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How do progressive lenses work?

As you get older, you’ll start to notice there are more numbers added to your glasses prescription. That generally means that your eye doctor is recommending you get progressive lenses in your glasses. Progressive lenses combine your distance prescription and your reading power all into one lens with no harsh lines. Here at Eyewear Junkie, we offer progressive and bifocals if you’ve tried progressives and know they're not for you! Now let's take a close look into what exactly a progressive lens does.

Progressive lenses are the only lenses that put three prescriptions into one

There’s one lens that will give you all the focus you need, no matter where you look. Gone are the days of flipping between reading glasses and distance glasses

These lenses are progressive lenses, and they’re the only lenses that put three prescriptions into one. First, progressive lenses provide far-away vision like a normal prescription lens does. And second, they correct mid-range vision for computers and dashboards. Thirdly, they provide near-viewing power for reading small print and seeing your smartphone clearly. That’s why they are also sometimes called “no-line bifocals” or “blended trifocals." Progressive lenses help with near, mid, and distance vision—all in one pair of glasses!

Progressive lenses have the same superpowers as bifocals but without those pesky lines across the lens.

Progressive lenses address presbyopia

Why do we have to wear progressive lenses? When you’re recommended to switch to progressive lenses it’s because you’ve likely been diagnosed with presbyopia. You may be asking yourself: what causes presbyopia? Well, around age 40 we start to lose elasticity in our eyes due to natural aging—this is called presbyopia!

Progressive lenses are a great way to address presbyopia. Presbyopia is a natural occurrence in the eye, so much so that everyone will experience it in their life most around their 40s. With progressive lenses, you can see both near and far without the need for bifocals or separate reading glasses.

Progressive lenses don't have a line to distinguish between prescriptions

Progressive lenses don't have a line to distinguish between prescriptions, because there isn't just one prescription across your entire progressive lens. The top of the lens is focused for far distances, the middle of the lens is for mid-distance (computer screens and cell phone distance), and the bottom of the lens is for reading. Since this area is smaller than the rest of the lens, it's called the near zone. Progressive lenses are smooth on both sides, which allows you to have a continuous vision at all distances, unlike bifocal and trifocal lenses which have a line on each side to distinguish different prescriptions.

Progressive lenses work by having different areas of the lens focus your vision at different distances

Progressive lenses work by having different areas of the lens focus your vision at different distances. The top area is for distance viewing, the middle area is for intermediate viewing, and the bottom area is for near vision.

The lens gradually shifts its power from top to bottom (and side to side). There are no lines in progressive lenses that mark each prescription power. Instead, there's a smooth transition from one power to another so you can see clearly at all distances. This provides more natural vision compared to bifocal or trifocal lenses which have sudden jumps in lens power and lines that cause your eyes to jump around when you look through them.

While wearing progressive lenses may feel strange at first, it typically only takes a few days to acclimate yourself to new progressive lenses. After a short time, your brain will naturally adjust and use the proper part of the lens as needed depending on what you're looking at.

The lower part of progressive lenses correct near-vision issues

The lower part of the lens—as you’ve probably guessed already—is made to correct near-vision issues. So when you’re looking down to read a book, on your phone, or to work on your laptop, this is the area that will help you see clearly.

The middle part of progressive lenses correct mid-distance vision issues

For the middle part of your progressive lenses, imagine a distance coming straight at you that's about 18-24 inches away. This is where you should put your computer screen or other mid-distance tasks that are not for driving. For example, if your job requires looking at a computer monitor all day, this area would be appropriate for doing things like office work. The middle section helps you see things in front of you clearly so that you can read text on the computer screen, check local news headlines on the Internet, and look at photos posted by friends and family on social media. However, it does not help with reading small text from a close distance (like when reading books or magazines), nor will it help with looking far away (like driving).

The upper portion of progressive lenses is correct for distance vision issues

The upper portion of the lens corrects distance vision. The area in the upper part of your lens is used for seeing clearly in the distance. This section of the lens is shaped like a teardrop, and it begins at the top of your glasses and gets wider as it goes down. Because this section corrects distance vision, it can be helpful for those who spend a lot of time driving.

Progressive lenses put many prescriptions into one and can help people who have had more than one corrective lens prescription

If you have hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism, your eye doctor might prescribe a progressive lens to help you see clearly. The progressive lens is different from bifocals and trifocals because it puts all of the prescriptions into one lens. Progressive lenses are also called no-line bifocals.

A regular corrective lens is made to help people with nearsightedness or farsightedness see clearer. Two corrective lenses put together will help someone see at two distances (near and far). A progressive corrective lens has three focal points: near, far, and intermediate distance. If you’re ready for progressive lenses then stop by and ask one of our Eyewear Addiction Specialists about progressive lenses today!

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