Anti-reflective Coatings

You should not consider your eyeglasses lenses complete unless they have an anti-reflective (AR) coating. Anti-reflective coating eliminates most surface reflections in eyeglasses lenses — reflections that are both cosmetically unappealing (reducing eye contact) and can interfere with your vision when driving at night.

Research has demonstrated that lenses with anti-reflective coating provide better night driving vision than identical lenses without AR coating. Studies also show that people tend to be more comfortable working at a computer when wearing lenses with anti-reflective coating (compared to the same lenses without AR coating).

Many Americans, however, appear to be unaware of the benefits of anti-reflective coating. In Japan, over 80% of eyeglass lenses include AR coating. In most European countries, over 50% of eyeglasses sold include AR-coated lenses. Yet in the United States, less than 25% of eyeglass lenses have anti-reflective coating applied.

Lenses with anti-reflective coating may require more frequent cleaning than uncoated lenses because when lens reflections are eliminated, any smudges on the lenses will be easier to see. (Surface reflections on uncoated lenses "hide" some smudges.)

Anti-reflective coating is especially important if you wear high index plastic lenses. Lens materials that have a high index of refraction reflect more light than regular plastic or glass. Without anti-reflective coating, high index lenses cause more distracting reflections that can interfere with your night driving vision.

Blue Light Filtering

An additional concern is the recent research that demonstrates the harmful effect of high-energy visible (HEV) light, also know as blue light, on the eyes. Some manufacturers of eyeglass lenses are now incorporating a blue light-blocking function into their AR coatings.

If you've never tried lenses with anti-reflective coating before, try them. You'll get more compliments on your eyewear, and you'll be safer on the road at night.