This is particularly noticeable – and beneficial – if your prescription is a strong one. Create a strong prescription in standard material and you’ll get a thick, heavy lens, one that probably distorts the perceived size of your eyes. Create a strong prescription in high index material and you’ll discover a noticeable lessening of distortion or magnification, and lenses that are considerably lighter and thinner. One of the side benefits to this is that high index lenses offer greater flexibility in frame selection.
A popular choice for people ordering high index lenses is a rimless frame – probably because this was a frame choice that was previously off-limits to anyone with a strong prescription. With rimless frames, a lens is suspended by a thin brow bridge and open on the bottom; this design cannot accommodate thick, heavy lenses, or lenses with very thick, curved edges. Since high index lenses can greatly reduce weight, thickness, and edge bulk, rimless glasses are now compatible with stronger prescription lenses.
Another good option, also previously verboten with strong prescription standard-material lenses, is thin wire metal frames. This style shares the same limitations as rimless frames; they cannot adequately support the weight of lenses that are too heavy, and thick edges protrude so far past the narrow, nearly invisible metal frames that too much attention is draw to the sides of the lenses.
If you wear thick, heavy lenses, you’ll need to support them properly and disguise their bulk behind thick, plastic, darkly-colored or patterned frames. High index lenses may reduce your lenses significantly enough that you can now consider Aviators or any of the other traditional, stylish gold or silver metal frame formats.
It’s worth noting that if your prescription is strong enough to require high index glass lenses, the rimless frame option might not be open to you. High index glass lenses are even heavier that standard glass lenses and, depending on your exact prescription, rimless frames might not be able to support them. If your prescription is extreme enough, high index lenses may only be available to you in glass…thus not in a rimless format.
There really isn’t any one frame style that is best for high index lenses. Style is subjective. What’s important is that high index lenses open up frame options that might not be possible with standard lenses. Any frame style that supports standard-material lenses can support high index lenses, but it doesn’t work the other way around – some frames that support high index lenses cannot be used for lenses made of standard materials. High index lenses may just allow you to branch out into frame styles that you’ve never tried before.
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