What Are Glasses and Contact Lenses Made Of?

Eye glasses and contacts are amazing products. They enable much of the world’s population to see! They have undergone a long and fruitful history throughout time and today glasses and contacts are both made of different materials. This is a wonderful advantage, because it allows optical labs and contact lens manufacturers to provide different people with the right kind of fit and durability.

Eye Glasses

These are the oldest type of lens materials available. They still offer clear vision and scratch resistance at a low price, but the lenses are heavier than any other material made by optical labs today. As these lenses are much thicker, the stronger your prescription is, optical labs recommend glass ones only for minor vision corrections.

– Plastic

Plastic is also a very economical choice and provides very good visual clarity, and these reasons make them the most popular choice today in the United States. They are much lighter than glass lens but can still get rather thick for high prescription powers. One added benefit of plastic over glass is that plastic can be easily tinted to be made into sunglasses.

– Polycarbonate

These are the second most popular choices in the nation because they are extremely safe, light, and very difficult to break. In fact, studies have shown that polycarbonate lenses are more than 10 times impact resistant than glass. They are the most recommended choice for children especially for this reason. They are also much thinner than regular plastic and are 100 percent effective in protecting your eyes from harmful ultra violet (UV) rays.

– High Index Lenses

High index lenses can actually be made of either glass or plastic but they are different because they are the thinnest material in the market. They measure 20 to 65 percent thinner than plastic and the plastic high index lenses still offer complete UV protection.


– Hard -Rigid Glass Permeable

Contacts started out being made of glass over 120 years ago, but then started being made out of polymethyl methacrylate to make them more comfortable. However, the problem was that they did not let any oxygen through the contact to the eye, causing all sorts of negative side effects. Now hard lenses are made of polymers that are gas permeable. They still create the right shape on the cornea to make clear vision and they allow oxygen to the surface of the eyeball. They last longer than soft contacts and protect the eyes from chemicals and fumes.

– Soft

Soft contact lenses are made of hydrogel or polymacon and they are much more comfortable on the eye than the rigid hard ones. It also allows adequate oxygen to the eyeball and most are disposable to be thrown away after a few weeks to a few months.

There are plenty of great options when it comes to choosing material for your optical needs. Optical labs and contact lens manufacturers work hard to provide the best and most varied selection possible to find exactly the right fit for you!

Today, optical lenses and contact lens manufacturers offer a wide range of glasses and lenses, and strive to provide the best and varied selection that are exactly fit for you.