When you don a pair of sunglasses, you’re not just added that oomph to your look to look fashion forward. You’re also doing your eyes a HUGE favor by giving them the protection they need from the sun, pollution and wind to ensure they remain in the pink of health. There’s no dearth of shapes to choose from, wayfarers and aviators to rounds and cateyes, but there’d an equally baffling array of lens coatings to pick. Lenses can be made from a range of materials thanks to the innovations in the eyewear industry; popular materials include plastic, glass or polycarbonate lenses. Luckily for you, we’re going to break down the various lens options and coatings that you can opt for so you look stylish and your eyes stay happy and healthy.
High Index Plastic Lenses
These lenses allow people with a stronger prescription power to wear lenses that are lightweight and thin. This ensures that your sunnies don’t feel like a rock on your nose, whether you’re farsightedness, nearsightedness, or need corrective eyewear for astigmatism. The lenses are made from a high-index plastic material that comes with a coating that allows the lens to provide complete UV protection. You will probably need additional coating to make them more scratch-resistant.
As expected, these are heavier and thicker than high index plastic lenses but offer great optical clarity and are scratch resistant. However, since they are made of glass, there are higher chances of them getting chipped or shattered. Typically, you’ll need an additional coating to not just make them hardier but also provide 100 percent UV protection.
These are ideal for sporty types who like playing high impact sports like football and basketball. They hold up almost 50 times better than other lenses under impact. They are also thinner and lighter than other types of lenses and can provide 100 percent UV protection without the extra coating. However, you should get additional coatings added to minimize reflections and scratches.
These eliminate glare and light reflections, while allowing other light to come in. The result: you can see clearer colors without the glare. They can be added as a layer or coating to the lens and work marvelously for outdoor activities. However, they are not advisable if you’re put skiing or viewing LCD displays.
The perfect two-in-one combination, these adjust to the amount of light. When the lenses are exposed to UV rays, these grow darker, and under dim light, they become clearer and brighter. They eliminate the need to change from sunglasses to glasses depending on whether you are outdoors or indoors.
There are various lens coatings that you can additionally opt for to make your sunglasses optimal for your needs. These include:
Anti-reflective coating: This is added to the back of the lenses to ensure that light does not reflect off them, thus keeping your eyes comfortable in the sun.
UV coating: This prevents the sun’s harmful rays from penetrating the lenses and provides complete UV protection to your eyes. This can be applied to plastic and glass lenses.
Mirror coating: This can offer further protection by preventing light to penetrate the lens by deflecting it.
Scratch-resistant coating: As the name suggests, it’s a safeguard against scratches. The coating is attached to both sides of the lenses. Also called flash coatings, these come in various colors and densities.
Anti-Fog coating: This a is godsend in these times, given that a mask has become part of our daily wear. Invariably masks cause glasses to fog up, and even sans masks, humid weather or sipping on a hot cuppa can cause glass fogging. The anti-fog coating on the back of the lens ensures that they stay fog-free.
Typically, you could opt for more than one coating, and this can add to the final price of your pair of sunnies. However, if you—like us—love your sunglasses, then it’s wise to invest in a few pairs with a variety of lenses and coatings so that you always catch the sun in style and comfort.