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    Progressive lenses vs bifocals – What are the differences?

    Single vision lenses reign supreme when it comes to eyeglass prescriptions, but if you need help focusing on both near and far objects, progressive lenses or bifocals may be recommended. Bifocal and progressive lenses are both popular prescription requests, and both have a larger portion of the lens dedicated to viewing objects that are far away along with a smaller area of the lens for viewing things up close. While the two types of lenses may seem similar, Payne Glasses is here to point out the differences so you can feel confident ordering your next pair of eyeglasses.

    If you’ve worn single-vision lenses in the past, as you age, you may notice that you begin having trouble viewing objects up close. Many adults over the age of 40 suffer from presbyopia, which is a fancy way of saying that they can’t focus on objects that are close to them. When this decrease in near vision coincides with an already existing deficiency in distance vision, the need for a multi-focal lens arises. Bifocals and progressives are the two types of multi-focal lenses available and knowing the differences between them will help you figure out which type is best for you.

    Bifocal Lenses

    Bifocals are often associated with the elderly, but today’s bifocal lenses are actually worn by people of all ages and for a wide variety of reasons. Bifocals are easy to identify because they usually have a visible line across the lens marking where the regular lens ends and the bifocal begins, though bifocals with an invisible line are also available now. Getting used to wearing bifocals can be tricky, especially if you’ve only ever worn single-vision lenses, because the prescription suddenly changes toward the bottom of the lens.

    Bifocal lenses allow you to see things up close and far away, but objects in between can still be tough to focus on. Traditional bifocals fix just two kinds of vision problems, leaving mid-range objects blurred for many wearers.

    Progressive Lenses

    Progressives work similarly to bifocals, where one part of the lens is dedicated to seeing distances and another portion of the lens is made for reading or viewing objects up close. Unlike with traditional bifocals, there’s no visible line on progressive lenses denoting where the prescription changes. Unless you’re wearing the glasses, you wouldn’t even know they’re anything other than standard, single-vision lenses.

    Another difference between bifocals and progressives is that bifocals have two viewing areas and progressives tend to have three. The third viewing area in progressive lenses is dedicated to intermediate tasks, like viewing a computer screen. As with bifocals, getting use to wearing progressive lenses can take some time.

    Both bifocals and progressives offer a convenient solution for those that require prescription glasses for both up close and distance vision. While bifocals are the traditional choice, progressives are gaining popularity, especially amongst younger users that prefer an invisible line and spend significant amounts of time working on a computer. Whether you prefer bifocals or progressives, you can find both types of lenses at Payne Glasses and pair them with your favorite pair of frames for a look you’ll love.



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