Eyewear Glossary

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The array of terms and “lingo” used by eyewear professionals and optometrists can be intimidating. With that in mind, we’ve organized a glossary of essential terms to lead you through your next appointment, styling session or just to keep on hand. We recommend bookmarking this article for future reference! And if you haven’t already, check out our ‘5 Tips to Getting the Best Eye Exam from Your Eye Doctor’ for more insight on how to fine-tune your optical experience.


Accommodation: The eye’s ability to automatically change focus from one distance to another. There are a variety of Accommodation Disorders, the most common being Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness).

Acetate: The type of cotton based plastic most commonly used in the production of frames.

Anti-reflective Coating: A thin multilayer coating that is applied by vacuum chamber to the lens to reduce glare.

Aspheric: A lens that is not quite spherical (round). This shape of lens works well for people who have very strong prescriptions, as the lens shape can reduce distortion.

Astigmatism: A condition where the front surface of the eye is curved differently, causing streaked or stretched vision, headaches and eye strain.

Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA): The best vision that can be obtained with correction (i.e. glasses, contacts etc).

Bifocal: Lenses that have segments for both near and far vision correction. Usually with a distinct line visible on the lens that separates the near and far parts of the lens.

Blue Light Filter: These lenses help decrease the amount of blue light displayed on your computer screen or smartphone. It reduces digital eye strain, so your eyes won’t feel so tired by the end of the day.

Bridge: The part of the frame that extends across the “bridge” of one’s nose.

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Chromatic Aberration: The fuzziness that appears around the edges of an object as a result of lens material that is not crystal clear.

Cone: Photosensitive receptor cells in the eyes that are responsible for color vision.

Convergence: The simultaneous inward movement of both eyes towards each other (ex. Viewing an object as it comes closer and closer to you). This is usually measured from infinity (distance) to about 18 inches (reading).

Cornea: The transparent front portion of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber — and allows light to enter.

Distance Vision: Vision related to tasks beyond an “arm’s length” to infinity.

Farsightedness: Also known as “hyperopia,” causes nearby objects to be blurry.

Floaters: Very common spots in vision that look like black or grey specks or strings and “float” across the eye. These are caused by undissolved vitreous humor.

Iris: A thin circular structure in the eye responsible for controlling how much light reaches the retina — and determines eye color.

Nearsightedness: Also known as Myopia, it is a condition where close objects appear clearly, but those far away do not.

Nose Pad: The clear or metal pads that rest on either side of your nose and support your glasses.

Phoropter: The device commonly used in eye exams featuring a combination of lenses.

Plano: Eyewear with no corrective power.

Progressive Lenses: Line free multifocal lenses that can feature a range of prescriptions throughout the lens (ex. Separate segments for distance, middle, and up close work).

Pupil: The hole located in the center of the Iris that allows light to hit the retina.

Refraction: A test used during an eye exam to determine the lens power needed for optimum visual acuity.

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Retina: The light sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye.

Rod: A photosensitive receptor cells that are responsible for vision at low light levels.

Temple: Running from the ear to the lens, it’s commonly referred to as the “arm” on a pair of glasses.

Visual Acuity: The sharpness of your vision.


Still have some questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out. Send us an email at optician@davidkind.com


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