Best Known Wearers Of High Index Lenses

Sight is one of our most critical senses. It allows us to move about the world around us quickly and with agility. But not everyone is born with sufficient eye sight. And others acquire sight problems as they age. Thankfully, due to science and medicine, many of these people can regain the ability of sight simply with a pair of glasses. However, formerly, the more extreme cases of sight issues forced many of these individuals to wear very thick glasses, which can be very heavy, distort the look of the eyes, and can serve as an eyesore. With the newest technology, high index lenses, these thick, coke bottle glasses are no longer a must for individuals with the more severe sight afflictions. 

Some of the individuals who take the most advantage of high index lenses are those who are in the public eye day in and day out. Many celebrities, whether actors, musicians, business people, athletes or politicians, understand that their sight problems are a part of their life that needs to be dealt with and can not be ignored by simply not wearing glasses. But many of these same individuals who are watched closely by the public every day also understand that appearances go a long way and that high index lenses assist them in giving off a better look. Here are just a few of the most well-known individuals who have opted to wear high index lenses:

Politicians:

Phil Gramm

Senator Phil Gramm is a 74-year-old from Texas who has served in the United States government since the 1970s, first as a democratic congressman, then a republican congressman, and, most recently, a republican senator. Due to myopia Phil Gramm has been wearing high index lenses for many years.

Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid is a 77-year-old democratic senator from Nevada who has held his office for two decades. Reid has long been a wearer of glasses, but for the majority of this time it was simply to assist with reading. He had to upgrade to a much more serious pair of glasses to help his eyesight in 2015. While exercising, a broken piece of equipment caused him to fall and incur several injuries. The most serious of these was to his right eye. At first, there was concern that he would have permanent vision loss in the eye. However, after a successful surgery that removed the blood clot and repaired bones surrounding the eye, Reid was able to upgrade to a pair of high index lenses that allowed him to regain vision while maintaining his classic look.

Harrison Schmitt

While Senator Harrison Schmitt can be classified as a politician, as he served as a republican senator from New Mexico for 6 years, he is likely best known for his service for NASA as an astronaut. Schmitt had astigmatism and was one of a handful of Apollo crew members to bring glasses aboard the ship with him. While these glasses were some of the thicker ones, during his time as a senator and after, he was often seen wearing high index lenses.

The list of politicians who wear high index lenses does not end here. There are some national and international politicians who are regularly seen in such glasses, including: The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, the current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the President of France, Francois Hollande, and the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.

Athletes

Ray Wersching

Ray Wersching was not your typical NFL player. Not only was he from Austria but he also was extremely nearsighted. During his 15-year professional career, Wersching played for the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers, winning multiple Super Bowl rings. On each team, Wersching served as the placekicker. His eyesight was so poor during this entire period that, when he would line his kick up, he would have to run out and line himself up with the hashmarks—he simply could not clearly see the goal posts. Throughout his career and since his retirement, Wersching has opted for wearing high index lenses—when he did not have to wear goggles for safety purposes.

Jake Peavy

35-year-old Jake Peavy has had an extremely successful career as a professional baseball player. He has played for the San Francisco Giants, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox, and the San Diego Padres. As a pitcher, good vision is required in order to throw the ball at the intended target. Unfortunately, Peavy lacks this good vision. He has a myriad of eyesight issues, including astigmatism. In fact, his vision is so poor that laser surgery would only be able to get his vision back to around 20/40—without lenses, Peavy’s vision sits at an astonishing 20/300. And while when Peavy is on the field he wears corrective goggles for protective reasons, when he is off the field, he always opts for a pair of high index lenses.

This is far from a comprehensive list of athletes who wear high index lenses. There are athletes in every sport who have to rely on such eyewear to assist them in both daily life and achieving greatness in their sport. Some of the better known athletes who wear high index lenses include the Bulls, Magic, Lakers and SuperSonics star, Horace Grant; the Rams, Colts, Raiders, and Falcons running back, Eric Dickerson; the Serbian professional tennis player, Janko Tipsarevic.

Actors

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell has been a star on the big screen and the small screen, in both funny and serious roles. However, she is often spotted wearing glasses. Many have wondered whether this was for fashion reasons or if she actually had an eye condition. She does. She has Strabismus, which interferes both with her depth perception and her sight. For this reason she prefers high index lenses. Additionally, high index lenses work well for people with this condition because it lessens the attention that can be drawn to the eye from glasses. Strabismus messes with the eyes’ alignment, which can make individuals look cross-eyed or that they have a lazy eye. Thicker glasses magnify this look, making high index lenses a perfect alternative to play it down.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has also been a star on television and in movies. He has had leading and supporting roles for decades, garnering him much attention in the public eye. On many occasions, while out in public, on the set of a film, or even in a movie, he has been spotted wearing high index lenses. He is forced to wear glasses for several reasons. First and foremost, he has naturally blurry vision. In his left eye, he is close to being legally blind. In his right eye, he has myopia. This combination forces him to rely on eyeglasses, otherwise he is only able to see objects that are just in front of him.

Johnny Depp and Kristen Bell are just two actors who are best known for wearing high index lenses. Over the past few decades, many other individuals who we watch in films and on tv have sported high index lenses, including the likes of Brad Pitt, Mila Kunis, John Goodman, Dame Judi Dench, Larry King, and countless others.

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