What Is Polycarbonate?

What Is Polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic polymer characterized by its light weight, high impact resistance, and ability to be molded with precision. Originally developed for aerospace applications in the 1970s, polycarbonate's outstanding properties soon led it to be adopted in numerous other fields, including eyeglass lenses.

Advantages of Polycarbonate Lenses

Polycarbonate has become the entry lens material of choice by expert Opticians around the world.

Impact Resistance

One of the primary reasons why polycarbonate lenses have grown in popularity, especially among children and athletes, is their exceptional impact resistance. They are up to 10 times more resistant than plastic or glass lenses, making them less likely to shatter upon impact.

Ultraviolet (UV) Protection

Polycarbonate naturally blocks almost 100% of the harmful UV rays from the sun. This built-in protection reduces the risk of cataracts and other UV-induced eye problems.


Polycarbonate lenses are up to 40% lighter than traditional glass lenses. This means greater comfort, especially for those who wear their glasses for extended periods.

Thin Profile

Due to the high refractive index of polycarbonate, these lenses can be made thinner than regular plastic lenses, offering a sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing look.

What Prescription is Polycarbonate best for?

Polycarbonate are an excellent entry level prescription eyeglass lens for low to moderate prescriptions. Those with a prescription less than +/- 2.50 sphere and less than -1.00 astigmatism power will see very well out of high-quality polycarbonate lenses.

While polycarbonate offers better optical clarity than traditional CR-39 plastic lens, it might not be as optically clear as Trivex or Hi-index for higher prescription strengths.

Polycarbonate prescription eyeglass lenses offer a compelling combination of optics, durability, and UV protection. While they might not be the best choice for every individual or prescription, their benefits, especially in terms of safety and comfort, make them an excellent option for many eyewear users.

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