Lenticular lenses explained: types, pros and cons
A lenticular lens is used by people to correct severe farsightedness and requires a very high power to correct one's vision. In some cases, your lenses might have a very high prescription. Hence, they can appear very thick, making you uncomfortable wearing them constantly. That is why manufacturers create lenticular lenses to avoid this discomfort.
One can think of a lenticular as two different lenses stacked together. These lenses will correct one's vision when looking through a particular spot. Do not confuse lenticular lenses with progressive lenses, as these two also have their differences.
This article discusses the various aspects of lenticular lenses and how they work when used in eyeglasses and worn by people.
What are lenticular lenses for glasses?
In most cases, lenticulars are used in eyeglasses to correct extreme farsightedness when the implants are not feasible. The farsightedness might be a result of cataract surgery. On the other hand, a 'minus lenticular' lens is also used to correct extreme nearsightedness. The lens's power is typically concentrated in a small space at the center of the lens.
Technically, if manufacturers distribute the power throughout the lens, it will produce much heavier and thicker lenses. The rest of the lens will have little to no power when using lenticular lenses. They will only support the lenticular portion of the lens.
In most cases, lenticular lenses have two different magnifications. One part of the lens has corrective refractive power. The other area also has another different power. For farsightedness, an individual's pupil will appear larger than usual because of the glasses' design. It will be smaller than expected for nearsightedness.
What are lenticular lenses used for?
Eye conditions like extreme farsightedness, aphakia, and high myopia require extra care, especially when correcting a person's vision. Depending on the severity of one's eye condition, this can include special eyeglass lenses and close monitoring of symptoms. One effective solution can be lenticular lenses.
There are designed so every lens will have a small circle at the center with a relatively high prescription. As you already know, the lens surrounding the small circle has little to no power.
You might also be wondering why the outer surface of the lenses does not have power. It is generally because all the power to correct vision is concentrated on the small circle at the center. This provides users with a more comfortable wearing experience, especially those with higher prescriptions. Imagine if the entire lens has very thick lenses, it can be very heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
Additionally, lenticular lens manufacturers design these lenses with a cosmetic appearance in mind. In some cases, lenticular lenses can include smooth connections between every 'zone' of the lenses. Others will have a more defined separation between the two surfaces.
The types of lenticular lenses
There are three types of lenticular lenses, which include the following:
1. High-plus. These lenticular lenses include a central area that has a higher power compared to the outside of the lens. In most cases, they come in a trifocal lens with 10 to 15 diopters at the center. As a result, this makes the area quite thick. Meanwhile, the rest of the lens is thin enough to fit in the glasses frame. High-plus lenticular lenses are common for people with poor nearsighted vision.
2. High-negative. This is the opposite of high-plus lenticular lenses. High-negative Lenses include lower power at the center of the lens while having higher power on its sides. This makes the lenses at the center thinner, while the outside appears much thicker. High-negative lenticular lenses are usually used by people with issues seeing objects at a distance. Thus, they need at least a correction with a minus-10 diopter. Consequently, a person's pupil appears smaller than usual when wearing high-negative lenticular lenses.
3. Bifocals. These lenses are designed for people having concerns about seeing close and distant objects. The upper portion of the lens helps in seeing distant objects. Meanwhile, the bottom of the lens helps with seeing closer things.
The pros and cons of lenticular lenses
For people with cataracts, lenticular lenses will be beneficial. As the lens in the eye turns cloudy and blurs one's vision, an ophthalmologist can implant a new lens. However, lens implantation will not always be available. Hence they suggest using lenticular lenses.
Lenticular lenses can be beneficial, but wearing them might take some time. The drawback is that wearers need to train themselves on what part of the lens to look at to enhance their vision. Additionally, they must know where to look when seeing close or distant objects. These lenses can also be costly, as most have to be carefully custom-made. If the measurements are not accurate even by a few millimeters, the lenses can cause blurry vision.
Lenticular lenses vs. progressive Lenses
Looking closely between progressive and lenticular lenses, they have differences.
First, they differ in structure. A progressive lens prescribes near vision at the bottom portion of the lens, intermediate vision at the center, and distance vision at the upper part. On the other hand, lenticular lenses use a round shape at the center of each lens, surrounded by another lens with little to no power.
Second, progressive lenses do not have visible lines separating the vision powers. However, this is not the case for lenticular lenses.
Third, some users get dizzy, experience headaches, and have eye tiredness after using lenticular lenses. Additionally, progressives can lead to a blurred vision in motion.
More importantly, in terms of cost, lenticular lenses are relatively cheaper than progressive lenses. However, this still may vary depending on the requirements of the lenses, prescriptions, and the manufacturer.
In general, lenticular lenses have their benefits, especially for those needing them badly. When investing in these lenses, it pays to consider factors like your eye condition, the cost, advantages and drawbacks, and the possible effects while using these lenses. This way, you can set realistic expectations. After all, even though lenticular lenses are less expensive, it still requires your hard-earned money. For your part, you also need to get what you pay for.