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What is Anti-Reflective Coating?

Updated on June 21, 2013

Anti-reflective Coated Eyeglasses

Anti reflective coating for cosmetically appealing glasses
Anti reflective coating for cosmetically appealing glasses | Source

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Anti-Reflective Coating for Eyeglasses

Many of us must have heard about anti-reflective coating while buying prescription eyeglasses where the salesman tries to sell you glasses with these coating. But do we really know what anti-reflective coating is or what is the technology that lies behind this? Well, there are very few people who are aware of anti-reflective coating. Most of us will just agree with salesman and buy the best coating that the sales man sells. In this post I will explain about an anti-reflective coating and benefits/drawback of an anti-reflective coating.

First, let me explain what is anti-reflective coating? Anti-reflective or anti-glare coating is similar to coating found on microscope and telescope. Anti-reflective coating consists of several layers of metal oxides applied to the front and back surfaces of the lenses. Each layer is calculated to block reflected light or reduce reflection which in return improves the efficiency of the lenses as less light is lost. Because of the layering effect, the lenses have a hint of green or blue or purple color, when glasses are looked at a certain angle.

Pros and Cons of Anti-reflective Coating:

Anti-reflective coating has more benefits than cons and here are the reasons why you should use glasses with anti-reflective coating:

  • Anti-reflective coating is highly beneficial for night driving. If you use contact lenses or drive with your naked eye you will definitely experience a halo effect around the headlight, taillight or the street light. Anti-reflective coating definitely helps eliminate this effect and will make night driving much easier and less of distraction.
  • If you spend long hours on computers, anti-reflective coating will definitely be beneficial for you. While spending long hours on computer you eyes will get stressed as you keep focusing on specific area of the monitor and battle against the glare from the monitor. Symptoms of eye strain are dry eyes, irritation and blurry vision. There are certain exercises that you can follow to reduce eye strain but using anti-reflective glasses will definitely help reduce glare from the monitor, which in return will help reduce eye strain. But it is advisable that you do some eye exercise while working on computer to avoid CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome).
  • Eye strain can also happen to people who do not spend much time on computers. If you spend long hours in a dim lit room or watch TV for long hrs can lead to eye strain. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above then anti-reflective coating will definitely be beneficial for you.
  • If your prescription is high and use hi-index lenses then anti-reflective coating is a must. Hi-index lenses are thinner, lighter and flatter than the conventional lenses thus these lenses reflect more light than the normal lenses. Anti-reflective coating will definitely help decrease reflection from the lenses and the performance of these lenses will be optimized.
  • Anti-reflective coating eliminates both internal and external reflection in the eyeglass lenses, creating cosmetically appealing glasses. Internal reflection appears as a ring which makes the lenses look thicker and external reflection masks your eyes thus the onlookers will not be able to see you eyes clearly. With anti-reflective coating, lenses will look thinner and by eliminating the external reflection your lenses will look nonexistence. Anti-reflective coating is highly recommended with rimless frames as the glasses will look invisible.
  • Anti-reflective coating has few disadvantages but as compared to its advantages these are small issues which can be overlooked. Glasses with anti-reflective coating tend to get scratched easily. There are no lenses that are scratch proof but with anti-reflective coating the scratches appear prominent. This can be tackled but take few precautionary steps. While cleaning the lenses make sure that you use the cleaning cloth provided, always dampen the surface its better that you use the lens cleaning liquid or rinse the glasses under water. This will make sure that the dust particles on the lenses are washed thus when you rub the lenses it’s a clean area and lenses will not get scratches.
  • The other down side of anti-reflective coating is that the lenses easily pick dust and finger prints. You will need to clean the glasses more often than the lenses without anti-reflective coating. It is advisable that you keep the cleaning cloth handy. Luckily with new technology there are now lenses developed which are smudge proof coating, water repellant coating and dust proof coating.

As an optician working with I would recommend that you use anti-reflective coating on prescription eyeglasses. Thought it will cost a bit extra it will definitely offer you value for money.

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      If my specs fall can the coating be off? And do I have garentee where is is concerned?


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