What are progressive lenses? You may have heard this term tossed around among friends, colleagues, or your optometrist’s office. If you are close to reaching a “certain age” and your vision is not what it used to be, progressive lenses may be a good choice for you in your next pair of glasses. Progressive lenses are essentially a multifocal lens without the line in the middle. They are an increasingly popular glasses choice for those who suffer from presbyopia, or the loss of near focusing ability that occurs naturally with age.

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia occurs in everyone as they age. Even people who already wear glasses will begin to notice that they are holding their cell phone further and further away from their face to be able to read the fine print. Their prescription may still work fine for distance. However, up close their vision is not what it used to be. Progressive lenses are the most popular solution today for presbyopia.

What are the benefits of progressive lenses?

Progressive lenses offer several benefits over traditional bifocal or trifocal lenses for those with presbyopia. The most obvious advantage to progressive lenses is the cosmetic one. With progressive lenses there is no line through the lens. This makes it impossible for others to know that there are two or even three different prescription lens powers at work within a pair of glasses. The seamless nature of progressive lenses is much easier on the eyes than bifocal or trifocal glasses of the past. Your eyes can switch between prescriptions with minimal interruption between distance, near, and mid-range vision. This leads to less eye strain and a more comfortable experience for the eyes.

How do progressive lenses work?

Progressive lenses are produced in such a way that there is a natural corridor through the center of the lens where the prescription changes. There is a distance vision zone in the top half of the lens, followed by an intermediate zone for middle-distance vision, such as computer use, and a near vision zone at the bottom of the lens for close up vision. The seamless transition is much easier on the eyes than traditional multifocal lenses.

The lenses are personalized to suit your eyes and provide you with all the prescriptions that you need, perfectly positioned for your eyes. The location of the different prescriptions in progressive lenses can also be customized based upon the style and intended use of your glasses. Glasses that will be primarily for computer use can have a larger intermediate zone, while glasses that are used more frequently for distance vision can have a larger distant vision zone.

If you are interested in progressive lenses, your eye doctor will be able to work with you to create the best lens for your eyes and lifestyle.