Progressives are the New Bifocals

You’ll probably remember bifocals as the eyeglasses that your grandparents used to wear – those eyeglasses with lines in the middle. These are the original bifocals, lenses that help the wearer see objects both near and far. It corrects the eye condition called presbyopia where, as you age, it gets more difficult to shift your focus from far objects to near objects. Sometimes, you also use reading glasses instead of glasses with bifocals to make it easier to see. With bifocals, you usually get a distant and near line of vision, usually delineated with a line across the lens. Others use a round segment, half-moon shape or ribbon strip across the lens. The key is that you focus from the top part of your lens to view far and distant objects and you naturally look down when you want to focus on something near, like for reading.

New contact lenses are now able to correct presbyopia problems using multifocals or progressives. Multifocals incorporate not just clear distant vision but also for near and mid-range objects in one pair of contact lenses. Progressives are similar to multifocals except that they don’t have any visible lines to differentiate between near, intermediate and distant vision which is why Progressives are becoming the number one choice for those suffering from presbyopia. The seamless shifting from far to near to mid-range happens so effortlessly without having to change the angle at which you look at objects, like you would with bifocals. At the same time, with bifocals when you look at distant objects, those near you would seem blurry or out of focus and vice versa. Progressives create complete clear vision for your eyes.

Whether you choose bifocals, multifocals or progressives, new contact lenses today are equipped with moisture-retention material that lets you enjoy your lenses all throughout the day. You can also decide, together with your eye doctor, if you’re going to get daily disposables, frequent replacements or the conventional replacement schedule contact lenses. Some multifocals and progressives contact lenses can also correct astigmatism at the same time with Toric lenses.

Using bifocals, multifocals and progressives can take some getting used to. You may experience some “swimming” effect for the first couple of days but will gradually disappear in time as your eyes get accustomed to the correction. It’s best to coordinate and cooperate with your eye doctor to get the most out of your new lenses.