If you are over forty and wear glasses, the odds are you’ve heard about progressive lenses. Progressive lenses are regarded as an upgrade to traditional bifocal or trifocal glasses, but they also come with a new challenge. Whereas the old faithfuls had clear lines between each different lens, progressive lenses blend seamlessly into each other. But are they good for your eyes?
Progressive and multifocal lenses come with a lot of benefits. Rather than having to switch to reading glasses every time you want to read, or taking off your glasses when you want to see something in the middle distance, you simply have to adjust your line of sight.
They are essentially three prescriptions into one pair of glasses, allowing you to do both close-up work and distance viewing without needing to change glasses. This is why they’re regarded as advantageous, although it does take some time getting used to switching the line of sight. However, they are relatively easy to get used to. While some individuals never end up liking them, most users of progressive lenses are happy with their choice.
However, there are those who worry about the effect of progressive lenses on their eyesight. Optometry has not always been the perfect science, and so there are conflicting ideas as to how to maintain or even improve eyesight. Here are some of the reasons people are skeptical of progressive lenses, along with why you have no need to worry.
Staring into the distance
Anyone who has been wearing glasses or contact lenses for a long time has probably been told that staring into the distance is a good idea. It is supposed to naturally improve eyesight, according to some sources.
You’ve at least been told to spend some time looking into the distance if you work in front of a screen all day. There is even a ‘rule’: the 20-20-20 rule, which states that if you stare at your screen, every 20 minutes you should spend 20 seconds looking at something that’s 20 meters (or more) away.
However, while there are proponents of the idea, just about all research has shown no impact. There is certainly a benefit to not staring at a screen all day, but actually looking into the distance is not going to miraculously improve your eyesight.
Progressive lenses are therefore not going to do your eyes any harm in this regard. You can stare into the distance with lenses on and actually see properly without straining. If you still want to spend time looking into the distance without the correction of the lenses, take them off for a few minutes and give your eyes a well-deserved rest.
This supposed method of natural vision correction is no reason not to get progressive lenses. After all, even if this technique can help you see a little better, it won’t help nearly as much as the lenses do.
Will progressive lenses improve your eyesight?
In terms of actually improving your eyesight, progressive lenses are as effective as anything else barring laser surgery. They can only work as any glasses do, allowing you to see without straining, ensuring your eyes are not negatively impacted.
The reality is that, unless you have a degenerative problem that needs to be treated by an ophthalmologist, there is no reason to try to naturally improve your eyesight, and there is not much any lens can do in this regard (unless we’re talking about children). You can put in the effort, but it is unlikely to help. Think about whether you really need to see any better than you currently do, considering you have glasses to fix the issue.
Progressive lenses can help you switch more comfortably from far to close distance. Your eyesight won’t magically improve, but that should never be your expectation when choosing glasses.