If you’ve been wearing glasses for much of your life, no doubt you have done some experimenting with frames and lens combinations over the years to discover which aspects work best for you. Every glasses experience is different and forms a unique journey of prescriptions, appearance shaping, and the search for optimal vision correction. We all want something that looks good on our face, provides peripheral vision, and lenses so clear and scratch-free that they seem to disappear when you put them on. There have been decades of experimentation with plastic lenses which have, admittedly, gotten much nicer in the last several years, but still nothing beats high-quality glass lenses.
Of all the marvels of modern technology, one of the most impressive is how much plastic lenses have not managed to completely replace their glass original design. Now, both material sets are available from almost any ophthalmologist’s office, frames shop, and online glasses store and somehow people are still choosing eyeglasses with real glass lenses. Why? Here are the top 5 reasons why real glass is still a wonderful lens material.
Clarity is one of the most important parts of anyone’s experience with their eyeglasses. No one wants to be constantly distracted by stray shimmers of reflected light or look at the world through a slowly yellowing surface. The goal, in most cases, is to almost completely forget that the glasses are there so we can focus on the world beyond them. However, to avoid these visual interruptions, buyers need to be careful which lens material they choose.
When light hits your lenses, it does two things. First, it refracts (bends) light the way the lens intends it to and this is what causes your glasses to provide a focused image that corrects your vision. The second thing, however, is dispersion which acts as a prism and spreads colored light over your lenses and is what makes them seem thick when looking through them.
Plastic lenses have a lot more of this effect, known as Abbe, which means they tend to look a little cloudy when light hits them. Glass, on the other hand, has the minimum amount of Abbe, eliminating the color spread and creating a pristinely clear, almost invisible, lens for your glasses.
Have you ever noticed a scratch on your glasses and then found it impossible to stop noticing it? Almost everyone who wears glasses has been through this at least once, and most of us have seen it a dozen times at least. You may be surprised to learn that part of the reason this experience is so common is because glasses are created with plastic lenses by default.
Scratches are one of the worst parts of glasses and plastic lenses are particularly susceptible to this negative effect. Once a lens is scratched it becomes a permanent visible reminder that you are wearing glasses, and damaged ones at that, until you can get a new pair. The hard surface of a glass lens, on the other hand, is incredibly resistant to scratching. When combined with the low-Abbe optical clarity, this makes them nearly invisible on your face, thus easier to forget that you’re seeing the world through lenses at all.
Almost anyone with an extremely high or low lens prescription has faced the challenge of thick lenses. There are essentially two options for frames: hide them in thick frames or let them flare out awkwardly around thinner frames. What you may not know is that a ‘high index’ lens option can actually make your lenses thinner, and it’s done better in glass.
An old idea but a new craze in the eyeglasses industry, high index lenses trade density for thinness, forcing light to bend more efficiently through less material. In other words, high index lenses are the slimmest lenses on the market, and glass can go much higher than plastic. Currently, the index of glass lenses can be crafted anywhere from 1.5 (“normal”) all the way up to 1.9. Creating lenses at the high end will produce paper-thin but surprisingly heavy glass lenses that are more than 75% thinner than they would be at a standard index. Plastic, on the other hand, can so far only reach 1.74.
Bifocals and Trifocals are for people who need multiple levels of focus and don’t feel like switching out their glasses for various distances. While “progressives” are available to do this in a line-less fashion, if you want the old fashioned lined style of bifocal, glass lenses are the recommended material. This is because lenses of various prescriptions can easily be melted together without forming a cutting edge on the lens. This creates a cleaner, safer, and much clearer bifocal design than those made with plastic lenses.
Finally, and here’s the crazy part, glass lenses are less expensive than plastic ones. You would think that with the satisfying value of authenticity, clarity, scratch resistance, and better indexing that true glass lenses would be the luxury option. However, due to their slightly increased weight compared to the plastic alternative, glass lenses are significantly more affordable.
Whether you’re looking for new eyeglasses to replace an old scratched-up plastic pair or are simply interested in an upgrade, Rx-Safety specializes in offering eyeglasses with real glass lenses in our online store. For more information about glass lenses or to find us to order a new pair of high-quality eyeglasses, contact us today!
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