Thick lenses can be cumbersome and are often less comfortable and visually pleasing than thin lenses. However, individuals with high prescriptions (+/- 2.00) do not need to resign themselves to resign themselves to thick, heavy lenses. Shady Grove offers a variety of options to make your glasses lighter and less bulky.
Your Lens Index Matters
Eyeglasses correct our vision by refracting, or bending, light before it enters our eyes. How much refraction we need to see properly varies from person to person and is represented by our eyeglass prescription. Traditionally stronger prescriptions required thick lenses in order to ensure light is refracted enough to give you clear vision.
Fortunately, advances in eyeglass technology mean that opticians can now create plastic lenses that require less material to bend light sufficiently at higher prescriptions. This translates into thinner lenses and lighter glasses, even for individuals with high prescriptions. These thinner lenses are referred to as high index lenses.
High Lens Index
What Are High Index Lenses and How Do They Affect My Vision?
High index lenses are both thinner and lighter than traditional plastic lenses. Since high index lenses can bend light more effectively than traditional lenses, they can be thinner while still offering the same amount of corrective power.
Traditional plastic lenses have a refractive index of approximately 1.5, and traditional glass lenses have a refractive index of approximately 1.52. Any lens material that has a higher refractive index than that of traditional glass or plastic lenses is considered to be high index.
Why Should I Choose High Index Lenses Over Standard Lenses?
Plastic high index lenses are also lighter and have thinner edges than traditional lenses. High index glass lenses are available, but because glass is significantly heavier than plastic individuals with high index glass lenses will not notice any significant difference in weight. However, high index glass lenses are still thinner than their conventional counterparts, making them an attractive option for individuals with high prescriptions.
Most high index lenses also have an aspheric design, which makes them both slimmer and more attractive than their traditional counterparts. This, in turn, helps reduce the “bug-eye” look that is caused by traditional lenses with high prescriptions.
How Do I Know If High Index Lenses Are Right For Me?
Whether or not you would benefit from high index lenses is mostly determined by your prescription. Individuals with prescriptions that are lower than +/- 2.00 will not experience a lot of added benefit from choosing high index lenses. However, individuals with prescriptions that are higher than +/- 2.00 could benefit significantly from high index lenses.
High index lenses typically cost more than traditional lenses, so if you aren’t going to gain any noticeable benefits from choosing high index lenses, they are likely not worth the extra expense. To help determine if high index lenses are a good choice for you speak to your optometrist.
Does My Prescription Affect How Thin My High Index Lenses Can Be?
The higher your prescription, the thicker your lenses will need to be. This holds true for both traditional lenses and high index lenses. Though high index lenses are significantly thinner than traditional lenses, their overall thickness is still determined by your prescription.
Eyeglass Frame Choice
Eyeglass frames come in a wide variety of styles, shapes, materials, and sizes. Individuals who are looking to make their lenses as thin as possible should consider the size and shape of their frames. Thick lenses, even high index lenses, typically distort our eyes and eye area. To minimize this distortion individuals with thicker lenses should choose frames that are rounded or oval in shape, and select frames that are smaller.
Individuals who require thick lenses can also draw attention away from their lens thickness by choosing frames strategically. Thin frames tend to emphasize lens thickness because they are typically much thinner than the lenses, even if the lenses are not particularly thick. This goes for rimless frames as well.
Choosing a thicker frame can help draw attention away from thicker lenses and make them less noticeable.