Lens Coatings

Lens Coatings

When you go into your local opticians, the optometrist may advise you on various different coatings available for your lenses. There are many treatments you can have to your spectacle lenses. It all depends on your own individual needs and what the glasses are to be used for. There are differing qualities to each type of coating too – so it can get confusing! At EyeZone we want to help you make your decision, we want to remove the science for you, and below is an explanation of what each of these coating can do.

Hard coating:

This is the simplest coating for a plastic lens. Is basically gives the lens an extra layer of protective coating. Good if you only wear glasses for reading and they get thrown around a bit! Although the coatings can reduce the possibility of scratching, it does not mean they are invulnerable. Scratch resistant coatings help with the everyday issues such as dropping them into your handbag or leaving your glasses in the glove box without a case. Scratch resistant coatings are a simple way to add a protective layer to your glasses.

MAR: (Multi Anti Reflective)

This is probably the most common coating people have on spectacle lenses. An uncoated lens reflects about 10% of light from its front and back surface. This reflected light causes glare. Simply put - the anti reflective coating reduces these lens reflections to less than 1% meaning you get clear vision without glare. It is better for cosmetic and visual reasons. It reduces glare to the wearer, and makes the glasses look nicer too. It is especially good for reducing glare from headlights when driving at night, and glare from computer and TV/cinema screens. When someone looks at you, they see your eyes, not a reflection from the lenses. (Good if you’re getting your picture taken!) The coating is on the front and back of the lens, so it can’t be put on after the lens has been made. With money being tight these days, people sometimes opt not to get this coating, even if they’ve had it before. They always regret it!

Not all antiglare coatings are equal ! Ask your EyeZone Optician about their premium coatings with additional benefits:

UV filters, Blue light filters, Easy clean surfaces and up to an amazing 2 year anti scratch warranty!

Tinted or Polarised Lenses:

Tinting lenses is exactly that,  in this process we take a normal, standard clear lens, and tint it. Much like you would dye clothes, the lens is placed into a tint bath, and its colour changes, depending on the degree of tint required a longer bath is also required.  So when you look through it, things look darker. The same amount of light is still coming into your eyes as if the lens was clear. They relieve direct glare (like the sun shining down on you). There are many different shades & colours of tinting. Different colours are better for different activities for example a yellow tint can heighten the contrast on an overcast day with low-light conditions and is great for  outdoors or for indoor sports such as cycling or tennis where as a grey lens, such as those typically used for sunglasses reduces the overall brightness for driving.  

Polarised lenses, Polarised lenses work differently. If you’ve ever studied physics, you might remember the long and boring explanation of how polarisation happens, basically polarised lenses actually reduce the amount of light entering your eyes. This in turn means that you don’t notice glare as much. They relieve direct glare as WELL as reflected glare (the shine on the road after a rain shower).


These are often known as “Transitions” or “react to lights”. Those are brand names. Photochromic (or sometimes you’ll see photochromatic) is the correct term for them. They go dark in response to the amount of UV they are exposed to. So on a bright sunny day they go very dark, and when you go inside they go clear again. There are varying degrees of “how good” they are. The better the quality, the faster they react and the lighter/darker they’ll go. They will NOT work for driving, because the car windscreen blocks out the UV light that makes the lenses go dark. So you’re better off with a full sunglass tint, or polarised lens for driving.

Of course you local EyeZone optician will be best able to advise you on what coatings are correct for you depending on your work, age or activities. Simply ask your local  EyeZone optician and they will be best suited to advise you. 

Thanks to Sandra Brady, at the Eye Centre opticians in Cavan, for proving most of the infomation in this informative guide.