Photo by Designecologist

Going to the eye doctor to get a new pair of glasses is a multi-step process. It starts with a comprehensive eye exam, which determines what type of corrective lenses you’ll need, then there’s the selection of the eyeglass frame, and finally, there are the additional coatings that can be applied to the lenses themselves. These coatings can change the appearance of the lens, increase its durability, and may improve the performance of the lens. But which ones are right for you? Do you really need them? It’s important to talk with your eyeglass professional about your lifestyle so that they can assist you in choosing additional coatings for your lenses.

To help you better understand those choices before you come into the shop, we thought we’d put together a “Know Before You Go” list of what’s available and what we recommend to our clients.

Types of Lens Coatings

Performance- and durability-enhancing coatings include:

Anti-Reflective: Dr. Cheryl recommends this coating to nearly everyone because it cuts down on glare and reflections from the front and back of the lenses. There are different grades of anti-reflective coatings, from standard to ultimate. Each comes with different warranties, but mainly it’s either a one-year or two-year warranty on the lenses against scratching, peeling, etc.

UltraViolet: UV protection comes standard with most sunglass lenses and some anti-reflective coatings also offer UV protection, but it’s not really needed with clear glasses. Dr. Cheryl reminds her patients and customers, “If you are outside for any length of time, you should have sunspecs on.”

Blue-Block: Dr. Cheryl says that blue-blocking lenses are popular now with people who use computers frequently. You can get a blue filter or a blue-blocking anti-reflective coating which is the more popular of the two. All About Eyes highly recommends the blue-blocking anti-reflective coating for computer users as it helps to reduce digital eye strain.

Anti-Fog: Dr. Cheryl notes that anti-fog coatings don’t work very well on lenses that have other coatings on them. If it’s just a plain plastic lens, it may work to some degree, but otherwise, it’s not really worth it.

Appearance-enhancing coatings include:

Photochromic: Photochromic lenses are popular—better known by the well-known brand—Transitions. Photochromic lenses always have a light tint indoors and turn to a sunglass outdoors, reducing the need for two pairs of glasses. The “extra active” also get dark in the car. Dr. Cheryl says this in-demand coating comes in a variety of colors now, but the most popular ones are brown and gray.

Tinted: Tinted lenses can either be sunglasses or just a light tint to cut down on glare. Popular colors for tinting include yellow and blue. Lenses can be tinted anywhere from 10% to 80% opacity.

Mirrored: Mirrored tints are for sunglasses. Dr. Cheryl notes that this is more for “the look” and that there’s no real ocular benefit to mirrored sunglasses.

Please visit All About Eyes. We are happy to assist you in choosing the best coating(s) for your needs!