As we get older, our ability to focus on nearby objects, such as our phone or a restaurant menu, tends to diminish. This condition is referred to as presbyopia.

Whether you have an existing prescription or this is your first time needing glasses, various lens options are available to help. This article will outline some solutions to help you navigate the changes in your vision and help answer some common questions for those new to the world of presbyopia.

All Lenses Are Not Created Equal

There are several lens choices available that help correct presbyopia.
Single vision reading glasses are equipped with magnifying lenses and are the most basic option. However, single vision readers only enable you to see up close. Therefore, you will find yourself constantly removing your glasses if you need to see at any other distance or, even worse, having to carry more than one pair of glasses if you also have a distance prescription.
Lined bifocals were a popular option in the past. These traditional bifocals featured a prominent line that separated the distance prescription from the reading power on the bottom of the lens. Unfortunately, while perfectly functional, these lenses were not aesthetically pleasing and created a significant image “jump” to objects while using them.

Traditional Lined Bifocals in frame

Traditional Lined Bifocal


Thanks to significant advancements in lens technology, progressive lenses were developed. Progressive lenses are also sometimes referred to as multifocal or no-line bifocals. What makes these lenses so unique is how they incorporate an infinite range of prescriptions all in one lens. This feature allows you to do close-up work (like reading your phone), middle-distance work (such as viewing a website on your computer), or distance viewing (like driving) without needing to change your glasses and with no visible lines. As a result, progressive lenses are now the preferred choice of eye care providers and anyone who requires a reading correction.
You should communicate any hobbies or other near-distance activities you regularly participate in during your eye exam. With this information, your eye care provider can customize a prescription according to your specific visual needs.

What To Expect With Your New Progressive Lenses

Diagram of a progressive lens

      Diagram of Progressive Lens


Progressive lenses are computer-generated by utilizing your prescription and precise face and frame measurements. The result is a lens that will correct your vision at every distance. The initial fitting is the key to the success of your progressive lens journey. Therefore, it is recommended that you be measured by an Optician when ordering your new progressive lenses to ensure the best visual acuity.
You should expect a short adaptation period with your new lenses. The fastest way to get used to your new prescription is constant wear. It is similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes. The more you wear them, the more comfortable they will feel.
Are you a contact lens wearer? No worries. Multifocal options are also available in contact lens form.

Progressive Lens Options

You can order progressive lenses with all the standard lens add-ons. Transition lenses that will gradually darken when exposed to sunlight are wonderful for those who enjoy the outdoors. On the other hand, if you require full-time sun protection for those sunny days by the pool, polarized lenses or traditional tinted sunglasses with an added mirrored coating would be a better option.
Hi-Index progressives should be considered if you have a stronger power and desire a thinner and lighter weight lens. Blue light protection can also be added to your lenses and help with the visual fatigue resulting from the excess use of digital devices.


FAQs

What frame styles work best for progressive lenses?
Have fun selecting a frame to match your personality and personal style. Your primary focus should be on the fit of the frame. When selecting a frame for your new progressive prescription, depth is key. The reading power will be located in the lower portion of the lens; therefore your frame should be deep enough to accommodate your reading power comfortably. Your Optician can assist with the proper frame selection and will adjust your frame before recording any measurements. This step is important as it guarantees the appropriate placement of your prescription within the frame.

Can I order my progressive lenses online?
Precise measurements are essential to your new prescription lenses. Unfortunately, many online sites use virtual technology to assess your lens measurements. Thus, the probability of error is much higher. Therefore, to achieve the best visual outcome, it is advised that you visit your eye care professional for a custom frame and lens fitting before ordering your new eyewear.

Being fitted with progressive lenses is the best way to achieve clear vision at every distance. With the continued advancement in lens technology, finding the best progressive lens for your lifestyle is just an eye exam away.