Trivex: The Road To Optical Clarity

Leading optometrist Radhika Rao talks about the various advantages of shifting to Trivex lenses and how it will impact the future of the optical trade

As professionals, students and sports lovers, the demands on the patients’ eyes are numerous. It’s only natural that we, as eye care professionals want to ease and lessen the discomfort and make it easier on them. Dispensing eyewear that will allow them to be their most natural self is what most of us aspire and dream for, and only because they deserve nothing less.

Range and balance in eyewear

The optical industry has made incredible progress in allowing for various materials to be made into eyewear, glasses and contacts. Yet, all along, there has been a gap since we all have different needs and demands and comfort levels.

amazed girl in shadesAdditionally, there is always a trade-off. Thinner is not always clearer, clearer does not always provide style and 100% UV protection may not always provide clarity and durability is not always a given with thin lenses. The Standard lenses (CR-39®) have high optical quality, but unfortunately fall short with respect to strength and resistance. The polycarbonate lenses have high impact resistance, but some quality of vision is compromised.

That’s where TRIVEX comes in: Trivex offers a healthy and perfect balance between optical quality, strength and resistance and lightweight comfort. A lens made of materials that can satisfy the demands of most patients.

Introducing Trivex

TRIVEX lenses are composed of a urethane-based monomer and are made from a cast molding process, much like the regular plastic lenses. Introduced by PPG Industries, in Pittsburgh US, in 2001, these lenses offer a promise of being thin, lightweight and also shatterproof when compared to its predecessors, the plastic lenses.

Because of its uniquely invaluable combination of optical and performance characteristics, they are now being held at a bar against which other materials can be weighed against.

Why Trivex

So why should you, as a dispenser support and suggest TRIVEX lenses to your customers? Simple, it offers a clear and comfortable vision for your customers. However, that’s not all. Here is the list of reasons why Trivex is becoming popular!

  1. Optics:

Clearly, vision is the highest of the demands on an eyewear. With Trivex, there is no such compromise. The high Abbe number compared to polycarbonates ensure good transmissibility and this reduces eye strain while allowing the wearer to have an elevated quality of vision.

  1. Lightweight:

Trivex has the lowest density (1.11) compared to any other optical-grade materials used. Molecule for molecule, it’s about 8% lighter than Polycarbonates, which is considered light in itself! It is the best choice for most mid-range powers (+3D to -3D) and can be made even lighter when dispensed in various forms.

  1. Impact Resistance:

Trivex is a hard lens to break. It surpasses the FDA minimum impact standard for eyeglass wear by 60 times. That’s proof that it is definitely the go-to lens for a certain set of people. (which we will discuss below)

  1. Fracture/Chip Resistance

While setting lenses into certain frames, the quality of the material is crucial. With frames that have an exposed lens edge, like rimless mounts and nylon string mounts, there is no danger of the Trivex lens popping out and shattering on your kitchen floor or on the basketball court.

  1. Heat Resistance

The Trivex material has a strong chemical composition that will not allow for warping or decomposition when exposed to extreme temperatures. It is also resistant to material deflections that can bring about optical distortion, and is proven to be 90% more superior to polycarbonates.

  1. UV protection:

Trivex offers outstanding UV protection, and blocks up to 100% of all UV rays.

With all the factors and reasons listed above, when a dispenser combines Trivex material with cutting edge frames, lens designs and any other enhancements, the end result is worthy and of incredible quality.


Beautiful young woman wearing glasses portrait.Simply put, Trivex is a good fit for all dispensing. However, there are some special and clear cut patients, who would benefit highly. Anyone who has an active lifestyle, and want to go that extra length to get that clear, crisp vision is a perfect candidate for this lens.

  1.      Children:

Because of the nature of childhood, it is expected that glasses will see heavy wear and tear. Trivex offers much needed clarity of vision for the child, while reassuring the parent that their child will not hurt themselves if in the case of an accident or a tumble. Plus it’s also lightweight, so the little noses do not bear the brunt of the heavy glass.

  1.      Athletes:

Athletes are strong and swift and need the freedom to be able to concentrate on their skill and speed of performance. For their corrective vision, and in the case that contact lenses are not an option, then the lenses must blend and become a part of them in such a way that they forget it exists between their eyes and the world. Trivex offers that option. Lightweight, and not compromising of quality of vision, when set in frames that will complement the demand, these lenses are the best option for all athletes including the recreational basketball player or the runner. Shatterproof and without a worry of injury, your active customer will thank you for recommending Trivex.

  1. On the field Professionals:

Professionals, who work outdoors, and or in high temperature settings like factories, would benefit from these lenses. The high temperature resistance, and also impact resistance quality of the material will see them through their work and lifestyle.

  1. When appearance is key:

For certain lifestyles and professions, the eyewear needs to blend into the background, without being obvious. Certain media professionals, people who work on camera, doctors and such are the ones who would benefit. When combined with smart frames, including rimless mounts, the lenses are robust and steady to continue to give them a good healthy balance of both vision and style.


PPG industries hold the patent on Trivex material and licenses it to other lens manufacturers to create based on their needs and enhancements:

  1.      Younger Optics makes lenses that are based on PPG material called Trilogy and have been in use since 2002.
  2.      Hoya (Phoenix) lenses are also based on PPG material and offer Trilogy
  3.      Essilor (USA) Trivex and Trexa which are both very close in molecular composition to the original PPG industry product Trivex


While dispensing high quality frames from brand names, it is most likely that the average polycarbonate or plastic lens will be only a fraction of the cost of the frame. In the case of Trivex , that cost would be equally dispensed between the frame and the lens. It will be a small premium to pay, one which the customer would most likely be happy to trade up, once the superior quality of the complete package of the lens and frame is conveyed.

With all of the above indicators in place, Trivex sure seems to be an all round player since a decade and going strong.

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