Single vision is the most common type of prescription lens. This lens type features a single field of vision, or one prescription power throughout the entire lens, for correcting nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). Single-vision lenses are also used for reading glasses. While reading glasses may either be prescription or over-the-counter, your doctor can make sure you are using the right “power” if you choose over-the-counter glasses. Power ranges from +1.00 to +2.50 (with quarter steps in between).
When your eye doctor says you should consider bifocals, it might make you feel old. Truth is, you are more likely to require reading glasses in addition to your other glasses as you hit midlife and are diagnosed with presbyopia. It simply means the lens of eye has difficulty focusing. Bifocals are just a more convenient option than carrying around two pairs of glasses.
Bifocal lenses have two viewing areas divided by a visible line: a larger viewing area for distance with a smaller segment for reading. They can take some getting used to. The best way to do that is to wear them as much as possible. Pretty soon, you won’t even notice yourself shifting your eyes downward to read through the smaller portion of the lens.
A trifocal, which is uncommon, is like a bifocal with an added lined segment for intermediate vision on top of the lined portion for reading. If you do a lot of work on a computer, you might benefit from that middle portion above the reading lens. Trifocals can be tricky to get just right, so the best advice is to make sure you get your prescription and trifocal eyeglasses from a ReFocus provider.
While bifocals and trifocals have visible lines separating the zones of vision, progressive lenses feature a seamless, invisible design in which the power of the lenses progressively changes across the entire field of vision.
Progressives are typically prescribed for people over age 40 who already wear distance glasses but now need enhanced near vision for reading, as well as enhanced intermediate vision, for computer use for example. Instead of having three pairs of glasses, one for each need, progressives offer all-in-one convenience.
As with bifocals, it helps to wear them as much as possible to get used to them, but you will be the best judge of what you can tolerate. Plan to build up your usage incrementally, and before you know it, your progressive lenses will seem perfectly normal.
Today, disposable lenses are the norm. In fact, most contact lenses sold in the U.S. today are either daily disposable, two-week disposable or monthly disposable lenses. There are also many different types of lens prescriptions and types of contacts, including toric for astigmatism, multifocal/bifocal, rigid gas permeable, hard or soft lenses and more. Many patients are finding the newer advanced silicone hydrogel lenses are exceptionally comfortable, especially in cases of dry eye.
If you are trying lenses for the first time or are having issues with your current lenses, talk to your ReFocus doctor. He or she can fill you in on all the options and make sure your contacts fit well and are as comfortable as possible.