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Doctor insights on: Polycarbonate Vs Plastic Eyeglass Lenses

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Dr. Michael Rizen Dr. Rizen
Ophthalmology
16 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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Polycarbonate vs plastic lenses best for high myope?

Polycarbonate vs plastic lenses best for high myope?

Probably polycarb: Polycarbonate lenses are "high index" lenses. They are often used in high myopes to allow for the glasses to be thinner and lighter. They do have more chromatic aberration though. Discuss the various pros and cons with your optician before deciding what it right for you.

Dr. Tim Conrad
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Dr. Mabel Obeng Dr. Obeng
Obstetrics & Gynecology
17 years in practice
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
2

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Should I be worried if I got acetone on my polycarbonate eyeglass lenses?

Should I be worried if I got acetone on my polycarbonate eyeglass lenses?

No: I wouldn't worry too much about that. Do clean if off thoroughly before using.

Dr. Richard Bensinger Dr. Bensinger
Ophthalmology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
3

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Is polycarbonate eyeglass lens expensive?

Is polycarbonate eyeglass lens expensive?

A little more: Polycarbonate lenses have a higher index of refraction and can be made a little thinner which lightens the eyeglasses and makes them more comfortable. So they charge a little more for them. I consider eyeglass costs way too high for the technology and manufacturing costs, but it is an industry charging what the public will put up with.

Dr. Michael Santoro Dr. Santoro
Occupational Medicine
39 years in practice
University of Michigan Medical School
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What are some alternative names for polycarbonate eyeglass lenses?

Safety glasses.: Polycarbonate (a type of plastic) in cetain thicknesses and specifications, is the type of material used in most industrially used safety glasses. It is reputed to be able to stop a speeding bullet (depends on the speed and type, of course)! most high-index eyeglass lenses these days are made of alternate material with better optic quality than polycarb.

Dr. Pamela Pappas Dr. Pappas
Psychiatry
38 years in practice
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
5

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I have a crack a polycarbonate eyeglass lens starting at the edge. What would happen if hit by ball?

I have a crack a polycarbonate eyeglass lens starting at the edge. What would happen if hit by ball?

Hit by ball?: If you're wearing these eyeglasses when the ball hits you, you could get a real headache. Take care out there!

Dr. Richard Bensinger Dr. Bensinger
Ophthalmology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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Can one remove scratches from eyeglasses with polycarbonate lenses?

Not easily: Scratches in polycarbonate lenses involve the removal of plastic in the scratch. To smooth it out you would need to grind this away which would alter the power of the lense and might induce some distortion. Check with an optical shop to see if some correction is possible or replacement is needed.

Dr. Ilan Cohen Dr. Cohen
Ophthalmology
21 years in practice
Tufts University School of Medicine
7

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Are polycarbonate lenses the only viable option for rimless eyeglasses?

Are polycarbonate lenses the only viable option for rimless eyeglasses?

No: There are other materials which can be used, trivex for example.

Dr. Lee Peter Bee Dr. Bee
Internal Medicine
13 years in practice
Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
8

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I accdently shallowed a small piece of plastic that may have been polycarbonate plastic it was smaller than a dime I think. Will I die?

I accdently shallowed a small piece of plastic that may have been polycarbonate plastic it was smaller than a dime I think. Will I die?

Not likely: Polycarbonate plastic is inert. With relatively small size of dime, it can usually passes through the gastrointestinal tract without overt risk of obstruction within 24 to 72 hours. However, in rare circumstances, the object can cause obstruction if a person has per existing congenital abnormality, such as achalasia, pyloric stenosis, or other intestinal or colonic stricture.

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Dr. Richard Scartozzi Dr. Scartozzi
Ophthalmology - Retinal Surgery
15 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
9

9
How can I tell if my eyeglasses are polycarbonate?

See below: Take them to your optician and ask. They will be able to help you.

Dr. Benjamin Rubin Dr. Rubin
Ophthalmology
35 years in practice
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
10

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Can you tell me how I could tell if my eyeglass lenses are really polycarbinate and not plastic?

Can you tell me how I could tell if my eyeglass lenses are really polycarbinate and not plastic?

Snap and crack: For the same size lens Plastic is heavier. Polycarbonate will be uv400. For those 2 you probably can't tell. Plastic snaps or shatters went bent past tolerance, polycarbonate just bends and then past tolerance will not resume its original shape. Plastic is typically cheaper but has better optical quality

Dr. Richard Bensinger Dr. Bensinger
Ophthalmology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
11

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Heard that glass lenses for eyeglasses are somehow superior to plastic or composite lenses. Any truth to this?

Mixed choice: Glass lenses are more resistant to scratches but they are heavier (on the nose). Plastic is lighter but tends to collect scratches. In good condition, they both provide excellent focus.

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Dr. Richard Bensinger Dr. Bensinger
Ophthalmology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
12

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Is rubbing alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl) strong enough to damage plastic lens of eyeglasses?

Is rubbing alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl) strong enough to damage plastic lens of eyeglasses?

Generally not: The plastic lenses of eyeglasses from reputable dealers will not be damaged by rubbing alcohol although some frames might be susceptible. Lenses from ordinary retail sources might be made of cheaper plastic and be damaged. However it is always best to clean the lenses with a microfiber cloth and use dish soap if the soil is heavy.

Dr. Tim Conrad Dr. Conrad
Ophthalmology
30 years in practice
Duke University School of Medicine
13

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Glasses- polycarbonate lenses, what are these and what are the benefits?

Glasses- polycarbonate lenses, what are these and what are the benefits?

Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is a shatter-resistant plastic that is used in all children's glasses and in safety glasses. It is also used for certain types of glasses frames because of its toughness.

Dr. Richard Bensinger Dr. Bensinger
Ophthalmology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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Dr. Richard Bensinger Dr. Bensinger
Ophthalmology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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Are polycarbonate lenses helpful?

Are polycarbonate lenses helpful?

Yes: These are high index eyeglass lense materials which allow a thinner eyeglass and for a given power of lens, are lighter than glass or ordinary plastics. This is helpful to the nose which would otherwise have to support a heavier lense.

Dr. Tim Conrad Dr. Conrad
Ophthalmology
30 years in practice
Duke University School of Medicine
16

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I was wondering what are the differences between polycarbonate, polycarbonate aspheric, and 1.67 high index lens?

I was wondering what are the differences between polycarbonate, polycarbonate aspheric, and 1.67 high index lens?

Lens materials: Polycarbonate and 1.67 high index are different types of plastics used to make lenses for glasses. Aspheric is a type of lens design. Generally the higher index of the plastic, the thinner the lens can made. Higher index materials may induce more distortion in the periphery of the vision.

Dr. Matthew Goren Dr. Goren
Ophthalmology
28 years in practice
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
17

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Please advise what is the difference between polycarbonate and polyaspheric lenses?

Not related: Polycarbonate refers to the material that a lens is made from. Sphericity relates to the way the lens is ground.

Dr. Dean Dornic Dr. Dornic
Ophthalmology
23 years in practice
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
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Can using polycarbonate lens while using desktop PC with lcd reduce eye fatigue?

Can using polycarbonate lens while using desktop PC with lcd reduce eye fatigue?

No: Polycarbonate is simply a type of plastic. Things that can help include tints, anti-reflective coatings, glare filters on your monitor and adjustments of lighting. Some people also benefit by changing the color settings on their monitors and sitting further away from the screen. Lubricating eye drops are beneficial and, of course, frequent breaks.

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Dr. Robert Chang Dr. Chang
Ophthalmology
years in practice
19

19
Getting new eyeglasses, need your opinion on plastic or glass?

Plastic: High index plastic (high prescription) higher refractive index, then thinner polycarbonate (impact resistant if monocular) glass is rare now.

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Dr. Michael Santoro Dr. Santoro
Occupational Medicine
39 years in practice
University of Michigan Medical School
20

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What is a better choice-- toughened glass or polycarbonate safety spectacles?

What is a better choice-- toughened glass or polycarbonate safety spectacles?

Polycarbonate: Current ansi standards recommend the use of polycarbonate in safety glasses for work use. Hardened glass was the precursor.