Eye Matters
February 14, 2012
Super focus

If you have been watching television of recently, you may have seen an ad for some glasses called “Super Focus.” You may ask then, what is this super focus all about?{{more}}

Before I adequately answer this question, you need to understand something about the ageing eye. Shortly after birth, we develop an amazing focus range, acquiring the ability to see things very close to the eye. This is thanks, to a large extent, to the flexible nature of the lens within the eye. With increasing age, however, this lens gets firmer and firmer.

By the time we reach the age of about 40 years (give or take a few years), the ability of this lens to change shape decreases so much that reading glasses are required for seeing close up. This condition is called “presbyopia.” I wrote about this this several weeks ago. Presbyopia is corrected with either glasses, contact lenses or surgery. If the option of glasses is chosen, either reading glasses, bifocals (correction for far and near) or more recently multifocals are used. Multifocal or progressive lenses combine several focusing ranges into one.

The main disadvantage of progressive lenses are as follows: The reading area is limited, so when looking sideways one needs to turn ones head. The extreme periphery of the lenses, in other words, becomes distorted.

Super focus lenses have in fact been on the market for a few years now. They are gaining popularity, thanks to their advertising campaign.

Each frame contains a pair of unique focusing lenses that change their shape, imitating the way the natural, youthful eyes work. The advantage here is that due to a slider on the bridge of the frame, the entire lens focuses instantly on the distance or near, even in the periphery. This is an obvious improvement over progressive glasses.

Currently, the major disadvantages of these glasses are:

1. They cost over 2 times as much as multifocal(progressive) glasses,

2. Only 2 styles are available, and therefore

3. They are not as cosmetically appealing

The company that makes these glasses promises new styles in the future.

There is another solution recently made available for presbyopia. The “Empower” is the world’s first electronic focusing eyewear. This is meant to put control of your visual experience in your own hands. It alleges to give persons the lens power they want, just when they need it. At the touch of a finger, the full reading power needed is turned on and off as one likes.

So, readers, as you can see, the future looks very promising for presbyopes.

For more information, contact your eye care practitioner.

Have a great week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.com
Tel: 784 456-1210