What are Progressive Lenses?
As we naturally age, our body goes through many changes, one of which is that our eyes can deteriorate and slowly lose the ability to see clearly. Usually, over the age of 40, eye aging is very common and will lead to the need for progressive lenses. Progressive lenses – AKA no-line bifocals – are a type of multifocal lens. Multifocal lenses have different prescriptions built into one lens to correct distances so you can easily see far, intermediate and near distances. Progressive lenses have no lines between the different prescriptions, so you can easily change between different vision distances with smooth transitions.
How do progressive lenses work?
Progressive lenses essentially have three prescriptions built into them. The top of the lens is adapted for distance vision and gradually reduces into the intermediate prescription, which corrects anything at an arm's length away. Finally, it diminishes in power towards the bottom, designed for reading or other “close up” tasks, like checking a price tag or using your smartphone. For a deeper dive into progressive lenses, watch our video below for further insights.
Bifocal vs. progressive lenses
Progressive lenses effortlessly blend between near and distant prescriptions within the lens to provide the wearer with the most realistic vision possible. In contrast, bifocal lenses have separate prescription zones for near and far vision. Consider your lifestyle and personal preferences when deciding which lens is appropriate for you.
Bifocals have two power values and correct both distance and near visual defects. At the top, you’ll have your distance correction, while your near vision correction is towards the bottom. These lenses have a distinct line between each value which causes an image to jump when the eye is moving from far distance to near distance.
Unlike bifocals, progressive glasses help correct three power values without visible lines. Each area transitions from one visual correction to another, allowing for a smoother vision.
How to get used to progressive lenses?
While most individuals adjust to progressive lenses quite quickly (some even right away), it might take a few days to achieve comfortable vision with progressive lenses. This is typical since you need to get used to making small changes as you go from one location to another, especially if you move your head quickly. You’ll also need to teach your eyes to look through the proper area of the lens. Read our tips below and speak with your eye doctor if you notice that you still have trouble getting used to the lenses after a few days.
Tips for getting used to progressive lenses and enjoying clear vision
Move your head. Moving your head more is one of the first and most essential steps to getting used to your new progressive lenses. You should use your lenses by moving your head towards an object you want to focus on instead of simply moving your eyes.
Remember that all your prescriptions are built into the lenses. Looking down is meant for looking at objects close-up, looking up is for looking further away and looking straight ahead through the middle of your lenses focuses on the intermediate distance, like a computer screen.
Don’t switch between glasses. Aim only to use your new pair of progressive glasses, as this will help you get used to them quickly.
What are the best progressive lenses?
The latest generation of progressive lenses, known as “free-form” lenses, are made with a computer-aided manufacturing process to reduce aberrations. Each lens is customised precisely to the position of the wearer’s eye, taking into account your pupillary distance and the surface of the lens when looking in different directions. This manufacturing process provides the sharpest, crispest image possible and enhances peripheral vision.
When buying your progressive lenses online with SmartBuyGlasses, you can feel assured you're getting the best lenses out there. Check out our other Optical Centre articles for more eye health advice, or ask our opticians online in a few simple clicks.