ANTI-BACTERIAL ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATING BY VSP
If you've spent time at Dr. Bladh's office, you know what anti-reflective (A/R) coating is and does. Back in the early days of optometry, A/R coating was primarily used to get rid of glare when taking pictures and get a clearer view of the world through your lenses. Both solid reasons to commit to adding this product onto your glasses, but there were some flaws. Typically, the lenses were hard to keep clean and often times the coating would peel after several months so scientists went back to the lab and developed newer technology to combat those problems. After perfecting the anti-reflective product, laboratories started to add other benefits to the coating (insert blue-light filters).
The most recent advancement has come with the recent COVID-19 pandemic as a way to defend your eyes from harmful blue light rays as well as BACTERIA! Yes you read that correctly; the new blue-light A/R coating has been ISO-certified as anti-bacterial technology. Sound like a gimmick? We thought so too, so we dove into the data to understand what that claim means and here's what we found:
VSP is the first company to get their anti-reflective coating not only blue-light filtered, but also anti-bacterial with their product Techshield Elite Anti-Bacterial Coating (branded Techshield Elite AB). They had to go through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The company is based in Switzerland so you can guess the types of perfection hoops one would have to jump through knowing Switzerland's history, but I digress. The actual standardization is ISO 22196:2011 for all you ISO nerds (you're welcome). The science basically states that bacteria needs a place to settle and grow, but the A/R coating is so slippery and slick that bacteria (no matter how small) is unable to create a home on the lenses and duplicate, and if bacteria isn't growing it's dying. The lenses don't have a magical force-field around them preventing bacteria from getting onto your glasses, but it will prevent them from growing which causes bacteria to eventually die.
I have to applaud VSP for getting this to market first. It might be a secondary benefit to an already elite product, but this seems like the perfect storm given the current bacteria feared landscape and I expect we will see them take full advantage of the marketing angle while everyone else plays catch up getting their product certified by the Swiss based company. We already offer A/R coating to all of our patients, so don't be alarmed if we bring it up during your next visit to the office.