Are Progressive Glasses Right For Me?
Lately, when it comes time to pick up a new pair of glasses, people often ask how progressive glasses work, and whether they would work for their specific needs.
While bifocals or trifocals traditionally have just two or three lens powers, progressive lenses are “multifocal” lenses that provide a seamless progression of many lens powers for all viewing distances.
With progressive lenses, you can look up to see clearly across the room, as well as in the distance.
You also can look ahead to view your computer in the intermediate zone and drop your gaze downward to read and do work comfortably through the near zone of the lenses.
Presbyopia – What Is It?
Over the age of 40, our eyes start to age and become less precise in focusing on near objects.
For instance, you might have trouble reading fine prints.
Or, you might find yourself pushing the newspaper further away, while squinting or taking off your regular glasses all together.
The condition is called presbyopia.
You can’t escape presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before.
Even people who are nearsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.
Presbyopia affects nearly 1.7 billion people worldwide, and that number is expected to grow to 2.1 billion by the year 2020.
In the United States, more than 111 million adults are presbyopic and it’s estimated this number will grow to 123 million by 2020 due to aging of the population.
Though presbyopia is a normal change in our eyes as we age, it often is a significant and emotional event because it’s a sign of aging that’s impossible to ignore and difficult to hide.
Getting used to progressive lenses
The biggest challenge with progressive lenses is that there is a learning curve with each pair of new progressive lenses.
It is common to take days or even weeks to fully adapt to progressive lenses (or even just a new prescription).
You must be willing to to give your eyes and brain a chance to get used to them by fully committing to wearing them consistently.
Review these tips for adapting to your progressive lenses successfully:
1. Rule of Thumb
Point your nose where you are looking.
Move your head slightly left or right with your progressives and look straight through the lenses, instead of using your peripheral vision.
The lenses are designed to provide clear, gradually changing vision correction through the centre of the lenses.
There is often slight distortion in the outer edges of the lenses.
2. Reading with your progressives
Hold a magazine in hand, pick one line in your magazine, lock your eyes on that line as you very slowly lower the magazine (while holding your head still and lowering your eyes).
In doing so, you will identify the “reading zone” in your lenses.
With time, your eyes and body will learn to automatically go to the right spots, for medium vision (lower middle portion of the lenses) and near vision (bottom portion of the lenses).
3. Wear your glasses full time
Do not drive with your new progressive glasses until you fully adapt to them.
Additionally, there are no visible lines on progressive glasses like the ones that are often found in bifocals and trifocals.
Next time you need a pair of reading glasses, consider making the progressive move.
You’ll be glad you did.