Progressive Lenses with a Difference

Is there a perfect pair of progressive lenses for every occasion--customized for your job or your favorite hobby?

Progressive lenses are optical superstars: they offer near vision, distance vision and clear vision in the intermediate zone in just a single lens – and all without any perceptible transition. Many eyeglass wearers aren't aware how precisely progressives can be customized to meet their particular needs. We've compiled a few special progressive lens solutions for you which have become standard at ZEISS and at your ZEISS eye care professional. Maybe you'll find your own personal vision solution amongst them. The good news: there's a solution for everything. Don't be shy: ask your eye care professional.

A reader wrote to us at BETTER VISION to inquire if you can switch around the individual vision zones on a pair of glasses with progressive lenses. This particular eyeglass wearer does a lot of overhead work and thus requires optimal near vision through the upper section of the lens, along with good intermediate distance vision through the lower section of the lens.

Producing these sort of progressive lenses is particularly challenging because the eyeglass lens design is normally the exact opposite of what this wearer requires. Nevertheless, it is possible to change the vision zones on the lens! This is especially demanding work for the ECP: all measurement data, the centration and the calculation of the cylinder axes sent to the Production Department at ZEISS must be exact. Using this information, special progressives can be manufactured using freeform technology.


Progressive lenses for driving

Here's another interesting case: a progressive lens wearer who drives a lot found that his glasses simply didn't work quite right. In spite of multiple fittings, he was still unhappy with his vision when driving. A ZEISS eye care professional wanted to know why and decided to go for a drive with the customer. The cause of the problem was clear immediately. This eyeglass wearer had reclined his seat so far back that he was almost lying down – thus with this 'normal' progressive lens design he had to look through the near vision or intermediate zones to see into the distance. He was only able to look through the distance range of the lenses by tilting his head in an extremely uncomfortable position. The eye care professional was able to optimize this patient's glasses to accommodate his seated position when driving, providing the patient with comfortable vision.

Truck drivers who wear progressives spend their entire workday on the road and look through their glasses differently than someone driving a car. Truck drivers bend their head slightly forward when looking at the road ahead because of the elevated sitting position, so they are looking through the area on the progressive lens where you typically find the intermediate zone. Thus it is especially helpful to optimize the lens design accordingly.

Did you know that there are ZEISS lenses which have been specially optimized for driving? You can wear DriveSafe lenses for the entire day. They feature a unique design and a special coating which demonstrate their strengths when you're driving: learn more about DriveSafe here. 

Progressive lenses at work

Progressives for pilots pose another particular challenge because pilots don’t just look down at the instruments on the dashboard like someone driving a car. Depending on the type of airplane, pilots also need to look overhead at their instruments. Ideally they would have a second near zone / intermediate zone in the upper section of the lens.

Many jobs place unique demands on a person's vision, and progressives must rise to these challenges. For comfortable vision, writers or graphic artists require a different design in the near zone than teachers, who often switch their gaze between the near zone and a particular intermediate distance in the classroom, or policemen who require good long-range vision as well as a clear intermediate zone for their daily work.

However, it's all about the fine details if you're a dentist or jeweler. Here a magnifying attachment for your glasses can help.

Many people require improved vision for looking at things up close rather than in the distance. But it's inconvenient for them to continually put on and take off their reading glasses. For these people, the ideal solution is progressive glasses with prescription powers for only near and intermediate vision and none for distance.

Progressive glasses today

Almost all progressive eyeglass wearers' vision has changed because they use digital devices, in particular smartphones. Different forms of media place different demands on your eyes; the reading distance when you use a smartphone is different than when you read a printed document or newspaper. All ZEISS progressive lenses accommodate these different distances thanks to Digital Inside® Technology.

The habits you have already acquired when wearing progressive lenses play a key role. Lowering your gaze so that you have clear vision when looking through the near viewing zone of your progressive lenses is firmly anchored in your brain. That's why a new pair of frames can mean an unpleasant change. However, with FrameFit®+ from ZEISS there is no need for you to change your visual habits with your new frames. Nevertheless, make sure you choose frames that are big enough for your progressive lenses if you want comfortable vision.

Find a ZEISS Eye Doctor

What are the key points to remember when buying progressive glasses?

  • It is crucial that you discuss your medical history with your eye care professional when purchasing progressives. The better your eye care professional knows what visual conditions are important or particular to your day-to-day life, the better they can advise you and configure your progressive glasses.

  • Consulting with your eye care professional is important because everything may be possible, but not with every pair of glasses. As a wearer, you need to know what the particular type of eyeglass lens or lens design will offer you. You may be living with a compromise solution or want an additional pair of glasses for particular situations, such as computer glasses.

  • Your eye care professional has taken your history and has tested your eyes. Many people think that at this point everything else will go smoothly. Yet it is the perfect centration – i.e., knowing how exactly your lenses fit into the eyeglass frames and where you look through them – that transforms a pair of progressive glasses into a masterpiece. Don't leave anything to chance! Up to 40% of a your visual performance can be lost because of improper centration.

  • After purchase: once you have started wearing your new glasses, it may take a few days until you've got used to your new progressive glasses. If you are still having difficulties with your new glasses, contact your eye care professional and describe your problems. They'll be able to help you.

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