There are many types of multi-distance lenses on the market. Perhaps the most common of these is the bifocal lens, which allows you to far distances clearly when you look out of the top section of the glasses and also helps you see close objects such as books or newspapers when you look through the bottom half of the glasses. Some other variations of this concept include trifocal glasses, which let you see clearly at three different distances, blended bifocals, which do not have the standard visible line between the two sections, and progressive lenses, which have several different thicknesses of glass blended together to create a more natural transition between viewing close up and far away objects.
If you need lenses that allow you to see multiple distances, there are several lifestyle factors that you should inform your eye doctor about in order to get the best fit for your needs.
Do you use a computer often?
It is common these days for many people to spend as much time using a computer as they do reading close-up items. Computers are often at a slightly greater distance than a book would be. Furthermore, you tend to hold your head at a different angle when using a computer rather than reading a book. For these reasons, you would probably need trifocals or progressive lenses if you use the computer often.
Do you play a distance sport, such as golf?
If you play a distance sport, such as golf or target shooting, then you will likely need glasses that allow you to see far away. However, you will still need to be able to read your score card. Traditional bifocals feature a large section for close-up use. However, if you will use your glasses for a distance sport, you may want your reading section of the glasses to be much smaller. This way you will not have your vision interrupted while you are swinging or shooting.
Do you need to be able to see close up while looking straight ahead?
The way most bifocals are designed allows you to switch between the two lens strengths as you tilt your head. This is because you will usually hold items in your hands to read them. However, if you are a musician and you need to see close-up items such as music while looking straight ahead, you should let your optician know. They can change the size of your lenses to accommodate the different distances you need to see.
Do you drive often or long distances?
Progressive lenses historically have had sections along the side-edges of the lenses where your vision may be blurry. Although this has been greatly reduced in recent years, you still may not have a clear field of vision on the entire range of your progressive lenses. If you drive often or conduct another activity that uses a lot of peripheral vision, you may want to discuss bifocals or trifocals instead of progressives.
Does the appearance of your lens affect your self-image?
Are you hesitant to get bifocals because you do not want to appear to be aging? Although many people of different ages wear bifocals, they are often associated with aging eyesight. If you want to avoid this association, you might consider blended bifocals or progressive lenses instead of traditional bifocals or trifocals.
When discussing multiple distance lenses with your optician, it is important to consider not only your prescription but how you will use your glasses on a daily basis. You should keep in mind that although bifocals are convenient, you may still need multiple pairs of glasses to accommodate specialty activities.