Glasses up close

Most people have probably heard of anti-reflective coatings for eyeglass lenses, but are these coatings worth the additional cost? Do they really make your vision sharper and clearer? And how do they work?

What is it?

An anti-reflective coating is a special coating that can be applied to the front and back of eyeglass lenses. Simply stated, anti-reflective lenses cancel out harmful glare by absorbing reflected light, bending it, or both.

Anti-reflective coatings virtually eliminate reflection and glare from your lenses. This allows more light to pass through, helping you to see more clearly.

What are the benefits?

Anti-reflective coatings are especially helpful during prolonged computer use and in low-light conditions, such as driving at night. The glare from oncoming headlights can be blinding for some people.

People with stronger prescriptions benefit even more from anti-reflective coatings, because thicker lenses reflect more light. This is true even for lenses made from specialty high-index material.

Eliminating reflections with an anti-reflective coating also makes lenses look nearly invisible. This allows people to see your eyes and facial expressions more clearly.

Which anti-reflective coating option is best?

There are several different types of anti-reflective coatings and many optical labs have their own brand. To get the most benefits, choose a multi-layer coating instead of a thinner “standard” coating.

Multi-layer coatings are more scratch resistant and come with a hydrophobic coating, which repels dust, water and oils. Because anti-reflective coated lenses are so clear, smudges and finger prints can be more noticeable. For most people, the less frequent need to clean their lenses is worth the extra cost for a hydrophobic coating.

Questions about anti-reflective coatings? You’re always welcome to stop by our vision clinic for advice on selecting glasses that are right for you.