Although many patients wear only one pair of glasses, sometimes this single pair is unable to meet all their needs. Just like you would not wear high heels to play basketball, your primary pair of glasses may not be best suited for all the things you enjoy doing. Different lenses may better suit reading, computer work, and outdoor adventures. There is a myriad of lens options now, and when you come in to Family Eye Care, we strive to find the best option or options to meet all your lifestyle needs.
Single Vision Lenses
Single vision lenses have the same power throughout the lens. These are some of the most common lenses, as they treat either near or far-sightedness, but not both. There are three main ways to put the prescription into a single vision lens – Spherical, Aspherical, and Digital.
Of the single vision lenses, spherical is most common. Most patients can see well out of a spherical lens, but those with higher prescriptions might find themselves having to tune out distortion at the periphery of the lens.
Aspheric lenses, on the other hand, aim to flatten lens curvatures slightly, which can reduce the peripheral distortions common in high-index spherical lenses. While this is an obvious benefit for higher prescriptions, it also may help those who are particularly sensitive to visual distortion.
Digital and digital freeform single vision lenses are made using the latest computer and lens grinding technologies to reduce peripheral distortion. This also helps open the field of vision significantly and can make for a more comfortable viewing experience for any prescription strength.
Intermediate Single Vision Lenses
Intermediate single vision lenses are a newer technology, created out of necessity for those who find themselves fatigued by near work, such as on computers or smartphones. As more and more of our daily activities revolve around these types of devices, lenses that can provide adequate and comfortable vision correction become increasingly desirable.
The screens on these types of devices create a high level of eyestrain, and the design of intermediate lenses can reduce this. Most of these types of lenses have an area at the bottom of the lens designed to make near work less fatiguing. This is accomplished without lines or any peripheral distortion.
Multifocal lenses allow for more than one prescription in a single lens. Frequently this is found in lenses with zones for distance vision and reading or near vision. While this might conjure images of growing older, multifocal lenses aren’t just for grandparents. There are several reasons why younger patients, even children, can benefit from these types of lenses.
Lined bifocal or trifocal lenses have been the most common kind of multifocal lenses since Benjamin Franklin invented them over 200 years ago. Like other multifocal lenses, these typically have zones for near and distance vision, so the wearer can comfortably see things far away and still read words up close, with a distinct line delineating the two zones. Trifocals are similar to bifocals but include an area between the near and distance portions to see things at intermediate distances, such as arm’s length away.
Progressive lenses allow for a lens to have more than one prescription, but without the traditional lines and sudden change in lens strength found in lined bifocals and trifocals. For some, the sudden shift from near to distance zones can be jarring and uncomfortable. With progressives, the transition is gradual.
Progressive lenses may become more of a necessity after age 40 when presbyopia begins to set in for many people. Presbyopia makes it tricky to focus on items at close range and is caused by the intraocular lens becoming less flexible as we age. Since this lens normally flexes between near and distant focuses, you may find yourself struggling to read, view tiny objects, or perform close work.
In addition to providing a more comfortable viewing experience while correcting presbyopia, some patients may choose progressives because they look practically indistinguishable from single vision lenses to the naked eye. If you have concerns about the syle of bifocals or trifocals, progressives may be the best choice for you!
Although progressive lenses can take some time to adjust to, the brain eventually learns where on the lens to focus in order to see clearly for the situation. Initially, you may experience distortion known as “swim” as you adapt to this new kind of lens. If, however, you find adapting to progressives too challenging, we can always switch your prescription to bifocals, trifocals, or even monovision contacts where you’ll wear a near vision contact in one eye and a distance vision contact in the other. No matter the case, your eye doctor will help you find the perfect solution so you can see clearly and comfortably.
Computer Progressive Lenses
Computers are an almost ubiquitous part of everyone’s daily lives now. Whether you’re using a desktop at work, laptop on the go, tablet, or smartphone, these devices take a toll on our vision. Screen pixelation, even at the highest resolutions, forces our eyes to continually adapt to what is perceived as fluctuation in depth. Additionally, screens tend to be positioned in places where they are neither very near like a book, or at a distance where they can be viewed comfortably with distance lenses. This in-between area is referred to as the intermediate zone, and traditional bifocal or traditional progressive lenses are not designed to optimize this area.
Computer progressive lenses, however, are designed so you can focus on the intermediate zone comfortably. The most substantial portion of the lens is dedicated to this area about arm’s length away. Additionally, these lenses can be further customized depending on your primary use, so those who predominantly use a smartphone can have a different lens than someone who might generally use a desktop further away from their eyes. There are even designs for those who attend a lot of office meetings where they also need to be able to see a screen across the conference room while taking notes. At Family Eye Care, we are confident we can find you the best option to meet your individual needs!