The Fundamentals of Progressive Lenses: Tips for First-Time Wearers

Posted on: 21 March 2022

Although most people think of the traditional bifocal lens when they think about needing different visual help for reading versus distance, there's been a lot of progress in vision correction over the last few decades, including alternatives to the small space provided by bifocals for reading. Progressive lenses are one of those alternatives. If your optometrist recommended a progressive lens after your last eye exam, here's a look at what you should know.

You Should Get Your Eye Doctor's Assistance

Especially when you get your first pair of progressive lenses, you should work closely with your eye doctor to ensure that your prescription is right, your pupillary distance is accurately measured, and more. All of these factors are vital to ensuring that your progressive lenses work properly and aren't harder than necessary to adapt to. Your eye doctor will also help you learn how to use your progressive lenses in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Be Prepared for a Transition Period

Progressive lenses take a little bit of getting used to because they don't provide you with fixed, single-vision correction like traditional lenses. Instead, progressive lenses change gradually down the entire space of the lens, providing you with distance correction at the top of the lens, mid-range correction at your natural eye level, and graduating to reading correction in the lower portion of the lens. New progressive lens wearers sometimes find that this can be challenging to adapt to, which is why it's helpful to work with your optometrist for tips and tricks to make it easier.

You'll Need Larger Frames

If you're used to wearing small frames for your glasses, you'll have another adjustment to make with progressive lenses. Because of the way these lenses function, it's best to choose larger frames to allow more lens space for the vision correction transition. This ensures a more gradual transition so that you have clearly defined visual areas in your lens. Your eye doctor will help you narrow down the frames that provide you with the right lens size for your progressive lens needs.

The Lenses Are More Expensive

When you price progressive lenses with your eye doctor, you'll find that the lenses are more expensive than traditional ones. That's because of the amount of work that goes into the visual progression on those lenses. However, you will ultimately save money and frustration over time because you won't have to buy separate pairs of glasses for reading, driving, and working. Instead, everything will be in one lens, which makes things easier in the long run.

Talk with your optometrist about the benefits of progressive lenses for your vision issues.