Progressive thinking

Tailor-made varifocals have been around for over 20 years yet few presbyopes have ever tried them, and some opticians don’t even offer personalised progressives. With the latest developments in freeform surfacing and digital measurement, could this all be about to change? Peter Black reports

Last month, third year students visiting ABDO’s new National Resource Centre to sit their final practical exams saw a few changes to previous years. One of these was the inclusion of measurements for individualised progressive power lenses (PPLS) for the first time.

Some students were unprepared for the requirement to measure pantoscopic tilt and face-form angle. A few were used only to fully computerised measurement systems in work and claimed not to have access to manual tools. Others admitted to working in practices where the lenses that are described as ‘tailor-made’ are not truly personalised and are simply available in a variety of corridor lengths and had never taken the required measurements.

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