With so many different options for lens technology and frame style available, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there is also a choice for lens material. The lens material can influence the durability and style of your overall lens solution, but it can also be influenced by your visual requirements.


Glass lenses were once the norm, but due to technological advancements over the years, glass isn’t any longer as widely used. While glass lenses have excellent optical qualities, they are prone to breakage and are frequently quite expensive.

Most lenses, on the other hand, are made of special types of plastic that are typically lightweight and stronger. There are several types of lenses available, depending on your specific needs, including CR-39, polycarbonate, and high-index plastic lenses.


CR-39 is a thermal-cured plastic polymer that was first used in the 1940s. It is half the weight of glass while maintaining optical qualities, and it has since become the standard for everyday lenses.

Polycarbonate was first used in the lens production industry in the 1970s, primarily for child’s eyewear, sports eyewear, as well as safety applications such as helmet visors as well as goggles. Polycarbonate is more impact-resistant than CR-39 and even lighter. Furthermore, polycarbonate lenses are capable of blocking 100 percent of UV light.

If you have a strong prescription, you will most likely be advised to wear high-index plastic lenses, which will allow you to achieve the level of correction you require without the need for thick lenses. Because high-index plastic lenses bend light more efficiently than regular lenses, less material is required to achieve the desired correction. This is referred to as a higher refractive index.


In most cases, your lifestyle can assist you in selecting the best lens material for your needs. It is critical to consider which material is best suited to your daily activities. For example, if you are looking for children’s lenses or lenses to wear while participating in sports, polycarbonate may be advantageous because it is less likely to break. This can help to avoid injuries or accidents while also ensuring that visual acuity is not compromised.

Similarly, if you want to choose a frame without rims, hard plastic lenses are frequently advised to keep the overall strength and durability of the lens solution.

If you really need new lenses and are due for an eye exam, don’t forget to ask your optician about the best lens material for your needs.

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