It’s not a stereotype – most older people really do need prescription eyeglasses. Our vision changes as we age, because the eye’s lens and its muscles used for focusing become less flexible. The condition is called presbyopia.
It’s true. Even the best innovations in eye care, such as vision correction surgery or contact lenses, won’t work for everyone. Think of a rock star such as Bono or Elvis Costello. Can you imagine them without their prescription eyeglasses? Then take note, because you can have both the function needed to correct your vision and the fashion that will make you look like your favorite celebrity.
There are several kinds of single-vision and multi-focal prescription eyeglasses that can correct presbyopia. These include:
For the younger crowd, that world-famous wizard Harry Potter has cast a spell over youngsters who need to get prescription eyeglasses. Thanks to Harry, children no longer resist getting glasses – as long as they’re fun. Durability is key to choosing kids’ eyeglasses, so new enhancements such as flexible frames and spring hinges are welcome additions.
* Trifocals. This kind of lens attempts to include all three seeing distances: near, middle and far. Trifocals are a bit more adaptable than bifocals and are usually custom made for the wearer’s occupation or lifestyle.
However, plastic and metal frames haven’t been dumped on the trash heap. New plastics and metals alike form the standard components of prescription eyeglasses. Hypoallergenic metals such as titanium and stainless steel are especially important for those who suffer from skin allergies to avoid a reaction known as contact dermatitis.
Photochromic lenses have been around a while, but they’re still impressive. Thanks to their chemical coating, or to an adaptability built into the lens materials, these prescription eyeglasses darken in bright light, then go back to an undarkened state when the wearer moves inside or goes out at nighttime. Photochromic lenses are especially good for people who go in and out frequently.
Innovations that reduce eye fatigue also are popular for prescription eyeglasses. These include polarized lenses that cut back glare from reflective surfaces and a different kind of anti-reflective coating that reduces reflections on the lens. Prescription eyeglasses also can be made with scratch-resistant, ultraviolet protection, and mirror coatings.
Originally developed for professional athletes, sport sunglasses and performance prescription eyeglasses can ensure good vision for any outdoor activity. There are even designs for diving masks, swim goggles, ski goggles and shooting glasses for hunters.
Types of lenses that aid people with presbyopia include bifocals, which sharpen near and far vision; trifocals, which sharpen near, middle and far vision; and progressive lenses, which allow the wearer to focus at any range of distance.
Choosing lenses is only part of the fun of getting prescription eyeglasses these days. Top fashion designers such as Anne Klein, Marc Jacobs, Sean John and Calvin Klein now make eyeglass frames as well. Gone are the days of stiff plastic or tarnished metal frames. Instead, prescription eyeglasses wearers can build an entire wardrobe of existing colors and styles that make eyeglasses one of the trendiest fashion accessories.
Combine these eye care innovations with the wide range of fashion frame options available, and you have prescription eyeglasses that aren’t merely functional, they’re fun!