If you wear glasses, you probably assume all glasses are about equal - as long as they match your prescription, you’re good to go. The reality is that new techniques in making lenses means all glasses are not created equal. High-definition is not just for TV and the movies. Now you can get HD glasses, too.
No Two are the Same
Differences in glasses start with the differences between your eyes. Whether you’ve noticed or not, no one’s face is symmetrical – the two sides are slightly different. The same is true of your eyes. One may be slightly higher or farther out from your nose. Those things affect the way your glasses work.
In addition to the differences in the position of your eyes, each of your eyes is unique. Just like fingerprints, no two eyes are exactly the same. Tiny differences in the surface of the lens and cornea – two parts of the eye that focus light – mean that each of your eyes needs its own prescription. It also means that even though other people may have the same basic prescription for glasses that you have, the way their eyes actually see through their lenses will be slightly different.
Your basic glasses prescription is intended to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. But the slight variations in your eyes may mean that you still don’t see clearly even with the right glasses prescription. High-definition lenses are working to correct that problem, starting with clarifying the lenses themselves.
“Free-form lenses” are made using new techniques that reduce the slight variations that can occur when lenses are made. These lenses are also sometimes called “digital lenses”. In addition to making the lenses to match a general prescription, manufacturers also take into account where the lens sits in front of your eye in your chosen frames, and what the angle is between your eye and the lens when you look up, down, and to the sides. This precision can help reduce glare, starburst, and halos around lights at night. The lenses can also give sharper vision and better peripheral or side vision. Several companies are manufacturing this kind of HD lens.
Another new development in lens manufacturing is wavefront lenses. These high resolution lenses start with the same technology that measures the eyes before lasik laser surgery is done. A special test measures how light reflects off the retina or back surface of the eye to take into account all the small aberrations in the shape of the eye. The only manufacturer making lenses with this method is iZon. Their WOW HD vision program creates each individual lens matched to the precise measurements of each eye. This allows for clearer vision including better depth perception, brighter colors, and crisper vision and may be able to help people who have had lasik surgery that did not fully correct their vision.
Almost everyone who wears glasses is a candidate for HD lenses. Because these lenses are made more precisely and require more measurements, the cost for the exam and the lenses may be slightly higher than for traditional glasses. If you wear glasses, it’s important to have regular eye exams to make sure your prescription is up-to-date and to check for any developing problems with your eyes. So be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional every year.