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Varilux Progressive Lens Inventor Honored For His Contribution To Vision Health

By Essilor News


DALLAS – June 26, 2014 – Bernard Maitenaz, inventor of the progressive lens and Chairman and CEO of Essilor from 1980-1991, was presented with the prestigious Apollo Award at this year’s 117th Annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Congress. The Apollo Award honors individuals or organizations for distinguished service to the visual welfare of the public.

This year’s award not only pays tribute to Maitenaz but also to the groundbreaking nature of the innovation behind progressive lenses – both today and in the past.

In 1959, following eight years of research, Maitenaz, a young mechanical engineer at Essilor in France, created Varilux®, the world’s first progressive lens. Since then Varilux lenses have gone on to set the standard of visual comfort for people with presbyopia by providing seamless vision at all distances.

Presbyopia is the most widespread vision problem in the world – affecting everyone over the age of 45 regardless of location, health or economic circumstance; yet more than 50 percent of people with presbyopia across the world do not benefit from glasses or adequate correction. By 2020, it’s estimated that 2.3 billion people will have presbyopia.

In 2012, in its continued mission to improve lives by improving sight, Essilor launched a new range of Varilux lenses – Varilux S SeriesTM – that incorporated the latest technological innovations to enable wearers to immediately adapt to their new lenses. A total of 300 million people around the world wear or have worn Varilux lenses, with a new wearer every three seconds.

About Essilor
Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 10,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the VARILUX®, CRIZAL®, XPERIO®, DEFINITY®, THIN&LITE® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America, Inc. is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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