We specialize in prescription lenses, and while we’re glad to offer dozens of lens options and combinations, our choices can also be overwhelming. Rather than speak optical gibberish at you until you’re disoriented enough to either open up your wallet or hang up the phone, I”d like to make an effort to explain some of this stuff. Today, we’ll learn how to answer the question: What focal style lens would you like?
Your options are:
Single-vision lenses are lenses that have one, static focal strength throughout the lens. If you can’t see the pin without your glasses, but can still read your scorecard, then you need single-vision lenses for distance.
Lined Bifocals and Progressive Bifocals are for golfers who may or may not be able to see distance clearly, but who need help seeing up close.
In a Lined Bifocal the majority of the lens has a focal strength that accommodates distance vision. Some people require no correction, meaning the majority of the lens has a very minimal correction. Other people require strong distance correction. In either case, the Bifocal component of the lens is a distinct section, marked by a flat, visible line across the lens, which is the area of the lens that has a fixed focal power tuned specifically for near vision.
A Progressive Bifocal operates under the same premise, with the upper, majority of the lens having your distance vision and the lower portion focused on your near vision. However, the unique aspect of the Progressive Bifocal is that instead of a flat, visible line, there is a graduated progression of a focal change. This graduation typically begins around the bottom of your lower eyelid and progresses towards the bottom of the lens. While the Lined Bifocal has a single, fixed focal power, the Progressive Bifocal has a range of focus that increases in strength, so that as your eye moves downward it can find increasingly strong focal sections of the lens, enabling you to use one set of lenses for a variety of focal distances.
In practice, this means that in a progressive lens you can look through the upper portion of the lens to follow your drive, you can look through the middle to see the ball at your feet, and look through the bottom of the lens to open your beer.
There isn’t a right lens for everyone. It’s simply a combination of what type of lens you require and what type of lens you feel most comfortable using.