Do I Need Bifocals or Progressive Lenses?

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We have three basic ranges of vision – the near range for reading and seeing up close, the mid-range for seeing things at arm's length, such as computer screens, and the distance range for seeing objects farther away, like road signs.

As we age, the eyes have a difficult time making adjustments from one range to another. On top of that, around the age of 40, we start to develop presbyopia, an eye condition where the lens loses flexibility, making it harder to focus on objects up close. Presbyopia is very common, and eyeglasses – either bifocals or progressive lenses – are a simple, effective solution.

In the past, the only option available to help with presbyopia was bifocal lenses. A bifocal lens is split into two parts – the top part for distance viewing and the bottom part for seeing up close. However, bifocals are unable to meet the demands of the modern world. Bifocals don’t account for mid-range vision, and wearers must tilt their heads in an uncomfortable position to view a computer screen or other focal point 18-24 inches from their faces.

With advancements in technology, we have a lens options that makes it possible to see clearly at all distances. Progressive lenses, often referred to as no-line bifocals, are multifocal lenses that provide a seamless transition between all viewing distances. Progressive lenses eliminate image jump – a common issue with bifocals, as images seem to jump when your eyes move past the boundary line between the distance and near parts of the lens.

If you are suffering from presbyopia or experiencing blurry vision, talk to your eye doctor about which type of glasses are right for you.

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