Image consultant to the stars Diane Irons teams up with Varilux® progressive lenses to offer expert tips for aging boomers

DALLAS (April 1, 2002) - Baby boomers are needlessly sacrificing style for things they swore they would never wear, according to this year's Varilux Boomer Watch™ survey. Although they said they would never be seen dead in them, more than half of boomers (52%) are wearing bifocals and other fashion faux pas including jogging suits (19%), overalls (13%) and "granny glasses" (11%). But just because the signs of aging are starting to show, it doesn't mean you have to give up looking good.

For the second year in a row, Varilux conducted research among 1,000 baby boomers nationwide to gain insight into the culture, attitudes, ideals and concerns of this influential generation to reveal how they see themselves in 2002.

Boomers are now reaching for their bifocals because of the onset of an age-related eye condition called presbyopia, which everybody gets eventually but, according to Varilux Boomer Watch, most boomers (70%) don't know anything about. Many image-conscious boomers are now in their forties and fifties and beginning to experience the first signs of this harbinger of middle age. However, they may be relieved to learn that, like wrinkles, gray hair and other signs of aging, presbyopia is treatable and doesn't have to mean the sacrifice of personal style.

Baby boomers are America's most influential generation and have seen everything from Vietnam and Woodstock to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of Starbucks® Now, they may bear witness to another landmark movement, as gravity and age-related health conditions take hold and aging boomers begin to resemble their Parents-if only physically. If history is any indication, boomers - with unprecedented access to technologically advanced solutions to the various signs of aging - won't just stand by and let aging take hold on their appearance.

The Laser Surgery Misconception Nearly half (46%) of boomers surveyed in this year's Varilux Boomer Watch™ said they would consider having laser eye surgery. Many people believe that any eye condition can be cured with the aid of surgery, but despite many advances in medical science, presbyopia is still unavoidable and incurable.

"Whether or not you've had eye surgery in the past, ultimately, the gradual affects of presbyopia will set in and you will need corrective eyewear by your mid-forties," said optometrist Dr. Rodney Tahran.

In the past, presbyopia meant having to wear bifocals or carry around the kind of reading glasses that perch on the end of your nose. For today's presbyopes, Varilux progressive lenses are the most technologically-advanced solution available, allowing them to see clearly at all distances and wear stylish frames that won't get in the way of active, image-conscious baby boomers' lifestyles, or their look.

Image is Everything Baby boomer, image consultant to the stars and best-selling author Diane Irons wears Varilux lenses and recommends them to clients who are experiencing the first signs of presbyopia but want to maintain their age-defying look.

"It all starts with having to hold the menu or newspaper at arm's length in order to read the print, and the next thing you know, you're in the drugstore trying on the 'granny glasses' you once swore you'd never wear," says Irons. "I have built a career on helping celebrities and my readers look and feel better, and having a way to correct presbyopia in style is important not only for me, but for all baby boomers who want to look and feel great. Varilux progressive lenses are a wonderful way to do that, without the conspicuous bifocal line or the annoying 'jumps' in vision found in other treatment options."

Reduced vision is one of the top three health concerns and one of the first signs of aging for baby boomers, according to this year's Varilux Boomer Watch survey, which also found heart disease and aging at the top of the health concern list.

This year's Varilux Boomer Watch survey also found that most boomers (86%) feel it is harder than ever to feel good about their appearance, but were not likely to consider surgical procedures like facelifts, liposuction, implants and tummy tucks. This doesn't necessarily mean that these boomers have to just grin and bear the signs of aging. According to Diane Irons, there are easy ways to look and feel better that don't involve cosmetic surgery.

Free Booklet Offer: Insider Secrets Did you know that egg whites can be used for a temporary face lift? Or that hemorrhoid cream gets rid of puffiness under the eyes? Irons offers dozens of easy, age-defying image tips for boomer men and women, including advice on avoiding some of the common age-related fashion faux pas, in a free booklet, Boomer Image 2002, which can be requested by visiting Consumers can also request a free copy by calling toll-free, 1-866-VARILUX.

April is Presbyopia Awareness Month

For the fourth year in a row, Varilux has declared the month of April "Presbyopia Awareness Month" to educate baby boomers about this age-related eye condition and the treatment options available to them. "This year, we're excited to partner with Diane Irons to show boomers that treating presbyopia doesn't mean compromising their look," says Cynthia Lee-Ryden, director of communications for Essilor of America, the makers of Varilux progressive lenses. "The advanced lens technology in Varilux restores natural vision to presbyopes and allows them to choose stylish, flattering frames. The addition of CrizalÒ anti-reflective coating helps reduce scratches, eyestrain and headaches while giving wearers the ability to make real eye contact, instead of hiding their eyes behind reflections on their lenses."

The Vision Council of America recommends that boomers visit their eye care professional at the onset of any changes to be tested for presbyopia, and once each year thereafter. For more information about presbyopia or to find an eye care professional near you, visit

Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Bourse (Symbol: ESI).

Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and founding partner of VisionWebSM,, which is creating the world's largest eye care network. An industry pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. The company manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Airwear® and Essilor brand names.


Varilux®, Crizal® and Airwear® are registered trademarks of Essilor International, S.A. VisionWebSM is a service mark of VisionWeb, Inc. Starbucks® is a registered trademark of Starbucks Coffee Company.


VariluxÒ is a registered trademark of Essilor International, S.A.

BABY BOOMER HEALTH Varilux Boomer Watch™ is an annual nationwide survey of more than 1,000 baby boomers conducted online by VariluxÒ progressive lenses, the most technologically advanced solution for presbyopia.
This year the survey asked boomers about boomer culture, attitudes, ideals and concerns, revealing insight into how this influential generation see themselves in 2002. Boomers
shared how they take care of their health and physical wellness.
An Apple a Day... Most baby boomers make regular visits to health professionals. The most frequent visits are to the eye doctor or optometrist – almost twice a year on average. One in ten boomers never visits an eye doctor or optometrist, and three out of four boomers have never visited a chiropractor. Sixty-nine percent of boomers visit their family doctor at least once a year. A Need for Concern Boomers’ top three health concerns include:
  • Heart disease (74%)
  • Aging (72%)
  • Reduced vision (68%)
You Sexy Thing Boomers reported having sex an average of 1.6 times a week. Men reported having sex less often than women did and younger boomers reported having sex less often than older boomers. Ten percent of respondents remained secretive about their sex lives and refused to answer this question. Feel the Burn Boomers cited fitness and weight as the most important body issues, but only 48 percent of them are exercising more than twice a month.
  • Women (39%) are more likely to exercise rarely or never than are men (34%).
  • Younger boomers (38%) are more likely to exercise rarely or never than are older boomers (35%).
  • Only 14 percent of boomers exercise 4-5 times a week.

From One Generation to the Next
It is said that age is like a fine wine, it only gets better with time, but Boomers think differently. Although more than half of them (52%) think their health is better today than their parents, only about a third of them (32%) feel healthier than Generation X.
Varilux Boomer Watch was conducted in January 2002 with an accuracy of +/- 3 percent.
For more statistics from the Varilux Boomer Watch report,
contact Courtney Weber at 312/988-2161
or email # #
Varilux Boomer Watch™ is a trademark of Essilor of America, Inc. VariluxÒ is a registered trademark of Essilor International, S.A.

Boomer Watch™ 2002 #2

Boomer Watch™ 2001


Boomers International Institute™