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Many people come to L&F and ask us whether or not they need progressive lenses in their eyeglasses. And why. Thus we thought we'd take a moment here to explain what progressive lenses are and how they can help you see clearly throughout your day.

Nearly everyone will experience presbyopia as their eyes get older, typically starting around the age of 40.  Presbyopia is a hardening of the eye’s lens which inhibits our ability to focus clearly on close-up objects such as reading a book or focusing on your smartphone.  When presbyopia strikes, there are a few different eyewear options available to help your near vision come back into clear focus. 

For individuals who are near-sighted or far-sighted, there is a unique lens designed to help you see your world in focus regardless whether objects are viewed in the distance or up close. Progressive lenses – sometimes called Progressive Addition Lenses (PALs) or multifocal lenses – are special lenses that can correct your vision to allow you to see objects in clear focus that are in your far distance focal zone, your middle distance zone, and your up-close / near vision zone.  Unlike old-fashioned “lined bi-focals”, progressive lenses achieve these multiple focal zones without any visible lines.  So they look great while helping you see clearly.

In addition to looking great, progressive lenses are specially designed to provide different vision correction at different parts of the lens.  The top of the lens has your distance vision correction.  The middle portion of the lens progressively changes power so that your eyes can focus more easily on objects in a middle-distance zone – such as reading a computer monitor on your desk.  And, finally, reading magnification is at the bottom of the lens so your eyes can easily focus on objects up close, like reading a phone, a book, or your watch.

And because the vision correction blends slowly from distance vision to near vision, progressive lens wearers enjoy smooth transitions as they focus on objects between the different focal zones; for example, progressive lens wearers don’t experience “image jump” which is something that happens with Lined bi-focals. 

Most people adapt quite easily to progressive eyeglasses.  Within a few days they quickly find the “sweet spot” near the bottom of the lens for optimum near vision, and they get used to gently tilting their head up and down to help their eyes smoothly transition between distance vision correction on the top of the lens and reading magnification on the bottom of the lens. And if you lead an active lifestyle outdoors, we encourage you to consider progressive sun lenses so you don’t have keep taking off your sunglasses when you want to focus on your phone or read your watch! 

Progressive lenses can also be made specifically to help your eyes when you are using a computer. These are referred to as Prescription Computer Glasses or Computer Progressive Glasses. Computer Progressive lenses are designed to provide an extremely wide “sweet spot” and soft transition to look straight ahead at your computer screen (with a maximum distance vision of about 1.5 meters) and seamlessly look down to clearly read your phone or documents. If your eyeglasses prescription has an "add power," or if your vision care provider has recommended progressive glasses to wear while you're at your office working on your computer, we recommend taking a look at our Computer Progressive custom prescription glasses to start enjoying a seamless and crystal clear view of everything on your desk from your phone to computer screen.

Have a question about the progressive lenses?  Click this link to send us a question. We're quick to respond and we're happy to help in any way we can.

While they tend to be a bit more expensive than Rx Single Vision lenses, Rx Progressive lenses are a fantastic hybrid solution to provide you with clear vision across multiple focal zones.  No other lens design can deliver a more comfortable and clear view for your distance vision, middle-distance vision, and near vision.