For most patients, the choices available have met their visual needs. For many years, we’ve had bifocals (with lines), progressive lenses (no lines), and reading glasses to improve reading vision and other near tasks. But innovation and technology has led to new advancements in reading eyewear. Some of these advancements will appeal to your “inner-techy” and other advancements will help meet the needs of patients in third world conditions. This article will profile some of these breakthroughs.
The SuperFocus lenses are actually made of two separate lenses, one rigid and the other flexible. Between the two layers is a clear fluid. On top of the eyeglasses is a bar that is used to focus the lenses by the shifting of the fluid between the eyeglasses. At this point the styles are limited and their cost starts at $700.
These glasses are also made of two pairs of lenses with layer of liquid crystals between them. The crystals are controlled by an electronic microchip imbeded in the temples of the frame. They need to be recharged. The eyeglasses can be set to change automatically when you tilt your head down for reading, or you may adjust them manually by sliding your finger along the temple. Empower Eyeglasses start at $1000.
Yes, both of these options are expensive and may not be for everyone. However, other variable focusing lenses have a role in providing eyewear in third world countries. One brand is “Eyejusters” which is made of a doublet of lenses, but there’s no fluid between them. The distance between the two lenses is adjustable which allows for individual fine-tuning of the vision.
Another brand is called “AdSpecs” which again has two lenses with a space between them. The space is filled with a clear fluid and then sealed once the best vision is obtained. Both Eyejusters and AdSpecs only come in limited prescription ranges but are prooving helpful in finding eyewear to help those less fortunate.