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Eyeglasses for Your Lifestyle

Which Eyeglasses Best Fit Your Current Lifestyle?


Updated November 12, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

You wear eyeglasses to improve your vision, and you trust your eye doctor to recommend certain eyeglasses to suit your particular lifestyle. Many eye doctors and opticians practice lifestyle dispensing, prescribing treatment for vision problems based on a person’s particular lifestyle. To determine which types of eyeglasses would benefit you, your doctor will inquire about your general health as well as the ways in which you use your eyes. Your overall health, occupation, exercise habits and hobbies all affect how you use your eyes over the course of a day, giving your doctor an idea of what type of eyeglasses are best suited for you.

Do You Need More Than One Pair of Eyeglasses?

The next time you go for an eye examination, don’t be surprised if your doctor recommends 2 or 3 pairs of glasses beyond your primary pair of glasses as a part of your treatment plan. Eye doctors prescribe different types of glasses depending on how we use our eyes. Eye doctors have two goals for every comprehensive examination: to make sure your eyes are healthy and functioning well, and to recommend the very best vision care products to enhance your vision based on your lifestyle.

Lens Recommendations for Various Lifestyles

Following are different types of lenses that your doctor may recommend beyond your primary pair of glasses:
  • Progressive lenses: Some occupations, such as nursing, require you to quickly change your focus from a very close range, to intermediate, then to far away. For example, you may be starting an IV, then need to quickly glance at a heart monitor 4-5 feet away and then look down the corridor to see a special message. People with this type of job require progressive lenses. Progressive lenses are invisible graduated lenses that contain your distance prescription in the top area of the lens and gradually increase from intermediate to near focusing power without any visible lines or interruptions.

  • Computer lenses: Some people, such as computer programmers, architects or telemarketers, require sitting in front of a computer for 8 to 10 hours per day. Progressive lenses work well for focusing at all ranges. However, for some people, the area of a progressive lens that delivers intermediate distance to see a computer monitor may not be large enough. Searching for that intermediate area all day long may cause visual fatigue or neck aches, requiring a computer lens. A computer lens is designed with a very tiny area of distance near the top of the lens and a very large area of the lens that focuses at intermediate distances. Finally, the lens has an area near the bottom that can focus on near print, such as printed spread sheets. Computer lenses work well for musicians or painters who work at intermediate distances.

  • Anti-fatigue lenses: Because of all the high-tech, miniaturized devices in use today, even people younger than 40 are demanding a prescription boost to help alleviate some of the tiredness associated with tiny, visually demanding tasks. Anti-fatigue lenses are similar to a regular pair of distance vision glasses, with the exception of a small increase in power toward the bottom part of a the lens to give a boost to near focus.

  • Sunglasses: Almost everyone needs a separate pair of prescription or non-prescription sunglasses. Many adults recognize the comfort and protection that a quality pair of fashionable, polarized, UV protected sunglasses provide. However, did you know that at age 18, we have already accumulated 80% of the UV damage that occurs to our skin and our eyes? How many children do you see outdoors without sunglasses?

  • Sports glasses: Athletes who require visual correction often need a pair of clear or tinted sports goggles that function to provide vision correction and improve confidence by strapping on around the head to minimize movement during play. The lenses are made of polycarbonate, which provides protection in the event of an injury and does not shatter or splinter in a crushing injury.


Seegers, John LDO, MEd. "Specialize Your Lens Offers." Vision Care Product News (VCPN)pp 88-90, Oct 2010.

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