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When looking at glasses through the ages, it’s easy to see that styles have changed; but the most notable advancements have been the changes in eyeglass lenses. Just in the last century, plastic was introduced as an alternative to glass lenses, and has since been the most popular material for lenses. Plastic provides a lighter weight option to glass that is also less likely to shatter.
In the 1970s, polycarbonate was developed for aerospace applications as a durable material similar to plastic, yet lighter and more flexible. Due to its strength and flexibility, polycarbonate revolutionized lens development. Not only is the material found in everyday glasses, but NASA also uses polycarbonate materials to construct visors for astronauts.
In addition to being up to 40 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter than plastic lenses with the same prescription, polycarbonate lenses are also 10 times more impact resistant. The strength of your lenses is important, since 90 percent of all eye injuries can be prevented by protective eyewear.
Polycarbonate lenses have also impacted long-term eye health by providing UV protection – even in clear lenses.
Not all polycarbonate lenses are created equal. Ask your optometrist for the best lenses to fit your prescription and lifestyle.