The Evolution Of Spectacles

From medical to lifestyle products, the evolution of spectacles has been revolutionary; Mr P Ramachandran, Group COO, Essilor brands authored his exclusive insights

Are you a technology addict who spends most hours of his waking time in front of digital screens, or an active outdoor enthusiast, a busy mom whose rough lifestyle needs strong spectacles, a senior citizen or a student? No matter what your job profile is or what kind of lifestyle you lead, today your vision correction needs can be customised for you.

The much-in-demand spectacles have evolved tremendously over the past few decades to graduate from just being vision correction devices to lifestyle products and now even prevent harm to the eye. There is no one-fits-all approach to spectacles today. Not only have spectacle lenses evolved into better looking, far from once geeky eye accessories, they have also evolved in terms of usage and need. In fact, people today shop for spectacles that suit not just their eye correction needs but also their personality and some go further and choose spectacle lenses that prevent eye disease.

Mr P Ramachandran Group COO Essilor brands
Mr P Ramachandran, Group COO, Essilor brands

In developed countries, the percentage of spectacle-wearers range from 30 to 50 per cent of the population. The availability of new lens designs, new technology and innovation not only help people see better and appear more attractive but also protect the eyes and prevent eye diseases. New age lenses are thinner and can be fitted in any type and size of designer frames, and can be customised to your individual requirement.

Spectacles for working professionals

The digital revolution of the 1990s has not only accelerated the pace of our lives and changed the communications paradigm, it also radically shifted the way we work and live. Ten years back, mobile phones were just meant for talking, the concept of ‘Smartphone’ was yet to catch up; laptops were not a common accessory and most of us searched for cyber cafes to send mails.

As per the findings of American Optometric Association (AOA), more than 70% of ~143 million Americans complain of the computer eyestrain due to their daily work. While we do not have such a consolidated figures for India, clinical evidence does suggest an increasing number of people suffering from visual fatigue. Today life revolves around digital devices like tablets, smart phones, LED screens – these devices emit UV and blue light – this light causes a lot of stress and fatigue to our eyes. If you calculate your daily activities, you would be surprised to find how much time your eyes spend gazing at digital devices and therefore the fatigue and strain your eyes are subjected to. Even people who do not need correction or have power but spend a lot of time in front of the computer often experience eye fatigue symptoms such as red eyes, itching, burning, headaches.

Spectacles as a style statement

If 20 years back, people avoided wearing spectacles because of the geeky look they inspired, today on the other hand people readily opt for such stylish and smart spectacle lenses. While they offered the precise visual correction needed, glass lenses were heavy, breakable and were not equipped to provide additional benefits such as protection from UV radiation. For people with high prescriptions, glass lenses also had the effect of magnifying the eye, giving what is often referred to as the ‘coke-bottle’ look. The new age polycarbonate material lenses have made such inconvenience and aesthetic concerns a thing of the past.

For professionals who wish to avoid full frames, rimless and three-piece mountings are readily available alternatives for them. More than ever before, people today use spectacles as a style statement to add character to their personality. Apart from innovation in lenses, a lot of design and technical innovation has also been made to make frames more versatile and colourful. A number of people today keep more than one spectacle to complement their different looks, much like people keep more than one pair of shoes.

Spectacles as Preventive Devices

Newer discoveries in the field of ophthalmology have also propelled innovation in lens designs and construct. For example, the breakdown of light spectrum into its components and the analysis of the effect of each on the eyes is a recent phenomenon. The harmful effects of UV radiation on the eyes are well-known. Long-term exposure to UV radiation is linked to carcinomas as well as cataracts. Essilor in association with the Paris Vision Institute also deeply analysed the effects of blue light. This light emitted by the sun, by artificial light sources such as LEDs and computers or smart phones- is in the range of the visible light spectrum with wavelengths between 380-500 nm– some of this blue light plays a beneficial role in your health, in particular by regulating the internal biological clock that controls sleep, hunger, moods. However, a specific band of this light might have a harmful effect on the eyes, this harmful blue lights will lead to retinal cell death. Crizal Prevencia, the revolutionary new age lens is the first lens to offer selective protection against harmful blue light and UV rays. It preserves your overall well being by letting essential visible light to pass through and provides optimal vision and durable transparency.

Spectacles as fashion accessory

With spectacles becoming the most incredible accessory, the shape of the frame and colour can truly date you to an era. Bringing back the era of 70s and 80s, the fashion of large frames is one of the latest trends. Be it for vision correction or establishing a style statement, different shapes and size of spectacles play a major role in carving the personality. The retro and vintage styles are the latest hot picks. Selecting a pair from the available multi-colored laminates can also help in expressing your creative side.

Spectacles for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Often, the spectacle lenses that serve you very well indoors may not be of utmost use when you are engaged in high impact outdoor activities. Spectacles for outdoor should be capable of protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of UV, providing protection against glare of sun or traffic lights, providing you an unmatched clear vision, giving you a true color along with great eye comfort. This has given rise to a new range of advanced lenses Essilor Optifog lenses – that protect your lenses from fogging, Xperio polarised lenses that reduce reflections and protects you from glare and gives true colour perception. With over 400 designs and combinations of lenses to choose from, certainly there is no dearth of spectacles for outdoor activities with Xperio.


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