Adjusting To Bifocal And Progressive Lenses

Alternating between your standard prescription glasses and reading glasses is not your only solution to deal with age-related vision conditions like presbyopia. 

Enter bifocal and progressive lenses (or multifocal lenses). Combining multiple vision fields in one lens, multifocal corrects the wearer’s vision at any distance. However, the effects are not immediate; a period of acclimatization is required. Luckily, most wearers do get used to multifocal lenses within the span of a few weeks.  

Blink Eyewear is your comprehensive source of multifocal vision. We carry all the top brands, including Nikon, Hoya, and Essilor, and our optometrists are trained to administer eye exams for presbyopia and prescribe multifocal lenses. Call 403-516-2292 or fill out the online contact form to book your eye exam for your multifocal glasses. 

What Bifocal And Progressive Lenses Do  

Bifocal and progressive lenses (or multifocal lenses) correct presbyopia, a common vision condition in which the aging individual can no longer clearly see up close due to the loss of flexibility in the natural lens. 

However, unlike standard prescription glasses, multifocal glasses contain multiple vision strengths built into the same lens. This allows the individual to both see up close and far away with equal clarity without having to switch between prescription glasses and reading glasses. Multifocal lenses are perfect for people with presbyopia who regularly engage in activities that require both near and far sight, such as driving and many kinds of outdoor work. 

While both are considered multifocal, bifocal lenses differ from their progressive counterparts. Bifocal lenses contain exactly 2 vision strengths: one for near sight and one for far sight. Some even have a line in the middle of the lens to separate the two vision strengths. Progressive lenses, on the other hand, blend multiple vision strengths in an incremental fashion. 

The conventional wisdom is that progressive lenses permit the wearer to see clearly at more distances than bifocal lenses but are also harder to get used to. At the end of the day, both multifocal lenses compensate for presbyopia, and the choice between the two is a question of personal preference. 

How To Adjust to Bifocal And Progressive Lenses 

Having more than one vision strength in your glasses can be bewildering. In fact, people often experience unpleasant side effects at first. These include: 

  • Blurriness 
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Seeing moving objects 
  • Balance problems 

Most people will take a few weeks to become habituated, but some may never grow accustomed to multifocal lenses. 

To develop tolerance to multifocal lenses as quickly as possible, you can try the following recommendations:

  • Wear your multifocal lenses on a consistent basis, starting with a few hours per day. 
  • Do not alternate between your multifocal glasses and your old eyeglasses. 
  • Move your head to the direction you want to look at—not just your eyes. 
  • Hold your book or tablet down when you read and look through the bottom of your lenses. 
  • Do not move your eyes or head when reading; move the item instead. 
  • Set your computer screen slightly below eye level. 

The payoff of successfully adjusting to multifocal lenses is certainly worth it. The ability to see clearly at any distance with a single pair of glasses brings extraordinary convenience. 

A Bit Of Patience Goes A Long Way 

Adjusting to bifocal or progressive lenses may be challenging at the beginning. You may experience a variety of discouraging secondary effects, such as nausea and blurred vision. Perseverance is key. Gradually building tolerance, wearing your multifocal glasses the right way, and learning to move your head to see can help you adapt to multifocal vision. 

Blink Eyewear understands the amazing benefits and the adjustments required for patients choosing multifocal lenses. Whether you intend to explore multifocal vision for the first time or are looking for a new pair of high-quality bifocal or progressive glasses, our optometrists have got you covered. Call 403-516-2292 or fill out the online contact form to get the conversation started!  


Q: Do multifocal lenses come in contact lens format?
A: Yes. Multifocal lens technology can be applied to contact lenses.

Q: When do people usually develop presbyopia? 
A: Presbyopia is a common eye condition among people ageed 40 and above. 

Q: Should I expect to pay more for multifocal glasses?
A: Yes. Multifocal glasses are more expensive than standard prescription eyeglasses. 

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Blink Eyewear boasts the largest collection of eyewear in Calgary, but our 4 locations are also home to the region’s finest optometrists. Just as you will not find a better store to shop for your eyewear, you will not find a better vision clinic to do your eye exam or treat your eye condition. 

Go ahead and Blink; what you see is really what you get. Call one of our store numbers or fill out the form below to book an appointment.

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