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What Are Bifocal Glasses? A Comprehensive Guide

What Are Bifocal Glasses? A Comprehensive Guide

Bifocal glasses are your best bet if you have difficulty seeing objects up close.

These dual-purpose eyeglasses have been popular since the 18th century. They are a go-to solution for people experiencing presbyopia or age-related near vision problems.

However, if you're new to this type of eyewear, it can be confusing and overwhelming at first glance.

Fear not! This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the essential information about bifocal glasses.

So sit back, relax, and let's dive into everything there is to know about these fantastic spectacles!

Introduction: What are Bifocal Glasses?

Seeing both close up and far away becomes more difficult as we age. This is because the natural lens inside the eye begins to harden and loses flexibility thus focusing ability.

Bifocals are a corrective lens that helps people with this problem by providing two different focal points in one lens. The upper portion is for distance vision, and the lower is for near vision.

This ensures you can see clearly at all distances without switching between glasses.

Bifocals are commonly prescribed to people with presbyopia, which typically affects older adults and causes the eye's natural lens to become less flexible over time. This loss of flexibility result in slowly diminishing ability for the eye to focus on object at near.

While lined bifocals are the most popular type of corrective lens for presbyopia, they're not the only option. Progressive lenses, which gradually become stronger in power closer to the bottom edge of the lens, are also an option.

Some prefer lined bifocals because they offer a clear line of demarcation between the distance and near zones of vision. A progressive lens offers an infinite range of focusing for near objects within 4-5 feet of the wearer.

Be sure to consult with an eye doctor to find the best solution for your specific vision needs.

What are the Types of Bifocal Glasses?

The most common type of bifocal glasses contains a "split-screen" design, with a line separating the two different lens powers.

However, bifocal glasses without the line are available, using a gradual lens power transition from the straight ahead gaze to a gaze at near as you look downward toward the lower edge of the lens.

4 Benefits of Bifocal Glasses

Bifocals can be a great way to improve your vision and simplify life. Here are four other benefits of bifocal glasses:

  • See better both near and far. With two different prescription strengths in the same lens, you'll be able to see more clearly no matter what you're looking at.
  • Save you from having to carry multiple pairs of glasses. If you need reading glasses and sunglasses, bifocals can be a great way to consolidate your eyewear collection into one pair of glasses. No more fumbling around with multiple pairs of glasses!
  • Reduce eye fatigue. Bifocals can help reduce eye fatigue by allowing you to keep your eyes focused on one spot.
  • Look just like regular glasses! Progressive bifocals don't look any different than regular eyeglasses, so you can wear them confidently, knowing nobody can tell the difference.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a Pair of Bifocals

Before purchasing a pair of bifocals, asking yourself a few questions is important. Doing so will help you select the best option for your individualized needs.

  • What is your primary use for the glasses? 

    If you primarily need them for reading, consider getting lined bifocal lenses. Lined bifocals work well for both near and far vision. Lined bifocals work well for those who primarily need help with close-up tasks.
  • How strong is your prescription? 

    Bifocals are typically only prescribed to those who have a moderate degree of presbyopia or age-related loss of focusing ability at near. Bifocals in very early stages of presbyopia may be more difficult to adapt to because near blur is not that significant.
  • Do you have any other vision problems? 

    If you have moderate amounts of myopia (nearsightedness) you may do just fine taking your glasses off for near work. Your eye care specialist can advise you on this option.

Tips For Adjusting To Bifocal Glasses

When you get your bifocal glasses, adjusting to them can take some time.

  • Take things slowly. 

    Do not get bifocals if you are just occasionally noticing near blur. Wait until you are constantly having trouble seeing up close or are always having eye strain with near work. When that is the case, bifocals will make life so much easier that you will quickly adapt.
  • Focus directly toward what you are viewing. 

    A simple rule of thumb is to point your nose at what you are looking at and keep your view straight ahead for clear distance and in downward gaze for clear near vision.
  • Make sure your glasses fit properly. 

    If your glasses are setting too low on your face or have a tendency to slide down your nose the bifocals will be difficult to use. Return to your eye care specialist for a frame adjustment.

Bifocal FAQ: 4 Things You Need To Know

Are you considering getting bifocal glasses but have a few questions? 

We'll answer four of the most common questions about bifocal glasses, so you can feel confident about investing in this essential eyewear.

1. What is the Difference Between Bifocal and Progressive Lenses?

Bifocal lenses have two distinct prescriptions, one for distance and one for near vision. Progressive lenses have no visible lines because the blend is gradual between the two prescriptions.

2. Can I Wear Bifocal Glasses for Nearsightedness or Farsightedness?

Bifocals’ only purpose is to correct presbyopia - the age-related loss of near vision due to the weakening of the eye muscles. If you are either farsighted, nearsighted, or have astigmatism you can have bifocals incorporated into your distance prescription

3. How Often Must I Replace My Bifocal Glasses?

It is recommended that you replace your bifocal glasses every one to two years, depending on how often they are worn, your deteriorating level of near focusing ability, and your glasses general condition.

4. What is the Difference Between Bifocal and Reading Glasses?

Bifocals are used to correct presbyopia (near vision) while maintaining clear distance, while reading glasses are used only for near vision and may well blur your distance vision.

From Reading to the Great Outdoors: Why Bifocal Glasses are a Must-Have

With Solar Bat's prescription polarized series sunglasses, you can now enjoy the benefits of bifocal lenses while protecting your eyes from the sun's harmful rays.

Our top-of-the-line shades are available in bifocal prescriptions, ensuring clear vision regardless of your visual needs.

Prefer a more seamless look?

We've got you covered too! Our no-line bifocal options offer a gradual transition between distance and near prescriptions for a more natural appearance.

While our progressive prescriptions are currently available in limited ranges, we still offer solutions for 95% of our progressive lens customers.

Don't let blurry vision keep you from enjoying the world around you.

Upgrade to Solar Bat's prescription polarized series sunglasses today and see the difference yourself!