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.

The Exam Component

The first component is the prescription itself.  Having a highly experienced optometrist examine your eyes using the latest digital exam equipment is the first key to success. Using digital exam equipment, the optometrist can arrive at a prescription that corrects down to a tenth of a diopter, whereas, traditionally, prescriptions were written in quarters.

The Precision Fitting

With your prescription and frame in hand, you are ready for the second component. 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. 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.

The Lens Designer & The Laboratory

Your optician will choose a lens design that best suits your particular lifestyle needs and then send your order to a premium lab for digital surfacing. Lens design drives the performance characteristics and digital surfacing delivers it. Lens companies like Hoya Vision Care 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 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 delivers the lens geometry and surface shape required within the tolerance of single microns, a precision never available before.

The Benefits

If all the components of this process are given their due attention, the resulting lenses will produce far better vision for their wearer.  Here is a list of some of the benefits you may experience:

  • Good binocularity & peripheral optics
  • Improved clarity & reduced distortion
  • Sharper, crisper vision & image quality
  • Increased contrast sensitivity, makes colors brighter & details sharper
  • Wider fields of clear view
  • Magnification differences between areas are reduced
  • Reduction in higher order aberrations (starbursts, halos) that occur in lenses as a result of traditional processes
  • Less glare at night

The technology for producing these lenses is complex.  Due to research, development and production costs, digitally surfaced lenses are priced higher than traditionally surfaced.  However, for those patients who want the best vision that science can currently provide, digital surfacing provides the mechanism to deliver it.