It’s the year of working together—no, I’m not talking about politics (though that would be a good thing also) but in our world, that of binocularity. It may seem like it happens automatically in progressives but that’s not always the case.

In the early days of progressive lens designs, there was much less control over the positioning of the actual reading area actually used by the patient. That’s because the reading area is a result of the distance prescription, the power and especially the axis and its prismatic effects on down and inward gaze. Then consider corridor length, inset, reading distance (not always 16 inches) and finally any anisometropia, and it’s understandable why some patients can more easily read through one lens versus the other. In fact, when binocularity is achieved, patients are much more pleased with their lenses.

Progressives continue to make progress to be an even better solution, and new lenses have important features that add value for the patient and warrant the patient to spend more. Look for the new lenses with improved binocularity; they cost more but wearer testing shows that patients will be happier—so will your practice.

In this year of working together, it’s also easy to get a bit agitated. High blood pressure is a problem for the eyes as well. In this case, this month’s CE is titled “Ocular Effects of Hypertension,” written by a new author, Benjamin Betines. Written while he was an opticianry student at Raritan Community College, Betines graduated and passed the ABO, and now we can share his expertise through accredited CE. In this course, we can understand the symptoms and characteristics of hypertension, learn how hypertension affects the eyes and the visual system, and know enough so that patients are seen by an ophthalmic professional for diagnosis and treatment.

If you have any questions or comments, send me a text or e-mail.

Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM