What are multifocal lenses?
Multifocal lenses (also called progressive lenses) combine multiple optical powers in the one lens – without any visible lines. Multifocal lenses allow you to see:
- at a far distance
- at an arm’s length distance, for things like working on a computer
- close-up for activities like reading
Your optometrist may recommend multifocal lenses if you currently wear one pair of glasses for reading and another pair for distance. With multifocal lenses you can do away with swapping your glasses each time you change from one activity to another.
What can I expect when I switch to multifocal lenses?
It will usually take a little time for your eyes to adjust to multifocals – particularly if you are switching from a singlevision lens, or have never worn glasses before. This is because the lens is designed to change the optical power from the top of the lens to the bottom. At the beginning this may cause things to look blurry or less clear than before as you learn to move your eyes up and down the lens.
This is normal and a result of the blending process that combines the different powers within the lens. It is also normal for your vision to be the clearest when directly facing an object. This is because the clearest part of the lens is positioned in the middle of the lens right in front of the pupil. In time, as you get used to your new glasses, you will learn to look through the middle of the lens naturally and objects will come into focus quickly and easily.
As a guide, most people take about two weeks to adjust to their new multifocal glasses. Some people may take longer – up to six weeks is not uncommon.
Not quite right? We’re here to help
At Health Partners Optical, our focus is to ensure that every member is happy with their purchase and the service they receive. So, if after two weeks you are having difficulty becoming accustomed to your new multifocal lenses, please come in and see us. A fitting adjustment might be all that’s required and we can usually do that on the spot.
If after another consultation and adjustments, you’re not comfortable with your new multifocal lenses, we will happily replace them with bifocal or single vision lenses at no extra cost. You have three months from the date of the original order to arrange this.
“My vision is blurry”
Use your nose as your pointer to look directly at the object and then move your chin up and down until the object comes into focus. This will bring the correct optical power directly in front of your eyes to give you the clearest vision. Remember that the top half of the lens has the distance power and the bottom half has the reading power.
“Only part of the page I’m seeing is clear”
The bottom section of the lens is used for close-up activities like reading, so the tip here is to raise your chin until you are looking through the lower part of the lens. Use your nose as your pointer and turn your head slightly as you follow the words on the page from left to right. Following the words by moving your head rather than your eyes should clear things up for you.
“I get a sense of vertigo when I go up and down stairs”
Many people wearing multifocal lenses for the first time, or when they get a new prescription, notice that the ground or stairs may be out of focus. This is usually because as you glance down, your eyes look through the bottom part of the lens which is designed for close-up vision. Simply lower your chin until the ground comes into focus. This action will quickly become second nature.
“I can’t read or see the TV when I’m lying down”
Multifocal lenses are designed for your regular posture, which means that your vision is likely to be affected if you’re lying down or in a reclined position. This happens because your line of view is not through the central area of the lens.
“I feel scared to drive”
In the first couple of days, if you feel uncomfortable driving in your glasses, it’s OK to switch back to your old pair, but persisting with your new pair is the best way to get used to your new multifocal lens design.