As the presbyopic segment of the vision care population continues to grow, lens manufacturers continue to position and treat progressive addition lenses (PAL) as their flagship premium products.
Progressives also referred to as “no-line bifocals”. These lenses are similar to trifocals in that they have three different prescription areas for near, intermediate, and distance vision. Progressives differ from bifocals and trifocals in that the different zones are not separated by visible lines, but rather offer a natural, “progressive”, transition between the different powers on the lens. This eliminates the problem of “image jump” associated with lined multifocals and presents a more attractive appearance.
The upscale Baby Boomers who represent that market growth are always looking for the best. Hence, today’s PALs are offered (and often packaged) with top-of-the-line features such as the best lens materials and the finest lens options. As a result, they continue to make advances on a variety of fronts. The hottest innovations in progressive addition lenses are occurring in lens materials, new designs like short corridors, and Rx customizations like cast-to-prescription technology. These improvements expand the lenses’ capabilities as well as their appeal to patients.
Progressive addition lenses are ideal for first-time wearers. Their progressive optics virtually provides the natural accommodative vision lost due to aging. Of course PALs don’t come without some compromise. Their progressive optics creates special aberration challenges to distortion and marginal astigmatism.
With today’s new designs and lens materials almost every patient is a candidate for progressives. To accommodate today’s shallow dimension and smaller frames, short corridor versions have emerged. Shorter corridor progressives teamed with softer designs and less distortion, make progressive addition lenses as close to natural vision as technology can bring them. Even with “extreme” lifestyle activities (meaning activities that require a unique use of one’s vision), PALs are a great lens option in nearly any viewing situation.
Enhanced Reader Progressives
A Profile of Older Americans: 2001 by the Administration on Aging reveals that 24.3% of householders aged 65 and older had a computer and 42.6% of this group had Internet access. This is a good opportunity to consider enhanced reader progressives. These lenses offer a perfect solution for any near task enthusiast.
In the next decade, millions of Baby Boomers will greet their presbyopic years. They’ll join the ranks of other presbyopes who have active lifestyles and want to enjoy themselves unimpeded by their eyewear. Today’s progressive addition lenses offer that freedom.