Your life and eyes 3 min read

How to progress from bifocals to varifocals

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As you get older, you will likely notice some natural changes in your vision. As you reach the age of 40, the lens in your eye loses some flexibility which can affect your ability to focus on objects at different distances. This change in vision is known as presbyopia; it is a normal result of ageing and can leave some people needing to wear lenses to correct it.

Previously, many lens wearers who already required glasses for distance will have opted for bifocal lenses, to see both near and far away distances. Bifocals were designed with a sudden change between distance and close vision, with a visible line across the lens to separate the two prescriptions. In many cases, people who needed bifocals took it as a negative sign of ageing, with the assumption that the line displayed clear advertisement of their age.

Our modern lifestyles now mean that many of life’s important things happen at arm’s length. It’s crucial your lenses allow you to see near to far, but also at an intermediate distance too. Modern varifocal lenses can help you achieve this.

What’s the difference between bifocals and varifocals?

Bifocal lenses are split into two parts; the lower part is usually to correct near vision and the top section for distance vision. Wearers often need to look up and down through the right part of the lens to see clearly. In some cases, this can lead to disorientation as the wearer moves between the sudden difference in prescription. 

Struggling to see computer screen due to bifocals

Varifocal lenses are a progression of the bifocal lens design, offering a much smoother transition between the vision zones. Providing a more gradual change than bifocal glasses, ensuring your vision feels more natural. What’s more, while bifocals offer two vision zones, varifocal lenses can provide three; distance, near and intermediate.

The latest varifocal lenses can reduce the need for head movement; our Varilux lenses are designed to help you see through any part of the lens with ease, instead of moving your head to find the sweet spot.

Getting used to varifocal lenses

Getting used to wearing a different type of lens can be tricky at first. If you are used to wearing bifocals, the thought of switching to varifocal lenses can be a little daunting. Your eye and brain need time to adjust to the different refractive powers across the lens, which can take some getting used to when you first put them on.

However, modern technology has provided varifocal lenses with a way of adjusting very quickly and comfortably. You may be worried about changing lenses for many reasons, including the worry of experiencing something known as swim sensation.

Woman walking downstairs wearing varifocal lenses looking at phone

Not everyone experiences swim sensation when wearing new lenses, but it can occur with older models of varifocal lenses. Images can sometimes appear distorted through the lens, which can take you a while to adjust to your glasses.

However, new varifocal lens designs have combatted this, including our Varilux X series lenses. Using Nanoptix technology, the lenses are re-engineered. Nanoptix flattens the molecules within the lens, refining the curvature and resulting in virtually no image distortion and better image stability. The ideal solution in helping you adapt quickly to new glasses, providing minimum disruption to your vision.

What’s more, you can now benefit from lenses that have been tailored to your lifestyle and need to enhance your visual experience further. Our Varilux range now includes lenses for driving, lenses for digital activities and more.  

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