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Spectacle Lenses

Malcolm Long Optometrists are independent and that means we can choose from any spectacle lens available to target your individual needs and budget. The combination of our advice and the choice of the right product can make your spectacle lenses look and perform better than ever.

High technology plastics and glass materials mean that lenses can be made thinner and lighter than ever before, even for higher prescriptions. Tinted coatings can also be applied in just about any shade and density.

Anti-reflection Coatings

Anti-reflection coatings can increase the transparency of your lenses, especially for night driving as well as minimise “glassy/mirror like” reflections. However, one disadvantage is that these coatings can mean that you are much more aware when your specs are not clean so you should ensure that you clean them more often. Special microfibre cloths are great at cleaning all types of spectacle lenses especially anti-reflection coatings - yes they really do work! Other cleaning cloths tend to spread the dirt around, but these specialist cloths actually remove the dirt. Our clients get these cloths free so there is no excuse for not using them and being smear-free.

Hard Mineral Coatings

Hard mineral coatings can dramatically improve the scratch resistance of plastics spectacle lenses and are well worthwhile, but please remember hard coatings do not make your lenses scratch proof, just far less scratchable than standard lenses. Many high index and premium lenses have hard coatings included as standard.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses change colour with the sun and are very popular but often misunderstood. These lenses change colour with direct daylight, which means that even on a dull day they will go dark outdoors, even when you don’t want them to. Unfortunately you cannot switch them off - a disadvantage here is that you will always be seen in dark spectacles when you are outdoors. You may not be aware of this looking through them but others looking at you will. In addition they do not change colour effectively when inside a car and therefore do not make efficient sunglasses for driving. Unless of course you are in a soft top car with the hood down!

We think photochromic lenses are great for holidays as an additional pair but not as a substitute for everyday clear spectacle lenses or sunglasses.

Polarising Lenses

Polarising lenses are great for offering complete UV protection, with the added bonus of eliminating disabling reflected glare, making them the ideal choice for driving, water sports and skiing.

Varifocal and Bifocal Lenses

If you need both distance and reading spectacles, or mid-range and reading spectacles, or distance and mid-range spectacles or any combination of focusing at different distances away from you necessitating separate spectacles for each, then varifocals offer you a solution. Generally, if you need to wear spectacles constantly then they will probably be the best option.

There are many different types of varifocal designs aimed at solving a set of requirements but as yet no single varifocal lens which solves all issues. Finding the right combination for your individual needs is essential and that is where we come in with the dispensing advice and skills to find the best and most effective solution for you.

We will take the risk out of trying varifocals in that we will exchange varifocals to different designs or bifocals or separate single vision lenses on the grounds of non-tolerance if you find that the are not suitable for you. However, there is no substitute for us explaining and counselling you fully about what product is going to be the most appropriate from the outset.

Varifocal and Bifocal Lenses by...

Ready Reading Spectacles

Ready reading spectacles are often referred to as “Ready Readers” or “Cheap Reading specs”. Most people expect that opticians will be against the use of ready reading spectacles. At Malcolm Long Optometrists we support them.

The vast majority of people in their mid to late forties will need help seeing small print. This is called ‘presbyopia’. To remedy this a plus powered lens will help. Standard ready reading spectacles in powers 1,1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 usually do the job and can be bought cheaply over the counter of many shops. The lenses in these ready reading spectacles are usually moulded in design and optically have a sweet spot, a bit like a tennis racket, where your vision is best in the centre of the lens but distorts as you look off centre. This is not as noticeable in low powers. Also, in ready reading spectacles each lens has an optical centre. Ideally, the distance between the optical centres of the right and left lenses should be the same as the distance between the pupils of your eyes so that each eye is looking through the sweet spot. Obviously they are not as accurate as bespoke lenses and this will only be the case if you hit lucky. Also, it is not as important in low powers as it is in higher powers where you may be able to see clearly out of the left by itself and the right by itself but not comfortably with both together. So if you only need reading spectacles ‘Ready Readers’ can be great and you should have many pairs of ready readers littered around the house, work and car for glancing at close work for short periods. However, these should be worn in addition to a good pair of optically correct prescription spectacles.

Prescription Reading Spectacles

So what do you get in a proper prescription pair of reading spectacles?

Also, the amount of astigmatism or rugby ball shape of your eye can be corrected and can make a huge difference to the clarity of your vision.

OUR ADVICE: Get a couple of pairs of accurate prescription reading spectacles as well as several pairs of ready reading spectacles which are inexpensive and freely available. However, DO NOT assume that the ready reading spectacles are as good as the prescription spectacles.