Anti-reflective coatings and other lens treatment options

what are lens treatment options?

More often than not, the final step in the creation of a pair of glasses is applying lens treatment. This step can sometimes be opted out of, usually due to cost. When purchasing lenses for your eyeglasses prescription, you should be educated on the available coating options and which ones might be best suited for your prescription.

There is a multitude of treatments available for prescription lenses; all applied during the manufacturing process. The most common one is the Anti-Reflection Treatment (or AR), which cuts glare from highlights – a feature which is very useful in some instances, especially when driving. This treatment also improves clarity and comfort. Other common lens coatings are photochromic (changing tint with protection against UV rays), polarized (enhances contrast and visual clarity, also reduces glare), scratch-resistance, or mirroring. Also, a patient can also opt for having their lenses permanently tinted with various colors.

By far, the most common lens treatment is the Anti-Reflection coating. However, not all AR treatments are created equally. There are several levels of AR treatments, from basic to more elaborate. Let’s see the differences:

– Basic. The most standard AR lens treatment comes with a basic scratch-resistant coating, along with the standard anti-reflective coating. This treatment does get the job done under most conditions, but without additional coatings many suffer from issues like dust collection, scratches and usually difficulty cleaning them.

– Intermediate: The next level of AR lens treatment includes an oil-resistant hydropholic coating which also with the added layers improves scratch resistance and helps keep your glasses cleaner for longer periods. The hydrophobic coating will help if you get caught in the rain – the droplets will simply slide of your lens.

– Top: The next additions are UV protection and static resistance, along with optimum scratch-resistance strength.  These coatings will help minimize dust buildup and are much easier to clean .

In recent year, the top-level AR treatments can benefit from one more type of coating: a blue filter which is great for filtering light produced by electronic devices, such as computer and phone screens. That’s about all the technology that can fit into your lens at this moment in time.

If you’re in the market for lenses and want some of the best coatings available at this moment, there are a couple of manufacturers whose quality is undoubted. Nikon is one of them, with their SeeCoat series (SeeCoat Premium and SeeCoat Blue are the highlights of that particular line), and another one is Hoya, with their EX-3 series. Both these producers have many years of experience in manufacturing high quality lenses, which can also be seen in their photographic work – Nikon produces excellent cameras and sensors, while Hoya manufactures some of the greatest filters on the market.

All in all, it’s essential to know what your budget is when choosing the coatings for your lenses and what you need them to do. Some people dislike dust on their glasses most, while others despise smudges and constantly having to clean them. Blue light protection is always useful given how much time we spend in front of screens, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours.

For further information, before purchasing your next pair of glasses visit our 360 Eyecare – Metro clinic on 40 University in the Toronto downtown core and ask to speak to one of our opticians or book an appointment with one of our optometrists.  We will gladly walk you through all the options for your prescription.