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Celebrating 60 Years of Innovation

By Essilor Canada

Varilux is celebrating 60 years of innovation!

Progressive lenses, benefitting from 60 years of experience!

As of 2019, Varilux has enabled more than 400 million presbyopes to see better - that's more than the entire population of the United States! That number also means that more than one in two progressive lenses chosen around the world is a Varilux lens. Unsurprisingly, it is the progressive lens most recommended by eye care professionals. As a progressive lens pioneer, Varilux has always put its technological advancements at the service of consumer needs. That's why 96% of wearers say they are satisfied with their Varilux lenses.

It all began 60 years ago - in 1959. Bernard Maitenaz, an engineer at Essilor, wanted to offer his father a better, more aesthetic visual solution that was less inconvenient than his bifocals. Bernard devoted his research to the development of a lens that offered a progressive transition between near and far vision.

His success produced a real revolution in the field of optics — the new lens reduced the effect of imbalance caused by so many other lenses, while also offering a solution that was attractive to look at.

Standing at the centre of discoveries

As progressive lenses become more and more popular, Essilor continues its research to improve its product, continuously exceed consumer expectations, and offer the best lenses to a wider range of consumers. Varilux lenses can also have up to 30 patents on a single lens.

Following in the footsteps of the pioneering Bernard Maitenaz, Essilor focuses initially on consumer needs to guide research that leads to the development of new technologies. For example, in order to develop a progressive lens that meets the specific physiognomy and needs of Asian wearers, various carrier groups were invited to participate in the research that led to the launch of the Varilux Azio lens.

Similarly, in 2008, in order to be able to offer an innovative and unique personalization, Essilor developed Visioffice and Eyecode technologies, which allowed for the measurement of several individual criteria that can influence the composition of progressive lenses — always with the aim of reducing impacts on the lives of customers.

Finally, in 2017, Essilor studied the effect of new technologies on those who wore progressive lenses and developed two innovative solutions. The Blue Collection, which includes a technology integrated directly into the lens to protect the eye from the harmful effects of blue-violet light. The second innovation is the Varilux X Series, featuring the most advanced progressive technology. This lens, developed in collaboration with panels of lens testers, offers the clearest and most personalized vision experience to date.

When is it time to choose progressive lenses?

A progressive lens helps correct presbyopia. It restores clear vision at all distances unlike other optical solutions, such as simple reading glasses and a mid-distance lens. Presbyopia is a blurred vision that makes it difficult to focus up close. Through the natural evolution of vision, presbyopia usually appears in the forties, for both genders. As the eye's lens ages, it loses some of its elasticity and, consequently, its capacity for accommodation. It then becomes unable to ensure the focus that enables a person to see up closely.

The need to read a book (and your text messages) at arm's length is one of the signs of presbyopia. This means it's time to visit your eye care professional for an official diagnosis in addition to ensuring the absence of any other vision disorder. Visual health begins with prevention and then adopting the best protection and correction technologies for clear sight.