Eyeglasses have been around for centuries as an eyecare tool, and have advanced along with science. New manufacturing standards, metal alloys, and lens materials have made them more stylish, convenient, and affordable while making vision correction better. Following are the most common materials for eyeglasses today.


When you think of eyeglasses, you may think of glass as the most obvious material for construction. However, as technology has advanced, glass has become outdated. Glass is heavy, scuffs easily, and if it breaks it can be a major safety hazard. It is more expensive to manufacture glasses from actual glass than other materials so actual glass is used far less commonly these days.


Polycarbonate is an amazing invention. A synthetic resin, polycarbonate is used in uncountable applications, one of which is the windows of space shuttles. It is durable and very strong, making it a perfect material for use in construction, sports, manufacturing, and any other environment where protection is a must. Polycarbonate is a great safety material while also lightweight. In eyecare, polycarbonate lenses can be made to include a UV block to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. They do tend to be scratch prone and harder to clean than other materials.


Last but not least of the most common eyeglass materials is plastic. Compared to polycarbonate, plastic lenses are more scratch resistant so they are easier to clean. They may come in different formula blends having varying characteristics, and some of the variations may limit the highest prescription strength that can be used. Plastic lenses are tintable, making them a perfect material for prescription sunglasses or vanity style glasses with colored lenses. These lenses are heavier than polycarbonate so they may feel less comfortable on your face than other materials.

Many choices exist for your perfect eyeglasses, so be sure to discuss the materials and available coating options with your Phoenix eyecare provider to make sure your glasses fit your lifestyle needs and desires.