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Thread: What are the main Varilux lens design differences?

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    OptiBoard Apprentice OptiBoard Bronze Supporter DHN68356's Avatar
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    What are the main Varilux lens design differences?

    I currently work for a company that sells primarily Varilux PALs. Nothing fancy just the Ellipse, Comfort & Physio and none of the digital variants of those lenses although we do offer non-Essilor Digital lenses. Could anybody give me some advice as to how to describe the differences of theses products to new employees with not much experience? I hear people selling Physios all the time to the exclusion of other lenses including digital lenses, and the language used is not what I would consider knowledgeable.
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."

    Will Rogers

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    Varilux Comfort is the original hard-design semi-finished progressive. Basically, a hard-design lens is going to put emphasis on stretching the width of the near zone as far as possible, thereby allowing for a more sedentary patient to feel comfortable in them. The patient will be able to move their eyes from side to side slightly more than with other PAL designs. As a result of this, the refractive aberrations at the periphery will be more intense. Oftentimes, hard design lenses are used for patients who are already comfortable using progressive lenses, and generally for those who lead mostly sedentary lives.

    Varilux Physio is the exact opposite. It is a soft-design lens, meaning the emphasis of the lens is put on reducing refractive aberrations and smoothing out the transitions between the different areas of the lens. As a result, however, the width of the usable reading area is narrowed, causing the patient to have to move their head more when performing near-vision tasks. It generally works well for those who are new to progressives (as distortion is usually a big complaint of those who are not adjusted yet). Patients who have a lower Rx, and especially those who have less astigmatism correction will generally do very well with soft-design lenses, because their Rx does not compound the refractive aberrations that are present with progressive lenses.

    Unfortunately, I do not have experience dispensing or using Varilux Ellipse, so I cannot comment on that design.

    When compared to digital lenses, all of these lens designs are generally inferior. Digital designs - when fit properly - will provide the most customized lens based on frame fitting parameters and patient Rx. The only exception to this is the patient who has worn the same lens design for an extended period of time and does not want to change anything. In those cases, it is generally better to just simply use what the patient already has (providing it is available to your office).

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    A great must read is this Hall of Fame thread and pay special attention to Sharpstick's posts. Here and whenever he posts for that matter:


    http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...ckside+digital

    Also this (especially post #11):

    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...ountain+design

  4. #4
    One eye sees, the other feels. OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    The Varilux Comfort is generally a soft design, that is, soft at distance and intermediate, but somewhat harder at near. Most PAL designs use elements of both designs, possibly depending on the base curve and/or add power.

    https://www.wernerkoeppen.com/filead...ComfortDOZ.pdf

    Old school hard designs are VIP, SuperNoline, and Adaptar. Pretty much unwearable unless previously worn.
    The Elipse is a short corridor semi-soft design. Success depended on stupidly narrow frames popular 10 to 15 years ago.

    The Physio has a distance emphasis, forcing a somewhat narrow corridor and near zone. This design attempts to reduce 3rd order aberrations inherent in PAL designs, and adds a small amount of minus power above the fitting cross, possibly resulting in improved scotopic performance.

    Hope this helps,

    Robert Martellaro
    Roberts Optical Ltd.
    Wauwatosa Wi.
    www.roberts-optical.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. - Richard P. Feynman

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    Robert, thank you for correcting my language.

    DNICKELLII, I apologize for not being as clear as possible. Robert's analysis (as it usually is) is spot-on. I had the right idea of the way the lenses were constructed and emphasized, but I was not using the terminology for hard and soft lens designs properly.

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    OptiBoard Apprentice OptiBoard Bronze Supporter DHN68356's Avatar
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    I really appreciate the input from everybody! I find it somewhat difficult to describe the differences in theses lenses without getting too technical and "going over the head" of associates that don't know any better than to sell a Varilux because it's the "best". I really hate trying to explain optics to people employed in the optics industry only to see their eyes glaze over as I speak. Perhaps I should take a course on public speaking or interpersonal communication.
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."

    Will Rogers

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    The Ellipse was created when really narrow lenses and frames were popular. It's made for when your fitting height is 18 or less.I had a pair and I thought they were probably the worst progressive I have ever worn and I've worn many. I really not that picky about my progressives and can wear anything. But I was much more aware that I was wearing a progressive with the Ellipse.

    I have always had excellent results with the Physio. Great all around lens. If fitting 18 or less I suggest using the Physio Short.

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter ak47's Avatar
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    While I rarely use Ellipse these days, I have used it a lot in the past, and can honestly say I have NEVER had a non-adapt when fit properly.

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