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Essilor Reduces Swim Effect with Varilux S Series

Essilor has launched a lens it claims reduces the swim effect experienced when wearing progressive lenses by 90 per cent and increases field of vision by 50 per cent. Speaking at the launch event in...
April 26, 2013 12:00 pm

Essilor Reduces Swim Effect with Varilux S Series

Essilor has launched a lens it claims reduces the swim effect experienced when wearing progressive lenses by 90 per cent and increases field of vision by 50 per cent.

Speaking at the launch event in Sydney, Professor Mo Jalie, recognised internationally as an authority of the design of spectacles lenses, said “Essilor gave me a pair of Varilux S Series some months ago and I was astonished when I put them on by their performance”.

He went on to say that previously “if anyone asked me what varifocals I wear my honest answer would have been I can wear any of them”. Prof. Jalie said he has “a couple of requirements for a progressive lens”.

Those requirements include superb multi glare coating and the ability to put the lenses on and immediately “feel happy”. Having conducted a “very primitive test” with the Varilux S Series, he said he felt confident that this new lens from Essilor is superior to the Physio lens he has been wearing.

To automatically measure the dominant eye, a specific tool, named the 4D Tablet, has been designed to be used with the Visioffice.

“I look out of the window and see a row of trees – I point my nose at the middle one and swim my eyes to see how many trees remain in my view – of course it’s not the eyes behind the lenses that do the work, it’s the visual cortex – and my visual cortex tells me I can see far more trees with the S Series than I could with the Physio I was wearing before – and that surprised me.”

He described the Varilux as the “grandfather of progressive lenses” that all the other major global lens manufacturers sold when it was first released in 1959. He said the first progressive Varilux lens was sold in an unfinished form, ready to be back surfaced by Zeiss, Rodenstock and Hoya, then sold under their respective brand names. By the 80s, when the original patents were coming off, he said the lens designers at each of those companies, began to put together the technology to produce their own lenses.

“The geometry of the lens lends itself to good optical performance – no other lens manufacturer does that in April 2013” said Prof. Jolie.

Breaking the compromise

Essilor says its Varilux S Series lens is the first progressive lens to break the compromise between both wider fields of clear vision and stability during motion.

Speaking at the launch event, Helene de Rossi from Essilor Research and Development in France said this is achieved by combining three key technologies: Nanoptix; SynchronEyes and 4D Technology.

Nanoptix reduces swim effect by up to 90 per cent by breaking the lens into thousands of
tiny elements to stabilise beam deviation.
Ms. de Rossi explained it like this:

  • As both Base curve and Power impact beam deviation, their combination is optimised for each element.
  • The base of the front surface of each element is calculated to compensate the effect of power on deviation: the base curve decreases as power increases to stabilise beam deviation across the lens.
  • All the elements are connected as a unique lens to correct the wearer’s prescription without generating swim effect.

SynchronEyes takes into account the physiological differences between the left and right eyes, to maximise binocular fields of vision. The calculation of the two lenses is synchronised and each lens optimised to take into account these differences and maximise binocular fields of vision. The result is 50
per cent wider fields of vision.

According to Professor Jalie, 4D technology sounds like a “swish marketing term – but its not.” The forth dimension represents time. 4D technology ensures the dominant eye reaches its target ahead of the less dominant and plays an important role in the perception of space and reaction time.

To automatically measure the dominant eye, a specific tool, named the 4D Tablet, has been designed to be used with the Visioffice.

A competitive advantage

A broad mix of optometrists and optical dispensers from around the country attended the launch event, with representation from as far and wide as Tasmania and Northern Territory. It wasn’t surprising – this revolutionary lens developed and launched by Essilor provides independent optometrists with an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition on the ground and online, by providing patients with eyewear that offers superior vision absolutely tailored to their unique needs.