Progressive lenses are not your father’s bifocals

We like to say that 40 is the new 30, 60 is the new 40, etc. We’re living longer and taking much better care of ourselves than previous generations, so even though members of Gen Z may smirk, we can be confident as we take a stand against aging.

There is an exception, and the eyes have it.

When we reach 40, most of us need glasses, at least for reading.

If you already wear glasses for near- or far-sightedness, the diagnosis means only a transition. For those who never wore eyeglasses before, the new reality can be a shock.

But here’s another change from the old days: You can be just as stylish (or, for the guys, virile-looking) while wearing glasses all the time as you were before things started getting a little fuzzy.

Presbyopia is the culprit

Presbyopia is the description of changes in the lens in your eye – behind the colored iris – and the muscle that controls the lens. The practical result of the changes is that text in a book, magazine or computer screen, and other close activity appears out of focus. It happens to everyone about the time we turn 40. Presbyopia is not the same as nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness, which all can be traced to other types of malfunctions of the eye. Even if you already wear glasses or contact lenses for nearsightedness, or myopia, you will begin to notice more blurriness while reading as you move past 40.

To compensate, you can buy a pair of readers. They are wearable magnifying glasses and might work as a temporary fix. When you tire of losing them around the house or viewing people over the rims (like your grandparents used to), consider everyday eyeglasses that fit your face and your specific vision needs.

This is where progressive lenses offer a good-looking and functional benefit.

Age-defying and comfortable

Speaking off our grandparents, they only had the option of bifocals when they required different prescriptions for long-distance and reading. Bifocals were easily identifiable because of the tell-tale lines etched into the eyeglass lenses that separated the two prescription levels. Some folks added a third level for trifocals. These were a great advance for the day because the wearer no longer had to carry around one pair of glasses for reading and another for driving or other longer views. But they were not stylish.

Bifocals and trifocals also create a jarring “image jump” as you move your vision between the two prescriptions.

Progressive lenses, on the other hand, offer gradual changes in power, providing natural viewing as your eyes move from close-up to distance, to middle-range and back to close – just the way your eyes are designed to work. Some people say it takes a day or even a couple of weeks to get used to progressive lenses. After that, they swear by them.

Are there any downsides?

Progressive lenses cost a little more than bifocals. And your frames need to be fitted to your face to ensure the maximum benefit. We will make sure your new glasses fit perfectly when you purchase them, but if the fit seems to wobble in the future, you can visit us for a quick adjustment.

There are other benefits to progressive lenses beside the way they look. Progressives can fit any frame you choose. Before ordering progressive lenses, we will ask you about your work and lifestyle. If you sit in front of a computer for eight hours Monday through Friday, your prescription will be different than if you work in the garden all day.

Here is one more benefit: progressive lenses make it easier to smile when the Gen Z people in your life ask you about the new eyeglasses you’re wearing.

Are you ready to find out how progressive lenses can increase your comfort and productivity?  Visit us at 420 Post Road West or contact us any time at 203-222-7870; 413-384-6492 (after hours); or