Apples and Oranges

by Dr. Eric Drake

Most understand the concept that not all things are made equally and that you get what you pay for. With eyeglasses, this same concept applies. There are big differences in quality among all the frames and lenses manufacturers. So what are some of those differences that would make one pair of glasses cost more than another?

Inexpensive frames are often made with metals that are not hypo-allergenic and can cause skin irritation. Certain metal frames may corrode and turn green. Quality frames have stronger screws and hinges, have more comfortable nose pads, will last longer and need fewer repairs. They will also hold adjustments better so they stay straight and properly fit.

Lenses today can be made from a variety of plastic materials and coatings. Some give clearer optics and are more scratch resistant. Quality anti-glare coatings make a world of difference and help cut out glare and reflections. Cheap coatings are sprayed onto the lens and literally rub off each time you clean the lenses. They are also more likely to “craze” or have a “dry dirt” appearance that will distort vision.

Lastly, let’s talk about progressive lenses. There are many differences in designs and each brand has many different designs. But generally speaking there have been over 9 generational improvements since the first designs decades ago. “Cheaper” progressive lens are likely an older generation lens. One frustration with older generation lenses is that they are harder to adapt to. These older designs can make you feel nauseated and dizzy. The newer designs are much more comfortable and easier to adapt to, as technology advances so do progressive lenses. When I talk to patients about progressives I tell them, if you’re going to do it, then do it right, otherwise it will likely leave you frustrated.

If you have questions about what lenses you have, or what lenses are the best quality, feel free to ask our doctors or one of our well experienced opticians what would work best for you. Call 435-673-5577 to schedule your appointment or go to