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Trifocal Eyeglasses vs Progressive Lenses

As we age our eyesight gets progressively worse. Presbyopia refers to the loss of ability to focus on close up objects such as your smartphone or newspaper. By the time you reach the mid-40’s you are going to probably need some sort of corrective eyewear. Your eye doctor will prescribe multifocal eyeglasses, such as bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses to improve your vision, based on your needs.

Trifocal lenses are like bifocal lenses, but have three distinct viewing areas instead of two. Trifocal eyeglases are used for distance, near and intermediate vision while bifocals only have focal areas for distance and near vision. A bifocal lens lacks the intermediate vision area found in trifocals.  The intermediate vision section on trifocals works well for tasks performed from 18-24 inches, such as when you are reading a computer screen.

What’s in a Name

Benjamin Franklin, credited with inventing bifocals in the 1780’s, called his dual lens glasses double spectacles. In 1827 triple lens inventor John Isaac Hawkins patented the terms bifocals and trifocals, giving credit to Mr. Franklin for creating the double lens glasses.

3 areas of vision focus in trifocal lenses:

  • distance – top of lens – far away tasks such as driving
  • intermediate – middle section of lens – arms length tasks such as computer work
  • near – bottom part of lens – close-up vision for reading, sewing, painting

The Fountain of Youth in Eyewear

Trifocals have 3 distinct sections visible across each lens. One disadvantage to wearing bifocals and trifocals is a noticeable jump in vision when switching between the different focal zones. Progressives don’t have this problem.

Many people opt for no-line bifocals, also known as progressive lenses, in lieu of trifocal lenses. Trifocals aren’t as attractive looking as progressive adaptive lenses, which have no visible line across the lens.

Trifocals are rarely prescribed today, as most eye care patients opt for the more youthful appearance of progressive lens eyeglasses. Older optical patients who’ve worn trifocals for years may be reluctant to make the switch to progressives.

Progressive lenses are the best option to choose when switching from a single vision lens to multifocal lenses. Getting used to wearing progressives is as easy or easier than getting comfortable wearing trifocals or bifocals. Progressives used to have a problem with a smaller peripheral field of vision but newer model progressive lenses, or choosing glasses with a slightly larger frame, effectively end this problem. Older bifocal wearers often have to buy a pair of reading glasses when they start having trouble with their closeup vision. Progressives let you see clearly from all distances without the need to switch between your prescription glasses and reading eyeglasses.

Get Your Prescription at My Eyelab

Let your eye doctor know what you do for a living so he can come up with the best solution for you for your prescription eyewear. A writer working in front of computer screen all day will need a different type of eyeglasses than a surgeon focusing on close-up vision.

Optometrists at your eyeglass store will do An eye exam and give you a prescription for corrective eyewear. Don’t delay, stop by My Eyelab for a free eye exam and great deals of prescription eyeglasses.

Need an eye exam? Schedule your FREE eye exam at a My EyeLab location near you!

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