The Evolution of Neurolens & Progressive Prism


Neurolens Launch Party

Neurolens had it’s official launch party at Vision Expo West last month, so let’s work backwards and take a look at the fascinating evolution of this lens and associated diagnostic technology.  The forerunner of  Neurolens, invented by optometrist Dr. Jeffrey Krall from South Dakota, was the Kodak Anti-Fatigue Lens that Krall designed to incorporate a base-in prism effect at near only.  The target market for this lens was presbyopes with convergence insufficiency, the subject of a paper that Dr. Krall co-authored in Optometry and Vision Science in 2009, followed up by a paper in Clinical and Experimental Optometry in 2012.  The Kodak Anti-Fatigue Lens was bundled with a device marketed by Stereo Optical, Opt-Align as a new way of Rxing for asthenopia, based on combining the concepts of fixation disparity, Turville Infinity Balance, and cover testing.

Standard prism incorporates the same prismatic value through the lens.  Patients tends to have more symptoms associated with sustained near viewing, hence the motivation for developing a lens that has more prism at near than distance.

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The basic idea of a lens incorporating 0.75^BI at near greater than distance, in single vision or multifocal form, was re-branded as Neurolens.  Opt-Align was re-branded into SightSync, the diagnostic centerpiece of EyeBrain Medical, essentially a hybrid company comprised of optometry, ophthalmology and neurology.

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The neurology focus of EyeBrain placed a spotlight on a host of problems emanating from over-stimulation of branches of the trigeminal nerve, most notably the ophthalmic branch with direct ties to the eyes.

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The idea of incorporating more prism in the near portion of a multifocal isn’t new, with labs such as Epic generating speciality lenses providing this option.  What is new is the ability to generate a graduated or progressive prism effect thanks to advances in free-form optics.  The ultimate utility would be in the practitioner being able to Rx a range of graduated prism powers, the same way one can Rx a range of progressive lens add powers. EyeBrain produced an informative set of YouTube videos oriented toward professionals and consumers overviewing the SightSync and Neurolens concepts.  It is a prismatic lens worth keeping an eye on.

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