Do Your Glasses Have Anti-Reflective Coating and Why Does It Matter?


If you aren’t sure whether your old glasses have an anti-reflective coating on them, there are ways to tell for sure.  Why does it matter?  If you have an anti-reflective coating, it not only affects how you should care for your glasses but what kind of glasses you should get in the future as well.

What is an anti-reflective coating?

First of all, what is an anti-reflective coating?  An anti-reflective coating is a layer applied to glasses lenses to reduce glare and reflectivity.  This can be especially helpful in making stronger prescriptions appear more attractive.  The reason for this is that the material used is often high index plastic, which is more reflective than regular plastic lenses, and therefore makes the reflections more noticeable.

If you have high index lenses, an anti-reflective coating can improve the appearance of the lenses since the lens itself is more reflective.  This means that not only will you be able to see better without the distraction of reflections, but that people will see you and not reflective glare on your lenses.

How do I know if I have it?

Checking whether your glasses have an anti-reflective coating on them or not is relatively simple.  When you hold your glasses, tilt them this way and that and look for glare.  What you will see if you have an anti-reflective coating is a bit of glare, but mostly a greenish and pinkish color.  You will also notice that if there is nothing truly bright (like an overhead light) trying to reflect off the lens, it appears quite clear.

If you don’t have the anti-reflective coating, the glare will appear the same color as the light reflecting, often white, and reflections will be strong.  No matter where you hold the glasses, reflections will be apparent.

Why do I care whether I have it or not?

If you have an anti-reflective coating, it makes a big difference in the care of your lenses.  Anti-reflective coatings require special care to not interfere with the coating.

Make sure you clean your anti-reflective coated lenses wet, not dry.  A dry cloth will rub any grit into the coating and likely scratch it.  Also, make sure not to use any harsh chemicals on your glasses.

Whether you have the coating or not also may affect your future glasses purchasing.

So I have an anti-reflective coating on my glasses.  What does that mean for my future glasses?

For some people it means nothing, and they can adapt to whatever lenses they get next time.  For the majority of people, however, you want to get similar lenses in future so you don’t have the worry of not adapting properly to a new kind of lens.  Changing an eye prescription carries with it enough to worry about without adding more variables.  If you are used to having an anti-reflective coating, make sure you get one the next time you order new glasses.

On the other hand, if you do not have an anti-reflective coating on your current lenses, and you are bothered by glare, you may want to consider it for your next pair.  If you notice reflections in your glasses, including on the back of the lens, you may want an anti-reflective coating. An anti-reflective coating can be especially helpful if you have trouble driving at night because of glare, and it can help your eyes during those long bouts on the computer.

Let us help you

Do you have more questions about anti-reflective coatings?  Contact us  and we can go over the pros and cons for you specifically regarding the anti-reflective coating as well as other options for your new glasses.

  1. Mary says:

    Anti reflection makes your glasses blurry! Yes cleaning with alcohol helps But it’s very annoying because it smears so easily. I am sensitive to lights and I was told this would help with my night driving. No it didn’t. Stay away from this coating! It will just bring you headaches!

    • SanMartin says:

      Hi Mary,

      Did you purchase anti-reflective glasses form us? This should not happen.
      If you purchase the lenses from us, please contact our customer service. We would be glad to help you.

  2. Steve says:

    I too hate the “anti-reflection” crap on my glasses. It causes reflections to be worse. I would gladly pay more to have it not applied in the first place.

  3. Daring says:

    This helped a lot

  4. Sheila says:

    I want to see clearly. Period. My doctor keeps putting antglare in my high index glasses. I hate it: it seems like I have sunglasses on; everything is muted. He says without it (because I beg for glasses that are clear!) things would not be as clear to me. Can a person not get plastic progressive glasses without anti crap?….☹️

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