Types of Lens Coatings for Prescription Eyeglasses

Lens coatings can improve the performance and durability of your eyeglasses. Many types of coatings have been developed and introduced in recent years, but which is right for you?

Today, we provide an overview of the different types of lens coatings to consider when getting new prescription eyeglasses.

Anti-Reflective Coating

An anti-reflective coating, also known as AR or anti-glare coating, is an extremely thin multilayer coating that gets rid of reflections from the front and back surfaces of lenses. This coating makes your lenses almost invisible so people can look into your eyes without seeing their reflections from your glasses. It eliminates glare caused by light reflecting from your lenses. Without these reflections, you can see more clearly and drive more comfortably at night.

An AR coating is especially ideal for polycarbonate and high-index lenses, which reflect more light than standard glass or plastic lenses. This coating also works well for aspheric lenses since they have flatter curves than regular lenses, causing more noticeable reflections.

To ensure comfort in all lighting conditions, eye care professionals recommend applying an anti-reflective coating to photochromatic lenses. It improves light transmission through the lenses for night driving and reduces glare in bright sunlight.

Scratch-Resistant Coating

There is no such thing as completely scratch-proof eyeglass lenses. However, lenses with a scratch-resistant coating feature a harder surface that’s more resistant to scratching. This type of coating is beneficial for kids’ lenses as it improves durability. Most eyeglass lenses today, including high-index lenses and polycarbonate lenses, have a built-in scratch-resistant coating.

In some cases, scratch-resistant coatings are optional, so make sure to inform your eye doctor that you want your lenses to have this coating for added durability. Don’t forget to ask about the warranty on eyeglass lenses that include a scratch-resistant coating.

While a scratch-resistant coating makes your glasses more resistant to impact, it doesn’t provide complete protection against wear and tear. To keep your glasses in good shape, store your them in a cushioned case when not in use and clean the lenses using a microfiber cloth. You also need to be careful with products that claim to repair scratched lenses. While they may fill in the scratches, they can’t make the scratches disappear to restore the appearance of the lenses.

UV Coating

UV exposure has been linked to age-related eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. Lenses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays can help in preventing the damaging effects of UV radiation.

Fortunately, almost all high-index plastic lenses and most sunglasses have 100 percent UV protection built-in. However, CR-39 plastic lenses require an extra coating for total UV protection. Eyeglasses with photochromic lenses also block 100 percent UV rays without the need for an added UV lens coating.

Photochromic Treatment

Photochromic lenses, also called transitions, automatically darken when exposed to sunlight and become clear when you go back indoors. These lenses are available in all materials and designs. You should consider them if you don’t want to purchase another pair of prescription sunglasses or if you have light sensitivity.

Keep in mind that photochromic lenses darken and lighten to varying degrees. Some brands take longer to change than others. Discuss your needs and options with your eye doctor.

Mirror Coating

A mirror lens coating prevents light from reflecting into the eye. It makes the outside of the lens look like a mirror, but wearers don’t see the mirror coating from the inside of the lens. Only the color tint of the coating is visible.

These coatings are available in various colors, densities and styles. They are popular in both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses. Mirror coatings can be applied as a solid, gradient and double gradient coating.

Two of the most common mirror coatings are the flash mirror and half mirror. The half mirror creates a full mirror reflection on the outside of the lens while completely concealing the eye. On the other hand, the flash mirror coating is less dense and gives a transparent mirror look. Consult your optometrist to find out which option is best for your vision needs.

Anti-Fog Coating

In the cold months, it can be frustrating when your glasses constantly fog up every time you step outside. Fogginess limits your ability to see, which can be dangerous, especially when you’re outdoors or driving. This is even more dangerous for police officers and people who respond to emergencies.

If you wear eyeglasses and participate in sports activities, your lenses may also fog up when you’re hot and sweating. Fogging occurs when tiny droplets that form by condensation on the lens surface are cooler than the surrounding air temperature. Fortunately, a permanent coating exists to eliminate fogging. This factory-applied coating prevents condensation in lenses, eliminating fogging.

Tinted Lenses

Lens tinting can help with certain vision problems and can also improve the appearance of your glasses. Some tints help with computer use and can even lead to better sleep. Blue-light blocking lenses claim to ease eye strain and discomfort while in front of a computer. A yellow tint may increase contrast and a gray tint may not change color perception in sunglasses.

By undergoing eye exams, you can find out what the right lens tint for your needs would be. However, if you don’t have any underlying health need for tinted lenses, the color choice is up to you. Wearing tinted glasses has no direct side effects, but some may experience an adjustment period. For some, it affects their accurate color perception.

Tinted lenses that are too dark pose certain risks if regularly worn indoors. As your eyes start to get used to the darker view, they become more sensitive in brighter lighting conditions. Lenses with at least 50 percent visible light transmission are better for indoor wear.

You can count on Progressive Eyecare for your eye care needs. We offer eyeglasses, contact lenses, comprehensive eye exams and more. Call us at (702) 368-2021 (North Las Vegas), (702) 834-5609 (Boca Park) or (702) 407-0601 (Blue Diamond). We assist patients in Southwest Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Summerlin, NV.