Understanding the lingo

Eyewear terms explained

Like any medical speciality, eyecare has a large number of technical terms that can be confusing and hard to remember. When we talk about lenses for your Dresden frames (or any other frame), here are the eyewear terms we use and what they mean.

There are two types of lenses


Custom-made lenses, cut to order. These are typically produced offshore, in Asia, and take around 5-7 working days. Some grind lenses are specialty lenses that can take months to produce. These cost more and take longer to create, however they provide exactly what the customer needs or wants.


Mass-produced lenses that are held in stock by Dresden and our suppliers. These are created in bulk and cater to a wide array of prescription needs. They give us the ability to create prescription glasses in minutes, while you wait.

Styles of lenses

Single vision

Lenses that correct for a single refractive distance, and are designed to assist with a single kind of vision (e.g. reading glasses). We offer these as Distance, Intermediate and Reading (aka Near)


These correct for all three refractive distances, within one lens. Multifocal lenses are very popular, and people typically require them from around 45 years of age


Lenses designed to correct for both distance and near vision. These lenses are less popular, because they were largely replaced by multifocals. It’s possible to see the half-moon ‘near’ section at the bottom of the lens, which is partly why these lenses are less popular today.


Use these lenses while at a desk; they correct for both intermediate and near vision (though there are many different designs of desk lenses, so this may vary).


Similar to the Desk/Access lens, these are essentially multifocal lenses but with the focal design adapted to suit varying work environments, such as desk work or in a meeting.

Lens sizes

1.5 Index – Standard

Our standard lens index, the one we started with in 2015, is well suited to most prescriptions.

1.6 – Thin

The next step up, Thin lenses are thinner, lighter and have UV protection as standard. Some 1.6 index lenses are available as stock lenses. These are best for strong prescriptions.

1.67 – Ultra Thin

A lightweight lens for people with strong prescriptions.

1.74 – Thinnest

For very strong prescriptions.