Adding anti-reflective coatings to sunwear

February 15, 2005

About 20% of all spectacle wearers in the United States have lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating, according to the AR Council. In addition, the number of lens wearers who bought plastic photochromic lenses increased more than 20% between 2001 and 2003, according to the Vision Council of America.

About 20% of all spectacle wearers in the United States have lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating, according to the AR Council. In addition, the number of lens wearers who bought plastic photochromic lenses increased more than 20% between 2001 and 2003, according to the Vision Council of America.

Photochromic lenses with an AR coating can reduce more kinds of glare than any other type of lens. These lenses are ideal for everyday wear, because they can be worn both indoors and outdoors, day or night, according to Dave Cole, general manager, Americas, Transitions Optical Inc.

Previously, photochromic lenses retained some residual tinting indoors, and thus were not appealing to many patients. In 2002, Transitions Optical introduced a new generation of photochromic lenses that remained clear indoors and adjusted to changing light conditions outdoors.

These lenses are almost indistinguishable from regular, clear lenses indoors, and offer an indoor light transmission of about 95%. In addition, the lenses have a built-in 100% automatic UV-A and UV-B protection to provide long-term vision protection.

The company's lenses provide everyday convenience and automatic protection that adjusts to all light conditions. Available in a wide range of plastic materials and designs, virtually all eyeglass prescriptions can be filled with Transitions Lenses, Cole added.

"We want to take the patient beyond 20/20, and include factors such as visual comfort and longer-term vision protection," he said. "Combining these things improves the visual experience.

"We work hard at improving the everyday visual experience and improving overall visual health," Cole added. "We're also working on making the lenses clearer indoors, so that visual acuity is improved, and the lenses are more compatible with AR coatings and adapt more quickly and more appropriately to different levels of lighting.

"We don't believe that photochromic lenses should be a niche," Cole concluded. "We consider [the lenses] to be an everyday pair of eyeglasses that first and foremost would be your primary pair."