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  • Writer's pictureJaney Yee

What Lens Coatings are Best for Me?

anti-scratch coating
Time for new glasses? Don't forget to think about lens coatings!

Lens coatings play an important role in enhancing the durability and performance of your eyeglass lenses. They also help with eliminating any glare, eyestrain, or photosensitivity one may experience during everyday tasks.

Whether you wear single vision, bifocal, or progressive lenses, I'll briefly go through the main treatments and coatings that should be considered.

Anti-Reflective Coating

Also called AR coating or anti-glare coating it eliminates reflections from the front and back surface of eyeglass lenses.

Anti-reflective coating also eliminates glare caused by light reflecting from your lenses. With reflections eliminated, lenses with AR coating provide better vision for night driving and more comfortable vision for reading and computer use.

This coating makes your lenses nearly invisible so people can focus on your eyes and not on the distracting reflections from your eyeglasses.

Scratch-Resistant Coating

Nothing is 100% scratch-proof, but lenses treated with scratch-resistant coating have a much harder surface that is more resistant to everyday wear and tear. Anti-scratch coating will not prevent scratches from your dog chewing on your glasses or from scratches due to stepping and dragging your glasses on the ground!

Be wary of products that promise to repair scratched lenses. These products may fill in the scratches, but it is impossible for them to make the scratches disappear so the lenses look new again.

Blue-Blocker Coating

Prolonged exposure to digital devices can cause blurred vision and eyestrain, which are the main symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). Blue blocker lenses are designed to protect your vision from harmful blue light emitted from digital screens using the latest UV420 technology. For more information read my blog: "What is blue light and is it the same as UV light?"

Polarized Coating

Polarized lenses eliminate glare, which is defined as light reflected off any surface. Sunlight reflecting off water, snow or roads can create glare which in extreme cases can cause accidents, cataracts, snow blindness, or sunburn to your eyes. Polarized lenses don't only reduce glare, they make images appear clearer, sharper and improve depth-perception - increasing visual clarity and comfort. To read more, see my blog: "To Polarize or Not Polarize? The Great Sunglass Question..."

Transition Lenses

Transition or Photochromic lenses react to different levels of UV light and adjust their tint accordingly.  Transition lenses only change their tint when exposed directly to UV light, meaning that they will remain clear when indoors - as artificial light doesn't affect the lenses. When outdoors, the lenses will adjust their tint so the wearer can see comfortably in all light conditions, while remaining protected from UV rays. These lenses are ideally suited for prescription wearers who want a 2-in-1 eyeglass and sunglass combination.

Newer photochromic lenses change darker and come in mirror coatings.

Mirrored Lenses

Mirrored sunglasses feature a reflective optical coating, sometimes called a flash coating, on the front surface of the lens. The color of the mirror coating that you choose is purely an aesthetic decision, and does not affect the tint of the sunglass lens itself. Mirrored lenses not only look fashion forward but also add another layer of anti-reflection against light rays in front of you.

Tinted Lenses

When you buy eyeglasses or sunglasses, you can choose to enhance your vision with a color tinted lens. Tinted lenses can reduce glare when driving and unlike Transition lenses, the color of a tinted lens will remain the same at all times. Lighter tints like pink are used for fashion purposes, whereas darker tints such as grey or brown can be used to provide sunglass protection. Tinted lenses are ideal for athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone who leads an active lifestyle.

Now that you have a general idea of what coatings and treatments are available, talk to your optometrist about what's best for your visual needs.

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