Bifocals: A Plethora of Options
See the photo above? Bifocal eyeglasses don't look like that anymore (in fact, those lenses are actually trifocals). The age-revealing, vision-limiting bifocals and trifocals of the past have transformed into sophisticated multifocal and progressive lenses. These modern lenses have no visible lines and offer clear vision at varying distances.
Also, it may surprise you to learn that multifocal and progressive lenses are available as both eyeglasses and contact lenses. There are also surgeries to help you overcome the need for bifocals. In fact, if you're already having cataract surgery, an intraocular implant such as the Crystalens IOL will address your presbyopia as well as your cataracts.
Before reviewing the options, it's important to understand how bifocals function. As we age, the ability of our eyes to focus both near and far begins to diminish. This happens whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, or haven't used vision correction at all. This condition is called presbyopia.
Presbyopia often manifests itself as blurry vision at near distances. You'll notice that suddenly, you have to hold the newspaper a bit further away to see it clearly.
Bifocals which were invented by Ben Franklin compensate for presbyopia by providing two different focusing powers in one lens. One area of the lens helps you focus on distant objects, the other for items that are close up. The problem with bifocals has always been that in reality we have the need to see clearly at many distances, not simply two distances. Hence the development of lenses with multiple powers, to help you see at varying distances.
For more information on solutions for presbyopia, choose an option below:
- Eyeglasses for Presbyopia include progressive lenses, as well as bifocals and trifocals.
- Bifocal Contact Lenses can actually be bifocal or multifocal, and can also be made to correct astigmatism.
- GP Contacts are custom contact lenses that are available in many different bifocal and multifocal designs and materials.
- Monovision is a technique that uses single-vision contacts of different powers, rather than bifocal or multifocal lenses.
- Surgery for Presbyopia can be performed with lasers, radio waves and implants; although not all such procedures are currently FDA approved.
- You can also get more information on bifocals from your local optometrist, ophthalmologist or optician.
All About Bifocals puts you in touch with credible information about presbyopia and other age-related eye topics. These include occasional or chronic dry eyes, a condition that often begins or worsens with age; cataract surgery, which everyone will experience if they live long enough, because the eye's natural lens becomes cloudy and needs replacement; eye vitamins, which have been shown to be an essential tool in combating age-related macular degeneration; and cosmetic eyelid surgery, which fixes the drooping eyelids that often appear with age.