Bifocals vs. Progressives

As we age, our eyesight changes. Most of us will end up having to buy prescription eyeglasses at some point in our lives. Age-related vision changes like presbyopia can leave people in need of multifocal lenses, or glasses that correct both distant and close vision. Traditionally, bifocals have been the go-to option in this situation, but increasingly more people are choosing progressive lenses, instead.

Progressive versus bifocal lenses: what’s the difference?

Bifocals (and to a lesser extent, trifocals) have been around for more than a hundred years. The lens of a bifocal is split into two distinct areas, one meant for focusing on objects up close, and the other helping the wearer hone in on things in the distance. It’s a very basic principle: when you look down, such as to read a book, you stare through one lens strength, and when you glance up, you’re staring through another.

Progressive lenses are just that, progressive. They progress from one strength gradually to another, rather than switching all at once. This allows for a unique lens strength at every horizontal point on the glasses. Progressive lenses are favored by a lot of people because, unlike bifocals, they are not immediately distinguishable from regular eyeglasses and thus may make the wearer seem younger.

Types of progressive lenses

Because of the nature of progressive lenses over bifocals, there is room for a lot more customization. But all progressive lenses are not interchangeable, and picking the wrong one could be a huge waste of time and money. You’ll want to get familiar with the different categories of progressive lenses before settling on the one that’s right for you.

When are progressive lenses the better option?

There is no wrong option between progressive lenses and bifocals. You only need to determine which is the best fit for you personally. Your eye doctor may have suggestions based on your specific prescription.

Progressive lenses are emerging as the frontrunner nowadays, with many people preferring their wider range of focus and more discreet look. Several common complaints about bifocals are not present with progressive lenses:

If you get your prescription glasses online, progressive lenses may be harder to find, but they are still an option. 39DollarGlasses.com offers progressive lens fittings for eyeglasses as well as prescription sunglasses.

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