At Frederick Swain Optometrists, your Optometrist and our dispenser will work together with you to select the lens that is going to suit your individual needs, your lifestyle and your budget.

Finding The Right Lenses For You

Lens technology has advanced in recent years to provide for all the varying needs of visual correction. There are many types of spectacle lenses to choose from.
There are several factors to consider when selecting the right lenses for your spectacle prescription; which types of lenses to choose, what materials to be made in, and some optional coatings and tints to maximize your comfort when wearing.

Types of Lenses

The types of lenses you choose depend on whether you want the spectacles to suit all activities or a single activity.

Single Vision Lens

If you are under age 40 and need prescription glasses, then single vision lenses may be sufficient enough for your visual correction. Single vision lenses have the same focal power throughout the lens to provide a single focus.

Progressive Lenses (Multifocal Lenses)

Progressive lenses provide a gradual change in power within the lens to view all distances from near at hand to far across the room. If you are in your 40s or older and have presbyopia (needing glasses to read near print), wearing progressive lenses have an advantage to see all distances clearly without taking your glasses off and on.

Lens Materials

Standard Plastic

Standard plastic lenses, also known as 1.50 index are the most commonly used material for low power prescriptions.

Mid-Index Plastic

Mid-Index lenses range in material index from 1.53 to 1.56. This material is thinner and lighter than standard plastic lenses. Ask your Optometrist which material will be best for you based on your individual prescription and your selection of frame style.

High-Index Plastic

High-Index lenses typically have a material index of 1.60. High index lenses are thinner than mid-index and an excellent option for rimless frame where the lenses need to be drilled.

Ultra High-Index Plastic

This category of lenses ranges in material index from 1.67 to 1.74, the highest index currently available. Ultra High-Index lenses are the thinnest and lightest materials currently available for higher power prescriptions. Remember, the higher the material index the thinner the lens.


Glass is more resistant to scratches. However glass lenses are heavy compared to plastic lenses and prone to breakage. Glass is not recommended for children or people who are active in sports

About Coatings

There are various benefits of having a coating on your lenses.

  • Anti-reflective coatings help transparency in the lens and cut out glare from various lighting.
  • UV coatings protect your eyes from absorbing harmful UV rays. Long term exposure can damage DNA and it is irreversible. The UV coating blocks the transmission of light in the ultraviolet spectrum.
  • Other optional coatings such as scratch resistance and smudge and water resistance, extend the lifespan of the lenses, if they are cared for correctly.

About Transitions & Polarised Lenses

Photochromic Lenses – Discover high performance adaptive lenses.

Essilor Transitions lenses are clear indoors and at night. Once outdoors, they adapt spontaneously to varying light conditions so you can enjoy:

  • Comfortable vision through reduced eye fatigue and less squinting in the sun
  • The convenience of the ideal everyday pair of glasses for indoor and outdoor use
  • Everyday protection from harmful UV rays through 100% UVA and UVB absorption.

Essilor transitions lenses are recommended to wearers of any age. They exist in brown and gray colours, are available in a complete range of designs, materials and prescriptions (single vision, bifocal and Varilux progressive), and match any kind of frames, even the trendiest ones.

Sun Protection Lenses

Xperio and You Experience the Outdoors Like Never Before

Xperio polarised sunwear gives you better protection and comfort than tinted lenses can achieve.
Ordinary tints can reduce brightness and provide UV protection (if they are properly treated), but only Xperio offers no glare, better clarity of vision, the ability to see true colours and the fact the lens colour will not fade over time.

UV protection: Everyone is at risk of vision damage because of harmful UV rays.

Xperio polarised lenses completely block UV rays providing 100% UVA/UVB protection – reducing potential vision damage. Xperio allows you to experience your world more safely and more beautifully.


Xperio lenses eliminate dangerous glare – even dashboard glare – for greater driving safety. A recent clinical study measured driver reaction times for Xperio polarised lenses versus ordinary tints and found that driver reaction times were improved by 1/3 of a second. For a car travelling 50mph, 1/3 of a second allows a driver to stop a vehicle 23 feet sooner.


Xperio polarised lenses let you see even the smallest things with greater clarity, true colour perception and total comfort.

We are pleased to bring you the latest lens concepts from Essilor, Nikon, Transitions and Zeiss.