All over my industry people are writing articles about “The Digital Difference.” I can not open an optical trade magazine without seeing a write up about why digitally processing optical lenses is a big deal. The term “Freeform” is plastered everywhere and is the term used to describe the precision, multi-point surfacing of the back and or front surface of an optical lens.
I realize however, that the consumer is not as aware of this exciting change in the optical world so I find myself routinely explaining why people feel like their glasses are suddenly a high definition experience.
For too many years traditional optical lens products including progressive (multifocal) lens designs have been manufactured in a “one size fits most” process. The end result is just that, a lens that will provide you with the ability to see but may not provide you with the quality of vision you hoped for. Over the last 20 years the digital age of lens processing has been breaking ground and as world technological breakthroughs happen the science of good vision runs to keep up. Thus, the digital age of lens manufacturing. Through enhanced and more precise processing methods the optical world has opened our eyes to what good vision really is. Rather than lenses that are “one size fits most” we get a more custom tailored product that is designed and processed with our own unique measurements and lifestyle in mind.
The curvatures of the front and back surface of an optical lens ultimately dictate lens power and clarity for the end user. With the ability to surface the back and or front of an optical lens in a more targeted multi-point process we get sharper cleaner optical performance in all lens designs from single vision to progressives. Some of the top labs in the country are strictly digital now and while the old ways are cheaper, the compromised optical performance hardly seems worth it.
Several years ago I asked my optical lab to make my very simple single vision lenses digitally, in a trivex lens material with the best anti-reflective lens coating available. The result was remarkable. I suddenly saw with such great enhancement that it made me a little disoriented for a few hours. My brain was not used to processing the world with such sharp clarity and I was stunned at what a truly miraculous difference those lenses made.
Digital is different but the quality of vision and performance can not be achieved through processing alone. The care taken by your Optician in measuring you and providing you with frame options that fit well with both your look and the visual demands of your daily life are imperative to the “digital difference.” If your optical professional is not offering you that level of quality vision and service then it may be time for you to seek the digital difference in a place that understands the real value of spectacular optical products.