Progressive Multifocal Lenses

Author - Crystal Cheung (Optometrist) 

Tips for Progressive Multifocal Lenses 

There are a lot of rumors about how hard it is to get used to progressives. I’ve seen a lot of patients who can be beneficial from progressives but always scared to try one. In this blog, I would like to talk about what you should know about progressives. 

Progressives can be prescribed for different purposes. The most common one would be for people who are over 40 years old and struggle with reading. 

When we are over 40 years old, our eye muscles are not as flexible and therefore we can’t use single vision lenses to focus at various distances. Instead we will need progressives, a lens that has multiple prescriptions incorporated into the one lens. This multipurpose lens can accommodate patients that need to wear glasses for long vision and near vision- making it more convenient for everyday use and there is no need to swap in between two pairs of different glasses. 

The design of the lens allows the prescription to increase or decrease as it travels down to the bottom area. Wearers need to look straight ahead when they are viewing distance and have their eyes move down (not the head) when they need to read at close distance. 

The most common complaints about progressive lenses are side distortion and small reading areas which may affect adaptation. Since there are multiple prescriptions in the one progressive lens, side distortion is unavoidable. Wearers will need to turn their head when they want to look aside.  The simple rule is “your eyes should follow where your nose is pointing to”. This way the wearer will notice the distortion less and it also makes adaptation easier and faster. 

Multifocal Lenses

There are a lot of premium progressive designs available. Lens brands such as Hoya and Essilor work hard each year to design more comfortable and easy wearing lenses for consumers. They incorporate new technology into the lens to allow the distortion to be pushed to the side as further as possible – hence the more premium the design of the lens, the wider the reading area and the less the distortion is noticeable. 

A patient needs to know what to expect when wearing multifocals for the first time. As this custom made lens may take some time to adapt to, this time frame may vary depending on different people’s adaptation ability. Expectations for these lenses must be realistic as they are not as straightforward as normal single vision glasses. Once the wearer is able to adapt to their new multifocal lenses their whole lifestyle can now be accommodated for within one pair of lenses. 

If you would like to explore the options of progressives with professional consultation, feel free to contact your nearest 1001 Optical store team. 


By Crystal Cheung    

Optometrist at 1001 Optical 

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