4 New Innovations in Eyeglass Technology

Isn’t it remarkable how eyewear technology advances each year? Similar to computer software, refinements and new features continue to evolve. The latest innovations resolve digital eyestrain, night driving, thick lenses, and colorblindness. Here are new options in eyewear now available to you.

4 New Innovations in Eyeglass Technology

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Computer Glasses

Do you spend most of your day glued to a computer? If so, you’re probably familiar with the discomfort of digital eyestrain. Symptoms include red eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. Digital eyestrain results when your eyes have trouble switching focus between your screen and keyboard. To compensate for blurred vision, you may also be leaning forward or raising your head, causing a sore neck, back, and shoulders.

Computer glasses address this focusing problem. Vision is optimized, enabling a clear, broad field of view. Specialized lens coatings counteract glare and enhance contrast, and tinting relieves eyestrain. Single-vision lenses have modified power, reducing the degree of accommodation required to focus. Progressive lenses correct near and intermediate vision.

Lenses are also available in bifocal and trifocal versions. These lenses have larger zones for close and intermediate vision than regular multifocal lenses. Since computer glasses have less power dedicated to far vision, they’re not suitable for driving or other distance vision activities.

Make sure your computer glasses have anti-reflective coating, and choose a high-quality option. Premium coating also prevents dust and fingerprints from adhering to lenses. Some opticians recommend adding a light tint to reduce the glare of overhead lighting and improve contrast. Tinted lenses also block the blue light emitted from computer screens. Prolonged exposure to blue light reduces visual clarity. It also renders mental fatigue and is implicated in retinal disease.

Before visiting an eyewear dispenser, measure the distance from the bridge of your nose to the surface of your computer screen. Give the measurement to the optometrist to determine the best lens power for your glasses.

Reliable manufacturers of computer eyeglasses are Gunnar and VC Eyewear. Many retailers have return policies, enabling you to test the computer eyewear to see if it improves your vision.

DriveSafe Lenses

Driving dangers are multiplied when vision is compromised by fog, glare, haze, and rain. Headlight halos are especially distracting. DriveSafe lenses are your ticket to nixing these hazards. The technology features a new type of anti-glare coating, available in single-vision, bifocal, and progressive versions.

In November 2015, DriveSafe was reviewed by Carwitter. The lenses were evaluated for three touted benefits: glare reduction, better vision in low light, and improved focus and field of view. In keeping with manufacturer claims, Carwitter reports that streetlight and headlight halos are reduced. Objects also appear much clearer. When driving in rain, the lenses reduce haze, and objects are more defined, compared to standard eyeglasses. The lens coating cleans easily and helps prevent misting.

Even during the day, vision is significantly improved over regular lenses. Wearers report their eyes feel less tired. Halos are reduced by 64 percent over other anti-reflective coatings. The mid-distance zone of vision is 43 percent larger, facilitating focus between a dashboard and mirrors. The far-distance zone is 14 percent wider, yielding a broader view of roads.

DriveSafe lenses have a slight yellow tint. You’ll only notice it initially since the brain quickly adjusts. The outer glass surface has a purple sheen. Your eyes will be more visible, due to the anti-reflective properties of the lenses. Here’s looking at you!

Aspheric Lenses

If you require a strong prescription, your lenses are typically thicker and more prominent than standard glasses. Aspheric lenses resolve this cosmetic issue. No more Coke-bottle glasses for you! Aspherics are thinner than conventional lenses. Rather than a spherical surface, the flatter curves of aspherics give them a slim profile. Pairing the lenses with high-index materials yields eyewear that’s lighter than traditional plastic and glass. With thin lenses, you also have a wider selection of frames from which to choose.

Aspherics make eyes look more natural than standard lenses, whether you’re nearsighted or farsighted. The flatter curves fit closer to your face, yet eliminate the “bug-eye” magnification of farsighted lenses. For nearsighted prescriptions, they eradicate the “beady-eyed” look resulting from “minification.”

Aspherics also correct astigmatism, available in bifocal and progressive versions. Though they can produce reflection, this is easily remedied by adding anti-reflective coating.

EnChroma Lenses

Colorblindness is a common vision problem, affecting one in 12 men and one in 200 women worldwide. It results when retinal cone cells in the eyes don’t respond appropriately to specific light frequencies. Faulty genes are typically responsible, although it’s also associated with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, aging, and medications. If you’re colorblind, most likely you have clear vision but can’t detect red, green, or blue colors.

The most prevalent type of colorblindness involves red and green. Any objects containing these hues are difficult to distinguish. Purple appears blue. Pink objects look white. Similar disparities can arise regarding orange, brown, and gray. Dark green and blue may be seen as black.

If you’re colorblind, wearing EnChroma lenses is like seeing objects with a fresh coat of paint! Gone are the grays and disorienting shades. The lenses don’t cure colorblindness, but they do provide “color correction” when worn. The plastic lenses filter out red and green pigments so the brain can discern these colors better.

Until now, drivers had to memorize color position on traffic lights and ask someone to translate colors of objects. In 80 percent of cases, EnChroma lenses can improve perception. Only 20 percent of people with colorblindness don’t receive this benefit.

Responding to the lenses takes from 15 minutes to a few days. Each person’s reaction is unique. The manufacturer is in the process of trying to customize lenses to an individual’s type and severity of colorblindness. EnChroma also hopes to refine the lenses to enable access to jobs that are currently closed to the colorblind. Examples are piloting, commercial driving, and firefighting.

EnChroma offers a Color Vision Test to determine whether a person has red-green color blindness. The test also reveals severity, whether mild, moderate, or strong. Results are compared to people with similar findings to gauge whether the lenses will improve vision. If ineffective, money is refundable within 60 days of purchasing the glasses.

If you’re fortunate not to be colorblind but know someone who is, pass on the information. EnChroma lenses reveal a world of vibrant color!

Eyes to See

Whether you merely need glasses for reading or can’t function without them, this new eyewear can enhance your vision. Let’s inwardly honor the scientists enabling us to see. Thanks to their research, the above glasses make us safer, less stressed, more attractive, and more perceptive. Contact a glasses dealer like Identity Optical if you have questions about what could work for you. What an opportune time to be alive, with access to this technology. In the progressive realm of eyewear, your future looks bright indeed!

By Dixie Somers

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