Do Polycarbonate Lenses Block UV? A Quick Overview Guide

Do Polycarbonate Lenses Block UV? A Quick Overview Guide

I have been wearing glasses since I was in second grade. After years of being limited to a specific type of frame, I learned about polycarbonate lenses and the benefits they offer me. 

This material has been used for years in eyeglasses and other optical products because it is lightweight, durable, and does not corrode. 

You may not know, but they are a common choice for contact lens wearers. They offer a wide range of benefits.

But do polycarbonate lenses block UV?  That is the question that this blog post will answer! In this article, you'll learn about what polycarbonates are, why they're used in contact lenses, their advantages over other types of contacts, and if they provide UV protection. 

What Are Polycarbonate Lenses?

do polycarbonate lenses block uv

Scientists discovered a new material called polycarbonate in the 1970s. Polyesters are the properties of this material, and they create the durability that makes it so good for use in space technology.

For example, astronaut helmets and space shuttles have high shatterproof qualities and scratch-resistant surfaces.

Thus, they are the best option for those who lead busy lives and are more likely to drop or damage their glasses. Children's eyeglasses and protective eyewear can also enjoy this material.

Do Polycarbonate Lenses Block UV?

It does a good job, but not quite 100%. According to the American Optometric Association, they can block approximately 100% of UVB and UVA rays naturally. 

For something like eye protection, nearly 100% is certainly better than nothing. Yet, if you need it for blocking UV to prevent resin set by sunlight from exposure, 40% can make all the difference!

All we know, these two kinds of ultraviolet light can damage our eyes. 

Long-term exposure to strong sunlight can cause many issues. They are macular degeneration, cataracts, corneal burns, and pterygium, among other health problems. This material in sports eyeglasses can provide extra eye protection. Also, it can cut the risk of UV radiation causing long-term damage.

Polycarbonate lens provides nearly 100% UV protection. To give you a good comparison, non-coated plastic sunglasses only block about 88%. Whereas triacetate only filters 40% of UV (this material is often utilized in lower-cost sunglasses). 

Remember that UV light is not visible light. Thus, don't confuse preventing UV rays with the need for tinted lenses on one bright sunny day. It is not the same as filtering visible light.

Pros And Cons Of Polycarbonate Lenses


They may withstand the effect of the steel ball traveling at 160 km/h without breaking. This makes them an excellent alternative for low-energy impact resistance. 

They are also up to ten times more pressure-resistant than glass or plastic lenses. That makes them more difficult to shatter or fracture in the case of an incident. Hence, this leads to fewer sharp or cracked, shattered pieces.

This composition is ideal for children owing to its durability and added safety. Your children may play without worrying about shattering the glasses. The reason is that they are very resistant to strain and impacts. 

People also use them for athletes and others working in intense environments. This is also owing to the fact that they are so durable and therefore effective for those situations.

This material is simple to work with and mold, making them ideal for various shapes, including eyeglass lenses. They are 20 to 25% thinner than glass and plastic ones and are recognized for their lightness. 

They are also suitable for a higher prescription because of their ultra-thin nature. They're comfier and much lighter. Thus, it's a great method to assist your youngster in adapting to wearing protective sunglasses daily.


Polycarbonate lenses may cost twice as much as traditional eyeglasses. While excellent vision care is vital, the cost may play a significant role in the decision-making. It's a good idea to talk to your optician about the eyewear needs and shop around for your finest pricing.

Moreover, they don't have very good scratch resistivity properties, making them vulnerable to sharp objects thrown at their surface. Nevertheless, you can fix this with a coating. This will protect it against scratches and make it more durable when it is exposed to threats.

Although they are smaller, more durable, and lighter than plastic lenses, this is not always the case when contrasted with competing technology such as the Trivex lens. 

One last point states that this material has a reduced chromatic aberration rate. This means they can create minor visual distortions with peripheral vision. Many individuals, however, are unaware of this.


Is Polycarbonate Lenses Good For Eyes?

Polycarbonate optics for sports eyeglasses. They are excellent for users' eyes. The reason is they provide more protection in insulating the eyes against UV rays.

On impact, they do not shatter or break into dangerous shards. Their strong impact resistance protects against eye injury or damage caused by shattered or broken eyewear.

Is Polycarbonate Necessary For Glasses?

Although this material is not required for glasses, it provides a significant advantage. Buying these variants may help customers get more from the investment. They can further reap the benefits of what protection eyeglasses could do for themselves, from the added clarity to the increased UV protection.

What Is The Cost Of Polycarbonate Lenses?

Traditional plastic and other eyeglasses, including certain contact versions, are less costly than polycarbonate ones. Due to the high index plastics, this material may cost up to two times as much as plastic ones.

The prices and quality vary based on the prescription (prescriptions can cost more) and the vendor, so comparison shopping is recommended. You get the freedom to shop anywhere you choose with the prescription – from one optician, in shops, or online.


There are many pros and cons of polycarbonate lenses, but the main thing to keep in mind is that they can block nearly 100% UV.

This material is a durable, lightweight one that offers excellent protection against ultraviolet radiation and scratches. It also provides an anti-reflective surface. That is why it is popular for people who are sensitive to light or go to places like casinos and amusement parks.

However, they’re not the most flexible of materials, so they may be more difficult to fit than traditional plastic lens designs. Still, if you want something made with your safety in mind, these could be just what you need!

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