Progressive lensesalso called no-line bifocalsare a high-tech solution for the diminished ability to focus on close-up objects that comes with age. The term for this loss of visual acuity is presbyopia, and it usually begins after adults turn 40. Many eye doctors recommend progressive lenses to replace two pairs of glassesone for reading and one for distance vision.
Progressive lenses offer a smooth transition from distance vision through intermediate vision to near vision, and they supply all the corrections between these points. This means that instead of having just two different viewing zones (near and distant), like you do with conventional bifocals, progressive lenses have progressive powers of correction (from bottom to top), easing eye strain and providing the most natural vision correction.
If you're new to progressive lenses, you may need a little time to get used to them. No-line bifocals will slightly alter your peripheral vision due to power changes that occur at the edges of the lenses. This initial difference in your peripheral vision will probably require some slight changes in horizontal head and eye movements. Sensitivity to this area of the lens will diminish with time as you become accustomed to your new lenses.
These guidelines will help you adjust to your progressive lenses more quickly and comfortably:
Optometrists hear some concerns about progressive lenses from new wearersmany of these issues will disappear after an adjustment period, or may be resolved with a few changes to the way you move while wearing progressives. Here are five common problems with progressive lensesand how to fix them.
Vertigofrom mild to severeis a complaint many have when they first get progressive lenses. With progressives, multiple powers are included in one lens. Dizziness can be caused by looking through the wrong part of the lens. "Swim" is the term applied to the seasick sensation some people experience when they're moving while wearing progressive lenses. Changing the way you shift vision from one zone to another can reduce or eliminate this sensation. Finding the lens correction "sweet spot" may take a little time and patience, but will eventually come naturally. Try turning your head and pointing your nose or chin at the intended object, rather than relying on the movement of your eyes.
Going up and down stairs or stepping off a curb can be a challenge for new progressives wearers. The natural inclination to look downward while using the stairs can be a problemthe correction in the bottom part of the lens isn't suitable for the distance between your eyes and the floor. This can cause you to feel like your legs have suddenly grown, or that the ground is in a different place than you're used to. If you find yourself constantly tripping or stumbling while wearing new progressive lenses, take your time and use caution while you adjust to them. Practice wearing them while you sit, then ease into walking or using the stairs. You'll want to learn to look through the correct part of the lens for distance vision, rather than through the reading portion of the lens.
While you should wear your new glasses as much as you can to adjust to them more quickly, the exception to this rule is driving. If you're not comfortable with your progressive lenses, wear the single-vision glasses you're accustomed to while driving until you've fully adjusted to your progressives.
Your eyes and brain need a chance to get used to new glasses, and headaches can occur during this period of acclimation. If you notice an increase inheadaches after getting glasses with progressive lenses, or if the headaches aren't getting better, you may be experiencing eye strain. Contact your eye doctor to check your prescription and lens placement.
New technologies are always developing, and soon it may be possible to eliminate the blur in your side vision due to progressives. Currently, however, it's normal to experience some peripheral distortion while wearing progressive glasses. Because the lenses are built for specific viewing zones, a warped periphery is more pronounced when you move your eyes left or right, rather than when turning your head. While the distortion may become less noticeable with time, the outside edge of multifocal lenses may always appear slightly distorted due to the way the lenses are manufactured. Turning your headrather than your eyesto look to your side will reduce the blurriness in your peripheral vision.
It takes a little practice to adjust to reading with progressive lenses. The reading area is near the bottom of the lens. If you tilt your head downward, you're still looking through the distance portion of the lens instead of the section for close-up vision correction. Rather than tipping your head downward, your eyes should do the work here. Hold your head still and use your eyes to look downward at the page so you're reading through the proper vision correction zone.
Looking at a computer screen is different when you're wearing progressive lenses, as well. The field of view for distance correction for computer screens is likely narrower than you're used to. For computer use, tilt your head back slightly to get a clear view through the correct portion of the lens. Because you tilt your head back to focus on your computer screen, your headnot your eyeswill do the work. This may cause a stiff neck until you adapt to the change. There are some ergonomic considerations that may help make the adjustment easier, including tilting your screen to compensate, changing the placement of your computer monitor, or raising your desk chair. If time and practice don't seem to fix the problem, a consultation with an ergonomic specialist may help alleviate discomfort. Computer-specific progressive lenses are available as well, so consult your eye doctor if you use a computer often.
Lens quality is a major factor in multifocal lensesthat's why FramesDirect provides only the highest quality lenses manufactured by The Essilor Group in every pair of progressive glasses. Technology is advancing quickly, and progressive lenses are being made with wider visual fields and can be tailored to your lifestyle. Specific zones for computer use, active lifestyles, sports, and more are increasingly common. The newest progressives have less swim effect, and many people find the adjustment period easier. With these technological advances, the convenience of a single dedicated pair of glasses is well worth it. If you've tried progressives in the past and didn't like them, it may be worthwhile to give them another chance.
There's an adjustment period in learning to use progressive lenses. If you're still having trouble adapting after a couple of weeks, check with your eye doctor to see if the lenses need adjusting. While a small percentage of people never get used to progressives, most say they'd never go back to bifocals.
We started offering progressive lenses in 1999 and have filled thousands of 100% accurate prescriptions. Dr. Guy Hodgson, co-founder of FramesDirect.com, has developed a proprietary mathematical method of determining the optimal position of the reading (or seg height) of a progressive no-line bifocal without the need for visiting the doctor's office. In fact, Dr. Hodgson's virtual measurement tool gets even better results than an in-person measurement. FramesDirect.com is the only online eyewear retailer that can determine the perfect height for the progressive lens.
As a company founded by doctors, FramesDirect.com sells nothing but the absolute best lenses available on the market today. The Essilor-manufactured digital progressive lens delivers effortless vision in a full back-sided, digitally surfaced lens design. Other key features of the lens include:
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Also see: Reading Glasses, How to Measure Pupillary Distance or PD, What's My Glasses Frame Size?, Lens Color Guide, Understanding Your Prescription, Need to Order Lenses Only?