Lens manufacturer Zeiss is launching new eyeglass products which it says will reduce the eye strain caused by gadgets such as smartphones and tablets.

Digital devices, which are held very close to the face and have lower resolution and contrast than a printed page, can cause significant strain on consumers’ eyes.  “It’s the biggest change in how we use our eyes since the printed word,” Zeiss Marketing Director Veneeta Eason, told FoxNews.com.    

In an attempt to solve this problem, Zeiss has announced its Precision portfolio of lenses, which use the company’s new ‘Digital Inside’ technology.

The Precision offerings are bifocal, or progressive, lenses, which have been specially designed for the needs of gadget users.  Specifically, the lenses offer a wider prescription viewing area in the lower portion of the lens than a traditional bifocal.

“It gives you a wider viewing area to view all kinds of reading material, whether it’s digital or print, so that your eyes don’t have to converge as sharply as with a traditional lens – that’s what fatigues the [eye] muscles,” said Eason. “These lenses are for the consumer that is a little bit older, the generation X, the baby boomer. They are the ones that have traditionally worn bifocals.”

Zeiss has also built what it calls a “digital boost” into the lens. “It’s a little bit of additional magnification,” Eason told FoxNews.com. “It’s throughout the lens, but it gives you a bit more of a boost in the lower reading area.”

The lens maker has not yet released pricing for its new offerings but says that the products will be offered via eyecare professionals.

Some 63 percent of Generation Xers and 57% of baby boomers experience digital eye strain, according to the latest annual survey of digital device use conducted by the Vision Council, an optical industry group.

On Thursday Zeiss also announced Duravision BlueProtect, an anti-reflective lens coating designed to filter out harmful blue light from digital screens and indoor lighting.

The Precision portfolio and Duravision BlueProtect will be available on April 1.

This is not the first time that Zeiss has focused its attention on digital eye strain. Last year the company launched a single vision (non-bifocal) lens aimed at younger consumers with good intermediate and distance vision who need relief from the eye strain caused by gadget screens. The Digital Lens offers easier focusing, according to Zeiss.

Zeiss is not the only company tackling digital eye strain.  Eyewear specialist Gunnar offers a range of products designed for the likes of computer use and video gaming.

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