Top Dispensary Questions

Straightforward answers to the most common questions in the optical dispensary.

Purchasing eyeglasses can be a complicated task. This set of questions and answers will give you the knowledge you need to make more educated decisions.

1. Why might I want an anti-reflective treatment for my glasses?
An anti reflective (A/R) treatment cuts down on the light that is reflected off the front surface of a lens. This makes your vision clearer; it reduces glare (from a computer monitor or from oncoming headlights for instance); and it helps other people see your eyes– not light  reflected off your lenses.

The bottom lenses have A/R treatment; the top lenses do not.


2. What makes a premium A/R treatment better than standard A/R?
Premium anti-reflective treatments are more durable than standard ones. They are also easier to keep clean. If you are very careful with your lenses and purchase new glasses every year, you can save money by choosing standard A/R. Otherwise, the premium treatment is a good investment.

3. What are progressive lenses and why might I want them?
Progressive lenses are bifocals that change gradually (top to bottom) from a distance to near-vision prescription. Progressive lenses are cosmetically superior to traditional bifocals because people cannot know from looking at them that they are bifocals. Also, progressive lenses offer clear vision at all intermediate distances– not just far away and reading distances.

4. What makes name-brand progressives better than generics?
Most name brand progressives offer a wider “sweet spot” for viewing objects at intermediate distances such as computer monitors. Many patients find it easier to get used to premium progressives than to generics.

5. Why might I want transitional (photosensitive) lenses?
Transitional lenses act as sunglasses while outside and turn clear indoors. They offer great convenience to people who spend a lot of time outdoors. However, if you are mainly looking for sun protection while in your car, consider a polarized clip-on or a separate pair of sunglasses instead. A car’s windshield absorbs the rays from the sun that activate transitional lenses.
Polarized lenses also offer superior glare reduction, which is helpful for many sports including fishing, golf, skiing, and biking.

New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine wearing polarized sunglasses.

6. Why might I want an anti-scratch coating? Ultra-violet protection?
The perfect prescription, a fashionable frame and quality lenses will not give you superior vision if your lenses are scratched. An  anti-scratch coating is an inexpensive way to ensure that your lenses
remain clear.

Exposure to ultraviolet rays increases risk of cataracts and may increase the risk of developing macular degeneration. A U/V
lens coating protects you from these rays.

7. Do I need a back-up pair of glasses?
That depends on why you need your glasses. If you are dependant upon your glasses for driving, for functioning in school or at work, then you should certainly have a spare pair with your current prescription.

8. I wear contact lenses. Do I need glasses too?
No one can predict when they might contract an infection that would require them to stay out of contacts for a while. If you cannot function well at work, school or on the road without your contacts, make sure you have an emergency pair of glasses.

9. Does my child need safety sports glasses?
Some sports-related eye injuries result in PERMANENT vision loss. Almost all of these injuries are preventable with appropriate sports glasses. So even if your child does not need glasses to see clearly, they should wear safety sports glasses when playing sports.


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