Your life and eyes 4 min read

The ultimate buying guide for your new lenses

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There are different types of lenses to suit different prescriptions; single vision lenses to correct short-sightedness or near-sightedness and varifocal lenses that correct short-sightedness or near-sightedness and your reading correction requirements.

An eye examination at your local optician will determine if you need to wear either of these lenses. Your optician will be looking for a refractive error during the examination. Refractive errors affect how the light focuses on your retina, which can often hinder your ability to see clearly.

Some of the most common refractive errors are short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hypermetropia), age-related long-sightedness (presbyopia) and astigmatism. They are very common and are easily treated by wearing the right prescription lenses.

Understanding refractive errors

Short-sightedness, or myopia, is a refractive error that results in difficulty seeing things far away. When the eye is the correct shape, light that passes through the cornea is focused by the eye’s lens directly on to the retina. If you have myopia, it’s likely that your eyes are slightly too long, which causes light to focus just in front of the retina instead of on it.

Long-sightedness, or hypermetropia, is essentially the opposite effect. Your eye is too short, which means that light is focused behind the retina.

Age-related long-sightedness, which is known as presbyopia, occurs when the lens of your eye hardens and surrounding muscles become weaker. This makes it more difficult to focus on objects close up, such as reading your smartphone, as the light is focused behind the retina.

The last refractive error is known as astigmatism and it can be associated with either short-sightedness or long-sightedness. It occurs when the cornea or the lens isn’t quite the right shape. You are usually born with it, but it’s not known why it occurs.

Diagram showing the difference between an eye with normal vision and an eye with astigmatism

Single vision lenses

Single vision lenses are one of the most common types of prescription lenses. They offer one prescription for the whole lens, focusing on helping just one field of vision; for example, short-sightedness or long-sightedness.

At Essilor, we offer enhanced single vision corrective lenses known as Eyezen. Wearing lenses should be more than being able to see clearly. Eyezen lenses are optimised for preventing and reducing eye fatigue and protecting your eyes from harmful light(1).

Your busy lifestyle can leave you feeling drained and your lenses shouldn’t add to that. Eyezen lenses are designed to prevent and reduce eye strain, which stops your eyes from having to work so hard through the day.

Get lenses specific for your lifestyle to get more from your glasses

Varifocal lenses

Varifocal lenses are a great solution for those who need help in seeing across multiple vision zones; near, far and everything in between. This is often the case for someone who has myopia, and then develops age-related long-sightedness.

Essilor’s Varilux lenses are optimised to allow you to see across the different vision zones seamlessly. Previously with varifocal lenses you might have had to move your head to see through the right part of the lens, but with Varilux X series that isn’t the case. Varilux X series lenses offer a fluid experience for those who require more than one prescription.

Through revolutionary technology, Varilux X series lenses are enhanced to reduce the unnecessary need for head movement, reduce image distortion and maximise the fields of vision. This results in sharp, fluid vision across the whole lens.

Get varifocal lenses optimised for your active life

Modern technology for your lenses

You already know to wear sunglasses in the sun to protect your eyes, but what if you could protect them with your clear lenses? Harmful light, including UV and Blue-Violet light, can increase the risk of cataracts and AMD(2). You can protect your eyes from overexposure by making sure your lenses are equipped with the appropriate technology.

Eye Protect System is embedded in Essilor lenses and can partially filter Blue-Violet light while absorbing UV light. The lens remains aesthetically clear so you can benefit from enhanced protection without any visible changes to your lenses.

If your lifestyle has you on the always on the move, going indoors and outdoors, you’ll want spectacles lenses that keep up with you. Transitions Light intelligent lenses automatically adapt to changing light conditions for optimal visual comfort and style. Additionally they help protect against harmful UV and Blue-Violet light indoors and outdoors.

Transitions spectacles are perfect for cyclists

Enhancing your lenses

Light can interact with your lenses at every turn, which can create some bothersome reflections and glare. You can enhance your Essilor lenses with Crizal to reduce reflections and provide other benefits to your lenses.

Crizal Sapphire UV repels water and dust from your lenses and makes them scratch and smudge resistant. Crizal Sapphire UV even protects your eyes from harmful UV light(3).

Wearing the right lenses for your needs

Going for regular eye examinations is a huge part of looking after your eyes. Your optometrist can recognise serious health issues through an eye examination such as glaucoma, cataracts and AMD.

It’s important that you’re wearing the right prescription lenses for your vision needs. This is because your lenses will be personalised and optimised for your specific needs, not just your required correction. No two people’s vision are the same.

Your lenses can also be created to suit your physiological needs, visual behaviours and the frame you want to wear. Essilor and partner opticians can provide a unique measurement process to make sure that your lenses suit you perfectly.

At your next eye examination, make sure your lenses are perfectly suited to your lifestyle and needs. 

Frame style guide from Essilor

Find the right frame style, shape and colour for your face shape and look




(1) Harmful light = UV and Blue-Violet light

(2) Eye health relies on various factors (age, genetic, smoking, diet…).Light is one of the modifiable risk factors on which an ophthalmic lens may act. Cataract: McCarty CA, Taylor HR. A review of the epidemiologic evidence linking ultraviolet radiation and cataracts. Dev Ophthalmol. 2002; 35:21-31. and  AMD: Simplified Extrapolation AMD model. Essilor International, DMS, EL, Jan. 2013. United nation: World Population Prospects, epidemiological and marketing studies.

(3) Orma 1.5 does not absorb 100% UV light