When your vision requires correction for close up and far away distances, bifocals can provide this in a crude sort of way. One bifocal lens is for far distances while the other (lower) lens is for close up viewing. The problem with bifocals is they don’t accommodate intermediate distances, which will appear out of focus when looking through either of the two lenses. Trifocals help with this problem, but there will still be distances that aren’t in perfect focus. Another problem with either bifocal or trifocal lenses is they’re associated with advancing age.
Progressive lenses get around the problems of bifocals and trifocals by providing a smooth progression of lens powers from close up to far away distances. This smooth progression means that others can’t see any boundaries between lenses as they would in bi and trifocals. To another person, your progressive lenses would look like “ordinary” single vision lenses. And when used in stylish, prescription Wiley X glasses, your appearance would be enhanced. On the other hand, a smooth progression from your point of view means there’s no abrupt changes between the lens powers.
Adjusting to Your Progressive Lenses
Getting used to your progressive lenses can take several days to a week. Don’t attempt to drive with them until you’re well along in your adjustment phase. Keep in mind that close up or near field is near the bottom, intermediate is higher up at and just under the middle part of the lens, and the far field is the portion above the middle of the lens.
When reading, the normal reflex is tilting your head down so that your nose is pointing at the book or magazine. However, doing this with your progressive lens means you’ll be viewing the book through the middle section of the lens instead of its lower part. Instead, keep your head level and look down at the book with your eyes. If the print looks out of focus, move the book up and down until it comes into focus.
Alternatively, you can keep the book fixed (on your lap or reading table) and very slowly tilt your head up and down while keeping your eyes fixed on the print. When the print becomes focused, you have the right tilt of your head. With practice, you will automatically know which part of the lens to look through when reading print material close up.
When viewing an object in the middle distance or further away, point your nose at the object. Keep your eyes locked on the object while very slowly tilting your head up and down and side to side until the object is in focus. The head movements should be small. This too, becomes an automatic habit with time.
Other tips for quickly adapting to your progressive lenses are:
- Wear your progressive lenses throughout the day. This is the fastest way to get used to them. Using them for only a few hours a day will prolong the adjustment period. Some people who didn’t consistently wear their lenses have taken years to adjust.
- Make sure your progressive prescription Wiley X glasses are a good fit. The glasses should be at the top of your nose, centered, and close to your eyes. You won’t get the full benefit from poor fitting glasses that shift, slide down the nose, or sit too far from the eyes.
- Move your head when looking to the side. The lower left and right sides (at the lens periphery) will look slightly blurred. These areas are only noticeable when looking sideways with your eyes. Instead, turn your head to view things off to the side. At some point, your brain should tune these areas out.
Progressive lenses (also called progressive bifocals), are available as a lens option with prescription Wiley X glasses. If you have questions or require assistance for selecting eyewear, don’t hesitate to contact us.