Hi-Index Lenses

High Index lenses are made from material that is of much greater density with a higher index of refraction than standard plastic lenses. Because of these characteristics, less material is required to provide the prescribed amount of vision correction and results in thinner, lighter lenses. These lenses are especially beneficial for patients with moderate to strong prescriptions who wish to avoid thick, heavy, and unsightly lenses.

Lens materials with a higher index of refraction (IOR) allow light to pass more quickly through the lens, so less of the actual lens material needs to be used. That’s why lenses with a higher index of refraction, or high index lenses, can be thinner than traditional lenses.

Best Candidates

High index lenses are traditionally used for myopes. High index materials don’t provide as much benefit to patients wearing plus corrections as minus. Plus lenses made in high index will be thinner, but the thinning takes place in the center of the lens where it is not visible and does little to improve the cosmetic appearance of the eyewear. For plus patients, aspheric lenses with their flatter, slimmer profile offer the greatest cosmetic benefits for plus lenses. Most aspheric lenses are made of higher index materials, and they provide improved cosmetic benefits and better vision for plus patients.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of high index lenses are:

  • They are thinner, flatter and lighter than conventional plastic or glass
  • They can fit into neat and fashionable frames
  • They have a higher scratch resistance than normal plastic and higher impact resistance than glass.
  • Built-in UV protection

The disadvantages are:

  • They can be expensive
  • They are not as scratch resistant as glass.
  • Ultra-High Index