Lens Materials

Years ago, glass was the only option available for lenses; but today a wide range of lens materials are available to match all lifestyles. In fact, less than 6% of glasses sold today are made of actual glass. Your personal lens material selection depends on your level of activity, comfort, vision needs, and the recommendation of your eyecare provider. Explore the different options below:

  • Composite: Designed to accommodate most eyeglass wearers, lightweight composite lenses are compatible with most protective treatments, including no-glare, photochromic and scratch-resistant coatings. Composite lenses incorporate polycarbonate, Trivex®, and other ophthalmic materials.

    Trivex® lenses are virtually weightless—an attractive quality for those who wear glasses all day long. They are similar to polycarbonate varieties in durability, but outperform the competition when it comes to clarity. They also block UVA and UVB rays, and hold up to abrasives, such as household cleaners.

    Benefit: Varied materials; thin, durable lens


  • Standard Plastic: Plastic lenses are much lighter than glass lenses and widely prescribed for their comfort, durability, and impact resistance. Many factors contribute to their popularity, including affordability, safety, and a myriad of design options.

    A scratch-resistant coating can be applied to prevent unwanted scuffs and marks.

    Benefit: Lightweight, impact resistant, widely prescribed


  • Mid-Index Plastic: Mid-index lenses are slimmer and lighter than standard plastic types. A variety of protective treatments can also be applied, including photochromic and no-glare coatings.

    Slightly stronger prescriptions for farsightedness typically require a thicker lens. Mid-index lenses minimize thickness in these prescriptions and are generally more affordable than high-index plastic materials.

    Benefit: Light, slim; compatible with most treatments


  • High-Index Plastic: Eyeglass wearers are no longer limited to thick, heavy glasses. High-index plastic lenses are slim and sleek, providing an alternative option for strong prescriptions.

    High-index lenses are typically more expensive than standard plastic and mid-index varieties, but offer a wider choice of frames for people with stronger prescriptions, since the lenses are not bulky. Wearers benefit from a crisp, clear field of vision and comfort, even during prolonged use. When treated with a no-glare coating, high-index lenses sharpen sight considerably—especially at night.

    Benefit: Thinner, lightweight lens for stronger prescriptions


  • Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and lighter than standard plastic varieties, and also much more durable. Polycarbonate is ideal for strong prescriptions because it corrects vision without adding thickness, which can distort the wearer's appearance. Best of all, polycarbonate lenses are virtually unbreakable, making them a great choice for children and active adults.

    Benefit: No-distortion, shatterproof lens for kids, active adults


  • High-Definition (HD): HD (digital lenses) has been described as the most important improvement in prescription eyewear in the last 100 years. The improvement from traditional lenses to digital lenses has been compared to the difference in using an old, analog television compared to a new high-definition television. A recent study by the University of California at Berkeley confirmed consumer preference for HD lenses over conventional progressive lenses, in part because they reported being able to adapt faster to using the lenses and a wider field of vision when viewing objects nearby.

    Unlike traditional lenses, HD lenses are manufactured using digital computer technology and diamond-cutting tools that allow the lenses' surface to be customized to an individual's eyes. High-definition lenses can deliver this unprecedented level of customized vision correction because the lenses are engineered based on a digital scan of the eyes. The resulting, customized vision correction improves unique vision problem areas and providers wearers with superior clarity, and sharper, brighter eyesight, whether they are nearsighted, farsighted, or have a mild astigmatism. The lenses are also thin and light, making them ideal for long wear, even with the strongest prescriptions.

    Helping to further improve the lenses are various lens materials, treatments, and tints that can make driving at night or on bright sunny days easier, provide protection when playing sports, or enable older eyes to experience more natural vision at all distances. This new technology also results in lenses that are smudge- and water-resistant, and that virtually eliminate glare.

    Benefits: Digitally customized lenses for all prescriptions

Lens Guide

Type Features & Benefits Recommended For:
  • Reduces glare
  • Lenses seem "invisible"
  • Eliminate halos and ghost images
  • Night driving
  • Computer users
  • High-index lens wearers
  • Seniors
  • Refractive surgery patients
  • Public speakers
High-Index Plastic Material
  • Lighter
  • Thinner
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Individuals with medium to high powered prescriptions
  • Block UV rays
  • Automatically darken and lighten when exposed to UV light
  • People with light sensitivity
  • Children
  • Drivers
  • Outdoor activities
  • Eliminate all types of glare
  • Enhance contrast
  • Provide maximum UV protection
  • Driving in the sun
  • Outdoor activities
Polycarbonate, Polyurethane and Trivex®
  • Impact­-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Thinner
  • Lighter
  • Children
  • Sports enthusiasts
  • Safety
  • Provide natural vision at all distances
  • Improved cosmetics
  • Individuals over 40
  • Children who need bifocals
  • Customized to the wearer's eye
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Adults, particularly those with unique problem areas