Bifocal Glasses

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 16. March 2014 08:40

dr. robert benza

Bifocal Glasses are very important to a patients vision. Lets discuss a few types of glasses and features which help us see better. Bifocals are common and are typically used for patients over 40 years of age. They are very convenient since they allow distance vision through the upper portion of the lens and near vision through the lower portion. There are two common bifocals patients always ask about---line vs. no-line. Progressive, or no-line  bifocals have a graduated lower segment which allows for near vision at multiple distances especially intermediate. Intermediate vision is about 20 to 24 inches. Three common activities which require good vision at that distance are viewing the dashboard, viewing a computer screen, and reading prices in astore when shopping. Cosmetically, they also are nicer since they do not have a line and you are the only one who knows they are a bifocal. So why wouldn't everyone get this type of bifocal?

Some patients struggle to find the correct head position to utilize many of the segments in the bifocal. The reading segment (depending on the design of the progressive lens)  may be narrower than a traditional bifocal requiring more head tracking when reading.

Traditonal bifocals or lined bifocals have advantages as well. The most obvious advantage is that the reading segment on the lower portion of the lens typically is wider which allows some patients more ease with reading. Depending on the bifocal, there may be less chin tilt to find the correct segment for near vision. The greatest disadvantage of the traditional or lined bifocal is the lack of intermediate vision. Some patients will go to a trifocal (2 lines in the lower segment) to help with this problem.

In general,  millions of patients where bifocals and are very successful. Your eye care professional can give you guidance with the type of bifocal which best fits your particular lifestyle and activities.

Remember, protect those eyes!

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