I have a very strong eyeglass prescription. That means that I’m always wearing glasses. It also means that regular eyeglasses have to be rather thick at the edges. Fortunately I’ve been on good vision care plans for years, so I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of innovations. For my prescription it has always worth paying for “high-index” lenses, which enable glasses to be ground thinner.
Even better are high-index plastics, since they are significantly lighter than glass lenses, and they naturally block 100% of UVA and UVB light. My husband, who is always looking for excuses to play with dangerous tools, explicitly asks for polycarbonate lenses to protect his eyes: Polycarbonate is so strong that it is used for supersonic jet canopies. However, like all optical plastics it is more prone to scratching than glass.
Traditionally consumers had to choose between scratch-resistant (SR) and anti-reflective (AR) coatings for their lenses, since each has to be on the top layer to be effective. In fact some AR coatings seem to highlight even the tiniest smudges. But the newest coating on the market manages to combine both features: Sold as “Crizal Avance with Scotchgard Protector,” this is a remarkable product that combines anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, and dirt repellent properties all on the same lens.
I had the opportunity to try a pair of Essilor’s Airwear polycarbonate lenses with this new coating. They are less than half the weight of my glass lenses, and their coating really works as advertised. Ask your eye care provider about Airwear lenses or visit LighterSaferGreener.com for more information.
The quality sold me on Airwear lenses, but I’m also pleased to see that Essilor has made an effort to go green. The Airwear lens packaging uses 100% recyclable cardboard instead of the standard plastic packaging. The lenses are manufactured using recycled water, and the company even recycles the waste produced from the manufacturing of Airwear lenses. These small changes can make a big impact on the environment, and they explain why Essilor markets Airwear as Lighter, Safer and Greener.
(Disclosure: Airwear provided the lenses for free. I wrote this review while participating in a MomCentral.com blog tour.)