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Coming Soon to an Optician Near You: Electronic Bifocals!

August 2, 2010

Presbyopia is caused when the eye's lens, normally soft and flexible,
hardens with age and results in blurred reading vision. The hardening
of the lens makes it difficult for the eye to focus on close objects.
Presbyopia is part of the normal aging process, typically affecting
adults at about 40 years of age. Reading glasses and bifocals are used
to treat presbyopia. These assist the eyes in focusing on nearby
objects. There are currently 3 ways to use glasses to treat presbyopia:

  1. Bifocals with the line
  2. Progressive bifocals without the line
  3. Separate distant and reading glasses

A company called PixelOptics has announced their intention to release a forth option this fall:  emPower lenses.  According to PixelOptics:

If you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, this technology
will revolutionize the way you see and use your eyeglasses. emPower! will:

  • Focus as fast as you can blink your eye
  • Provide an invisible electronic near focus zone when desired
  • Offer three modes of operation: automatic, manual on, manual off
  • Provide wider fields of view compared to a progressive addition lens
  • Allow for less distortion than a progressive addition lens
  • Provide vision correction for all ranges of sight: far, near, and in between
  • Allow you to turn near reading power off when desired
    Rechargeable hidden battery

Here is a demonstration of this new technology.

Since presbyopia affects the lens, LASIK eye surgery, which
only treats the cornea, is unable to correct the condition.  The most effective surgical treatment in my practice is clear lensectomy:  removing the natural lens and replacing it with a multifocal lens implant.  Following this procedure, my patients are able to both read and drive without glasses!

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