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Progressive lensesare usually prescribed for those in the age group of 40 to 50 years, who develop a condition called “presbyopia” when there are problems with reading and other activities that require near vision. Although reading glasses can solve this problem, distant objects can turn blurry. It is cumbersome to switch glasses, one for near and one for distant vision and progressive lenses address this issue. Also called multifocal or no-line bifocals, these allow you to see both near and far objects through the same lenses, making them a convenient option.

Basically, multifocals combine both the prescriptions with the one for near vision at the lower half and far vision on the top half of the eyeglasses. As the blending is gradual, the vision is seamless progression between near and far objects.


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Pros

Some of the major advantages of multifocals are:

Only a single pair of glasses or lenses is required as there is no need to carry two everywhereFor those who have to change tasks often, this is convenient as the distortion is minimizedNatural solution for presbyopia compared to bifocals and trifocals.Looks wise, they are more attractiveLots of design options to choose from, based on lifestyleA number of material options, lens coatings and technologies for extra features and a better user experience.No “image jump”, usually felt in bifocals as the transition in vision is smooth between far and near sight.

Choosing the right lenses is important as this makes a difference in vision. There are two types: the soft and hard, each with their own unique benefits.

Cons

The perceived disadvantage with progressive lenses the time involved in adapting to them for the first time or to a new prescription. Another is the cost factor, as these can cost a little more due to the advanced technology.

Problems often crop up with the wrong frames, inferior quality or inaccurate location of the optical centre. Due to the power progression from the range of powers in the lenses this can result in some distortion in vision in the process of getting used to them.

Doctors usually advise getting used to multifocals as soon as presbyopia is detected, when the power is low. It then becomes easier to adjust as the power increases. For those who work at the computer for prolonged periods, there can be slight peripheral vision distortion. It is important to have a qualified and experienced doctor fit them properly, based on the design.

Aside of that, multi-focals have a definite advantage over bifocals or even trifocals. The best way to get used to them is to stop wearing the old lenses completely and wear the new ones exactly as advised by the doctor and taking help while selecting the right frames.

The choice of design is made based on the patient's lifestyle and other restrictions involved such as affordability and quality. For eyeglasses, frames are generally chosen with nosepads for better placement. Today, progressives are also available as contacts and adapting is easy. The best thing to do to ensure the right prescription is to visit a reputable, qualified and experienced optician.

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