By Troy Patterson

Looking into 2017’s trends for lens technology, the focal point remains on protecting against high-energy visible, ultraviolet and other potential damaging light sources.

The industry will also be reaching out to consumers about the importance of protecting the eyes against light sources that can lead to age-related macular degeneration.

Companies are looking to put their technological prowess in the eye of optical professionals, as the competitive marketplace continues to change in 2017, impacting both independent businesses and large companies.

TRANSITIONS

Transitions is focusing in 2017 on its continuing efforts of educating consumers about the importance of protecting the eyes against harmful blue light, both indoors and outdoors.

“What most people don’t know is that the sun is the largest singular source,” says Patience Cook, director of North America Marketing for Transitions lenses. “Long-term exposure to harmful blue light has also been linked to increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. The conversation around harmful blue light has increased recently, but Transitions lenses have always helped reduce exposure to harmful blue light.”

Transitions will also focus on style trends in 2017, like larger frames, and how lenses can enhance styles by matching lens colours to complement frame colours.

At Transitions Academy 2017, the “Finding the Style in Lenses” course will look at style trends and what’s popular in the dispensary, Cook says. Tips from industry experts, including Transitions ambassadors Coco & Breezy, will show how they pair Transitions lenses with different frame styles.

“The uptrend of eyeglasses has created an opportunity to bring the stylish side of lenses into the conversation,” she says.

All Transitions lenses are available in grey and brown with Transitions Signature VII and Transitions XTRActive also available in graphite green.

PLASTIC PLUS

The Be Free Lens is the focus for Plastic Plus kicking off 2017, which brings to market the first free-form invisible bifocal.

The new lens has an aesthetic appeal, as it has no line or segment dividing lens, and is available in “virtually every material.”

“There were other invisible flattops, invisible bifocals in the past, but with this one there’s no image jump between distance and reading,” says president Paul Faibish. “It’s a very good lens.”

Digitally designed to match any prescription lens, the product is more advanced than conventional bifocals and offers patients “superior optics” that were only previously available in digital SV or progressive lenses.

The lens is expected in the first quarter of 2017, which is targeting traditional “flat top wearers” who may have once used similar lenses. Switching to the new product would allow them enjoy the advantages free-form and personalized lenses can provide.

Looking back at 2016, Plastic Plus saw its “busiest year yet,” Faibish says, and the company hopes to capitalize on the dedication of independent practices, who are recognizing the value in supporting Canadian independent labs like Plastic Plus, which does work locally and doesn’t outsource.

CENTENNIAL

Centennial Optical’s plans for 2017 will demonstrate how their CHOICE BluSelect family of lenses continues to grow.

Rick Leroux, director of marketing and communications, said the company has increased the number of lens options, including the UV and highenergy visible light-blocking lenses.

Available in 1.50, 1.56, 1.60 and 1.67 indexes, as well as polycarbonate, the CHOICE BluSelect lenses are available in single-vision and as digitallycustomized progressive and office lenses.

“With health-care professionals warning of an AMD epidemic, the need for effective protection from the highest energy visible blue light is becoming increasingly apparent,” Leroux says.

Centennial’s lenses provide full protection against both UV and HEV light. While the blue light inhibitor does create a slight greyish tint, CHOICE BluSelect lenses are virtually clear and compatible with all anti-reflection coatings.

The lenses also have cosmetic advantages over tinted and anti-blue-light product coatings that exhibit a high blue reflectance.

HOYA

HOYA is promoting two new lens designs in 2017 that use the company’s technology for both eye correction and protection.

The new lenses include the progressive lens design in spring 2017 as well as a new light reactive lens.

“HOYA will soon be launching the highly personalized iD Mystyle 2 progressive lens – a lens with the most sophisticated manufacturing technology in the world backing its unprecedented performance,” says Hoya Vision Canada president

Ahmos Henry. “Furthermore HOYA will also be launching its proprietary photochromic product “Sensity” after its remarkable success in Europe.

The iDMyStyle 2 is HOYA’s most advanced premium progressive lens using three of HOYA’s patented technologies, with over 7.5 billion lens variations offering “individualisation and clear,stable vision every time and everywhere.”

Sensity lenses are the company’s other most recent innovation in photochromic lenses, targeting both performance and user comfort.

Stabilight technology ensures consistent performance in different climates and seasons, with excellent contrast and glare reduction using Sensity’s deep, natural colours, as well as their “exceptional optical quality and durability.”

The lenses darken swiftly while outdoors, fade quickly indoors, provide 100% protection against UV-A and UV-B rays, and are available in bronze brown, silver grey and green.

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