Optical lenses are a $1.8 billion-a-year industry in Canada, according to the latest figures from the Vision Council’s VisionWatch Canada report.

About 8.2 million pairs of lenses were sold in Canada in the 12 months preceding December 2016, with consumers paying an average of $223 per pair.

Just over half of the total pairs sold were single-vision lenses, while 31.8 per cent were progressives and 15.3 per cent were multifocals.

Progressive lenses differ between brands with their innovation. But, with a clear focus on protection and benefit to the consumer, the industry offers many options to meet the specific needs eyecare professionals seek as well as the utility and customization sought by those wearing them day-to-day.

This month, we hear what Transitions, HOYA, Plastic Plus and Essilor offer from their premium lineups.


Transitions Signature VII lenses are fully clear indoors with an optimal outdoor tint that is more responsive to UV than ever before thanks to Chromea7 technology. These lenses have the fastest fade back speed of any Transitions everyday lenses and are available in grey, brown and graphite green. They block at least 20 per cent of the harmful blue light indoors and over 85 per cent outdoors.

Transitions XTRActive lenses are for patients who are sensitive to light and/or are concerned about eye health, eye strain and fatigue. They offer extra protection from light with superior darkness outdoors, even in hot temperatures, and a hint of tint helps protect from harsh indoor lighting. They also activate behind the windshield of a car and are available in grey, brown and graphite green and also help to provide more protection against blue light by blocking at least 34 per cent of the harmful blue light indoors and 88 to 95 per cent of harmful blue light outdoors.

Transitions Vantage lenses are for patients who spend a lot of time outdoors and want vibrant outdoor vision. These are the first and only lenses that are virtually clear indoors and darken and polarize outdoors. Transitions Vantage lenses have variable polarization for crisper, sharper vision outdoors even in the brightest glare. They also reduce exposure to harmful blue light, blocking at least 34 per cent indoors and over 85 per cent outdoors.


The iD Protegrity is “one of the most technologically advanced lenses in the world,” according to Dale Mouscos, sales strategy and marketing supervisor for HOYA Vision Care Canada.

The progressive lens design is “fundamentally different” and incorporates a unique design process and technology that HOYA argues is “unmatched by any other lens manufacturer.”

iD Protegrity utilizes an Integrated Double Surface design and has an integrated progression on the front and back surfaces. The front surface is aspheric and contains the vertical progression component. The back surface is atoric and contains the horizontal progression component. When the two sides are integrated in the final product, both components represent a fully customized design built upon prescription and frame parameters.

The components of progression of iD Protegrity are distributed on both the front and back surfaces of the lens and depend on each other to function and cannot do so independently.

Normally all the progressive components for the refractive eye correction are positioned either on the back surface or on the front surface. This means choosing between a wide visual field with a long corridor length or a short corridor with a limited visual field.

HOYA’s technology integrates the best of both worlds: a short and effective vertical corridor length that makes excellent use of the eye’s natural rotation. The horizontal component is placed on the backside closer to the eye with a shortened vertex distance facilitating a wider visual field with minimal distortions.


Centennial Optical has added new Nikon Lenswear products to their distribution, in addition to Kodak Lens products and new designs in the Persona customized lens portfolio.

Centennial has added more material options to their CHOICE BluSelect brand, with availability in 1.50 and 1.56 indexes, Polycarbonate, 1.60, 1.67 and new 1.74 high index lenses.

These lens options are also available in their CHOICE brand digitally customized lenses.


Plastic Plus offered up its “Ultimate” FreeStyle and Progressive lenses as examples of its premium lenses.

Ultimate FreeStyle is a personalized progressive lens that is produced for each wearer individually, taking into account the different tasks, which defines his/her unique lifestyle.
Ultimate FreeStyle lenses change its optical performance, offering an advanced algorithm (LifeStyle Analysis Engine) that estimates the different aspects related to each wearer lifestyle. This engine has been developed using thousands of completed surveys, all of them carefully studied by a group of eye care professionals.

Reading a magazine is not the same as reading from electronic devices, such as tablets, so Ultimate FreeStyle adapts the reading visual fields taking into account each patient´s reading habits.

Ultimate Progressive Design Series represents the unique and complete customizable group of designs developed by IOT ophthalmic engineers. With any design offered under the Ultimate name, the wearer is getting a unique lens calculated using Digital Ray-Path, the technology that improves the lens performance for any gaze direction. Making a complete simulation of the real eye-lens model, each lens is designed considering any parameter singular of each wearer.


Varilux lenses are developed through the LiveOptics program which puts wearers at the heart of the design and systematically includes tests on real wearers as the final validation step. Second, Essilor believes eye health shouldn’t be an option. The Smart Blue Filter innovation has been embedded in every clear lens design of the Varilux range to protect the wearer’s eyes against harmful blue light.

Varilux quality is available to everyone. Varilux Physio 3.0, Varilux Comfort 3.0 and Varilux Freedom 3.0 all benefit from new technologies to offer completely natural vision to presbyopes as if they were not wearing eyeglasses.

For specific needs, eyecare professionals may turn to the Varilux specialized range, starting with Varilux Digitime, which allows them to fully enjoy their digital activities. The Varilux Stylistic wrap lens design allows the eyecare professional to select the appropriate base curve to fit any type of sports, fashion or oversized frames. Finally, Varilux Azio 3.0 is a progressive lens customized for Asian presbyopes according to their eye anatomy, facial anatomy and ergonomics.