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Corrective Lenses for Presbyopia

Our eyes lenses lose their flexibility the older we get.

This is a process called presbyopia. It's the main reason most seniors who may have never needed corrective lenses may now require reading glasses. Those of us with nearsightedness who already need glasses end up in a more complex situation with various remedies. You might find yourself using a combination of reading glasses and contacts, bifocals, trifocals, or progressives?

Bifocals (and Trifocals) Pros and Cons

Bifocals are very simple. Each lens has an area with a prescription that corrects nearsightedness mixed with a smaller area located towards the bottom used to correct presbyopia. It may become helpful to add a third prescription in the middle to help with focusing on middle distances, like a computer screen as the presbyopia gets more severe; triple-lens glasses are called trifocals.

Despite their simplicity, combining multiple lenses causes the image to have a "jump effect," which many people find difficult to adjust to. Because our culture often associates bifocals with old age, people can also be self-conscious about wearing them.

The Modern Solution: Progressive Lenses:

If you're hesitant about using contacts alongside reading glasses, and the negatives of bifocals outweigh the positives for you, progressive lenses are a sleek modern option. This type of lens combines multiple prescriptions into one continuous lens, changing the apparent look of bifocals and removing the jarring lines. With just a tilt of your head, you'll be able to see clearly at any distance.

The Adjustment

It can take a few days to get used to any prescription change, and that's even more true of your first pair of progressive lenses. Here are a few tips to help you feel a bit more comfortable wearing your new lenses at first:

  • Fight the temptation to switch back and forth to your old glasses, as doing so will reset the clock on getting adjusted to the progressive lenses prolonging your eye strain symptoms.

  • Make sure your glasses have the proper fit so you can naturally see through the "corridor of power" in the middle of the lens.

  • Practice switching from looking at distant and close-up objects by watching TV while reading.

  • Instead of moving your eyes to see things clearly at different distances, practice moving your head.

Visit Us With Your Questions (and Glasses)!

If you'd like to learn more about if progressive lenses are the best option for you and how they work, we'd love to discuss them during your next appointment. While you're here, we can make any adjustments you need to your glasses to ensure the perfect fit.

We love seeing our patients and helping them see us clearly!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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