As we age our ability to focus up close begins to become compromised. As the years pass we need more and more correction to magnify fine details and compensate for the loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens. In the health care profession, this natural process is referred to as Presbyopia and like Death and Taxes it is one of the few things in life that you can count on. Everyone will experience the feeling that their arms are simply not long enough anymore to hold material far enough away to see it clearly. The good news is that the optical professions have several ways of coping with this degrading vision and are able to provide you with multiple different solutions to augment your deteriorating vision.
Perhaps the simplest of solutions is the single vision lens. With the assistance of your Licensed Optician you are able to select the ideal focal distance to meet your needs, whether a computer screen or something closer for fine details like needle-point; these eyeglasses are designed based on your prescription. They are tailored to one specific focal length but allow the widest usable lens area at that specific range.
A slightly more involved option is the traditional segmented lens. These designs allow your optician to tailor two or three specific focal distances and offer relatively good-sized segments to maximize the vision of each. In it’s most traditional format, a simple lined bifocal will offer correction at distance and reading, but it should be noted that it can be tailored to offer correction at distance and intermediate or perhaps intermediate and reading, a good choice for those spending several hours on a computer. Regardless, your Licensed Optician will sit down with you and design the best solution for your needs.
The most complex ocular device to deal with Presbyopia is the Progressive Addition Lens or PAL for short. These lenses have no visible lines on the lenses and are considered cosmetically more appealing. Optically, they offer a gradual change or progression in the focal length. Whether from distance to reading, and everything in between, or from intermediate to reading these designs represent the evolution of eyeglass lenses. Designed to offer the most natural vision possible while still offering crisp clear sight these lenses take some adjustment as you learn how to hold your head to maximize the benefits of the lens. Advances in technology have made these lenses far more effective than previous generations, though even with the levels of customization now available, there is still some adaptation.
From reading glasses that offer a simple single vision solution to the problem and allow improved vision at one focal length to multi-focal lenses that offer improvements to vision at multiple distances to allow for more natural vision, your Licensed Optician is there to provide expert guidance.
R.O Freelance Optician and Trainer