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Seeing 20/20 in 2020

By Denis Langlois

Lenses are fast becoming a $2-billion-a-year market in Canada.

According to the latest Canada Market Overview report by The Vision Council Research, Canadians purchased 8.5 million pairs of corrective eyewear lenses over the past year.

The value of the lenses rose from about $1.88 billion in the year prior to $1.9 billion.

Most, at about 53 per cent, of the lenses purchased over the past 12 months in Canada were single-vision, while 31 per cent were progressive and nearly 15 per cent were multifocal lenses.

The lens industry has been climbing in value for years, according to the report, which says about 66.6 per cent of Canadians use prescription eyeglasses.

Optical companies are continuing to respond to this rising demand for lenses and the changing needs of consumers by launching new products in the Canadian marketplace and beyond.

In Canada for 2020, several lens companies have new products to help people achieve 20/20 vision and/or protect their eyes from potentially damaging light.

At HOYA, iD LifeStyle 3 lenses, which include design variations that are specifically tailored to presbyopes’ active lifestyles, are the latest addition to HOYA’s premium progressive product line.

Equipped with HOYA’s premium-patented technologies, such as Binocular Harmonization Technology and iD (Integrated Dual Side) design for precise and effortless focusing, iD LifeStyle 3 is HOYA’s response to changing vision challenges. The three design variations are easy to recommend, do not require extensive consultation procedures and provide great adaptation and satisfaction rates.

Recently, HOYA Vision Care Canada announced the launch of their new national 24-hour service program available on uncut iD Lifestyle 3 lenses.

The 24-hour service commitment will replace the 48-hour program that launched in April 2015 with significant success.

“It is our intention to provide independent eye care professionals with the fastest possible service on a premium lens with HOYA’s most durable anti-reflective coating available on the market. This is just another way that we demonstrate our ability to provide solutions that enhance the success of our valued business partners” said Ahmos Henry, president of HOYA Vision Care Canada.

HOYA’s 24-hour service program is currently available in 1.50, 1.50 Transitions and 1.53 with Super HiVision EX3 or Super HiVision anti-reflective coatings. It is HOYA’s intention to expand the availability in the coming months to offer even more choice and flexibility.

For more information about HOYA Vision Care Canada, contact the customer care team at 1-888-258-4692.

Meanwhile, at Transitions, Signature GEN 8 lenses are engineered with new proprietary technology that delivers the best overall photochromic lens performance.

The lenses fade back to clear up to 35 per cent faster than Transitions Signature lenses and activate up to a Category 3 darkness up to 30 per cent faster for a better light protection.

Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses also provide the ultimate UVA, UVB and harmful blue light protection because they offer indoor and outdoor protection.

Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses block at least 20 per cent of harmful blue light indoors and over 87 per cent of harmful blue light outdoors.

Additionally, eight out of 10 of those wearing Transitions Signature GEN 8 were less bothered by bright light and changing light.

“Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses offer a new frontier of performance. This new frontier of performance is the answer that consumers were waiting for: a high overall performance with UV and harmful blue light protection, including responsiveness, darkness, full indoor clarity and long-lasting quality to make Transitions the perfect day-to-day lenses.”

For materials to help consumers see the benefits of Transitions Signature GEN 8, eyecare professionals can guide consumers to the new Transitions consumer website which includes:

a light sensitivity quiz to help patients learn how light impacts their eyes and life daily and offers suggestions for products that may help lessen sensitivity to light; and a Transitions Virtual Try-On tool – a virtual mirror that allows consumers to combine lens colours and mirrors with popular frame choices to simulate the experience of wearing Transitions lenses in different light conditions.

At Nikon, the company is launching a new SeeMax Infinite lens, which is the first single-vision lens that offers everyone personalized sensitivity optimization.

The all-new vision sensitivity personalization ensures the lens is intelligently designed to cancel the type of aberration which a lens wearer is more sensitive to.

“Broadly speaking, there are two main types of residual aberrations. Some wearers will be more sensitive to oblique astigmatism, while others experience greater sensitivity to power error,” Nikon says.

The unique personalization parameter can only be measured with Nikon’s proprietary iPad application. This new lens is customizable and available in a wide range of materials and options.

The lenses provide the sharpest vision possible and natural vision when scanning from side to side. Nikon says the lenses also feel like they’re tailor-made for the patient’s vision and allow wearers to easily go from contact lenses to glasses.

At Plastic Plus, founder and CEO Paul Faibish says his company’s new anti-reflective coating, Crystal Clear, offers a lens with virtually no residual colour or reflections that enhances the look of the lens and allows wearers to see the world as it is. 

“There’s virtually no residual colour and the reflections are at only 0.6%. It’s probably one of the clearest lenses in the world,” he says. 

Crystal Clear multi-coating allows a maximum transmission of light through the lens of 99.4 per cent, making it one of the most transparent lenses available on the market. 

Plastic Plus is the first vendor to bring this anti-reflective coating technology to North America. 

“It’s an excellent product,” says Faibish. “I’ll put it against anybody else in the industry.” 

At Essilor, after five years of research and over 100,000 vision parameters analyzed, Essilor has developed a unique experience in precision vision: AVA.

The AVA experience is based on two technological pillars: the Vision-R 800, a new phoropter that includes a patented advanced optical module and a smart refraction program for a final subjective refraction value within 0.01 diopter; and a precise prescription integrated into advanced Essilor lens designs, including the Eyezen and Varilux lenses in 0.01D increments.

“According to Essilor’s latest research, 95 per cent of people’s vision sensitivity is greater than the standard 0.25-diopter measurement,” explains Martine Ahier, senior marketing manager brands & products.

“For example, with the right corrections, our eyes can detect 200 shades of blue. However, the phoropters and subjective refraction techniques haven’t really changed in a very long time. Today, the Vision-R 800 phoropter makes refraction more precise, while lens surfacing technologies enables integrating this more precise prescription in the lens.”

The continuous and simultaneous changes of sphere power, cylinder axis and cylinder power of the Vision-R 800 phoropter enables reaching the final refraction more quickly, and tests assist the practitioner in conducting the whole refraction procedure. These features also create a more comfortable experience for the patient. 

At the end of a session, the Vision-R 800 phoropter offers the opportunity to compare refractions in a customized, immersive real-life scenario, making patients more confident.

“We firmly believe that the AVA experience can benefit their patients and their practice,” explains Ahier. “It’s a tool to give their patients the precision they deserve and to differentiate themselves from their competitors. It has been shown, in a pilot conducted in Germany, to drive more patients in-store, add value to the eye exams and convert more patients from the eye exam to lens dispensing.”

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