How is a standard progressive different from a digitally manufactured multifocal lens?
A standard progressive lens starts as a semi-finished pre-molded lens with the progressive design molded on the front surface of the lens. The optical lab will then create the prescription on the back surface of the lens without altering the progressive design already molded on the front of the lens.
A digitally surfaced progressive, in contrast, uses software which takes into account different measurements such as vertex distance, prescription, frame fitting position, and pantascopic tilt to customize a progressive design for each particular patient.
This will provide greater peripheral vision and definition. Freeform is often used interchangeably with digital, this means the front of the lens is not confined to the same pre-mold parameters as standard progressive lenses are. Digital lenses are often called by their brand name, but this brand is actually the software which makes the design based on what it determines the patient will like the most. This results in a design that is unique for the patient’s prescription.