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What is Anti-Reflective Coating & Why Is It Important?

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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Optometrists often talk about the importance of anti-reflective coating for glasses. But many people don’t understand why it’s so essential. Plus, it costs a little extra — so you might wonder if anti-reflective coating is worth the price. We’ll cover all that and more to help you decide if an AR coating is right for you.

What Is Anti-Reflective Coating?

Anti-reflective coating is a transparent layer on your lenses that reduces reflections. Human eyes need lots of light to see clearly. If light bounces off your lenses, it won’t reach your retina and your vision won’t be as sharp. An AR coating helps by letting more light pass through your lenses.

Lenses without an AR coating reflect about 8% of light. In contrast, lenses with an AR coating have almost zero reflections — your eyes will see approximately 99% of available light.

How Does Anti-Reflective Coating Work?

There are a few different techniques to make an anti-reflective coating. In most cases, thin layers of metal oxides are applied to the lens. These microscopic compounds break up light waves so they can’t reflect off your glasses. Each layer increases the anti-reflective power — more layers equals fewer reflections.

The final product is almost invisible. Your anti-reflective lenses might have a very faint blue or green tint from certain angles. But they will appear perfectly clear while you wear them. Benefits of Anti-Reflective Coating on Prescription Glasses The main job of an anti-reflective coating is to reduce reflections. But you’ll also enjoy other benefits:

  • Better vision while driving at night. Lens reflections are usually worse at night, especially if you’re driving. Other cars and street lights cause reflections that are distracting and dangerous. Adding an AR coating reduces these reflections so you can clearly see the road.

  • Enhanced appearance. Reflections on your lenses can distract other people. Plus, they might make your eyes invisible in pictures. AR coating ensures your eyes are clear and visible for a better appearance.

  • Improved durability. At 39DollarGlasses, our AR coating includes anti-scratch technology so your glasses last longer.

  • Less eye strain. Computers, phones, and other screens can cause eye strain. AR coating reduces the strain by preventing bright reflections from hitting your eyes.

  • Improved astigmatism correction. If you have astigmatism, light sources such as lamps, headlights, and computer screens may look streaky or blurry. AR coating works alongside your prescription to reduce these distortions.

  • Better sun protection. Sunglasses are better with an AR coating. The coating reduces bright reflections from the sun, giving you sharper eyesight outdoors.

  • Improved transition lenses. An AR coating is very helpful if you wear Transitions® lenses. These lenses are clear indoors and shaded outdoors. As with sunglasses, an AR coating reduces reflections on your Transitions® for better outdoor vision.

How to Properly Clean Anti-Reflective Lenses

You should follow standard glasses cleaning rules to maintain your anti-reflective lenses:

  1. Use a safe cleaning solution. Cleaning products like bleach and rubbing alcohol will damage your lenses. Instead, use a drop of liquid soap and warm water. Avoid soaps with lotion since these can cause smudges. You can also use cleaning solutions provided by your optometrist.

  2. Don’t use your shirt. We’ve all done it at some point, but cleaning your glasses with your shirt does more harm than good. Over time, it can cause scratches and a buildup of oils.

  3. Use a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is nonabrasive and lint-free — so it’s perfect for cleaning glasses. Gently rub your lenses in a circular motion to clean away smudges.

39DollarGlasses Is Here to Help

Overall, anti-reflective lenses are ideal for most glasses wearers. They improve vision clarity, reduce eye strain, and even make your glasses more durable. Plus, we make AR lenses accessible by offering low prices every day. All our frames start at just $39, so adding an AR coating won’t break the bank. Explore styles for men, women, and kids to find your perfect fit.

Still have questions? We’re here to help! 39DollarGlasses is owned and operated by eye doctors. We’re ready to help you choose the best lenses for your lifestyle and prescription. Contact our expert team today to learn more and get answers.