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Fine-tuned for Perfect Visual Harmony: Accolade and Accolade Freedom

By Kristie Miller, ABOC, NCLC,
Technical Marketing Manager, Essilor of America

Release Date: March 2007
Expiration Date: March 31, 2009

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, the participant should be able to:

  1. Identify three key factors for Accolade with Harmonix Technology and Accolade Freedom with FrameOptimization Technology for visual performance.
  2. Distinguish visual performance factors for Accolade, new Essilor progressive lens products.
  3. Understand that different eye shapes require different lens designs.

Faculty/Editorial Board: 
Mark Mattison-Shupnick
Kristie Miller ABOC, NCLC, has been in the optical field more than 20 years and is currently the technical marketing manager for Essilor of America, Inc. She assists with product technical messages to all levels within the optical industry. Previously, she held various positions—including director of training, territory director—within major retail chains.

Credit Statement:
This course is approved for one (1) hour of CE credit by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO). Course #: SJMI059-1 Please check with your state licensing board to see if this approval counts toward your CE requirement for relicensure.

This course is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from ESSILOR.

Presbyopia typically begins around the age of 45. With Baby Boomers aging and many approaching their 60s, their visual needs have also expanded and as a result has become a rapidly expanding segment for better progressive lenses. In fact, this segment is growing faster than the total population and represents a growing portion of the workforce. What’s happened to the presbyope as their numbers have grown?

Today’s presbyope values three things: self-efficiency, self-image and self-fulfillment.

Your presbyopic patient’s experience enables them to make informed decisions. They utilize technology to be more efficient with their time, enabling them to enjoy higher quality personal time. In fact, one of the fastest growing age groups on the Internet is the over 60 year old. They want to have the best of career and family, while still pushing themselves toward their goals. They also want to enjoy well-deserved breaks from their careers. As a result, they will spend on leisure activities and the necessary items (clothes, sunglasses, etc.) that can make those breaks more enjoyable.

The over-45 population also has a strong self-image. They are aware of their changing needs and look for products and services that fit their lifestyle. They seek solutions to maintain health and wellness. They look for natural and alternative prevention strategies, product innovations based on observation of natural behavior, ergonomics and aesthetics.

More than anything else, this group is creating their own style. They are attentive to products that reflect their individual style and personality. They are knowledgeable consumers that demand customized solutions. They are interested in self-expression and the appeal of brand names. They want the opportunity to customize products to fit their needs.So how have most presbyopes met their lens needs? Of the eyeglass wearing population, a little more than half is presbyopic. So, about half of all eyeglass wearers wear multifocal lenses. Of the multifocals, more than half of those are progressives, 56 percent (over 22 million pair of lenses) vs. 44 percent bifocals (about 18 million pair). Some wear single-vision lenses and use them as prescription reading glasses. About 39 million over-the-counter readers were sold in 2006 and there is still a large number that need but use no corrective lenses at all. Therefore, there is a large opportunity for new and better progressives to better meet the needs of the presbyopic population.

The questions are 1. How to deliver higher performance lenses for the presbyope recognizing their values i.e., progressive lenses better tuned to their wants for the latest technologies, improvements in self-image and style? And 2. How can technology allow more presbyopes to see the benefits of switching from bifocals to progressives? Therefore, there is a large opportunity for a new progressive technology to better meet the needs of the presbyopic population.

Essilor has a long history of innovation in progressive lens technology. Essilor Ovation lenses have played a major role in meeting the demands of the presbyopic world. As one of the world’s top selling progressive lenses it set a high standard of performance for progressive lens wearers. It provided customized progression lengths specific to a prescription called variable corridor length. It also integrated variable inset i.e., placement of the near zone’s inset, also specific to the prescription. These characteristics make dispensing easier and improve patient satisfaction since the near zone is where it is required for each prescription and patient. This contributed to the brand’s success.

Through continued research by Essilor, these characteristics have been further improved allowing enhanced vision. Accolade and Accolade Freedom use three new-patented technologies to help patients see better, faster.Accolade and Accolade Freedom are designed to meet the increased demands of today’s presbyopes. They have a customized design for best individual performance.

There are three key factors that one must consider for individual progressive visual performance. They are lens prescription, eye shape and frame measurements. Essilor has integrated these three key factors into its Accolade lens design. Lens prescription, eye shape and frame measurements are variable and highly specific to each individual. Consequently, considering the interrelationships of these factors and their visual effects allows creation of a final lens design that can greatly improve individualized visual performance and provide faster adaptation.Three new patents were granted that cover the Accolade lens design system. One patent is for how the Accolade lens incorporates lens prescription and eye shape. The integration of these factors is called Harmonix Technology and it provides patients and dispensers lenses customized to specific eye shapes. The two other new patents are for Accolade Freedom. They describe a way of incorporating lens prescription, eye shape with the ordered frame measurements.Accolade Freedom with Frame-Optimization Technology in addition to Harmonix Technology, provides the most advanced design possible with greater frame choice options. FrameOptimization Technology optimizes the available visual space in each frame both vertically and horizontally.

The shape of the eye is calculated, then a progressive design is biometrically imaged
to best match that shape’s needs and the progressive design is completed.

Each wearer’s prescription and eye shape is different. These different eye shapes require different progressive lens designs due to changes in the position of the rotational center and the way objects are imaged on the back of the retina. Each eye shape has different visual requirements.

A myopic eye has an elongated shape, which results in a steeper, more curved retina; causing the wearer to need wider visual zones. A hyperopic eye is shorter and more compact, which results in a flatter retina, creating the need for softer power changes. A low ametropic eye is close to the length of a normal eye and mostly spherical, which results in a curved retina, creating the need for minimal distortion.

By adjusting the progressive design to meet the needs of the patient’s ametropia, Accolade provides faster adaptation and better visual acuity.

The elongated shape of the myopic eye results in a steeper curved retina. This creates the need for wider visual zones in the myopic lens wearer. The longer eye and steeper retina, farther from the lens creates an image distributed over a steeper arc (more area) on the retina. Therefore, the effects of surface power changes are more spread out over the arc and less disturbing to the wearer. So the myope uses more of the lens surface and would benefit from wider zones of clear vision. Harmonix design delivers precisely what the myopic eye requires: fields of vision that are up to 12 percent wider than Ovation lenses.

The hyperopic eye is more compact, resulting in a flatter retina and shorter arc. This creates the need for softer power changes because patients perceive power changes more dramatically. Because the eye is shorter and the image on the retina must fit a smaller area, power changes occur faster and may be more disturbing to the wearer. As a result, hyperopes benefit from softer gradients, which are less disturbing. So hyperopes use less of the lens surface and benefit from a softer gradient improving overall comfort.

Harmonix design manages power changes with gradients that are up to 17 percent softer than Ovation lenses.

The low ametropic eye is mostly spherical in shape, resulting in a more standard curved retina. This presbyope may be just as happy not wearing their glasses for distance vision but requires them for reading. Therefore, to make the glasses comfortable to wear and deliver good reading, there is a need for minimal distortion. Harmonix design meets the custom needs of the low ametropic eye by providing the best balance between wide fields of vision and smooth gradients.

Individual differences in eye shape require a unique lens design to maximize vision and adaptation. And that’s just what patented Harmonix Technology provides; a progressive lens design, customized to eye shapes for faster adaptation and better performance. The way that the power is distributed on the lens surface improves patient comfort. In addition, adjusting the zone sizes and customizing the placement of the near for any frame chosen makes sense.

The bottom line is that Accolade with patented Harmonix Technology delivers better vision, faster than ever before by providing precisely what each eye shape requires, softer gradients for hyperopes, the best balance between wide fields of vision and smooth gradients for low ametropes and wider fields of vision for myopes.

Patient preference studies allow an investigation of the effectiveness of variable inset, corridor length and Harmonix Technology. In a study of over 100 patients, Accolade was compared with Ovation. The results were as follows.

Nine out of 10 patients adapted immediately to Accolade. This is important since today’s presbyopes value their time and want products they buy to meet their needs.

Patients had a clear preference for Accolade. In fact, they preferred it three to one over Ovation for overall peripheral and dynamic vision. This is confirmation of improved power distribution better tuned to the wearer’s eye shape and prescription. These results confirm that Accolade meets the needs of individual eye shapes, delivers faster adaptation, better visual performance and even greater patient satisfaction than Ovation.

Accolade Freedom provides an additional feature that can further improve the vision of progressive lens wearers, FrameOptimization Technology. Accolade Freedom has two new patents that cover a unique customization concept based on frame dimensions. In addition to Harmonix Technology, customizing the lens design to the patient’s prescription and eye shape, Accolade Freedom was designed to optimize the amount of visual space delivered regardless of the frame selected. Therefore, the corridor length and lens design is not fixed but is adjusted to match the prescription and frame chosen. Designs are adjusted automatically. So patients enjoy the fast adaptation and individual visual performance of Accolade for any frame they choose.

Progressive lens performance can be affected by frame choice. However, Accolade Freedom does more than provide greater frame choice. The lens is designed to accommodate the unique size of each frame. This customized design provides better vision across all vision zones by optimizing the lens design, based on available visual space.

FrameOptimization Technology customizes the lens design specific to each patient’s prescription, frame dimensions and fitting measurements. By using Digital Surfacing, a method of precisely cutting the progressive surface required, this technology calculates and modifies the assembly of the distance and near zones, corridor length and optimizes them with the peripheral portions of the lens. These optimized fields of vision can be delivered in any frame by customizing the backside design. The patented combination of front and backside design—unique to FrameOptimization Technology in Accolade Freedom—retains the initial design targets and provides a progression length according to the frame requirements. It optimizes the visual space of the frame selected, both vertically and horizontally.

Accolade Freedom with FrameOptimization Technology accounts for these differences in an individual prescription based on the dimensions of the frame, as well as the pupil position in the frame. All this is accomplished without the need for additional measurements. This technology allows for greater frame choice with a minimum fitting height as low as 15mm.

Automatic adjustment of the design creates an optimal result
for patients, optimizing frame size, PD and fitting height while
providing the optician the ability to give patients a more
individualized progressive.

Accolade Freedom maximizes the visual performance for each prescription because it adjusts the design for the eye shape of the wearer and includes variable corridor length and inset. Visual zone size is maximized considering wearer attributes. There is more freedom in frame choice since the design is adjusted to fit the frame and patient measurements and customization of the design is optimized without the need for additional measurements.

Accolade and Accolade Freedom are designed for today’s presbyope looking for the newest generation of progressive lenses. They use and understand how many of the newest technologies aid and assist in making their life more enjoyable. This new technology has been developed to fit their needs exactly. Describe the lens as designed for their changing needs and as a progressive lens innovation based on observation of visual behavior, ergonomics and aesthetics. It meets their sense of style and demand for customized solutions. They utilize technology to be more efficient with their time, enabling them to enjoy higher quality personal time. Accolade is customized to fit their needs.

Accolade Freedom is for patients wanting complete freedom of choice with their frame selection.

In addition, they have been designed for those currently wearing Ovation, as well as new presbyopes or those wearing other progressive lenses.

In a lens market where there is a rapidly expanding segment for better progressive lenses, dispensers should consider the newest technologies and switch patient to those lenses. The Accolade patented technologies provide maximum visual acuity based on prescription and eye shape in an optimized design. Accolade Freedom automatically fits this design technology into virtually any frame and patient measurements, all ensuring fast adaptation. ■

Essilor is a registered trademark of Essilor International, S.A. Accolade, Accolade Freedom, Harmonix and FrameOptimization are trademarks of Essilor of America, Inc.