In 1959 Essilor introduced Varilux, the first progressive lens. An amazing breakthrough in optical technology, it was an alternative to lined bifocals . Remember that Ben Franklin invented bifocals well over 200 years ago!
Since 1959 progressives have changed so much with the advancement in technology. This is where some serious confusion comes in. Terms like digital surfaced, dual digital vision, 4D technology, nanoptix, synchroneyes, wave technology and high resolution vision.
So do all progressive lenses have these features? HECK NO!! That’s why the confusion exists. Some progressives do some don’t. That’s why progressive lens prices vary so much. And please don’t get fooled when comparing lenses and lens prices! They aren’t all the same. It comes down to lens benefits and how different lenses will help you and your visual needs.
Please remember that we need progressive lenses (or help reading) because we are getting a little older. In my opinion no progressive works like our eyes did 10 or 20 years ago. Things have changed and we need to adjust and form new habits to use our new progressives. Sorry no sugar coating this! BUT the newest technology makes a huge difference and is getting closer to our “younger” eyes all the time.
Here’s what some of the confusing terms mean: Digital progressive is generally associated with using a laser to put the progressive on the back surface of the lens. It is a cheap way to make a progressive lens but there is so much happening on the back surface of the lens manufacturers can’t control how the light reacts as it comes out of the lens. Ideally this is distortion.
All progressives no matter how good will have some distortion or fuzzy areas on the outside of the lens. The older progressives have much larger fuzzy areas with the new ones having very, very minimal fuzz.
Dual digital or double digital puts some of the progressive on the back and some on the front of the lens. The light comes out of the back of the lens is much more pure, closer to what it was before it entered the lens. The contrast will be better. Contrast sensitivity is a vital component for perceived visual quality.
Wave technology is the front surface of the lens specially compensated to allow light passing thru the lens to again be as pure as possible. Wave technology will create high resolution vision and also improves contrast. Using a lens with wave technology will brighten any low light conditions too.
Nanoptix is a revolution in Technology to reduce the swim effect of progressive lenses. Synchroneyes is a revolution in design which provides up to 50% wider binocular field of vision vs other standard progressives. 4D technology is a revolution in personalization which gives faster visual reaction time with reflex vision. These lenses are customized for each individual person.
REMEMBER simply digital does not equal high resolution vision!
I have tried some different progressive lenses (because I too am getting older) and there is a big difference! Boy the new technology is truly amazing!
We are fortunate in this city as there are some very good optical professionals to help you through this progressive mine field. Ask them to explain the difference between progressives and make the best choice for you and your visual needs.