Progressive Lenses

What are Progressive Lenses? A Modern Alternative to Bifocals

Posted Apr 23, 2019 | Tips, Tricks & Tech

Progressive lenses correct vision across a range of distances by seamlessly integrating multiple prescriptions into each lens. One area helps with short distances, another with intermediate, and a third brings distant objects into focus.

Progressive lenses are often prescribed for people over 40 who develop presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness. Unlike bifocals and other multifocal lenses, progressive lenses don’t have a visible line separating prescription powers. That line is a common complaint among people who wear bifocal lenses, who often find it distracting and are self-conscious about appearing older than their years.

Wearing progressive lenses eliminates the need for multiple pairs of glasses to help read, drive, and go about your daily chores. No more fumbling for new glasses when the check comes to your table—progressive lenses have you covered!

How Do Progressive Lenses Work?

The game-changing innovation behind progressives is that lenses can be ground in such a way as to accommodate prescriptions for near, intermediate, and distance vision. Traditional eyeglass lenses bend light to a single focal point so that it falls precisely on the retina; progressive lenses bend light to different focal points depending on where it enters the lens. Since there isn’t a dividing line, progressives feel more natural to people with presbyopia.

Progressive lenses are made according to your prescription and needs. People who spend a lot of time looking at nearby objects may want a wider view for that prescription, while those who work outdoors might prefer a larger area devoted to distance vision.

Who Needs Progressive Lenses?

Eye doctors prescribe progressive lenses for people who need their near, intermediate, and/or distance vision corrected. This often applies to men and women age 40 and older. Bifocals were the main option for many years, but progressive lenses have generally supplanted them as the solution of choice.
If you suspect progressive lenses could help improve the quality of your vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

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Pros & Cons of Progressive Lenses

Here are what many people like about progressive lenses:
  • One pair of glasses can provide clear vision across a range of distances, effectively correcting presbyopia
  • Progressive lenses offer a seamless transition from one prescription to the next—no lines!
Here are some things that you may not like about progressive lenses:
  • Progressive lenses usually cost more than bifocals due to their complexity
  • There’s often an adjustment period when wearing progressive lenses for the first time

Adjustment Periods for Progressive Lenses

Progressive lenses will “feel” different to someone accustomed to single-vision lenses. Your view may be distorted in the hours and days after getting your new glasses. Once you learn where to look for different tasks, the experience will be much more natural.

Finding Frames for Progressive Lenses

It’s no longer the case that a prescription for progressive lenses meant choosing from a small selection of tailor-made frames. Many eyewear manufacturers now offer progressive-friendly frames, and Eyeconic has hundreds of options from which to choose. Start shopping frames for progressive lenses by selecting "Progressive" from the drop down refining list.

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