Leaving aside the topic of the materials used to make glasses or lenses for glasses, plastic or glass, there are a couple of additional topics that you may be interested in knowing: the way of manufacture and the treatments that can be applied to those lenses, something that can directly influence how you see through them.
As for the manufacture of lenses or moons, there seem to be two ways: the traditional and more popular for its cost and speed of manufacture, and the digital, which uses “computer-controlled equipment and is much more accurate.” Thanks to this second technique, so-called digital or “high definition” lenses have been manufactured.
The treatments that are applied to the surface of the lenses is another matter and it is something that you can optionally add to improve your viewing experience. For example, an anti-glare or blue light filter, which can help you if you spend a lot of time in front of your cell phone, tablet or computer.
I recently bought some digital lenses and applied a “premium” treatment, both from the French brand Essilor, and I share a little what I found out, including prices and specifications.
Also known as high definition. These lenses are made from precise computerized or laser “milling.” In theory, they should offer up to “six times” sharper or clearer vision (according to at least one reference), better peripheral vision, at night and better contrast. You should also be less affected by reflections and glare from lights.
If the equipment is available in your country (in Ecuador it does not seem to exist), you could even get glasses with the exact measure or prescription that your eye requires. Traditional lenses, due to the limitations of measurement and manufacturing tools, can only be designed in steps or jumps of 0.25 diopters. With «digital» technology you could be measured and obtain a digital lens with steps of 0.01 diopters. Surely this way you could adapt immediately and feel 100% comfortable with those lenses. If your exact measurement were 0.60, you wouldn’t have to force your eye to fit either a 0.50 or a 0.75 lens, which would be your only two options on a traditional lens.
The downside is that these types of lenses are more expensive. At a minimum, you should pay at least 25 or 30% more than normal lenses, if we talk about “generic” digital lenses. If they are brand name, the cost goes up much more.
For example, I bought Essilor’s “Eyezen” digital lenses for $ 130. In Ecuador, conventional lenses are usually around $ 30. These Eyezen lenses include a basic anti-reflective treatment, a “Light Scan” blue light filter and “Eyezen Focus”, an “enhancer that helps focus well and reduce eye strain.” Additionally, the optometrist knew to tell me that this “digital” benefit applies only to the lower part of the moon or “comfort zone.”
Treatments, Layers or Filters
Whether you buy normal or “digital” faceted lenses, you can add an anti-reflective coating, a blue light filter, or both, treatments that are applied to the surface of the lenses.
In this case there are also “generic” or branded layers of this type. In my country I can apply both generic layers, anti-glare and blue light filter, for around $ 60. A “premium” treatment can easily reach $ 100 (only the treatment, without the lenses or moons themselves).
For example, Essilor offers three variants of these treatments, with multiple protective layers: Crizal Easy UV ($ 79), Crizal Avance UV ($ 89) and Crizal Prevenzia UV ($ 100). These Crizal protections can only be put on digital lenses. You must request them when ordering the lens. They cannot be attached to a used lens afterwards. Or so the seller told me.
In this case, I was able to verify the difference between a generic treatment and that of Crizal. At least as far as anti-glare is concerned, Crizal is far superior. At first glance you could say that Crizal eliminates double or triple reflections from artificial light than a basic anti-glare.
To be honest, for several years I have used conventional lenses, with a basic or generic antiglare and I have never felt the need to look for something better. Now that I needed to update my lenses to a new size, I took the opportunity to try this new option and check if everything that is said about digital lenses is true. In addition, the sincere experience of the seller influenced me a little, which pointed out to me that since I used them, I had reduced his discomfort and tiredness after several hours in front of the computer.
As for the Crizal Avance UV protection that I added to them, I was especially interested in its anti-glare that was much superior to that of my normal lenses when viewed against the light and its other protections, which I considered important for those expensive digital lenses. Also, I already had references about this particular brand. The blue filter of the superior product Crizal UV Prevention was not necessary because of the filter that was already integrated in the Eyezen digital lenses. In addition, according to the vendor, the blue filter of Crizal Prevencia UV generates violet spots that are seen from outside the lens when lights are reflected on it.
In total, my investment was $ 130 + $ 89 for the lenses and protection (apart from the cost of the frame). If you work intensively in front of electronic devices, it might be worth it. However, I recommend before informing yourself well about the prices in your country about this type of lenses and alternatives. For example, I have read that a more convenient and high quality brand of lenses is Gunnar. In the case of the blue filter, I am not sure if it is necessary, since there are many applications and programs for mobile and cell phones that allow adding a blue filter to the screen.
References : AllAboutVision, VSPDirect, Eyezen, Reddit, Lifehacker
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