4 Types of Lenses You’ll Learn About at Dispensing Optician College

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Dispensing optician career

Choosing the right lens can be difficult for clients. They might not know as much about the science of optics, and feel unsure about which option will suit their needs best. That’s why they rely on the friendly and helpful advice of their dispensing optician.

When helping a customer decide on a pair of eyeglasses, dispensing opticians take into account many different factors including:

  • the type of lens
  • the lens material
  • lens treatments

And that’s on top of the style of the frame and other important factors!

Here are four lens types that dispensing opticians recommend, and how each one is suited to a different prescription.

1. Single Vision Lenses: A Lens You’ll See Often During Your Dispensing Optician Career

As you begin your dispensing optician career, you’ll soon discover that single vision lenses are among the most common lenses prescribed—especially for clients under the age of 40.

Single vision lenses offer the same prescription across the entire lens, and work well for nearsighted and farsighted clients.

But, as some clients age, their eyes might begin to have trouble focusing. As a result, they might need a more complex lens like a bifocal, trifocal or progressive lens.

2. Bifocal Lenses: A Common Option for Older Clients

As some clients age, they can develop presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs when a patient’s eyes have difficulty focusing on objects up close. If a client who develops presbyopia already had a prescription for hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), or even astigmatism, then they’ll probably need to get a lens with more than one prescription.

Dispensing optician courses

Notice how some of the text appears bigger? That’s where the second prescription is located.

Bifocal lenses have two distinct prescriptions on the same lens. It’s easy to see where one prescription ends and another begins, since they’re divided by a clear line that’s easy to spot.

3. Trifocal Lenses: Learn about these Lenses in Your Dispensing Optician Courses

Trifocal lenses are similar to bifocal lenses. But, instead of having two prescriptions on one lens, trifocal lenses have three.

On top of having one option for seeing objects that are close up, and another for seeing objects far away, trifocal lenses also have a section devoted to seeing objects at intermediate distances.

These glasses help patients see objects clearly in a wide range of scenarios.

4. Progressive Lenses: A Newer Option for Clients

As you complete your dispensing optician courses, you’ll learn how to provide excellent customer service in a healthcare setting. In your “Customer Service & Professional Communications I” course, for example, you’ll learn how to actively listen to patients to make sure that you address each of their concerns.

Many clients, for example, are worried about the way that their glasses will look. For some clients, the visible line (or lines) on bifocal and trifocal lenses will make them feel self-conscious. If you feel that your client is worried about the look of trifocal or bifocal lenses, then you might want to recommend progressive lenses instead.

Progressive lenses offer the same kind of prescription needs as bifocals and trifocals while still offering the cleaner look of single focus lenses.

Dispensing optician college

With the right training you can become a successful dispensing optician.

Progressives can take some time to get used to, though, since a portion of the lenses can often feature small amounts of distortion (typically on either side of the lens). Some clients feel a bit dizzy or disoriented during the first few days or weeks of wearing their new progressives. However, once their eyes get used to the lenses they become very comfortable.

With the right type of lens for their needs, your future clients will be able to see clearly.

Want to find out how lens materials and treatments also affect lens choice?

Consider continuing your education through a top dispensing optician college like Stenberg.

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