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What are progressive lenses?

Updated: Apr 27

We rely on our vision to do the things we love - enjoy our favourite hobby, go for a Sunday drive, hit the golf course, or watch a movie with friends. As we get older, our vision changes, making these tasks increasingly difficult without updating our prescription glasses with progressive lenses.


Progressive lenses offer a new view of the world that is customized to your specific vision needs at all distances, helping wearers see better and get back to enjoying life.


Let’s look at how progressive lenses can help you see better and what options are available to enhance your visual experience.


What are progressive lenses?

Progressive lenses or ‘multifocal’ lenses as they are also known, have more than one prescription, allowing wearers to see better at both near and far distances with ease and comfort.


The top of the lens is designed to compensate for distance vision such as driving, then progressively adjusts to near vision such as ready or using a computer towards the bottom.


The progressive lens is divided into three zones for maximum comfort:


● Distance: This Lets you see objects far away

● Intermediate: Lets you see objects at closer range such as computer screens

● Near: Let you see objects up close such as books or your phone.


They are designed to be used every day, so you don’t have to constantly switch back and forth between near and far glasses every time you switch tasks.


Standard vs. progressive lenses


Single vision glasses are designed for people who only need glasses for one distance – usually near or far vision. However, as you get older, your vision changes due to the natural lens in the eye hardening and thus becoming less flexible. This makes it harder for you to adjust to different distances, especially near vision. We refer to this as presbyopia, and it usually occurs after the age of 40.


While some people may want to continue using one pair of single vision glasses for distance vision, and another pair of reading glasses for near vision tasks like reading, it can become inconvenient to constantly switch between the two.


This is where progressive lenses come in handy, as they are designed to correct three power values through the lens for improved vision in most everyday scenarios.


What are the benefits of progressives?


There are many reasons to choose progressives when your vision becomes more complex.


Improved aesthetic

The most immediate benefit of progressives is the ‘no line’ lens which offers a more aesthetically pleasing pair of glasses that won’t make you feel self-conscious about your age!


Comfort while working


If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, you may be used to switching your glasses back and forth when changing tasks. With progressive lenses, you can easily adjust your focus between tasks without having to change your glasses. The lenses are adapted to every distance so you can move from far to near vision seamlessly.


More affordable vision


In the past, people would have to spend money on additional pairs of glasses to accommodate all their visual needs - which didn’t always fit their budget. Progressives mean one pair of glasses for every occasion so you can enjoy doing your daily tasks, saving you money on multiple pairs of glasses in the long run.


How to get used to progressive lenses

Most people go through an adaptation period when they get a new pair of progressive glasses. This is the time it takes for your eyes to adjust to the new lenses and prescription. Progressive wearers may notice a significant change when they first put on their new glasses, especially if they have just switched from single vision lenses.


Today’s lens technology is designed to reduce the adaptation period, so patients can wear their new glasses with ease. You may notice some blurriness at the edge of your lenses. This will quickly disappear as you get used to your new vision zones, which will allow you to see in all directions clearly and sharply.


Always remember your progressive lenses are designed for specific vision zones:


● Look up to see in the distance

● Look straight ahead for intermediate distances

● Look down to view things close up


Once you wear your progressives for a little while, your eyes will become used to the new vision zones.


How can I find the best optometrist near me for progressives?


Do you think it’s time for progressive lenses? If you’re searching for an ‘optometrist near me’, look no further than Laurier Optical. Located across Ontario, our team of friendly eyecare professionals would be happy to see you for a comprehensive eye exam to determine your prescription, and whether progressive lenses are right for you. Book your appointment online today at one of our stores!

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