Choosing Eyeglasses Based on Material: High Index Lenses Are the Top Choice

In the past, there weren’t many choices when it came to eyeglasses material. Glasses in the past were simply that – glass. They shattered easily and were heavier than what is offered today. Of course, technology has brought us all the way from thick, heavy glasses to the thinnest of material – high index lenses. Here are a few of the choices that are available and what each brings as benefits as well as their negative aspects and when it comes to choosing eyeglasses based on material, high index lenses are the top choice.

Plastic and Glass Lenses

While glass may be the hardest material in the glasses world, as we mentioned, glasses made from glass are not only heavy but the glass isn’t shatter proof. How many old movies always show the bully breaking another kid’s glasses? This type of material also does not protect the eyes from UV rays as well as other materials.

CR-39 Plastic

CR-39 Plastic lenses are better than glass in some aspects such as providing better ultraviolet light protection, they won’t shatter as often as glass, they are definitely more lightweight, and are easily tinted. However, like eyeglasses made of glass, they are as thick as those glasses which is not as attractive as a thinner choice.

Polycarbonate Lenses

Polycarbonate lenses are the generation between CR-39 plastic lenses and high index lenses. They have all of the same aspects of CR-39 plastic lenses such as being lightweight and easily tinted and they won’t shatter like glasses. The added benefit that they have and CR-39 does not is that they are thinner and even lighter. The big benefit is that they are shatter resistant and work well for children’s eyewear as well as safety glasses.

High Index Lenses

Last but certainly not least is the latest in eyeglasses – high index lenses. This is what lenses are called that are lighter and thinner and have a higher refraction index. For example, typical CR-39 lenses have an index of refraction of 1.498, which is the ability to bend light. However, anything that has an index of refraction over the number 1.523 is what is considered high index lenses.

The highest now is 1.74 and the most popular is the 1.67, which is half as thin as the CR-39 plastic lenses.

The benefits are that these lenses are extremely thin and look attractive on the face. They won’t show a thick, magnified look and they’re thin and lightweight so that they are comfortable to wear as well as stylish.

While your eye doctor will tell you which type is best for you, many people choose the high index lenses if their prescription warrants it simply for the fact of how they look and feel. In fact, you probably won’t find an eye doctor that is going to recommend regular glass since those are what was used in the past and there is plenty out there that is better, safer, and looks nicer.

Cost Consideration

One thing to keep in mind is that high index lenses do tend to cost more. This may be a consideration for those on a budget. However, these lenses have so many benefits that it is a solid investment.

For one thing, you will want to wear your glasses more often if they are comfortable and you won’t get much more lightweight than with high index lenses. Another thing is how they look when worn. Older glasses were heavy and thick, which magnified the eyes and made them stand out considerably. High index lenses are so thin and lightweight that they are barely noticeable and won’t magnify the eyes at all.

It is ultimately your choice in material for your eyeglasses but one thing is for certain, high index glasses are an excellent choice for comfort and style.

Guide to High Index Lenses

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