Wednesday 21 February 2018

Varifocals: Stylish and convenient

Everyone over the age of 45 suffers from symptoms of presbyopia, also known as tired eyesight. But help is at hand to correct your vision.

For clear sight, the rays of light entering your eye need to be precisely focused on the retina, at the back of the eye. The focussing power depends on the elasticity of the natural lens. This is gradually lost as people age, resulting in a slow decrease in the ability of the eye to focus on nearby objects.

To rectify this you need a reading addition to your prescription, to help your eyes focus at close distances.

Varifocals are spectacle lenses with no visible line, used to correct vision for distance, arm’s length and close-up viewing. The name comes from the term ‘variable focus’ and they have a gradual change in power from the top to the bottom, allowing you to see clearly at all distances with just one pair of spectacles. Not to be confused with bifocals, they combine all distances in one lens.

Distance vision: Distance vision includes driving or watching television and is through the upper part of the lens. There is a small amount of soft focus at the edges of your vision.

Arm’s length vision: Vision at arm’s length includes computer work or reading a large newspaper and is through the middle part of the lens. There is more soft focus at the edges of your vision in this part of your lens.

Near vision: Near vision is used for studying small objects and reading books and is through the lower part of the lens. There is some soft focus at the edges of your vision in this part of your lens.

Varifocals offer many practical benefits. With all vision distances included in one pair of glasses, there is no need to remove your spectacles either for reading or for seeing longer distances, so they are less likely to be scratched, broken or lost.

Q. Are varifocals expensive?

A. They need not be. At Specsavers, we pride ourselves on our competitive prices. We offer different kinds of varifocals to suit any budget.

Q. How do varifocals compare to bifocals?

A. Varifocals have several advantages over bifocals. They are less aging, as they look exactly the same as single vision lenses, with no visible lines. Varifocals also avoid the cut off between near and distance vision experienced by bifocal wearers.

Q. I only need glasses for reading. How can varifocals help me?

A. If you only need glasses for reading, varifocals can combine a clear (non-prescription) lens in the top half with a reading prescription in the lower half. This allows you to choose stylish, fashionable frames rather than narrow ‘half eyes’. You can also forget about having to carry your reading glasses with you – you will already be wearing them.

Q. How do I know which varifocals are right for me?

A. There are many types of varifocal lenses, with variations in the area allocated for near, arm’s length and distance vision. Some have wider reading areas for example, while others are designed with a greater emphasis on distance vision. Experienced Specsavers dispensing staff will guide you in your choice, basing their recommendations on your lifestyle and usage of your glasses. Just ask in store for further details.

Q. Can I select any frame when choosing varifocals?

A. Specially trained dispensing staff will be able to guide you on frame styles and sizes suitable for your preferred varifocal type. At Specsavers we have an extensive range of frames suitable for varifocal lenses, and if you opt for our tailor-made range you can chose any frame style.

Q. I have heard that varifocals are difficult to get used to, is this true?

A. People adapt to varifocals differently, so one person's experience may be very different from someone else’s. We will guide you in how to use your varifocals and to get the best from them, which in turn helps with the adaptation process.

Also, we utilise the latest lens technologies to ensure that we offer the most up-to-date varifocal lenses - these are much easier to adapt to than some of the older designs from several years ago.

The process of looking through the correct part of the lens for different viewing distances soon becomes automatic and you won’t even notice that you are doing it.

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