The number of lens coatings available for your eye glasses can be daunting. Here is a quick primer describing the different coatings, with an explanation of their importance:
Anti-reflective (or anti-glare) coating (AR) – Significantly reduces glare caused by light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of lenses. AR coatings allow more light to pass through the lenses for greater clarity during night driving and provide more comfortable vision for computer users. It also gives an improved cosmetic appearance of the lenses and your eyes.
Scratch-resistant coating – Creates a harder lens surface that is more resistant to scratches. Every lens material, including glass, can scratch but having this additional protective layer helps shield the lens from daily wear and tear.
Anti-fog – Eliminates the condensation of moisture on lenses that causes fogging. This is a newer innovation for eyeglass lenses and comes in handy in places where fog is an issue.
Ultraviolet (UV) protection – An invisible coating that blocks out the harmful UV rays that cause cataracts and other eye problems. Polycarbonate and hi-index lenses include complete UV protection and therefore, this additional coating would be unnecessary.
Mirror coatings – Cosmetic coatings that have no effect on vision.
Color Tinted Lens – Improve cosmetic appearance of the wearer and can slightly enhance vision for those who are light sensitive. Lenses can be coated with a solid tint of varying intensities and colors or in a gradient design whereby the darkest tint color is at the top of the lens and gradually fades downward.
At your annual eye exam, discuss with your optometrist any questions you may have to help you determine which coating(s) may be right for you.