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High Index LensesHigh Index Lenses

A high-index lens is a lens that has a higher index of refraction. This means it has a greater ability to bend light rays to provide clear vision for people with stronger prescriptions. A high-index lens is a good option for people who have strong prescriptions for myopia - commonly called nearsightedness due to a difficulty in focusing on far objects. A high-index lens can bend light rays more, while using less material in lenses created for both nearsighted and farsighted people (hyperopia).

In times past, strong prescriptions meant thicker, heavier lenses, giving some a glass bottle appearance. But now, with high-index lenses available in thinner, lightweight plastic, lens wearers with stronger prescriptions can get more attractive, yet equally effective, lens products. Because high-index lenses bend light more, anti-reflective (AR) treatment is often recommended as an add-on for optimum clarity of vision.

There are some exceptions to fitting a high index lens, however. One instance is children or individuals who have severely decreased vision in one eye. In these cases, the safety and impact resistance of polycarbonate is necessary to protect the patient’s vision. Also, the flatter base curves of high index lenses prevent the lenses from fitting into the wrap designs that are popular in some frame designs and are therefore not recommended.