|VSP Optics Group’s UNITY CVxpression lenses offer three customizable viewing distances.|
|Shamir’s Computer lenses are great for patients who use multiple monitors at work.|
Specialized lenses work harder than ever these days to help soothe eyes from an excess of screen time.
Digital devices seem to be taking over many people’s lives. A recent industry study shows that Americans own an average of four digital devices, such as smartphones, computers, HDTVs, DVRs, tablets, and gaming consoles. According to a report from The Vision Council, close to one-third of all people in the U.S. log in a whopping nine or more hours of screen time each day. It’s no coincidence that 61% of people in the U.S. experience digital eyestrain, which results in dryness, irritation, and blurred vision.
The good news is that new lenses have been introduced that tackle all different types of patient complaints, ranging from narrow intermediate zones in traditional progressives to the eyestrain that younger patients endure with single vision lenses. Here are some common questions that will help you prescribe the most appropriate lenses.
Q: What questions should I ask a patient to find out if an office or computer lens would be beneficial?
Find out if the patient is hav-ing problems with tired or dry eyes, or poor vision while at the computer. Inquire about any head, neck, or back pain after the patient uses their glasses at their workspace. If your patient spends more than two hours working on a computer each day, ask, “Do you find your progress-ives inadequate at times for your work tasks? Do you ever
experience double vision at your computer or consistent headaches during the work day?”
Q: Why do electronic screens cause blur, fatigue, and distortion?
Short-wavelength, high-energy blue light, which comes from the sun, tablets, computer screens, and LED lights, refracts quicker than other colors and the troublesome result is glare. There are no blue-light photoreceptors in the macula, so this light is absorbed inside of the eye, affecting our central vision. Some studies have shown that blue light can induce up to a full diopter of blur.
Q: Are there any lens treatments that can help reflect or absorb blue light, therefore increasing visual performance?
Essilor of America, Inc.’s Crizal‘ Prevenciaâ„¢ No-Glare lenses selectively filter out 20% of harmful blue light, while letting beneficial light pass through. They also feature an E-SPF value of 25, providing patients’ eyes with 25 times more protection from ultra-violet (UV) rays than no lens at all.
BluTech‘ Lenses from Eye Solutions Technologies use a proprietary formulation of Ocular Lens Pigment (OLP) to filter blue light and block UV light without altering color perception. This lens is available as an indoor or outdoor polarized lens, and in plano, single vision, flat-top 28, and progressive lens designs from Signet Armorlite, Inc. (Kodak), VSP Optics Group (UNITY), HOYA Vision Care, North America, and Shamir Insight, Inc.
HOYA’s Recharge EX3 combines the blue-light reflecting Recharge AR treatment with the Super Hi-Vision EX3 AR, providing a lens with enhanced scratch resistance and the ability to protect wearers from both UV and blue light.
Q: How are companies personalizing the lens experience?
Carl Zeiss Vision has three office-lens designs available. The Officelens Book is mostly for computer and intensive, closeup activities, while the Officelens Desk is for wide fields out to 7 ft. (small office). The Officelens Room is for most indoor or close-range outdoor activities, with clear vision out to 14 ft.
HOYA’s Tact Progressive lens is specially designed to maximize a patient’s visual range at arm’s-length distances, with a large, clear viewing zone. When combined with the Recharge Super HiVision EX3 or the Super HiVision EX3 lens treatment, these lenses will eliminate glare, blue light, and reflections from lights and computer screens.
Essilor’s Computer lens features a wide intermediate area, making it a perfect lens for working on the computer. This creates a more comfortable, relaxed experience.
The KODAK SoftWear‘ Lenses from Signet Armorlite, Inc., are specially designed for near-task activities. Most of the lens is dedicated to near and intermediate vision, eliminating the need for a patient to tilt her head. The lenses incorporate Vision First Designâ„¢ Technology, providing a smooth power progression and binocular balance for great performance. The digitally created backside near-variable focus lenses allow for less eyestrain during prolonged intermediate and near-viewing tasks.
Shamir has a large range of occupational solutions that help alleviate office-related computer vision syndrome and eye strain. The Shamir Officeâ„¢ lens provides patients with wide, clear near and intermediate vision up to 13 ft. The distortion-free lenses use dynamic reduction to help at all work distances and to eliminate neck and shoulder pain. The Shamir Computerâ„¢ lens is perfect for patients needing an optimal depth of focus of five feet, especially those using multiple monitors, and the Shamir WorkSpaceâ„¢ lens is ideal for those with close-up and mid-distance needs, with an optimal depth of focus at 10 ft. It’s great for those who present to clients and move around their workspace.
VSP Optics Group’s UNITY‘ CVxpression features three customizable viewing distances of 4, 6, and 12 ft., and is available in a wide range of materials. The UNITY CVx provides optimal near and intermediate vision, which is perfect for patients that spend more than two hours a day in front of a computer or have visually demanding hobbies.
Q: Are there any lens options for younger patients and early presbyopes?
The HoyaSync family of lenses is useful for focusing on all directions and distances, alleviating eyestrain and reducing fatigue from computer and near-vision tasks, with no distortion. The Sync 5 is useful for young adults, students, and pre-presbyopes, with the lens shifting gradually to +0.53D at its bottom. The Sync 8 works well for early presbyopes, with a shift to values up to +0.88D. Essilor’s Anti-Fatigue lens also has a “Power Boost” of +0.60D area in the lower portion of the lens for near tasks.
The Shamir Relaxâ„¢ is a free-form lens that has a 0.65D add in the bottom. This distortion free lens is designed with Eye-Point Technology’ and has a 16mm fitting height.
Q: Is there any other advice I can give patients to make their time in front of their screens more comfortable?
At the risk of sounding like their parents, tell them to sit up straight and to maintain good posture while they’re working on a computer. Recommend that they center their monitor directly in front of them and sit an arms-length distance away from the screen, with their monitors positioned so the top of the screen is level with their eyes. Instruct patients to follow the 20-20-20 rule: After every 20 minutes in front of their computer, they should focus on something 20 ft. away for 20 seconds. Taking a one- to three-minute break every 15 to 30 minutes is also a huge help.
Discussing usage with your patients will help you gain a greater understanding of their needs while they’re at work so that you can tailor your recommendations to specifically what each individual needs. Prescribing one of the newest computer- or office-lens technologies will help drive second-pair sales, increase patient satisfaction, and set your practice apart from the competition.
Jennifer L. Stewart is in private practice at Norwalk Eye Care in Norwalk, CT.
|WHERE TO FIND IT:|
|Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc.
|Essilor of America, Inc.
|Eye Solutions Technologies
|HOYA Vision Care, North America
|Shamir Insight, Inc.
|Signet Armorlite, Inc.
|VSP Optics Group