What are Bifocal Lens Eyeglasses?

This patient education article focuses on the features and benefits of bifocal lenses. Your eyesight changes over the years as you get older. It’s almost guaranteed that anyone over the age of 40 will start to have problems with their eyesight.  Presbyopia refers to losing the ability to focus your eyes as you age. No one wants to appear older than they are and  the major problem with bifocal lenses, with their distinct line across the lens, is they carry a stigma of not being fashion forward.

If you aren’t already wearing glasses, a simple pair of non-prescription magnifying reading glasses may be all you need for up close vision. If you are already wearing prescription glasses, you probably need to choose a pair of bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses. Bifocal lenses have two areas of focus, one for distance vision and the other for near vision. For comparison, trifocal lenses have 3 areas of focus while progressive lenses have multiple focal areas.

Benjamin Franklin, Inventor of Bifocals

Benjamin Franklin is credited with inventing bifocal eyeglasses around the 1780’s. The original bifocals reading glasses were actually two separate lenses cut in half and added to a single eyeglass frame. The tops lens was for distance vision while the lens placed in the bottom of the eyeglass frames were for close-up viewing.

Franklin originally called his dual lens eyeglasses double spectacles. In 1827 triple lens inventor John Isaac Hawkins patented the terms bifocals and trifocals, giving credit to Mr. Franklin for creating the double lens glasses. Trifocals add an area for intermediate vision not present in bifocal lenses.

Disadvantages to Using Traditional Bifocal Lenses

  • No area for intermediate vision focus
  • Visible line across middle of lenses
  • Noticeable jump when changing from close up to faraway distance focus

People using multifocal lenses for the first time may experience temporary dizziness as a slight image jump occurs when you switch from looking out the near distance part of the lens to the distance vision portion. This problem usually resolves itself once the wearer has adjusted to their new glasses.

Bifocals are very convenient once you get used to wearing them. Instead of having to carry two pairs of glasses, one for reading or close-up work and one for distance vision while driving, you only have to carry a single pair of prescription eyeglasses with you. The bifocal eyeglass wearer either looks out the top of the lens to view items in the distance or looks down through the bottom of the glasses while reading a magazine or working on the computer.

Get Your No Line Bifocals at Stanton Optical

Great strides in bifocals have occurred over the years. Irving Rips, founder of Younger Optics, came up with the first no-line or seamless bifocal lens in 1955. This feature makes the bifocal portion of the lens appear almost invisible eliminating the stigma once associated with wearing bifocals. He felt his no line bifocal glasses made the wearer look younger, hence the name of his company.

Stanton Optical offers a great choice of prescription eyewear at each of their locations. Choose from single vision lenses, trifocals, progressives or no line bifocals glasses. We offer a fantastic selection of bifocals in different styles including full-rimmed, semi-rimmed and rimless models. A variety of premium lens coatings can be added to your no line bifocals including hard coat, UV protection, tints and anti-reflective film.

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