At Eclectic Eye, we embrace the chance to offer our patients a singular, tailored experience. This experience carries through all aspects of our business; from our comprehensive medical services, to our knowledgeable staff, to superior frame and lens options, we ensure that everything is done with the patient’s specific needs in mind. So when we’re confronted with an unusual request or issue that a patient brings us, we are eager to think outside of the box to find a custom eyewear solution.
Recently, a patient came to us with a very specific need that led us to a rather creative eyewear solution. This patient is a commercial pilot, and he was having an issue with his progressive lenses. In his everyday life, his lenses work perfectly; the distance is clear, and the added reading power at the bottom helps him to focus near when he needs to see small print. His issue arose in the cockpit, the place where his sight is the most crucial. While most of the reading we do every day is positioned lower and requires us to look down, the cockpit of a commercial plane features an instrument panel overhead. The issue with the placement of this panel is that when a pilot looks up to read the instruments, there is no added power at the top of the lens to assist their eyes in focusing.
Dr. Weinberg and our lab specialist, Chris, put their heads together to come up with a solution. We thought about employing an occupational bifocal design in the lens. There are several different styles of occupational bifocals with reading power in different areas of the lens to accommodate various types of work. The problem with these lenses is they aren’t practical outside of work, and the patient would need to have another pair with the typical progressive lens to use in everyday life. So what if the reading power at the top could be added when the pilot needs it in the cockpit, and removed when it’s not needed?
The Eyewear Solution
We decided to create a clip with a half lens attached that would provide that reading power at the top of the progressive when it’s needed. The clip can be attached when the pilot is flying, and even flips up so it’s conveniently out of the way in moments where reading power is not necessary. The clip is custom-made to fit the patient’s Cuthbert & Chen buffalo horn frame, and is so easy to pop on and off. The best part is that the patient still only needs one pair of glasses! No toting around one pair of everyday glasses and one work pair; the clip can be stored in its slim case and attached whenever he needs it.
The result of this eyewear solution was exactly what we had envisioned and hoped for. We always welcome opportunities to solve problems with creative ingenuity, challenge our eyewear architects’ innovation and push the boundaries of our lab’s production capabilities. If you’re encountering an issue with your vision in a specific activity or area of your life, make an appointment with one of our architects to discuss a customized solution!
Read more from Lee Blankenship, eyewear architect, and the rest of our staff here!