Do I Need Anti Reflective Coating on High Index Lenses?
High index lenses are capable of some pretty wonderful real-world applications.
High Index Lenses with Anti Reflective Coating
They can produce lighter and considerably thinner lenses for those who require strong prescription eye-wear, offering benefits both physical and psychological. Elimination of “Coke Bottle” lenses frees the wearer not only from the goggle-like eyeglasses themselves but also the social stigma they often create.
High index lenses do, however, come at a price. One of the primary drawbacks is just that – the price – as high index material costs more than conventional lens material. But there’s another physical attribute of high index lenses that all but requires an optional coating to overcome it.
If you were informed by your optometrist, local optical lab, a friend or relative, or an internet search that high index lenses need an anti-reflective coating, you weren’t being oversold or kidded with. High index material is extremely reflective and, left untreated, will result in lenses that will reflect an alarmingly high percentage of incoming light.
Sure, there are some lens coatings that, while they do offer concrete benefits, may not apply to in your case or may not really be necessary. When an optometrist goes over all the available options with you, it may seem like they’re simply trying to get you to buy all the bells and whistles. You might tune him or her out simply because you’re inundated by so many choices; you might be tempted to forgo them all and stick with your bare-bones lenses. In the case of high index lenses, however, an anti-reflective coating is one option you do not want to bypass.
The reason for this is the composite makeup of high index material. All lens material, glass or plastic, reflects a certain amount of incoming light and does not allow it pass through the lens. But high index material reflects a far greater percentage. Standard glass or plastic reflects approximately 6-8% of incoming light, and for high index material that number jumps to about 15-16%…an increase of 50%. Any reflected light is bothersome for the wearer, especially at night; a reflective rate this high, however, can be dangerously distracting and contribute to eye strain and fatigue.
A simple anti-reflective coating will virtually eliminate the glare caused by reflections. Instead of appearing mirror-like to others, your lenses will appear clear and allow people to see your eyes rather than a mass of reflected light. And as the wearer of the glasses, a lack of annoying reflected light bouncing back into your eyes from the insides of the lenses will save you a lot of hassle. Remember, one of the primary reasons you’re considering high index lenses is because you do not want to draw attention to your glasses, and reflections do just that. Eliminate those reflections with an anti reflective coating and enjoy the full range of benefits that high index lenses have to offer.
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