Contact Us
Return to: Blog

Buying Bifocals – What You Need to Know

June 14, 2019
Buying Bifocals – What You Need to Know

First things first: nearly every person out there will experience some amount of vision deterioration as they age; it’s just one of the many things we all have to look forward to! That said, we’re not without some remedy to ease the realities of age-related vision loss beyond trying to hold a book further and further away from your face.

Bifocals are kind of the dirty word catch-all for what we now call multifocal lenses, which include bifocals, trifocals, and progressives. Bifocals have long been maligned as the harbinger of old age; the beginning of the end as it were. It’s all downhill from there. 

The fact is, what could be more restorative and uplifting than a simple solution for declining vision? It happens to everyone at some point, so why struggle longer than you have to.

Progressive Thinking

Bifocals, trifocals, and progressives all have one thing in common: they all have different strength lenses built into a single lens. Progressive lenses took the traditional bifocal or trifocal lens and removed the conspicuous line that separated the two or three distinctive strengths by blending them together and making the line invisible.

Line or no line, multifocal lenses allow you to look up and out through the top of the lens to see clearly at distance, while looking down through the lower half of the lens to see clearly close up. Trifocal lenses have a third field of middle vision lens to assist those whose eyes need a little more adjustment between distance and close up.

The best part – progressives and multifocal lenses come in both eyeglasses and contact lenses. What could be more progressive than better vision and no eyeglasses at all?!

Your Vision, Your Way

Unlike grabbing a pair of disposable reading glasses at any pharmacy and switching back and forth all day, your multifocal lenses can be designed specifically for your vision needs, and beyond that, to meet the explicit requirements of your recreation or occupation.  

Traditionally, the lens area devoted to near-vision correction come in one of several shapes at the lower part of the whole lens:

  • A half-moon, or D segment
  • A round segment
  • A narrow rectangular area, or ribbon segment
  • The full bottom half of the lens, called the Franklin or executive style

You and your eye doctor would work together to determine what would be the most advantageous shape for you.

Taking this a step further, “occupational” multifocal lenses are innovatively designed to allow for the near and middle vision corrective lens segments to be shifted around even further taking into account the very specific nature of the work you may be doing.

A car mechanic, for instance, may opt for what is called the “Double-D,” which allows them to see the undercarriage of the vehicle without having to tilt their head far backward.

There’s even a lens arrangement called the “golfer’s bifocal,” which is designed to address common golfer’s complaint that the near-vision segment of their multifocal lenses gets in the way when following the ball or lining up a putt.

Multifocal -- Multipurpose

Multifocal and progressive lenses can be fitted to any of the countless eyeglass frames available, and to contact lenses as well. Beyond that, you can even add options like anti-reflective coating and photochromatic lenses, which darken in response to sunlight to reduce glare and increase visibility.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, your eyeglasses can literally be the one all-in-one tool that truly adapts to all your vision needs. Ask your eye doctor about multifocal lenses today! 


Progressive Care at Berlin Optical Expressions