High Prescription Glasses

Which Type Of Glasses Lens Best Fits My High Prescription?

Do you have a high prescription? If you do, like many people, you probably have a hard time finding the right fit when it comes to glasses. You may notice many glasses make your face appear distorted due to your prescription. Because of this, some people opt out to wear contact lenses (not by choice). I wanted to write an article on this topic as so many of my patients are in this boat. There are options, but many people just are uninformed or misinformed. Read this week’s blog all about how to choose the best lenses when you have a higher prescription. I hope you enjoy it!

Why Does My Face Appear Distorted?

So, you have gotten your prescription from your family eye doctor. Now you want a pair of glasses in addition to your contacts. This is a great option and can help you to not overwear your lenses. However, the only problem is the last few pairs of glasses you have gotten, you don’t like and only wear at home. You don’t like how you appear to be bug-eyed when wearing them. Did you know the type of frames and lenses you choose makes a difference in your appearance? That’s right, and it’s especially true for those who have a higher prescription.

If you are nearsighted your glasses will need to refract the amount by which your optometrists has identified as a refractive error. Or in other words, your glasses will need to be made so they bend light in such a way that you are able to see clearly. This is done, in the case of those who are nearsighted, by having lenses that are thinner in the middle and thicker at the edge. The higher the prescription, the thicker the overall lens. Those who are farsighted will need lenses which are thicker in the middle and thinner at the edge. Unfortunately, the increased thickness in your lenses can give off a distorted look. A good option to combat this problem is to get a high-index lens.

High-Index Lens

What is a high index lens? If you have never heard of this term before and have a high prescription, you will want to know all about these lenses. Typically, in those who have a high prescription, glasses are thicker because more material is needed to correct for the refractive error. High-index lenses are more efficient in bending light and correcting for refractive errors, and so the result is a thinner, lighter lens. This is possible because of the more advanced material used.

If you do choose to buy frames with high-index lenses, then you should always pair them with an anti-reflective coating. As the same suggests, this coating helps in reducing excessive reflections and glare. This coating also helps reduce night-time driving glare.

Another important point to consider is cost. High-index lenses are more costly than typical lenses and are not needed for everyone. Those who have a mild prescription of say, -2.00 diopter do not need high index lenses because their lenses will already not be very thick, nor have a distortion issue. However, if you have a higher prescription of say, -7.00 diopter, the high-index lens will not only be thinner, and lighter but cause minimal distortion! And so the extra money spent on high-index lenses, in this case, is worth it.

Other Things To Consider…

It is important to consider other things when choosing your glasses. Choosing an appropriate frame for your face is something everyone always considers, but ensuring it pairs well with your lenses is equally important. If you have a higher prescription the best frame shape to choose is generally a smaller, rounded or oval shape. Why? It reduces distortion that is typically seen at the edges. Additionally, if you have a higher prescription choosing a thin frame may not work as your lenses may be too think, and therefore be visible over the frames.

It is important to also consider how often you will be wearing your eyeglasses and in what setting. If you are wearing your glasses all the time and do a lot of computer work, then you will want to invest in a blue light filter. A blue light filter will help to reduce excessive eye strain by blocking high-energy blue light emitted by digital devices. Choosing a frame requires you to consider your lifestyle, personal style, and prescription.

Ask Questions

Although, at Inner Harbour Optometry we do not sell eyeglasses because we strongly believe in only focusing on the medical aspect of your eye health! We see many patients each day who can benefit from this article’s knowledge and a reason why it has been written. So now that you are more informed about your options when it comes to your eyeglasses, the next time you go to get a pair, ask your optician the right questions.

Ask one of our Doctor’s of Optometry for a recommended eyeglass optician in Victoria, BC.

If you need an updated prescription, come in and get a comprehensive eye exam by giving us a call or simply booking online with Dr. Sharma

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13 replies
  1. Glae
    Glae says:

    Hi – I’m trying to find progressive, prescription sunglasses. I wanted Costa, because of the way they feel on my face, and because I love the polarization they offer. However, my prescription is +4.25, and Costa doesn’t support that high of a prescription. Do you know of any other sunglasses that have the comfort of Costas, but support higher prescriptions?

    • Scott Irvine
      Scott Irvine says:

      Hi Glae,
      Depending on the pair of glasses, most optical stores could put any lens into a frame. So if you like the feel of Costa, then you could [hopefully] get a progressive prescription lens fit into that frame.
      -Dr. Irvine

    • Scott Irvine
      Scott Irvine says:

      Hi Francoise,
      The shape of your frames for a high prescription would depend more if you are far-sighted or near-sighted. For instance, high powered plus lenses for far-sightedness are thicker in the middle, so sometimes opticians recommend a shorter/narrow frame. A progressive lens would fit the same rules generally based on if you are far- vs near-sighted.

      A high index lens doesn’t influence the shape of the lens as much as it does the thickness. For high powered prescriptions, high index is usually recommended as a thinner lens not only looks better, but is lighter on the face and can cause less peripheral distortion.

      -Dr. Irvine

  2. Danny
    Danny says:

    Hello! I have an EXTREMELY high prescription. I am near sighted. I’ve read many articles like this, but I never see any recommended frames for someone with a grossly high prescription. And most searches online give information like this but do not offer particular frame ideas. Any recommended frames for high prescriptions?

    • Jyoty Subramanian
      Jyoty Subramanian says:

      Hi Danny, I have a high prescription of 14D as well. I have been consistently using crisil-coated high index nikon lenses with shell frames (the plastic/fibre thicker frames) which look stylish and also hide the lens thickness. The frame is smaller as for near-sighted high prescriptions the lens thickness increases with increase in diameter. Mine are also narrower (rounded rectangular) – which strikes a balance between distortion and looks.

      • Veeresh Meena
        Veeresh Meena says:

        Could you help me to opt out a best frame with best lenses as i have – 13 with 3 cylindrical in right and – 10 with 1 cylindrical in left… Please help me.. Can whatsapp me on 8171569214 or can reply me here.. Please.. I’m a banker and wants your help..

      • Rodrigo Reiz
        Rodrigo Reiz says:

        Can you give me the name of the site that you bought your lenses ? In your opinion what is the 4 best label of lenses that you know that is good for high hyperopia . I have also 14 degrees.

    • CatFood
      CatFood says:

      Look for oval shape. The actual lens width and height are very important. The smaller the number the thinner the edge of lens. Avoid half and no frames. Opt for full frame. Plastic will help hide lens thickness as it is thicker than wire type frames. Avoid shiny frames. Order online to get 1.74 high index as you wont be able to get 1.74 high index in U.S. stores. Always get anti reflective coating else your eyes will shrink behind lenses. Frame width is important as well. Ensure it’s not too large or too small (go for about 130 – 140) else the sides of your head will look shrunken in.

  3. Gabby Trigg
    Gabby Trigg says:

    I have -5.75 in one eye and -5.25 in the other. I havent worn glasses in a year or so and i have just bough two new pairs of glasses with my new prescription. I opted with regular lenses because of cost. Should i have gotten high index lenses? I still wear contacts but i am also trying to wear these new glasses. It has only been 2 days and i am afraid that i wont adjust to these glasses.

  4. Dr. Payne
    Dr. Payne says:

    I would add that although high index lenses are thinner as they have a higher refraction index (so bend light better), they may not necessarily be lighter as they are often of a denser material. https://www.payneglasses.com/ stock very high-index lenses with a refraction index up to 1.74 all with anti-scratch, anti-reflect and UV protection coatings as standard.

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