Eyewear Glossary

Not sure whether you need a bifocal or trifocal? Here we define common lens and contact lens terms.

Anti-Reflective Coating - A common lens coating that allows for more light to pass through the lens, cutting down on glare and distracting reflections. This coating is good for night driving and is also cosmetically appealing because it allows others to see your eyes rather than the light reflection off the lenses.

Bifocal Contacts - Contact lenses that allow a person to see near and far away without the use of glasses.

Bifocal Lenses - Lenses prescribed for those who need correction for both far away and up close.

Conventional Contact Lenses - Contact lenses designed for long-term use (up to one year); can be either daily or extended wear.

Disposable Contact Lenses - Contact lenses designed to be thrown away daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly.

High Index - A lighter, thinner lens material offered to those with very high prescriptions.

Lens Add-on/Option - Any option that does not come with the basic lens; this includes, but is not limited to polycarbonate, scratch-resistant coating, tint and UV coating. May also be referred to as "option" or "upgrade." Add-ons listed on a plan are considered standard. Most add-ons also have premium options available.

Lenticular Lens - An antiquated technology used in situations requiring such high plus power that a full field meniscus lens would be impractical (because of thickness, weight and fit). This area of power is usually located in the center of the lens and takes on the appearance of a "bubble."

Medically Necessary Contact Lenses - Contact lenses are defined as medically necessary if the individual is diagnosed with one of the following specific conditions:

  • Keratoconus where the patient is not correctable to 20/30 in either or both eyes using standard spectacle lenses.
  • High Ametropia exceeding -10 D or +10D in spherical equivalent in either eye
  • Anisometropia of 3 D in spherical equivalent or more
  • Patients whose vision can be corrected two (2) lines of improvement on the visual acuity chart when compared to best corrected standard spectacle lenses correction.

All requests for medically necessary contact lenses must be submitted by network provider for review and approval by the Medical Director before a claim will be processed for the service.

Photochromic Lenses - Lenses that change color based on different levels of light. When the lenses are exposed to sunlight they darken; when exposed to lower light (indoors), they lighten.

Plano - Non-prescription lenses. May be needed in cases where individual has prescription in only one eye.

Plastic (Basic Lens Material) - The most widely used lens material because it is lighter in weight than glass.

Polarized Lenses - A common lens add-on that cuts down on glare from the sun. Ideal for driving or outdoor activities, especially water and snow sports.

Polycarbonate - A commonly used lighter, thinner lens material that helps create a more impact-resistant lens.

Progressive Lenses - Multifocal lenses with no lines. Available in both standard and premium brands.

Rigid Gas Permeable Contacts - Firm, durable plastic contacts that may be recommended for those who have specific prescription needs.

Scratch-Resistant Coating - A common lens coating that helps reduce scratches on the lenses.

Single Vision Lenses - Lenses prescribed for those who only need correction for one field of vision: either far away or up-close.

Tint - A common lens add-on that reduces the light that enters the eyes; can be doctor recommended or for fashion purposes.

Toric Contact Lenses - Contact lenses designed specifically to treat astigmatism. Can be offered either as conventionals or disposables.

UV Coating - A common eyeglass lens coating that protects eyes from harmful ultraviolet light.


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