How to Give the Gift of High Index Lenses
For anyone who wears prescription glasses on a regular basis, hopefully you already know how awesome high index lenses are. Our blog has been dedicated to sharing the benefits, joys, and options available for high index lenses for over three years and we simply love talking about the many great advantages and options that become available to you when you choose to treat yourself to the super-thin advanced lens material that goes into a pair of high-index eyeglasses. But why should you keep this great secret all to yourself? There are still thousands of glasses-wearing individuals out there who have either never heard of high index lenses or don’t understand what they’re missing. Whether you’ve got a pair for yourself or simply want to give the gift of slim lenses and visual clarity to someone you love, we’re all in favor!
Step 1: Sneakily Acquire Their Prescription
There are two ways to go about giving the gift of high index lenses. You can either walk your friend or relative through the process of choosing a set of frames and ordering the pair for themselves or you can actually hand them a beautifully wrapped pair of high index lenses in their prescription as a surprise. Of course, to make a surprise present of any pair of prescription glasses, high-index or otherwise, first you’ll need to get a hold of your friend’s prescription. Your relation to them will determine how challenging this endeavor truly is. If you’re buying for your spouse or one of your children, this should be relatively easy, especially if you already have access to their medical files.
If you’ve got a less direct personal connection or if your loved one hasn’t been to the optometrist in over a year, a trip to the eye doctor could be your perfect opportunity to request a totally casual peek at their prescription slip and make sure that their new high-index eyeglasses are perfection configured for their current vision needs.
If you can’t get a hold of your friend’s prescription through subtle espionage, you can go through closer contacts instead. Ask around the people who live with them to see if they’d be willing to help you surreptitiously acquire the info. Perhaps a parent, sibling, significant other, or best friend will be able to get their hands on that little piece of paper or extract the information from them through conversation. Of course, because glasses are a fairly non-traditional gift, especially prescription glasses, you might be totally safe to simply ask your intended gift recipient without raising suspicion and spoiling your surprise.
Step 2: Select The Best High Index
As you may already know by now, not all high-index lenses are made alike. They’re all wonderful, slim, and effective but each index is best suited to a particular range of prescription intensity. This is because the higher the index, the less glass is used for each prescription. Therefore, stronger prescriptions that normally require very thick lenses are best with the highest indexes while less intense prescriptions are better with a moderately high index so that there’s still enough width to settle the lenses into a set of frames. Here’s the basics:
- 1.50 – Standard Lenses – Best for +/- 2.25 and below
- 1.57 to 1.59 – Thin – Best for +/- 4.00 to 5.00 – 20% Thinner
- 1.60 – Super Thin – Best for +/- 4.25 to 6.75 – 25% Thinner
- 1.67 – Ultra Thin – Best for +/- 7.00 to 9.00 – 30% Thinner
- 1.74 – Thinnest – Best for +/- 9.25 and above – 35% Thinner
If you’re currently puzzling over the multiple values on a vision prescription sheet, the ratings for these lenses tend to be measured in SPH, though you can also judge them by in which the range is +/- 1.50 or below for standard lenses and +/- 6.00 or above for 1.74’s. It should be noted that these ranges are also just estimations. If you feel your friend would appreciate extra-thin lenses and the optician agrees, you should be good to go.
Choosing the right frames for your friend or loved one is an unmatched display of familiarity. You not only need to show that you understand their personal sense of style, but the glasses also need to be comfortable and effectively flatter their facial shape. For this reason, no matter how clear a mental image you have of your friend, it may help to keep a picture of them handy when you’re looking for the perfect frames. If your friend is flashy, consider something with a little flash like flames or rhinestones. If your friend is down to earth, they might appreciate simple elegant wire frames instead.
A quirky friend may be more inclined to plastic stylized hipster glasses and friend who cares about functionality may be more into wide lenses with good peripheral than any particular style. And don’t forget the size of their head, which is a surprisingly important factor. Because you know them best, choice should show that you understand what they value in a pair of glasses combined with your own intimate knowledge of how glasses work.
Step 4: Pick All the Right Perks
If you thought choosing frames for your friend was a personal endeavor, we’ve just gotten to the fun part. Once you’ve got all the basics covered with both frames and lenses to put in them, it’s time to choose the perks you’re going to load onto your gift. This is your chance to really impress your friend not only with the creativity of your gift and insightfulness of the details, but the incredible quality that can be poured into a single pair of glasses.
To start with, does your friend wear bifocals? Many people like to have a slightly weaker prescription in the lower part of their glasses that make it easier to read, drive, or work at the computer. Whatever the purpose, you can order your friend normal lined bifocals or progressives which create a smooth lineless transition.
What about transition lenses? Transition is the special term used for those glasses that turn themselves into sunglasses when you walk into the sun or a very bright room, then clear back up to normal glasses when the light level drops. A simple photochromatic coating is all it takes to double the usefulness of a single pair of glasses
Then there are the coatings. Even without the crazy fancy stuff like blue mirrored coating, there are several incredibly useful coating options your friend might appreciate a great deal. Anti-reflective coating is a good idea for any pair of high-index lenses and can reduce the glare that comes off their glasses. Anti-fog coating will prevent fog from building up on the lenses in humid or cold environments. UV protection will help to prevent cataracts if your friend spends a lot of time in the sun and scratch coating will keep their high index lenses in perfect condition for years.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
No matter which index, frames, and perks you choose, the one thing for certain when you gift a friend or loved one with a pair of high index glasses is their newfound ability to see the world clearly through much thinner lenses. Perhaps even better, the world will finally be able to see them clearly with little to no eye-distortion and excellent two-way clarity. This unique gift is sure to be talked about for years as one of the few times anyone has successfully gifted a pair of excellent new glasses.