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Corrective lenses (eyeglasses or contact lenses) are mainly used to treat:
- Myopia - Near-sightedness - Hard to read signs in the distance.
- Hyperopia - Far-sightedness - Hard to read books, maps, ...
- Astigmatism - Abnormally curvature of the cornea or lens. It makes it difficult to see fine details, either close up or from a distance.
- Presbyopia - A progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age.

Superior optical quality; scratch-resistant. Heavy; breakage may cause eye damage; transmits UV light. Avoid.
Superior optical quality; least costly. Thick with heavy prescriptions; not the best choice for drill-mounted, rimless frames; scratches. Bad for sports or for people who do not have two healthy eyes. Good for mild prescriptions.
Highly shatter-resistant; thinner and lighter than CR-39; natural UV protection; includes scratch protection. Easily scratched even with scratch protection; more costly than CR-39 and optically inferior. The choice for children, sports enthusiasts, and others who are likely to break glasses or for people with only one healthy eye.
NXT polyurethane
Superior impact-resistance; excellent optical clarity; flexible and lightweight. Expensive.  
Inexpensive alternative to polycarbonate, best suited for casual or occasional-use sunglasses. Less durable and optically clear than polycarbonate or glass; some image distortion.  
Thinner than polycarbonate; lightweight; natural UV protection; includes scratch protection. May be expensive;optically inferior to CR-39. Good for heavy prescriptions. Functions best with anti-reflective coating.
Lightweight; thinner and optically superior to polycarbonate; natural UV protection; impact-resistant. New material with limited availability; scratches. Best choice for drill-mounted, rimless or semi-rimless frames.
Protects lenses. Usually included, though sometimes an option, with CR-39 lenses. Additional expense, if needed. Add, if not included. Anti-smudge and water-resistant versions may perform better.
Improves clarity, especially for night driving and computer use. Reduces reflections, making eyes more attractive to others. Additional expense; makes lenses more susceptible to dirt and smudges and harder to clean, especially as coating ages. Ask to see a sample of coated and uncoated lens to understand what you're getting. Especially good for high-index lenses.
Ultraviolet protection
Blocks ultraviolet light. Additional and unnecessary expense for some lenses. An extra precaution for CR-39 lenses.
Removes milky appearance of rimless and semi-rimless glasses. May be additional expense. Ask to see samples.
Rolled and polished
Reduces perceived thickness of high prescription lenses. Additional expense. Rolled edges usually are polished as well. Ask to see samples.

Vision in health
Simplify Rx - Lens Power at Norville
Corrective lens at Wikipedia

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last updated 11 Aug 2011