Patients often feel limited to one pair of glasses even if that pair is unable to meet all of their visual needs. Just like you would not wear sneakers to a professional meeting, your main pair of glasses may not be best suited to work at the computer or for riding the mountain trails. There are many different kinds of lens designs to help patients meet their visual needs. Whether you need a lens for distance, near or anything in between, Best Eyecare Associates can find the right lens solutions for you and your lifestyle.
Single Vision Lenses
Single vision lenses have the same power throughout the lens, like in a distance only pair of glasses or in a reading only pair. There are three different ways to put the prescription in a single vision lens; Spherical, Aspheric or Digital.
Spherical lenses are the most common single vision lenses. Many patients will see comfortably out of a spherical lens but for patients with higher prescriptions, their brains must learn to tune out more distortion in the periphery of the lens.
The goal of an aspheric lens is to flatten the lens curvatures slightly, which can reduce the peripheral distortions in stronger lenses. This creates a broader field of clear vision and less peripheral distortion to tune out. Patients who are sensitive to visual distortion may also benefit from an aspheric or digital lens design.
Digital and digital freeform single vision lenses use the latest computer and lens grinding technologies to reduce peripheral distortion and to open the field of vision as much as possible.
Our opticians will help you determine which lens design is best for your prescription.
Intermediate Single Vision Lenses
Intermediate single vision lenses are a newer technology that is a welcome addition to our optical toolbox. These lenses may help those patients who are finding themselves fatigued by near work. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, Americans are spending ever-increasing amounts of time on devices. The nature of the screens on these devices make our eyes work harder to focus. The majority of the intermediate lens design functions like any other single vision lens but the bottom of the lens has a zone that is designed to make near work less fatiguing. This is accomplished without any lines and without peripheral distortion.
Multifocal lenses allow the wearer to have more than one prescription in their lens, most commonly this means a lens with an area for distance vision and an area for near vision. Most people associate multifocal lenses with growing older. However, there are a number of reasons why a younger person, even children, would benefit from a multifocal lens.
The lined bifocal or trifocal is what most commonly pops into a person’s mind when they think of a multifocal lens. The lined bifocal was invented by Ben Franklin and has been a workhorse lens for over 200 years. This lens allows the wearer two zones of vision, typically distance and near. It has a distinct and visible line delineating the two zones. A lined trifocal adds a smaller zone between the other two that is halfway in strength, this zone is typically for seeing things about an arm’s length away.
How many times have you seen middle-aged individuals squint to read the fine print or hold documents way out at arm’s length? If your own arms seem to be “growing shorter” lately, you may be one of the many people who suffer from presbyopia. But that doesn’t mean you have to deal with lined bifocals or trifocals. Our eye doctor at Best Eyecare Associates, Dr. Christine Best, can fit you with no-line progressive lenses to provide consistently sharp vision.
When do Optometrists Recommend Progressive Lenses?
There comes a time in almost everyone’s life when viewing objects at close range become trickier. That’s because changes in the intraocular lenses make them less flexible. Since the lens normally flexes to switch between near focus and distance focus, you suddenly find yourself struggling to read, view tiny objects, or perform close work. This is presbyopia, and it usually starts around the age of 40. Optometrists correct this complex refractive error with bifocals (which have near-vision and distance-vision segments) or trifocals (which also have an intermediate-vision segment).
In recent years, however, they more usually recommend progressive or “blended” lenses. These lenses feature a gradual, continuous corrective field that shifts from distance vision to near vision with no separate segments or lines.
Reasons People Choose Progressive Lenses over an Older Alternative
The main reasons people decide to forego older alternatives and choose progressive lenses are:
- To avoid the sudden shifts in clarity that occur with separate lens segments
- To see clearly at all distances without the presence of distracting lines
- To disguise the fact they are wearing a multifocal lens
What to Expect From This Form of Vision Correction
The process of determining your progressive lens prescription is the same as that for writing other kinds of multifocal prescription, with our Thorton eye doctor adding a specific degree of magnification to boost near vision. We will carefully note the position of your pupils to center the corrective effect. Progressive lenses tend to provide a relatively narrow corridor of correction toward the center of the lens, but your brain soon gets used to this.
You may also notice a distortion known as “swim” when you turn your hard to gaze at objects. Most people soon disregard this effect as well. If you just don’t feel comfortable with progressives, we can switch you to bifocals, trifocals, or even monovision contacts (with near vision in one eye and distance vision in the other).
Computer Progressive Lenses
The number of people who spend their days on a computer is only increasing. Computers can be a challenge to our eyes for many reasons. The pixilation of a monitor, even those of high resolution, is one reason and means that our eyes are constantly working to adapt to what is perceived as a fluctuating depth. Computers are also typically not positioned near, like a book or tablet, nor are they far enough away to be viewed comfortably through a prescription for distance vision. This zone of vision is called the intermediate zone and traditional multifocal and progressive lenses are not designed to optimize this zone.
Computer progressive lenses dedicate the majority of the lens to this intermediate zone and secondarily the near zone. The different designs of computer progressive are tailored to specific work environments. Some designs are more focused for laptop work while others are friendlier for the multi-monitor user. There are even designs for those people who find themselves in office meetings where they need to view a screen across the boardroom while taking notes. The opticians at Best Eyecare Associates will help you determine what lens design will best suit your computer related needs.