Eyeglasses for weight management? What does vision have to do with my weight?
I often discuss how dieters should read nutrition panels and ingredients found on food packages. For many people, those letters are too small to read. Impaired vision might make valuable information imperceptible. A new high-tech digital technology, developed in Israel, called Omnifocal helps clarify the fuzz for those wearing eyeglasses.
A relatively common eye condition called presbyopia is a gradual, age-related loss of the eyes’ ability to focus actively on nearby objects. It is noticeable in the early to mid-40’s and worsens until around age 65. Some may develop symptoms in their 30’s. It is a form of far-sightedness: a need to hold reading material at arm’s length to make letters clearer, and blurred vision at normal reading distance. Not optimal for reading small letters on packaging, presbyopia may be a possible source for headaches and tiredness when reading.
The condition can be corrected with nonprescription or prescription eyeglasses, or contact lenses. Omnifocal offers a new alternative to current eyeglasses for more fluid, sharp vision at all distances. Omnifocal lenses incorporate some very sci-fi technologies that may sound so fantastic. Can it really work?
Until now, children and adults with farsightedness had quite a few options for eyeglasses. They required medical prescriptions and some adaptability.
The most common, used by adults, are non-prescription eyeglasses designed for reading. They offer magnification measured by diopters – fixed adjustments to lens refraction. Some of these lenses, though inexpensive, offer slightly distorted images.
When an optometrist tests your vision, s/he asses the possible diopter measurements to optimize your vision, near and far. There are several types of eyeglasses that integrate near and far vision in one frame.
Bifocals correct near and far vision (“bi”means two). A small half-circle in the lower part of the lens magnifies objects that are close. In some cases, the whole lower half of the lens magnifies these objects.
Trifocals correct near, middle, and far vision (“tri” means three). The lower part of the lens has two magnifying powers. One magnifies near objects. The other magnifies objects that are about an arm’s length away.
Progressive lenses change magnifying power from near to middle to far vision gradually. You do not notice a change from one power to the next. And you do not see any lines on the lenses. But the sides of the lenses will be blurry.
An advanced progressive lens is available by manufacturers such as Kodak. Called Free Form HD lenses, that require a prescription. They add a special digital surfacing technology to facilitate better vision.
Seeing borders and blurriness are due to where the prescription is located, a hotspot (where prescription is imprinted). The remaining portion of the lens does not have any prescription. People who have weak eye muscles may find these eyeglasses annoying. They can never adjust to them. Even the Free Form lens requires adaptation.
The Deep Optics Omnifocal is an optic lens that is digitally dynamic to correspond with your eye’s visual tracking. A built-in processor quickly adjusts diopters based on what you are looking at. Omnifocal is a magical looking glass.
Also available, users may choose multifocal contact lenses as an alternative. Originally, the only way to wear contacts for presbyopia was by wearing a lens for near vision on one eye and a lens for distance vision on the other– a technique called monovision. It supposedly tricked the brain into seeing full-range. Some suffered from balance issues. Multifocal contact lenses and have gained popularity but may have some side-effects to be aware of.
Available in many styles, Omnifocal eyeglasses consist of a processing unit (in the frame), and pupillary eye sensors at the frame’s bridge. Those sensors track your pupil to aim at what you want to see.
Omnifocal lenses consist of two layers: a regular static lens for far vision and a pixelated dynamic liquid-crystal lens for near and intermediate vision. This electronic pixelated lens constantly changes its optical power to adjust viewing distance based on data processed right in the frame from two virtually hidden sensors tracking the wearer’s line of sight.
A liquid crystal layer adjusts Omnifocals to provide a full field of vision at all times. Photo: courtesyA liquid crystal layer adjusts Omnifocals to provide a full field of vision at all times. The liquid adjusts the refractive index of the lens in virtually real time, the way it bends light.
Omnifocal lenses and eyeglasses sound, at the very least, a dramatic new way of seeing. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy glasses that include this technology any time soon. While the company has the basics of a working prototype, including functional lenses and other components, it still has a lot of work to do when it comes to perfecting the lenses and the system for detecting pupil distance. It is still theoretical. Does this Israel-based company have the funding to carry this to a marketable product?
About 50% adults in USA lack 20/20 (perfect) vision. About 30 percent of Americans are nearsighted to some degree. About 60 percent are farsighted.
Vision is crucial for reading food packages especially when considering serving sizes, carbohydrates, and neutral ingredients. Is this food really vegan? Is it really gluten-free? What constitutes calories?
Vision is of vital importance. It is how we define reality. While there are eyeglasses that deliver multifocal optics, the Omnifocal lenses seem to offer vast improvements as possible replacements for current multifocal lenses. For now, at least for practical use, they are farsighted dreams away.
Most insurance plans do not cover multifocal lenses. Fortunately, with prescriptions, people may find reasonable priced eyeglass retailers online or at large mall retailers. Most offer free or low-cost optometry exams. A good optometrist may recommend what eyewear is best or whether you may need an ophthalmologist.
Uncorrected presbyopia may be connected with headaches, eye fatigue, discomfort, or drowsiness when doing close-up work such as: Reading, Needlepoint, Computer work, and homework. Whether weight management or practically anything visual, routine eye exams and corrective eyewear help keep us informed, entertained, and feeling better. When it comes to weight management, reading nutritional content and serving sizes AND seeing clearly when exercising are definite benefits.