Learn Why Prescription Glasses Are Not All the Same

Let’s say you need to buy a new car, yet you do not know a thing about cars. You search for what you like visually first, then you move on to learning about why Car A is better than Car B and why it may be more expensive. Car A costs $30,000 and Car B costs $15,000. Even without any knowledge of cars, we can make some assumptions that Car A is more likely a higher quality vehicle than Car B. Same would go for much of the items we purchase, from a house to a car to a dinner at a nice restaurant. Without knowledge, you understand that quality of the product is what drives the main difference between your options.

When we turn our attention to the ophthalmic world, however, all logic seems to get tossed out the window. Let’s take the lenses in a pair of glasses for example: If Lens A costs $50 and Lens B costs $150, a common conclusion made by the consumer is that Lens A is the “better deal”. Does this make any sense? Is it possible that Lens A and Lens B differ in quality, features, and benefits to the wearer in the same way that different priced houses and cars do to their prospective buyers?

I’ll save you the suspense…the answer to the second question is yes. Prescription glasses can have lenses made from a wide variety of lens materials each differing in refractive index, specific gravity, Abbe number, and other technical mumbo-jumbo. These different properties can make a lens thicker or thinner, heavier or lighter, or optically superior or inferior to another lens material.

When looking at costs of lenses, always make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Ask your eye care provider what lens materials they recommend, why, and what benefits they’ll provide for you. Armed with this information, you’re well-equipped to make accurate comparisons.

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