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Adlens: Seeing Clearly

Travelers wearing Adlens adjustable sunglasses. Photo by Adlens.Sure, I could buy cheap reading glasses, but here’s the thing … what if it’s not only reading glasses but also glasses for far vision you need on a trip?

What if you’d like to have an affordable emergency pair without having to blow $400 on a spare?

Or what if, like me, your vision changes from morning to night and your eyes have differing prescriptions?

Enter Adlens adjustable glasses.

I first learned of these one day when I was fishing for a weather report on TV and stumbled into Good Morning America. The host and her guest – I instantly tagged them The Giggle Girls – were trying on the glasses and yes, giggling.

Adlens adjustable lenses make the perfect travel companion.

Adlens adjustable lenses make the perfect travel companion.

But the concept got my attention and I sent off for a pair.

The Adlens Adjustables™, as they’re called, come in an assortment of colors ranging from black through several neon shades. I opted for pink, figuring they would be easier to find in a dark suitcase.

There are a couple of adjustable glasses out there and, honestly, I had tried a cheaper version that simply didn’t work. But the Adlens glasses did.

Adlens to the Rescue
At the moment, I need reading glasses in one eye and a distance prescription in the other (long, long story). The glasses are supposed to accommodate anything from minus 6 (truly nearsighted) to plus 3 (pretty strong readers). I figure I need about a minus 2 in one eye, a plus two in the other.

In addition, my vision changes from morning to night.

But apparently, I’m not the only one out there whose vision shifts. It happens to diabetics and to some people who have had Lasik surgery. It definitely happens to anyone (like me) who had the older radial keratotomy surgery for nearsightedness before Lasik came on the scene.

The John Lennon glasses can make you look Beatles cool.

The John Lennon glasses can make you look Beatles cool.

The very pink glasses arrived in their own plastic case. The idea is you close one eye, adjust that lens with a knob on the frame, then close the other eye and do the same. I did. And they work.

No, they don’t replace “real” prescription glasses. But they are a great item for an emergency, especially if your vision is somewhat weird like mine and you don’t feel like doling out several hundred for a spare pair that will inevitably be lost or sat upon. And you can share them with someone else on a trip. Just readjust them for each person.

Turns out there are a couple of other choices from this company. There’s a “John Lennon” line (yes, they’re round just like John Lennon’s glasses) that once adjusted, can’t be changed. And there’s a new adjustable sunglass line, Adlens Sundials™, that are $10 more than the $59 Adjustables and work the same as the Adjustables.

Techno Speak
Okay, now we get into the technical stuff.

The adjustable glasses use something called Alvarez lens technology. Each lens has two wave-shaped polycarbonate plates that are able to glide across one another. The power of each lens can be varied by moving the plates relative to one another.

This diagram illustrates how the Adlens John Lennons work with fluid injection.

This diagram illustrates how the Adlens John Lennons work with fluid injection.

The John Lennon glasses use fluid injection technology. Each variable focus lens has an elastic membrane held in a chamber between rigid front and back polycarbonate plates. When fluid is injected into the chamber the elastic membrane bows outwards or inwards to change the power of the lens, as shown in the diagram. But once you’ve set the focus and remove the knobs, I guess to make them look more stylish, they can’t be adjusted again.

Need adjustable sunglasses? Adlens has those too.

Need adjustable sunglasses? Adlens has those too.

Bottom line for me is these glasses do the job and will truly come in handy next time I’m off to some ski resort where you sleep at 8,000 feet and my vision is constantly shifting. – Story by Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor; photos courtesy Adlens

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Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Yvette Cardozo from the Seattle, Washington area, likes to visit interesting places and learn about interesting cultures and, if a tasty local dish is involved, so much the better. She’s eaten everything from gourmet food at the world’s finest restaurants to native food in Asia, the arctic, and all kinds of places in between.Yvette recalls being in Antarctica and going out on the land with Inuit elders in arctic Canada , then bagging a caribou. They dragged it back to camp and ate it on the spot raw. She quips, “Hey, if you like steak tartare….”Yvette, who is a veteran skier and diver, is RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor.