Practice Management

Understanding near variable focus lenses and task eyewear

Here's everything you should know about near variable focus and task lenswear: How they benefit patients, how to prescribe them and how to help patients afford second pairs their vision plans don't cover.
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Published 1.31.2022

Near variable focus progressives, office eyeglasses, computer lenses: Lenswear designed for day-to-day tasks come with a variety of names and features but each one serves an important purpose for patients.

Multiple pair sales aren’t just a statistic that eye care professionals keep track of and pursue for better optical sales. They’re in fact part of a full spectrum of eye care solutions that take into account the various activities patients engage in throughout the day. After all, eyewear is eye care. The eyewear you put patients in affects their eye health and their perception of that health as much as, if not moreso than, exams and refractions on their own. That’s where near variable focus and other task lenses come in.

A one lens fits all tasks solution isn’t best for every patient. In order to get the most out of their daily lives virtually all patients will benefit from more than one pair of glasses; moreover, patients who have two pairs of glasses will almost never revert to having just one. Given that the average American spends 4.8 hours per day on mobile devices, more of your patients should be wearing lenses designed to make that visual task clearer and more comfortable.

What are near variable focus lenses?

Near variable focus lenses are designed for clear vision in work settings. Usually near variable focus lenswear offers clear vision anywhere from up close work to six feet away.

Sometimes these products are referred to as computer progressive lenses because they’re helpful for offering patients clarity while looking at computer screens. All computer progressives are near variable focus lenses but not all near variable focus lenses are computer progressives.

Near variable focus lenses can prove helpful in far more circumstances than using computers. Office progressive lenses are designed for all sorts of work settings in which your work takes place within arm’s reach (or beyond!). By offering clarity within a range that’s perfect for a variety of tasks, these lenses help patients maintain better posture and hold their heads in a more natural position while working.

How many patients do you have who experience back pain? Or aching shoulders and necks? How many get headaches at work? You can help them address this pain with a pair of lenses! Eyewear offers patients quality of life improvements that can extend far beyond clarity of vision. By providing patients with eyewear built to suit their workday you can help them feel physically and psychologically better on top of providing clearer vision. That’s what you call providing value, not just creating an additional cost.

Near variable focus and task lenswear are for more than looking at computer screens.
Near variable focus and task lenswear are for more than looking at computer screens.

When and how to prescribe near variable focus lenswear

As we mentioned above, task lenses benefit patients by providing them visual clarity in their workplaces and, as a result, help them maintain a natural and healthy posture while working.

So who could use that sort of correction? The best way to make that judgment is by simply knowing your patients. If your standard of care includes spending time with and getting to know your patients then you can make informed decisions about their eye health and needs. Being an independent eye care provider certainly helps with that. When it’s up to you to guide patient care, you can afford to focus on quality rather than quantity.

If you know a patient sits in front of a computer all day or if your patient complains of upper back pain, that may be a sign that he or she is in need of near variable focus lenses for day-to-day tasks.

The most important thing to keep in mind: You’re doing patients a disservice by just prescribing a single PAL. One lens won’t solve everything. Patients who use computers all day or who spend extended stretches of the day on hobbies such as knitting would feel more comfortable with task-specific lenswear. When you learn about your patients, their hobbies and their work you’ll better understand what are the additional lenses you could prescribe to offer them better quality of life.

Don’t overlook the handoff to your optician either! You might as well toss everything you learn about your patient into a black hole if you’re not passing that information off to your opticians. Effective communication flow between you and your optical team will ensure patients are leaving with the right eyewear for their eye care plans!

You’re doing patients a disservice by just prescribing a single progressive.

Using Prosper to prescribe near variable focus or task specific second pairs

Near variable focus or task specific lenswear may be perfect for the patient. But price could still be an obstacle. Most vision plans sharply limit both the number of purchases and the vendors they will reimburse. If near variable focus lenswear isn’t explicitly covered by the vision plan, patients may not be willing to consider the benefits. After all, without some sort of reimbursement materials can be expensive!

However, dispensing that second pair for your patient can vastly improve his or her quality of life. So how do you help patients purchase near variable focus lenswear? With Anagram Prosper.

With Prosper you can instantly send rebates directly to patients' devices when they buy qualifying eyewear from your optical. This makes it a whole lot easier for patients to purchase second pairs, whether they’re prescription sunglasses or glasses with near lenses tailor made for their day jobs.

Think about it: a higher capture rate, more multiple pairs sold, and patients telling your entire community that they got their best eyewear experience ever from your practice.

Near variable focus progressive and computer lens options for patients

Near variable focus progressives and other task lenses aren’t simply for computer use. These products can be prescribed for a variety of workplaces and activities. Below we take a look at the near variable focus progressives and other task lenswear you should know about:

Hoya

Hoya offers a number of products that can be considered near variable focus lenses. Each of these is designed for visual clarity at varying distances and while performing different tasks. Understanding them can help you prescribe the correct lenswear for your patients’ unique needs.

Hoya Sync III

Hoya Sync III lenses have a slight power boost designed to support and relax the eye muscles. This relieves eye strain and allows the wearer to focus on screens more easily. These lenses also feature free form backside surfacing and position of wear and frame measurements.

Hoya iD Space

The Hoya iD Space is a task lens designed for activities that require focus beyond a computer screen. The design provides clear vision at close range and sharpness up to 20 ft. It is ideal for activities such as meetings, using smartphones, watching television and shopping.

Hoya iD Screen

If your patient needs maximum clarity at an intermediate distance for work in a store or office then the Hoya iD Screen may be the right choice. This lens is also perfect for someone who uses dual monitors at work. It is designed for watching television, gaming, or using computers or tablets.

Hoya iD Zoom

Patients who have jobs or hobbies that require high levels of concentration at close range would benefit most from the Hoya iD Zoom. These lenses offer the widest possible near area as well as clarity at shortened distances. The Hoya iD Zoom is best for using computers, smartphones and tablets or clerical work.

Tact BKS

The Hoya Tact BKS is designed for patients who spend extended amounts of time using computers or engaging in visually intense work or hobbies. The Hoya Tact BKS offers full backside design, digital eye strain symptom relief and exceptionally wide intermediate and near viewing zones with a minimum distance field of view. The larger intermediate area gives wearers a more relaxed and comfortable viewing experience.

Essilor

Esillor’s near variable lenswear line includes two options: The Essilor Eyezen Start and the Essilor Eyezen+. These enhanced single vision lens options are everyday solutions for patients looking for sharper vision and relaxed eyes.

Essilor Eyezen Start

The Essilor Eyezen Start is designed for a world with digital screens, new postures, and varying gaze directions. This lens uses two optimization points to provide the correct prescription over more of the lens surface to reduce eye strain and visual fatigue. The _Essilor Eyezen Start _also filters harmful blue light.

Essilor Eyezen+

Essilor Eyezen+ lenses offer patients a more complete solution than traditional single lenswear, with a number of options available for accommodative relief. There are five unique Essilor Eyezen+ lens options that are prescribed according to the patient’s age. Each subsequent design profile features a different level of accommodative relief: Essilor Eyezen+0 boosts 0 diopters while the Essilor Eyezen+4 boost is 1.10 diopters.

Essilor Eyezen+ lenswear is also designed with W.A.V.E. Technology, which offers wearers improved color contrast and sharpness, as well as vivid details in their vision. The lenses are also embedded with filters that protect against harmful blue light.

ZEISS

ZEISS offers a couple specialty lens options for patients who need visual clarity for long periods of time or spend extended stretches looking at digital screens. Each of these products reduces eye strain and fatigue for wearers.

ZEISS SmartLife Digital Lens

For patients aged 25 to 45 who frequently use their mobile devices or tablets there’s the ZEISS SmartLife. This digital lens option offers patients a wide, clear distance zone with a comfortable near zone in order to reduce eye strain while viewing digital screens. These all-day lenses are perfect for single vision patients who experience digital eye strain.

ZEISS Officelens

The ZEISS Officelens was designed to give wearers clear vision in three working area distances depending on their needs. The three ZEISS Officelens options are:

  • ZEISS Officelens Book for reading.
  • ZEISS Officelens Desk for the workplace.
  • ZEISS Officelens Room for room distance.

This lens helps patients hold their heads and necks in a natural posture and offers comfort all day.

Nikon

Nikon also has a task lens for the workplace that comes in three different designs. They offer this office progressive in addition to a number of single vision options similar to the Essilor Eyezen and Essilor Eyezen+ as well as the ZEISS Smartlife. Click here if you’re interested in how Nikon’s progressive’s stack up against Varilux lenswear.

Nikon Home & Office Neo

Nikon’s office progressive lens is the Nikon Home & Office Neo. This lens comes in three designs: long, normal and wide. The Nikon Home & Office Neo is designed for multi-tasking in indoor situations at home or work. It offers clear vision “up to several meters” without any need to remove them between tasks.

Nikon Infinite Single Vision

Nikon also offers a number of single vision options to help patients reduce eye strain that are comparable to products such as the ZEISS Smartlife or Essilor Eyezen. One is the Nikon Infinite Single Vision, a fully customizable digital single vision option for patients.

Nikon Smart Boost

With a 0.5 diopter boost the Nikon Smart Boost is a single vision option designed with a relax zone to ensure minimal distortions. The customizable lens is a simple option with one boost that you can recommend for your patients.

Shamir

Shamir’s everyday single vision options are called Shamir Relax because they help wearers relax their eyes. The lens is available in three options: RLX, RLX5 and RLX8.

Shamir Relax

Using an extra dose of power in the lower surface area the Shamir Relax offers added visual comfort in the 15-to-27-inches digital display viewing zones. This helps wearers overcome continuous focusing challenges while looking at screens for long periods of time. Shamir notes this helps reduce eye dryness and fatigue, tearing, headaches and blurry vision at the end of long days.

The Shamir Relax can reduce patients’ lens accommodations by up to 30%. The lenses offer patients fatigue relief without distortion or swim utilizing Shamir’s freeform design. Shamir Relax is a highly personalized lens that’s customized to wearers’ visual requirements. The product uses EyePoint Technology that analyzes over 3,600 points on each lens to provide patients a more accurate and comfortable visual experience.

Proof that eyewear is eye care

The difference these unique lenses can make in patients’ lives is proof that eyewear is eye care. Near variable focus lenses may not be covered in a patient’s vision plan, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t part of a quality care plan for that individual. Ultimately, vision plans’ standard of care has more to do with their pockets than your patients.

In order to ensure your patients receive the best possible eye care it’s sometimes necessary to prescribe what a vision plan is willing to reimburse. When that’s the case, we recommend Prosper to ensure your patient is getting the best eyewear for them at an affordable price.

Author
Connor McGann, Content Marketing Manager
Connor McGann is Anagram's content marketing manager. He joined Anagram in February 2020. Previously he was a finance writer and animation project manager at a marketing agency, and managed content for a live chat provider that serviced various industries including health care and plastic surgery.