What Lens Coatings or Add-ons Should I Get on my Glasses?

by Dec 6, 2021Glasses

When purchasing new glasses, there are many options for additional coatings or other add-ons to upgrade the glasses.

Determining which of these additional features will be needed can be difficult.


Basic Lens Types

The easiest way to understand the value and importance of coatings and other add-ons is to fully understand what the basic or standard glasses lens already has.

The material used to create the glasses lens will be a clear piece of plastic that is cut to fit into the frames you select.

Most glasses are made from either CR-39 (1.50) plastic or Polycarbonate (impact resistant) plastic.

If the glasses are made of polycarbonate, the material will also filter UV light very well on its own, but CR-39 plastic does not filter UV light as well.


Anti-Reflective or Anti-Glare Lens Coatings

The material that the glasses lenses are made from will inherently reflect some light and not allow all of the light that hits the front surface to pass through it.

This reflection can create a glare when you look at lights such as headlights or a computer screen.

Additionally, when someone looks at you in the glasses, there will be a significant glare on the lenses from the lights in the room or the flash of a camera.

To eliminate this glare, an anti-reflective coating can be applied which will reduce the amount of light that the lens reflects.

Lenses with an anti-reflective or anti-glare coating will appear clear when viewed and make a great choice for anyone who is involved with photography or on TV.

Additionally, the clarity that these coatings provide can be extremely beneficial to people who work in sales or other professions that involve lots of one-on-one communication because the coating allows the customer to clearly see your eyes when you are talking.

Perhaps the most important aspect of an anti-reflective coating is the improvement of vision that is provided by the coating when a light source is directly in front of you.

Driving at night is the most dramatic example and, if you have issues with your vision at night, an anti-reflective coating is an absolute necessity.


Transitions or Light Sensitive Lens Coatings

A popular add-on is the ability of the glasses lenses to change into sunglasses when outside or in UV light. This feature is marketed by the name of Transitions or may just be called light-sensitive or photochromic lenses.

The biggest and most obvious benefit of Transitions lenses is the fact that it creates two different pairs of glasses in one frame essentially.

Inside, the lenses are clear and provide clear vision given the prescription in the lenses.

Outside, the Transitions darken and create sunglasses with the clarity of your prescription glasses.

Functionally, there would be little difference if comparing Transitions to two different pairs of glasses – clear inside lenses and tinted prescription sunglasses.

However, the additional benefit provided by Transitions is that there is no need to keep up with, or switch between, two pairs of glasses.


How to Find Out if You Need a Lens Coating or Add-on

The best way to find out more information about anti-reflective or Transitions is to ask your eye doctor or optician.

These are trained professionals who have expertise and know your particular situation.

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Our eye doctors at Nittany Eye Associates excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases. Call us at (814) 234-2015 or schedule an appointment online with one of our highly trained optometrists if you would like to learn more about lens coatings or glasses add-ons.  Be sure to visit Nittany Eye Associates where we always put the care of you and your family first at our convenient locations in State College, Matilda, Spring Mills, Tyrone, and Lock Haven PA areas.


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