Latest developments in spectacle technology

The good news is that developments in lens technology have improved in leaps and bounds recently, making spectacles a much better fit — literally — for anyone who needs to wear them.

“Traditionally, a patient’s lenses would be produced using calculations based on averages,” ex- plains Michael Potter, of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. “But now modern computer-aided Free Form technology, which has expanded dramatically over the last decade, means that glasses can be specifically tailored to fit an individual’s one-off requirements.”

This means that if you need glasses for computer work, you can have lenses specially de- signed for the purpose; or, say, if you need glasses for playing golf or sailing.

Different shades of frame

A patient may want a pair of lightweight rimless spectacles and a pair of wraparound sports glasses. “These are, of course, two completely different types of frame,” says Potter.

“Opticians have the skills to accurately measure the distance and angle of the lenses in front of the eye, the curvature of the frame, the distance between the patients eyes and the height at which they will look through the frame — and then factor all that information in- to the lens design.

“Extreme exposure to bright sunlight can bring on problems such as cataracts,” says Potter.

“The result will be two different pairs of glasses with two totally different powers, but with identical vision for the patient.”

Use protection

UV block lenses, which offer protection from the sun, are also worth considering. “Extreme exposure to bright sunlight can bring on problems such as cataracts,” says Potter. “So it is desirable to have UV protection. Tinted prescription sunglasses can absorb up to 400nm to protect your eyes from harmful radiation.”

Always consult professional advice to get the best for your needs. These days, says Potter, spectacle frames are available in an infinite variety of designs, finishes, colours and innovative materials. “There’s a huge proliferation of products and it continues to evolve,” he says, “while spectacle lens technology has never been higher.”