By Jody Johnson-Pettit

Ensuring children can see properly and that their eyes are protected is of utmost importance to lens manufacturers.

According to Essilor Canada, one quarter of school-age children in Canada require some form of vision correction.

“The Essilor Junior program combines lenses and coatings that provide children with clear vision and eye health protection with a 15-month lens replacement warranty covering prescription change or breakage,” says Sarah Latendresse, marketing manager at Essilor Canada.

The Crizal anti-reflective coating offers clarity of vision and Airwear lens material is 12 times more resistant to impact than standard plastic as well as up to 35 per cent thinner and 50 per cent lighter.

Launching in June, the Eyezen+ First lenses are enhanced single-vision lenses that provide a more complete solution than ordinary single-vision lenses.

“They help to relax and protect the eyes everyday from screen exposure,” says Latendresse. Eyezen+ lenses have Wavefront Advanced Vision Enhancement technology to provide sharper vision than ordinary single-vision lenses. Eyezen+ lenses utilize Essilor’s Smart Blue Filter feature, which blocks at least 20 per cent of harmful blue-violet light coming from devices, indoor lighting and even the sun.

Centennial Optical, meanwhile, has created CHOICE BluSelect polycarbonate lenses with Ultra AR, which can provide protection from scratches, reflective glare, high-energy visible and ultra-violet light and injuries from impact.
“CHOICE BluSelect lens materials block the full UV spectrum and the highest energy, most harmful portion of the HEV light spectrum,” says Rick Leroux, director, marketing and communications (Lenses) at Centennial.

Centennial also offers finished polycarbonate lenses in Transitions Signature and XTRActive, as well as SunChangers photochromic lenses with Ultra AR.

“Since children tend to spend their time going between indoors and outdoors, they may want the convenience of photochromic lenses,” says Leroux. “In addition to changing automatically from clear to dark, these lenses also provide UV and some HEV.”
There is a special children’s lens on the market – The Shaw lens – which was developed and created by Dr. Peter Shaw, specifically designed for children with special eye conditions such as lazy eye.

The Shaw lens is a technology company that supplies free-form, ophthalmic lens designs for the treatment of binocular vision disorders and eliminates the unwanted, coincidental binocular side effects of eyeglasses.

“It is well known that eyeglasses can introduce magnification and prism differences causing impairment as to how the eyes team together,” says Shaw. “The Shaw lens resolves these differences through a patented, novel, game theory, computer iterative method involving over 30,000 calculations per design to optimize a lens design that is both isophoric and iseikonic.”

Shaw lens designs are available in most lens classes including single-vision, progressive addition and bifocals in photochromic, polarizing and clear options. Shaw Lens technology is particularly helpful for patients that have or are indicated to be at risk to adapt poorly to eyeglasses typically due to the consequences of correcting anisometropia.
Shaw Lens technology is ideally suited for the correction for serious, sight-threatening, childhood vision disorders of amblyopia and strabismus.

Shaw Lens is 100 per cent Canadian technology. In Canada, the main supplier of the patented technology is Plastic Plus.

Transitions lenses are also an ideal choice for children, as one pair does it all, seamlessly. “They block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays and they help to filter harmful blue light both indoors and especially outdoors, where the sun is the largest source of blue light,” says Patience Cook, director, North America marketing for Transitions. “They also reduce glare associated with bright sun and harmful blue light, allowing children to see their best in any light condition – reducing eye fatigue and improving visual comfort.”

Cook adds that childhood is a critical time in development of the eye, when good and bad eye care habits are formed.

“Regular eye care and protection habits should begin early in life. A child’s crystalline lenses are not fully developed to adequately filter UV rays and harmful blue light; therefore, they are more vulnerable to UV radiation and increased transmission inside the eye than an adult.”

All Transitions lenses block 100 per cent of UV rays and help protect against harmful blue light from digital devices, screens and especially bright sun. Transitions Signature VII lenses, are the fastest-adapting and most popular lenses. Transitions lenses are also available in sturdy, lightweight, shatter and impact resistant materials.