Your eyes may be maturing but that doesn’t mean you have to look aged! At the age of 40, many people who wear eyeglasses are told they need an additional prescription to help them see: they need progressive additive lenses (PAL), sometimes known as progressive lenses. Once a patient is diagnosed with multifocal vision needs, not much is done to help the patient understand what progressive lenses are, what they do, and why they can become a great choice for multifocal vision care needs. Progressive lenses, which are sometimes also called “no-line bifocals”, are a great way to cover the fact that you need reading glasses and they are a great replacement for the old-looking bifocal or tri-focal lenses. Nobody needs to know that you have an age-related eye condition and this is what makes progressive lenses a popular choice!
Besides the aesthetic advantages of progressives, there are other advantages to these lenses. Given the shape and design of progressive lenses, there is a more natural circulation and correction of presbyopia than with bifocal or trifocal lenses. Rather than just having two or three fields of vision – which is standard with bifocals and trifocals, you get a seamless progression of lens power in progressives, which help with all distances. Adapting to these lenses is also much easier because there is no line of demarcation to generate any kind of optical jump like there is with other multifocal glasses.
In years’ past, your eyeglass frames had to be really large to fit all the powers of the progressive lens. If the framework was too small, the reading portion of the lens would often get cut off and feel uncomfortable. Thankfully, this isn’t true any longer – with some exceptions. Manufacturers created shorter corridors in order to provide wearers with more space for reading and range. Some progressive lenses are designed particularly to fit into certain frames and that means you don’t shed any range or reading portions of the lens.
Choosing the best progressive lens for your needs is absolutely up to your prescription. If your prescription is definitely high, you may want to try progressive lenses with a higher index which will slim down the thickness of the lens, creating less bulk and less excess weight on your face. If your prescription is definitely low, you can constantly opt for the basic progressive lens which will likely cut down on cost and help your budget.
Adapting to progressive lenses will take a bit more work than regular, single vision prescription glasses. You will likely need around 36-72 hours of constant wear for an adjustment period. When you blend lens powers in progressives, you may be able to see more clearly at all distances but you will likely also have small aberrations in the peripheral section of the lens. When glancing to the much left or far ideal, you may notice a bit of a blur, this will take a while to get used to as will the swimming feeling if you move your head suddenly. Any pair of prescription glasses will likely take time to change to but if you feel ill or develop headaches after four days of wearing multifocal glasses, return to your doctor and have your prescription re-checked.
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