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Is Anti-Reflective Coating Worth it on Glasses?

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Happy women trying on her glasses that have anti reflective coating with laptop in background

When picking out a new pair of glasses, your optical team may ask about different lens customization options, such as anti-reflective coating. If you’re unsure of your decision, is anti-reflective coating worth it for your glasses? 

Continue reading to learn more about anti-reflective coating, including what it is, how it works, and if it’s worth getting. 

What Is Anti-Reflective Coating? 

Anti-reflective coating goes by many names, including anti-glare, no-glare, or glare-free coating. No matter what you call this coating, it provides the same benefits. Anti-reflective coating reduces the amount of glare you experience when light hits your lenses. 

The purpose of this coating is to improve your vision and make your glasses more visually appealing. Someone can see more of your eyes when glare isn’t reflecting off of your lenses. 

Anti-reflective coating eliminates almost all reflections from the front and back of your lens. These coatings optimize your vision due to more light passing through the lens.

Why Get Anti-Reflective Coating on Your Eyewear?

Many people don’t notice glare at first, but it can be hard to ignore when it’s affecting your vision or distracting from your focus. 

People typically get anti-reflective coating on their glasses to improve their vision by reducing reflections, glare, and halos. Besides this benefit, people may receive this coating to improve their night vision or the appearance of their lenses. Your glasses appear thinner and almost invisible when light isn’t reflecting off of them.

How Can Glare Affect Your Vision? 

Light is essential for your vision. It enters your eye, allowing you to see the world around you, but light can also irritate your eyes. Halos and glare can be uncomfortable or even partially disable your vision. 

Halos are the bright circles that surround light sources, like headlights. You’ll mostly notice halos in dimly-lit rooms or at night, especially when driving.

Nearly everyone experiences glare at one point or another. Glare is light that enters your eye and interferes with your vision. 

Glare is uncomfortable, causing you to squint or look away to see more clearly. You may notice your eyes begin to tear up due to glare. It may worsen your vision, causing you to see blurrier images due to a loss of contrast. 

With how aggravating or even disabling glare can be, it’s no surprise many people invest in anti-reflective coatings. 

How Does Anti-Reflective Coating Work? 

Anti-reflective coating combines multiple layers of metal oxides that apply to the front and back of your lenses. The layered effect reduces reflected light, allowing more light to pass through your lenses. Anti-reflective coatings fuse onto your lenses, making them tough and durable. 

Experiencing less glare improves your vision quality, especially at night or when working on the computer in dim lighting. There are many benefits to receiving an anti-reflective coating on your lenses. 

The Benefits of Anti-Reflective Coating 

Glasses with anti-reflective coating have several benefits when compared to untreated lenses. Anti-reflective coating can: 

  • Improve vision by reducing reflections, glare, & halos
  • Provide better comfort when using the computer
  • Provide less glare when driving at night
  • Improve visual acuity by allowing more light to reach your eyes
  • Improve the appearance of your lenses

While anti-reflective coating has many benefits, is it worth getting for your glasses? 

Father and child posing for camera with their new glasses that have anti reflective coating

Is Anti-Reflective Coating Worth Getting for Your Glasses? 

Anti-reflective coating can be worth it if glare and reflection bother your eyes. The overall choice may come down to preference, but this lens coating has many benefits. If you’re unsure about your decision, your optometrist can offer recommendations based on your vision needs.

Your eye doctor and optical team can recommend several types of anti-reflective coatings. 

High-quality products like Crizal® and Xperio® offer anti-reflective benefits while protecting against harmful UV rays from the sun. Both coatings have a seal of recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation for being products that provide safe and effective sun protection against periocular skin cancers. These lens coatings help absorb and then reflect UV rays from all angles. 

Other Types of Lens Coatings

Your optical team may recommend other lens coatings besides anti-reflective coating. The final decision is yours to make, but these coatings offer different customization options and benefits. 

Some common coatings added to lenses include

  • Scratch-resistance: Scratch-resistant coatings increase the durability of your lenses, lower the chances you end up with damaged glasses
  • UV protection: UV protection coatings help block incoming UV rays, reducing the risk of cataract formation & cornea & conjunctival damage while protecting the eye from macular degeneration
  • Tinted lenses: Tinted coatings can add a lighter or darker color to your lenses—they help you see better by increasing contrast

Customize Your Lenses

Anti-reflective coating has many benefits for your vision, but ensures it meets your unique needs. Think about your personal preferences and speak with your optometry team about their recommendations. With their help, you can get customized lenses that you love. Contact your optometrist if you’re interested in lens coatings.

Written by Joni LaFerla

Dr. Joni LaFerla attended optometry school at the University of Missouri – St. Louis college of optometry where she graduated with honors. She then completed a residency in ocular disease and geriatric eye care at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. In 2008, she was elected as the first female President of the Heart of America Contact Lens Society after serving 6 years as the first female on the board of directors. A former collegiate softball pitcher and first baseman, she is a native of Omaha, NE and enjoys spending time with her family, friends and rescue dogs.
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