Companies

Essilor’s new gambit for eye UV protection

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 12, 2012 Published on July 12, 2012

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Remember the time you smeared on sun block of SPF 50 when headed to the beach or swimming on a particularly hot day.

Now, Essilor, the maker of the Crizal brand of ophthalmic lenses, has developed an E-SPF (eye-sun protection factor) rating for eyewear.

Mr Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, President, South Asia, Essilor, explains, as consumers would find it easier to relate to a rating such as SPF, having used it for skincare, it was thought best to brand it such. “Dermatologists have done a good job with the SPF rating, so we thought we should have a similar index for UV protection of the eyes,” he says.

The E-SPF values vary from 2 to a maximum of 25 for clear lenses and 50-Plus for tinted as well as polarised sun lenses.

Essilor has also launched Crizal Forte UV. Most lenses, says Mr Bhuvaraghan, prevent bulk of the UV rays from hitting the front side of the lens. But, UV rays, he says, can seep in from the side and back of the lens and the lens cannot offer protection. But, Essilor’s innovation has an anti-reflective coating on the back of the lens as well which eliminates UV light reflection into eyes.

Essilor, the market leader in plastic lenses, also makes the Varilux brand of lenses for presbytopia for the over 40-year-olds, which is being endorsed by former cricket captain K. Srikkanth.

Mr Bhuvaraghan said the eyewear maker also launched a special Varilux for India after some research few years ago. Most lenses till recently were developed for Caucasian faces. But, Indians have a pronounced nose, the bridge is larger, so are eyeballs and, “We Indians move their heads more to look around, than with the eyes,” he says. “We’ve taken the products to the next level of refinement,” he points out. Chinese noses, for instance, are flatter, eyes smaller and need different eyewear.

India consumes around 90 million pieces of eyewear annually. Sixty per cent of this would be glass but is quickly being replaced by plastic lenses. Essilor does not make lenses in glass, says Mr Bhuvaraghan. But, this vision correction is barely 10 per cent of the population and a large number remains undetected. In developed countries, at least 40 per cent of the population has corrected vision, he says.

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Published on July 12, 2012
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