Anti-reflective coating (also called "AR coating" or "anti-glare coating") improves vision, reduces eye strain and makes your eyeglasses look more attractive.
These benefits are due to the ability of AR coating to virtually eliminate reflections from the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.
With reflections gone, more light passes through your lenses to optimize visual acuity with fewer distractions (especially at night), and the lenses look nearly invisible — which enhances your appearance by drawing more attention to your eyes and helping you make better "eye contact" with others.
AR coating is especially beneficial when used on high-index lenses, which reflect more light than regular plastic lenses. Generally, the higher the index of refraction of the lens material, the more light that will be reflected from the surface of the lenses.
For example, regular plastic lenses reflect roughly 8 percent of light hitting the lenses, so only 92 percent of available light enters the eye for vision.
High index plastic lenses can reflect up to 50 percent more light than regular plastic lenses (approximately 12 percent of available light), so even less light is available to the eye for vision. This can be particularly troublesome in low-light conditions, such as when driving at night.
Today's modern anti-reflective coatings can virtually eliminate the reflection of light from eyeglass lenses, allowing 99.5 percent of available light to pass through the lenses and enter the eye for good vision.
By eliminating reflections, AR coating also makes your eyeglass lenses look nearly invisible so people can see your eyes and facial expressions more clearly. Anti-reflective glasses also are more attractive, so you can look your best in all lighting conditions.
WANT GLASSES (WITH ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATINGS? Find an eye doctor near you.
What do anti-reflective coated lenses actually do?
You may also hear these lenses referred to as AR coatings or anti-glare coatings. Whatever they’re called, here’s how they’ll work.
Without the anti-reflective coating, reflections can happen in both the inner and outer surface of your glasses lenses. Lenses equipped with this coating help prevent reflections from happening. Without reflections, more light is able to pass through. This can help improve your visual acuity, which is especially helpful at night.
Another benefit to opting for anti-reflective coating? Less glare means people can clearly see your eyes. These coatings help you see better, but also help you look better, too. You know how important eye contact can be to personal and professional relationships. Anti-reflective coatings help you maintain that eye contact more easily.
Your eyes will also show up properly in photos, without glare from sunlight or the flash blocking your features.
Taking care of anti-reflective lenses
You’ll find caring for your glasses with anti-reflective coating isn’t hard. Make sure they’re stored safely in a proper case and that they’re cleaned regularly. Always avoid harsh chemicals and anything that will interact badly with or damage the anti-reflective coating. Your doctor can help you choose a great cleaning product.
- Anti-reflective coating: See better and look better By Gary Heiting, OD