Occupational or office lenses are an important and growing sector of spectacle prescribing and dispensing. Despite it taking around thirty years to grow occupational lenses to one third of near vision corrections, this segment of the market continues to grow, as it should.
There are some who feel that all single vision reading prescriptions should be replaced by occupational designs. Although that sentiment might be a bit extreme, it is based on sound thinking. An early presbyope may do very well with say +1.25 single vision readers in a lookover/ half eye frame setup. They still have active accommodation to see very close (e.g. food labels at 20cm) and enough depth of focus to extend beyond 1m. As more mature presbyopes will tell you, once the add is over 2.00D and residual accommodation is useless, reading and seeing at varying distances within arm’s length becomes problematic and frustrating.
…occupational lenses can act as stress relieving near lenses for emmetropes and ametropes in general
Early presbyopes and those upgrading from low powered reading glasses are not necessarily the best candidates to switch into full progressive lenses. They are the most likely patients to baulk at the cost and become upset when they find their reading field is tiny compared to their previously good unaided vision or what they obtained with single vision reading glasses. They also dislike the ‘swim effect’ caused by peripheral distortion and the altered spatial perception inherent in progressives. They might say “I paid AU$1,200 to have all these limitations?” So, despite them gaining an increased range of near vision while still being able to see far away, there are just too many compromises.
Enter occupational lenses.
WHO, WHAT, WHEN…
Let’s take a look at the patients who are ideal for occupational lens designs.
Emmetropes, Ametropes, and Students
With increasing use of digital devices and awareness surrounding digital eye strain, occupational lenses can act as stress relieving near lenses for emmetropes and ametropes in general. They can also be prescribed for children, teens, students, office workers, tradies and so on.
These patients will find occupational lenses easy to adapt to and most new users will barely be aware of any discernible differences in spatial distortion compared to regular single vision lenses. Users report their eyes feel more relaxed and they’re able to carry on with their near vision tasks for longer before symptoms kick in. If there are concerns about exposure to blue light, then a blue blocking filter can be added for extra peace of mind. Some also like them prescribed as sunglasses, for reading or working outdoors and on the beach.
There are several occupational lenses on the market which are designed to allow presbyopes to see at varying distances within arms’ length and even beyond. In general, the longer the range of vision, the narrower the field. Early presbyopes, in the right design, often end up wearing their occupationals full time as they can see well at far and near.
It’s important to tweak and modify the fitting height to suit individual patient postures and the position of computer screens and monitors they use. For example, theatre nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists, technicians, and pilots (among many others) need to view a variety of monitors at varying distances and heights. Some monitors, instruments, and tools may be below the classic line of sight, others may be perched on instruments and tables above the line of sight, while some may also be suspended from the ceiling or cabin. Making sure we get it right for these patients is critical as a mistake reading an instrument could be life threatening.
Car passengers may need to see their laptops, phones, centre information consoles as well as roof mounted LCD video displays or those mounted behind head rests and so on. Similarly, airplane passengers need to see things at all sorts of angles and distances.
Making sure we get it right… is critical
Tradespeople are another category who greatly benefit from the extended range of focus that occupational lenses offer. Seeing fine detail, part numbers, working in cupboards, rooves, under houses, and seeing plans, instruction manuals, and working with power tools are some examples of the visual challenges they face. Poor vision can lead to increased workplace injuries and dangerous mistakes.
OFFER A SECOND PAIR
Although many presbyopes are generally happy with the great progressive lenses we have today, if we ask the right questions it’s likely that they’ll tell you their progressive lenses are limiting at times.
Reading in bed is often an issue and literally, a pain in the neck for some. Others experience neck and shoulder issues arising from the chin up posture required when using long channel design progressives while performing common prolonged computer work. The solution comes with a second pair of custom prescribed occupational office lenses, which will make them happier, healthier, less stressed, and more efficient.
When discussing this issue, Tim Thurn, Professional Services Director, Essilor ANZ said, “A conservative estimate is that 50 per cent of progressive wearers should also have a pair of extended focus lenses set up for their specific working distance”.
BUILD YOUR PRACTICE
Giving due consideration to patients’ needs not only provides happier patients and improved referrals, but can also make a significant improvement to revenue.
Proactive prescribing of occupationals is a winning formula for all concerned.
We’d like to think that the next time we look at occupational lenses they are well above one third of near prescriptions. Two thirds would be better!
See some of the amazing options our lens partners have to offer.
Occupational Lenses To Build Your Practice
Bonastar’s blueEase coating can increase contrast, comfort, and focus while minimising eye fatigue and visual stress for anyone who spends a long time in front of a computer. According to Bonastar, it’s proven to help cut blue light emitted from PC screens, mobile phone displays and LCD TV screens, and to minimise glare. This advanced new lens coating can be prescribed with Bonastar single vision 1.56, 1.60, 1.67, 1.74 stock, single vision grind, Digital Office, and free-form progressive lenses.
Essilor’s Eyezen innovative digital screen protection lenses are designed to reduce eye strain and are available from Bonastar.
Contact: Bonastar (AUS) 02 9310 1688
Ergonomically designed Varilux Digitime lenses focus exactly to the distances for near and intermediate activities. Provide Essilor with your patient’s working distance and Varilux Digitime will calculate the perfect power and place it right in front of the patient’s pupil.
Contact: Essilor Account Manager
Children and young adults through to prepresbyopes will benefit from Dynamic Sync which is designed to relieve the symptoms of digital eyestrain via a small near boost in the lower portion of the lens.
Hoya customises iD Workstyle V + Space, Screen and Close to meet presbyopes’ working conditions using patented Binocular Harmonization Technology, which performs individual calculations, ensuring the correction is appropriate at each point of the lens and exactly measured according to the needs of each eye.
In today’s screen-based society, both at work and home, many people, even those with mild cases of anisometropia, can benefit from Binocular Harmonization due to near demand on their visual system.
Sensity Light Reactive and Diamond Finish Bluecontrol Coatings, combined with these advanced lens designs, provide a solution for all age groups to reduce digital eye strain and mitigate the effects of blue light.
Contact: Hoya (AUS) 02 9698 1577
At work our vision has to adapt to different distances, from the desk to monitors, and colleagues. This can be exhausting: working on screens often leads to dry eyes, headaches, or tension in the neck and shoulders.
Rodenstock Ergo near vision comfort lenses are designed to offer ideal support for patients in all areas of computer and near vision work. They are designed to give more comfortable vision with an ergonomic head and body posture.
Rodenstock Ergo is available in three design types: Book, PC, and Room. This allows a choice of designs suitable for specific distances, independent of the addition and of the accommodation. This flexibility allows for a more relaxed and comfortable working solution.
Contact: Rodenstock (AUS) 02
Shamir Smart Office is a personalised digital freeform occupational lens that provides flexibility of focus through multiple viewing zones, with a smooth transition from mid to near distance and clear vision when the direction of gaze is above the computer screen.
The Shamir Smart Office lens family includes Shamir Workspace and Shamir Computer. Shamir Workspace offers perfect near and intermediate vision, and up to three metres of distance vision. Shamir Computer provides perfect near and intermediate vision and up to 1.5 metres of distance vision.
Shamir Digital Relax is available in three viewing shifts of 0.50, 0.65 and 0.80. This lens is suitable for any close working environment, reducing digital eye strain and fatigue associated with prolonged intermediate and near vision tasks. It’s ideal when combined with Shamir Glacier Blue Shield coating.
Contact: Shamir (AUS) 1300 553 465
Part of the Nikon e-Life Series, Nikon Home and Office NEO, and Nikon Soltes Wide NEO, provide specific solutions for patients requiring assistance with their digital or daily lifestyle. Different versions of each design stretch the patient’s vision, even out to full distance.
Contact: Essilor Account Manager
The Zeiss Office Lens has been specifically designed for the office environment, providing maximum visual fields for near and intermediate work.
The Zeiss Office Lens is available with a choice of intermediate working distances: Book (one metre), Near (two metres), and Room (four metres) or Individual, offering a customised intermediate viewing distance. Zeiss Office Lenses are further enhanced with the addition of Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect, to reflect a portion of high energy blue light emitted by digital devices, ensuring complete visual comfort and protection.
Contact: Zeiss Account Manager
Younger Optics’ DD Occupational Trifocal lens is perfect for presbyopic wearers that need to look both up and down when performing a task. The flat top 28 lens features a D shaped bifocal segment at the bottom of the lens and an upside down D segment at the top of the lens.
The bottom of the lens is for near vision, with the top of the lens for near or intermediate vision. The remainder of the lens surface provides correction for distance vision. Mechanics, pilots, professional painters, carpenters, and clerks or librarians are likely to benefit from the lens.
Contact: Younger Optics (AUS) 08 8241 9800 9748 0988