What are Progressive Lenses?
Progressive lenses, (their full title is progressive power lenses), such as Varilux, do exactly as they say, progressively changing power or strength to provide the user with clear vision at all distances. They are designed so your head and eyes stay in the most natural and comfortable position when looking at things in the distance, at arm's length or close up. Essilor tries to make you feel like you're wearing no glasses at all. This means no abrupt changes in lens power and no need to compensate with strange body or head postures.
The results are rather simple and seamless. Eliminating the visible line in the middle of the lens, something many were self-conscious of, makes them look like any other lens. Everything comes down to the way the power changes are managed both up and down the lens and across the lens as well. As the inventor of the progressive lens over 60years ago, at Essilor we are the true experts in this field.
Progressive Lenses: Clear Vision at All Distance
Choosing Progressive Lenses
Wearing the wrong type of glasses can cause problems beyond uncomfortable or poor vision. It can cause headaches and even neck should or back pain due to the craning and straining to be in the right position to compensate for not having the right focus.
Often, we choose the wrong glasses simply because we didn't know all the alternatives. Rather than carry two pairs of glasses or struggle with just reading glasses vision, many people use progressive lenses. Let's explore what’s different and what you should choose that suits your needs the best.
Bifocal Lenses: A Thing Of The Past
Bifocals have a visible line in the middle of the lens, dividing it two different lens powers. The upper part gives clear vision when looking at objects at a distance, while the lower part makes close up objects clear. It's the things in between that pose a challenge. Critically, this is where many of our day to day tasks need to be sharp and clear, from reading the prices when grocery shopping to working on our computers to engaging in face-to-face conversations.
Bifocal wearers often try and switch between the upper and lower parts of the lens or they crane their neck and move their head up and down to try and find the right focus. This can be tiring and annoying, and can cause strain on the neck and shoulders, a well-known cause of headaches. The abrupt changes in lens strength when moving your head side to side or up and down causes things to swim which can lead to nausea and dizziness. Swim is a risk when negotiating stairs, escalators and kerbs, increasing the risk of falls for some wearers.
Progressive lenses, on the other hand, can manage these problems.
While progressive lenses are a peak eyewear technology, there's no such thing as a perfect progressive but you can try and get as close to perfection as you can.. Optical imperfections in lenses, known as aberrations, are today tightly controlled by new digital technology and sophisticated optical calculations, to virtually eliminate “swim effect” and minimise head movements. For most people, if their lenses are correctly fitted and adjusted, these are minor issues that often are unnoticeable within minutes of starting to wear them.
Choosing lenses with anti-reflection coating like Crizal will enhance the wearer's experience of progressive lenses as they virtually eliminate reflections on both sides of the lens. This will help others see your eyes clearly.
To make sure that the lenses are tailored to your specific needs, your optometrist or optical dispenser will measure your eyes so the lenses can be correctly positioned in the frame. Extra measurements, often taken digitally, mean lenses can now be customised to your chosen frame. At the highest level, you can have your own personalised design matched to your physiology and visual behaviour. Today Essilor has a wide range of progressive lens designs to fit almost any need and lifestyle.
Curious about progressive lenses?
Ask your optometrist or optical dispenser about Varilux, the most advanced progressive lenses in the world