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Understanding Eyewear: Single Vision Lenses’ Meaning

Are you struggling with your eyesight? Have you been researching online to understand single vision lenses’ meaning and whether you need them?

Single vision lenses work for individuals who are nearsighted, farsighted, or those who suffer from astigmatism. These are lenses that provide vision correction for a single distance. Essentially, this means that the lens type is designed to help farsighted people see better at shorter distances and nearsighted people at longer distances.

A majority of people who wear eyeglasses use this type of lens. This article will discuss what you should know about what single vision lenses mean, how they correct eyesight, and the options available.

How Do Single Vision Lenses Work?

Female optometrist examining patient

To offer clear vision, those who suffer from nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and age-related farsightedness (presbyopia) need these lenses to address their eye conditions. The lens power in single vision glasses has the ability to improve sight at a distance and magnify vision.

Single vision lenses diverge or converge light rays to correct vision in the cornea. This reduces eye strain and increases the eye’s focusing power, allowing for distance correction. You’ll see clearly and won’t have to strain your eyes. Single vision lenses can also provide a sight-magnifying effect, making them ideal for farsightedness.

Single Vision Lenses Material Options

Picking your frames for a pair of single vision glasses is the fun part, but there are a lot of terms thrown around that can be confusing when it comes to lenses. Depending on your personal preference and your optician’s or optometrist’s advice regarding your eye condition, you’ll have some decisions to make.

It’s important to choose the kind of lens material that will help you get the maximum benefit from your glasses, and an optician can help walk you through your options. Some of the most common material choices for single vision lenses include:


Also referred to as anti-reflective coating, anti-glare material on eyewear reduces the level of internal and external reflection on the lens. This goes a long way to reduce eyestrain, which ultimately improves eye health. Anti-reflective coating is especially helpful for those who have blurry vision at night or who have stronger prescriptions.

Blue Light Blocking

Who isn’t guilty of looking at their phone right before bedtime? When it comes to the kind of light the human eye can see, often referred to as blue light, these lenses give your eyes some relief from screen time. Blue light-blocking single vision lenses filter out excessive blue light to promote better eye health.


If you’re looking for a single vision prescription to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays, then polycarbonate lenses are a great choice. UV rays encourage the development of cataracts, which are also known as clouding in the lens of the eye. A pair of glasses with polycarbonate material provides 100% blocking of the sun’s UV rays. As a bonus, they’re also built to last — in fact polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant and shatterproof.


Photochromic corrective lenses come with a chemical coating that allows them to turn to a dark tint in the presence of the sunlight. They’re also called transition lenses because they react quickly to changing light. If you don’t want to carry a different pair of sunglasses to match the weather, these lenses are an option. Another remedy is to try out Pair Eyewear’s Sun Tops, which snap right on top of your chosen frames.

Scratch-Resistant Coating

Applied to the front and back of lenses during the manufacturing process, scratch-resistant lens coating makes lenses harder to scratch, even when dropped against a hard surface. This is a great option to help cut down on wear and tear, extending the life of your lenses.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized single vision lenses are sunglasses that protect your eyes from light that bounces off smooth, highly reflective surfaces, like water or the windshield of a car. They work by controlling certain light properties and limiting specific wavelengths. They boast a vertical filter that doesn’t allow horizontal glare to pass through.

Single Vision Lenses Meaning vs. Other Types of Lenses

Single vision lenses meaning: Man wearing blue glasses in front of a blue background.

Now that we’ve explored what single vision lenses mean, here's how this lens compares to other types of vision correction:

Single Vision vs. Bifocal Lenses

The difference between these two types of prescription lenses lies in their ability to correct sight at a variety of distances.

While single vision lenses make it easy to see clearly at a single distance, bifocal lenses are split into two sections to accommodate those who have both nearsightedness and farsightedness. The primary purpose of bifocal lenses is to provide an optimal balance between vision and distance.

Single Vision vs. Trifocal Lenses

Trifocal lenses come with three focal areas that are separated by visible lines. The focal areas target vision at varying distances (close, intermediate, and far). In other words, these lenses accommodate different prescriptions in a single lens so that you can focus clearly on objects at a wider range.

Single Vision vs Progressive Lenses

Though similar to trifocals in that they provide multifocal lenses, progressive lenses don’t have the lines separating the different correction fields. Instead, there’s blending between the prescriptions and they’re more customizable. Think of progressive lenses as the contemporary evolution of bifocals or trifocals, allowing you to have vision correction for multiple distances all in one stylish pair of glasses.

How to Choose a Single Vision Lens

Because single vision lenses mean they’re created to help one field of vision, they eliminate refractive errors. These lenses make your eyesight better by eliminating blurry vision. After your eye exam with your eye doctor, how do you choose a single vision lens? Here are some tips:

Use Your Prescription

Your eye doctor’s prescription is the most vital element in correcting your eyesight. It’ll also help inform the kind of lenses for your eyeglasses that you should purchase. Remember, every time you go for an eye check-up, your optometrist may update your prescription. In case you're facing any challenges with your new lenses, your optician will help you navigate until you find lenses that suit you best.

Consider the Type of Material

There’s a vast array of single vision lens options to choose from. We all have different preferences, so if you’re not sure what to go for, your optician’s advice can always come in handy. They’ll consider factors like the affordability of the material, its benefits, and how well the glasses will serve you in the long run.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle and vision needs are two things that go hand-in-hand. For instance, if you’re farsighted and work in an office all day, you might need reading glasses. There are also single vision computer glasses that protect the eyes during long stretches of looking at a screen. You can always ask your eye doctor to recommend glasses for a specific or intended use.

While these are the important things to think about when choosing single vision glasses, your optometrist or eye doctor will give you a comprehensive list of all the considerations to make. Their expertise can help you make the best selection of optical lenses.

Personalize Your Prescription Glasses

When you need single vision lenses, you’ll notice changes in your vision, especially when it comes to seeing things that are close-up or far away. These lenses will provide clear vision at one distance and accommodate your daily vision needs. They can also protect your eyes from harmful light.

There are choices to make when it comes to your lens materials and options, but that’s not the only part of the eyewear equation. You’ll also need a great pair of frames to go along with your single vision lenses. Start creating a customized look today with Pair Eyewear’s wide selection of Base Frames and Top Frames.