In this article, you will learn more about coatings for lenses from Zeiss and Hoya which were developed to combat bacteria and viruses on your glasses. Antivirus coatings have silver ions to inactivate viruses and bacteria. While this concept was known for decades Hoya and Zeiss have now developed a manufacturing process to include this feature in their absolute transparent coatings.
Those coatings are relevant to ensure better hygiene for wearers of spectacles. Because you can not simply disinfect your glasses as you would normally do with other gadgets. The disinfection oftentimes leads to damaged coatings which peel off faster. You may think wearers of glasses do not touch their glasses that often but this is not true.
In a study done in 2015 medical students were observed. The question was how often they touch their faces. The participants touched their faces 23 times per hour. 27% of the touches involved the eyes. Viruses can survive many hours or even days on plastic surfaces like our glasses. This is why the solution was necessary especially for hygiene-conscious spectacle wearers.
Antivirus Lenses from HOYA
Hoya, the lens manufacturer, is expanded the portfolio of lens coatings with the new Hi-Vision Anti-Bacterial coating. It is said to demonstrably slow down bacterial growth on spectacle lenses and thus help protect against bacterial infections.
The Hi-Vision Anti-Bacterial coating provides your lenses with the same durability and clean coating Hoya is known for worldwide. The anti-reflective properties of the lenses are retained without affecting light transmission. Although a layer of silver ions is added to limit the growth of bacteria on the plastic lenses.
The anti-bacterial coating consists partly of silver ions known as AG+. It has been shown to reduce bacterial growth on the lens surface by up to 99.9% compared to non-antibacterial lens coatings, according to the manufacturer. For a comprehensive protective effect, the lenses are coated on both sides.
Hoya also sees the coating as particularly suitable for customers who want antibacterial products. It is ideally suited for:
- Healthcare workers
- Concerned parents
- For all hygiene-conscious spectacle wearers
Every anti-reflective coating produces a certain glare on the lens surface depending on the angle you look at the glasses. The Hi Vision anti-bacterial coating produces a subtle green glare.
Antivirus coatings from Zeiss
ZEISS has studied the distribution and pathogenicity of bacteria on eyeglasses over several years in cooperation with Furtwangen University. Of the more than 5,000 different bacteria, 64% are pathogenic. While bacteria are found on all parts of a pair of glasses, those on the lenses are particularly prevalent and potentially harmful because the lenses actually never get desinfected.
ZEISS has found a solution to this growing problem. The first antiviral coating from ZEISS meets current customer needs. ZEISS DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV is suitable for all age groups and available for all prescription lenses that are already available today with the ZEISS DuraVision Platinum coating.
The antiviral coating has the proven positive properties of ZEISS DuraVision Platinum UV – low reflections and the less visible blue residual reflex for which ZEISS is known. It is also very scratch-resistant and easy to clean.
Lenses with the DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV coating also offer full UV protection for the eyes up to 400 nanometers that all ZEISS lenses feature. In addition, the new coating can also be ordered for the ZEISS BlueGuard lens material. Blue guard is a lens material that blocks blue light.
If you want to know more on the topic of blue light filters I have another article ready for you here.
More on Germs and Viruses on Glasses
According to scientific studies, eyeglasses can be very heavily contaminated with germs. In 2018 and 2020, Prof. Dr. Markus Egert, microbiologist and health expert, from Furtwangen University of Applied Sciences, conducted studies showing that more than 650 genera of bacteria are found on eyeglass lenses (found in the 2020 study; the subject of the study was 30 pairs of eyeglasses).
50 to 80 percent of the most common microbes found on eyeglasses are pathogenic in character, according to the microbiologist and health expert, i.e. they can potentially trigger diseases.
Prof. Egert and his research team were able to find out that eyeglasses are heavily colonized with microorganisms – the most contaminated were the temples and nose pads. A peak value was 660,000 bacteria per square centimeter on a nose pad, including pathogens of eye diseases such as conjunctivitis or endophthalmitis (found in the 2018 study).
According to Egert, this is not surprising, because a pair of glasses sits in the middle of the face with close contact to the ears, eyes, and nose – to places where many germs live in the natural skin flora anyway. In addition, people often touch their glasses during the course of the day, bringing bacteria, viruses, or even fungi onto the frame and the lenses. Under certain circumstances, germs can then get close to the eyes.
Anti Virus Coatings Compared to Conventional Coatings
Essentially as a consumer, you will not notice any difference between the anti-virus coatings and conventional lenses. They look the same are as seemingly to clean as their traditional counterparts. The only difference shows up on a microscopic level which you can not see. But this is how features work in ophthalmic lenses. They are transparent, make your experience with your glasses potentially better, and don’t distract you from the things you want to do in your daily routines.
If you are concise about bacteria and viruses on your glasses the mentioned options are for you.