription. Lens laboratories also provide other services like edging and mounting, which optical stores can choose to use or not, depending on whether they want to do that work themselves. As with any custom service, the quality of the surfacing and any other services that the lab provides-- is determined by the experience and the expertise of the laboratory, its personnel, and the equipment it uses.

At Eyeglasses.com, we only use labs that employ a large staff of highly trained technicians, doing a large volume of lenses every day. We do none our own edging services ourselves - all of it is done by our lens laboratories. Most of our orders require stock lenses; all of our custom surfacing work is done by lens laboratories. The laboratories that we use each have many years of experience and do thousands of lenses each week. Each lab that we use inspects each lens several times during the manufacturing process. When we receive the finished product from the lab, we do our own final inspection.

Eye Doctors Do Make Mistakes

The optometrist (OD) or ophthalmologist (MD) that issues the prescription is not involved in the fashioning of the lens, but the prescription they issue is crucial to the overall effectiveness of the lens. Occasionally the OD or MD can issue a prescription that is not quite right. Also, it is possible for your eyes, and your prescription, to change rapidly during some stages of your life.

Edging Lenses: Who Does That?

After the lenses have been made, they need to be installed in the eyeglass frame. They are then “Edged” or cut and formed to fit precisely into the frame. Edging is performed in a number of different ways. It can be done at the lens laboratory, or in the optical store. Either way, it is not required in any state that the edging be done by a licensed person. About one-half of the states in the United States have opticianry laws. In those licensed states, edging can be done by an unlicensed person that is "overseen" by a licensed person.

The edging for most glasses made in this country is not performed by a licensed professional. However, all of the edging that is done for Eyeglasses.com is done in a state-of-the-art lens laboratory. When we ask our laboratory to do the edging, it is done by an employee/tradesman that does at least hundreds of jobs per day. That person has a very high skill and accuracy level that we have found to deliver very high quality.