Anti-Glare, Anti-Reflective, or Polarized Sunglasses: What's the difference?

If your glasses are causing your eyes to strain or you’ve been experiencing head pain from glare, you might consider purchasing polarized, anti-reflective, or anti-glare sunglasses. We're breaking down the differences and benefits of these three types of lenses so that you can understand your options and decide which one is right for you!

What is Anti-Glare? 

Anti-glare coatings diffuse light on the surface of your lenses. They’re made out of layers of metal oxides, which are compounds that react chemically with the sun’s rays. It breaks them up into weaker rays as the light reaches the lens. The great thing about anti-glare is that they make surface reflections way less noticeable, which prevents glare from reaching your eyes.

What is Anti-Reflective?

Anti-reflective (or AR) coatings diffuse light rays too, but they diffuse both regular rays AND something called transitional light waves. Simply put, transitional waves are the light waves that sneak into the lenses and reflect around the INSIDE of the lens, which can cause abnormal quirks, colors, and shapes in your vision. 

Since AR lenses prevent glare from both the front and back of the lens, they’re more popular and common than anti-glare lenses. Both of them prevent glare in dimmer light settings rather than in bright sunlight so you often see these coatings offered on normal prescription lenses. But if you want a more effective glare filter when it’s sunny out, polarized lenses can save the day.

What is Polarization?

Polarization is a layer built into a lens to filter out glare from the world around you. They specifically target horizontal light, which is the type of light that causes glare. Ya know, the blinding flashes of light that seem to come out of nowhere when you’re driving. Or the intense glare reflecting on water that prevents you from seeing into the water when fishing? Yes, THAT glare! So yes, polarized lenses are super useful and necessary to filter out the glare from the road, the car in front of you, your windshield, the light that bounces off water and snow, and even fog.

Read More: What makes polarized lenses more expensive? 

Should you get Anti-Glare, Anti-Reflective, or Polarized lenses? 

The lens coatings I described are all helpful for protecting your eyes and optimizing your vision, but at Fuse we recommend anti-reflective coatings for clear lenses because of their ability to block external AND internal reflections.

For tinted sunglasses, polarized lenses are the most effective and versatile! There are tons of color and tint options for sunglass lenses, and polarization makes your sunglasses work that much harder (at giving you comfortable vision in the sun!) 

Green Eyes through clear glasses lenses
Anti-Reflective coatings help your eyes be more visible through clear lenses. That makes for better conversations!

What are the benefits of Anti-Reflective lenses? 

Some of the benefits of anti-reflective lenses are that they can improve your vision, reduce eye strain, and lower the glare you see at night time. They also let in more of the light that defines and enhances the world around you, since they block harsh reflective light.

Block Back-Glare

Like I mentioned earlier, AR coatings eliminate the back-glare on the inside of your lenses, and it improves your vision by making objects appear clearer. This is super helpful for night driving because it gets rid of the halo effect from other people’s headlights. 

See Your Eyes

Since anti-reflective coatings also reduce the amount of light reflected off the front surface of your lenses, in clear lenses your EYES can be seen more clearly by other people. This improves how you look when you’re wearing glasses, both in person AND in pictures, so get ready to strike a pose and say “cheese!” And speaking of looking great in glasses, check out our video on how to find the best frames for your face shape down below!

Reduce Eye Strain

If you’re one of the millions of people who spend hours a day in front of a computer screen, anti-reflective coatings can also help to alleviate something called digital eye strain or “computer vision syndrome”. AR lenses give you relief from eye fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision, which is great news for all you work-from-homers and desk folks out there!

Where can you get Anti-Reflective lenses? 

Different eyewear brands use different types of lens coatings, but they all work in the same way by diffusing light on both sides of the lens. At Fuse, we use top-tier AR protective coatings that also help prevent scratches and damage. They’re available for all of our lenses, from clear prescription glasses to mirrored and non-mirrored sunglasses lenses.

Plus, like I hinted at before, you can have the best of both worlds with anti-reflective lenses that are ALSO polarized! That way your eyes are extra protected and extra comfy out in the sun. In our Fuse PRO line, we offer lenses with polarization AND anti-reflective coatings– all in one. We have 20+ lens options like color tints, blue light and gaming, mirrored, color enhancing, and more.

So whether you’re looking for a whole new pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses OR you just need new lenses for your frames, we got you covered. If you need replacement lenses, all you have to do is go on our website, tell us your model, and customize your new lenses. 

Need help? Reach out to our team!

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