– Ed

When getting new spectacles, an important decision is what lenses and lens treatments you choose. Here is a brief overview of current lens materials and coatings for you to consider.


“High-index” refers to the index of refraction of a lens material, which is a measure of how efficiently the material bends (refracts) light to provide a corrective effect. Lenses made with a high-index material require less mass to correct your vision and therefore are noticeably thinner than standard glass or plastic lenses of the same power.

Polycarbonate Lenses: THIN, LIGHT AND EXTRA SAFE

Polycarbonate lenses are up to ten times more impact resistant and twenty-five percent thinner than regular plastic lenses. They are also up to thirty percent lighter than regular plastic lenses. They block one hundred percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. This protection may reduce your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life.

Anti-Reflective Coating: LOOK BETTER AND SEE BETTER

Anti-reflective (AR) coating eliminates lens reflections and allows more light to enter the eye for better night vision. AR coating also reduces reflective glare and improves visual comfort for tasks like working at a computer.

Scratch-Resistant Coating: PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT

No eyeglass lenses — not even glass lenses — are scratchproof. But applying a clear scratch-resistant coating to both sides of eyeglass lenses, greatly increases the hardness and durability of the lenses. Scratch-resistant coatings are essential for all lightweight high-index lenses, which have a relatively soft surface and are easily scratched without added protection.

Ultraviolet (UV) Treatment: BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Most high-index lenses have hundred percent UV protection built-in. But with regular plastic lenses, a special lens treatment is required to provide complete UV protection. This UV treatment does not change the appearance of the lenses and is inexpensive.

Photochromic Lenses: AUTOMATIC COMFORT

Photochromic lenses darken automatically when exposed to sunlight, and quickly return to a clear state indoors, making them extremely convenient for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about keeping prescription sunglasses handy for every trip outdoors. Photochromic lenses also block hundred percent of the sun’s UV rays and are available in a wide variety of lens materials and designs, including bifocal and progressive lenses.

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