The Windows to Your Soul? Ehhhh..... we can't see them!
The truth is that anti-reflective coating (AR) should be on every pair of eyeglasses to protect your eyes and give you the best vision possible!
An anti-reflective or anti-reflection (AR) coating is a type of optical coating applied to the surface of lenses and other optical elements to reduce reflection. In typical imaging systems, this improves the efficiency since less light is lost due to reflection. In complex systems such as telescopes and microscopes, the reduction in reflections also improves the contrast of the image by the elimination of stray light. This is especially important in planetary astronomy. In other applications, the primary benefit is the elimination of the reflection itself, such as a coating on eyeglass lenses that make the eyes of the wearer more visible to others, or a coating to reduce the glint from a covert viewer's binoculars telescopic sight. Wikipedia
AR is made of a very hard thin film, similar to anti-scratch coating, that is layered onto the lens. "It is made of a material that has an index of refraction that is somewhere between air and glass."
The main and most important reason is that the clarity in vision that you are trying to get when you wear corrective lenses has to do with the amount of light in the back of your eye. Anti-glare/reflective coating lets the light pass through the lenses into your eyes, to the back of the eyes, where it is needed. AR does not allow the light to bounce off your lenses, as would lenses without the coating. The coating allows light to pass through. You lose 8% of the light that’s coming in when there is no coating on your lenses.
Basically, the more light in the back of your eye, the sharper the vision.
Why? It's due to the refractive errors that your eyes may have, which do not let your eyes properly focus light.
Refraction is the process of light bending as it passes from one object to another. Our eyes "see" when light rays are bent (refracted) as they pass through the cornea and the lens. The light is then focused on the retina.
The types of errors are based on the symptoms resulting from the amount of refraction that happens i.e., the amount of light that is bent.
Nearsightedness (myopia) - Light comes to focus in front of the retina rather than on the retina
Astigmatism - Blurry vision resulting from the eye not focusing light evenly onto the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (see more below)
Prysobia - age-related, where close vision becomes harder to focus because of the decreased ability of the eye to change shape.
This is especially helpful for people with higher prescriptions (as the prescription gets higher, this group of people will find more value) or for people with astigmatism.
For example, regular plastic lenses reflect roughly 8 percent of light hitting the lenses, so only 92 percent of available light enters the eye for vision. High index plastic lenses can reflect up to 50 percent more light than regular plastic lenses (approximately 12 percent of available light), so even less light is available to the eye for vision. This can be particularly troublesome in low-light conditions, such as when driving at night.AllaboutVision
Astigmatism is all about the shape of the eye – the light doesn’t hit where it’s supposed to. The angle that is given on the prescription - allows for the right amount of light to enter the back of your eye/eyes.
So A/R coated lenses help by again bringing more light to the back of your eyes!
People with cataracts are greatly helped with the anti-reflective coating (anti-glare) because their primary problem is the burst of light they see. People with cataracts in the early stages- often complain about the glare during the night. Most eye doctors find that anti-reflective coating is great for reducing this effect.
Dr Kershaw said. “Patients who need good vision in low-level lighting, people in fields where eye contact is very important and patients who are finicky about the way they look would benefit most from AR coating.
Additional improvements to your vision because of AR coatings?
Fewer reflections not only when you are looking at reflective surfaces (like the hood of a car when driving, or water surface or snow) but also when people are looking at you, there is less reflection visible to the person looking at you.
Is anti-glare coating on glasses worth it?
The average price for AR coating is anywhere from $50 to $150, in addition to the price of the lenses. It is important to note that Eyewear Insight offers this coating for free on all glasses. (Click at the bottom and shop now for your new glasses!!)
Even though AR relieves glare on the back of the lens, several other ways exist to reduce or eliminate glare from passing through the lens.