A progressive lens, also known as a multifocal lens, graduated lens, or progressive addition lens, is a type of eyeglass lens that provides clear vision at multiple distances. Progressive lenses do the work of separate pairs of glasses. Commonly used by individuals who have presbyopia, they are a convenient option.
How does a progressive lens work?
Progressive lenses have a seamless, graduated prescription that allows for a smooth transition between different focal points. They incorporate three main focal zones:
- Distance Vision: The upper part of the lens provides clear vision at a distance (far distance). This is where you would look to see objects far away, like when you’re driving or watching TV.
- Intermediate Vision: The middle part of the lens provides intermediate vision (middle distance). For example: a computer screen or the instrument panel in the car.
- Near Vision: The lower part of the lens is for close-up vision (near distance), such as reading a book or looking at a smartphone.
There is a gradual transition of power between all three zones. This eliminates the visible lines or segments that are present in traditional bifocal or trifocal lenses. So, progressive lenses are more aesthetically appealing and functional.
Who should wear progressive lenses?
Progressive lenses are a convenient solution for people with multiple vision needs, as they allow for a seamless shift between different distances without the need to switch between different pairs of glasses. However, it may take some time for wearers to adjust to the unique design of progressive lenses, as finding the right position to look through each part of the lens is necessary for optimal performance.
Are there different types of progressive lenses?
There are literally thousands of different types of multifocal lenses available, from many different manufacturers. It can be challenging to know the differences. Advertising and marketing materials always claim “the best progressive lens available”. But the reality is there are vast differences, on many different levels.
It is important to purchase progressive lenses from a local, independent Optometrist who is not tied to any one brand, design or supply chain.
Modern designs from quality manufacturers provide a fantastic, comfortable vision experience. However, there are many older designs and poor-quality lenses still available. It can be very difficult to know what you are getting and which lenses are good. That’s why it’s important to get professional advice from an independent Optometrist who is familiar and experienced with all types of progressive lenses. We work with many different manufacturers. We’re not limited to a single supply chain.
Hoya progressive lenses
Hoya is a well-known ophthalmic lens company, offering a range of progressive lens designs to cater to individual needs and preferences. The designs include features such as wider reading areas, reduced peripheral distortion, and enhanced visual comfort. Their lenses are often customized to the patient’s specific prescription and frame choice.
Zeiss progressive lenses
Zeiss is another renowned manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses. They offer a range of progressive lenses to address various vision correction needs. High-quality optics and advanced technology is what Zeiss lenses are known for.
Essilor progressive lenses
Varilux is arguably the world’s most famous progressive lens and has been around since 1959. Essilor is also the largest ophthalmic lens maker in the world and provides a wide variety of lenses in the Australian optical industry.
What makes a good multifocal lens?
The best multifocal lens designs require a range of specialized measurements. They account for unique, individual variations between fitting, vision tasks, the wearer, and the frame selected. These complex and detailed measurements allow the lens manufacturer to design a unique lens, just for you.
Standard, “off-the-shelf” multifocal lenses are unlikely to work well. Have you ever spoken to someone who’s had a bad experience with progressive lenses? One person’s experience is not a good indication of what your own personal experience will be like with progressive lenses.
All good progressive lens makers will provide an adaptation guarantee. This means that should the wearer struggle to get on with their new progressive lenses, the lenses can be replaced with an alternative design. While this only happens in about 10% of cases, it’s a really important inclusion with any progressive lens. We want your progressive lenses to work well for you, so we offer a comprehensive adaptation guarantee with all our progressive lenses.