Six Things You Should Know Before Switching To Progressive Trifocal Lenses

Posted on

If you wear bifocals, you may have noticed that it is becoming more difficult to see nearby objects clearly. While you may be able to see clearly at a distance through the top viewing section of your glasses and read clearly with the bottom, you may continue to struggle with intermediate vision needed for computer work or other tasks at arm's length. This may be a signal that it is time to make the switch to progressive trifocal lenses.

What are progressive lenses?

Progressive lens are also referred to as no-line bifocal or trifocal lenses. The lenses are made so that you see clearly as your eye transitions from viewing objects at one distance to another. There is no noticeable line between the viewing areas, and they do not produce a jump in vision. Traditional bifocal and trifocal lenses have a visible line where the viewing areas meet that causes a momentary distortion in vision as your eye tracks from one viewing area to another.

How do Progressive lenses work?

The corrective lenses in a progressive lens change gradually throughout the lens giving you clear vision from any angle. Instead of two or three distinct viewing areas, the correction in the lens has many subtle changes designed to work with your vision as you view objects at varying distances. The viewing areas are shaped similar to an hourglass. The upper viewing area, for distance viewing, is wide and deep. The middle viewing area for intermediate viewing is narrow and located directly in the center of the lens. The near vision viewing area is slightly wider and in located at the bottom of the lens. These positions align with the natural position of the eye when viewing objects at multiple distances.

Who needs progressive lenses?

If you spend your time on a computer or doing other work that is at arm's length, progressive lenses reduce your eyestrain. But, progressive lenses aren't only for computer users. If you struggle to maintain clear vision and your current bifocals aren't taking care of intermediate vision, progressive trifocals may be for you.

What are the advantages of progressive lenses?

Two of the major advantages of progressive lenses are improved vision and appearance, but convenience is also a factor. With progressive lenses, you do not need to remove your glasses to read and do not need to adjust the angle of your head to look through the appropriate viewing section. 

What are the disadvantages of progressive lenses?

The main disadvantage of progressive lenses is getting use to them. While the distance vision is typically wide, the intermediate viewing area is narrow, which means you must look directly at the object to see it clearly. Additionally, you may need to move your head to follow the words in a wide magazine or newspaper, instead of just your eyes, to maintain clear vision.  This is less of an issue with premium progressive lenses, such as high definition or free-from lenses, says All About Vision. Premium lenses often feature larger viewing areas which have been digitally designed to fit your eye. They create sharper vision and reduce glare.

Are they hard to get used to?

How long it takes you to adjust to your progressive lenses depends on you. Some people adjust within a matter of hours, while others can take days or weeks to adjust to the changes. Most people, however, adjust relatively quickly and wonder why they never got progressive lenses before. Some eye doctors offer to change you back to bifocals for free if you cannot get used to the progressive trifocals in a reasonable time. Discuss this with your eye doctor before switching to progressive lenses, if you are worried about your adjustment.

Talk to your eye doctor about any problems you are having with your vision. Include details of what you do for work and pleasure that requires clear vision. Your eye doctor will write an eyewear prescription that considers your specific needs to provide you with the best vision for the tasks you commonly engage in.