As time goes by, the scope for recommending and prescribing occupational lenses continues to expand. Today we can cater to pretty much any vocational demand, thanks to the plethora of lens options at our disposal.
Occupational lenses – also known as vocational lenses, office lenses, and even stress relieving lenses among other terms – is a rapidly growing category.
While these lenses were once typically only prescribed for presbyopes, today that’s no longer the case. We increasingly see them recommended for children in myopia management, as well as for accommodative-convergence issues in childhood, then as stress relieving lenses for teens and young adults at university, for all ages working long hours in front of multiple computer screens, and for early presbyopes. Within the category there are specific lens designs for each purpose.
…we must also consider the need for blue light protection, antireflection coatings, easy clean and deposit resistant surfaces, UV protection and photochromic options
WHO, WHAT, WHEN…
With the growing problem of myopia affecting more and more young people, specialised myopia control spectacle lenses are an increasingly popular vocational lens design (as covered in December 2019 milenses). Some of these incorporate bifocal and progressive designs and prism for vergence control while others work purely on modifying hyperopic defocus. Stress relieving and digital designs also fall into this category.
The current fixation with stress relieving lens prescribing is hardly surprising. After all, our visual systems were never designed to spend countless hours in front of computer screens, only to be further stressed in our free time by the additional stress and close working distances associated with navigating our smartphones and tablets, often well into the night.
Occupational lenses for presbyopes may serve as a stand-alone pair or as an adjunct to full progressive lens designs for patients who want or need a wider field of near and intermediate vision and reduced peripheral distortion.
This applies to many vocations and occupational needs; from nurses and surgeons, through to office workers and shop assistants, pickers and packers, industrial workers and tradespeople, and everyone in between.
When prescribing vocational lenses for patients working in industry, for example, tradespeople, it is also worth considering the need for safety eye wear. In this situation, it is necessary to carefully choose lens designs that are available in materials that meet the stringent Australian and New Zealand safety standards required for industries. Beyond using the required safety-approved lens materials, it is essential that you provide the correct, approved frames that meet the required frame safety standards. These usually require a deeper groove, a design that prevents lenses being forced out the back of a frame and of course more robust frame materials and designs that can withstand the required impact resistance dictated by the standards.
Standards are available via Standards Australia and the various dispensing and optometric bodies and associations. However, more often than not it is our colleagues in the spectacle manufacturing and wholesaling industry that will provide guidance, especially on more challenging vocational safety frame and lens packages.
Although we seem to have covered occupational lenses for everyone from young children to advanced presbyopes, we should not forget the ever growing pool of post-cataract patients. It seems too many slip through the gaps and simply buy ready-made readers. Building relationships with cataract surgeons will help prevent this from occurring – it is in the surgeon’s, as well as the patient’s, interest to make sure they have regular optometric examinations, to not only fine tune their visual correction but to rule out potential sight and indeed life-threatening pathology. That risk does not simply disappear post-surgery and in fact may increase. Our modern cataract patients have varied and complex vision needs that also involve computers, smart devices, occupational requirements and so on. Although some may be left emmetropic, others have a variety of blended vision, multifocal and toric IOLs, which need ‘topping up’. Some are also left with residual sphero-cylindrical prescriptions that need correction in order to optimise vision and function.
DESIGN AND PRESCRIBING OPTIONS
Most office lenses, digital lenses, stress relieving lenses and so on, are either degressive or progressive lens designs/forms.
The majority are designed for your typical nine to five office worker and are usually set up to cover the widest possible field of vision for near and intermediate needs within a range from 20cm to 1m. These designs can be tailored to cover say 30cm to 80cm if that is all that’s required by the wearer. However, we need to remind our patients that typically, the shorter the range of vision they need to cover, the wider the possible field of vision, which is useful for those with documents spread around their desk and multiple computer screens. Conversely, creating a longer range for wearers to see at greater distances – overhead monitors, TV screens or presentations across a room and so forth – while still enabling them to read documents or take notes will usually be compromised by a narrower field of vision.
Apart from lens designs and safety considerations, we must also consider the need for blue light protection, anti-reflection coatings, easy clean and deposit resistant surfaces, UV protection and photochromic options. As the environment and usage varies greatly between users, all these issues need to be discussed so that you can customise each lens order accordingly. This will ensure you are able to provide maximum functionality and safety.
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
These days we can cater to pretty much any vocational demand and cover all the bases with the plethora of options at our disposal. Developing your occupational prescribing prowess will provide many benefits to you and your patients and can be a great practice builder.
A Fresh Perspective for 2020
Rodenstock Ergo computer lenses provide patients with relief from stressed eyes which will also help ease tense neck and shoulder muscles.
Available in three variations:
- The Ergo Book is ideal for short distance vision of between 40 to 60cm but allows up to 1m with vertical movements of gaze. Perfect for laptop computers and tablets.
- The Ergo PC gives the widest area of clear vision at a medium distance up to approximately 1.20m and allows a monitor to be seen in total clarity and without strain with an ergonomic head and body posture.
- The Ergo Room allows for relaxed vision free from fatigue indoors, with comfortable vision zones from the reading area up to 4–5m.
Varilux Digitime is the perfect solution for presbyopes, providing clear vision and correct posture for all digital activities, something not possible with standard reading or progressive lenses.
Varilux Digitime contains two innovations:
- Personalisation by screen or task distance – provide the screen or task distance in centimetres and the lens is designed exactly to the wearer’s specific screen needs or activity, and
- Ultra Near Vision – gives additional power closer than near vision for smartphones and handheld devices.
Contact: Essilor Account Manager
Nikon Home&Office Neo uses Nikon Optical design engine optimisation to reduce aberrations for wider intermediate vision. This fully customised indoor solution has different power options and progression lengths to match each wearer’s needs.
Nikon Soltes Wide Neo (pictured) is designed to give wearers options to cover them across their intermediate and near vision tasks. From digital devices to laptops, desktops, work stations and beyond, it provides practitioners with choice to best suit their patients’ prescriptions and viewing distances.
Both are available in 1.5, 1.6, 1.67 Clear and Transitions and 1.74 Clear in three to four designs. Optimum results require pantoscopic tilt, wrap angle and back vertex distance.
Contact: Nikon Account Manager
Hoya Sync III and Workstyle V +
Sync III is designed to relieve the symptoms of digital eyestrain via a near boost in the lower portion of the lens.
Featuring Hoya’s patented Binocular Eye model, Sync III offers individual fitting parameters, with three boost zone options as well as a much wider range of materials including polarised.
iD Workstyle V + Space, Screen and Close offers presbyopes impressive customisation to suit their working conditions.
A key feature of the iD Workstyle V+ Space, Screen and Close designs is Hoya’s patented Binocular Hamonization 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. With so much near demand placed on their visual system, many people, even those with mild cases of anisometropia, can benefit from binocular harmonization.
Sensity Light Reactive and Diamond Finish Bluecontrol Coatings, combined with these advanced lens designs, provide a solution for all age groups to reduce digital eyestrain and to mitigate the effects of blue light.
Contact: Hoya Account Manager
Opticare Visual Range Selector
Opticare’s Visual Range Selector shows exactly what distance your patient is seeing in all visual zones. This web app, available at www.opticare.com.au, has nine shift options. It allows you to choose the limit of distance vision set 5mm above pupil centre (PC) while giving you the exact range at PC. This helps when explaining how the lens will satisfy all your patient’s intermediate visual needs in metric terms.
Contact: Opticare (AUS) 1800 251 852
Shamir Smart Office is a personalised digital freeform occupational lens that provides a smooth transition from mid to near distance vision, assuring your patient of clear and sharp vision for the computer, as well as the other side of the room.
Shamir Workspace provides perfect near and intermediate vision and up to 3m of distance vision for close tasks or mid-distance viewing. Shamir Computer provides perfect near and intermediate vision and up to 1.5m of distance vision.
Shamir Computer and Shamir Workspace help to effectively alleviate computer vision syndrome. Wearers can hold their head and neck in a natural comfortable position while enjoying perfect focus.
Shamir Digital Relax is available in three viewing shifts of 0.50, 0.65 and 0.80 and is suitable for any close working environment, reducing digital eye strain and fatigue associated with prolonged intermediate and near vision tasks.
Shamir Blue Zero has built in protection against blue light emanating from the screens of digital devices. Based on a unique blue light absorbing polymer formula, it absorbs blue light, while maintaining lens clarity and helps prevent dry, tired eyes.
Contact: Shamir (AUS) 1300 553 465
Zeiss Office Lens
The Zeiss Office Lens provides clear, sharply focused vision in the near and intermediate ranges with large fields of vision.
Designed to enable a more natural posture and sitting position, these lenses ensure vision is comfortable and more relaxed.
They can also be optimised to match any specific intermediate viewing distance.
Contact: Zeiss Account Manager
Unity Via OfficePro
Unity Via OfficePro puts the advanced technology of Unity Via Progressives into a workplace lens, giving you an easy to fit, customise, and dispense lens that offers your patients exceptional visual performance and comfort.
Unity Via OfficePro calculates the near and intermediate zones for you, ensuring the monitor stays in the visual sweet spot without any extra measuring on your part.
A streamlined portfolio, optimised for the most common workplace viewing distances, makes it easy to meet every patient’s needs:
- 1.5m is ideal for cubicle or small office with more close tasks, and
- 3m is perfect for open spaces that require a greater field of vision. Fast adaptation means your patients will immediately enjoy:
- Reduced visual strain and fatigue,
- Improved clarity on digital displays,
- An easy intermediate to near zone shift, and
- Improved ergonomic comfort.
Contact: VSP Optics Australia