When buying optical eyeglasses online, the look and style of frames is perhaps the biggest deciding factor for most as the frames will, of course, affect your appearance, but also may affect your comfort. A lot of people neglect to consider the material of their lenses, but this is another factor that can ensure you are choosing the best optical eyeglasses to suit your needs. The material of your lenses will affect not only the appearance and comfort of your eyeglasses but also your vision and safety.
You’ll be given the choice between glass and plastic for your lenses when buying optical eyeglasses online. Here’s a guide to each lens material and how they compare.
Glass, the original eyeglass lens material, really does offer the best optical quality.
Although plastic lenses can’t compete with the clarity of glass, they can have a number of tints and coatings applied to enhance and improve your visual experience.
Tints and Coatings
Glass lenses are very limited in the tints and coatings that can be applied to them, while any photochromic or polarized tints can be applied to plastic lenses with a range of colors and intensities.
Photochromic tints turn the lenses dark in strong light to protect your eyes and then turn them light again in the reduced light.
Polarized tints filter the different directions of light, reducing glare.
Glass lenses are very heavy, sometimes up to double the weight of plastic lenses. Because of this, you may find them uncomfortable to wear, but it also impacts your choice of frames. Rimless or semi-rimmed frames are not an option, as a full rim is required to support the weight. With plastic lenses, you are open to any style of frame.
Glass lenses can be made much thinner than plastic lenses, which is great for those with a severe refractive error that would require very thick plastic lenses. Thin lenses are much more aesthetically pleasing. Glass is also the better choice for bifocal or trifocal lenses, as the different materials can be melted together without having any noticeable edges and generally appearing cleaner.
Wear and Tear
Glass is a strong substance and more resistant to scratches than the softer plastic lenses, however, glass shatters on impact, which can make this material a dangerous choice. Particularly for children and sports players. While plastic lenses are more prone to scratching, a scratch resistant coating can be applied to them, offering a level of protection against general wear and tear.
Plastic is by far the most popular lens material, and it’s not hard to understand why. But glass lenses do have their place and you should consider how each material will affect your prescription, as well as weighing up the pros and cons of each lens type.