Shopping for eyeglasses involves a lot of decision-making. Do cat-eye frames communicate that you’re professional and a lover of all things retro? Would square frames showcase your craft beer-loving, hipster personality? And why not both?
While you’re deciding on these hot topics, you’ll also want to consider lens coatings. Lens coatings are treatments added to glasses during the manufacturing process to increase their durability, wearability, and performance.
These types of coatings can be overlaid, like a coat of paint, or embedded into the lenses with some super fancy technology.
Why Do Lens Coatings Matter?
Think of lens coatings as the extra gear you need for extra activities. For instance, you need an umbrella when it rains, a heavy coat when it’s cold, and an oven mitt when you reach for those brownies (and will power to wait until the brownies cool to eat them).
Lens coatings protect your eyes from things you can’t control, like sun exposure, blue light, fogging, and weather. Your regular corrective lenses may correct your vision, but unless they have other protective features, you’re missing out on protection. And, you’re probably swapping your glasses for sunglasses or safety glasses several times per day — super annoying.
Lens coatings make it possible to wear one pair of specs all day, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Do You Need Lens Coatings?
Whether your daily life involves sitting behind a computer screen or working with a welding arc, you need lens coatings to keep your eyes safe and make your life more comfortable. Here, the Stoggles team will unpack what types of lens coatings are available, who needs them, and their specific advantages.
What Are the Different Types of Lens Coatings?
Are there more than four different kinds of lens coatings? Sure. Are we going to cover them all? No. That’s because outside of these four, the reasons you’d need them are seriously nuanced and mostly appeal to style preferences.
If mirrored lenses or green tint is something that appeals to you, don’t let anyone stop you from snatching them up. However, in terms of safety advantages, these specific coatings don’t offer much.
1. UV-Coated Lenses
The most popular form of lens coating is UV coating. UV-coated lenses are not sunglasses, though. Read that again.
Most sunglasses will have UV protection, but they don’t have to. Your sunglasses could be total imposters. Likewise, your glasses don’t have to be tinted to block ultraviolet rays.
Who Should Use Them?
Anyone who spends time outdoors, drives, or exists. Seriously. Everyone needs UV protection, except maybe vampires.
Over time, UV rays can damage your vision. It’s even suggested that sun damage can lead to early-onset macular degeneration and/or cataracts. You really don’t want to lose your vision in your forties because you failed to wear protective eyewear.
If those issues seem too far away from your current age to be concerning, consider photokeratitis. A bummer of an eye condition, photokeratitis happens from sun exposure in the short term. Symptoms include redness, burning, blurry vision, pain, tearing, seeing shadows and floaters, and feeling like you have sand in your eye. You can expect those fun symptoms to last three to five days. Or, you could just opt for UV-coated lenses and bypass them altogether.
Advantages of UV Coatings:
UV rays are hard on your eyes, just like your skin. UV protective coating keeps your eyes safe when exposed to UV rays either by the sun or other sources. Laser beam operators, we’re looking at you.
2. Blue Light Blockers
Time to get super scientific (wait, don’t go, it will be gentle, we promise). Blue light blocking technology isn’t a coating that is added to your glasses. Fun fact: it’s a lightly-tinted powder that is literally injected into the lenses.
This means when your glasses are still in their molten plastic or glass state, the blue light blocking material gets mixed in, and the end result is a pair of glasses with (almost literal) superpowers.
Who Should Use Them?
Literally everyone (even vampires). Here’s why:
Blue light is all around us, the biggest source being the sun. Even if you aren’t in the sun, you’re still exposed to blue light. Blue light also comes from unexpected sources like computers, tablets, and smartphones. Blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm and sleep quality.
So if Dracula had a smartphone, he’d need blue light protection too. He doesn’t want to spend any more sleepless nights tossing and turning in his coffin.
Blue light is concerning because of the amount of exposure we all receive, but also because researchers aren’t 100% sure of the long-term side effects of blue light exposure. What they do know is that blue light can reach your retina. Retinal cells are the source of your vision, and unlike other cells in your body, they don’t regenerate. When they are damaged or destroyed, so is a portion of your vision.
Additionally, blue light does contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome aka CVS. CVS is a condition that involves eye strain, fatigue, headaches, and blurry vision. You might even be experiencing symptoms while you read this.
Advantages of Blue Light Blocking Lenses:
Aside from the protection from blue light, you’ll also protect your eyes from CVS. The best part is you’ll probably never notice; the slightly yellow-tinted powder doesn’t significantly change the color of your lenses or how you see the world.
3. Anti-Fog Coating
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by a pair of foggy glasses. We thought so.
Foggy glasses are a straight-up struggle. Constantly removing them to clean them is not only annoying, but it can also place your eyes at risk of injury. For instance, people who wear safety glasses need them to protect their eyes while they work.
Removing your protective specs to wipe away fog presents two problems:
You’ll place your eyes at risk because they aren’t protected with the glasses.
You’ll be distracted from your task. This can result in accidents or mistakes or take you out of the game if you’re biking or playing sports.
The anti-fog coating works by changing the surface tension of your glasses so that the water vapor that collects on them is minuscule and invisible to your eyes. That’s a science-y way of saying you will no longer have foggy glasses.
While anti-fog wipes help keep your glasses clear for a short while, anti-fog coating ensures that clear vision lasts… no matter the environment or situation. That’s some seriously good news because it means you stay on task and your eyes are safe.
However, not all anti-fog glasses are equally effective. Whether you’re lost in a foggy bog or just trying to go on a run on a chilly morning, you need the best. Lenses that have been dipped into an anti-fog solution (like Stoggles) are more resilient and longer-lasting than lenses that are simply sprayed with an anti-fog coating.
Who Should Use Them?
If you curse at your glasses when you walk outside, rock a PPE mask, or exercise, you need anti-fog coating.
Advantages of Anti-Fog Coated Lenses:
You’ll be able to see, protect your eyes, and keep your head in the game.
4. Scratch-Resistant Lens Coating
Unless you’ve never broken a screen protector, smartphone, or a pair of glasses, you probably need scratch-resistant lenses.
When you’re focused on other important things (like getting the perfect edge on your front sidewalk with your gas-powered trimmer), you aren’t focused on not scratching your glasses. Some lens materials can be soft, and an anti-scratch coating helps you avoid getting a scratch that permanently changes the way you see reality (is that the horizon, or just the annoying scratch on your glasses?).
Who Should Use Them?
Scratch-resistant lenses are kind of like buying the insurance on your new phone. If you don’t get it, you’re going to break your phone in a week. If you don’t have scratch-resistant lenses, you’ll end up scratching them immediately.
Advantages of Scratch-Resistant Lens Coating:
You’ll only have to replace your glasses when you're ready to, not when you scratch them and have to.
Other Amazing Lens Options
But wait, there’s more. Why buy a new pair of specs without knowing all the available features? Consider these options the “upgrade package” you can shop for when selecting a seriously stunning pair of peepers.
Sure, scratch protective coating is nice, but how about making the lenses and frames shatter-proof? Shatterproof glasses are vital for people working in hazardous conditions, taking on home improvement or yard projects at home, or involved with recreational activities that present an impact risk to the eye.
The gold standard for shatter resistance is the ANSI Z87-1-2020 certification seal. This seal means your glasses have passed the SATs of eyewear protection. You can depend on them to keep your eyes protected, whether your lenses are struck with a nail or a rock.
Side and Top Shields
Sure, you remember the side and top shields from safety glasses you wore in chemistry lab, but they aren’t just for safety glasses. Side and top shields keep your eyes shielded from debris, dust, splashes, and splatters.
And at Stoggles, we make them streamlined and sleek, so you don’t have to worry about a fashion faux pas or being uncomfortable. When your glasses are bulky, cumbersome, or annoying, you won’t wear them. There are only so many frustrating things you can deal with in a day.
Sleek, stylish, and oh-so-comfy Stoggles are comfortable enough to wear all day or night (but not while sleeping… yet). You’ll love wearing them, and your grandma will love that you’re being safe and they can stop worrying about you.
Stoggles: Business Meets Barrier
Taking care of business is, well, your business. We make it our business to take care of your eyes. Our eyewear comes standard with many of the important protective coatings you need to keep your eyes safe; all wrapped neatly in a shatter-resistant, stylish package that you’ll find comfortable and easy to wear.
No matter why you need eye protection, Stoggles have your eyes covered. We make it easy for you to get the protection you need without sacrificing the style you love.