- Vision & Eye Care
What You Should Know about Progressive Lenses
Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses that help to focus clearly on objects at different distances.
Progressive lenses have no visible demarcation lines, and they seamlessly integrate clear vision for - far, middle and near distance objects. These lenses also help to correct age-related vision problems.
Why choose progressive lenses?
Before deciding to go in for progressive lenses, you should know what benefits these lenses have to offer and find out about the advantages and disadvantages of wearing progressive lenses.
Here are the two main reasons why you should choose progressive lenses -
1. Seamless transition of vision at varying distances
Bifocal lenses have a clear demarcating line in the middle. The top portion of the eyeglass helps to see objects that are far and the lower portion helps to see objects that are near and also helps to read.
- since there is a line demarcating the top and the bottom portion of the eyeglass it is difficult to adjust to it
- when you see straight ahead you can see the line on the eyeglass and this can be difficult to get used to and can get quite annoying
- when you drive or use the computer it can be very difficult because you have to see through the line.
Trifocal lenses help to correct vision for far, middle and near objects, but the problem is that they have two demarcating lines.
In the case of progressive lenses, the absence of the demarcating line makes them a lot better. The eyes are subjected to a gradual transition of vision for far, middle and near distance objects. Since there is a gradual transition, it is easier on the eyes.
2. Eliminates the need to carry two spectacles
Some people who do not like the demarcating lines choose to go in for separate prescription glasses - one for correcting far sight and another for correcting near sight.
When you have two different eyeglasses, you have to keep switching between the two, and this can get tedious, especially when you have to read something in a hurry.
Another thing is that you have to remember to carry both with you at all times or have one hanging around your neck.
Another advantage is that when you wear progressive lenses that are photochromatic you need not carry sunglasses to eliminate the glare from the sun and protects the eyes.
Types of Progressive Lenses
There are different types of progressive lenses based on the size of the vision zones.
Standard Progressive Lenses
Standard Progressive Lenses have a larger reading area, but you have to pick a large frame to fit all the three zones into the frame without having to cut the eyeglass. If you want narrow frames, then this will not be the type of progressive lenses for you.
Short Corridor Progressive Lenses
Short Corridor Progressive Lenses are for those who prefer narrow frames. When you choose a Short Corridor Progressive Lens, you must remember that the reading zone is very narrow.
Computer Progressive Lenses
Computer Progressive Lenses are also known as "Office Lenses" or "Near Variable Focus Lenses" are specially designed for office wear. These lenses offer a clear vision for distances ranging from 16 inches to 6 feet.
Computer Progressive Lenses are useful for those who want a clear vision for near and intermediate distances. For example, painters, artists, dentists, hairdressers and editors.
Premium Progressive Lenses
Premium Progressive Lenses are top of the line lenses custom made according to your preferences. They offer a wider distortion free reading area. These lenses are also referred to as "free form design lenses."
In the case of Premium Progressive Lenses, instead of trying to alter the size of the lens to fit the frame the progressive lens is custom made to fit all three zones of vision into the lens without having to cut or alter the lens size. These lenses are very expensive.
Disadvantages of Progressive Lenses
Look at the image above to get a clear idea about the sides where the vision is distorted.
Vision Distortion on the Sides
Progressive lenses have many focal points that seamlessly integrate far, middle and near visions and because of this reason, there are two zones on the sides of the progressive lens that does not offer clear vision.
When a person sees through the sides of a progressive lens, the vision will be slightly distorted. The size of the distortion zones on the sides can be reduced when the progressive lenses are custom made.
Custom-made progressive lenses have very small distortion areas on the sides whereas in the case of standard progressive lenses the distortion areas are larger.
The optician should take precise measurements to make the progressive lenses. If the measurements are not correct, the progressive lens will not suit you, and the vision will be blurred.
Getting used to
It will take some time to get used to progressive lenses. You should follow all the instructions given to you by your optician. Some people may get headaches initially while getting used to progressive lenses.
Do not drive till you get used to the prescribed progressive lenses.
Price of progressive lenses
Progressive lenses are more expensive than a bifocal or a trifocal lens. Another point to consider is that most insurance companies do not cover progressive lenses.
Many people choose to wear progressive lenses because they are very comfortable once you get used to them. These lenses do not have the demarcating lines that can make seeing a difficult experience. When you drive or use the computer, vision through a progressive lens is much better than a bifocal or a trifocal lens.