High-Definition Eyeglass Lenses. Yes, Really.
This post is brought to you by our sponsor VSP Vision Care
I’ve been wearing corrective lenses since I was nine; I’ve had gold-rimmed aviators, giant, chunky plastic frames, semi-rimless, distance glasses and reading glasses and multiple forays into contact lenses (beginning with semi-permeable lenses back in the 80s, when a dry eye meant that blinking would cause your lens to pop right off your eyeball). I’ve spent a lifetime dealing with vision correction, is my point, and yet the idea of a “high definition” glasses lens sounded… a little too good to be true. Then again, when vision insurance first became a thing, that seemed too good to be true, too.
VSP Vision Care is giving their members access to UNITY digital lenses—some of the latest technology in corrective lenses—without the typical astronomic price tag that you’d expect with the “latest and greatest.” Better vision at an affordable price point? With my new VSP membership, I headed out to find out if my new glasses would really be a whole new experience.
UNITY digital lenses (more information available at www.unitylenses.com) boast completely customized, high-definition vision correction—the lenses are tailored not only to your specific prescription, but also the frames in which they’re inserted, and how those frames fit your face. Throughout my comprehensive eye exam and subsequent search for frames and fitting, I asked a lot of questions about how, exactly, this works. (To my chagrin, not one person answered, “Black magic.” I was sure someone would.) The Cliff Notes version is that traditional lenses are ground in a way where the only true point of specified prescription is the center of the lens; moving out from that point in any direction results in some (small) amount of distortion. The way UNITY lenses are made involves a digital lens surfacing technology where any distortion is all but eliminated across the entire surface of the lens. As it was explained to me, UNITY lenses will grant sharper vision to all glasses-wearers, but particularly for those people with astigmatism and/or strong prescriptions.
My eye exam was the same as others I’d had—for the record, I still really hate being tested for glaucoma—and when it came time to look at frames, the optician, Sydney, took my requests and ran with them. Although I was intrigued by this idea of high-definition lenses for all-day wear, I’d just gotten new glasses a few months ago, but hadn’t been able to afford new sunglasses at the same time. With this opportunity and my VSP coverage, though, I was able to get a pair of designer sunglasses frames with polarized UNITY lenses. Sydney helped me narrow down my selections and ultimately choose the frames and the color for the lens tinting. (I take terrible selfies, you can see that I ultimately waffled between two similar pairs before polling everyone in the office to make my decision.)
The last thing we did after my frames were selected was the part that was really different. You know the little machine they put up to your eyes to measure your pupillary distance (PD) so that your lenses can be properly centered in the frames? We did that, but then Sydney also had me put on the frames and she stood in front of me and me and took additional precision measurements to assure that these were going to be the best glasses I’d ever had.
Now I just had to wait for them to arrive. (Stay tuned for Part 2.)
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