Why Are My Lenses So Thick?

Thick lenses getting you down? There’s a solution for that.

My Lenses are So Thick!

Anybody who’s been wearing prescription glasses for a long time can attest: your lenses get thicker as your prescription gets stronger. If you’re asking, “Why are my lenses so thick?” you’re probably really wondering, “What can I do to get thinner lenses?”

Thick lenses plague high prescription wearers and always have. Nobody wants to have the “coke bottle lenses” look, and it can get uncomfortable and inconvenient to walk around with thick lenses on your face all day.

High index lenses are capable of reducing lens thickness, often by more than half, to bring your glasses back into the realm of normalcy.

If you’re interested in getting thin lenses, and if you’ve been asking yourself, “Why are my lenses so thick?” here’s what you should know:

  • High index lenses are available in a variety of refractive indexes which give you options for what thickness, lens type, and color you want your lenses to be.
  • “Refractive index” is how efficiently a lens bends light. The higher your refractive index, the thinner your lens can be with the same prescription.
  • People shopping for thin lenses and lighter glasses should consider getting high index lenses. Most high index lenses are at least above 1.60 index, and some get as high as 1.80 (standard plastic is more like 1.40).
  • High index plastic is the most popular thin lens material. It is lightweight, reasonably scratch resistant, thin, and attractive. High index 1.70 is very popular for those with clear lenses, and high index 1.74 is most popular for those seeking Transitions.
  • If you’re looking for the thinnest lenses possible, you should go with high index glass. These are the lenses that can reach 1.80 or even 1.90 index. They will be the thinnest and the most attractive-looking, but keep in mind that if weight and distortion are also an issue for you, you’ll be better off with high index plastic.

Why are your lenses so thick? Because you don’t have high index! Only high index lenses can make a strong prescription look as thin and attractive as a normal prescription.

Shop High Index Glasses

It’s no question that lens thickness is the bane of high prescription wearers. You don’t have to suffer with crazy looking glasses anymore! If you’re a high prescription wearer, take a look at high index lenses. They are affordable online, and you can go back to the way you looked when your prescription wasn’t as strong.

If you have questions about high index lenses or which ones are right for you, you can leave a comment below or check out some of our other blog posts about high index lenses. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

Guide to High Index Lenses 9 Responses to Why Are My Lenses So Thick?
  1. Mary
    November 14, 2013 | 3:21 am

    My dughter has a conditon that causes her to have sevear vision problems. she is a -11 in both eyes, which is about 20/150 sight!! I ordered her the high Index lenses but my question is, will they be thin? i mean its a high prescription, will they still be as thin as everyone says? we get them in in 10 days.

  2. Ryan Phillips
    November 16, 2013 | 12:16 pm


    They will be thinner than regular lenses but will probably still look thicker because of the high rx. Unfortunatly there is only so much the lenses can do. I don’t know who you ordered the lenses from but make sure you get the 1.74 lenses. Also pick a frame with a small lens size and has a rounded to oval shape frame to it. It will help on making the lenses thinner, one last thing is if you can find it in a thicker plastic frame to hide some of the lens edges that will help as well. if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.
    Thanks Ryan

  3. Rudy
    January 18, 2014 | 11:16 pm

    Hi, I have a prescription of -13, which is pretty strong. I went for 1.74 ref index glasses. But the glasses I got were not as thin as I hoped. Is it possible that the optician didn’t use 1.74 and instead used 1.67 ? Is there a way to confirm ?

  4. Dawne
    January 20, 2014 | 9:59 pm

    Hello Rudy,

    It is possible he used the wrong material. You would have to ask your eye Doctor for paperwork showing was used, but w/that being said A prescription of -13 is pretty high and the lens would still have some thickness to it at an Index of 1.74. I would suggest a 1.70 or 1.90 which is ultra thin, but it is glass and does have some limitations.
    I hope this answered your question, should you have any others feel free to reach out to us. :)

  5. bridgette
    March 2, 2014 | 4:56 am

    I went to the eye doctor today and was told that i was at a three in thickness for my basic lenses. I am worried that my lenses will stick out farther than the frames? Also am i close to being blind in that eye?

    • Kieran Hunt
      March 4, 2014 | 4:00 am

      Hi Bridgette,

      At a 3, you are not yet legally blind, from what I know. However, it is strong enough that your prescription may stick out farther than the frames. Typically, this extra thickness comes through on the backside of the glasses, so that your lenses are not noticeably thicker unless viewed from the side. High index lenses will help greatly with this. I suggest going with 1.67 or 1.70 high index lenses with your prescription.

      Please let me know if you have more questions.

      Kieran Hunt

  6. josie
    August 21, 2014 | 10:29 pm

    Dont you think that it is up to that person if they want a thinner lense

  7. Elizabeth
    December 7, 2014 | 11:37 pm

    I’d like to ask a couple a of questions that I’ve never had answered by anyone. First off is that I just got my new glasses today and the lens are thick to the point where they are just touching my cheeks. My prescription on my right eye is -5 and the left is -4.50. Honestly I don’t know how to pick out the right frames so I just go with those thick ones that teens wear. Then the ones that I pick always fall off and then I have to deal with them for a whole year. But now I’m told by my dad that he won’t get me new frames next year so I’m kinda stuck on how to deal with them for that long. Is it possible to change the thickness of the lens and to keep the same frames?

  8. Jessica
    December 8, 2014 | 4:05 pm

    On our website http://www.myeyewear2go.com we have a selection of frames for thick prescriptions. You should next time get high index lenses. However your RX is not too high so I do not know why they would be so thick. We do have program where you send us your frame and we can make a new RX for them.

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