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Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses and they provide 100% protection from the sun's harmful UV rays. They are also lightweight, adding to the comfort of your eyeglasses, sunglasses, and sports eyewear.
A High-Flying History of Polycarbonate
Originally designed for canopies covering cockpits in fighter planes, polycarbonate offered an impact-resistant, optically clear window. This enabled pilots a full-field of vision without compromising safety. In the 1970s, the popularity of polycarbonate soared (literally!) to outer space as NASA began using it for astronaut helmet visors and space shuttle windshields.
Polycarbonate was introduced to consumers in the 1980s as a safe, affordable alternative to standard plastic and glass eyeglasses. Today, polycarbonate lenses set the standard in eyewear safety. These lenses are a smart choice for athletes, those who work in hazardous job environments, and especially for children. Kids have a greater tendency to drop their glasses and play a bit rough, so ideally all children’s frames should have polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are also ideal for people who wear rimless eyeglass frames, because they are less likely to fracture than plastic or glass lenses.
Make the Most of Your Polycarbonate Lenses
To optimize the benefit of polycarbonate lenses, consider these complementary products:
Scratch Resistant Coating: Polycarbonate is an impressive impact resistant lens. However, part of the reason it’s so strong is because it’s, ironically, a relatively ‘soft’ material. Being flexible is what enables it to absorb energy without fracturing. But being a soft material requires a scratch-resistant coating to prevent surface scratches. Once a scratch-resistant coating is applied, your polycarbonate lenses will be nearly as hard as glass–yet remain highly impact-resistant.
Proper Frames: To ensure the safest eyewear at work and during sporting activities, frames specifically designed for safety are strongly recommended; putting polycarbonate lenses into frames not rated for use as safety glasses can actually be dangerous. Your eye care professional can advise you which frames are safety-rated and best suited for your lifestyle — at work and at home.
Visit a VSP network eye care professional and ask for polycarbonate lenses with scratch-resistant coating.