Like them or loathe them: all you need to know about Varifocal Lenses

There are many different types of spectacle lenses available on the market. As we age, there will most likely come a time when your optician recommends switching to a varifocal lens. Varifocal lenses are the most advanced type of lens you can buy. They provide vision for all distances in a single lens and are an option for people over 40 who have presbyopia.

A lot of people cringe at the prospect of wearing varifocals. Even when they are the best solution for a customer’s prescription and lifestyle needs. We frequently get told they have tried varifocal lenses in the past and didn’t get on with them. For example, they made the wearer feel odd or sick, they struggled to find the reading area or felt a swimming effect. Another popular comment is that the intermediate area isn’t big enough for the computer work they do.

Many of our clients fall into the 40 plus age category. So we thought we would talk about the many different varifocal or progressive lenses available. And why sometimes wearing them doesn’t always go to plan.

The history of progressive lenses

Progressive lenses have been around for a long time. The first commercial progressive lenses produced in 1922 were very basic. Then in 1959, with advances in the manufacturing process, lens manufacturer Essilor produced the Varilux range of progressive lenses, the Varilux varifocal. This type of lens allows the wearer to see at all distances with one pair of spectacles, from distance through intermediate focal lengths to close up reading. However, some wearers experienced aberration or distortion in the peripheral areas of varifocal lenses, which occurs as the power progresses through the lenses. It can cause the sensation of a swimming effect or motion sickness.

Technology never stands still, and in recent years there have been advancements in the manufacture of progressive lenses. The introduction of free form lens designs has changed how the lenses are surfaced. This has resulted in a more natural visual experience and allows the areas of aberration to be pushed back and moved around the lenses. Doing so helps reduce the effects of distortion and therefore allows better adaptation for the wearer.

There are many different optical lenses manufacturers, and it can be quite a minefield to decipher which lenses to choose. At Respectacle Company, we take the time to get to know our customers, their needs and their lifestyles. We take into consideration their daily tasks, lifestyle choices, activities and hobbies. We consider the patient’s prescription and the choice of frame. We will then advise our customers as to the best lenses available to meet their needs.

Seiko progressive lenses

It can be challenging to explain to customers the benefits of one lens compared to another one as you can’t visualise the lenses until they are manufactured for the individual. If you wanted to buy a new television, it’s quite straightforward. All of the TV’s are lined up to view so you can compare each one for the sound and picture quality, the size and shape of the screen and which finish you prefer. But with ophthalmic lenses, we have to rely on example genic images and demonstrators.

However, as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for” and with Seiko lenses that’s exactly true. With Seiko lenses, you are paying for the quality of manufacture and the technology that has gone into the design and development of each lens. Investing in a pair of Seiko lenses will avoid the peripheral blurring, or the length of the progression being too long so you’re not able to read or the intermediate is not wide enough to view your computer screen.

We think that your eyesight is so important and as you wear the same pair of spectacles over a long period of time that it’s worth investing in high-quality Seiko lenses. We trust Seiko lenses to deliver a superior product and are so confident that our customers will be completely satisfied with our solutions that we guarantee all our work.

Tips for wearing varifocal lenses

If you are new to wearing varifocal lenses, here’s a couple of handy tips to help ease you into the transition.

Try to wear your new varifocal glasses as much as possible when you first get them. The more you wear them, the quicker you will get used to varifocals. So even if you don’t usually wear glasses all the time, it’s important to wear your varifocal lenses often.

Some people compare varifocal lenses to Marmite; they either like them or loathe them. It’s very easy to let frustration get the better of you initially when you are new to varifocals. Many people give up and decide to switch back to their old glasses. But there are long terms benefits to wearing varifocals. So try to avoid switching between your old pair of spectacles and your new varifocals. Stick with them and you’ll never look back.

If you would like to discuss your varifocal options, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can call 01858 433577 or reach out to us here.