Are Multifocal Glasses Suitable For Me?


Any purchase that includes new glasses will always have pros and cons; the same is true with multifocal lenses. 

All too often, we have clients come in for an eye test, and we know that multifocal glasses will be a perfect solution to cover all their vision requirements.

But we often get pushback from clients who, in the past, had tried a cheaply made pair of multifocal and they hated them – And it is for a good reason why they were a disaster.

So sit tight while we unpack The good, The bad and The essential when considering multifocal glasses – Either for the first time or if you have bitten the bullet to come back and try them again.

So let us explain how different types of multifocal affect your vision.

Multifocals, whether you’ve just been told you need them for the first time or whether you’re an experienced wearer looking to choose your next pair, can be confusing and pretty daunting. 

To get the best results, you need to see an optometrist who will accurately measure.

We must consider your vision requirements and how the glasses sit on your face.

We will explain further in the article how measuring accurately and precisely for your multifocal glasses will give you the best chance of them working for you.

Why Eyes By Design are the multifocal experts on the Central Coast.

You may have heard of multifocal – also known as varifocals or progressive lenses.

But are you still determining what they are, why they need them and how they will work well?

First off – What are Multifocal Glasses, And Why Should I Consider Them

At some point in our lives, usually around the age of 40. 

The muscles in our eyes start to weaken, and those muscles used to be responsible for focusing at different distances. 

We need other glasses to correct our vision at different distances, i.e. far away and up close. You may already be using reading glasses while doing up-close work, but they are unsuitable when working on a screen or watching TV.

Multifocals are lenses that incorporate different lens prescriptions into one cleverly engineered lens. As a result, one pair of glasses can be used for virtually all your activities.

That’s why multifocals are great because, in theory, they give you every single one of those focuses, but if only it were that simple. 

Multifocals have some negative aspects, so before you buy, you must understand how they work.

How do you know if mutifocals will be right for you? 

Mutifocals, have four zones in the lens. 

The top section of the lens is set for distance vision. 

The middle section just below your eye level is set for midrange vision, such as things about one to two meters away.

The bottom section is for closeup reading, for example, on your phone now 

The fourth zone is the part of the multifocal that some people struggle with, which are at the sides of the lens and cause distortion.

Unfortunately, they have to be there. The laws of physics dictate that if we make a lens that allows us to see all these differences, we will get distortion on the sides.

Multiifocal lenses have improved over the years, and that’s great news for you. 

If you shop for multifocals in 2023, you will get the latest lens technology.

Think of lenses like technology. 

Think about how far technology has advanced for smartphone cameras – you can take incredible photos without needing big clumsy lenses.

Optical lenses also have advanced – Maybe less rapidly than cameras have, but the improvements are genuinely noticeable if you have kept old glasses and compared them to modern-day versions.

The multifocals you may have tried a couple of years ago have been superseded by what is available now.

The three main advantages and disadvantages of multifocal lenses

The three big positives 

Here are the top three main advantages when it comes to multifocal lenses.

They allow you to see at considerable distances with one pair of glasses. 

Multifocals give your eyes all the support they need to see anything anywhere just by looking through the correct zone in the lens. 

Multifocals allow you to see everywhere at once; with one pair of glasses, no need to swap between distance and reading glasses constantly makes your life so much simpler. 

The second thing people love about multifocal lenses is that you can’t tell there are no apparent lines on the glasses. 

They look the same as a regular lens, unlike bifocals, which many people don’t like because they have the lines across them. 

The glasses that you choose will look exactly like they do on display,

The third thing that is fantastic about multifocal lenses is that nowadays, they can be customised around your lifestyle. 

For example, if you drive a lot, you can have drive-safe multifocals.

They give you the best vision for driving, whether that’s more peripheral vision or better low-light vision for driving at night. 

Now, the chances are you need a different lens design for sports, and we can design lenses for most sports. So whether that’s cycling or golf tennis, we can custom-make a set of multifocals for your activity. 

If you’re someone who uses computers and digital devices all day, there needs to be extra consideration taken.

This is where cheap multifocals fail because they must be ideally suited to computer vision. 

Where you typically view your screen is below your eye level. This means you would need to keep your head at a particular angle for a long time, which is uncomfortable.

For multifocal wearers who do extended periods of screen work, we recommend having a set of office lenses that make your life far more accessible. You can multitask with the one set of glasses ideally suited for everything you do at work.

There are hundreds of different multifocal lens designs that we can create that will suit what your lifestyle requires., and they all differ in slightly different ways.

Now to get to the negatives of Multifocals

You have to understand the downsides of these lenses to weigh whether they will be right for you.

So the number one bad thing with multifocal glasses is that you must move your head to see clearly.

You have to adjust your head to be looking through the correct zone on your lenses.

This is the one thing that often takes people time to come to terms with. 

Getting used to adjusting your head angle at first is a little confusing, but soon your body will adapt instinctively.

The second thing is that varifocals can cause a slightly disorientating feeling when you’re looking through them while walking around. 

There are two reasons for that.

We mentioned above the four lens zones. The zones on the side of the lenses have distorted areas, and depending on the strength of your prescription or the quality of your lenses will impact how they are.

Even if you have a minor prescription, there will always be a little on. 

Getting used to the lenses does take time, and you will probably feel unsteady while you get used to the new lenses.

You must train your eyes, head and brain to adjust your head and vision angles to see out of the correct lens zone when doing all your daily activities.

The third downside to multifocals is that they are very sensitive to the alignment of your eyes and the fit of your frames.

More Physics Explanations Are Needed

Think of multifocals like a lens on a camera; it needs to be adjusted for something to be in focus, but if it is moved, the focus is now wrong.

When creating your lenses, the frames selected are crucial to getting your vision right.

We need to take into consideration how your glasses tilt.

We call this the pantoscopic angle. This is how flat the lenses and frames are to your face.

Increasing the pantoscopic angle brings the reading zone closer to the eyes, which is generally preferable, and the lenses will work better for you.

So if you pick a certain frame that doesn’t necessarily have that ideal pantoscopic tilt, or they may be flat or even tilted outward slightly – that will reduce the quality of your vision through the lenses. 

We also have to consider the back vertex or how far away the lens is from your eyes.

This is affected by where your frames sit on your nose. 

Either by the frame design or the size and shape of your nose.

The further the lenses sit from your eyes, the worse they will perform and the narrower your field of view will be.

Eyes By Design Doing It Right

How we work at Eyes By Design Optometrists, we customise your multifocals based on the exact measurements of the frames you choose. 

If you know that your frame sits a little further than the average from the eyes, these can be compensated for in your new glasses, giving you the best chance of enjoying wearing multifocal glasses.

So now that you understand how multifocals work and how the different zones on the lenses allow you to focus at different distances, you probably now know why it’s so important that your lenses are made accurately, not just for your eyes, but for the frames that you choose as well.

Are you Ready To try multifocals done the right way?

As behavioural optometrists – we work with all sorts of vision disorders, and we have the solution for better vision for all of our clients

We look forward to seeing you in-store at 

Eyes By Design

Kincumber Village Shop 6/39 Avoca Dr

Kincumber NSW 2251

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