As a child, I recall being fascinated by the rainbow color-producing prism decorations in my grandmother’s windows. In the same way, glasses lenses can split up light waves in subtle ways.

Lens materials can be rated based on their clarity and this is referred to as the Abbe value. It is named after Ernst Abbe, a 19th-century German physicist. High Abbe value lens materials have a low amount of distortion. The highest Abbe value among lens materials belongs to crown glass.

But because glass is heavy and can shatter and chip easily, the optical industry has almost entirely discontinued its use. It is the job of your eye care provider and optician to determine a lens material that suits your eyeglasses prescription needs.

Many eye doctors have found Trivex to be a superior spectacle lens material. It combines clarity, impact and scratch resistance, blocks UV and is the lightest weight material.

Trivex also has the most tensile strength of any lens material so it is great for rimless and semi-rimless frame designs. With this combination of properties, it ends up being a great material of choice for the majority of glasses prescriptions.

Most of the time when someone buys a pair of glasses, they expect them to last two years or more. And when you consider the amount of use they will endure, it makes sense to choose a lens material that will hold up while providing great vision, and protect your eyes at the same time.

Dr. Jace Picken is an optometrist at Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton

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