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Bettering the Bifocal: Multifocal Lenses

Are you over 40 and struggling to read small print? You might be developing presbyopia, a common condition affecting those reaching their 40s. If you already wear glasses for distance vision, and develop presbyopia, you don't need to start carrying and switching between two pairs of glasses. Multifocal lenses will allow you to have good vision all the time, correcting your presbyopia and myopia with just one pair of glasses.

Multifocals are much better than bifocals. Bifocals did correct problems with both near and far vision, but left everything in between a little blurred. In an effort to create something better, progressive lenses were developed, which give you and intermediate or transition region allowing your eyes to focus on everything between things like the books you read and street signs. How does this work? Progressive lenses are expertly curved, unlike a bifocal lens, which is sharply divided. Because of this, progressive lenses are also called no-line lenses. This creates not only clearer vision at all distances, but also good transitions in between.

These lenses, although better, can take some time to get used to. Even though the gentle transition of progressive lenses is more aesthetically pleasing, the lens's areas of focus are small, so that there's also room for transitional areas.

Even though multifocal lenses (or trifocals) are for presbyopia, bifocals are often used to treat young patients with issues such as eye teaming, or being unable to focus while reading, which causes eye strain.

Even though it may appear to be an easy solution, it's best to steer clear of pharmacy bifocals. Many of these ''ready-made'' glasses are one-size-fits-all, which means that the prescription is the same in both lenses and that the optical center of the lens is not customized for the wearer.

Being fitted with a wrong prescription can leave you with eye strain, discomfort and nausea. Unfortunately, presbyopia is a reality of our bodies' aging process. But don't forget; multifocal lenses can make all the difference.