Every Zeiss Progressive Individual 2 lens is customized, and an add-on can improve night sight.
With surfacing on both sides of the lens, HOYA’s iD MyStyle minimizes skew deformation.
Nikon’s SeeMax Power incorporates three primary design features.

Every manufacturer’s premium lens has different attributes. Here’s what you need to know.

Technologically, the demand for progressives has blossomed with more free-form products than ever on the market, each offering a distinct advantage. “There are hundreds of different progressives out there designed to strike a balance between width of vision and the perception of swim,” says Pete Hanlin, director of technical marketing for Essilor of America, Inc. Premium lenses are especially noteworthy.

Essilor’s newest entry, the Varilux S Series of lenses, “breaks that compromise between having to worry about swim versus having a big-enough reading area,” says Hanlin. “For the first time,” he says, patients can have it all.

The secret is in the shape of the lens. “We’ve been making progressives pretty much the same way all these years, with a curvature on the front that gets steeper at the bottom or-for full back service (FBS) progressive addition lenses (PALs)-is spherical,” he says. “In all progressive lenses until now, those shapes caused swim to occur because of magnification at the bottom of the lens.”

The Varilux S, he says, “stands that idea on its head.” With Nanoptix Technology™ the lens gets “flatter at the bottom,” reducing magnification and virtually eliminating swim. “I’ve been wearing progressives for a couple of years now and the swim just drove me nuts,” Hanlin admits. “Today I’m wearing Varilux S. I’m looking at the phone, bobbing my head up and down, and nothing is moving. There is no swim whatsoever. That is a pretty big breakthrough.” Also incorporating SynchronEyes Technology™ helps “both eyes work together.” The lenses are designed as a pair and calculated as a pair.

If natural vision is your patient’s goal, consider choosing an iD MyStyle lens from HOYA Vision Care, North America. Using a combination of new technology and lifestyle assessment, the lens provides “the most natural vision of any lens, at all distances,” says Phil Cummins, HOYA’s midwest regional sales manager.

The goal in creating iD MyStyle was to minimize skew deformation, Cummins explains. “When you look through a progressive lens, it should not only make things clear for your refraction but also maintain the shape” of what you see. “If an image distorts and bends, that’s skew.” In addition, with iD MyStyle, he says, “you can roll your head around and still not get the swimming effect.”

The key, he explains, is to have direct surfacing on both sides of the lens. “It’s free-form on the front and back. Neither the front nor back surface is a progressive-they are independent of each other. When they are integrated, they form a progressive lens.”

What’s more, iD MyStyle has both horizontal and vertical components-vertical on the front, horizontal on the back. With vertical on the front, “you get less eye rotation through that channel, so you can go from distance to near more comfortably.” On the flip side, the most usable area is closer to the eye.

While the lens itself is revolutionary, iD MyStyle is enhanced by a wealth of data on each patient. After a doctor takes hard measurements, she asks lifestyle-oriented questions. How do you use your eyes? What do you do for a living? Do you work on a computer, at a drafting table, or drive a bus? Using these answers, “We enhance your design features so the lens is technically sound and now meets your personal visual demands,” Cummins says.

Eyecare professionals (ECPs) can use HOYA’s Spectangle to get accurate measurements and submit them electronically.

Seiko Optical Products of America, Inc.’s lauded progressive lens, Surmount, has just been surpassed by Superior. “The best analogy is that buying a traditional progressive lens is like buying a suit off the rack at Kohl’s, while buying a Superior is like having a tailor custom-make a suit to your dimensions,” says Michael J. Rybacki, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

For starters, Superior has 11 corridor lengths (8mm-18mm). “Most products have from three to five corridor lengths at most,” Rybacki says. “Now we have one of the largest selections available. This provides the greatest level of customization. It can fit in any size frame, small or large.”

Base design is integral too. Most progressive lenses have one design but Superior encompasses three. “Technically we could have made this into three different products but we’re offering it as one,” Rybacki notes. Designs are chosen based on the patient’s lifestyle and occupational needs. Most patients will get Design B: Balanced, the “optimal blended-type design,” but architects, seamstresses, and others working up close would get Design N: Near Zone Priority. Similarly, “landscapers, truck drivers, machine operators, and others where distance vision,” is especially important would get Design F: Far Zone Priority. Seiko will give ECPs aids to ask the right questions.

For Superior lenses, Seiko has created a special ruler that measures pantoscopic tilt correctly. “The ruler will show how much tilt there is when the person looks straight ahead. With that information we can further customize the lens for near, intermediate, and distance,” Rybacki explains. Software calculations work to adjust the optics in the lens three-dimensionally. Near reading distance and eye convergence inset calculations are fully customizable. Superior is available with add powers up to +4.00D, which helps people with higher degrees of presbyopia.

Driving at night? It can be easier for patients who order an add-on to the Progressive Individual 2 by Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc. Called i.Scription, “Our unique technology takes into account how your eyes work at larger pupil sizes, which can help people see a lot better at night and in low light,” says Jeff Hopkins, senior manager, professional affairs. “This goes out to a 100th of a diopter instead of a quarter and it’s only available on custom lenses because we need free-form equipment to make it,” he adds.

The Zeiss’ Progressive Individual 2 lenses have three advantages. First, they’re customized for each patient’s exact prescription, made upon demand to meet the parameters of spherical correction, astigmatic correction, and add power. Second, they fit into frames of all sizes, enabling even patients with small frames to have “plenty of reading area and as much intermediate area as we can give them,” Hopkins says. Third, the optics adjust to be as crisp as possible based on the wearing position.

The lens comes in three varieties: standard, large reading area, or intermediate. Patients and ECPs can select the right lens based on how the glasses will most often be used.

Nikon Optical USA Inc.’s SeeMax Power, a digital progressive lens, is dual-sided. According to executive vice president, Rick Davis, it incorporates three primary design features: an “enhanced central front surface design,” which provides for wider fields of vision centered in front of the eye; a digital back surface using “aberration filter technology” that reduces the aberrations considerably; and the “progressive power aberration filter” for cleaning up even more distortions. In addition, the surface right in front of the eye’s central viewing zone is widened.

Every Nikon SeeMax Power lens is different, and that’s due to what Davis calls “advanced personalization options.” Nikon custom-calculates each lens for each wearer using the same software that’s in its camera lenses. ECPs can take exact measurements from the patient’s Rx and pupillary distance to full fitting parameters; measuring how each patient wears their eyeglasses and their frame choice.

The SeeMax Single Vision lens is similar. It’s a double aspheric and the back surface has an eight- optimization axis so patients can see well out of every area of the lens, not just the center.

When Shamir Insight, Inc. introduced the Autograph III free-form lens last March, it was billed as “A New Visual Experience.” The company says the product is a balanced progressive lens that helps patients read from their digital devices. The As-Worn Technology™ increases design stability by four, measuring vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt, and panoramic angle.

With various premium options available, the challenge for ECPs is to convince patients they should give them a try.

Rona Gindin is an Orlando-based freelance writer specializing in business, restaurants, and travel.


Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc.
800-358-8258 • zeiss.com/lenses

Essilor of America, Inc.
800-542-5668 • essilorusa.com

HOYA Vision Care, North America
877-528-1939 • hoyavision.com

Nikon Optical USA, Inc.
877-767-8033 • nikonlenswear.us

Seiko Optical Products of America, Inc.
800-235-5367 • seikoeyewear.com

Shamir Insight, Inc.
877-514-8330 • shamirlens.com


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