How to clean lenses

Scratches result from rubbing fingers or cloth (even a soft cloth intended for glasses) against tiny bits of grit on the lens surface. So, never rub a dirty lens with anything! Instead, clean with a little running water, and fingers which you have rubbed against a bar of soap or the nozzle of a soap dispenser (a little soap is plenty). After rinsing, tap the glasses against your body to shake off excess water, and (optionally) blot dry with a clean cloth or small bit of tissue. Rubbing a clean lens with a clean cloth usually will not scratch it.

Anti-reflective coatings

Advantages: These make a minimal difference in the amount of glare you see. However, they make a big improvement in the cosmetic appearance of your glasses, because other people will see your eyes rather than a glaring reflection off your lenses.

Disadvantages: Anti-reflective coatings attract dirt, so you will probably have to clean your glasses daily. The coating can start peeling off in patches after a few years. Initially it will seem as though the glasses are dirty despite cleaning. Peeling is less likely if you clean your lenses gently with soap and water rather than dry rubbing. The coating cannot be renewed.


Avoiding thick, unattractive lenses

Near-sighted people (who can read up close without glasses) have lenses which are thin in the center and thick on the outside. Far-sighted lenses are thicker in the center. Therefore, near-sighted people will have much thinner lenses if they choose smaller frames. The optical center of the lens is in front of the pupil, and closer to the nose side than the temple side of the frame, so lenses that are not only wide, but also squarish toward the temple, will be especially thicker. This advice applies to people whose lens prescription is more than roughly -3 diopters, and is especially important if the prescription is more than about -6 diopters. The more near-sighted you are, the more you should look for small, round frames.