In this segment I am going to talk about the different choices of material that lenses are available in.
This is another subject that was sparked by a previous comment on a prior post.
The subject was “ do I really need that, scratch resistant coating”.
In that post I stated that everyone needs scratch resistant coating because they do not clean their lenses properly so scratch resistant will help prolong the life of the lenses.
You can read that article if you like, by clicking the link in the archive section of this page.
To comment went like this:
If people just bought Glass lenses they wouldn't need to get scratch resistant coating's. It's amazing how the optical industry has brainwashed people into thinking that they need plastic lenses and then they tell them to get the lenses coated.
I have been in the optical industry for going on 17 years now,
and I am afraid I would have to somewhat agree with this statement.
That is exactly what happens, but that is also why in that post I threw in a shameless plug for my company, because I give free scratch resistant coating on every pair of lenses I sell, as opposed to most places that are pushing plastic lenses are also pushing the scratch resistant coating and charging for.
John Q. consumer has been brainwashed into thinking plastic lenses is what they need,
in fact, the deal now is everybody is pushing polycarbonate lenses,
on the premise that they are thinner, lighter, and impact resistant, which is all true,
but they are also more expensive than regular plastic lenses, of course, and just like plastic, or Glass for that matter, they're not for everybody.
So what I would like to do is discuss the pros and cons of all three of these choices.
Some of you along with myself included are old enough to remember back when we didn't have all these choices, there was a time when Glass lenses were the only thing you could get.
Then they came out with plastic lenses which everyone was excited about because they were much lighter weight, but what they discovered was they scratch easier.
The Glass lenses are a little tougher but they were so heavy.
And the mindset now days is people want their glasses to be as light weight and nonintrusive as possible, that is why they are pushing polycarbonate lenses now.
Glass lenses weigh more and if you drop your glasses they may shatter because Glass is the least shatterproof.
But, Glass lenses give you the best optics, in other words you get better visual acuity through a Glass lens, and they do not scratch as easily as plastic or polycarbonate.
Plastic lenses are lighter weight, and much more shatterproof, but will scratch easier if you do not clean them properly, and you will lose a little visual acuity.
But this is still the most popular choice for lenses because most people do not want to put up with the extra weight of a Glass lens, and with a scratch resistant coating and proper cleaning they will last for a good amount of time.
Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and lighter and are shatterproof, most optical,s
you go to will also call them impact resistant which is the same thing.
You can take a hammer and smack a polycarbonate lens with it and it will not break,
so they are the safest lens when it comes to impact resistance, but once you smack it with that hammer you will not be able to see through it because it will be scratched up and dented.
Polycarbonate lenses are very soft and pliable that's why they're impact resistant,
but they also scratch the easiest, so it is a must that you use proper cleaning methods with a polycarbonate lens or their only going to last about 10 minutes.
And for some people they have some inherent distortion that they cannot tolerate,
also some people complain about chromatic aberrations as well.
So although they are the safest you are going to sacrifice some visual acuity with a polycarbonate lens.
I specialize in prescription safety glasses, and being in a safety environment, one of the things I'm faced with when I am sitting down with a safety director to discuss their prescription eyewear program is what type of lenses should we use?
You would think that in a safety situation you would want polycarbonate lenses for your safety glasses because they are the most impact resistant therefore the safest.
And in some cases that is true. But what if the workers are in a really dusty dirty or greasy grimy work environment?
The polycarbonate lenses are going to get so scratched up very quickly that now the worker cannot see through them. So is that safe if they can't see through them?
In a case like that their really better off with a Glass lens.
That way they are easier to keep clean so they can see better which makes them safer.
In summary, what you really have to do is ask yourself what is important to you,
what are your cleaning habits, and in the case of safety eyewear, what type of environment are you going to be using these glasses in?
Are you going to take good care of your glasses? Or do you know that you're not very good at cleaning them properly.
Is it impact resistance and safety that you are after?
Or do you want the best visual acuity, and if so are you willing to put up with the extra weight of a Glass lens?
So, although as I stated before I somewhat agree that we have been brainwashed,
I can't honestly say everybody should be wearing Glass lenses.
Glass lenses are not for everybody nor are plastic lenses or polycarbonate.
As I have always stated in prior post or face-to-face with my customers,
you have to educate yourself to the different choices available in eyewear and then
You Choose what is best for you!
As always, I hope this has been helpful.
I encourage any comments or questions in regards to regular glasses or prescription safety glasses, please feel free to visit my web site, where you can go to the “contact us”
page there you will find my phone number and my e-mail address.
See you next time