We are all inundated by digital technology. It shows up in our cell phones, High Definition tVs, automobiles, and also in our eyeglass lenses.

That’s right, digital lenses. No, you won’t find wires and circuits and you won’t need batteries either, but digital has come to consumer optics.

In the past, lenses were molded, cut and polished with varying degrees of accuracy and clarity. It was the best technology had to offer.

When you have the best there is, it’s hard to imagine anything better. Lenses, especially no-line or progressive lenses offered a high degree of clarity for most of the tasks we had throughout the day. But the new digital lenses are clearer, sharper and custom designed to your prescription.

Let me explain: Originally progressive lenses were molded with the reading portion on the front surface. Sometimes, with complicated or toric (non-spherical)

prescriptions, the curves that made up the reading area on the front, conflicted with the curves of the patient’s prescription on the back.

This optical interference would create dead spots in the wearer’s vision. This problem is referred to as constructive or destructive interference. I learned this when I built my first laser in the early 1980s.

New digital lenses are created with a completely different process. Instead of the molded progressive front, the reading portion of the lens is integrated with your prescription as a unified whole. There are no unusual optical aberrations causing areas of poor vision; there is no destructive interference due to unwanted astigmatism; and the reading segment is wider and easier to use than ever before.

Digital lenses are changing the way we see, and can be customized to the wearer’s needs as well as the prescription. One of the benefits for consumers is that, over the last few years several companies have engineered exceptional lenses. So for us as buyers, our choices have increased substantially.

Some of the best lens products at this time are Shamir’s Autograph, an exceptional digital lens with the best optics according to numerous consumer studies; Essilor’s Physio Enhanced and the Essilor S Series lenses offer incredible clarity and comfort; and finally the Hoya ID lenses with unique optics designed for your lifestyle.

These lenses are all available in a wide range of materials from thin to thinner, and options such as Transitions or Crizal coatings. Digital can enhance your lifestyle and it doesn’t need batteries or a complicated manual. Ask your eye care professional for the best in optics.