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Everything You Need To Know About Eyeglass Lens Coatings: Part 1

March 31, 2015

You may have heard about the different kinds of eyeglass lens coatings but may have not been sure of what those different kinds are or how they work. In this post, we’ll go over the four major kinds of eyeglass coatings on the market – anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, anti-fog, and UV. Coatings can improve the functionality and fit of your eyeglasses, and if you’re shopping for a new pair, these coatings and treatments are worth considering.

Let’s begin with anti-reflective coating. Some people also refer to it as AR coating or anti-glare coating. It is a microscopically thin multilayer coating that gets rid of reflections from the back and front surface of eyeglass lenses. The benefit of this is that the lenses become nearly imperceptible and people can see your eyes without the disruptive reflections from your glasses. AR coating also gets rid of the glare caused by light reflecting from your lenses.

Without these reflections, lenses provide better vision for driving in the night time as well as for while reading the newspaper or surfing the internet. Anti-reflective coating is a boon for all lenses, but especially for polycarbonate and high index lenses, which tend to reflect more light than regular glasses or plastic lenses. Also, aspheric lenses, with their flatter curves, can particularly benefit from AR coating.

AR coating can also be put onto the back surface of sunglasses to prevent “bounce-back” reflections when facing away from the sun. For optimal ease of sight in a range of lighting conditions, many eye care experts suggest a combination of anti-reflective coating and photochromatic lenses. While the AR coating betters light transmission through the lenses for night driving, photochromatic lenses help reduce glare in intense sunlight.

Second on our list is “scratch-resistant” coating. Did you know that no eyeglass lenses are 100% scratch proof? It’s true. However, lenses that are treated on both sides with a clear, scratch resistant coating have a much tougher surface and will be more resilient in the face of drops or the occasional paper towel cleaning. You can imagine why this might be a great option for the clumsy and the absent minded in your life. The good news is that most eyeglass lenses made today have a built-in scratch resistant coating. But, don’t let this stop you from double checking and letting your optician know your preferences.

It may also be wise to ask about the warranty on eyeglass lenses that are doctored with scratch-resistant coating versus those without. Since no glasses are totally immune to scratches, help the coating out a little by making it a habit to store your glasses in a padded case and clean the lenses with a microfiber cloth and recommended cleaning solution. As for products that guarantee they can repair scratched lenses, buyer beware. These products may seal up the scratches, but they will not be able to reverse the scratches so the lenses appear new again.

Found the above helpful? Let us know in the comments section. For the scoop on UV and anti-fog coating, check out part two of this article!


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