Glasses can be a stylish addition to any wardrobe regardless of the age at which you need them. We see them as something that can add an air of distinction or intelligence to the people wearing them. Frames vary as much as people wearing them, but inevitably say something about the person wearing them. Unfortunately, so do the lenses in those frames. Age has a habit of diminishing our eyesight and making us need the right kinds of lenses to keep up. It isn’t always a particularly attractive option either. People with thick lenses are often denigrated as a common joke regardless of the actual necessity of potent lenses. We also can need bi or tri focal lenses as well. These lenses have telltale lines that show a division between vision areas on the lenses and a frequently associated with age. Most of us are likely to need them at some point.

Aging Eyes
Age impacts all of our body at different rates. For instance, we associate a growing chance at pains when waking with our late 30s and early 40s, but truly gray hair is for later. Eyes generally start to have issues in your 40s or early 50s. The particular condition that we’ve likely become acquainted with is known as “presbyopia”. It is, in essence, an issue where the lens of your eye can no longer be properly manipulated by the tiny muscles in your eyes to help you focus on things closer to you. The annoying part is that it doesn’t make an exception for those of us who already have issues seeing things up close! You can quickly find yourself needing to hold things at arm’s length and trying to puzzle out what is on it be squinting without ever pausing to think that something has gone wrong. Eye strain and fatigue are others signs as well and typically paired with a slight blurring of vision at previously comfortable reading distance. These are all signs you might want to talk to your optometrist.

Woman reading with glasses

Bi and Tri Focal Lenses
The prefixes give away what each of the lenses are about. Bi focals offer you two focus levels for your vision while tri focals offer you three. The goal is to allow you to shift your eyes between each level of focus as necessary to avoid unnecessary eye strain and counteract the effects of presbyopia. Most of the time you can see a clean, if obvious, line where the two sets of lenses have been stuck together to provide you with this benefit. Bi focals are amongst the most common option for treating presbyopia and as a result are quite common. Some people find the jumping between two focus levels disorienting though. Tri focals were invented to help fix this issue. They offer three different focusing levels. The additional level added over bifocals allows for a comfortable middle ground between near and far focus levels that helps reduce the “jump”. However, a more modern option exists that can help with the issue too.

Varifocal Lenses
These lenses are interesting in that, unlike bi and tri focals, they don’t rely on having multiple focus levels of lenses stuck together. They are actually all of the required levels in a continual shift across the surface of the lens. Where you are looking determines your focus level and it gradually transitions to provide a seamlessly view without any telltale “jump”. Many people are beginning to favor this option due to it being far less disorienting and providing a much more natural feeling. Additionally, it tends to be more visually appealing as it lacks the seams between lenses segments that bi and tri focals possess. They are still comparatively new though and do require you to figure out the motion of your eyes to maximize your focus at any given point. The result is well worth it in most cases though and tends to be far less likely to reduce our confidence in our own appearance.

Thicker glasses and bi or tri focals may be considered a hallmark of age, but it doesn’t mean you have to surrender to the association. Presbyopia is something that will affect most people at one point or another. Tending to it is like tending to any other issue you experience. You treat it and move on with your life. Varifocal lenses are certainly offering a more attractive option visually though and are likely where the future of presbyopia treatment will likely go. Remember that taking care of your eyesight is important and will help you enjoy the things you love longer.


Leave a Comment