If you have vision difficulties, then it is in your best interest to wear eyeglasses that are prescribed by an optometrist. Not only will your glasses help you to see when you read and drive, but the lenses can protect your eyes from dust, debris, and projectiles. However, it can be pretty expensive to keep replacing broken pairs. If you buy the right pair though, then you will not have to worry the glasses breaking or investing in so many new pairs. Consider the following features when you pick out your next pair of glasses.
If you have ever sat on or stepped on your glasses by mistake, then you have likely realized that plastic frames simply do not cut it. Plastic frames are generally the least expensive, and they may seem like a good option if you need to invest in a new pair of glasses every few months. However, the lightweight zylonite or cellulose acetate that is used in the manufacturing process is not that strong. This may not be surprising, since the same material is used to coat playing cars and make photographic film. You may increase the flexibility of your eyeglass frames if you invest in ones made from nylon-based materials, but the plastic will still break when pressure is applied.
While plastic frames will snap, stainless steel and nickel and copper varieties will bend. Your best option to prevent breakage issues is to go with frames made out of a material called memory metal. Memory metal is a combination of titanium and nickel that is heated and mixed together to create a unique crystal structure. The crystals are extremely flexible and they also have a memory where the structure reverts back to its original form even after extreme amounts of pressure are applied. This means that sitting on your glasses will not break or bend them. To better help clumsy individuals, the glasses are typically fitted with floating lenses that are held in place with memory metal only on the top. This means that pressure will not be placed on the entire lens when stress is applied to the metal.
While glass and plastic lenses are options that are widely available to you when you choose your glasses, you should not pick either of these lenses. Plastic lenses are considered strong and cheap, but there is one lens material that is extremely impact-resistant. This material is called polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer that can be turned into bulletproof glass when it is laminated. The same strong, durable, and transparent properties can be seen when the material is used to make your eyeglass lenses.
You should understand that polycarbonate is a bit thicker and heavier than the basic plastic materials that are sometimes used to make eyeglass lenses. This may mean that your glasses may seem heavy if your prescription requires the formation of thick lenses for good refraction. If this is the case, then consider asking your optometrist about more lightweight materials, like Trivex, that are starting to come on the market for use in creating eyeglass lenses.
Even if you decide to pick out the most impact-resistant lenses, hard objects can still force scratches into the material without causing a break. For this reason, it is also wise that you invest in a scratch-resistant coating. These coatings are films that actually bond with the lenses of the glasses to create a barrier against scratches. While the coatings are not completely scratch-proof themselves, they will help to obscure small scratches and imperfections so they do not affect your vision.
If you are concerned about buying glasses for the second, third, or even fourth time this year, then you should consider investing in the toughest glasses you can find. Tough glasses means buying ones with memory metal frames, polycarbonate lenses, and scratch-resistant coatings. Of course, you should also ask your optometrist about other options and suggestions that will help to keep your glasses in great shape.