Progressive lenses in the USA are becoming ever more popular, and not just among the older generations who typically require multiple corrective prescriptions. Owing to the human race using more digital technology daily, our eyes are straining and tiring earlier. This means that people are more likely to require varifocal glasses with a progressive lens from an earlier age, and that's ok! They don't look any different from a normal lens, but save you plenty of time and money, as they essentially combine three prescriptions into one lens! You can even get varifocal progressive contact lenses these days. Read on to find out more.
What is a Progressive Lens?
Progressive multifocal lenses are a complex group of vision correcting powers, all fitted into one lens, making them the most advanced lens out there. To better understand it, let's start from the most basic, the single vision lens. This type of lens only has one corrective power, meaning it can be used to correct nearsightedness, intermediate distance vision, or long-distance eyesight. So, if you struggle to see at all three of these distances, you would need three pairs of single vision lenses, which you would interchange depending on your activity.
The next step up is the bifocal, which as the name suggests, caters to two types of vision correction. The bottom half of the lens clarifies vision at a short distance, while the upper section allows you to see long distances. The defining feature of the bifocal is that there is a line intersecting the two halves. This line can be easy to spot and is often recognized by the older generations, making it slightly less than fashionable.
To add a third level of complexity to the different prescription lens types, we introduce the varifocal lens. This lens has three prescriptive powers, one for near, intermediate, and distance vision. This is great for those who need help seeing at any distance because, with just one pair of glasses, you have perfect vision and can flick between the lens sections. Just like the bifocal, there is a line between each segment of the lens.
So what is the difference between varifocals and progressives? Progressive lenses vs varifocals is a very common conundrum, with many people asking “are progressive lenses the same as varifocals?”. The straightforward answer is no. While a progressive lens works the same as a varifocal lens in the sense that it offers three prescriptive powers, it does not have the three separated by lines. With a progressive lens, the corrective powers blend smoothly from one to the next. This means that your eye can relax and follow from one power to another without jumping uncomfortably over a line in the lens.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Progressive Lenses
There are several advantages to progressive lenses in comparison to the varifocal, bifocal and single vision lenses. The key benefit is convenience. If you have three visual impairments, you will either need three separate pairs of single vision glasses or a varifocal. The reason you may not want three pairs of single vision lenses is that you would be constantly changing the frame for each activity. So when reading the text you would need a pair of reading glasses to hand, but as soon as you step out for a drive in the car, you suddenly need a pair of distance glasses. Once you arrive at work and look at a computer, you will need to swap a third time to intermediate vision glasses, such as computer glasses. Buying three pairs of glasses would build up a cost. Instead, you can buy just one pair of glasses with a varifocal lens. That way, you get all three types of vision correction in one lens. It is true that varifocal lenses, and in particular those that are progressive, can be more expensive. However, this cost is easily justified when compared with three pairs of single vision glasses. On our site, you can justify the progressive lenses cost even more easily. That is because you are 100% guaranteed the best price on the market for frames, so you won't find even the most popular designer frames for a lower price anywhere else. This means you can get cheap varifocal glasses online for as little as $9 from the EyeglassesClub Collection.
Another benefit to the progressive lens is the fashion element. It is typically not so stylish to have visible lines across the lens, as this is often associated with the older members of society. The progressive lens does not include such lines, as all the segments of the prescription blend into one another. A progressive varifocal is, therefore, the perfect option for anyone looking for both perfect sights, and a fashion statement.
On the other hand, nothing can ever be perfect. Because the progressive lens blends the prescriptions together, the space on the edges of the lens becomes slightly blurred. However, this will not impinge your eyesight. For the first hour, and for no more than the first week, you will be aware of the change. You will notice your peripheral vision is a little less clear, and wearers of progressive lenses can occasionally experience what is known as the swim effect, where lots of objects become blurred. Some customers report differences in in-depth perception too, particularly while walking up the stairs. Nevertheless, these effects are sure to wear off within the first week, and if not, we strongly advise you to visit an optician or check in with our online certified opticians. Don't let this change put you off. When you compare a progressive to a varifocal or bifocal, the adjustment period is very similar. Wearers of bifocals will often experience discomfort as they switch between lens powers, as the eye has to almost physically jump between the line in the middle. This discomfort can last longer than that of a progressive lens. These are all factors to take into account when considering a progressive lens.