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First time Progressive or Multifocal lens wearers...

If you are thinking about wearing multifocal or progressive lenses for the first time there are a few things you should know.  Firstly, it is important to understand how the lenses work.  There are three different prescriptions in the one lens so that you can see in the distance, at an intermediate distance (approximately 1.5 meters) and reading distance.

Progressive lenses have no peripheral or side vision.  This means that you will need to turn your head in the direction that you want to see.  I explain it to my patients this way:  you will need to point your nose in the direction you want to see.

Initially you will also need to be careful stepping off curbs and walking down stairs as it can be slightly disorientation, until you get used to the lenses.  This disorientation occurs if you look through the incorrect area of the lens (for example if you look through the top of the lens at the ground it appears closer than it actually is).  The easiest way I have found to explain how you get used to your new progressive lenses involves getting used to them in a familiar environment and not driving in the lenses until you are used to them.  Just know that if the thing you are looking at isn’t clear then you are not looking through the right area of the lens. 

Another thing that you should understand, if you like reading lying down then you will need reading glasses.  Progressive lenses only work while you are vertical, sitting or standing as the reading portion of the lens is near the bottom of the lens.  This means that you would have to put your neck at a very odd angle to get the reading portion in front of your eyes while lying down. 

Most progressive or multifocal lenses come with a warranty.  Ours have a three month adaption warranty.  If you are unable to get used to the lenses within that time the manufacturer will replace them for single vision under warranty.

This article was published on Monday 24 September, 2012.