What you need to know about eyeglass lens coatings

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Think about how you use glasses. Inside and outside ? For sports or only for reading or office work? Driving day and night? Your lifestyle and habits should inform your siding decisions.

Put the price into perspective. Certain types of coatings, such as those that are anti-reflective (sometimes called anti-reflective), come in a range of prices. But experts say the most expensive option offered isn’t necessarily significantly higher quality. “I know of some ‘house brands’ that are quite similar to the high-end versions,” says master optician Michael Vitale, vice president of memberships and technical affairs at The Vision Council.

Ask for a detailed description. In many cases, eyeglass lenses come with certain coatings, usually ones that reduce glare or enhance scratch resistance. Make sure you’re not paying extra for a coating that’s already supposed to be part of your package.

Avoid hard selling. Even if you buy the glasses from your eye doctor, “by the time you get to the point of buying the glasses in the eye exam cycle, you’re in a retail environment and you may be working with the staff rather than with the doctor”. says Vitale.

Be even more careful about anything that feels high pressure if you’re in an eyewear store, he says. If you’re feeling pressured, Vitale says, “you might want to look elsewhere.”

Scan the warranty. Many lenses will be backed by some sort of warranty, but this might not cover coatings. Or warranties may vary depending on which ones are covered and for how long. What can you expect? “Virtually all liners today are designed to last the life of the prescription,” says Vitale, which, on average, is about 28 to 30 months.

No matter what your warranty says, if a coating begins to degrade within a year, Vitale recommends taking the glasses back to see if you can fix the problem or replace the glasses.

Here, four coatings to consider.

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