Progressive Lens: How Does It Work and How to Choose It?

What is a progressive lens? In what cases should we wear them? How to choose them, and at what price?

What is a progressive lens?

A progressive lens, also called multifocal, is a corrective lens placed on glasses, which allows its wearer to see far, near and intermediate by improving their vision. This type of lens thus offers better visual comfort.

Progressive lens, how does it work?

Wearing glasses with progressive lenses allows you to see clearly at all distances, thanks to different correction zones. Thus, the upper zone is dedicated to distance vision, and the lower zone is dedicated to near vision. As for the power of the lens, it gradually increases (hence its name) between distance vision and near vision. Wearing progressive lenses sometimes requires new wearers to adapt.

Progressive lens glasses: for whom?

The progressive lens is useful for presbyopes. Related to age, presbyopia generally appears around the age of 45. “Presbyopia is marked by a difference between distance and near vision,” she explains. A presbyope, in particular, has difficulty reading closely when it is written in small letters, “hence the need for this lens which will allow clearer vision,” underlines the orthoptist. In addition to presbyopia, these lenses can be helpful for other types of corrections, such as myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.

Progressive lens, how to choose it?

Progressive lenses are chosen in-store with the help of the optician. The selection is made by the professional according to the needs and lifestyle of the wearer: specific progressive lenses offer excellent distance vision, and they can be helpful for drivers, for example, who need excellent distance vision.

Other lenses offer an intermediate field of vision; near and far, their vision is more or less balanced. Finally, some people use it more limitedly, such as when looking at screens or reading. Indeed, suppose we experience difficulty reading and, in particular, “focusing” on a text. In that case, our vision becomes blurry up close, or our eye tires quickly; wearing a progressive lens can be helpful at certain times of the day.

What alternatives to progressive lenses?

Contact lenses

In addition to the optical option of progressive lenses, some prefer to wear contact lenses. An alternative that is not yet fully developed, according to the orthoptist, because “the vision remains a little blurry in the distance as well as up close.”

Refractive surgery

Another possible alternative is that your ophthalmologist can advise you on refractive surgery. This laser operation aims to allow presbyopic patients to no longer need to wear glasses by improving the quality of their vision, both far and near. There are two types of refractive surgery:

Le Pres by-Lasik

This operation aims to reshape the cornea and make it multifocal by providing near, far, and intermediate vision. This procedure, carried out under local anesthesia, is quick (20 minutes for both eyes) and painless.

The progressive multifocal implant

The installation of multifocal implants is mainly aimed at people over 60 years old with total presbyopia. What is it about? A progressive multifocal implant is placed in the place of the lens to allow the patient to have correct vision at all distances (far, near, and intermediate).

The choice of surgical technique – Presby-Lasik or progressive multifocal implant – will be made by the surgeon according to your needs. And, in particular, if your presbyopia is associated with another visual disorder such as hyperopia or myopia.

Mid-distance lenses

Instead of wearing progressive lenses, young presbyopes can opt for mid-distance lenses – called digressive lenses or near lenses, also available in optical stores. These mid-distance lenses are beneficial for working in front of a screen or for certain activities such as reading. The principle: they offer the extended quality of near vision thanks to a vast width of field.

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