Six Perks to Add to Your High Index Eyeglasses
The recent developments in high index lenses have been a miracle for people with strong prescriptions. The way lenses work means that the stronger your prescription, the wider your lens edges (or centers for the far-sighted) are, creating an unattractive and eighties-classic coke-bottle appearance even in the most modern frames. This unavoidable yet stills stereotypical factor of powerful glasses has frustrated the visually impaired for decades. After all, who wants to be stuck behind thick lenses that make their eyes more difficult to see? Very few people actually like the distinctly ‘nerdy’ appearance of lenses with very thick sides and most would be delighted to find a solution that provides the same visual correction with much thinner lenses.
High index lenses are the solution because they handle the refraction of light more efficiently that normal glass or plastic lenses. All About Vision explains how light bends through a lens based on the index of refraction. This index represents the difference in how light travels through the air versus through the material and is therefore determined by the density and composition of the lens. Materials with higher refractive indexes can be thinner and achieve the same corrective light bending effect.
Normal plastic and glass lenses have an index of about 1.50. High Index lenses, on the other hand, have been crafted for a much higher index range, with the upper limit around 1.74. All About Vision notes that “Lenses with an index of refraction of 1.70 or higher typically are at least 50 percent thinner than conventional plastic lenses”.
Why Not Contacts?
Not everyone can wear contacts, many are prevented by the everyday matter of allergies while others have unusual prescriptions that cannot yet be solved well with contact lenses. In many cases, the more acute your visual impairment, the less likely it is that current contact technology has a solution. This means that for many people, eyeglasses are still the better answer. High index lenses take everyone who is better served by glasses one step closer to the minimalist solution. Because the lenses bend light more efficiently they can be thinner, giving you more freedom to choose flattering frames.
Give Yourself the Perks
One of the great things about high index lenses is that they work with all the same optional features as traditional thicker lenses. When you’re ordering your next pair of super-thin glasses, consider treating yourself to a few lens perks. With a combination of protective and vision enhancing features, you’ll never want to take the new glasses off. Here are the top six
1 Progressive Prescription
Progressives are the most recent answer to the constant conundrum of correcting your vision for different distances. Correction for close reading is not the same as for computer work, and driving could take as many as three or four different theoretical focus layers. Most of us choose a solution and learn to work with it. If the lines of bifocals are distracting or uncomfortable, progressives are lenses that shift distance focus smoothly from top to bottom, allowing you to manually choose which distance you’d like to focus for by adjusting the level of the lenses you look through.
2 Anti-Scratch Coating
Warding off scratches is a fantastic idea for any eyeglass lens, no matter what index or material you choose. Unwanted lines on your lenses are distracting and problematic, and the lens vendors know that. Plastic is softer and therefore more easily scratched than glass, and probably for this reason, as many as 95% of plastic lenses come with anti-scratch coating already applied in order to keep their products competitive. On top of this, you can often get an additional scratch warranty from your eyeglasses retailer for the unusual circumstances in which the anti-scratch coat is insufficient.
3 Anti-Reflective Coating
It is highly recommended that you combine high index lenses with anti-reflective coating, as they complement each other well in bringing out the clarity of both your vision and how well others can see your eyes. Because of the way lenses need to bend light, a certain percentage of the light that hits glass or plastic lenses is reflected away. This creates stray light beams and distorts clear view through either direction of the lens. Normal lenses bend about 8% of the light that hits them according to All About Vision, and high index lenses can reflect as much as twice that as a result of their more efficient light bending material.
Anti-reflective coating can not only mitigate the additional reflective tendencies of high index lenses, they virtually eliminate all reflections. This, combined with the thinner, clearer lens, can make it easier for others to see your eyes through your new lenses.
4 Ultraviolet Protection
The ultraviolet protective coating is a great choice if you spend a lot of time driving or working outside. The sun puts out a wide range of rays, light and heat being our favorite. Research has recently found that the sun’s UV rays damage eye cells in a particular way that is traditionally seen in cataracts, which strongly suggests that UV exposure can accelerate and exacerbate cataract formation. This means that you’ll want to keep your overall exposure down. UV protection allows you to keep your eyes shielded from those potentially harmful UV rays without having to wear sunglasses all the time.
On the topic of sunglasses, if you’re tired of constantly switching prescription frames every time you move through an external door, photochromatic coating might be exactly what you’re looking for. This innovative and responsive lens coating reacts to changes in the light level by darkening or clearing up. They were designed with the purpose of continuously protecting your eyes from just the right amount of light. Photochromatic coating is especially useful if you are constantly changing between indoors and outdoors with significantly different light levels. They naturally enhance and support the same work done by the light responsive dilation of your pupils.
6 Blue-Light-Blocking Coating
Where sunshine is yellow-white and is effectively handled by sunglasses, artificial light is taking on more and more of a blue tinge. Blue halogen light bulbs and those impossibly bright blue headlights are two of many great reasons to seek blue light blocking coating. The coating, sometimes slightly orange, brings down the unnecessary glare from artificial blue lights and gives you better visual clarity at night on the road and in brightly lit commercial locations. if you spend a lot of time traveling, enjoy driving at night, or find yourself facing down a lot of bright halogen light bulbs, a blue blocking coat could significantly improve your daily experience.
Every now and then there’s a really good reason to get a new pair of glasses. Normally these reasons are personal, involving a new prescription or broken frames. For anyone who’s been lamenting the thickness of your lenses, high index technology could be the best recent innovation in eyeglasses currently available. The chances are quite high that these will be your new favorite glasses, so you have every reason to invest in a few perks. Ant-reflective treatment is especially useful with your new high-index glasses, combating the additional reflective properties and creating a beautifully clear image through both directions. With your thinner, clearer lenses set into a sleek new frame, you may want to snap a few commemorative photos.