Bifocal or Progressive Lenses – Which is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, it is often difficult to know what to choose unless you are reading eyeglass tech articles. Sure, your optometrist knows which ones to recommend but often you are still left wondering if you’ve made the right decision. When it comes to choosing bi-focal or progressive lenses, this is especially true. Here is some helpful information in layman’s terms that will help you make a decision on the right eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses for your needs.

Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal lenses are what you often think of as reading glasses but they’re not necessarily just for older people. Many people of all ages use these to see up close when reading and doing tasks that use close-up vision.

How these lenses work is that they include two areas of lens correction – the top portion and the bottom portion. There is typically a line that you see between the two which makes them easily recognizable. The bottom portion is what is used for up-close vision and the top is for distance vision. You simply shift your vision to use the one you need.

Progressive Lenses

These are what is also called multi-focal lenses or PALs, which are progressive addition lenses. These work with a graduated range instead of the top to the bottom range that you get with bifocals. Instead of having the horizontal line, the lenses on these are clear and use the progressive range. How it works is that there is a multiple vision distance in these lenses so there is not transitioning line. You simply look through the part of the lens you need such as distance, intermediate, and up-close vision.

The lenses blend invisibly so that you simply adjust your eyes and don’t have to worry that there is a telling line that lets others know that you are wearing bifocals. This is to some, more attractive and discreet.

Is There a Cost Difference?

Progressive lenses do typically cost more – sometimes quite a bit more. However, many people feel that it is worth it due to the more organic feeling of the glasses. These lenses tend to feel and look more natural for the eyeglass wearer.

Now, this doesn’t mean that one is better than the other because the prescription strength will be the same in both. However, with progressive lenses, you do get an intermediate vision which is perfect for using the computer and similar tasks.

What About Wearing Them?

With progressive lenses, while the benefits are many, they can be a little more difficult to get used to wearing – more so than with bifocals. This, of course, depends on the individual. Some may have no difficulty at all, some may for a few days, and for others, it can take a few weeks to fully get used to the progressive lenses whereas bifocals don’t seem to have as high of a learning curve.

Which type of lens you choose for your eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses really depends on your personal preference and what your doctor suggests. There is no exact answer on which is best for you but both work well and give you a clear vision.

If you have decided on which you prefer and are ready to check out some of our frames such as the Wiley X AirRage prescription frames for men or the Geek Fancy Cat prescription sunglasses for women, feel free to browse the site or contact us for any questions you may have.

We have a wide range of prescription sunglasses and eyeglass frames to choose from. Just choose your favorite frames for your prescription eyeglasses or your favorite sunglasses.

  1. Siddharth Sharma says:

    This is a very thorough article. Thank you for sharing this information

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