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What Are Single Vision Lenses?

Lenses to correct for nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Single vision lenses correct your vision for either close-up or far-away distances (nearsightedness or farsightedness). Essentially, the entire lens is dedicated to correcting one vision issue.

Single vision lenses are in contrast to multifocal lenses, like progressives or bifocals, which are created to correct vision for multiple distances.

Visual table showing the differences between single vision, progressive, and high-index lenses.

Who should wear single vision lenses?

Most individuals who find they need vision enhancement start out by being prescribed a single vision lens.

Single vision is prescribed to help individuals with just one aspect of their vision, either near or distance. You may be told you have a refractive error. That means the shape of your eye is bending light in such a way that it is causing blurry vision up close or far away.

The refractive error also can cause you to see halos, and have migraines, double vision, eye soreness, or fatigue.

What vision issues can single vision lenses correct?

Single vision lenses correct for nearsightedness.

Nearsightedness, or myopia, means you can see close objects clearly, but you struggle seeing objects that are far away. While you might be able to read a book clearly, reading a sign from across the room will be difficult due to blurry vision.

Single vision lenses correct for farsightedness.

Hyperopia is an eye condition that impacts close-up vision. If words in a book appear blurry, but you have no issue reading the sign on the other side of the room, you likely have hyperopia.

Single vision lenses correct for presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a condition that makes focusing on close objects challenging, typically emerging after the age of 40.

Reading glasses, which are made with single vision lenses specifically for close-up vision, can correct presbyopia. For distance viewing, you would need to remove the reading glasses, use another pair of glasses, or peek over the top.

For those who are over age 40, in most cases, you're likely better off considering bifocal, trifocal, or progressive lenses.

Single vision lenses correct for astigmatism.

Astigmatism results from an irregularly shaped cornea. Fortunately, astigmatism, whether alone or in combination with myopia or hyperopia, can be corrected using a single-vision lenses.

Astigmatism is a very common condition and good glasses are by far the simplest solution. Symptoms of astigmatism can include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision at various distances.
  • Squinting to read.
  • Difficulty seeing at night.
  • Eye strain.
  • Headaches

Top Questions About Single Vision Lenses

Can you wear single vision lenses all the time?

Yes, assuming you need correction for only one vision issue, you can wear single vision lenses all the time. They are designed to correct either distance or near vision. Never both. So, depending on your specific prescription, single vision lenses can be worn all day without any trouble.

How much do single vision glasses cost?

The cost of single vision glasses varies greatly depending on the frame, material of the lens, and add-ons such as anti-reflective coating. On average, a basic pair of single vision glasses can cost between $50 and $200.

If you already have frames you like, you can get your single vision lenses replaced right here at LensFactory for just $59. Shop single vision lenses.

Do single vision lenses have ADD?

No, single vision lenses do not have ADD. ADD stands for "additional plus power" and is a term used to describe the added magnifying power in the reading portion of progressive lenses.

What are the advantages of single vision lenses?

Single vision lenses have several advantages. They're often less expensive than progressive lenses, they provide clear vision for either distance or near viewing, and they're easy to adapt to.

Do you need a prescription for single vision glasses?

Yes, you need a prescription from an eye doctor in order to purchase single vision glasses. The prescription will include the necessary measurements for your single vision lenses.

Is lens replacement covered by insurance?

It depends on your insurance coverage. Some insurance plans cover lens replacement, while others don't. It is best to check with your insurance provider to determine if lens replacement is covered. They may have an option to submit a receipt for reimbursement.

Is a single vision lens the same as a progressive lens?

No, single vision lenses and progressive lenses are different. Single vision lenses have only one prescription throughout the lens and are used to correct distance or near vision. Progressive lenses have multiple prescriptions throughout the lens, allowing for a smooth transition between distance, intermediate, and near vision.

Is single vision or progressive better for driving?

For driving, single vision lenses with a distance prescription are typically better as they provide clear vision at a distance. Progressive lenses can also be used for driving, but the transition between distance and near vision can sometimes cause visual confusion.

Do single vision lenses correct astigmatism?

Yes, single vision lenses can correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common vision problem that causes blurry vision at all distances.

What are the different types of single vision lenses?

There are several different types of single vision lenses, including distance, near, reading, and computer lenses. The type of lens needed will depend on a person's specific vision needs and lifestyle.

Are progressive lenses thicker than single vision?

Progressive lenses are often thicker than single vision lenses due to the multiple prescriptions throughout the lens. However, advancements in lens technology have enabled manufacturers to make progressive lenses more lightweight and thinner.

Can I switch between multifocal or progressive lenses and single vision lenses?

Yes, you can switch between your bifocals and single vision lenses, for example. If you're a multifocal or progressive wearer, you might have a pair of single vision glasses specifically for driving or reading.

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