New Anti -Fatigue Lens for Heavy Computer/TV Use

First lens of its kind designed to combat visual fatigue common after extensive computer or television use now available in Canada

Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens focuses on optical ergonomics to reduce eyestrain for 20 -45 -year -olds

Industry leader presents award -winning solution to eye care professionals

Toronto, Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - Essilor is completing an 11 city tour next week in Markham to introduce its Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens to Canadian eye care professionals, the first lens of its kind designed to combat visual fatigue common after extensive computer or television use.

"Increased computer time, electronic games and other similar work and leisure modes have created a need for ergonomic products to reduce various kinds of eyestrain," says Marc Tersigni, Vice -President Ontario Operations, Essilor Canada. "Our new Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens is the first to reduce eye strain for the 20 -45 -year -old population and it has produced excellent results in the major tests we've conducted in the U.S., France and Japan."

The Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens, which can be used with or without correction, was recently awarded the Silmo d'Or International Award 2005 for ophthalmic lenses. The first and only single vision organic lens of this type eliminates symptoms of fatigue such as headache, itchy eyes, tears, reddening, and blurred vision. The lens offers optimal eyesight correction.

Attention to ergonomics has become common in the workplace and at home, especially with individuals who spend most of their time in front of their computer or television screen for work or entertainment purposes. Physical ergonomics, such as monitor height, seating and wrist support, are receiving attention and numerous mechanisms have been developed to reduce worker stress and strain.

Research has been essential. While the term 'carpal tunnel syndrome' is now well -documented, Essilor has worked to identify the elements that produce 'visual fatigue'. Prolonged computer use produces a range of symptoms associated directly with our eyes, such as: red and/or watery eyes; blurred or double vision; dry eyes; burning sensation of the eyes; muscle spasms in the muscles surrounding the eyes; as well as twitches in the eyelid. Additional symptoms include: headaches; back and neck aches; dizziness; nausea; and overall impairment of concentration.

The 20 -45 -year -old group has been identified as suffering extensively from visual fatigue. A 2004 sample of 2760 telephone interviews in that age range from France, the U.S. and Japan identified visual tiredness among an average of 60% of the subjects. The largest sample was in Japan where three -quarters of the respondents indicated that the discomfort was either bothersome, or very bothersome. The French sample identified the same problems among approximately 40% of the population, while the U.S. sample confirmed that daily visual tiredness was bothersome or very bothersome, 30% of the time.

The problem is primarily associated with the eye's ability to work for prolonged periods at the close range required for the computer or desktop. In the normal state, the eye produces a high amplitude of micro -fluctuations as it focuses on an object - when focussed on a single object, the eye doesn't assume a 'rigid' focal stance, instead, it actually fluctuates imperceptibly, but constantly. Visual fatigue occurs when the eye tires, becoming more lethargic and unable to sustain the level of fluctuations.

Fortunately, unlike carpal tunnel syndrome, visual fatigue is easily treatable. The design and fabrication of the Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens is instrumental in helping the eye maintain or restore the appropriate micro -fluctuation level. Firstly, although Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM is a single -vision lens (as opposed to progressive lenses used by 40+ -year -old lens -wearers), a slight power variation at the bottom of the lens is one component. The other is Essilor's new process for finishing the lens surface that reduces high frequency interference.

Additional population research in 2003 -04 was instrumental in Essilor's introduction of the Anti -Fatigue lens. The study was conducted at the Anglia Polytechnic University in the United Kingdom which evaluated the Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens alongside standard single vision lenses. Participants, aged 20 to 37, were those wearing prescription lenses for more than six hours a day and using the lenses for near vision activities for at least four hours. The overall satisfaction rating was 94%. Adaptation of the lenses was considered 'quick and easy' and wearers can use the lenses for all their activities. Compared to the standard lens, the Essilor® Anti -FatigueTM lens was definitely assessed for closeness activities, including work on the computer.

About Essilor

Essilor is the world leader in ophthalmic optics. It manufactures and personalizes corrective lenses adapted to the visual needs of its customers. Recognized for the quality and added value of its lenses, Essilor provides a wide range of products of the highest quality and has made its mark thanks to the full and personal service to eye care professionals who prescribe Essilor products to end users. Essilor enjoys a network active in more than 100 countries with four research and development centres, eighteen production facilities, 173 prescription laboratories, and 23,600 employees, including 480 researchers.

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