Buyer’s Blog: The Digital Revolution and Your Vision
It’s not just about your phones and TV sets—there is a digital revolution happening in the world of eyeglasses, and it will forever change the way that optical lenses are made. These changes have the possibility of changing the way you see in the same way that smart phones have changed the way we communicate!
With traditional lens surfacing methods, the front surface of the lens is a fixed curve, what we call the “base curve” of the lens. The back surface of the lens is then changed mechanically—“ground” with a series of laps and polishing tools to impart the patient’s prescription into the rear surface of the lens. Repeated use of the same tools leads to wear on the laps, and can eventually cause aberrations in the prescription. These subtle imperfections become more noticeable to patients with more complex prescriptions. Other variables such as how far the frame sits from your face, how much the frame is angled toward your face and how much facial wrap the frame has also affect how you see through your glasses.
With digital surfacing the surface of the lens is mapped using a computer algorithm to determine the best curve point-by-point and engraving that curve on the lens with a laser. This method virtually eliminates surface imperfections and prevents problems due to worn tools. Digital measuring instruments, like the Visioffice that we have at Eye Elegance, allow us to take measurements to 1/10th of a millimeter. It also measures the frame fit, pantoscopic and wrap angles, allowing the program to create a lens that is customized to the patient in a way that has never been possible before. These improvements may allow some wearers to see 20/15 or better!
Digital designs are available in both single vision and progressive lenses. Progressive wearers will experience lenses that have significantly larger intermediate and near zones, nearly 180 degrees of clear distance vision and far less “swim” effect in the periphery of the lens. They are also made with a customized corridor length (the length between the distance and near zones), so frame size will be less of a concern for progressive wearers. Patients with high (+ or – 3.00 or greater) distance prescriptions or high amounts of astigmatism (1.50 diopters or more of cylinder) correction will see the most benefit from single vision digital designs.
If you appreciate how much clearer HDTV technology has made your entertainment, and if you like the advances that smart phones give you over older cell phones, you will love the improved clarity of digitally surfaced lenses for your eyeglasses. Stop in at Eye Elegance soon–we would love to share this technology with you!