The senses play a critical part in how people interact with and understand the world. Though each sense is important in and of itself, a good amount of people tend to rely on eyesight the most. When a person notices a problem with his or her vision, an expert is usually consulted right away. According to statistics from the Vision Council of America, around 75% of the adult population in the United States requires glasses in some capacity. Still, the average person doesn’t know much about how prescription glasses work.

woman wearing prescription glasses while reading

If you’ve been curious about how the eye works or how to make sense of your prescription, now is the perfect time to learn more. Learning more about some common questions surrounding glasses will help you make informed decisions when it comes to your vision and how to buy the best prescription glasses online.

How Does the Human Eye Work?

The eye is considered one of the most evolved features of human anatomy. Though it is quite complex, the way it functions is also straightforward. Light from a source, like a lamp or the sun, will bounce off of objects and into the eye. Entering through the pupil, the light that flows in is regulated by the iris. In order to prevent too much light from entering and causing damage to the eye, the iris enlarges or shrinks the pupil as needed. This adjustment is easy to notice when shifting from bright to dim environments and vice versa.

After entering the eye, the light passes through the lens, which focuses the light as it hits the retina. The lens will change shape as needed in order to create as precise as image as possible while focusing the light. An easy way to see this in action is by looking at an object close to you and then turn your vision to an object far in the distance. Your eyes will attempt to adjust and accommodate to the new circumstances. This process is made possible by the suspensory ligaments, which work to change the shape of the lens.

How Glasses Work Infographic

What Are Common Issues the Eyes Experience?

Though the human eye has evolved over the course of millions of years, technology has advanced at a much more rapid pace. Artificial light, computer screens, and even books can cause the eyes to strain and cause deterioration. People will often need prescription eyeglasses to correct these vision issues, which can vary depending on the person’s lifestyle, genetics, and other factors. Still, there are a handful of common issues that people tend to experience with their vision. Myopia and hyperopia, near-sightedness and far-sightedness respectively, are the most widespread conditions that people encounter over their lives.

Near-sightedness and far-sightedness can be easily corrected with eyewear that helps to improve the specific conditions. Other common troubles include astigmatism, which is caused by a lens or cornea with an irregular shape. This problem will cause vision to blur and make points of light appear less precise and more scattered. This can cause severe issues in low-light conditions or when attempting to drive a car after dark. Both children and adults can experience issues like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It is important to visit with an eye specialist in order to learn the best available solutions.

How Do Glasses Improve Eye Conditions?

The easiest way to treat most vision problems is with prescription glasses. In a situation where a person is diagnosed with myopia, for example, eyewear with the right lenses will make it easier for a person to see clearly when looking at objects in the distance. For conditions like astigmatism, lenses can be treated in such a way that helps to reduce the impact of the irregularity’s distortion. Wearing glasses can help to make these conditions more manageable and aid with stress headaches, eye strain, and other issues related to vision impairment.

What Are the Most Common Lens Types?

When you go about selecting the right glasses to suit your needs, you’re going to have a few options available to you. Plastic lenses are the most common type, as the material is perfectly suited to accommodate a wide variety of prescriptions. Plastic is also a durable material that can be treated to reduce the odds of scratches and other wear and tear. Though plastic is lightweight, polycarbonate lenses are even lighter. Good for high prescriptions, this lens material is thin and excellent for anyone who lives an active lifestyle or engages in athletics.

A third option that some people consider for prescription sunglasses is trivex. A bit thicker than other options, this material is great for UV protection and can accommodate higher prescriptions than other materials. Considered durable, many users state that this material creates the clearest field of vision. No matter what material you select for your glasses, it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of each option to be sure you are selecting the most appropriate fit.

How Do You Make Sense of a Prescription? 

A majority of people who wear glasses don’t know their exact glasses prescriptions. After visiting a doctor and receiving a diagnosis, a patient is likely to use the prescription information to purchase the correct glasses without actually knowing what the numbers mean. Essentially, the two numbers presented in your prescription are referring to your left and right eyes. These are abbreviated in Latin on most prescriptions, with OD referring to oculus dextrus, the right eye, and OS meaning oculus sinister, the left eye. The number itself requires a bit more thought to understand.

The OS and OD can be either positive or negative. The farther away from zero the number is in either direction, the worse a person’s vision is. A positive number will dictate far-sightedness and a negative number refers to near-sightedness. Additionally, astigmatism is determined by looking at the axis of the eye, which will be listed after the OD and OS. A prescription will always follow the same format and will look something like “-1.00 +2.50 x 180” or “+3.50 +2.00 x 45.”

Finding the Best Fit

Understanding how the eye works can totally transform your journey toward finding the perfect prescription glasses. Once you have a good grasp over what your prescription means and what lenses are best for your lifestyle, you’ll be ready to explore the selection at Marvel Optics and pick out a pair you absolutely love.

Man wearing prescription glasses in front of computer