Anti Reflective Coating

I notice many of my colleagues use the term “Antiglare” and it bothers me a little.  The term antiglare is misrepresenting the function of an antireflective coating and so, I believe it shouldn’t be used.  Because it misrepresents the product it confuses patients and their expectations of the product are incorrect.  As professionals we should strive to represent our products in the proper light so that patients can make an informed decision.

The term Antiglare insinuates that this product somehow reduces glare or filters glare.  Antireflective coatings do not filter glare or do anything to reduce glare, that would be the job a polarized lens does.  Antiglare was first coined as a coating for its use on scopes and binoculars, because it reduced the glare off the lens, not off of other objects.

I find that using “Antiglare” when talking with patients confuses them, especially patients new to glasses.  They somehow expect that they will see less glare off their window and street lights and water.  It is after all, an “Anti glare coating.”  I’ve had several patients come back to me after purchasing and need explanation.  Any time we have to explain what someone bought we are doing a disservice to our patient.  We should rather explain what they will buy.  Many customers will come in asking about antiglare coatings.  We should correct them now and say “Antireflective coating.”  We should be having this conversation with the patient before purchase rather than after so that the patient doesn’t feel we’ve somehow changed the story after the fact or taken them for an extra charge.

Antireflective coating allows more light to travel through the lens unhindered by reflecting off the surface of the lens.  More light equals better vision.  Visually, because the light is transmitting through the lens, we see less of the lens and more of what is beyond the lens, (the patients eyes, everything the patient is looking at).  Explaining it to a patient in this way accurately represents the product the patient is about to purchase.  As a professional we should strive to get across the proper information to our patients.  We should correct our patients rather than taking the easy road and allowing them to believe that their new lenses will somehow remove the glare from the objects they look at.

Antireflective coating is a great product, I believe everyone should be wearing it.  It also is easy to sell in the proper way, “More light, better vision.”  It’s not necessary to misrepresent it in order to convince patients it good for them.  There is no reason to suggest that we have a coating that removes the glare from other objects, there is no such coating.  AR stands for itself and it is a good product without suggesting it does other things that it doesn’t.  You are better off selling it as it is rather than dealing with a confused customer after their purchase.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Anti Reflective Coating

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  1. Hi Mike I have a question.

    My Dr. Recommended a lens that reduces the blue light glare that you commonly get from computer screens. Technically it’s a special form of anti reflection coating. What are your thoughts? Have you heard of it?

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    1. I’ve discussed blue light coating a number of times.
      First off, I’ve seen no research on this coating (good or bad) that isn’t produced by a manufacturer of a blue coating in some form. I just don’t trust research done by the manufacturer.
      Second, The theory is that the blue light we receive from the sun triggers us to stay awake and then when we are in the absence of it we are triggered to sleep. It’s like we have evolved to stay awake in the day time and sleep at night. So what happens when we are using so many peripheries that produce blue light is that we never get triggered to sleep and you sleep wake cycle or circadian rhythm is thrown off.

      So, selling a blue light coating to further reduce glare or to reduce eye strain doesn’t even hold with the theory of what it can do. It doesn’t even work that way in theory. Also most devices have a night mode. This reduces the blue light right from the source and I know mine can be set to come on at certain times. This kinda makes the filter on the glasses redundant seeing as blue light during the day when we want to stay awake is no problem and we can reduce it on the device when we want to prepare for sleep.

      There’s also a side effect that people are talking about for night driving and that because of the small amount of tint to it in low light conditions your visibility is reduced. This theorizes that they are less safe to use at night.

      If you are using them strictly for computer lenses and you are on the computer 18 hours a day and want to control your circadian rhythm then they may have a place. If it is for everyday wearing around town then perhaps not. If you want to reduce eyestrain then I don’t think this is the product you want. You should be adhering to the 20/20/20 rule and doing eye exercises. This will reduce eye fatigue and increase endurance over time and actually solve your issue. We can’t make money off suggesting that so we came up with the blue light coating so people would feel like they are at least trying when really they aren’t. 20/20/20 rule is far more effective for you.

      I’ve tried them for a time. It feels to me like a 5% grey tint and that’s about it. Didn’t do a thing for me and I only tried because my manufacturer gave them to me to try. I’ve also done the test with a blue light and it does work in that respect. The coating does block most or all of the blue light coming through the lens. But my opinion is, “So What.” There’s no real applicable point to having it.

      Again, I’ve seen no independent research on the coating and Things may be proven one way or the other. It’s hard to have a solid opinion when there’s no science to back it up in either direction. Until I see that I remain a solid skeptic.

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