Prescription Eyeglasses: Make the Best Choices for Your Eyes in Olympia

Published on
December 14, 2022

If you are shopping for new glasses in Olympia, this blog will guide you through the process of choosing the right glasses for you. There are a variety of options for lenses, frames, and lens coatings. Before discussing this topic it is important to highlight that you should always have an eye exam and discuss with your eye doctor what type of eyeglasses will work best for you before purchasing eyeglasses. The purpose of an eye exam is not only to determine the proper prescription for your glasses, it is also to assess the overall health of your eyes, your visual system, and symptoms that may be eye or vision related. Since vision is such an important part of our lives, it is so important to make sure that you are not just finding out your prescription but also ensuring that your eyes and vision remain in great condition for many years to come. 

Schedule an appointment with our eye doctors or stop by our full service optical in Olympia for great care and service. Call us at (360) 491-2121 or Book an Appointment

Different kinds of lenses 

In general, you can either opt for a single vision lens that focuses for either distance or near such as reading, or a multifocal lens that includes bifocals and progressive lenses, which have multiple powers of focus.

  • Single vision lens - A single vision lens is designed to focus on a single distance. Many people, especially those under the age of 40, wear single vision lenses and can accomplish their everyday tasks perfectly well. After 40, or after you reach a certain age when your near vision becomes blurry, you will need reading glasses and distance glasses. When that happens, some people need bifocals or progressive lenses. As a side note, children that have a minus prescription (also known as nearsighted or myopia), should work with an optometrist that does myopia management in order to slow down the progression of their myopia.
  • Bifocal eyeglasses - These glasses are segmented; the top portion is designed to look far away whereas the bottom half or ⅓ is focused for reading or near work. This allows you to wear one pair of eyeglasses and look at objects at different distances with it. Depending on the tasks you perform throughout the day, our eye doctor may prescribe just one pair for distance and another for reading. Then you can switch your glasses between tasks.
  • Multifocal lenses  - Multifocal lenses are similar to bifocal lenses but also include mid-distance viewing. These lenses often have multiple zones within them that allow for the wearer to switch seamlessly from near, to mid distance (such as watching a tv or using a computer), to far.
  • Lens coatings  - There are many types of coatings that you can get for your lenses. These include UV protection, transition lenses that change when you go from a darker to lighter area, scratch resistant lenses, anti-reflective or anti glare, and blue light protection.
  • Anti-glare coating - The most important coating you can have on your eyeglasses is anti-glare or also called anti-reflective coating. What it does is that it is going to block some of the extra light entering the eye. Our eye doctor at our Olympia optometry clinic recommends anti-glare coating for almost everyone.

Why is getting a polycarbonate or trivex lens a good idea?

Most lenses are made of plastic these days, which is actually safer for the eyes since it cannot shatter into your eyes. Additionally, they're lighter, so they stay on the face better. There are different types of plastic lenses that are even more safe or more impact resistant, that includes a material called polycarbonate or trivex. Impact testing is usually done to test the safety of the lens.

They're usually recommended for children or if you're playing sports or in an environment where your glasses are likely to break. Another use for polycarbonate or trivex lenses is if you're monocular, which means that one eye has better vision than the other. So to protect the good eye, our eye doctor would recommend this kind of lens.

What you should know before buying frames and lenses online or at an optical 

The frame comes in a variety of price ranges. While choosing a frame, you should always keep in mind that the price of the frame doesn't necessarily equate to the quality of the frame. A lot of frames can be strong and resistant and won't break easily. A lot of it depends on the shape and the style that you want of the frame. However, the price of the lenses can usually equate to quality. You should always get your frames and lenses from an eye doctor's clinic with the guidance of an optometrist and optician and not order them online since many of the lenses made online don't pass the safety test and do not provide the best vision.

Are you looking to buy eyeglasses? Schedule an eye exam at our Olympia optometry clinic

Whether you are considering buying new eyeglasses, or you are unhappy with the ones you already have, you should have an eye exam to make sure that your vision has not deteriorated. To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, please call (360) 491-2121. Patients who need prescription eyeglasses or have difficulties wearing eyeglasses visit our optical and optometry clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading optical for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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