A word about progressive lenses.
You use over-the-counter reading glasses to help with near vision. At your recent eye examination, your doctor prescribed glasses to help you see better near and far. Faced with this new reality, a question that many patients ask is whether it is difficult to adapt to a progressive lens – one that can correct both near and far vision. The answer is straight-forward but worth an explanation to help you achieve the best result.
Millions of people wear progressive lenses as it is the most common way to fit glasses for a patient with presbyopia – those experiencing the gradual loss in their eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects – a natural and often annoying part of aging.
With the evolution of digitally designed progressives, a lot of problems with adaptation have been reduced if not eliminated. Even with these advances, patients and prescription are unique and the guidance of a licensed optician can help you find a proper fit to make your adaption easier.
The frame should fit your face properly and give you ample area below the pupil to maximize the effectiveness of the lens. A frame that is too small will not give you enough area to comfortably navigate the three viewing zones of the lens and a frame that is too big can increase distortion in the periphery.
Simply wearing your new progressive glasses will speed up your adaption. If you’re someone who mostly wears contacts, and glasses only occasionally, adaptation can be more difficult. Patients who are having trouble with their new progressive lenses may resort to wearing their old glasses which can delay your adaption and possibly stall any progress you’ve made.
Don’t delay the inevitable. Progressives are easier to adapt to at a younger age when the correction for near and distance vision is not that different. As we age the difference between the top and bottom correction often becomes greater which may make adaptation more difficult.*
In summary, progressives are better than they have ever been. Patients who were unable to adapt to progressive lenses years before can now wear them without much difficulty at all. With the proper fit from a trained optician and the right knowledge of how to use them, your chances of success are far greater than they’ve ever been. And always, if you are having difficulty with your vision, contact your doctor for an eye appointment.
*For the technically inclined — a patient who is 45 years old may have a +1.00 add between the corrective power at the top (distance vision) and bottom (near vision ) of the lens. A patient who is 55 year old may have a +2.00 add between the top and bottom part of the lens making it more difficult for the first time wearer to adapt to the new lens.