Plastic lenses and glass lenses

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Eyeglass lenses can be divided into two groups based on the material used in them: plastic lenses and glass lenses. The more common material today is plastic. In Finland, over 95 percent of all sold eyeglasses are equipped with plastic lenses.


Plastic lenses

Lightness and shock resistance are the advantages of plastic lenses. The disadvantage is that they get scratched easily. The lenses can be protected against scratching with hard coating.

Heat resistance of coated plastic lenses is, depending on the manufacturer, between 70-110 celsius degrees.

All sorts of lens types can be included in plastic lenses (one power, bifocals etc.) and also coatings and additional surface treatments.

I always recommend plastic lenses for my customers. I think that plastic lenses are the best option regardless of what kind of glasses you wear.

Glass lenses

Glass lenses are considerably heavier than plastic lenses. One glass lens is as heavy as a pair of plastic lenses. Glass lenses are not as impact resistant as plastic lenses.

For example, so called nylor lenses, or frameless glasses cannot be made from glass. You cannot drill a hole or make a groove in a glass lens. In general, there is a serious threat in low, square frames that the lenses break in use.

If there are no additional treatments in the lenses, antiglare surface or darkening, for example, the impact resistance of glass lenses can be improved with hardening. There are not many manufacturers who do hardening these days, as glass lenses are not popular any more.

The advantage of glass lenses is that they have good heat resistance, even as much as 500 celsius degrees. Also, they do not get scratched easily, so you don’t need to, or even can’t get hard coating in glass lenses.

The product range of glass lenses is rather small these days. As far as I know, only one power, bifocals or focotropic lenses can be made from glass.

Coloring of glass lenses is also difficult. In glass lenses, the color is in the material, not in the surface of the material, as in plastic lenses.

Some customers think, however, that glass lenses are the only correct option for them.

Please note that the advice and tips given in this blog are based on Finnish regulations and laws. Therefore, you need to verify the regulations and laws in your country from your own optician, optometrist or eye specialist.

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