Nowadays, choosing a pair of eyeglasses is about more than just style. You also need to consider the material your lenses are made from. Lens material is normally glass, plastic, or polycarbonate. Here’s what you need to know about polycarbonate and the benefits of polycarbonate lenses for eyeglasses.


What is Polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a specific type of plastic. It was invented independently in 1953 by Dr. Hermann Schnell of Bayer and Dr. Daniel Fox of General Electric. Besides its use in eyeglass lenses, it is also used for car headlights, CDs and DVDs, and many other industrial applications. Polycarbonate is very strong, making it an excellent lens material.

3 Benefits of Polycarbonate Lenses

• Safety

The Vision Council described polycarbonate lenses as “virtually unbreakable.” A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also found that polycarbonate lenses were more impact-resistant than glass or other types of plastic lenses. Using five types of projectiles including golf and tennis balls, the study found that polycarbonate lenses didn’t shatter, even at high impact.

• Weight and Thinness

One of greatest benefits of polycarbonate lenses is that they are often thinner than other types of lenses. This makes them ideal for people with strong prescriptions. Lighter, thinner eyeglasses are less likely to slip off your nose and are more comfortable for everyday wear.

• UV Protection

Extended exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause damage to your eyes. This can include cataracts and macular degeneration, along with other eye problems. Luckily, polycarbonate lenses already block out harmful UV rays from the sun. And, unlike some other types of eyeglass lenses, they do not require any additional coating for sun protection.

Are Polycarbonate Lenses for Me?

Ophthalmologists often recommend polycarbonate lenses for children because of the lenses’ durability. Adults who regularly play sports or who hold active jobs would also benefit from these types of lenses. Your eye doctor can help you decide if polycarbonate lenses are appropriate for your specific prescription and lifestyle.

If you need help navigating the world of prescription eyewear, or if you need to make an eye exam appointment, contact Michigan Eye Institute. We have five convenient Michigan locations to serve you.