Everyday eyewear: Lens technology for pandemic times


It’s a bit cliché to say, but true nonetheless: from socializing to shopping, our behavior is changing in the face of COVID-19. And as our friend Newton tells us, for every action there is a reaction. In terms of our vision, what are we doing more of lately and what does it mean for you?  More importantly, how can your eyewear help solve for new snags?

Coming out of the fog

Anti-fog lens technology has existed for a while, helping those in colder climates de-fog after transitioning to a warm house, or offering more clarity to sporty types who sweat.

One solution to help with this situational fogging is Optifog®, a hydrophilic lens coating designed to repel fog and mist. Treatments can be applied to all lenses, tinted or not, and for all visual corrections.1

For glasses wearers now donning masks, the need for an anti-fog solution is becoming far more widespread.

With masks, the air you exhale (containing droplets) escapes upward toward the lens and the condensation causes fogging, mostly on the back side of the lens.  New Essilor® Anti-Fog AR offers a coating applied to the back side of the surface, as well as a no-glare coating on the front. Goodbye fog.

There are some DIY anti-fog tips to try, like washing your glasses with soapy water immediately before wearing your mask2, but a coating directly applied to the lens helps make sure you’re prepared for any situation.

Digital lenses

Work-at-home is translating into more screen-at-home. This increased screen time means we need to stay on the lookout for digital eye strain, which can cause dry eyes, headaches and blurred vision.3

One way to help combat digital eye strain is with specially designed eyewear, like these from LensCrafters®. Some lenses now come with wider viewing areas, ideal when focusing on up-close or intermediate distances for long periods of time.

Photochromic lenses that automatically adjust to light (like Transitions®) are another option to manage screens or sunlight. More on that here. You can even take a quiz to find out how light sensitive you are.

Shield your eyes

More shoppers are looking for glasses that offer greater coverage around the eye. That’s why Oakley® and Eye Safety Systems (ESS) are introducing a new “Shield Your Eyes” collection, with a mix of iconic models featuring a broader viewing area, some that are even certified as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Oakley® is expanding complementary apparel, too, offering a series of masks, neck gaiters, bandanas and garments made from antibacterial fabric.

No matter the eyewear or accessory, you’ll definitely want to take the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Wash your hands and do whatever you can to avoid touching your eyes.

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1. Anti-fog lenses: An everyday improvement. Essilor. Accessed May 2020.

2. A simple method to prevent spectacle lenses misting up on wearing a face mask. The Royal College of Surgeons of England. Accessed May 2020.

3. Digital Eye Strain. The Vision Council. Accessed May 2020.