High index lenses have revolutionized the world of eyewear. But what exactly are they? High index lenses (1.61, 1,67, 1.74) are lenses that are made from materials with a higher refractive index than traditional lenses (1.50 Standard Index). This means that they can effectively bend or refract light more efficiently, resulting in slimmer lenses that are lighter and more comfortable to wear. But why are high index lenses so important? Well, the answer lies in their ability to accommodate strong prescriptions without the need for thick and heavy lenses. For individuals with high prescriptions, thick lenses can be a nuisance. They not only distort the appearance of the eyes but also add unnecessary weight to the glasses, making them uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. High index lenses offer a solution to this problem by providing thinner and lighter options that still provide excellent vision correction.
Related: Lens Index & Material Guide
Lighter and Thinner
One of the most significant benefits of high index lenses is their ability to reduce lens thickness. Compared to traditional lenses, high index lenses can be up to 40% thinner. This means that individuals with strong prescriptions can now enjoy a more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Thick lens edges can often give the impression of heavy and outdated eyewear. With high index lenses, you can achieve a more modern and sophisticated appearance.
In addition to their slim profile, high index lenses are also much lighter. This makes them more comfortable to wear, especially for those who need to wear glasses for extended periods of time. The reduced weight also means less pressure on the nose and ears, resulting in a better overall wearing experience. Whether you’re reading a book, working on a computer, or taking a walk outside, high index lenses provide the comfort and convenience you need.
Enhanced Visual Clarity
Another crucial advantage of high index lenses is their ability to reduce distortion caused by thicker lenses. Traditional lenses, especially for those with high prescriptions, can often result in distorted peripheral vision. This can be distracting and affect the overall visual clarity.
High index lenses, on the other hand, offer improved vision correction. By reducing lens thickness, they minimize the amount of light that is bent and distorted as it passes through the lens. This results in sharper and more accurate vision. Whether you’re reading a book, using a computer, or driving, high index lenses ensure that you see the world with clarity and precision.
Greater UV Protection
High index lenses not only provide superior vision correction but also offer greater protection against harmful UV rays. Extended exposure to UV rays can lead to various eye problems, including cataracts, cancer of the eyelid, pinguecula, and pterygium (Surfer’s eye). Standard 1.50 lens index does not offer 100% UV protection, leaving your eyes vulnerable to these risks.
High index lenses, however, are designed to block a significant amount of UV radiation. They act as a shield, reducing the risk of eye damage and keeping your eyes safe from harmful sun rays. By choosing high index lenses, you can prioritize your eye health and ensure that your glasses provide the necessary protection.
Choosing the Right High Index Lens
When it comes to choosing high index lenses, there are several options available. The most common high index options are 1.61, 1.67, and 1.74. These numbers represent the refractive index of the lens material. If your prescription power is between +/- 2.25 and +/- 5.00, we recommend selecting Hi-index lens 1.61. If your prescription power is greater than +/- 5.25, we recommend selecting Hi-index lens 1.67 or 1.74 for the thinnest lens option.
High index lenses are a game-changer in the world of eyewear. They offer numerous benefits, including thinner and lighter lenses, enhanced aesthetics, improved visual clarity, and greater UV protection. If you have a strong prescription and want a more comfortable and stylish pair of glasses, high index lenses are the way to go. Take the time to explore the options available and find the perfect high index lenses that meet your needs. With the right lenses, you can elevate your eyewear experience and enjoy clear vision with added comfort and style.
1 National Eye Institute, Protecting your eyes from the sun’s UV light, July 2022.
About the Author: Dr. Sophia Moh, OD, ABOC
Dr. Sophia Moh, OD is an optometrist located in Bay Area, California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego and earned her doctorate at UC Berkeley School of Optometry. She has experience in a variety of eye care settings including primary care optometry, general ophthalmology, community health clinic, and Veterans Affairs. Her mission is to help the world see better by developing high-quality, affordable eyewear for everyone. She is also a certified American Board Optician (ABO) and provides training and lectures on optical education topics.