Updated on 2/19/21
After performing a regular eye exam, the next thing I do is talk about eyeglass lens options. The most common issue my patients have is getting rid of glare - that’s when I talk about anti-reflection coatings on their glasses.
What Is Anti-Reflective Coating?
An anti-reflective (AR) or anti-glare coating is a type of optical coating applied to eyeglass lenses to eliminate reflection. AR coatings help eliminate reflections from the front and back surface of the lenses allowing more light to pass through for optimal vision. The majority of my patients agree that having anti-reflective coatings on their glasses is absolutely worth the additional cost.
Benefits of Anti-Reflective Coatings
There are many benefits that come with AR coatings, those include:
- Increased visual acuity so you see more and better
- Decreased eye strain, so your eyes feel better
- Better night vision since there are fewer scattered lights
- Makes your eyeglasses look more attractive and less “coke bottle”.
- Helps people see your eyes and not just a reflection
In addition to the benefits above, your computer and digital device usage get easier since your eyes are less strained, and you can work longer and more effectively.
Why Is Glare Such a Problem?
In this digital age, glare is an ever-present annoyance in daily life. We are inundated with lots and lots of screens. Screens from computers, tablets, and smartphones for hours and hours. Even some e-readers cause eye strain due to glare. Our eyes were not built to sustain focus in one place for that long of a time. So, they get tired and respond by tearing, and by getting red and sore. So, what do you do? Well, one of the best things you can do is get eyeglass lenses that have an anti-reflective coating on them.
Are All Anti-reflective Lenses the Same?
State-of-the-art AR coated lenses eliminate almost all reflection of light, which greatly improves vision since there is little obstacle to light getting through the lenses.
Premium AR coated lenses go through a process that seals the anti-reflective coatings and makes them easier to clean and maintain. Surface treatments include water repellant properties that prevent liquid from forming water spots as well as oil from damaging the surface of the lens.
Also, each eyeglass lens company has its own proprietary formula for making AR coated lenses. As such, there are different layers of AR coatings that block individual wavelengths of light. More layers mean more protection from reflections of light.
For example, if you are a heavy user of digital devices like laptops, computers, tablets, and smartphones, you could benefit from an AR-coated lens that blocks blue light. Blue light is emitted by all these devices and has been found to be potentially harmful to your eyes.
How Do I Care for My AR Coated Lenses?
AR coated lenses are not very tough and require some care and maintenance. Fine scratches can occur very easily on the surface, but the coating can hide surface lens defects. It’s very important that you always clean and sanitize your glasses properly.
Always use products recommended by the optician, optometrist, or optical store where you bought the lenses to clean and maintain them. Never use an abrasive material like your shirt, a tissue, or anything not specifically designed to clean lenses.
Is Anti-Reflective Coating Worth it?
Anti-reflective lenses are very worth it, especially if you deal with a lot of glare from digital or LED screens, as well as glare from oncoming headlights when driving at night on a road trip. They also help you see better, look better, and feel better than going without uncoated lenses.
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