Understanding the Benefits of Polycarbonate Lenses

Understanding the Benefits of Polycarbonate Lenses

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Many of us understand the importance of choosing the right frames when purchasing eyeglasses, but what about the lenses? After all, the primary purpose of eyeglasses is to correct our vision, and the lens plays an integral role in that. Today, we’ll delve into one of the most popular lens materials: polycarbonate. We’ll go over what polycarbonate is, its advantages, and why you might want to consider it for your next pair of glasses.

What are Polycarbonate Lenses?

Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that was originally developed for aerospace applications in the 1970s. It didn’t take long for other industries to recognize its potential, and it soon found its way into eyewear. When we talk about glasses, the term ‘polycarbonate lenses’ refers to lenses made from this high-tech plastic.

Key Features of Polycarbonate Lenses

Understanding the Benefits of Polycarbonate Lenses

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Polycarbonate lenses stand out from traditional glass or plastic lenses due to several key features:

  • Impact Resistance: Polycarbonate is up to 10 times more impact-resistant than traditional lens materials. This makes them an excellent choice for sports eyewear, safety glasses, and children’s eyewear.
  • Lightweight: Polycarbonate lenses are up to 30% lighter than regular plastic or glass lenses, making your glasses more comfortable to wear for long periods.
  • UV Protection: Polycarbonate naturally blocks 100% of the sun’s harmful UV rays without the need for additional lens coatings.

Benefits of Polycarbonate Lenses

Now that we have a solid understanding of what polycarbonate lenses are, let’s delve into the various benefits they offer.

Safety and Durability

One of the main reasons people choose polycarbonate lenses is for their strength and durability. The impact-resistant nature of polycarbonate makes these lenses an excellent choice for those with an active lifestyle or for children who may be rough on their glasses.


The lightweight nature of polycarbonate lenses can significantly improve the comfort of your glasses. Heavier lenses can cause your glasses to slip down your nose and can make your frames feel heavy and uncomfortable. With polycarbonate, you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing glasses at all.

UV Protection

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is crucial for maintaining good eye health. Polycarbonate lenses block 100% of UV rays, protecting your eyes and the skin around your eyes from sun damage.

Understanding the Benefits of Polycarbonate Lenses

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Are Polycarbonate Lenses Right for You?

Polycarbonate lenses can be a great choice for almost anyone, but they’re particularly beneficial for children, those who play sports or have active lifestyles, and those who work in hazardous environments where eye safety is a concern. Their lightweight comfort also makes them an excellent choice for anyone who wears their glasses for long periods.

At Zenni Optical, we offer a wide range of eyewear options, including polycarbonate lenses. Our team of eye care professionals is always available to help you understand your options and choose the best eyewear for your needs.

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Dr. Steven Liem

Dr. Steven Liem, O.D., F.A.A.O. is an optometrist based in Pasadena, California. After obtaining his doctorate from UC Berkeley’s School of Optometry, he completed his residency in Pediatrics, Vision Therapy & Rehabilitation and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. When he isn’t busy streaming or making Youtube videos about video games, Dr. Liem aims to broaden accessibility to vision health through his involvement in optometric industry and tech.