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Essilor Helps Reduce Patients’ Exposure To Harmful Blue Light; Clear Lens Protection Available Now In Select Digital Lenses

By Essilor News

April 15, 2016

DALLAS – April 15, 2016 – Essilor of America, the nation's leading manufacturer of optical lenses, announces the availability of Smart Blue Filter™, a clear feature embedded into the lens to reduce exposure to Harmful Blue Light.  Essilor’s Smart Blue Filter feature is available in select Varilux® Digital (PAL) and Eyezen+™ (enhanced SV) products at no additional cost. Additionally, Transitions® adaptive lenses also have the built-in Smart Blue Filter feature. 

Essilor partnered with the Paris Vision Institute to research a range of high-energy visible light in the hopes of identifying the specific light bandwidths that may be most hazardous to the eyes. These Research and Development efforts revealed exposure to blue-violet light, located between 415 and 455 nanometers on the light spectrum, is potentially harmful to the retina over the long term. Today, Essilor’s Smart Blue Filter feature blocks 20 percent of this Harmful Blue Light while allowing beneficial Blue-Turquoise Light, located between 465-495 nanometers, to pass through to the eye.

“It’s our mission, as well as our responsibility, to create products to help preserve and improve sight, ultimately allowing patients to have better and more fulfilled lives,” said Eric Leonard, president, Essilor of America. “The Smart Blue Filter feature is our latest innovation designed to protect patients against potential longterm effects of Harmful Blue Light.”

Harmful Blue Light is everywhere – it’s present in the sun and outdoors in all weather conditions. It is also present indoors from artificial light sources like digital devices and new lighting technologies.  Long-term exposure to Harmful Blue Light is believed to contribute to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD)1, the leading cause of blindness for adults over the age of 502.

“According to a recent survey from The Vision Council, nearly 60 percent of Americans use digital devices for five or more hours each day and 70 percent of Americans use two or more devices at a time,” said Howard Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O., Dipl., and senior vice president of customer development, Essilor of America. “By offering the Smart Blue Filter feature on our branded clear lenses, we are able to accelerate adoption of this feature within the industry and ultimately ensure patients will have access to new innovations designed for long term protection of the eye.”  

For comprehensive eye protection indoors, Smart Blue Filter products should be combined with a Crizal® No-Glare lens treatment. For protection against the more intense amounts of blue and UV light encountered outdoors, Transitions lenses or sunwear lenses should be worn - such as Xperio UV™ polarized sun lenses manufactured by Essilor.

To learn more about Smart Blue Filter products, visit booth LP7434 at Vision Expo East or visit www.essilorusa.com/bluelight.

About Essilor of America, Inc.
Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index, photochromic and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 10,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the VARILUX®, CRIZAL®, TRANSITIONS®, XPERIO UV™, EYEZEN™, DEFINITY®, THIN&LITE® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America, Inc is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

Media Contact Information

Cherie Gifford

Essilor of America

214.621.4477

cherie.gifford@essilorusa.com

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1Arnault E. Barrau C, Nanteau C. Gondouin P, Bigot K, et al. “Phototoxic Action Spectrum on a Retinal Pigment Epithelium Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Exposed to Sunlight Normalized Conditions.” PLoS ONE 8(8); e71398.doi:10.1371398. Published August 23,2013. Identified harmful blue light through in vitro experiment on swine retinal cells

2National Institues of Health National Eye Institute. Facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Retrieved from:https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts

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