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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Vision Over 40 » Multifocal Eyeglass Lenses

Multifocal Eyeglass Lenses

Multifocal lenses technically refer to any lens that provides more than one zone of corrective power and would therefore include bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses. Multifocals are designed for the many individuals over 40 who struggle with presbyopia – the age-related near vision loss that requires us to use eyeglasses for reading and focusing on objects in our near vision. The multiple lens powers enable you to correct for near and distance vision with one pair of glasses.

Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal lenses are divided into two powers, one for distance vision and the second for near vision. Bifocals are created in a variety of designs with different sized and shaped viewing segments for near and far vision. While bifocals provide good distance and near vision, they are lacking in corrective power for intermediate areas, which is what has led to the development of trifocal and progressive lenses.

Trifocal Lenses

Trifocal lenses provide an additional lens power zone for intermediate vision (which is typically about an arm’s length away).

Some people are bothered by the visible lines where the lenses are divided in bifocal and trifocal lenses. In addition to aesthetics (the lines have become a sign of presbyopia which many associate with growing old), the harsh divisions in the zones can cause a distortion in the object you are viewing (an image jump) when you switch your gaze from one power to the next.

Progressive Addition Lenses (PALs)

Progressive lenses were designed to eliminate the “image jump” that results from the distinct zones in bifocal and trifocal lens design. By providing a smooth progression of many lens powers across the lens, PALs allow for clear vision near, far and every distance in between. Further, similar to natural vision, they just require a slight movement of the eye, rather than the whole head, for you to see through different lens powers. The smooth transition also eliminates the visible lines present on the other lenses which many view as tell-tale signs of age-related vision difficulties.

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Most people between the ages of 40-45 start to have difficulty seeing up close. This is called Presbyopia and slowly progresses until about the age of 65. This is a normal change due to the lens in the eye hardening and losing flexibility.

Vuity is 1.25% pilocarpine. This is not a new drug. It has been on the market for decades and is used to temporarily shrink the pupil size. It is now being rebranded as a drop that can help improve near vision. How does this work? By shrinking the pupil size, physics tells us this can increase our depth of focus. This drop will not CURE presbyopia. It can improve it while the drop is active and the near blur will return when the dose wears off after approximately 4-6 hours. This drop is recommended for individuals ages 40-55.

Dosage: one drop in each eye once per day. Side effects: possible brown ache or a mild headache. The cost at this time is about $80-90 per month at most pharmacies and insurance does not apply.