Prescriptions That Aren’t Right for High Index

High index lenses are great, but they’re not for everybody.

Prescriptions That Aren’t Right for High Index

It’s generally true that high index lenses are going to be thinner, lighter, and better than standard plastic or polycarbonate lenses, but sometimes they’re not right for you. For instance, if you’re getting prescription safety glasses or prescription sports eyewear, high index plastic may not be right for you.

High index is generally favored over other materials when you have a strong prescription, and there aren’t many times when you should get anything else if your prescription is really strong. If you are in the market for a new pair of prescription glasses and are considering high index lenses, here’s when not to get them:

  • Impact safety. High index lenses are not as impact-resistant as polycarbonate, so if you’re getting a pair of safety glasses or sports glasses, it’s a good idea to go with polycarbonate.
  • Very light prescriptions. If your prescription is under +/-2.00, high index probably won’t make much of a difference in thickness or weight. Since standard plastic and polycarbonate are generally cheaper than high index, if your prescription isn’t very strong you might be wasting money by going with high index lenses.
  • Large wraparound frames and sunglasses. If you’re getting a prescription in a big wraparound frame, you probably won’t be able to find high index lenses that’ll fit in them. Most high index lenses are smaller diameters and can’t be cut into big-lens frames.
  • Special lens colors. Some, but not all, high index lens materials are available in colors like polarized and Transitions, especially if you’re looking for a bifocal. If you need special lens colors, sometimes high index isn’t an option.
  • Glass. Glass high index lenses exist, but the selection of lens colors and frames for them is very limited. Unless you’re looking for clear glass in single vision or progressive, you won’t be able to find it in high index.

The nice thing about shopping for prescription glasses online is that you can see all of your options laid out and make a choice based on what’s available. High index lenses are a great choice much of the time, but they aren’t the end-all be-all.

Don’t be disappointed if you end up getting prescription glasses without high index when you need something special. The most common eyewear with high index is prescription glasses for everyday use and fashion. When you get into special stuff like sunglasses and sports glasses, other materials are often better-suited to the task.

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If you would like to learn more about lens materials and high index plastic, drop us a comment below or browse some of our other blog posts, and thanks for reading!

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