Want Better Vision? Focus on the Abbe Value

Model in a rose garden - photo credit Seth Doyle

What if I told you the quality of your vision is more influenced by the decision where you purchase your eyeglass lenses than by the doctor?

When purchasing eyeglasses, most people's decision is primarily influenced by the the frame style or the need for a. prescription change. However, the optical quality of lenses, significantly influenced by the Abbe Value, is equally crucial. 

What is the Abbe Value?

Named after the German optical engineer and physicist Ernst Abbe, the Abbe Value measures the degree to which a lens material disperses light into its spectral colors. 

The Abbe Value, or V-number, quantifies chromatic dispersion in optical materials. Chromatic dispersion is a phenomenon where light splits into its component colors when passing through a lens. This splitting can lead to chromatic aberration, where colors fringing around objects reduces image clarity - creating areas of blur around an object.

A higher Abbe Value indicates lower dispersion and, consequently, fewer chromatic aberrations - i.e. better vision.

Why the Abbe Value Matters in Eyewear?

Visual Clarity:

Lenses with a high Abbe Value offer sharper vision, with less color fringing around objects. This is particularly important for high-prescription lenses, where even minor chromatic aberrations can significantly impact clarity.


Prescription glasses made with a high Abbe Value lenses can also contribute to improved  visual comfort. By eliminating micro-glares, we can reduce eyestrain and headaches associated with poor-quality lenses.

Choosing Lenses with a High Abbe Value

Glass Lenses:

In terms of optical clarity, nothing beats crown glass. 

Glass eyeglass lenses offer the highest Abbe Value resulting in the lowest amount of chromatic dispersions. However, glass is rarely available to use today due to the excessive weight, safety concerns and the investment into new lens technologies.


Known for their impact resistance and optical clarity, Trivex lenses offer a high Abbe Value making it a great lens options for medium to low prescription lenses

Hi-Index Lenses:

Thinner, lighter and amazing optics — Hi-index lenses offer the best of all worlds. Hi-index are a great lens for all prescription ranges.

Not Apples to Apples

There are a lot of options when purchasing new prescription eyeglass lenses. The most important thing to know is that not all hi-index, trivex or glass lenses are created equal — the quality of your vision is directly related to the quality of your lenses.

Only purchase eyeglass lenses from reputable, independent opticals that source their products from verified, trusted manufacturers.

This article was written by a state-licensed optical professional. At The Optical. Co, we believe in filling the internet with news and information from trusted professional sources. If you agree with this mission, please consider sharing this article on any and all of your favorite social sites.

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