What's New in Eyeglass Lenses
Transitions Optical Introduces
Signature VII Photochromic Lenses
March 2014 Transitions Signature VII features a new dye formulation and molecular technology that allow Signature VII lenses to be more responsive to UV radiation than previous Transitions lenses, according to the company.
So Signature VII lenses get darker in indirect lighting and on hot days, compared with the company's previous-generation (Transitions VI) photochromic lenses. On average, gray Signature VII lenses are 15 percent darker and brown Signature VII lenses are 21 percent darker outdoors than Transitions VI lenses of similar color. And though they get significantly darker outdoors, Signature VII lenses fade back to clear just as fast as Transitions VI lenses, the company says.
Also, the new gray and brown dyes give Transition Signature VII lenses a more aesthetically pleasing appearance; and in user trials, wearers preferred Signature VII lenses 2-to-1 over Transitions VI lenses.
Transitions Signature VII lenses replace Transitions VI lenses as the preferred lens for wearers who prefer optimal indoor clarity and UV responsiveness in a light-sensitive lens in the company's family of photochromic lenses. Other Transitions lenses include:
- Transitions XTRActive Lenses that are darker than Signature VII lenses (both indoors and outdoors) for wearers who are light sensitive and are frequently outdoors.
- Transitions Vantage Lenses that are nearly clear indoors and become polarized as they darken outdoors, for superior glare control in bright, reflective conditions.
- Transitions Drivewear Photochromic sunglasses specifically designed for optimum driving vision in variable daylight conditions.
New Lens Treatment Designed to Protect Eyes From Glare and Blue Light, Including From Hand-Held Devices
October 2013 Recharge EX3 AR by Hoya Vision Care is a next-generation anti-reflective lens treatment that filters high-energy visible (HEV or "blue") light.
The new Recharge EX3 AR treatment provides even better blue light filtering properties and enhanced scratch resistance, compared with Hoya's original Recharge AR treatment, according to the company.
Potential hazards associated with HEV light include eye fatigue, blurred vision, headache, sleep disorders and possible damage to retinal photoreceptors over time.
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In addition to being a component of natural sunlight, blue light is emitted from hand-held devices such as smart phones, e-readers, tablet computers and other portable electronic devices.
By reducing the amount of blue light reaching the eyes, eyeglass lenses with Recharge EX3 AR treatment can improve visual comfort and reduce the risk of problems associated with high-energy visible light, according to Hoya.
New Lenses Protect Children's Eyes Against Glare and UV Rays
June 2013 New Crizal Kids UV lenses offer protection against glare and UV light and come standard in the Airwear polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate is one of the safest lens materials for children, because it resists shattering on impact.
The lenses have both front and backside UV protection, and according to the manufacturer, wearers' eyes are 25 times more protected from UV than if they wore no lenses at all.
Benefits include reduction of glare from the sun, as well as glare from fluorescent lights and computer screens, to help prevent eye fatigue and headaches.
Crizal Kids UV lenses come with an unlimited lens replacement warranty for the life of the lens prescription.
New Progressive Lens Aims to Keep You "InTouch"
With Your Hand-Held Devices
September 2012 Smart phones and digital tablets are useful and fun, but not if you can't read the screen comfortably. That has been a problem for people who wear progressive lenses, and it's why Shamir has introduced its new InTouch progressive lens.
Depending on the size of the screen, most people tend to view hand-held devices high and close to their eyes higher and closer than they would normally hold a book or newspaper. And most progressive lenses are not optimized for viewing at that angle/distance combination.
The Shamir InTouch lens is designed to enhance visual comfort at a viewing distance of 15 to 27 inches for phones and other hand-held devices, while still offering comfortable distance vision, intermediate vision (such as for desktop screens) and near vision (for reading material on a lap).
According to the company, the add power of the InTouch lens appears 25 percent quicker and the intermediate and near viewing zones are more than 20 percent wider, compared with standard progressive lenses.
For more information on the InTouch progressive lens, ask your eye care professional.
Vantage Lenses: Glare Reduction When and Where You Need It
May 2012 What on earth is "variable polarization"? Well, in eyewear it's a new concept that could keep your eyes comfortable and glare-free when you move from indoors to outdoors all with one pair of glasses.
Transitions Optical has created the Vantage lens, which lightens indoors and darkens outdoors just like any photochromic lens. But what's different is that when you go outside, the lenses polarize, which reduces glare and scattered sunlight. According to the company, your view stays crisp and clear, even as the lenses darken.
For more perspective, please click here for a chart that compares Vantage lenses with Transitions VI and Transitions XTRActive.
Vantage lenses are brand-new, so ask your eye care professional about them.
Optifog Designed To Provide Fog-Free Vision That Lasts for Days
To understand the benefits of Optifog, please watch the demo video, plus the two funny commercials featured here.
October 2011 Foggy lenses can be inconvenient, annoying, and even downright dangerous.
Lenses can fog not only when you move from a cold to a hot environment, but also when you are active outdoors, eating or drinking hot foods and beverages, cooking and more. If you have this problem a lot, maybe it's time to do something about it.
Optifog is a new anti-fog coating by Essilor that is applied to eyeglass lenses when they are manufactured.
Then, you activate the anti-fog property of the lenses by applying a drop of Optifog Activator to each side once a week. According to Essilor, the lens coating retains the activator and prevents fogging of the lenses for up to one week.
The Optifog technology works for all types of eyeglass prescriptions and is available now for Crizal lenses and TD2 lenses. Ask your eyecare professional about it.
The Workplace Lens: A New Progressive Designed
To Combat Office Eye Fatigue
August 2011 Tension, headaches, fatigue and eye irritation are all common symptoms of eye burnout at the office.
Ice-Tech has designed a new lens to address these comfort issues at work, where people need to be able to see well close-up, at computer distance and far away.
Called The Workplace Lens, this occupational lens provides wide and sharp fields of vision in the extended close-up range, according to Ice-Tech. The goal is to reduce tension that presbyopic people in an office or who like to read, do crafts, cook or do other prolonged near-work activities would experience.
The Workplace Lens is available at certain eye care practices now and will be rolled out nationwide soon.
Lions Clubs To Sell Lens Cleaning Kits by Carl Zeiss
June 2011 Carl Zeiss has created special lens cleaning kits for the Lions Clubs International Foundation, to raise money for the organization's vision care activities.
The kits are sold in the United States and Germany and contain Zeiss lens cleaning solution, lens cleaning cloth, handy pre-moistened towelettes and information on how to clean eyeglass lenses.
One of the Lions Clubs programs that will benefit from the cleaning kit sales is SightFirst, a blindness prevention program that since 1990 has helped to save the vision of more than 30 million people across the globe.
Watch This Video on the Newest High-Tech Eyewear
April 2011 If you think that eyewear hasn't changed much in the past 200 years, perhaps you're right: for all that time, simply pairing lenses with a frame has given us a great tool for seeing better.
But Justin Bazan, OD of The Vision Council might disagree. Recently he appeared on The Early Show to highlight some really cool innovations in eyewear.
One example is the Superfocus self-adjusting eyeglasses, which let you change your view from near to far with the flick of a switch.
Another is Columbia Eyewear's interchangeable temple system for active people. Each frame comes with two pairs of temples: one set of city temples for everyday wear and one set of sport temples for wearing under a helmet or sports goggles. You just change them out as needed.
More examples include hingeless and screwless Pure Eyewear, EmPower electronic focusing eyewear and the Switch Vision magnetic interchange lens system. Please click here to watch the video of Dr. Bazan on The Early Show.
New Varilux Comfort Lenses Designed for Easier
Switching From Near to Far Viewing
August 2010 You may already know about Varilux Comfort progressive lenses for presbyopia. Now Varilux has launched New Varilux Comfort, with updates to the lens design to make it easier to move your eyes from the far vision zone to the near.
The idea is to make it easier to quickly change your focus from distant objects to an up-close object, such as your cell phone or other mobile device.
Also, the near vision and distance vision fields are wider by up to 25 percent. According to the company, this could mean more relaxed vision for you, since you won't need to move your head as much to see from side to side. The intermediate zone has less distortion, too, for quick adaptation to the lenses and less swim.
The company has also released New Varilux Comfort Short lenses, meant for the small frames currently in style. Also, New Varilux Comfort Enhanced lenses are a customized design with minimal peripheral distortion and even wider fields of vision.
New Varilux Comfort progressive lenses are available from eye care professionals nationwide.
The Darkest of Them All: New Transitions XTRActive Lenses
May 2010 Transitions Optical has just released its darkest everyday lenses: Transitions XTRActive photochromic lenses. They are designed for people who prefer extra dark lenses outdoors.
In normal and hot temperatures, Transitions XTRActive lenses are darker than Transitions VI lenses.
Behind the windshield of a car, the lenses activate moderately to a comfortable tint level.
Indoors, the lenses provide a slight tint, whereas Transitions VI lenses appear completely clear.
This is because Transitions XTRActive lenses activate under both visible and UV light.
The lenses provide UV 400 protection and block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. They are compatible with anti-reflective coatings from major manufacturers.
Transitions lenses are designed to be worn every day and all day as primary prescription lenses and are not intended to replace sunglasses.
New Progressive Lenses Provide Sharp Vision in Low-Light Conditions
February 2010 Essilor of America has just released Varilux Physio Enhanced lenses, the company's most advanced progressive lenses to-date.
The lenses are designed with WAVE Technology 2 to provide sharp vision at any distance and light condition.
WAVE Technology 2 addresses four factors that can reduce sharpness: variation in pupil size, patient prescription, light conditions and viewing distance.
These distortions can lead to eye strain for the lens wearer.
The lens design manages these distortions to preserve 93 percent of image sharpness in even low-light conditions.
According to the company, these new lenses are the best in the industry for minimizing distortions.
Varilux Physio Enhanced lenses are dual-sided digitally surfaced and offer wider fields of vision than Varilux Physio lenses.
Shamir Releases Ultra Wrap for Wraparound Frames
February 2010 Shamir has introduced Ultra Wrap to its SuperLite 1.60 and SuperLite 1.67 lens material lines. With a redesigned back curve, Ultra Wrap accommodates a wider range of nearsighted and farsighted prescriptions for wraparound frames.
According to Shamir, it was the first company to create a progressive lens designed specifically for wrap frames. The expanded prescription range of Ultra Wrap means more people can wear wrap frames.
Shamir lenses are available at optical stores nationwide.
Ice-Tech Introduces Thin-Tech Prescription Lenses
for Wraparound Sunglasses
January 2010 Wraparound sunglass frames have long posed a problem for prescription lens manufacturers: How do you make a corrective lens that is highly curved, yet provides good vision without distortion and bulk?
According to the Ice-Tech people, they've figured it out, using a patents-pending digital process to make a thin sunglass lens with reliable optics in a wide field of view.
One goal of the Ice-Tech research team was to reduce the weight of the lenses, in some cases by up to 50 percent. In one test, for a farsighted prescription of +4.00 diopters, a conventional lens weighed 19.7 grams, with a center thickness of 9.5mm. For the same prescription, the Thin-Tech lens weighed 12 grams, with a center thickness of only 6.2mm. A benefit for nearsighted wearers is the reduced edge thickness at the temples.
Thin-Tech lenses can accept mirror and anti-reflective coatings, too. You can order Thin-Tech sunglass lenses from optical stores nationwide.
Shamir Debuts SuperLite 1.74 Thin Lens Material
January 2010 Fans of thin lenses will appreciate this new high-index lens material from Shamir. Called SuperLite 1.74, the material can be used in several Shamir single vision and progressive lens designs, including the Autograph line of progressive lenses.
The idea behind high index lens materials is that they are optically denser, providing more vision correction with less lens material. So even if you have a high prescription, you can enjoy thinner, lighter lenses.
Shamir is well known in the optical community for high-quality lens materials and designs, especially in progressive lenses for presbyopia. Shamir lenses are available at optical stores nationwide.
[Page updated March 3, 2014]
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