Can You Wear High Index Eyeglasses for Weekend Warrior Activities?

For many people, the weekends aren’t just for sleeping late and spending time relaxing around the house. They spend much of their weekend engaged in a sport or other vigorous activity. If you are such a person and would rather not get contact lenses for weekend use, you might be considering high index eyeglasses. Here are five things you should know:

Impact Resistance

If you will be playing baseball, paintball, or other activities that require eye protection from projectiles, balls, bats, or rackets, high index lens materials are not suitable because they lack the impact resistance of polycarbonate. Eye protection in these activities also requires a large lens that protects the eyes from impacts coming from any direction. However, high index lenses aren’t available in sizes large enough to fit wraparound frames or goggles.

Ultraviolet Protection

If your activities will expose you to ultraviolet light such as hiking or snowshoeing on snow-covered terrain, visiting places at high altitudes, or boating, high index lenses do offer good resistance to UV light. Make sure that the UV protection level is adequate for your situation.

Glare protection

High index lenses reflect more light than other types of lenses. This makes glare a big problem with their use. However, this is readily dealt with by using an anti-reflective coating. In fact, anti-reflective coatings are a common addition so that wearers can drive safely at night. Therefore, glare shouldn’t be an issue.

Anti-Scratch Protection

More likely than not, your weekend activities will not happen in well controlled environments like your home. Your high index eyeglasses may be exposed to wind-blown dirt or accidentally dropped on the ground. The unfamiliar environment and the activity can distract you from giving your glasses proper care against getting scratched. An anti-scratch coating is practically a necessity in these circumstances and is available for high index eyeglasses.

Can You Wear High Index Eyeglasses for Weekend Warrior Activities?

Yes and no. It depends on the activities and on your willingness to wear protective goggles over your glasses. If you’re disinclined to wear protective goggles, then you can’t safely engage in any activities involving projectiles, or activities that risk an impact of your glasses with objects. A shattered lens can cause serious eye damage.

High index eyeglasses are fine for day hikes on easy terrain that doesn’t require climbing or scrambling, for example. On the other hand, rock climbing exposes eyeglasses to gouging and possibly impact. In such a sport, eye contacts are likely your best bet. The participants in winter sports such as skiing generally wear goggles as a matter of course.

If you are willing to wear protective goggles over your high index eyeglasses, especially where such protection is the norm anyway, then you can engage in most weekend activities. It’s only a matter of finding goggles that provide a good and comfortable fit over your glasses. Because high index lenses are lighter and thinner than the old bulky “coke bottle” lenses, they will fit better inside goggles. Because so many people wear glasses, many manufactures provide goggles built specifically to accommodate glasses.

You should also get a sports band that will hold your glasses in place. Make sure the goggles are ventilated to prevent moisture entrapment that can cause fogging in your glasses and goggles. Many goggles have an anti-fog coating and there are products that will provide this protection for your eyeglasses as well.

For many activities, forgoing any form of prescription eyeglasses (or contacts) is a mistake. The resulting poor vision can also cause injury. For example, cross-country skiing down hills sometimes requires you to quickly spot exposed rocks or ground in the snow. These can catch your skis and cause a fall. Snow texture and icing assessment is important on many advanced trails. Other types of sports and activities will also require good vision.

With the right protective lens coatings, a sports band, and external goggles appropriate for the activity, there is no reason why you can’t use your high index glasses for most weekend adventures and sports. If you would like to learn more about high index lenses, please contact us.

Guide to High Index Lenses

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