Mark Pilgrim Kia

I'm making a spectacle of myself

Many people may remember this old photo from the Big Brother days...


I was known as the bald guy on TV with glasses (in fact, some publications STILL use these pics).  I used to have coke bottles as I was about -5.00 in both eyes. In 2002 I had laser surgery and with that I said goodbye to spectacles.

It's now 2015 and 13 years have passed. I still have great eyesight, but recently got contacted by Mellins i-Style in Fourways Crossing to come see their brand new technology when it comes to testing eyes. Not needing glasses, but being a gadget man, I popped past last weekend... and was blown away and surprised with the results!

They still use the older system we all know where they place some funny mechanical thing in front of you and slide different lenses around, but this data is now just used in collaboration with a computer system that measures 2500 points of your eye in just 90 seconds, creating a unique eye fingerprint!


We are in a computer age so it makes sense to have a computer do the magic. The information it provides enables Mellins to manufacture a Zeiss i.Scription lens that is 4 times more accurate than a normal prescription lens. And even if you don't normally wear glasses, it can still improve your night vision by up to 30%.

If you wear glasses you'll know that the incremental strength levels go up by .25 points. So if your lens strength would be a -3.25. the next stronger prescription is -3.50. But what if you needed something in-between, like a -3.40 to match your eye perfectly? The result is SO many people are wearing specs that are fractionally too weak or too strong for their eyes.

This all changes with the Zeiss i.Scription lens. To give you an example, my left eye is sitting at -0.12 and my right (which has a bit of a stigma) is -0.38. I am still classified as having 20/20 vision, but it's this stigma that sometimes causes headlights at night to have that refractive or snowflake look. Wearing a pair of specs with the lenses matched perfectly to my eyes will enable that snowflake look to disappear.

The computer also does other tests on your eyes at the same time that enables the optometrist to pick up other anomalies linked to your health. Here is one of my eyeballs:


What is also cool is that before the lenses are made, a computer measures how the glasses sit on your face to know exactly where your pupil is positioned in relation to the lens. All this data is sent off to Germany where your lenses are manufactured and returned to SA about 2 weeks later.

So the net result is, I don't HAVE to wear glasses, but to sharpen things up just that fraction more, I have a great pair of specs that I'll definitely wear when driving at night!


In the interests of disclosure, Mellins did offer Mark a complimentary eye assessment as he is known for reviewing new technology from a consumer perspective. This article was not a paid endorsement. 

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