What is A/R Coating or No-Glare Lenses?

You’re shopping for eyeglasses and just like going to buy a car there are so many different styles, colors and shapes available. You finally find the perfect frame you want and then so many add-on options get thrown at you. Do you really need any of these? I mean this is your hard earned money. It can get very confusing.

One of the main options we always recommend is a No-Glare lens also known as an Anti-Reflective Coating (A/R). There are literally 100’s of them on the market. Every lab seems to have their own A/R product. Yes, some A/R coating are definitely better than others, but first why do you need it?

We are constantly getting hit with light from all directions, computers, smart phones, overhead lights and the LED light that seem to be everywhere nowadays. They all let off so much glare. Did you ever notice the halos around the lights? Also you’re not seeing as clearly as you could and your eyes can get very tired.  All this glare can even cause headaches. I know A/R lenses work because (and I share this story with everyone) my daughter used to get headaches driving home from college. She would be on the road at night for 2 hours or more with constant headlights shining towards her. So we made her glasses with no R/x just A/R lenses and she stopped getting headaches. She also noticed she was able to read longer without the continued glare coming off the white page. So A/R lenses really help.

Remember taking your glasses off for your school photo because all you could see was a white reflection off your lenses? You won’t get that with A/R lenses. Your lenses will almost look invisible and people will be able to see your beautiful eyes clearly. So here are the benefits:

#1 A/R lenses help you see clearer.

#2 Ease the light transmission into your eyes preventing headaches.

#3 Cosmetically look better.

#4 Help with computer use and reading.

#5 Great for driving at night.

#6 Scratch resistant coating.

All A/R or No-Glare lenses do these things. Where they differ is quality, smudge resistance, hydrophobic ability, and just staying cleaner overall.  Basic A/R or Tier 1 is the least expensive. They usually come with a one year warranty. Tier 2 lenses usually have a 2 year warranty and are more smudge resistant. Tier 3 are the most smudge resistant, repel dust, dirt and water plus have the strongest scratch resistance. In fact the best A/R coatings whether Tier 1 to Tier 3 are not coatings but are embedded in the lens itself. So if or when you need them replaced they don’t just strip and re-coat the lens they have to give you a whole new lens.

Some optical shops will give you the cheapest A/R product and then make you pay extra to warranty it. We’ve seen them and they are pretty much guaranteed to peel and give you more problems. In fact they’ll actually start causing you to see more glare which defeats the purpose of you getting them in the first place.  There are also “Name Brand” lenses that work great and you can trust them but they’ll also come with a higher price tag. We’ve seen great generic options that give you all the benefits of the name brands without the huge price tag. Choosing which is right for you is why we’re here. At Prism Optical Chicago, we are not on commission and are only concerned with making sure each of our patients gets exactly what they want and need.