Comparing the many available lens materials will help you determine which ones are best suited for each of your individual patient’s needs.
The proliferation of ophthalmic lens materials over the past several decades has created many opportunities to better serve patients in search of specific performance objectives, but it has also caused some confusion among prescribers who need to understand lens features and benefits. Lens recommendations need to be predicated on this understanding and also need to accommodate the patient’s lifestyle. Does the patient sit in front of a computer all day, play sports or engage in many outdoor activities?
When reviewing the characteristics of the lens materials in the accompanying chart, it’s important to base your selection on who your patient is, their lifestyle and their stage of life. For example, with their impact and scratch resistance, polycarbonate and Trivex are particularly suited to children, sports enthusiasts and those requiring safety eyewear, among others.
Polarized lenses, with their ability to eliminate all types of glare, enhance contrast and provide maximum protection from ultraviolet light, are good choices for those who enjoy outdoor activities and for driving in the sun.
For patients with medium to high-powered prescriptions who still desire lighter, thinner, scratch-resistant lenses, plastic materials with a high index of refraction of 1.60 and above are most appropriate. Progressives provide natural vision for patients over 40, they can also be prescribed for children who need bifocals.
The reference chart below should provide a fuller understanding of how each lens material stacks up.
John Sailer is editorial director of First Vision Media Group.