Bifocals, Progressives, and Reading Glasses

by Aug 19, 2020Vision

There are a wide range of different lenses available for your glasses in the optical world. It can be confusing to decide what type of lenses to get. For some patients a different prescription is needed for viewing distant and near objects. The prescription needed for near work is known as the “add power”. Instead of having two separate pairs of glasses with different prescriptions that one must switch between, it is possible to get glasses that have both, depending on what part of the lens you are looking through. Most often, the lower portion of the lenses are meant for near work, as your eyes turn down and inward to read. Written below are three of the most commonly prescribed lens categories when an add power is needed.

Bifocals and Trifocals

These are the traditional lenses available for patients that need a different prescription for near work. These lenses have a small, often semi-circular lens (known as the “segment”) inserted and fused into the lower inner corner of each lens. These are easy to use as it is obvious which portion the eyes need to see through in order to get clear vision close up but has the aesthetic trade-off of having the segment visible.

A trifocal differs only in that there is an extra section in the segment that allows for intermediate distance viewing. This portion of the lens is designed to allow the viewer to focus on an object that is past their reading distance but not farther than a couple of meters, often a computer screen.

Progressives (No-line bifocals)

These are most often prescribed today and are the lenses of choice by many patients. The main reason is because the add power that exists near the bottom of the lens for near work is not visible and blends seamlessly into the distance prescription. Like bifocals, the upper portion is designated for distance viewing and the reading component is placed down and towards the nose of each eye. The disadvantage of this lens is the adaptation time it takes to learn how to use these lenses. Without clear borders for the add power, it can be confusing as to where one should look to be able to see the near objects clearly.


Reading Glasses

Unlike the other lenses above, enhanced readers are meant specifically for looking at intermediate distances and near objects. This can include computer screens, sheet music for musicians or individuals who do lots of work at medium distances. Our optometrist can select the right prescription based on a specific distance you need and adjust it accordingly. Enhanced readers also include a reading prescription underneath so a simple tip of the head or movement of the eyes downwards will allow for viewing of closer objects. Certain designs even have a little bit of distance prescription at the very top of the lens so if needed, one will be able to see distant objects when looking up and forwards.

The bottom line is, depending on what your preferences are, our optometrists will be there to help you design a lens that works for your daily needs.

Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye disese. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to be evaluated for new glasses with bifocals,trifocals,progressive (no-lines), or reading glasses. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler, provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.

Request Appointment

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

Connect With Us

Let’s continue the conversation over on your social network of choice.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

430 Arlington Rd. Suite B | Brookville, OH 45309937-770-1265

Font Resize