Adjustable focus

Adjustable focus

Adjustable focus eyeglasses compensate for the effects of presbyopia, lack of focusing, by providing on-demand clarity at any desired distance.

Two approaches can be found in the literature: electro-optical (often utilizing liquid crystals as the active medium) and opto-mechanical. As to the former, [US patent is Berreman 4,190,330] ; to date no commercial electro-optical eyeglasses have been announced. As to the latter, perhaps the most comprehensive early work was that of Wright [US Patent 3,598,479 and Trans Ophthal Soc UK (1978) 98, 84] unfortunately fell short of practicality.Opto mechanical,adjustable focus spectacles, offer on-demand adjustable sometimes called variable focus over the entire lens area. Focus is controlled by the wearer, via movement of a small slider located on top of the bridge. The user adjusts the lens for optical clarity at the desired distance.

Adjustable focus eyeglasses are suitable for a wide range of every day needs and environments. They combine high quality rigid ophthalmic lenses carrying the user’s complete distance eyeglass prescription, with flexible lenses that change shape to deliver on-demand optical add power thereby enabling sharp focus at every distance from infinity up to 13". The appropriate addition range depends on the user’s level of presbyopia, which is closely related to age, and can be as high as 3.00 diopters. A tiny mechanism, actuated by the slider, simultaneously controls both flexible lenses to assure appropriate ADD tracking in both eyes.

Bifocals and progressive lenses are static in that the user has to change their eye position to look through the appropriate zone power corresponding to the desired focal point. Typically up, through the top of the lens for distance and down, through the bottom of the lens for near.


The youthful human eye provides dynamic focus. Presbyopia is the age-related loss of accommodation. The notion that adjustable focus glasses would provide ideal vision for presbyopes has long been recognized. Achieving that goal, however, has proven difficult primarily because of optical and mechanical restraints.


Optimal vision over the entire field of view, in any direction, and at every distance, far, near orin-between.

The ideal ADD power can be achieved with precision because the dynamic lenses simulate the focusing action of the youthful human eye.Adjustable focus spectacles also eliminate;
* image-jump and spatial distortion in the field of view, created by static multifocal lenses; people are less likely to trip when walking up or down steps.
* the distortions inherent in progressive variable addition lenses (PALs).
* head tilt and rotation associated with bifocals and progressive addition lenses, in order to view object clearly.


The adjustable focus mechanism is controlled by a slider located on the bridge which spans the user’s nose; these glasses are therefore not suitable for use when wearing a helmet for example, when riding a motorcycle.


* Progressive Addition Lenses: History, Design, Wearer Satisfaction and Trends Pope, D R OSA TOPS Vol. 35, Vision Science and Its Applications, 2000
* Presbyopia: prevalence, impact, and interventions. Patel I, West SK. Community Eye Health. 2007 Sep;20(63):40-1
* Tolerance to prism induced by readymade spectacles du Toit R, Ramke J, Brian G Optom Vis Sci. 2007 Nov;84(11):1053-9
* The mechanics of accommodation in relation to presbyopia Fisher RFEye. 1988;2 ( Pt 6):646-9.
* Effects of interocular blur suppression ability on monovision task performance Schor C, Carson M, Peterson G, Suzuki J, Erickson P J Am Optom Assoc. 1989 Mar;60(3):188-92
* Visual acuity and optical parameters in progressive-power lenses Villegas EA, Artal P Optom Vis Sci. 2006 Sep;83(9):672-81
* Are all aberrations equal? Applegate RA, Sarver EJ, Khemsara V J Refract Surg. 2002 Sep-Oct;18(5):S556-62
* A population study on changes in wave aberrations with accommodation Cheng H, Barnett JK, Vilupuru AS, J Vis. 2004 Apr 16;4(4):272-80
* The optics of occupational progressive lenses Sheedy JE, Hardy RF Optometry. 2005 Aug;76(8):432-41
* Progressive addition lenses--matching the specific lens to patient needs. Sheedy JE.Optometry. 2004 Feb;75(2):83-102.
* Progressive addition lenses--measurements and ratings. Sheedy J, Hardy RF, Hayes JR Optometry. 2006 Jan;77(1):23-39
* Progressive powered lenses: the Minkwitz theorem Sheedy JE, Campbell C, Optom Vis Sci. 2005 Oct;82(10):916-22
* Correlation analysis of the optics of progressive addition lenses Sheedy JEOptom Vis Sci. 2004 May;81(5):350-61
* Will visual discomfort among visual display unit (VDU) Horgen G, Aarås A, Thoresen M. Optom Vis Sci. 2004 May;81(5):341-9
* Comparative investigations of progressive lenses Diepes H, Tameling A. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1988 Jul;65(7):571-9.
* Compensating presbyopia: a new physiological progressive lens McGarry MB, Manning TM. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2003 Jan;23(1):13-20
* The advantages and disadvantages of bifocal lenses Zanen ABull Soc Belge Ophtalmol. 1997;264:71-8
* Contraindications of multifocal lenses and progressive lenses Bourgeois R.Bull Soc Belge Ophtalmol. 1997;264:87-96
* The correction and management of ametropia in older patients David B Elliott PhD, MCOptom, FAAO Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 2004;45:2122-2128.)
* Stepping Up to a New Level: Effects of Blurring Vision in the Elderly Heasley K, Buckley J G,Elliott D B
* Monovision: a review Evans BJOphthalmic Physiol Opt. 2007 Sep;27(5):417-39

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