Your life and eyes 3 min read

3 things to consider when buying varifocal lenses

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Varifocal lenses are a popular solution for correcting presbyopia; a refractive error that usually occurs with age. Varifocal lenses correct your vision so you can see clearly at different distances; near, far and everything in between. Presbyopia usually begins to onset at around 40 years of age and can present symptoms such as blurred vision, poor vision in low lit conditions, headaches and eye strain. It is usually diagnosed during a routine eye examination with your local optician.

If you’ve noticed a change in your vision and you think you may have presbyopia, visit your optician. It is likely that you will need to wear varifocal lenses to correct your vision. With that in mind, we offer some key considerations to think about when it comes to buying your first pair of varifocal lenses.

Prescription lenses

It can be tempting to just grab a generic, cheaper pair of glasses off the shelf. If you already wear lenses for distance, but you start to experience problems seeing close up, you have probably heard of ‘ready readers’. The problem with this type of lens is that they offer a one-size-fits-all approach and you can end up having to move or remove your glasses just to be able to see clearly.

Woman wearing ready reader glasses moving them so she can see clearly

Everyone’s vision is different; two people who both suffer from presbyopia may have completely different prescriptions and will require completely different corrections. With that in mind, buying a ready-made pair of lenses from the supermarket may not correct your vision as well as they should.

It’s important that you consider the importance of tailored lenses. Your vision is measured accurately during your routine eye examination, in order to prescribe lenses that perfectly suit your needs. Prescription lenses will correct your vision in the best possible way, whether you need them for driving, everyday wear or for using digital devices.

Your optician can even tailor your varifocal lenses specifically to your physiological and visual behaviour needs. Using a unique measurement process, your varifocals can be tailored for your near vision behaviour, the physiological shape of your eye, your dominant eye and even the frame you wish to wear to ensure your lenses are unique to your vision needs and deliver the best visual experience.

Lenses first, then frames

When it comes to buying your first pair of lenses, you will naturally be drawn towards choosing the a particular frame style and colours first. After all, wearing lenses can be a daunting prospect for some and you’ll no doubt want to make sure that you look good!

However, remember that your lenses are the most important part of your glasses. You should ensure you have the right lenses first, and then choose frames to go with your lenses. For instance, some frames are more suitable for thicker lenses, while others will be better suited to thinner lenses.

Man choosing glasses from rack in opticians

When it does come to choosing your frames, consider your lifestyle. Do you need durable frames that won’t break easily, or are you more concerned with having the right frames to suit your face shape?

Further lens enhancements

It’s important to get the most out of your new varifocal lenses and you enjoy wearing them. If you’re wearing them for the first time, you may not be aware that lens enhancements can provide extra benefits in order to achieve clear and comfortable vision.

While your lenses themselves will correct your vision, lens enhancements such as coatings can provide anti-reflection, reduce the risk of scratches and even offer UV protection for your eyes.

Scratch-resistant lens coatings can provide added durability to your lenses, which is great when you’re faced with the realities of everyday life. It can also be a handy enhancement for children’s glasses.

Lens coatings can also reduce glare and reflections. You may experience glare when out on the road or near wet surfaces, as the bright light bounces off the surface into your eyes. Lens coatings can reduce this discomfort and reduce reflections on your lenses, improving the aesthetics so that others can see your eyes clearly.

Protecting your eyes from UV light is crucial to maintain healthy vision; overexposure has been linked to eye problems such as cataracts(1). UV protection lens enhancements can reduce this risk and they can be applied very easily to your varifocal lenses.


Varilux lens brochure

Varifocal lenses for all lifestyles, for all needs and for all prescriptions.

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(1) McCarty CA, Taylor HR. A review of the epidemiologic evidence. linking ultraviolet radiation and cataracts. Dev Ophthalmol. 2002; 35:21-31.

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