Is the anti-reflective coating worth the price?

2021-11-25 10:22:23 By : Mr. Ruochuan Zhang

Johnstone M. Kim, MD, is accredited by the Ophthalmology Committee. He is a practicing physician at Midwest Retina in Dublin, Ohio, and previously served as a full-time faculty member at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, Michigan.

Anti-reflective coatings, also known as AR, anti-glare, non-glare or non-glare coatings, can benefit your eyesight. An anti-reflection coating is added to the lens to reduce the glare caused by light shining on the back of the lens. This modern invention improves vision and makes your glasses more visually attractive.

The anti-reflection coating almost eliminates all reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lens. Without annoying reflections, more light can pass through your lenses, thereby optimizing your vision.

Less interference is visible (especially in the dark), and the lenses are hardly noticeable. Most people agree that the anti-reflective coating on their glasses is definitely worth the added cost.

Anti-reflection technology has made considerable progress. Years ago, AR coatings seemed more like an obstacle than an advantage. Past problems include frequent need for cleaning, coating peeling, and frequent scratching.

Because of these past problems, many people tend to avoid them when they are provided by the optician. They would rather not have to deal with the problems that often arise with glasses. However, AR coatings have made some improvements in the past few years, and most people think it is worth paying the extra price.

The new generation of AR coatings are tough, durable, and provide excellent visual effects. The word "coating" is really a misnomer. Unlike previous versions, the AR coating is actually fused or "baked" to the lens matrix.

The new generation of AR coatings also contain chemicals that make them hydrophobic, which means that the surface of the lens will reduce the adhesion of water and grease. This allows the lenses to stay clean for a longer period of time and easier to clean when they become dirty.

AR was originally developed to enhance and improve the field of view of high-power telescopes, microscopes, and camera lenses. The antireflection coating is composed of multiple layers of metal oxides, which are coated on the front surface of the lens and sometimes on the back of the lens. This layering effect reduces reflected light and allows more light to pass through the lens.

What does this do for glasses? First, it can improve your eyes' perception of the outside world. The anti-reflection coating makes the lens almost invisible. It also greatly improves the appearance of wearing lenses by reducing the internal reflection of the lenses, making your lenses look thinner.

Second, it improves your visual quality by reducing reflected light. This can reduce glare and halos around the lights and improve your visual quality when using your computer at night and in certain work environments.

Although AR coating is good for everyone, it is almost universally present on high refractive index lenses. High refractive index lenses are made of a plastic, which can make your lenses much thinner than ordinary plastic lenses. However, in order to achieve this thinness, sometimes the lens material will cause unnecessary reflections.

Therefore, manufacturers that produce ultra-high refractive index lenses include AR as part of the entire lens price and will not separate lenses from AR coatings because they believe that ultra-high refractive index should never be worn without AR coatings. Rate lenses.

Next time you buy glasses, please consider using anti-reflective lenses. When choosing an AR coating, please pay special attention to the grading standard provided by the optician. Some opticians may offer "good, better, and best" options, and the best grades are much more expensive.

Choosing mid-range or high-end coatings is well worth your money. In addition to providing excellent vision advantages, they also offer a better warranty, and if your lenses are scratched within a year, they can usually be replaced for free. Low-cost options usually do not include the new and improved features discussed above.

Some premium brand AR coatings are:

It is worth consulting your ophthalmologist about the available AR coatings. Many brands are constantly updating their materials and producing high-quality products. 

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Ross J, Bradley A. Visual performance and patient preference: a comparison of anti-reflective coated and uncoated ophthalmic lenses. J Am Optom Association 1997;68(6):361-6.

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