Varilux Physio 4 – Is It Worth It?

Available since June 2022, Essilor’s new Varilux 4 are said to offer even better visual performance in all light conditions and improved contrast perception.

According to Essilor, these improvements are due to the new W.A.V.E. 4 technology. Here with the help of an area scan of their cornea is determined, which aberrations of higher order of the spectacle glass can be reduced.

For this purpose, more values are used in the production of the lens than just the required spectacle values or centering values. The shape of your eye in combination with the opening of your pupil behind the cornea is included in the lens calculation.

Especially in low light, when the pupil diameter is larger and the effects of these aberrations are stronger, this calculation can be advantageous. According to Essilor, excellent results are obtained in 99.9% of cases in a daylight vision situation with a pupil diameter of 3 mm, and excellent results are obtained in 89% of cases in low light.

However, these results are based solely on optical simulations. In practice, it is usually the case that people who have problems driving at night will have them even if the shape of the cornea is included in the lens calculation.

The next update to its predecessor, Varilux Physio 3.0, is Sychroneyes technology, which ensures that the visual areas of both eyes are as equal as possible, even with different lens powers.

In most cases, your right eye and your left eye usually require slightly different spectacle powers. In such cases, there are side effects with each use that can make the sharp field of vision smaller. With such optimizations, wearing the Varilux lens can ensure that you enjoy more relaxed vision?

Is it worth the upgrade to the Varilux Physio 4.0 compared to the Physio 3.0?
If the values have not changed for you yet, you will most likely not have significantly better visual performance in any situation with the Varilux Physio 4.0 compared to the 3.0.

However, if you need new eyeglass values anyway, I would always go for the new product.

The picture shows the difference between the short and regular versions of the Varilux Physio 4. With the short version, you have to make fewer downward movements to look through the reading area.

In Which Versions Is the Varilux 4.0 Available?

The Varilux Physio 4.0 is basically available in f-360°, regular and short. The differences between the versions concern the positioning of the reading field. With the f-360° option, the highest degree of fine-tuning comes into the lens calculation for you.

So it takes into account how far the glasses are positioned in front of your eye or how angled the glasses are in front of your face. All of this then leads to different viewing points in practice when you want to read.

In general, a higher individualized progressive lens is superior to a standardized lens in terms of the sharp visual fields you can use. When I talk about wide fields, as an optometrist, I roughly assume that with an Add value of +2.00 D reading power, you will be able to see your cell phone (on edge) in focus.

The sharp area will not be wider. Rather a bit narrower with the Regular and short variants. If you have a lower ADD value, you will experience a wider visual range with the Physio 4.0. Once the Add value is higher than 2.0D, the visual range will become slightly narrower than your phone is wide.

You will then have to move your head a bit more when reading. Back to the Regular configuration. Here you have a balance in the transition between mid-range for distance on PC (not really usable on desktop only on laptop) and full reading power at the very bottom of the lens.

With the Short option, the transition is designed shorter than with Regular. This means that you have to make fewer eye movements. The field of vision at medium distance is therefore smaller. If, for example, you drive a lot and already notice that the progressives are there to support you, then you should rather choose the regular option.

Is the Varilux Physio 4 Also Available Polarized?

The Varilux Physio 4 is also available polarized. The option is called Xperio Polarized and comes in brown, gray and graphite green. However, as of now (June 2022), only the Regular polarized option is available.

Is the Varilux Physio 4 Also Available With Transitions?

The Varilux Physio 4 can also be ordered with Transitions. The following colors are available on Orma (index 1.5), Airwear (polycarbonate), Ormix (index 1.6), stylis (index 1.67) and Lineis Index materials.

  • Gray
  • Brown
  • Graphite Green
  • Sapphire (not available in Lineis & Polycarbonate)
  • Amethyst (not available in Lineis & Polycarbonates)
  • Amber (not available in lineis & polycarbonates)
  • Emerald Green (not available in Lineis & Polycarbonates)

Experiences With the Varilux Physio

The Varilux Physio has always been a very good performing progressive lens in all development stages from 1 to 4. (Here you can find an overview of the complete portfolio of Varilux progressive lenses).

However, it is important for you to understand that in a progressive lens, for example for driving, only spectacle lens value can be incorporated into the lenses in the glasses. Technically, this is not possible otherwise at present.

If, due to darkness or brightness, your pupil dilates or closes, then that may actually result in a different required strength of glasses. (The explanation why this is the case follows shortly).

However, a changed strength of the glasses can only marginally flow into the lens and is then also only unchangeable. Among other things, the strength of the glasses results from the curvature of your cornea at the eye.

This curvature is in not everywhere equally present from the distribution over the opened pupil. Mostly it becomes flatter towards the outside and you need a little more minus eyeglass power with a very wide open pupil.

So if you really have problems driving at night I would recommend to rather do an eye test in the dark and change the image in the eye test so that the background is dark and the visual signs are bright. After about 15 minutes in the darkened room, the pupil will open (often resulting in a change in prescription) and the optician can determine to what extent your required prescription at night differs from that during the day and whether it would be worthwhile for you to make a second pair of glasses for night driving. Here the effect, if needed, is much greater compared to glasses that should cover everything.

Unfortunately, the eye test alone often takes less than 5 minutes and you need to allow more time for night vision problems to lead to better contrast vision. If that is even possible in your individual case.

How Much Does the Varilux Physio 4 Cost?

The suggested retail price for the Varilux Physio 4 starts at about 530 $ per lens and is configurable up to about 800 $ per lens. In most cases you will pay about 1200 $ for both lenses.

The price depends heavily on the different thin materials, the antireflection coating and the desired tint that the Varilux Physio 4 should have.

Of course, there are many cheaper offers on the market, which we have also pointed out in this article, but there you get neither the full parameter variety nor the time of a specialist who can get the full performance of the Varilux progressive lenses for you.

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