Lens Types Explained

As we age we are at risk of facing certain age-related eye conditions and may need a specific lens type to make our vision clearer. Some people have a problem viewing distant objects, whilst others have problems with nearer objects, or you can face both issues.

Our Doctor will guide you to the most appropriate solution based upon your individual requirements and prescription.

Types of Optical Lenses

There are two major types of optical lenses:

Single Vision lenses

Single vision lenses are generally the first and most common type of lenses that people use when they start to wear glasses, typically used by people under 40 years old.

They differ from the other types in that they offer the same power throughout the entire lens. They are ideal for correcting the following conditions:
  • Myopia (Near-sightedness) or
  • Hyperopia (Far-sightedness)
This means if you are suffering from either near-vision difficulties or far-vision difficulties, single-lens types are an ideal option.

Benefits of Single Vision Lenses

They deliver uniform power throughout the lens, you will adjust to them quickly.

Cautions for Single Lenses

They correct one condition at a time (either hyperopia or myopia). So, if you have both visual difficulties i.e., near and far, you would choose a multifocal lens to treat both of these conditions simultaneously.

Multifocal Lenses

As people age, the eye starts to lose its elasticity which makes it harder to focus on both near and far objects, these are typically for people over 40 years old.

Multifocal lenses overcome the drawback of single vision lenses as they can correct more than one visual error within a single lens.

There are 2 main types of lenses.
  • Bifocals
  • Progressive lenses


Bifocals are lenses that contain two lens powers. If you are facing both types of vision difficulties, near and farsightedness, bi-focals are an option. This lens is separated into two parts. The top section helps to correct distant vision while the lower section has a different power to correct your near vision. Historically bi-focals had a visible line separating both sections however lenses are available today without this line.

Benefits of Bifocals:

They offer two-in-one vision correction

Cautions for Bifocals:

Bifocals may be a little difficult to adjust at the beginning because of the two parts. So, try being extra careful when you walk with these lenses until you get used to wearing them.

Progressive Lenses:

They are also known as multifocal lenses and correct all distances, providing you smooth vision transition from objects far away, intermediate distance (45cm-60cm) to close-up objects. But these are generally more expensive than single vision and bifocals.

They comprise three parts. The first top part is for distance eyesight, while the intermediate and the bottom part are for reading and viewing closer objects.

Benefits of Progressive Lenses:

One pair of glasses for everything. They oververcome the drawback of bifocals by correcting all distances, near, intermediate and far vision.

Cautions for Progressive Lenses:

Some people need time for their eyes to adjust to the 3 different lens strengths. Higher cost Choosing the lens type depends on the diagnosis of your eye condition, your Doctors recommendation, and your personal preference.

After choosing the correct lens for yourself, the next step is to select the frame shape that suits your face and features.