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Bettering the Bifocal: Multifocal Lenses

Are you over 40 and finding it more of a challenge to read small print? You might have developed presbyopia, a condition that affects many of those who are approaching their 40s. If you already struggle with distance vision, and develop presbyopia, you don't have to carry a separate pair of reading glasses. Multifocal lenses, which rectify both myopia and presbyopia, help you see clearly at all distances with one pair of glasses.

In the past, bifocals were the obvious solution, but they have a significant shortcoming; even though they help you to focus on both near and distant objects, middle distance is blurred. To correct this issue, progressive lenses were developed. These give you and intermediate or transition region that allows your eyes to focus on distances that are somewhere in the middle. But what creates this effect? Progressive lenses are specially curved, unlike a bifocal lens, which is sharply sectioned. Because of this, progressive lenses are also called no-line lenses.

However, it can take some time to get used to these lenses. Even though the invisible lens curve is more elegant, the focal areas are relatively small because more lens space is used for the transitional areas.

While these days, multifocal lenses (also called trifocals) are for presbyopia, bifocals are still used to help young patients with issues such as eye teaming, or being unable to focus properly, which causes headaches.

Although it may appear to be an easy solution, avoid purchasing pharmacy bifocals. Most of these ''ready-made'' glasses are one-size-fits-all, which means that the prescription is the same in both lenses and are not customized for the wearer.

A badly fitted pair of glasses can lead to headaches, eye strain or even nausea. Presbyopia affects the majority of us at a certain age, but it doesn't have to be debilitating. A simple pair of multifocals can ensure that your quality of life isn't affected.