What is an anti-reflective coating?
The anti-reflective coating (often called ‘AR coating’ or ‘Anti-glare coating’) is a coating which reduces eye strain and improves user vision while also providing a nice, sleek look to your glasses.
How this works, is that the AR coating on the glasses completely eliminates annoying reflections that arise from the front and back surfaces of certain lenses. This coating blocks those reflections and allows much more light to pass through your lenses without bouncing around everywhere. This optimizes your visual acuity while filtering out distraction, such as street lights during the night. The coating also makes the lenses look nearly invisible, which draws attention to your eyes, allowing you to make easier eye contact with others.
These coatings are often used for people with high-index lenses. These lenses reflect much more light than your standard plastic lenses. A good general rule of thumb is that the higher the index of the lens, the more light that is reflected from the lens’s surface.
According to the AMDF (American Macular Degeneration Foundation), Ultra-Violet light (UV) and blue light tend to aggravate macular degeneration. The harmful effects of both UV and blue light fall into a spectrum of light that is invisible between 286nm and 400nm. This light is understood to be quite harmful to the eye and it can lead to cataracts and other eye diseases related to macular degeneration. The worst damage this light can cause is to the retina. There are multiple types of retina damage that include, structural, thermal, and photochemical. The damage can depend on exposure, wavelength, and exposure.
Where does UV come from?
The primary source of harmful UV light comes from the sun, but there are other sources as well. Video display terminals, fluorescent lights, welder’s torches, mercury vapor lamps, and xenon arc lamps all put out harmful UV light.
However, not all UV light is the same. There are three segments of UV light, which are usually attributed as A, B, and C. Below is brief descriptions, in order from least to most harmful, of the three types of UV light.
1. UVC (Below 286nm) is light effectively filtered by the earth’s ozone layer.
2. UVB (286-320nm) Is the light that is caused by solar energy that isn’t adequately filtered or is reflected. This light causes sunburn, snow blindness, and it is absorbed by the cornea.
3. UVA (320-400nm) This light is part of the invisible spectrum of UV light that is of particular concern to eye care professionals. It is the most harmful and damaging form of UV radiation. It is transmitted to the lens of the human eye, without being absorbed.
But do not fear! Most patients can now avoid UV light pretty easily, due to the great strides that have been made in lens technology. Over the past few years, the lens community and business have designed many lenses that are designed to filter blue light, reduce eye strain, and eliminate harmful UV rays from damaging your eyes. These strides, along with AR coatings, have allowed for the creation of new lenses that reduce or eliminate, neck strain, sleep deprivation, and other ailments caused by exposure to blue and or UV light.
BP Lab supports these technologies, particularly AR lenses designed to block a computer monitors blue light, and a blue light blocking monomer called Retina Shield (refer to the Retina shield PDF for more information).