What's New in Eyeglass Lenses
Zeiss DriveSafe Lenses Are Designed to Make Driving More Comfortable and Less Scary in Low Light
November 2015 Ever wish you could see better when driving on rainy days, at twilight or at night? Many people actually cut back on nighttime driving or avoid it altogether because of oncoming headlight glare and blurriness that makes it hard to see pedestrians and signs.
Zeiss has tackled this issue by releasing a new eyeglass lens in both single vision and progressive versions that's optimized for these conditions. Called DriveSafe, it's actually a high-performance lens that can be worn all day but has a special anti-glare coating that's especially helpful when driving in poor visual conditions.
To develop DriveSafe, the company commissioned a study by the automotive research institute FKFS in Germany to track head and eye movements of drivers. They found a need for a lens with large distance and midrange vision sections, because drivers need to constantly and quickly refocus from the road ahead of them to the dashboard and back again. Also considered in the lens design was the larger pupil size of drivers operating in low light.
And the DuraVision DriveSafe AR coating resulted from consultations with a leading headlight manufacturer to determine the best way to reduce glare from currently produced Xenon and LED headlights.
Ask your eye care professional about availability of DriveSafe lenses in your prescription.
Zeiss Has New Options for Bespectacled Digital-Device Users
May 2015 In this digital world, not properly taking care of your eyes can have consequences. In fact, about 50 to 90 percent of people who use digital devices have experienced some form of digital eye strain.
Zeiss has released a number of eyeglass lenses and coatings that are specially created with digital device users in mind.
The new lenses include the Zeiss Digital Lens, which is designed for people who normally wear single vision lenses but want an extra boost while looking at devices, and three different Precision Progressive lenses.
Each Zeiss progressive lens is optimized for different vision goals. The Precision Pure lenses are adjusted for the closer reading distance that smartphones, tablets and computers require. Precision Plus lenses offer the same digitally optimized viewing, but also fit a wider variety of frame styles that other progressive lenses don't work with. The third digital progressive lens option, Precision Superb, is custom made based on the position of your eyes and how your frames fit.
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In addition to new digital eyeglass lenses, Zeiss has also created a lens coating designed to help block high-energy blue light, DuraVision BlueProtect. Researchers believe that increased exposure to blue light, which is emitted from digital devices, may lead to macular degeneration and retina damage. DuraVision BlueProtect blocks significant amounts of harmful blue light and also reduces reflections and improves clarity.
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.
In addition to being a component of natural sunlight, blue light is emitted from hand-held devices such as smartphones, 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 Smartphones 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
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.
[Page updated March 21, 2016]