Your Vision As We Age

Progressive lenses versus bifocal lenses

As you age, your eyesight changes, and there may come a time when you need bifocals or progressive lenses so that you may continue to enjoy clear vision. Instead of carrying multiple pairs of glasses for various vision needs, you may want to switch to progressive or bifocal lenses.

Most adults over the age of 40 experience some degree of presbyopia – a natural decrease in your eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects – close vision. Presbyopia along with hyperopia – distance vision – can be addressed through can be addressed using multifocal lenses. Options include bifocals, progressive, and contact lenses.

Progressive lenses

Progressive lenses have no lines delineating the change in prescription, creating the illusion of a single-vision lens that enables you to see at all distances. Progressive lenses come in a variety of options, including standard progressive for a large field of view; short-corridor progressive for small frames; computer progressive best used for people who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen; premium progressive, which are the most readily available and can be made specific to your frames, prescription and eyes; and ground-view progressive a favorite choice of athletes.


Trifocals, another multifocal vision correction option, enables the wearer to improve near, far, and intermediate vision – three distinct focal areas with visible lines.

It is important to note that approximately 10 percent of those needing multifocal vision correction have difficulty adapting to progressive lenses because a more significant portion of the lens is required to blend the prescriptions.

Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal lenses have a visible line that separates the two prescriptions – distance on top and reading on the bottom. Bifocals are an excellent option for two prescriptions and are available in D-Shape and Round. The D-Shape has a distinct line so that you can visibly see where your near and far viewing mechanisms meet, while Round lenses have a less distinctive line separating the prescriptions.

Changing your glasses prescription can help you see better at various distances and as we age, our glasses prescriptions can become more complex. The same can be said for the lenses used by the surgeons at New Vision Eye Center when they perform cataract surgery. In this procedure, the eye's natural lens is removed and a new, specifically powered lens is inserted during the same procedure. The new lens is intended to become a permanent part of your eye.

For patients that wore bifocal, trifocal, or progressive lenses prior to surgery, monovision may be done to correct one eye for near vision, one eye for distance. This procedure would be performed with a monofocal intraocular lens. There are also toric intraocular lenses to correct for astigmatism, and trifocal lenses meant to restore a full range of near, intermediate, and distance vision.

Based on your vision and lifestyle needs, your surgeon will help you select which intraocular lens is right for you. If you need cataract surgery, schedule a consultation with your eye doctor at New Vision Eye Center by calling 772-257-8700.