A-Z of Eyewear: VWX

Optician’s A to Z of Eyewear is a monthly tour of eyewear terminology, focusing on the essential materials, shapes, componentry, iconic brands and some unusual stops in between

Often known as progressives, varifocal lenses offer a gradient of correction power across their surface in order to provide clear vision for various viewing requirements. These properties mean the lenses are widely used as a solution to presbyopia, which is common in people more than 40 years old, and can offer highly specialised vision solutions.

While a British patent was granted to Owen Aves in 1907
for a varifocal style lens that was never made available commercially, the invention of modern varifocal designs are generally attributed to engineer Bernard Maitenaz for French company Societe des Lunetiers, which eventually became Essilor, in 1959.

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