Where would the optical world be without the original Varilux Comfort? It was truly the first progressive lens that validated the concept of a no-line “bifocal” with a patient acceptance rate of over 90%. Easy to fit, easy to wear, it set the benchmark for progressive lens designs for years and years.
But that was back in 1994, 17 years ago, and the science and application of computer modeling to optics design and manufacture has resulted in quantum leaps forward. Varilux has brought out a host of new products since then, and so have the other lens manufacturers. But just as Chevrolet recently re-introduced the Impala to capitalize on name brand recognition, Varilux has re-engineered the Comfort, and rebranded it as the New Comfort.
Thanks to John and Carol at Jorgenson Optical in
, I recently got a pair of New Comforts to take for a test-wear. The first thing I noticed when I put them on was – the comfort. As Varilux notes on their website, one of the reasons the Comfort was so popular was because of its “soft” design. Every design has its own merits, but it’s tough to argue with almost instant adaptation. Tacoma, WA
Some new features with this design: 1) It uses a single-vision front surface, with a digitally produced back surface. 2) They have reduced the corridor length by 1mm on the standard lens for faster rotation into the near. 3) For the first time, they now have a short-corridor design for smaller frames.
So how does this stack up against other designs I have reviewed? First, on its own merits, it looks like Varilux once again nailed the set and forget design, making this a very easy lens to sell, fit and wear. It has a good sized distance area, with peripheral distortion only apparent in the far extremes of the lenses. The intermediate is accessible and usable, but not remarkable. I do have to rotate my head a bit to read this entire sentence in Word without blur, but that is normal for most progressive lenses. The near vision is likewise very acceptable, and without glaring issues.
Varilux recommends this lens for patients switching from the OLD Comfort, or for those switching from another brand (presumably due to non-adaption issues). It is priced right for an entry-level digitally surfaced lens. While this is not as sophisticated a design as other offerings from Varilux or Hoya, it is a good value with a solid design. And that’s what I like about the Varilux New Comfort.