Six decades ago, glass was the only material you could buy to get eyeglasses. This was before the era when plastics and polycarbonate became the top choice of materials for not just eyewear, but just about everything. In those earlier days, though, eyewear makers knew glass wouldn’t scratch and brought features many people eventually forgot about.
In later decades, glass started to become a liability for some, especially because it was so easy to break. Along the way, various myths sprang up, including glass being uncomfortably heavy to wear, or not being available in current lens designs. An even crazier myth developed saying glasses became outlawed by the U.S. government.
None of these myths are true, though eyewear makers barely use glass any more because of public perceptions.
So you’re probably asking yourself: Can I still get glass eyeglass lenses? Fortunately, you can through specialty dealers.
Let’s take a look at why glass is so rare, where it’s going, and why you should still consider it.
As mentioned above, it seems when consumers wanted lighter weight products, plastic and polycarbonate took off in the industry. While these materials became a blessing for many products, plastics haven’t completely mastered the eyewear industry.
Comfort is always a major concern in eyewear, especially those who have to wear glasses all day for their jobs. For them, getting plastic lenses helps reduce a literal weight off their heads. At the same time, it doesn’t always protect from some of the dangers lenses sometimes run across.
For instance, plastic and polycarbonate aren’t very good at scratch prevention like glass is. When working around objects at work that could easily scratch your lenses, going with plastic could become risky. With polycarbonate being quite expensive besides, the last thing you want is having to replace your glasses every few months due to scratches.
High-index lensesprovide enhanced clarity, and they’re available in plastic lenses. However, you perhaps didn’t know glass has a higher index than the other materials.
Now you know one of the most significant reasons why glass eyewear was once a standard: It provided optimal quality for seeing. The higher the index on your lenses, the easier it is for you to see when work becomes overly exacting. Some careers need the best optical capability, which means most people aren’t getting the best lens index available in the eyewear industry.
Relying on bifocals or trifocals in your job once worked better with glass. One reason is glass material could melt together easier so it didn’t create a cutting edge line between two different lenses. Unfortunately, plastic lenses make this line all too apparent.
Glass is more optically pure, giving a cleaner surface and preventing color fringes, otherwise known as dispersion. These qualities go to show what we once used in America sometimes gets forgotten due to circumstance.
It’s worth noting the earlier-mentioned glass myths have many solutions to show how false they are. You can easily get any style of glasses you need while using glass lenses. Using glass isn’t even as heavy as it was decades ago. Yes, it’s still heavier than plastic, though far from feeling like a pressuring weight on your face.
Integrating the latest technologies with glass gives you the best of both worlds when looking for the perfect eyewear.
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