Anti-glare glasses explained: pros, cons, and more
When shopping for eyewear, you might have encountered anti-glare glasses or anti-reflective lenses during your search. Not many people realize the importance of this feature on eyeglasses. Glare refers to light that disrupts your vision, making your eyes water from trying to see an object clearly. Some types of glares can cause eye discomfort and can even lead to cataract formation in some cases.
Anti-reflective (AR) or anti-glare (AG) coating on eyeglasses helps protect your eyes from the intense light that distracts your vision. It allows you to see clearly, especially in environments that produce too much glare such as in water or snow.
AR-coated glasses let as much as 99% of light to pass through the lenses rather than bouncing it off. Normal specs (no anti-glare coating) cannot provide this feature since it reflects about 10% of light. That means a huge amount of glare rebounds off the lens, resulting in poor vision.
Do anti-glare glasses really work?
The short answer is yes, absolutely! Anti-reflective coatings have long been applied to microscopes, camera lenses, and telescopes. This thin layer on the lens prevents any reflection that bounces off the glass surface. The coat consists of multiple metal oxide layers placed on the front, back, and side of the lens. These layers effectively block light that reflects on the specs.
The AG coating allows the lens to transmit more lens through the glass without the glare. The reduced surface reflections improve your eye contact with onlookers. This feature also provides optical clarity and performance for you. It can prevent you from seeing "halo" around lamps and other light sources during the night.
Advantages of anti-glare glasses
1. Sharper and clearer vision
Removing glare and light reflections can help you see more clearly using your eyeglasses. This coating can sharpen your vision, especially when watching through digital screens or devices. It consequently diminishes distracting light reflection for you.
2. Reduces eyestrain
When you use uncoated eyeglasses, you tend to squint and strain your eyes to see better. This habit can cause eye fatigue, which can lead to discomfort and other eye problems. AG coatings provide visual clarity by preventing light bouncing off, which lessens the stress on your eyes. Reduced eyestrain can make you more productive and work for longer hours in front of a computer.
3. Better eye contact
A cosmetic benefit of AG eyewear is that it prevents reflections on the glass surface. People can look directly at your eyes since the lenses look almost invisible. This coating is ideal for public speakers and customer relations officers who need to make eye contact with clients and an audience.
Anti-glare glasses tend to last longer than normal lenses because they are designed using high-quality materials. These lenses often come with anti-scratch coatings and a hydrophobic sealant that repels water. All these additional features make the specs more durable than regular ones.
5. Improve night vision
Glare is a common complaint of people driving at night. If you have astigmatism or other eye conditions, reflections from light sources like lamps or traffic signs can keep your focus away from the road. It can become dangerous the longer you let it happen. Having anti-glare specs can help solve this problem and improve your nighttime vision.
Disadvantages of anti-glare glasses
1. More frequent cleaning
Since AR coatings make the lens clear and almost invisible, it can also mean that dirt becomes more noticeable on the surface. You might have to clean the glasses more often than normal eyewear since there is no glare to hide dust and dirt accumulation on the lens.
2. Higher price point
Anti-reflective glasses are generally more expensive than regular eyeglasses. Applying this coating takes specialized technology that adds to the overall cost of the specs. You can expect to pay more for a pair of AG glasses, but this price often matches the quality you will get from this type of eyewear.
3. Scratches are evident
Usually, anti-glare glasses do not come with anti-scratch coating. A tiny scrape on the glass surface can look more emphasized on an AR coating. That is why experts recommend wearers to choose eyeglasses that have a combination of anti-reflective and anti-scratch features for better durability.
4. Coating can peel off
AG coatings applied outside the lens are likely to wear off or peel as time goes by. For this reason, this type of glasses is not ideal for young people.
Anti-glare glasses vs. blue light glasses
People often pit AG glasses and blue light lenses together. However, they are mainly different in that anti-glare specs block light reflection whereas blue light glasses specifically filter blue light on top of blocking glare. This harmful shortwave light emitted by digital devices can damage the eyes over time.
Both types of glasses provide relief from eye strain caused by glare. If you need added protection due to long working hours in front of a computer or any device, blue light glasses can do the trick.
How to choose the best anti-glare glasses?
Here are a few pointers to consider when shopping around for anti-glare specs:
1. There are several kinds of AR coatings. You can choose standard anti-reflective ones or AG glasses with added UV protection. Try to purchase the most suitable eyewear that fits your budget and lifestyle.
2. It's best to select anti-glare eyeglasses with an anti-scratch feature to maintain the clearness of your lenses for a long time. It can also lessen the burden of having to clean your glasses frequently.
4. Choosing the most suitable material is crucial in your buying decision. You can talk to your eyecare professional regarding the lens type that will suit you best.
Anti-glare glasses offer unmatched comfort and vision enhancement. You can try out a pair of high-quality specs from Lensmart and discover why experts recommend this type of lens. You can use our virtual try-on to make your shopping experience more fun!