How To Use Progressive Multifocal Lenses

by admin on 20/05/2011

For any optician, especially those opticians who have never worn progressive multifocal lenses, it is a must to know how to use them in order to teach new patients the skill which will improve their vision!


Progressive lenses have proven to be the most awkward for first time wearers to become accustomed. Though they provide the most fields of vision, they also have strict guidelines for their use as they cause peripheral distortion. This can cause a wearer to feel dizzy and nauseated. On a positive note, progressive lenses are the most versatile and convenient on the market, and if one can learn how to use them properly, they will never use any other type lens.

First, it is absolutely crucial to place eyeglasses containing progressive lenses in the correct position on the face. The proper position is determined when making the eyeglasses purchase, or order, in front of an Optician as he or she does the measuring and teaching. When the patient places the eyewear on his face, remember the they should fit comfortably and snug enough to not slide down the nose, lip or floor!

When the eyewear is on the face properly, the next step is to stare straight ahead at an object at least twenty feet away, or in the distance naturally. The top portion of your eyeglass lens is used for distance vision only. Therefore, driving, staring at the stars and those type of activities can be done through the top portion of progressive lenses.

Next, if sitting in front of a computer, the intermediate vision comes into play as the eyes are now dropped to the middle, center portion of the lenses. This portion of the progressive lens is used for things at an arm’s length away roughly. When looking through the narrow center of a progressive lens, things at this distance should come in clearly.

If staring at an arms length, or a computer distance, and the words or objects are fuzzy, there could be a number of issues such as the frames need an adjustment, the lenses need to be marked and measured again, or the doctor could even possibly need to reevaluate the prescription. The first person to consult with about this is an Optician who will be able to fix the problem or guide you to the next step whether it be seeing the doctor or just a minor adjustment.

At the very bottom of the no-line progressive lens in a small area off center more toward the direction of the nose, are the reading portions. This is by no means a big huge area to read as in a bifocal lens, therefore, reading is done by moving the head instead of the eyes. Progressive wearers must move their heads and follow the words when reading in sync with the eyes. If only the patient’s eyes move, this is when distortion will more than likely appear.

Finally, distortion is always in a progressive lens, and it comes into play the further into the periphery an individual moves his or her eyes. The best vision is always at the center, therefore, if one is looking in the distance, to avoid distortion, progressive wearers should always turn their heads, looking dead on with their eyes at the object. This is very important to know when driving as looking through the side of a progressive lens causes distortion.

* Be sure to practice with progressive lenses. Give it a week or two of wear, and if not comfortable, don’t drive wearing them, take back to store/office and a different type of glasses made.

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