Sunglasses have a hard life! We constantly handle them, often forget to store them in their case, and subject them to different types of manhandling. Fortunately, a number of special treatments exist to provide your lens with extra durability, while other treatments can help improve UV protection and visual performance.
Once you’ve decided on your preferred type of lens, you can choose to give your sunglasses extra protection, more durability, or an additional level of comfort. From scratch resistance to water repellence, discover the different ways your lens can be treated.
The types of treatment available for your lens can be divided in three main categories:
• Treatments that protect the lens and increase its durability: anti-scratch
• Treatments that offer increased visual comfort: anti-reflection, anti-smudge, water repellence, anti-static, anti-fog
• Treatments that improve protection against invisible light rays
Keep your glasses scratch-free
Ever scratched your sunglasses? Most of us have, but there is a way to reduce that risk: with an anti-scratch treatment, your lens will be better protected against sharp objects or hard surfaces that can leave an annoying scratch mark.
Get rid of reflections
An anti-reflective protection is a special treatment on the back side of the lens to stop visible light being reflected back into your eyes. It provides you with extra comfort against dazzling sunlight.
Treat yourself to a self-cleaning lens
A smudged lens is not just unsightly; it can also block your vision. Any outdoor activity increases the risk of getting your lens dirty, especially if you are taking part in a physical activity such as sports or walking. Furthermore, sunglasses with a dark tint (category 3 or 4) will show up smudges more easily than lighter lenses. The best way to avoid smudges is to choose an oleophobic treatment for your lens. This helps repel grease and oil, meaning your lens stays clean longer – and is much easier to wipe clean.
Shield your lens from dust
Another way to keep your lens cleaner is by choosing an anti-static coating. As sunglasses are exposed to the outdoor elements, the lens needs to be regularly wiped clean, creating a static charge that attracts particles. An anti-static treatment will help keep dirt away, ensuring the lens is easy to clean and stays clean longer.
Whenever you are outside, drops of water can come into contact with your lens and disturb your quality of vision. By choosing a water-repellent coating, you ensure that water droplets slide off the lens, eliminating the distortion created by the water and improving your vision.
Opt for fog-free vision
This treatment avoids the build-up of condensation on the sun lenses. This coating is useful for outdoor activities, for leisure or when practising a sport, such as winter sports, biking, playing tennis, jogging (learn more on Optifog web site).
Demand the best UV protection
Not all lenses offer the same protection against UV rays. The quality of this protection is a combination of the material the lens is made from and the coating applied to the lens. Despite what many people believe, the darkness of the lens has absolutely no effect on UV protection.
For the very best UV protection, both sides of the lens should filter UV rays. If the back of the lens is not UV protective, it may reflect harmful sunrays onto your eye. Indeed, the label “100% UVA/UVB”, which is commonly used to describe sunglasses, can be misleading because it does not account for UV radiation from the lens. Such reflected radiation can represent up to 50% of all UV absorbed by our eyes. That’s why the E-SPF or Eye Sun Protection Factor index was created (using a similar model to the SPF index for sun creams) to provide a reliable guide of how well a lens filters UV rays on both its front and back (more information on Eye-Sun Protection Factor web site).
Today, extra UV protection is mainly used on prescription lenses. Indeed, corrective lenses can combine any of the above treatments to offer you the optimal combination of comfort, protection and durability (more information on Crizal web site).
Protect yourself with a stylish look
Choosing a mirror treatment for your lens doesn’t just offer a stylish finish; it also helps shield your eyes against bright lights. Depending on its colour, a mirror coating can also increase protection against UV, infrared and blue light. It is particularly recommended for sports activities in extreme sunlight, such as skiing.