June 28, 2005 With the world’s baby boomers beginning to experience the inevitable symptoms of aging eyes, selecting the right eyeglass lenses is an issue that goes beyond trendy looks. According to recent studies, the ability to see clearly when looking down has been linked to an increased risk of slips and falls. Fortunately for boomers who want to maximise their visual ability and avoid the tell-tale aging signs of reading glasses or bifocals as a solution for aging eyes, a new breakthrough technology is available in progressive lenses, also known as no-line bifocals, which combines the benefits of a single-vision look with an expanded field of view.
The new technology from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is designed to treat presbyopia, an age-related eye condition that affects people over 40 and makes it difficult to focus on objects close up. In addition to offering the near, far and intermediate viewing zones available in traditional progressive lenses, DEFINITY Progressive Lenses have a unique FOURTH ZONE, located at the bottom of the lens that combines with enhanced optics for ground level viewing. In a recent clinical study, patients preferred the lens overall against the traditional market leading progressive lens for ground-view tasks.
"When it comes to looking down, traditional progressive lens wearers often have limitations," said Arkady Selenow, O.D. at Manhattan Vision Associates. "Anything that requires a clear ground-level view may be more difficult, such as going up and down stairs, walking on uneven surfaces, or stepping off a curb."
Because lenses designed for treating presbyopia presume that wearers' downward gaze is needed for reading and other close work, the correction provided at the bottom of the lens is not always well-suited for viewing ground-level objects. In fact, the ability to see clearly when looking down can become such a problem that wearers sometimes even take their lenses off when looking down. "I used to have problems adjusting to my old progressives and I would even take them off just to see a bit clearer when looking down, but now I don't have to," said Anne Heffler, a presbyope who recently saw how the new technology works first hand.
For people with presbyopia who want to maximize their ability to see at ground level and help reduce their risk of slips or falls as a result of blurred vision when looking down, consider the following steps:
1 - Use care and take your time. When approaching stairs or other changes in your walking path, make sure you are comfortable with your view before proceeding.
2 - Be sure to visit your eye care professional once a year. Vision changes regularly and the ability to see clearly when looking down may be related to the prescription rather than the quality of lenses.
3 - Choose your lenses before your frames. When trying to stay within a budget, it's more important to spend money on the quality of the lens rather than on the look of the frames.
4 - Be cautious of super small, high-fashion frames. Although they may be stylish, your vision will be much better with a frame that is large enough to provide a clear ground view.
5 - Ask for a lens that provides a wide field of view. The width of the viewing zone can affect depth perception and, as a result, impact the way you see things when looking down.
6 - Consider a progressive lens with an additional viewing zone specially designed for looking down. Currently, this new technology is available only in DEFINITY Lenses from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. These lenses combine a wide field of view and additional FOURTH ZONE for a unique GROUND VIEW ADVANTAGE.
Presbyopia is an inevitable condition that affects people over 40. By the age of 55, it affects nearly everyone, including those people who never wore glasses before. Even though the condition is unavoidable, the new breakthrough technology makes it possible to avoid the tell-tale aging signs of bifocals and reading glasses while maximizing the available viewing field, so you're not missing out on what's right at your feet.