By David Goldberg
Vision declines, but it doesn’t have to strip older generations of their independence and quality of life.
Canada’s population of people 65 and over is expected to double over the next 25 years and with new advancements in lens technologies, eye care professionals can help patients sustain good eyesight for years to come.
Of course, the pandemic has only amplified our use of digital devices and exposure to artificial blue light, which has triggered a number of issues, according to Martine Ahier, senior marketing manager at Essilor Canada.
“The connected world we live in, with its accelerated pace and multitasking, poses a real
challenge to people 55 years and older in terms of vision,” she says.
For these challenges, Ahier recommends Essilor’s Varilux X series lenses and explains how they relieve eye strain for the wearer.
“While providing the ultimate stabilized vision in motion, the lenses extend near vision, with a sensation of volume and depth of vision corresponding to the new vision behaviours created by the use of all these devices.”
Most lens companies are developing their own digital progressives to help wearers cope with the demands of the modern age when people get “Zoom Fatigue.”
Joseph Coward at Dr.’s Choice Optical says the ClearView® line of digital progressives is something the 55+ group would find helpful.
“We offer lens designs for a variety of activities, such as our Scholar® lens for reading/computer, our Horizon® lens for driving and our Premium® lens for a balanced approach,” says Coward.
“Also, to ease the transition from single-vision to progressive lenses, we now offer our Relaxed® lens, which has a much more subtle reading zone than our traditional designs.”
20/20 DAY OR NIGHT
More than two billion people around the world suffer from presbyopia – the eye’s inability to focus on nearby objects.
Boomers and seniors are the majority of people with this condition.
“The need for a good multifocal lens increases with age,” explains Dale Mouscos, marketing manager at HOYA Vision Care Canada.
Later this year, HOYA will launch iD MySelf, taking binocular performance to the next level.
Mouscos says patients will enjoy enhanced focus switching, with significantly reduced eye and head movements.
“It offers stable vision with less distortion and swaying effect. Patients can also benefit from improved near and intermediate visual width and gaze transition, without compromising on the far vision.”
Another struggle for the 55+ group is the worsening of eyesight in low-light conditions, but new lenses from Centennial and Rodenstock could help patients improve driving vision at night and in bad weather.
The Impression 2 progressive lenses use Pupil-Optimized Correction to improve mesopic and scotopic vision for older adults.
“Rodenstock has scanned and measured over a million pairs of eyes and uses this data to apply pupil-optimized correction in the individual customization of these new lenses,” says Rick Leroux, Centennial’s director of marketing and communications.
“By taking pupil size and dependencies into consideration, the negative influence of spherical aberration on vision can be minimized at every single point in the lens to achieve pin-sharp vision at all distances, including in low-light conditions.”
PRACTICING SAFE SUN
Having good lenses for sun protection is also essential for maintaining good eye health at any age.
“It has been documented that chronic UV radiation exposure has been linked to cataracts and may be linked to age-related macular degeneration*,” explains Arnaud Rajchenbach, marketing manager at Transitions.
Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays and help protect from harmful blue light indoors and out…and they look great.
Falling in line with the colour lenses craze, the Signature Gen 8 comes in several vibrant style colours, including sapphire, amethyst, amber and emerald.
Seniors looking for extra protection from light outdoors, indoors, and even in the car, can also try Transitions XTRActive lenses, with the option of fashionable style mirrors as well.
A recent study found that thousands of Canadians each year suffer from chronic migraines, with the blinding pain forcing many to put their lives on pause.
However, there is some relief in sight.
Plastic Plus vice-president Jason Faibish points to Avulux, the only clinically proven lens for migraine pain and light sensitivity relief.
“This lens filters as much as 97 per cent of the most painful, migraine-triggering light, in the blue, amber, and red light spectrum,” says Faibish, “which reduces the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks and relieves light sensitivity.”
In a study of its own customers, 90 per cent of Avulux wearers were able to continue their daily activities after starting to wear the glasses and 74 per cent of wearers were able to reduce their medication to manage their migraine symptoms.
* Taylor HR, West S, Munoz B, et al. The long-term effects of visible light on the eye. Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110,99-104.