Progressive eyeglasses are a modern alternative to the "lined" bifocal glasses of the past. The popularity of progressive lenses has exploded in recent years as more and more people discover that they can have prescription eyewear that looks attractive and provides seamless vision at all distances.
What are progressive eyeglasses?
Progressive eyeglasses are true multifocal lenses. The lenses are divided into sections that change in prescription power from bottom to top, allowing people to see clearly at near, intermediate, and far distances. Unlike traditional bifocals and trifocals, which feature a visible line separating the prescriptions in the lens, progressive lenses are uniform in appearance. There is no image jump between each prescription; the transition between near, intermediate, and distance vision is far more natural and comfortable.
What do progressive eyeglasses treat?
Progressive lenses have multiple prescriptions to correct visual errors that affect near, intermediate, and distance vision. They are the most popular and widely purchased lenses available for the treatment of presbyopia, which is an age-related condition that reduces focusing ability at near distances.
Benefits of progressive eyeglasses
Progressive eyeglasses eliminate "image jump," which is one of the most irritating problems caused by multifocal eyeglasses. Progressive lenses are designed to allow people to change focus easily, moving back and forth between near, intermediate, and distance vision without noticing the boundary between vision corridors.
Another reason progressive lenses are so popular is because they provide a more youthful appearance. Without the telltale lines dividing the different prescriptions it is difficult to tell you are wearing reading glasses at all.
One of the tradeoffs of having line-free progressive reading glasses is that people may experience areas of soft focus in the periphery of the lenses. The good news is that modern manufacturing techniques are making these areas far less noticeable, so it is only a minor limitation for progressive lens wearers.