Why do I need Varifocals?
Over time our eye’s internal lens becomes less elasticated and more hardened meaning that we struggle to focus at different distances. This means that where previously you may have been able to focus at different distances with a single pair of glasses, (or without glasses) you now struggle to adjust your focus for differing working distances (such as computer and TV).
In order for spectacles to help you to focus, you would need a prescription specific to the distance that you would be working at. This would mean a pair of glasses for reading, a separate pair for computer use or maybe for reading music or even spectacles to sharpen the vision for driving.
A pair of varifocal lenses, also known as progressive lenses, incorporates all of these different prescriptions to allow you to experience clear vision at all distances with only one pair of glasses rather than two or three. Varifocal lenses have a spectrum of focal power.
Rather than having one specific strength across the entirety of your lens (like single vision lenses) you can visually select ‘zones’ within a focal spectrum. This is how varifocal lenses offer multiple visual corrections in one lens so you can focus on objects near or far.
This focal spectrum is often referred to as a “corridor”. Seen in the image above, varifocal lenses compromise the outer-edges of the lens to create an adaptive vertical window. This occurs in the middle of the lens, often in an organic ‘T’ shaped section. At the outer edges of the lenses people may experience slight distortion of vision.
There are different types of varifocals: the more expensive, the better the optical design and quality.
Standard lenses (from £70): These are the equivalent to the lenses on the ”high street’ They serve their purpose adequately and are a good functional product. Their limitations are they offer a more restricted area of near and intermediate vision, more (possibly annoying) peripheral distortions at the lens edges, and may take longer to get used to. However, they remain a good option if you do not do much computer or reading but would like the convenience of not having to change your glasses.
Premium lenses (from £150): These lenses are a very good all round choice for varifocal lenses. They are easy to adapt to, have wider intermediate and reading ”corridors”. They use advanced designs and manufacturing methods to maximise the width of the reading and intermediate areas, while being comfortable to use.
Bespoke Lenses (from £300): These lenses are made for our modern lifestyles. They are designed to meet the visual demands of modern life such as computers, mobile phones and driving etc. They use digital measurements to tailor the lenses for your chosen frame, eye position and posture therefore extending the clarity of vision at all vision distances; near, far and everything in between. They are quick and easy to adapt to as they have a seamless transition between seeing zones. They have the most reduced visual distortions and maximum visual performance.
At Redgate Opticians we take digital measurements for all our varifocal lens customers, allowing a bespoke product and service at each of the varifocal price points. We carefully select and advise on the most suitable frame style and size most suited to your face shape and eye positions allowing the best chance of successful varifocal adaptation. We also offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee on all varifocal lenses. Should you not adapt to your new varifocals we will change the lenses free of charge.
Bespoke Essilor Varilux Varifocal lenses: Buy One Get One Free!
The second pair can either be clear or polarised sunglasses!
This article was written by our Varifocal Specialist Optometrist: Ms Rabbia Sheikh
Ahmed is an Optometrist with over 15 years experience. He is the senior Optometrist at Redgate Opticians in High Wycombe and is also currently working for the John Radcliffe Eye Clinic.