The human eye is extremely complex and as much I wish I could exhaustively describe every facet and nuance of how our windows to the universe work, I simply cannot do it justice. There are specialists for that, and I would do them a disservice if I even try to immerse myself deeper than being a regular consumer. Thankfully,there isan abundance of eye care professionals now available in the Philippines. However, as Isabel and I discovered, much like in our beloved automotive industry, there are significant myriad differences at the more sophisticated higher echelon levels not just for discerning customers looking for particular designs and straightforward eye corrections, but more importantly for complicated bespoke requirements dealing with focused applications for sports, diverse active lifestyle interests, driving, flying, science, medical field, eye trauma, separate eye ability/spectrums, and so much more. I am not even touching on Ophthalmologists (M.D.), Optometrist (O.D.), Opticians, Vision Therapists, Orthoptists, and Ocularists.
With worldwide populations increasing exponentially together with environmental changes, nutrition, genetics, behavioral evolutions, and the exceeding use of digital applications which will continue to steeply rise, more people are, and will be more in the near future, wearing glasses now more than ever in human history. Aside from Isabel, two of my five children have been wearing glasses from a fairly young age despite me at 47 years of age, as of this writing, am still holding on dearly to 20/20 vision, which is not perfect as many believe it is but it is a strong baseline. The standard essentially states that one can generally see clearly enough up to 20 feet. With my exceeding use of digital media and screens on a daily basis, and given that I drive close to 200,000 kilometers a year under variable conditions and climates the world over as the Founding Editor of C! Magazine, I decided to visit Vision Express to find a solution that would best suite my requirements. Vision Express is found in over 35 locations nationwide (www.visionexpress.ph).
My requirements were to find a new pair of eyeglassesthat were more than just fashionable “shades” for driving. I wanted a new pair with a new design that felt good to wear on extended periods that would allow shielding from excess Blue Light emissions when I’m writing, watching videos on my home screen, and when using my smartphone, while having the ability to transition from clear to tinted glass activated by UV rays to protect my eyes when driving. Blue Light waves are said to be among the shortest, highest energy wavelengths in the visible light spectrum. Because they are shorter, these “Blue” or High Energy Visible (HEV) wavelengths flicker more easily than longer, weaker wavelengths found naturally. This kind of flickering creates a glare that can reduce visual contrast and affect sharpness and clarity. Supposedly, this flickering and glaring may also be one of the factors that contribute to eyestrain, headaches, physical and mental fatigue.Transitions lenses are a lot more than just sun protection; they are highly innovative auto-adjusting lenses that protect the eyes from exposure to light associated with photophobia, migraines, and squinting. Transition lenses also block 100% UV light whether it is clear or tinted. The degree of UV light dictates the strength of tinting and the speed of adaptation.
The first thing I did was to take the comprehensive 7-step eye examination that Vision Express has in-house which is the most accurate walk-in consumer system found in the Philippines at the moment and naturally a proper medical eye doctor conducts it. The First step is Auto Refractometry to determine if you are near or far sighted or what degree of astigmatism. The Second step is the Visual Acuity Test which determines how far one can see, compared to normal vision standards with and without glasses. The Third step is Ophthalmoscopy to check the general health of the retinas and the internal structures of the eyes. The Fourth step is Retinoscopy, which the doctor assesses by shining light into the eyes to observe the light reflecting back from the eye to figure the eyes’ ability to focus and adjust for clarity much like how a camera lens functions. The Fifth step is the Binocular Vision test, which is a series of exercises to determine how the left and right eyes function together. The Sixth step is the Subjective Refraction exam which the doctor applies multiple combinations of trial lenses to determine the precise prescription to correct refractive error for maximum visual comfort. The final exam is the Duochrome Test, which assesses letters and numbers on green and red backgrounds to fine-tune the exact prescription.
The results from my exam astonishingly reconfirmed that I indeed still maintain genuine 20/20 vision but there were warning signs that if I didn’t take proactive measures to maintain or better even enhance my sight then I would begin to get compromised sooner than later. Isabel on the other hand already wears prescription lenses but also required similar additional needs comparable to my requirements. Her 7-step eye examination took significantly longer. The results of her exam were that she required even more special lenses that were also progressive (line-free multi-focals that have a seamless progression of added magnifying power for intermediate and near vision) since her prescription numbers increased. She now needed a tri—focal solution for both reading and looking at a distance while simultaneously handling her astigmatism.
Vision Express features two particular brands that both Isabel and I liked:Shamir for the special bespoke lenses and Maui Jim for our desired frames. Isabel and I both liked the design, feel, and comfort of the Maui Jim frames that were actually shades with outstanding polarized lenses. I chose the deep red Hana Bay model while Isabel chose the tortoise Road Trip model.
“Shamir Optical Industry Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of high-quality progressive and single vision lenses and molds. Established in 1972 as a manufacturer of bifocal lenses, it quickly moved on to the development of advanced progressive lenses. Over nearly five decades, Shamir has established itself as a global company known for innovation, cutting-edge technology, and stringent quality assurance practices. Offering total eyewear solutions to cover every need, Shamir also offers a comprehensive range of prescription safety eyewear solutions for a variety of work and sports environments. Labs and ECPs worldwide know they can count on Shamir to offer unique solutions with lenses that meet individual differences, from physiological traits such as distance between pupils, length of arms, or convergence/ divergence disorders, to lifestyle, type of work, hobbies, and so on. The result is a highly personalized lens that meets today’s visual performance demands.”
Vision Express applied both our unique settings to our awesome Maui Jim frames, which is one of the primary standout features of the Shamir lenses, being able to construct bespoke lenses on any frame. Shamir has the ability to design lenses optimally suited to a particular activity, from lenses for specific sports, to multi-purpose lenses that pay special attention to clear vision. My ultra-comfortable Maui Jim frames have custom SHAMIR SMART SV AW lenses using a combination of 1.50 Transitions Grey and Blueshield Glacier treatment. Isabel on the other hand uses a far more complex progressive lens solution with 1.53 Trivex Transitions in Grey, Attitude III Fashion 15 mm Blueshield + Glacier Plus on her Maui Jim frame.
Since I thankfully do not have any significant vision issues aside from general fatigue from work, I had to get accustomed to using my pair of glasses in situations where I normally wouldn’t especially indoors, which is the point to protect my vision. For Isabel on the other hand, despite being accustomed to wearing glasses for several years had a much steeper adaptation curve due to her new prescription combined with the use of progressive transition lenses.
My eyes feel more energized and cooler which significantly improves my ability to function effectively with reduced fatigue behind the steering wheel as well as in front of my computer screen. For Isabel who is not only a full-time super mom but also avery active custom chef and photographer for C! Magazine, now completely appreciates the benefits of her new pair of glasses. She has astoundingly less headaches, she sees with total clarity, and her full frames also help her cook better because they insulate her eyes better from the heat and general food emissions.
For eye care requirements,we both highly recommend Vision Express. Their team of doctors and staff are very warm, informative, and thorough which is so refreshing. The entire experience from the time we walked in and received our custom glasses a week after was splendid.