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What Are Digital Lenses and Are They Right for You?

Published in Eye Care, For the Health of It Author: Mark Olson, Optical Supervisor, CentraCare Optical

Digital lenses, also called high-definition lenses, are a relatively new improvement for eyeglass wearers — but what exactly are they and are they right for you?

Traditional eyeglasses are surfaced on one side using a standard “mold template.” Surfacing is the process of adding a prescription to a lens. For traditional lenses, the best field of vision is set in the center.

On the other hand, digital lenses are surfaced on both sides and are customed to fit your prescription. For that reason, they eliminate more distortion and help you transition from near to far vision much more easily.

The difference is a clearer image quality. It’s like comparing the display of an old-fashioned tube television to the modern high-definition picture of today.

People who wear high-definition lenses will experience a noticeably dramatic increase in clarity over traditionally made lenses. For example, objects will appear exponentially sharper, clearer and more vivid.

Are there different types of digital lenses for eyeglasses?

There are three different categories of digital lenses:

  • Single-vision digital lenses for near or distant vision
  • Progressive lenses for multifocal needs including bifocals
  • Blue light filtering lenses to reduce digital eye strain

A common myth is that digital lenses are only for people who work on a computer or with other digital devices. That’s just not the case. Digital lenses are for anyone who wants to improve vision.

The great thing about digital lenses is that they can be customized to fit nearly every person who uses glasses.

Do digital eyeglass lenses cost more?

High-definition glasses are roughly 25 to 30 percent more expensive than traditional eyeglass lenses but the benefits are significantly higher too. People often report having better and stronger peripheral vision, a clearer visual field and overall sharper image quality.

Other special features of the digital lenses include an anti-reflective (AR) coating that eliminates reflection from the front and back surfaces of eyeglass lenses. You can choose from a range of lenses that fit your lifestyle including single vision, progressive, office lenses, computer, sunglasses and transition.

In addition to providing the clearest, crisp vision, they’re six times more accurate, provide a wider range of vision and they’re hailed as a more cosmetically appealing option for people who have high refractive errors and stronger prescriptions.

Do digital eyeglass lenses require more care?

While digital lenses are a more advanced eyeglass option, the good news is they don’t require any extra care compared to your standard lenses. They can be cleaned using the same microfiber cloth and lens cleaning solution as your regular eyeglasses.

Do online eyewear retailers offer digital lenses?

People can buy their digital eyewear online. However, prescription eyewear is a product specifically designed for you. Seeing an optician in person is beneficial in helping you choose eyewear that’s not only functional but also a good fit for you. Ask yourself why you’d spend the time getting a thorough eye health exam and then find eyewear with the lowest quality standards.

If you’re interested in improving the clarity of your vision and learning more about digital lenses, make an appointment to speak with an eye care provider.