Lenti antiriflesso negli occhiali da vista

Anti-reflective lenses: how they work and when they’re worth it

By Laura Averna • Fri 31, Jul 2020, 05 pm CEST

If you wear eyeglasses or you’re about to choose a new pair, you might consider buying anti-reflective lenses. But how do they work? Are they useful when working on a computer? How to care for them? And in the end, are they worth it?

Here’s everything you need to know before making a choice.

What’s an anti-reflective coating and how it works

An anti-reflective coating is a special lens treatment used to minimize glares on the surface of your eyeglass lenses. Such glares can cause great discomfort, especially after sunset.

Anti-reflective lenses really help with night driving.

Through non-anti-reflective lenses, the street lights and the vehicles’ front/rear lights look dazzling, so it’s hard to clearly distinguish what you are seeing. 

This happens because the lenses reflect the light instead of letting it pass through and reach the eye. This is what opticians call low lens transmittance. The purpose of an anti-reflective treatment is to increase such transmittance, thus enhancing:

– the ability to clearly distinguish the contours of objects
– the vision’s sharpness and comfort.

There are different types of anti-reflective coatings: the most advanced ones include a water-repellent layer that makes them easier to clean.

How to tell if lenses have an anti-reflective treatment

Anti-reflective lenses have an almost imperceptible green tinge, depending on the coating’s material. When you wear them, you will immediately notice that your vision is bright and clearer and that there are no halos around the lights.

Glasses without anti-reflective coating and glasses with anti-reflective coating

Moreover, the lenses look completely transparent and people can clearly see your eyes through them. 

Glasses without anti-reflective lenses and glasses with anti-reflective lenses

What’s the difference between anti-reflective, anti-blue light and polarized lenses

The anti-reflective coating is different from the anti-blue light filter (also known as Blue Protect): the latter blocks harmful blue light coming from the screens of your devices and helps prevent issues related to digital eye strain such as inflammations of the conjunctiva and cornea, premature aging, and insomnia.

Anti-reflective lenses are also different from polarized ones, designed to block the natural glare of sunlight. Polarized lenses always come in a colored tint (pink, gray, green, or brown) and are especially recommended for outdoor sports activities or daytime driving.

Can I have both the anti-reflective and anti-blue light treatment on the same pair of lenses?

You could, but it would be useless, since anti-blue light lenses are also anti-reflective.

Is it possible to add anti-reflective coating on polarized lenses?

Yes, but it’s usually done only on the back of the lenses since the front is treated with a different light-blocking technology.

How to take care of anti-reflective lenses

Anti-reflective coatings are usually quite durable (three years at last).

To prevent the anti-reflective coating from being damaged, use some simple precautions such as keeping the glasses away from heat sources.

When damaged, anti-reflective coatings on organic lenses (i.e. made of plastic or CR-39) could be removed at home using specific kits or cold potassium hydroxide. If the lenses are made of glass, it is necessary to use a hot potassium hydroxide solution and carry out a procedure that might be dangerous for your health.

We wouldn’t recommend any of these do-it-yourself processes, as they are very likely to ruin the lenses. Always ask your optician first and consider replacing the lenses.

Here are some tips to keep your anti-reflective lenses clean:

  • rinse the glasses first using cold water, in order to remove even the smallest particles of dirt and avoid thermal shock; you can use some neutral soap or a specific detergent if needed
  • let them air dry whenever possible and wipe them with a microfibre cloth (or one made of smooth and soft fabric)
  • never use alkaline detergents or aggressive products.

How to buy anti-reflective glasses online

On otticalipari.it you can buy eyglasses with optical lenses and add the anti-reflective coating with a few clicks.

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Choose your eyeglasses
  • Go to the product page, then click on ADD A PAIR OF LENSES
  • Select the type and quality of your lenses (prescription or non-prescription lenses, by Ital-Lenti or Zeiss), then add the anti-reflective filter free of charge
  • Check the detailed cost review and add the glasses to your cart.

Good to know: the OtticaLipariCare 2-year warranty extension against accidental damage is now included at no additional cost with every frame with optical lenses ordered on otticalipari.it.


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Ottica Lipari S.r.l

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Via Ludovico Ariosto 11, 90144 Palermo

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