The world’s first infinity freeform lens has just been launched in Australia. Opticare, the suppliers of this German made freeform lens say it will enable eye care practitioners to deliver for their patients up to twice the reading and intermediate area of any other progressive lens currently available.
The team at Opticare is excited. Having partnered with a freeform lens manufacturer in Germany for the past seven years, this Australian independent lab is the first in the world to have access to its brand new Infinity freeform lens.
George Nasser, Opticare’s founder, said the new lens is revolutionary because it enables the eye care practitioner to optimise all three visual zones for the patient: distance, intermediate and near, by getting the patient to interact with visual simulation.
“This is very exciting. Until now there has only really been one lens design available – fixed with contours. With Infinity, the eye care practitioner can modify the visual zones of the lens on a computerised model to meet each patient’s lifestyle requirements. Soon you’ll also be able to make these adjustments via web, iPad or tablet as well.”
In the past… I’ve experienced nausea and dizziness when turning my head. I put these on and straight away felt very comfortable
Each of the zones can be varied within the following ranges:
D (Distance) range 10 – 80
I (Intermediate) range 10 – 20
N (Near) range 10 – 80.
The total DIN (Distance:
Intermediate: near) must equal 100.
Mr. Nasser said the ‘I’ value does not have a significant effect on the design and is therefore limited to 20. However, the higher the ‘D’ value, the larger the Distance zone; and the higher the ‘N’ value, the larger the intermediate and Near Zones and the shorter the corridor. So, for instance, for an ‘N’ value of 10, the corridor length is 10mm and for an ‘N’ value of 80, the corridor length is 7mm.
He said the result is a lens that provides significantly greater visual fields when compared with conventional freeform lenses. “For example, if you have a lens with a DIN of 40-20-40, you can expect to increase the distance field by 5 per cent; the intermediate fields by 60 per cent and the near field of vision by 20 per cent and 60 per cent in the 30 below.
As well as personalising the visual corridor, Mr. Nasser said an atoric front surface freeform combined with back surface freeform results in minimum distortion. “The redesigned backside PALs achieve the objectives of being able to widen the far, near and mid zones by 30 per cent and reduce side distortions by 30 per cent, while the front freeform surface results in a curve design that adjusts to suit all eye model rotations.”
Results from pre-launch testing and feedback from optometrists who are already selling the Infinity is extremely encouraging. “In testing the near zone, nine wearers out of 10 experienced a significant vision improvement, one wearer felt some improvement, and no-one at all said they didn’t experience any improvement,” said Mr. Nasser.
“When we tested for the mid zone, eight out of 10 wearers experienced significant improvement; two wearers felt significant improvement after two days of wear and again, no-one reported no improvement.”
Zel Woolf at Eyes Fantastic in Sunnybank said she always tries new lenses before making a recommendation and found the Infinity was “awesome” right from the start.
“In the past I haven’t been able to get used to multi-focals – I’ve experienced nausea and dizziness when turning my head. I put these on and straight away felt very comfortable.
“To fit the Infinity they measure the depth, width and angle for the individual patient, so the corridor is beautifully wide. Even when you turn your head, you’re looking through your prescription.”
William Magdic, an optometrist in Sydney’s suburb of Burwood said while no progressive lens do both distance and near fields of vision perfectly, the Infinity can at least offer some flexibility.
“Initially I thought it (the Infinity) was a bit of a gimmick but now that I’ve tried it I feel it does have a place among premium lenses,” said Mr. Magdic.
“I like the flexibility of the lens – I can choose exactly how much reading area I want or how much distance area I want – that’s important, particularly for people who have a special need – for example, they want the best vision for distance driving and still have something there for reading.
“Personally, I’ve never been comfortable reading with progressive lenses. Using the Infinity lens with maximum reading area, I find reading significantly improved in terms of quality of vision and comfort.
Mr. Magdic said fitting the lens is much the same as fitting any other lens. “It’s no more complicated than a normal fitting – you have to use your best judgement.” He said the Interactive Infinity Cylinder maps on Opticare’s website are useful because, “you can show the patient what happens if you play around with the fields and demonstrate the compromises that can occur by pushing the fields to the maximum extent”.
Helping to Compete
Mr. Nasser said the Infinity is available for all independent practices and will help him as an independent laboratory compete against the global lens manufacturers. “We’re here to support independent optometrists and we’ve got the backing of our German lens partner, who has also been supplying our freeform equipment
for the past seven years. It’s a solid partnership and with Infinity it has strengthened even further.”
The Infinity is available in clear, transitions, hi-vex, nupolar, drivewear and polarised materials.
The lens comes with recommended DIN values to help eye care professionals meet individual patient’s visual requirements:
Computer and reading
DIN – 10:10:80, DIN – 20:10:70
Near and general
DIN – 30:10:60, DIN – 40:10:50
Distance and general
DIN 50:10:40, DIN – 60:10:30
Distance use DIN – 70:10:20, DIN – 80:10:10
Interactive Infinity cylinder maps at opticare.com.au/infinity demonstrate how the visual zones can be individualised for each patient.
For more information about Infinity click here.