Progressive Lenses: Clear Vision at All DistanceS
Choosing Progressive Lenses
Wearing the wrong type of glasses can cause problems beyond uncomfortable or poor vision. It can cause headaches and even migraines, due to the squinting and straining to compensate for the wrong glasses.
Often, we choose the wrong glasses or need multiple pairs because we have trouble reading or viewing things up close, or focusing on objects in the distance. Rather than carry two pairs of glasses or struggle with their vision, many people use bifocal or progressive lenses. We explore what is different and what you should choose that will best suit your needs.
Bifocal Lenses: A Thing Of The Past?
Bifocals have a visible line in the middle of the lens, separating it into two different lens strengths. They provide clear vision when looking at objects at a distance (the upper part of the lens), as well as looking at objects close up (lower part of the lens), though looking at objects in between can pose some challenges. Critically, this is where most of the activities in our daily lives happen, from grocery shopping and working on our computers to engaging in face-to-face conversations.
Because of this, people often find themselves switching between the upper and lower parts of the lens by either moving their eyes up and down, or by changing the position of their head. This can be both tiring and annoying, and can cause strain to the muscles around the eyes as well as the neck – well-known causes for headaches. The abrupt changes in lens strength when moving the eyes up and down can also cause nausea and dizziness. Even trifocal lenses pose some of the same challenges, as these lenses are also separated by visible lines.
Progressive lenses, on the other hand, eliminate these problems.
What are Progressive Lenses?
Progressive lenses, such as Varilux®, have no lines separating the different lens strengths, yet they provide the user with clear vision at all distances, allowing both head and eyes to stay in a natural and comfortable position when looking at objects in the distance, the intermediate zone and close up. This means no abrupt changes in lens strength, and no need to compensate with unhealthy body movement patterns.
The results are simple and seamless. Eliminating the visible line in the middle of the lens also hides the fact that the user is in need of reading glasses, something many are self-conscious about.
Progressive lenses are designed so that a smooth and seamless progression of lens power runs vertically down each lens, providing clear vision at all distances and a more natural depth focus than bifocals.
Choosing lenses with anti-reflective coating like Crizal® will eliminate reflections on both sides of the lenses; making activities like driving in the dark a more pleasant experience. This will also help others see your eyes more clearly.
Although this is currently the peak of eye wear technology, it is impossible to create seamless multi-focal lenses without the occurrence of unwanted aberrations, or irregularities creating distorted vision somewhere in the lens. These aberrations might cause the peripheral vision to appear slightly blurry, especially when looking down, or create a “swim effect” (the sensation of being out of balance) during rapid movements of the head. For most people, these are minor issues that disappear as they get used to their new lenses, and technological advances in the development of progressive lenses have eliminated or minimised most of these negative side effects.
To make sure that the lenses are tailored to your specific needs, your optometrist will measure your eyes and glasses frame in order to carefully adjust the lenses to suit your eyes. Today we have a wide range of progressive lens designs to fit almost any need and lifestyle.
When do you need progressive lenses?
There are many conditions that can affect our eyes, including overlapping conditions that can cause discomfort and poor vision. Progressive lenses help correct many of these problems, as well as remove discomfort.
Here are some of the reasons why progressive lenses are required:
- The development of presbyopia often occurs around the age of 40 and causes blurred near vision. Progressive lenses are the most widely purchased lenses for correcting this condition.
- Progressive lenses can also reduce the progression of myopia, and can correct astigmatism.
- Progressive lenses are recommended for people in need of correction of near- and distance sight.
Adaption time for progressive lenses can range from minutes to days, depending on your specific vision problem. Consult an optometrist for tests and personalisation of your lenses.
Getting your eyes checked regularly is an important investment, both in your current and future health. Visit your optometrist today to determine if you have any undiagnosed eye conditions or if you need glasses, and to determine which lenses are most suitable for you.
Curious about progressive lenses?
Ask your optometrist about Varilux®, the number one progressive lens brand in the world