Dr. Myles Bokinac

A common perception amongst patients regarding prescription eyewear is that all lenses are the same. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Prescription lenses differ in the base material, tints, lens coatings and optical characteristics.

If we specifically discuss progressive lenses, there are more than 500 different progressive lenses available. These can be simplified into three basic types: conventional, high-definition and personalized lenses.

The first type is a conventional progressive. This lens is manufactured using the same technology we have been using for many years. When you look straight ahead you have the distance prescription; slightly lower is the computer distance and in the bottom is the reading prescription. Towards the edges are distorted areas of the lens that are optically unusable. These are a by-product of the manufacturing process. These distortions are frequently a cause of patient complaints about progressive lenses.

The second type is digital or high-definition progressives. This lens type uses computerized technology to minimize the peripheral distorted area. This widens all zones of the lens: distance, reading and especially the intermediate. This makes the lens easier to use and adapt to.

The newest generation of progressives are called personalized progressives. This lens couples the high-definition technology with the ability to create a lens optimized to the fit of the frame you choose. With a personalized progressive we take three additional measurements: faceform (how curved or flat the frame is across the front), vertex distance (the distance from the lens to your eye) and the pantoscopic tilt (how tilted from vertical the lens is). These three measurements are sent to the lab with your prescription and that allows the lens to be completely optimized to your prescription and the fit of your frame. This creates the widest field of view and least peripheral distortion, providing the best vision possible.

The lens is personalized to you and only you. If you had two different frames with personalized lenses they would have different prescriptions because the frames would fit differently. Have you ever experienced any of the following with your progressives: difficulty getting used to your progressive, bothered by the peripheral distortion, difficulty “finding the right spot,” noticing glare at night or noticing narrow field of vision? If you have, then a high-definition or personalized progressive lens may be the solution.

Call or visit our office for a no-charge consultation regarding your lens options. Our dispensary carries all three types of progressive lenses and has more than 800 frames available in-store.