As we get older, many of us discover we’re having vision issues with both nearby and further objects. The solution for some people is to have two pairs of single-lens glasses: one for activities that require clear distance vision, such as driving, and another set for close-up activities, such as reading. However, carrying two pairs of glasses at all times can be inconvenient.
Bifocals vs. Progressive Lenses
An alternative is bifocals. Bifocals are glasses that provide clear vision for close and far distances. When looking through the upper part of the lens, the wearer can focus on far away objects. When looking through the lower half, closer objects become the focal point. There are also trifocals, which have a middle section designed to allow for clear vision at intermediate distances. As the eyes move up and down, they transition between the sections so the user can see clearly at any reasonable distance.
One of the problems with bifocal and trifocal lenses is that they have visible lines separating the sections. These lines can help the user to adjust to wearing them as they have clear demarcations for which part of the lens they are currently looking out of. However, they can be unsightly, and many people associate these types of lenses with old age.
People are beginning to find a new, more attractive choice with progressive lenses rather than bifocal lenses. Progressive lenses let the user to see at any distance, just like bifocals and trifocals. However, the gradient of the lenses is gradual, meaning no unsightly visible lines. Users enjoy all the benefits of a multifocal lens, but with a pair of glasses that provide a more youthful aesthetic. Progressive lenses are also more comfortable to use since there is no sudden clarity shift when the eyes move from one part of the lens to another. This provides a much smoother transition with no image jumping, which can occur with bifocals or trifocals. When the proper prescription has been fitted, progressive lenses provide the user with clarity of vision at all distances.
Progressive lenses do have their drawbacks, starting with they are more expensive than other lenses. Progressive lenses can also take some getting used to since, unlike bifocals and trifocals, there is no visible line indicating the section. Users need to become accustomed to moving their eyes to the correct part of the lens. Progressive lenses can also cause people to mistakenly look through the wrong part of the lens, which can cause accidents. The lower part of the lens is designed for magnifying close objects. This can make it difficult to gauge distance or approaching objects. This is also true for bifocals, but wearers of these are usually more aware of how their vision alters since their eyes cross a noticeable line. The wearer’s visual focus changes to the upper or lower lens suddenly rather than gradually.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to lenses. But there is a great Vision Plan available through your association and AMBA that will cover your visit to your eye doctor and provides excellent discounts on whatever eyewear you opt will best suit you. Sign up now at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.