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We understand that shopping for and knowing the difference between a multifocal and progressive lens is not always easy. No worries, we are here to help! Let us get into progressive glasses pros and cons and whether they are the best fit for you and your needs.
What are Progressive Eyeglasses?
Before we get into what a progressive lens is we should first describe the variety of lenses that have existed leading up to the inception of the progressive or multifocal lens. The first lens you might already be familiar with is the single vision lens, which is a lens that offers a single power and usually only corrects for one optical difficulty. A great example of what a single vision lens can correct for would be nearsightedness, farsightedness, or intermediate distances. The next variety of lenses available since the 1700s and invented by Benjamin Franklin is the bifocal lens. This lens corrects vision with two corrective powers, with the two powers being stacked one on top of the other, as the name translates to two focal points. The top power is used to correct for distance and the bottom power is used to correct for close-up. Often there is a visible line that bisects the two powers in the horizontal centre of the lens. The line is frequently associated with older people, as a result, bifocals are less desirable for younger individuals. Then there is the trifocal, or lens that corrects with three powers. Again, the powers are stacked, with a close-up corrective power on the bottom, a distance corrective power on the top, and an intermediate power in the centre. The intermediate power is used for distances that are an arm’s length away, or for example, the distance of a computer. The edges of the powers in a trifocal meet similarly to how the lenses meet in a bifocal. There is a visible line, however, with a trifocal, there are two visible lines. Now, the progressive lens is unique, in that it can correct for up to three powers on a single lens, but does not have solid lines between powers. Rather each of the powers is joined together seamlessly.
Benefits of Progressive Lenses
There are two key benefits associated with progressive glasses. Firstly, is the transition between powers. With a pair of bifocals or trifocals, the hard line between powers can be disorienting to switch back and forth from, especially if they are vastly different. The eye can find it difficult or awkward, the eye is not built to handle such a jump so regularly, causing fatigue and headache. Progressive lenses are a great solution as there is a transition between the powers, making for more comfortable wear. It is also important to note, that with the absence of hard lines, the progressive lens is a more fashionable option.
The second essential benefit is that this type of lens does the work of up to three separate pairs of glasses. The progressive lens removes the need to lug around multiple pairs of glasses, acting as reading glasses, distance glasses or driving glasses, and intermediate vision glasses. Choosing this option makes wearing glasses more simple. Progressive lens reading glasses are the most common ask from a progressive lens, but they can do so much more!
Disadvantages of Progressive Lenses
There are some intrinsic disadvantages to progressive or multifocal lenses. There are some challenges with placing three powers onto a single lens. The lens is quite round and relatively small, so at the edge of the lens, there is some melding of powers. This is of detriment to your peripheral vision, because the powers are so close in this region. This of course is manageable by selecting the type of progressive lens that is right for you. Now, because of the relatively small space allotted to pack three powers, the frame selection is slightly limited. Progressive lenses fare better in larger, less eccentric frames. So when you are choosing your frames, keep in mind that small or wild models might not be able to hold your progressive lens. Fortunately for you, our online shop is organized by grouping all of the progressive compatible frames in the same place.
Adjusting to progressive lenses can take more time than other varieties of lenses. Everyone is unique, but you may notice a few symptoms. There is going to be a shift in your depth perception which can lead to dizziness, it typically lasts a few hours or possibly a week. Again, serious symptoms are rare, but if they do persist, reach out to your neighborhood optician.
Types of Progressive Lenses
We carry a few options of progressive lenses on our online shop that may be the right fit for you!
There are the standard lenses, perfect for progressive lens reading glasses. There is a larger area of the lens reserved for the close-up, or reading power. Then, we have a lens that is designed to favor the opposite, offering up more lens real estate to the distance power and less for the close-up power. This is special because this variety of lenses fits into more styles of frames, making them a more fashionable option.
We offer a lens that caters to the intermediate distance, popularly referred to as the computer progressive lens. This variety of lenses designates the largest portion to the intermediate power, perfect for long workdays on a digital device. Now, if you have found yourself in this grouping, we suggest adding our zFORT® lens coating to your progressive lens. This coating is great for blue light blocking and reducing its effects on your eyes.
We offer our Premium and Deluxe lens options in our online shop. The Premium lens offers increased space for close-up vision correction but is designed to be compatible with more styles of frames. Our Deluxe option is digitally rendered and of superior quality. They are designed to have the widest visual corridor, making them the clearest vision option of our offering.
Why make the switch to Progressive Lenses?
Why make the switch? Today there are more and more people who require glasses, making progressive lenses a practical option for the large portion of individuals who have multiple corrective needs. With the increase of technological innovation, multifocal glasses cost less than you would expect. Making them a very realistic option for most budgets.
Don’t be surprised to find that your eyes change as you age if you find that reading your phone is increasingly difficult and switching between multiple frames is a large part of your day. Consider swapping out your multiple pairs of single vision lenses for a single pair of progressive glasses.
Shop with SmartBuyGlasses
Not convinced the frames are the right look for you? Try them on with our Virtual Try-On tool, the tool allows you to get a 180-degree view of how the frames look on your face. Not satisfied with your new pair? Shop easy knowing we offer a 100-day no-hassle return on all of our frames, plus a 2-year warranty on all sunglasses and eyeglasses. Is online shopping not for you? Come visit our shop in Hong Kong and experience your eyewear in person, shop the brands you love at the prices you want.