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The Pros and Cons of Various Lenses, Including High Index Eyeglasses

Choosing the perfect lenses for your eyeglasses is often confusing or overwhelming, especially if this is your first prescription. There is a variety of lenses to choose from and each have their own pros and cons but without knowing what those are, it is hard to make the right choice for your needs. Here are the lens types and what to expect from each kind, including the advantages and disadvantages.

Glass Lenses

Glass lenses were the first type of glasses lenses made, hence the name – glasses. This material is thick and scratch resistant, which are definite benefits. They also have the ability to take coatings very well and are durable, for the most part. Of course, being the first means there are also disadvantages too. Glass lenses are thicker so the aesthetic appeal is not as good and this thickness can be up to 40% higher than other types of lenses. Also, they tend to break or chip easier and need coating to make them UV resistant.

Another negative is that for those with a strong prescription, the thickness has to reflect that and this creates a magnified look that lets everyone know you cannot see well without them. In fact, the term “coke bottle” glasses is specifically for this reason.

Plastic Lenses

Made from liquid polymer, plastic lenses have a few advantages that you will like and like the others, a few disadvantages. This type of lenses are lighter than the glass lenses and and provide good optical quality. They are also more shatter resistant than glass and tint fairly easy. However, they do require you to add a coating to make them scratch-resistant. On the other hand, they do block 100% of ultraviolet rays, which is a definite plus. With these lenses, you do get more reflections than with traditional glass but for a more lightweight feel, plastic beats glass.

High Index Lenses

High index lenses are the perfect choice if you have a high prescription due to a number of reasons. For one thing, even though they work well for strong prescriptions, they are still lightweight. This improves the appearance as well as the wear. High index eyeglasses also provide a better peripheral optic than glass or plastic. While this type of lens does require coating to make them scratch-resistant and there are more reflections than with the previous two types, they look more natural and have a thinner footprint.

These work so well with stronger prescriptions because you still get the advantage of a lens that allows you to see well but you won’t have the thick glass that weighs you down and allows everyone to know you cannot see very good.

Aspheric Lenses

There is also the choice of aspheric lenses but they are not by themselves when it comes to a lens choice. What this means is that you are able to pair aspheric lenses with high index lenses for a combination that provides a slim, lightweight way of seeing the world.

These work by being a compressed lens that give better vision yet they are thinner much like high index lenses. However, as explained previously, these lenses work with high index lenses as well.

The advantages are similar to high index lenses because they are thinner than glass or plastic and work well for peripheral optics. Like any lens, the disadvantages are there but they are few. They do need coating to make them scratch-resistant and they also are prone to having more reflections.

No matter what kind of lens you ultimately choose, make your decision based on the pros and cons and discuss with your doctor your needs in a lens.

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