Do You Need a Backside Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating on Sunglasses?

Do You Need a Backside Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating on Sunglasses

Have you ever wondered if you need an anti-reflective coating on your sunglasses? Well, wonder no more! This advice I’m about to provide you will apply whether you are buying prescription sunglasses or shades off the shelf.

In the video below, optical guru Daniel Brunson reviews what you need to know before getting a backside anti-reflective coating on your sunglasses.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

Why put an anti-reflective coating on sunglasses?

You may already know the benefits of having it on clear glasses, but why put it on sunglasses? Well, a common problem with sunglasses is that they produce what is called “bounce-back” glare. This is light that bounces or reflects off the backside of the lenses into your eyes.

Unfortunately, bounce-back glare can be distracting at best, and visually impairing at worst. Also, the light that reflects off the backside of the lenses can include harmful UV.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why Kids Need To Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses without a backside anti-reflective coating

To keep your eyes comfortable and to maintain great vision in the sun, you need a lens that does two things:

1. Reduces the amount of light and glare that passes through the front of the lenses.

2. Minimizes light, glare, and UV that can reflect off the back of the lenses.

In order to prevent or minimize all of that light, glare, and UV reflecting off the back of the lenses, you need a sunglass lens that has an anti-reflective coating on the backside.

RELATED: An Optician Reveals Her Best Sunglasses Tips 

Sunglasses with a backside anti-reflective coating

The benefits of a backside anti-reflective coating

Without an anti-reflective coating on the backside of your sunglasses, you will see many visually distracting reflections. They include but are not limited to, reflections of your eyes, eyelashes, the skin around your eyes, and even objects behind you.

When you have an anti-reflective coating on the backside of your sunglass lenses, these visually distracting reflections will be virtually eliminated. This will give you the comfort and clarity you need to experience the world in all its beauty.

Are you interested in sunglasses that will provide you with clear, comfortable vision? Ask your local eye care professional today for sunglasses with a backside anti-reflective coating.

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Daniel Brunson is the President at Hicks Brunson Eyewear, a four generation family business in Tulsa, Ok that was founded in 1952. He graduated from Northeastern State University (Go Riverhawks!), and he loves eggs made almost any way for breakfast. He has been certified by the American Board of Opticianry since 2009 and is a member of the Opticians Association of America. Daniel has been interviewed by TV and print media for his optical experience and knowledge of fashion eyewear, and he has written for the Tulsa World on those areas of interest. He is passionate about the optical industry because of the way in which art and science are brought together so harmoniously through finished eyeglasses. In his free time he enjoys being with his family, Tae Kwon Do training with his son, and distance running with his friends on the weekends.


  1. Hi Daniel, thank you so much for the articles, they are very informative and help me understand a lot!
    So I bought a sunglasses with blue AR coating on the back but I have strong reflection (blue) on the back, is this something to do with the thickness on the AR coating or my sunglasses?

    Thank you so much!

  2. Hello Zhangwei. There are a couple of variables at play here. Different kinds of AR coatings will reflect light differently with regard to color. Some are blue and some are more of a green color. The one thing they all have in common is that they do reduce reflections on the lenses. If you are seeing a blue color, then you can take some comfort knowing that the blue color is less reflective and less bright than the light reflections would have been if there were no AR coating present. If you feel like the reflections are still bothersome, then there may be an adjustment to your frame that your optician can perform to further reduce the glare. The first thing I would do is add face form, which will slightly wrap the frame so that it fits closer to your face, and there is less opportunity for light to reflect off of the back side of the lenses. Thank you for reading my articles!

  3. Hi Daniel, thank you for the information. I have a question regarding my sunglasses. In the past few days, I noticed that I have been seeing reflections of my sunglasses arm, but only at the very edges of the sunglasses. Is this normal? or is the coating starting to wear off? I find it quite weird because the sunglasses are relatively new. Thank You!

  4. Yes, that is normal. However, go see your optician to evaluate the lenses and see if the sunglasses can be adjusted to minimize this.

  5. I am a Florida optician and found this page while looking for an article that articulates my best reason for a backside A/R.
    Here is another good reason to it. When we have dark lenses covering our eyes, our pupils are open more than if we did not have the glasses on at all. Should light rays from behind you reflect off the back side of the lens into those larger pupils, there is a possibility of retinal damage, so the back side anti reflective surface could prevent this possibility.

  6. Hi, I live in AZ and just ordered a new pair of prescription sunglasses. I prefer the grey lens color over the brown, in sunglasses but notice the new grey lenses appear more amber than grey. I was told the color change was due to the anti-reflective coating. Is this normal? Thank you.

  7. It’s hard to say without knowing the lens manufacturer. With this in mind, it’s not uncommon to have a slight color change due to the AR coating applied.