How Can I Tell if my Lenses are High Index?
Let’s face it – despite all our advancements, our collective experience, and our awareness, it’s still very possible to fall for a scam these days.
Are My Lenses High Index?
It doesn’t mean we’re ignorant or sloppy; today there are so many more ways to shop for items (and so many ways to sell goods and services in the digital age) that unscrupulous people are exploiting more opportunities than ever.
The snake-oil salesman of yore never really disappeared. They simply adapted. Shady deals and rip-off artists have evolved to take advantage of a new era of commerce, an era in which more and more shopping is done online due to the convenience and cost-effectiveness of the process. Yet we know that issues like identity theft and phishing scams are prevalent in the online world, and that phony or non-licensed businesses can easily hide behind the shroud of the internet.
There aren’t as many frauds perpetrated in the eye-wear industry as there are in other online business transactions, but they do exist. Most involve deception or misrepresentation in one form or another. For example, a disreputable site may purport to sell authentic high-end Gucci frames at a lower price than competitors, when of course they can do so because their product is instead a cheap knockoff.
This type of deception is not limited to frames alone. Lenses, too, can be misrepresented. While not common, it is possible for non-reputable sites to sell what they claim to be high index lenses when in fact you are getting standard-material lenses. So how can you tell the difference between the two, to confirm that you’re getting the true high index lenses that you ordered?
It’s not a particularly easy task. There are no telltale signs to distinguish high index lenses from standard material lenses; no industry-required stamp or barcode to set high index lenses apart. For the most part, confirmation is a matter of visual inspection.
High index lenses should be considerably thinner than standard lenses of an identical prescription, especially if that prescription is fairly strong. You should be able to notice this difference. The edges of the lenses in particular make for a good indicator, as standard-material lens edges tend to be comparatively chunky.
If you have a pair of standard-material lenses, or know someone who does and shares a similar prescription strength, you can compare the standard lenses to your (hopefully) high index lenses. The difference might be slight but should be noticeable upon careful inspection. If your prescription isn’t strong enough to make the distinction obvious, you can always bring your glasses to a qualified optometrist or optical lab. An experienced eye doctor or technician should be able to tell if you’ve gotten what you paid for.
It may go without saying but I’ll say it anyway: the easiest way to avoid online scams is to shop at reputable websites. Try to find one with a history of long service and feel free to research the company before making a purchase. Don’t rely on reviews you find on the company’s website as they may be fake, “planted” entries. Make sure the site offers company and contact info that you can use to validate their authenticity. And don’t forget that the old adage still applies, even though the snake-oil salesmen have left their covered wagons behind and now operate online: If it sounds too good or too cheap to be true, it probably is.