The Benefits of Anti-Reflective Glasses

Posted by admin on 6/27/2016
Anti-reflective coating is also known as AR coating or anti-glare coating. The coating improves vision, reduces eye strain and makes the lenses appear invisible. These benefits are due to the ability of anti-reflective 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 vision with fewer distractions. All anti-reflective coatings consist of multiple microscopic layers of metallic oxides of alternating high and low index of refraction. Since each layer affects different wavelengths of light, the more layers there are the more reflections that can be neutralized. Most high-quality anti-reflective coatings have up to seven layers.

Depending on your lifestyle, your optician will suggest a specific brand of anti-reflective coating. The purple and blue coating have about 6 layers placed one above another on the lens. This provides a moderate level of protection and the lowest price for you. It is recommended if you spend a short amount of time driving, on the computer or smart phone, watching television and even energy efficient light bulbs that could be damaging to eyes over time. The green coating offers superior protection and color is made by the 9 layers of treatment applied to the lens. This means clear images without glare, so a longer period without eye strain. It is prescribed for those who drive more at night, those who use a lot the computers but also for any glasses from which we claim to protect our eyes and give us a clear vision and have a beautiful and distinct look

Comparison between a glasses lens without
anti-reflective coating (top) and a lens with
anti-reflectivecoating (bottom). Note the reflection
of the photographer in the top lens and the tinted
reflection in the bottom.

Benefits to the vision

Anti-reflective coating on lenses also offers many benefits to the vision of an individual. It gives you sharper vision by eliminating glare and halos in dimly lit conditions.  Also, when you use glasses with anti-reflective coating while using the computer for a prolonged amount of time, it also lessens the strain on eyes. Eyeglasses without this coating are not as effective as the ones with anti-reflective coating.
While many types of glasses can be made with the film already attached, the film is often sold separately in both larger and smaller quantities. This enables more products to be used as anti-glare. Progressive lenses and other multifocal lenses have the coating applied after the lenses have been customized to your prescription.

This coating is also very effective when applied on sunglasses, because it eliminates glare from sunlight reflecting into your eyes from the back surface of tinted lenses when the sun is behind you. Anti-reflective coating is applied only to the back surface of sunglass lenses because there are no cosmetic or visual benefits to eliminating reflections from the front surface of dark-tinted lenses.

Most premium anti-reflective lenses include a hydrophobic surface treatment that seals the anti-reflective layers and makes the lenses easier to clean. The hydrophobic surface treatments repel water, preventing the formation of water spots. Some anti-reflective lenses have surface treatments that are both hydrophobic and oleophobic, repelling both water and oil.


While many individuals find anti-glare a benefit, the most common concern is the quality. The surface is easy to damage, making small scratches a big deal. If your glasses are already attached with the reflective film, usually there is a special solution and cloth provided, as using any other material runs the risk of adding scratches. This can make the lifespan of anti-reflective films short, if not cared for properly. Be aware that most of the lower-cost anti-reflective coatings make the lenses difficult to keep clean. In order for the coatings to last longer, best you choose a well-known company that guarantees high quality. In normal conditions, you should not have any problems with these layers for years if the lenses are quality lenses. Repairing the film can also be expensive, make sure to ask if the anti-reflective coating is part of the lenses guarantee so the lenses will be changed if you have problems with the coatings.

How to clean these lenses

Having different layers on your lenses one above the other, you want to be more careful what cleaners you manage to avoid damaging these coatings.  Once a week you can wash your glasses with warm water and a soft soap, but not more often than that.  For in between cleaning use a dry and clean microfiber.

Cleaning solutions are recommended only in situations where dry microfiber cannot remove dirt. In this case, you can use specific solutions for anti-reflective coating (read the inscription on the bottle) that you find in optical shops.  Avoid alcohol-based solutions!

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