Advantages and adaption of progressive lenses

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Progressive lenses are a significant breakthrough since they offer a much better solution to people who need reading glasses. In the past, presbyopic individuals had only bifocals and trifocals with visible lines for selection. Eliminating those visible lines, progressive lenses are sometimes called no-line bifocals.

Progressive lenses bring seamless power transition

In fact, progressive lenses have more advantages over lined bifocals and trifocals. As the name suggests, progressive lenses offer a progressive power transition, rather than just two or three lens powers. With progressive lenses, the wearer can achieve close vision, distance vision as well as intermediate vision through different parts of the lens.

Traditional bifocals and trifocals may bring “image jump” since they have sharply defined boundaries between different parts of the lenses. In contrast, progressive lenses offer a smooth and seamless power transition, so that images at varying distances are also smooth and comfortable. The fitting of progressive lenses involves a “corridor” of optimum vision, which runs vertically down the lens. This corridor should be placed in the right location, in order to get natural access to various powers.

Progressive lens offers a natural look

In addition to the above visual benefit, progressive lenses also help mask the wearer’s need for presbyopia glasses. Both women and men in their early 40s are unwilling to let other people know that they have suffered presbyopia and need presbyopic vision aid. However, wearing traditional bifocals or trifocals will naturally utter such a signal because there are visible lines on the lenses. Most people know that regular optical lenses for myopic or hyperopic patients do not have any power division by a line. Using progressive lenses completely eliminates this concern. Without a noticeable line, those progressive lenses have no visible difference from regular single vision lenses.

A short-term concern

While progressive lenses offer clear vision at all distances, they still bring minor peripheral visual aberrations to a small portion of first-time wearers. These peripheral aberrations are caused by rapid visual movements from far right to left, especially when looking down, and the result is burry vision. Therefore, those people should move head slowly during the adjustment period. The adaption period varies from a few minutes to a few days, depending on personal situations. First-time wearers with high presbyopia always take a longer period to adapt to progressive lenses than those with mild ones.

While some eye doctors claim that all patients can get adapted to progressive glasses, some study findings say that approximately 5% of eyewear users can not get used to these glasses due to some unknown reasons. For this unfortunate group, side effects like blurry vision and even dizziness will last. Due to this reason, patients who have difficulty in adjusting to bifocals and trifocals are highly encouraged to get some eye examinations from an eye doctor, who will test their eligibility for progressives.

Proper glasses frames are decisive for progressive lens

In the past, frames for progressive lenses were relatively large, since the lenses should cover a wide range of powers. Small frames meant smaller close vision portion of the lenses. However, this situation is no longer true. Lens technological advancements have produced various effective solutions by introducing “short corridor” lenses. In addition, variations can be achieved by expanding different areas of the corridor. For example, progressive lenses for computer use have a wider intermediate zone by expanding the corridor’s intermediate area.

Nowadays, progressive lenses are available in materials including regular plastic, glass, polycarbonate and high-index. They have become the most popular choice for presbyopia correction.