Adjusting to Progressive Lenses

There may come a moment when your doctor recommends progressive lenses. Although you may feel a little uncomfortable with the transition, progressives offer many advantages. Progressive lenses, sometimes referred to as “no-line bifocals,” are eyeglass lenses having a smooth transition between parts with different focal lengths, correcting vision at all distances. They provide the same purpose as bifocals without having the appearance of the line. Progressives offer patients the flexibility of having distance and near vision all in one convenient pair of prescription eyeglasses.

How Do They Work?

The upper portion of the lens is for distance and as you go lower on the lens, the strength progresses towards your reading prescription. As a progressive wearer, you have a distinct advantage over bifocal wearers because you don’t need to move your head up and down every time you attempt to see objects at an intermediate distance. Someone transitioning from bifocals will notice the increase in comfortability. You will no longer find yourself sitting extra-close to the computer monitor just to read the fine print.

Because of the progression from distance to reading, there will be a small portion in the middle of your lenses that will help you see at an intermediate distance (like your computer). However, this is not intended as a replacement for a trifocal, if that’s what you need.

How Do I Adjust?

When you’re attempting to locate each range, point your nose to the object you’re trying to see, moving your head rather than your eyes. For distance, look straight ahead and look around as you normally would when using the distance portion of your lenses. For reading, look through the lower portion and point your nose at what you’re reading. Move your head up and down to find the spot on your lens where reading feels the most comfortable to you. For best results, follow the words with your nose instead of moving your eyes side to side while reading. If it’s your first time wearing progressives, or if your new frame is much smaller than your previous frame, it may take a few days to a week in order to get used to them.

Is the Prescription for Progressives the Same as My Bifocal Prescription?

Yes, in order to make any type of bifocal, your doctor will need to provide what is called your “ADD”, for your reading prescription. In combination with your distance prescription, the ADD is “added” on to create your reading portion strength. There are, however, many factors to calculating your prescription and should always be done by a professional. Do not attempt to calculate this yourself.

How Do You Determine Segment Height?

The segment or seg height is the height of where the prescription for reading begins on your lens. There are industry standards that are determined by the height of your frames, as well as how you wear your glasses (higher up on your nose, all the way up, or lower down). If your doctor is aware of your frame measurement, they may sometimes specify a segment height for you.

We’re Here to Help

If you still find yourself having trouble adjusting to your progressives, check out this tutorial video we created, which will help you learn more about how to adjust to your new lenses. The longer you wear them, the more comfortable you’ll feel in them; they will soon feel very natural over time. Nobody looks forward to adjusting to a new pair of lenses, but if you learn how they work, they’ll definitely be a lot more enjoyable to wear. Owned and operated by two eye doctors, 39DollarGlasses.com takes pride in providing knowledgeable, helpful service and information to all our customers, and we’re always here to help with any questions or assistance you may need — don’t be afraid to ask!

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