Digital Lenses


Remember the first time you saw high-definition television? Recall how it made your old analog TV picture seem drab and blurry; colors got brighter, shapes got sharper, everything came into focus. What if you could have the same experience with your eyeglasses?

The most important thing to remember when it comes to your eyesight is that not all lenses are created equal!

At Urban Optiks, the new standard in eyecare is to get you seeing better than 20/20. We do that by only offering the latest digital lens technology and coatings in all of our lenses.  Whether you wear single vision, multifocal or high-index lenses, our free-form digital lenses can upgrade your vision to a “high-definition” experience.


Have you heard the latest buzz about prescription lens technology? Recently, words like digital, free-form and high-definition are being more commonly used in reference to eyeglass lenses. In a society that is growing increasingly “digital”, what does this mean in regards to eyeglasses? And ultimately, how can this new technology help your vision?

The technology used to create prescription lenses has been in the process of evolution since its inception, but over the past decade, more of a revolution has been happening. New vision science has profoundly affected the way ophthalmic lenses are being designed, fit, and manufactured.  In no way is this more evident than in the large increase in the availability of the aforementioned digital lenses.

When we refer to a lens as being “digital”, we are using this broad term to refer to a very advanced fitting and manufacturing process, ultimately enabling us to provide the wearer with superior vision benefits. Imagine the first time you watched a DVD versus a VHS tape; that same improvement in sharpness, color and clarity are what this process offers.  However, it involves several components that must be given special attention to arrive at the best possible outcome.


Here is a list of some of the benefits you will experience with a digital lenses versus traditionally surfaced lenses:

  • Superior binocularity and peripheral optics
  • Improved clarity and reduced distortion
  • Sharper, crisper vision and image quality
  • Increased contrast sensitivity making colors brighter and details sharper
  • Wider visual field
  • Smoother transitions between progressive lens zones
  • Reduction in higher-order aberrations (starbursts, halos)
  • Less glare at night

Due to the costs associated with research & development of new technology, production of these digitally surfaced lenses are more complex and thus more expensive to produce than traditionally surfaced lenses.  However, for those patients who want the very best vision that science can currently provide, digital surfacing provides the mechanism to deliver it.



Single vision lenses are prescribed if you need correction for only one field of vision, either for distance (nearsightedness), computer (intermediate), near vision (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Single vision lenses have only one prescription power providing the same correction over the entire viewing area of the lens.

Visual quality, cosmetic appearance, and comfort are important factors in the design of single vision lenses. Today, higher refractive index materials make it possible to produce flatter and lighter lenses offering patients greater comfort and a better visual experience – even for those with high prescriptions.

Not all single vision lenses are the same! Your prescription tells your eye doctor your correction requirements and power adjustments, but it doesn’t specify your preference in lenses. That’s up to you and your optician. Aside from your prescription, there are vast differences in the optical performance between different eyeglass lens brands, materials, and treatments. Our highly experienced opticians will help guide you through the lens choices available today, including the latest in digital lens technology.


Multifocal lenses have more than one prescription power in different areas of the lens allowing you to view objects at all distances, both near and far, through a single lens. The correct multifocal lenses will depend on your age, your visual needs, and other factors. Our experienced opticians will guide you through the process of selecting the right multifocal for you, producing a customized solution to your vision and eyewear needs.


Most adults, starting around the age of 40, experience an accommodative disorder called presbyopia, causing eyes to lose the ability to focus up close. It is for this condition that progressive lenses were designed. Progressive lenses can give you clear vision at all distances: up close, far away and everything in between.

With traditionally surfaced progressive lenses, the changing power of the lens from top to bottom creates some unavoidable optical issues, such as distortion, which we can now address with the latest digital progressive lens technology.

Traditional surfaced progressive lenses have many issues including:

  • uncomfortable transition and narrow field of view between near and far
  • reduced peripheral vision
  • distortion or “swimming” sensation when moving head and/or eyes
  • feelings of instability when walking

Traditional progressive lenses are usually made with molds, where each lens is initially created the same, then your prescription is added to it later. In addition, traditional surfacing of progressives can only incorporate two facial measurements; the height of your pupil in the frame and the distance between your pupils. One further limitation is that it can only correct your prescription in quarter diopter increments and only in the optical center of the lens. This is a little like buying a men’s suit off the rack and then having it tailored to fit you, which may work – but isn’t always perfect.

Today’s digital progressive lenses have come a long way! We now have access to new technologies which has enabled progressive lens manufacturers to reduce or completely eliminate all of the issues mentioned above. With the latest technologies, each progressive lens is “digitally surfaced” individually for each wearer.

Using our Zeiss iTerminal for precision measurements, your optician can now include many more fitting measurements (in addition to the pupil height and pupil distance) such as vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt, frame wrap, eye movement, posture, and more. Our optometrist can also fine-tune your prescription down to a sixteenth of a diopter and digital surfacing allows us to compensate the prescription throughout the entire lens, not just in the center.

Combining these additional measurements with complex computer algorithms, the laboratories utilize the latest machining techniques (including microscopic digital lathes and polishers) to produce a lens that is individually customized to the wearer, meaning that no two lenses are produced the same. This is like having a suit custom-made for you by the best tailor in the business.

The end result for you is:

  • “high definition vision”
  • smooth transition between near and far
  • wider viewing areas at all distances
  • an expanded field of view
  • elimination of “swimming” sensation
  • distortion free vision

More than ever, it’s important to remember that not all progressive lenses are created equal. While many optometry offices still sell the older traditionally surfaced progressive lenses because they are much less expensive, we only recommend using digital progressive lenses in order to produce the best quality vision today’s technology can provide. You will pay more for these advancements but you will also experience a superior visual experience then is provided by the older lens technology.


Bifocal Lenses offer the wearer correction for two viewing areas; far and near.  The near prescription is contained in a visibly lined segment located at the bottom half of the lens.


Trifocal Lenses offer the wearer correction for three viewing areas; far, intermediate and near.  The intermediate and near prescriptions are contained in a visibly lined segment located at the bottom half of the lens.

Check out this great video from Hoya Vision showing the complete process of creating a “digitally surfaced” progressive lens.


In the new digital age, computer lenses may reduce the symptoms of  CVS (computer vision syndrome) which are experienced when using computers, tablets and other electronic devices with visual displays. According to The Vision Council of America, nearly 70 percent of American adults experience some form of digital eye strain.

Computer lenses differ from regular lenses in that they are specifically made to meet the unique visual demands of computer viewing. This will most likely include a special lens design, lens power and lens treatment which will maximize visual abilities and improve comfort when using digital devices. If you are spending large amounts of time on digital devices, computer lenses may benefit you whether or not you are currently wearing glasses.


Even trifocals and progressive lenses (which do have some lens power for intermediate vision) often don’t have a large enough intermediate zone for comfortable computer work.

Computer screens usually are positioned 20 to 26 inches from the user’s eyes. This is considered the intermediate zone of vision — closer than driving (“distance”) vision, but farther away than reading (“near”) vision.

Here are some of the functions and benefits which computer glasses offer.

  • anti-reflective coatings which greatly reduce the glare reflected from devices
  • computer-related eye problems such as digital eye strain, headaches, myopia control and dry eye
  • reduced posture and back/neck strain issues

Lenses that are offered with computer glasses:

  • Single vision computer glasses reduce the risk of blurred vision, eye strain, and bad posture. Single vision lenses are for any age computer user.
  • Occupational progressive lenses, such as the “office lens”, are multifocal lenses that correct near vision with an enhanced intermediate viewing zone which gives you more comfortable vision at the computer.  The position of the intermediate and near vision zones can be customized to your specific computer needs but are not usually recommended for longer distance tasks.


Sunglasses can give you instant Audrey Hepburn glamour, James Dean cool, or the rock star hipness of Bono. But they are much more than a fashion accessory. Their lenses are an essential tool in safeguarding the health of your eyes and the surrounding tissue, protecting your eyes and improving your vision at the same time.

In the ever-present battle against the sun’s dangerous ultra-violet rays, lens designers offer a multitude of options, such as polarization and mirror coat. The opticians at Urban Optiks will assist you in designing the perfect sunglass lenses for your visual needs.


Like your fingerprint; every face, frame fit, and prescription are unique and with today’s technologies, customized solutions can be created that have been personalized to your vision and lifestyle requirements.

With your prescription and frame in hand, our highly skilled opticians will use the Zeiss iTerminal 2 to perform an advanced fitting. Using a precision digital camera and computerized measuring system, the iTerminal 2 delivers measurements to 0.1mm accuracy. Traditionally, 1mm measurement increments were the most that could be achieved. In addition, the only position of wear measurements that were available were pupillary distance and ocular height. Now, with the iTerminal 2 we are able to measure for vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt and wrap, all of which are needed for complete prescription optimization.



Your vision is a precious gift, which should be preserved with care.

The majority of us live in a highly visual world and our eyesight is essential to our interpretation of that world.  Imagine what life would be like without our vision.  It is truly a special gift and should be preserved with care, not sacrificed for the sake of saving money.

How will you choose?

One of the most daunting aspects of acquiring new eyewear is the process of choosing frames.  There are many factors to consider; the technical aspects of the fit, the fashion component and what frames will work best for your prescription.  Can you really judge how a frame will fit your face and style without actually trying it on in person?

Our experienced opticians can help you sort through the many variables and talk you through making the right choice for your needs.  For instance, if you have a heavy prescription or are in need of amultifocal lens, there are certain frame shapes that will better accommodate those lens types.

Glasses are a medical device.

Frames aside, the lens is truly the most important component of the eyewear choice.  Lenses are a medical device and as such, should be chosen under the direct supervision of an optometric medical professional.  An optician can help you determine the best lens options for your combination of prescription and lifestyle.  For instance, if you are on a computer for several hours a day, there are specific lens styles and coatings that an optician can guide you towards, to help with that specific lifestyle need.  It is also important to mention that there are newer technologies that are not available from online retailers, i.e. digitally surfaced lenses.

Do you want to trust your eyesight to someone you don’t know?

A study published by the Journal of the American Optometric Association showed that over half of prescription eyeglasses purchased online either failed safety standards or fell below prescription specifications.  Vision safety, comfort and accurateness can not be confirmed when buying glasses online.

Unhappy with the eyeglasses, who will help?

If you are unhappy with the finished product, who can you turn to?  So many things can go wrong, and you will be forced to spend countless hours on the phone or emailing the vendor, and the vendor’s capability to troubleshoot your issues will be limited.  Not to mention, the costs associated with shipping and the value of your time. 

More expense over the long haul.

Ultimately, the glasses that are available online are typically mass produced out of the poorest quality of materials.  Glasses of that nature typically don’t hold their adjustments, and require more frequent repairs.  In addition, the life span can be as limited as 6 months to a year and will result in the need to purchase glasses more often.

Urban Optiks Optometry cares and can help address all your concerns.

We know that picking out glasses can be a challenging process and we are here to help.  We truly care about the satisfaction of our patients, how else would we be able to be so highly regarded on Yelp!?  We also know that some of our patients are concerned about the expense of new glasses.  While we can’t match online prices we do have a wide range of prices available for most budgets.  In addition, any frame you get from us will come with our guarantee of satisfaction and quality.


Urban Optiks is proud to provide the most advanced lens technology from lens innovators such as Carl Zeiss Vision, Shamir, Hoya and Essilor. Our highly trained opticians will guide you through the process of selecting the best lenses to fit your lifestyle, prescription requirements and visual needs. We are able to focus on many important factors during this lens selection process including comfort, appearance, durability, weight, safety and warranty.

Your optician will then select one of our premium optical laboratories for fabrication, surfacing, and coatings. Lens design drives the performance characteristics and digital surfacing delivers it. These premium lens manufacturers push the mathematical limits of progressive lens design to further improve patient attributes and create “virtual lenses” in the form of large mathematical data files that are used to control the surfacing process. Traditional surfacing was done using molds whereas, today’s digital surfacing is done directly on the lens using high-speed diamond laser cutting tools. The digital surfacing allows simultaneous control of multiple axes while cutting and polishing the lens surface. A modern free-form generator and polisher deliver the lens geometry and surface shape required within the tolerance of single microns, a precision never available before.


Lenses pioneered by Transitions Optical adjust their tint to protect your eyes from harmful UV light. When indoors, the lenses are clear and when outside, they become darker based on the amount of UV light they receive from the sun. Photochromic lenses are available in almost every lens design from single-vision to progressives. They come in a wide variety of lens designs and materials, including polycarbonate, trivex, and high-index.

Transitions Optical partners with other lens manufacturers to combine their photochromic technology with the lens manufacturers technology. For example, progressive lenses by Zeiss, Shamir, Hoya, and Essilor are all available with Transitions photochromic lens technology.


If you would like to learn more about Transitions, click here


Options, options, and more options! Regardless of your prescription or the frame you ultimately choose, there is a variety of lens treatments and coatings available which can enhance your visual experience and make a real difference in the health and quality of your vision. Scratch resistant treatments, anti-reflective treatments, UV protection and more are all readily available and can be combined to create the ultimate eyeglass lenses.


Your eyes. Your style. Your life.

The prescription your doctor writes for you is completely personalized for your eyes. But most progressive lenses are not: they use the same optics for many prescriptions. Your ZEISS Progressive Individual 2 lenses will be designed precisely for your prescription and manufactured with legendary ZEISS precision for superior performance. You’ll enjoy wide, spacious fields of clear vision – up to 50% larger* than ordinary progressives.

 Customized for your prescription, frame, and face

As a result, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • Custom designed for your exact prescription
  • Up to 50% larger fields of clear vision than ordinary lenses
  • Designed to fit the frame you choose, large or small
  • Designed for the way your lenses are worn, for sharper vision

The way you use your eyes is unique to you. You may spend more time than most focusing on one main distance (reading, computer work) or your life may emphasize constant refocusing for dynamic activities (driving, sports, gardening). New technology in ZEISS Progressive Individual® 2 lenses allows your eye care professional to enhance either the near or intermediate and dynamic viewing zones of your lenses to suit your visual lifestyle. You’ll benefit from outstanding vision for all distances, with extra vision support where you need it most.

It’s Only by ZEISS

Only select practices have been certified to fit this advanced lens. Trust our experience and knowledge to create a Zeiss Individual® 2 lens that is perfect for just one person – you. Ask us today how innovations like Zeiss Individual 2 lenses and PureCoat by ZEISS will allow you to be a part of the ultimate vision experience.

Founded in 1972, Shamir Optical Industry Ltd. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality progressive lenses. Famous for its Innovation, Technological Sophistication and rigorous Quality Assurance practices, Shamir is known for its quick response to changing consumer demands and its ability to custom design a wide range of progressive lenses, under the brand names Shamir Autograph II®, Shamir Creation®, Shamir Piccolo®, Shamir Attitude®, Shamir Genesis™ and Shamir Office™, the industry’s leading occupational lens.

Like fingerprints, no two eyes are exactly the same. Hoya’s approach to your vision correction is also one of a kind. Hoya combines specialized processes in optical engineering with high-tech knowledge of advanced materials to bend and manipulate light more precisely than ever before possible.

As one of the world’s leading provider of eyeglass lenses for over 160 years, Essilor’s number one priority has always been the customer. With customers in mind, Essilor works closely with eyecare professionals to provide innovative products that fit their lifestyles such as Varilux®, Crizal®, Xperio®, DEFINITY®, Airwear®, Thin&Lite®, and Transitions®.

Transitions lenses are available in nearly every lens material and lens design, including single vision, bifocals, and progressive lenses. The variable tint in Transitions lenses is available in gray and brown shades.

Transitions Optical partners with other lens manufacturers to combine their photochromic technology with the lens manufacturers technology. For example, progressive lenses by Essilor, Hoya, and Shamir are all available with the same Transitions photochromic lens technology.