Advances in eyewear and eye care technology are allowing our vision benefit members to see things in ways they probably never imagined. New methods to diagnose eye diseases and lenses that protect and enhance members’ lifestyles have opened up a new world of possibilities. But, without the right vision benefits, members and their families might not have access to life-changing technology like some of these developments:
More precise eye exams
The latest generations of digital vision technology, like Clarifye® at LensCrafters, allow eye care providers to get a clearer view of the eye. In addition to more accurate eyewear prescriptions, the precision of the technology helps eye doctors with earlier detection of cataracts, floaters in your field of vision and macular degeneration. If left undiagnosed, these conditions could cause serious vision complications.
Lenses that correct color deficiencies
The National Eye Institute estimates 8% of men and .5% of women suffer from color deficiency, a condition that causes them to see color differently than everyone else . It’s often inherited, but can be instigated by eye trauma, certain medications, age or diseases like diabetes or glaucoma.
Thanks to better understanding the relationship between color and light, lens manufacturers are developing lenses that filter out overlapping wavelengths. These new lenses create a clearer distinction between colors, allowing those with color deficiency to see some colors for the first time.
Lenses that address blue light and our love of digital devices
On average, we spend 11 hours a day staring at digital screens—great for keeping up on current events, but not so great for our eyes . Screens, as well as the sun, expose us to blue light, a natural part of the visible light spectrum that is potentially harmful in large doses . In excess, blue light can cause digital eye strain, and mess with your body’s sleep and wake cycles. Research is looking at other long-term possible effects like retinal cell damage .
New lenses and lens coating can filter at least a portion of the blue light wavelengths you’re exposed to, and increase the likelihood of easing the harmful effects of overexposure.
Tailoring lenses to enhance members’ lifestyles
By understanding how light reacts with the eyes, companies like Oakley® have created removable sunglass lenses that allow wearers to see their best in different environments.
Wearers can change their lenses based on what they’re doing that day. Outdoor lovers can opt for lenses that enhance earth tones to more easily see sand, rocks, roots and subtle trail transitions. Those who spend time on the water can pop in lenses that boost greens and reds for a richer view on the open water. What’s more, fit-to-you prescriptions are available for most lenses.
The future is bright
Never before have eyewear and eye care technology and members’ lifestyles been more intertwined. It’s exciting to see new technology continue to open up a new world for members and their families, and it’s equally gratifying to deliver vision benefits that enable choice to take advantage of these advancements.
You can see more on what the future has in store for vision--just download our free Value in Vision whitepaper and see why healthy vision and vision benefits are so important.
National Eye Institute. “Facts About Color Blindness.” [nei.nih.gov/health/color_blindness/facts_about]
 CNN. “Americans devote more than 10 hours a day to screen time, and growing.” [www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/index.html]
 Mayo Clinic. “Protect your eyes from harmful light.” [mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/protect-your-eyes-from-harmful-light]
 Prevent Blindness. “Blue Light and Your Eyes.” [www.preventblindness.org/blue-light-and-your-eyes]