Happy With Your Frames But Not With Your Lenses? Don't Worry, You Can Customize Those Too!

Usually when someone talks about customizing their glasses, they just mean choosing a frame and general shape, but did you know your lenses are customizable too? If you're not happy with your lenses, you don't have to just resign yourself to a life of discontentment. Instead, consider just a few of the ways you can have your glasses upgraded to better suit your needs.

You Have More Options Than You Think

If someone asked you what your glasses lenses were made of, you'd probably say glass, right? Nowadays, lenses are actually made from a few different materials, and your choice of material can affect how your lenses stand up to rough treatment. Typical options for lenses consist of glass, polycarbonate, or plastic.

Each material has a different impact resistance and ability to withstand scratching before being permanently damaged. For example, glass is incredibly scratch-resistant all on its own, but it's also the weakest in terms of impact damage. Polycarbonate, the softest option, is typically flexible enough to withstand being dropped or knocked around, but also scratches easily. Plastic tends to meet both materials halfway, being more resilient than glass but only slightly harder to scratch than polycarbonate.

The modern glasses-wearer also has the ability to choose different coatings for the lenses, which are applied by the manufacturer. These coatings include scratch-proofing, adding an invisible UV-blocking layer, and even a coating that reduces glare and makes lenses almost invisible. Some prescriptions are eligible for photochromic treatment as well, which causes the lenses to dim in bright sunlight.

High-Index Means A Low Profile

People with milder glasses prescriptions likely don't have any trouble with the thickness of their glasses, but people who are strongly near- or farsighted often receive default glasses lenses that are very wide in places. In today's fashionably sleek frames, this thickness can be jarring. Lenses that significantly change thickness can also distort how the eyes appear to other people, making them look incredibly small or cartoonishly large.

Fortunately, if you want thinner lenses to match thin frames, you can always try a high-index alternative. High-index plastics and glass are scientifically formulated to bend light as efficiently as possible, which reduces the thickness required to properly correct your sight. 

The one caveat to choosing high-index glasses lenses is that you should also opt for getting an AR coating to reduce glare. Because these lenses are so good at refracting light, they are far more prone to distracting reflections, which can limit your vision and just generally annoy you if you don't have them specially treated.

Do Your Know Your Lenses' Abbe Value?

Some lens materials can bend light even when they don't need to, which can create visual distortions resembling halos or bright hazy areas around light sources. Typically this phenomena is best seen out of the corners of your eyes, around the edges of the lenses. This can be distracting for some, especially when driving or in brightly-lit places at night.

If you want to avoid these light halos, you can rely on Abbe numbers while choosing your next pair of lenses. Materials that are less likely to disperse light have a higher Abbe number, while materials more likely to do it have a lower one. In general, Abbe numbers are inversely correlated with the softness of the material: polycarbonate lenses are lower on the scale, and glass ones have the highest values. 

You don't have to settle for thick, blurry, reflective, or otherwise unsatisfactory glasses lenses. If you're not entirely happy with your lenses, maybe it's time to upgrade them with a new coating or replace them altogether with better materials. Your glasses are a part of you, so make sure they're as excellent as possible before you commit. For more information, contact a local eyeglass clinic like Spectacle Shoppe, Inc.