February 2022: Peter's Vision

January 29 2022

Lotus and Clarity

I was having a fascinating conversation with a patient at our practice recently.  We started on the technology we use to make our lenses easy to keep clean (I’ve written before about using microfiber cloths to pick up the microscopic particles off your glasses lenses - just email us for an explanation if this is a new one to you).  This led to a discussion of the biology of the Lotus plant, and while of course there are differences, if you’re not familiar with botany, it has similarities to water lilies.  

Now I’m most definitely not a botanist, so here’s my understanding of this incredible plant and what we’ve learnt from its leaves, referred to as the Lotus effect.  The amazing thing is how the plant achieves its self cleaning property.  The leaf repels water due to possessing a surface structure of microscopically small bumps with a wax coating. This ensures that water cannot adhere to the surface and in turn flows off.  As any water flows off the leaf surface debris is taken away too.

Principally this appears to be to protect from algae or fungus growing on the lotus leaves and damaging the plant structure.  Having clean leaves also looks to maximise the surface area available for photosynthesis, perhaps enabling the lotus plant to exist in more varied conditions - always an admirable characteristic for any living organism!

Why was I so interested in the natural self cleaning property of a plant?  Well, we’ve all no doubt benefitted from easy clean products for decades, which came in part from our study of nature as well as lab experiments.  These are of course so popular that Teflon has undergone genericization from a trademark to an adjective in common use today.  The development of ultrahydrophobic surfaces, which are by their nature easy to keep clean, has many uses, which of course includes glasses lenses.

The lenses we recommend for our patients are designed to be clearer from the inside out, so much more than an afterthought add-on coating you may be more familiar with.  How do our lenses work?  Well, for the full details, get in touch and we’ll show you!  

When it comes to your eyes, we’d love to see you and for you to experience the world class eye care we firmly believe you deserve.  A visit to Turners Opticians gives you so much more than just a sight test.  Don’t forget, whether it’s for reassuringly thorough eye care, or for glasses with clear and easy clean lenses, we’re here when you need us, six days per week.  Just get in touch and we’ll be happy to see how we can help you.  We continue to offer COVID safe ways to choose your new glasses too!

To help us keep you all safe, we’re still asking you all to telephone first to book a time to come in.  Please call our Henleaze practice on 0117 962 2474 or our Fishponds practice on 0117 965 4434.  

We look forward to seeing you soon! 


Peter Turner is a Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol, and also works part time as a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.