When you are shopping for eyeglasses, you may notice that some frames can be made into progressive glasses. If you aren’t familiar with this term, you may be unsure what these lenses are. You may also be wondering whether you should order them or not. The following information will help you decide if progressives are right for you.
Progressive Lenses and How They Work
Standard lenses in eyeglasses have a single power (correction strength) for the entire lens. So, no matter which direction you look, you will always have the same power. However, some people may need multiple levels of correction. This usually happens because the wearer has always needed correction for distant objects but is having difficulty seeing near objects due to age.
There are bifocal and multifocal lenses that can help with this. They have distinct zones in different areas of the glasses to provide appropriate correction. Typically, this is designed to correct myopia or nearsightedness when looking straight ahead and hyperopia or farsightedness when looking down.
However, these lenses often have lines between the zones that some people find unattractive. Progressive eyeglasses provide a similar type of multi-zone correction, but the zones are blended together with intermediate zones. This makes them appear much smoother, like standard lenses.
Who Are Progressive Eyeglasses Right For?
Anyone who has both hyperopia and myopia may need progressive eyeglasses. If you have difficulty seeing objects that are in the distance and near you, chances are that you need some sort of multifocal lens.
It is most common amongst people who have had eyeglasses for myopia for some time and are experiencing presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). If you have found yourself needing to hold books, menus and other items further away from your face to be able to properly read or interact with them, you should consider getting progressives.
Speak with a medical professional about your vision prescription. He or she will be able to help you find the right glasses for you.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Progressives
There are a lot of reasons to love progressives. They offer a better alternative to standard or bifocal lenses for many people. However, they are not without drawbacks.
Benefits of Progressive Lenses
One Pair Suits All Situations: With a single pair of glasses, you can have vision correction for near, intermedia and distant vision. For many people, only needing to wear (and keep track of) a single pair of glasses is a big advantage.
Many Powers: Bifocals and multifocals can also suit many situations. However, they only have two, three or four powers, sometimes more. Conversely, progressives have a gradient of corrective power. So, there are essentially infinite powers to suit every situation.
No Lines: There are no lines between the power zones because they blend into each other. Many people think this is more aesthetically pleasing.
No “Jump”: Due to the lack of lines, there is no jump between zones. This sudden change can be disconcerting for people using bifocals and multifocals.
More Youthful Appearance: A lot of people don’t like that bifocal and multifocal lenses highlight their age (they are associated with getting older). Progressives have a more youthful appearance that some people really appreciate.
Drawbacks of Progressive Lenses
Learning Curve: Getting used to the different corrective powers can take a little getting used to, especially if you have previously only had standard lenses. This process can be a little disorienting at first.
Peripheral Distortion: There are different corrective powers at the edges of the lenses than in the center. This can make your peripheral vision look strange. Again, this can be slightly confusing and even nauseating until your eyes and brain adjust.
Higher Cost: Typically, progressives cost more than bifocals or multifocals. If you are on a tight budget, it may make sense to get the simpler designs.
Deciding Whether To Use Progressive Glasses
Naturally, the only reason you may decide to use progressives (or similar lenses) would be if you need multiple levels of correction. If you only have myopia or hyperopia, standard glasses or reading glasses would be all you need.
If you think that you may need multiple levels of correction, speak with a medical professional to have your vision checked. You can determine which option is right for you with proper guidance for your unique situation.
Some people opt to have a pair of standard glasses and a pair of reading glasses. This can be cumbersome, but it can be fine for some situations. It also may allow for more options for frames as not all frames can support multifocals or progressives.
However, a lot of people decide that they want a single pair of glasses that can be used in every situation. Then, the decision comes down to whether to have progressives, bifocals or mutlifocals.
Progressive vs. Bifocal vs. Multifocal Lenses
One of the key drawbacks of bifocal lenses is that they only have two powers of correction: one for near and one for distant viewing. This is fixed by trifocal and multifocal lenses that have more than two zones. However, all these lens designs have lines between the zones. Additionally, there can be a “jump” when your eyes move over the lines.
So, some people opt for progressives because they provide a smoother look and a more pleasant experience when moving the eyes between different zones of the glasses. However, as mentioned above, progressives tend to be the most expensive option. Depending on your budget, it may make sense to go for bifocals or multifocals.
Order Your Progressive Eyeglasses Today
With the above information, you should be able to determine whether progressives are right for you. In many situations, they can offer a more pleasant experience and style than multifocal lenses. Plus, they solve the issue of juggling multiple pairs of single-lens glasses.
If you want some progressive glasses, you can order them from Marvel Optics. We have a large catalog of frames to choose from. You can be confident you will find something that suits your style. When you find frames you like, choose the “Prescription Lens” option and “Customize Lens.” For many frames, this has an option to choose progressives for your lenses. Place your order today.