Bifocal and progressive lenses both have a place in the world, but where and when? Let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each lens and you be the judge!
Bifocals are eyeglasses that contain 2 distinct lens powers divided by a visible line. The larger viewing area is to see distance, and the smaller segment is for reading. What you focus on will depend on where you move your eyes. Bifocals are convenient because you combine 2 separate functions in 1 pair of glasses, rather than needing a pair for each function. Unfortunately bifocals are often associated with getting older because most people start needing their assistance to read around 40 or 50 years of age. There can be an adjustment period when you begin to wear bifocals because of the 2 different lens areas and the image jump that can occur at the line that divides them.
Progressive lenses are multi-focal with 3 lens powers that change seamlessly, rather than being divided with a line. The 3 viewing areas are distance, intermediate, and near-vision. Like bifocals, progressive lenses strive to be all-in-one instead of having 2-3 separate pairs of glasses for different functions. Their added power enables you to see clearly at all distances, rather than just 2 or 3, so they can be worn for computer use as well as reading and far sights. Many people find progressive lenses to appear more youthful than bifocals because they lack the the visible line in the lens. As advanced as they are, they still take getting used to, even for experienced prescription wearers. You have to move your eyes and your head to attain the right focus, and it's often a gradual adjustment.
Bifocal vs. Progressive Lenses
The bottom line is, you have options! If you require glasses for your day-to-day life, progressives are the best route for you. They're more expensive, but you only have to buy 1 pair, rather than 2 or 3 for driving, reading, and computer use. Progressive lenses give you a more updated look and you have plenty of features available if you want your glasses even more specialized. Bifocals are a great option for anyone who simply needs a cheap pair to throw on when you read or need to see near-sighted details. Because they're less advanced, they're easier to adapt to than progressive lenses.
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