How do single vision and progressive lenses differ?
Broadly, single vision lenses correct one issue at one specific distance corrected by one vision zone at a time. Simple enough. But what if you need your lenses to address more than one focal length at once? That’s where progressive lenses come in.
Progressive lenses have three vision zones: distance, intermediate and near. They are made to optimize the quality of your vision across the board, whether you’re looking at the horizon, reading a book, or scanning your computer screen.
How do I know if I need progressive lenses?
Progressive lenses are usually prescribed to people with presbyopia, which is the gradual loss of ability to see things up close. In some cases, reading glasses will be enough to remedy the problem, but once the condition also causes blurriness at intermediate and further distances, it might be time for progressive lenses.
You can find more information regarding lenses in our article "Find the best prescription lenses for your needs."
Do all progressive lenses have markings?
One of the advantages of progressive lenses is their lack of markings. Unlike traditional bifocals, they aren’t divided by that pesky little line across the lens that has come to connote advanced age.
Why are progressive lenses preferrable to traditional bifocals?
In addition to being line-free, progressive lenses surpass bifocals by providing correction for distance, intermediate and near vision, whereas bifocals only cover distance and near vision. The intermediate range is particularly useful while working on a computer, for example, and optimized intermediate vision allows the head and neck to remain in a natural, relaxed position throughout the day.
Progressive lenses are also thinner and lighter than their bifocal counterparts, and the transition between each zone is usually smoother in terms of depth perception, which makes progressives easier to adapt to.
What are the disadvantages of progressive lenses?
There might be an adaptation period with regards to your vertical peripheral vision once you start wearing progressive lenses. The change in power across the lens can temporarily cause distortions on the periphery and poor depth perception toward the bottom of the lens. These issues will necessarily dissipate within two or three weeks, and an optician or optometrist should be consulted if it’s not the case.
Will my first progressive lenses give me nausea?
Despite being easier to adapt to than bifocal lenses, progressive lenses can initially cause nausea and dizziness upon first wear depending on each wearer and their experience with multiple changes in lens power. These side effects should disappear quickly, and you should consult your optician or optometrist if they aren’t resolved within two or three weeks.
How do I adjust to progressive lenses?
The earlier you start wearing progressive lenses once you start needing them the better. Your near vision loss is likely to increase along with your age, and adaptation will be quicker if the correction you need is smaller.
Once you do have your progressive lenses, just let time do its thing! The more you wear them throughout the day over a period of two or three weeks, the more comfortable you’ll start to feel.
Got a feeling you might be in need of progressive lenses? Consult with your optometrist or optician!