Millions of Americans in their 40’s and above need some sort of reading prescription to help them see up close. Many people feel as though lined bifocals or trifocals are unattractive or distracting; the thought of constantly putting on or taking off reading glasses, or switching between glasses for distance and near work, is exhausting. Luckily, there is a multifocal option for glasses wearers that can be worn all the time to provide clear vision at all distances without the noticeable line of a traditional bifocal. Progressive lenses, also commonly called no-line bifocals, are an effective solution that can discreetly and seamlessly give you a wide range of vision. Read on to learn more about how progressive lenses work, and whether or not they are an option for you.
Progressive Lenses: How Do No-Line Bifocals Work?
Progressive lenses have a gradient of optical power, providing you with three different prescriptions in one lens. The top of the lens contains the distance prescription, used to help you see clearly at distances of about 20 feet. The middle portion of the lens contains an intermediate prescription. This prescription is meant to provide clear vision that is about an arms-length, or slightly further, away, such as a computer screen or the dashboard of a car. Finally, the bottom portion of the lens contains the traditional reading prescription, used for up-close tasks like reading or texting. The optical power transitions gradually while moving down the lens without lines separating the different prescriptions.
The Benefits of Progressive Lenses
Many people are initially interested in progressive lenses for the appearance; they look like single vision glasses, but provide a much wider range of clear vision. For those concerned with showing their age by wearing lined bifocal or trifocal lenses, progressive lenses are a very good option. Beyond being cosmetically appealing, they are versatile and effective. Where traditional lined bifocal lenses only contain two prescription powers, progressive lenses have the benefit of the intermediate prescription, which provides a wider range of clear vision. Additionally, since there is no line separating the different prescription zones, there is no disorienting shift in perception when moving your eyes from the distance portion to the reading portion of the glasses.
How to Adjust to Progressive Lenses
No-lined bifocals can provide many benefits, but it may also take some time to adjust to the new lens design. Like any lens, new prescription powers can a few weeks to get used to. Give yourself at least two weeks with your new progressive lenses to adapt; try to wear the lenses full-time, and avoid wearing your old prescription while you’re adapting to the new lens design. Another important aspect of progressive lenses to know is that in order to fit all three prescriptions into one lens, the lens manufacturers must create mild distortions in the far peripheral edges of the lens. This means that it is important to avoid moving your eyes to the side of the lens. To do this, point your nose towards the objects you are looking at rather than scanning your eyes to the side of your lenses.