What should I ask an optometrist before ordering new lenses?
November 30, 2017 3:40 AM   Subscribe

I've read about the different kinds of coatings and lenses. It seems that none of the four places I've asked are sure about which maunfacturer they use, or what kind of anti-glare or anti-reflection coating they use. My questions are: - Is it true that there are kinds of anti-glare that don't smudge and attract dust? - What is the difference between anti-glare and anti-reflection? - If quality can't be determined by brand, what other indicators of quality can I ask about? I'm in Australia, is this standard for Australia or elsewhere?
posted by A4 to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You can Google for "eyeglass coating" "eyeglass oleophobic coating" to find your answers. See here

The biggest improvement for me was to insist on the highest refractive index to lighten the lenses and to insist that each eye be given its best prescription, as compared to the prescription that closest matched the weight of the other lens.

The lens refractive index, coatings, etc. will be done with whomever helps you with the frame. The actual prescription will be done by the optometrist.

Once I have a frame and prescription that work I purchase replacements, etc. online. Much cheaper.
posted by pdoege at 8:19 AM on November 30, 2017

Hi, in UK so can't be 100% sure it's the same but i'd be surprised if not. Former optical lab assistant and specs seller. Normal (1.5 index) plastic comes in two forms, 1) hard coated 2) anti-reflection with hard coating underneath. Anti glare = anti reflection. The anti reflection coatings are somewhat hydrophobic (repels water and some grub) but at the same time having a clearer lens to see through means you notice dirt more. Main thing that changes by manufacturer is the exact colour of the anti reflective coating. In UK I can tell between Boots, Specsavers and Vision Express by hue of blueish tint. Quality more likely to be determined by Australian Standards than anything else, the #1 driver of degradation will be your behaviour especially with anti reflective coating, so no abrasive cleaning, don't leave specs with the lens down on a surface or put directly in your pocket etc. Hope that helps!

On preview - pdoego mentions higher index lenses, which just means that the plastic can be thinner for the same prescription. Coatings etc unaffected.
posted by london explorer girl at 8:20 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Each brand of lens manufacturer has its own brand of anti-reflective coating. Quality *can* be determined by brand (and cost) as some brands market specifically to be the quality solution and not the low-cost solution.

My understanding is that "anti-glare" is reducing the brightness from the sun or headlights at night into your eyes and "anti-reflection" is reducing the light visibly reflecting from your lenses into your and others' eyes (like the reflection in glasses when you take a photo).

There is recently "blue light protection" which I believe london explorer girl refers to above, which means the color of the light reflecting off your lenses may be purple or blue in tint because that coating is blocking more blue light from getting to your eyes.

Check your MeMail for some links.
posted by jillithd at 10:02 AM on November 30, 2017

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