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Types of Eyeglass Lenses

Close up of blue human eye behind red pair of glasses.

It’s all in the details

Take a closer look at all the careful details that go into making every type of Essilor lens. The combination of best-in-class technology, high-quality materials, and art is something worth seeing.

Materials matter

With ordinary plastic lenses, a strong prescription can result in a thicker lens. In contrast, we offer many types of eyeglass lenses, made of hi-index plastic or polycarbonate, which reduce lens thickness for greater comfort and a better appearance.

  • Hi-index plastic is lightweight and thinner than most plastic. Essilor offers hi-index 1.67 and 1.74 lenses that are thinner and lighter with more appealing aesthetics for greater comfort and a better look.
  • Polycarbonate lenses have superior impact resistance and are lighter than regular plastic lenses. Our eyeglass lenses are 20% thinner and 30% lighter than standard plastic lenses, yet super tough and very hard to break.


After materials, our lens makers consider the design and function for every type of eyeglass lens. Does the wearer need them to see far away or up close? Are we correcting a vision problem, such as astigmatism? Here are just some of the lens designs to meet those vision needs.

  • Single vision lenses—made for one, consistent focal power to correct a single vision condition. 
  • Progressive lenses—correct more than one vision condition, with the focal power “progressing” from top to bottom without a visible line separating them.
  • Concave lenses—used to treat near-sightedness, or myopia. The lens shape is concave (thicker at the edge, thinner in the middle) to bend rays outwards.
  • Plus lenses—used to treat far-sightedness, or hyperopia. The lens shape is convex (thicker in the middle, thinner at the edge) to bend rays inwards.
  • Cylindrical lenses—designed for astigmatisms, or when the cornea of the eye is oval, rather than round. A cylindrical lens is the most common way to correct astigmatism. 
Women smiling while wearing a straw hat and sunglasses.

Additional features & treatments

For every type of eyeglass lens, one or both sides of the lens can be treated to extend the longevity of the glasses and improve clarity of vision. Some of our advanced lens treatment options include the following:

  • Anti-Glare treatment—reduces reflections, allowing more light to pass through your lenses for better clarity, especially at night. Anti-glare treatments also help lenses look nearly invisible, reducing distraction and improving eye contact. Crizal® lenses and Xperio® polarized lenses provide this feature by reducing the effects of glare, as well as protecting against scratches and smudges.
  • UVA and UVB blocking—can help protect your eyes from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. Xperio lenses, Transitions® lenses, and Crizal lenses offer protection for your best vision under the sun.
  • Transitions Light Intelligent Lenses™—lenses that adjust from clear to dark, and every shade in between.
  • Polarization—a special filter that blocks intense reflected light. Xperio polarized lenses eliminate blinding glare so you can see the outside world with sharper colour and greater depth.
Anti-glare coating gives you the clearest vision possible with glare, scratch, and smudge protection.
Adaptive lenses adjust to changing light, keeping you comfortable and protected in all conditions.
Polarized lenses provide maximum protection for the best vision under the sun.


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