Ric Peralta, the Optical Jedi
I am excited to provide to you, my readers, with information about a relatively new lens technology which is a truly unique solution designed to actually reduce and/or prevent several forms of pain across the entirety of your head. Neurolenses were developed to specifically address pain feedback loops from the optic muscle/nerve pathways into the nervous system of your face, neck and head. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to wear this new product for a couple of months now and I’m excited to share my review for you here today.
So What Exactly is Neurolens?
Let’s start with some basic, simple language explanations of what exactly Neurolens is, and how a piece of ophthalmic plastic sitting in front of your eye can actually relieve pain.
To put it in the simplest terms, our eyes were not developed for the modern world. When we were living in the plains, as hunter/gatherers our eyes were used to focus at great distances. The human eye is in its relaxed state looking at infinity. In the modern world, however, we spend the vast majority of our time looking at distances of 10 feet or less. In order for our eyes to see their best, at distance, our eyes naturally relax in a state that is turned ever so slightly outward. Eyeglasses inherently have a focus straight ahead in front of the pupil. This creates a strain on the eye as it is forced to turn inward when it would rather relax into a more wide position (Exophoria or Exo).
When we focus at a near distance, this turn becomes even more dramatic. The Neurolens solution is the only design which as a variable amount of prism through the lens channel to allow for natural eye turn at each distance, even in a single vision lens. This relaxation of the eye into a natural gaze, allows for a dramatic reduction in optic nerve stress which prevents a feedback loop through the trigeminal nerve to other nerve channels in the head.
What this means for the wearer, in very real terms, is a dramatic reduction, or even outright elimination, of migraines/headaches, neck pain, jaw/TMJ pain, dizziness, light sensitivity, or even dry eyes.
Now for the real life experience of this lens technology. I will start by saying I was very excited for what this lens could potentially due for patients. I had sat in on presentations where real world patients spoke to the dramatic improvement in their pain symptoms. Even moved to the point of tears of joy for their relief. While I have rather dramatic symptoms for all of the aspects Neurolens are designed to improve, I honestly didn’t necessarily expect it to make a major improvement for myself. I have a complex medical history, including multiple surgeries which have depleted my natural biome and caused significantly dry eyes, which in turn has made me incredibly light sensitive. Also, I lost all hearing in my left ear late in light which has contributed to neck pain. I assumed that the Neurolens would not be able to address these issues, since they are not about how my eyes see, but are from systemic health issues.
Let me say, I was shocked and pleased to be proven wrong. Within a week of wearing my Neurolens glasses, all neck pain vanished. Completely gone. I am still light sensitive, and have dry eye issues, but they have bothered me much less since getting my Neurolens glasses.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Sure, your symptoms got better, but how was the vision looking through them?” I can say that when I first put them on, I felt the vision was good. Maybe not perfect though. In particular, in my progressive lenses, I felt the distance portion of the corridor was a tad tighter than I normally like. However, I did find, after wearing them consistently for several days, that loss of peripheral distance was something I adapted to so well that I only notice if I try and draw my attention to it. My continuous wear of the glasses relieved the neck pain so dramatically, I quite honestly was hard pressed to switch out of my Neurolens pair. Eventually, I did switch to another pair to wear a Halloween costume. After only a few hours of wearing my old Varilux X pair, I had the neck pain return, I also noticed the peripheral loss at distance was not nearly as significant as I initially thought. I couldn’t wait to switch to my Neurolens pair again. Since Halloween (now over a month), I’ve only worn another pair of glasses twice…and for a very specific reason which I will get into presently.
Given the way Neurolens is designed to improve vision, I have found a very small situation where I prefer a more traditional progressive design. As you know from my About page and all my previous articles, I am a hockey guy. We attend Los Angeles Kings games on a regular basis. We sit in the upper bowl. So I am looking at a downward angle at the ice…through a prism channel designed to create a more inward bend of near vision. In simple terms, when trying to look at distance slightly below a normal line of sight the additional prism can generate a little extra stress and reduce the comfort. So, I’ve taken to wearing a different pair when we go to the games now. Outside of this admittedly rare circumstance, I really don’t care for wearing any of my other glasses these days.
As all of you are aware, I’m a big proponent of Transitions Lenses, and I’m happy to say that all current Transitions lens technologies are available in Neurolens, so you an easily combine these feature for the ultimate visual system.
When it comes to the visual system and relieving pain, I’m hard pressed to find true downsides to this lens technology. It’s innovative, contoured prism design helps alleviate numerous pain symptoms across the entire head and down into shoulders. Optical clarity and comfort are exceptional, especially at intermediate and near distances (desktop computer to full reading near). Since the technology was developed to treat medical conditions, vision insurance plans do not cover Neurolens. Obviously this can lead to a bit of a cost barrier for some patients. The single vision version of the lenses do cost a fair bit more than a typical, standard single vision lens. But when it comes to the progressive version, the price difference between Neurolens and a typical premium solution such as Varilux X or Shamir Autograph is very minimal (as little as $20).
Adaptation to wearing contoured prism can take a while. Especially for single vision patients, who are not used to a different visual experience in the bottom of their lenses. There is potential for some discomfort, or even worsening of symptoms in the short term (first couple of weeks of wear). That being said, Neurolens stands behind their product so completely that they will remake the lenses as many times as it takes to make them comfortable. And, if for any reason, a patient cannot adapt to the contoured prism experience, they will change the glasses into a more traditional design with no questions asked.
But, if you were to ask me bluntly, I would say if you have scores of 3 or higher in 3 or more categories on their survey of symptoms, you should find a way to make a pair of Neurolenses for yourself. They will change your life.
As always, this OpticalJedi post was created entirely by myself, Ric Peralta, and I have received no paid consideration for testing any product.