Office lenses are specifically designed to accommodate the distinct visual needs of the modern workplace.
ZEISS officelensWe live in a near- and intermediate-vision world: We spend much of our time viewing the screens on digital devices. That’s why patients need what some may call “office lenses.” Here’s how they work.
Unlike standard progressive addition lenses (PALs) designed for general purpose use, office lenses are “task specific.” This means that these lenses’ progressive power resources are concentrated on aiding vision in the intermediate and near areas. Some offer no distance correction at all, while others include it.
The main feature of these lenses is made possible by a formula providing a degression of plus power from the bottom of the lens to the top. In doing so, the lens delivers comfortable vision at the intended distances. Some lenses use a single design, while others offer multiple designs to accommodate different viewing distance requirements.
As a general rule, these lenses have much wider intermediate and near areas than standard progressives. This is one reason why just about every adult should have a pair of office lenses. While the need for them is clear, Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc. reports only 5% of presbyopes own office/computer eyewear. While these lenses are hugely helpful in the workplace and for certain other near and intermediate tasks, in most cases these lenses will not suffice for a general-purpose situation.
Two lenses specifically designed for the work environment are Shamir Insight, Inc.’s Shamir Computer™ and Shamir WorkSpace™ lenses. Both designs utilize Shamir’s IntelliCorridor™ technology, which controls the power profile of the lens based on the user’s individual needs. By
using advanced FREEFORM™ technology, the Shamir Computer lens provides a wide field of view and a depth of field of 5 ft. This allows an individual in a large work area or using multiple devices excellent near and intermediate vision.
In contrast, the Shamir WorkSpace lens uses the company’s FREEFORM technology to give it a depth of field advantage of 10 ft. This is an excellent choice for individuals who require the correction beyond the 5-ft. range, such as sales clerks, receptionists, and stock personnel.
Carl Zeiss offers three office lenses: the ZEISS Officelens Book, ZEISS Officelens Desk, and ZEISS Officelens Room. All three lens designs use free-form technology to personalize the lenses. The ZEISS Officelens Book is designed for the widest visual application, to about 3 ft. out. This is an excellent choice for individuals who often work in near environments. The ZEISS Officelens Desk, on the other hand, also has a wide field of view, but the visual range is extended to 7 ft. This is a great option for individuals who work in a cubicle or small office while having frequent interactions with co-workers. The ZEISS Office-lens Room provides large fields of view but has an extended depth of field to approximately 14 ft. out and appeals to those who want a lens for general indoor activities.
Other lenses in this category include Essilor of America, Inc.’s Essilor Interview‘, Signet Armorlite, Inc.’s KODAK SoftWear‘ Lens, Carl Zeiss’ SOLA Access, and HOYA Vision Care, North America’s free-form lenses: Tact 40 BKS, Tact 60 BKS, Sync 5 BKS, and Sync 8 BKS.
With so many Americans working with computers or other digital devices in offices, schools, workplaces, and/or at home, office lenses are rapidly becoming a universally needed product. Are you recommending them?
Richard McCoy is the owner of Fashion Eyes Vision Center in Fort Myers, FL, and an Opticianry Instructor at Hillsborough Community College in Fort Myers.
Ed De Gennaro is Director, Professional Content of First Vision Media Group.