Types of Progressive Lenses

Submitted by Tech Support on Thu, 04/21/2022 - 10:36
woman in glasses smiling at phone screen

Progressive lenses, also known as no-line bifocals, are a category of prescription eyeglasses that offer multifocal lenses to folks requiring more than one prescription in order to see. These multifocal lenses actually contain three prescriptions in one, allowing for greater ease and comfort in sight—without the need to change glasses for different tasks. Adding to their aesthetic appeal, progressive lenses differ from traditional bifocals (and trifocals, for that matter) by omitting any unsightly lines across the center of the lens.

There are several different types of progressive lenses to choose from, depending upon your eye doctor’s expert recommendations and your lifestyle needs. These types include:

  • Standard
  • Premium
  • Short corridor
  • Ground view
  • Computer
  • Transition

Progressive lenses are most commonly prescribed to people around aged 40 and above who are experiencing increased difficulty in focusing on nearby objects, also known as presbyopia. Keep in mind, these same folks still require vision assistance for further away objects, too, hence the need for more than one prescription.

Let’s explore the different options available to people who may require progressive lens prescriptions, below.

Standard Progressive Lenses

As you can probably guess from their name, standard progressive lenses are, well, pretty standard. That is, they are less specialized than other types of lenses and generally will work for most people who require a progressive lens prescription.

While a bit more expensive than traditional bifocal lenses, these standard progressives are still relatively inexpensive compared to some other types of progressive lenses.

This type of prescription eyewear also provides you a large reading area, making the slight learning curve involved with getting used to your new glasses even easier.

The only real drawback is that, in order to allow for the large reading area and smooth transition between all the areas of the lens, the frames used must be larger. So, if you’re looking for a small, streamlined eyeglasses frame, you may find your options somewhat limiting.

Premium Progressive Lenses

With the word ‘premium’ right there in their name, you can expect a bit of a price increase with premium progressive lenses compared with standard progressives. That being said, premium progressive lenses offer people a much wider range of frame sizes and styles due to their computer generated free form or wavefront technology design.

Premium progressives also provide a big, beautiful, and distortion free reading area. With their high tech design, this type of progressive lens feels so natural that you may forget you’re wearing multifocals. The learning curve is nominal, with any feelings of dizziness associated with turning your head being largely eliminated.

Because these high tech, premium progressive lenses are custom fitted to your eye anatomy, only specialized providers can make the lenses. This, coupled with a higher copay and premium pricing, means that this type of progressive lens will be a bit more of an investment.

Short Corridor Progressive Lenses

Short corridor progressive lenses are great for people who want the benefits of a standard progressive lens, but prefer the looks of a smaller eyeglasses frame. If keeping a sleek eyeglass profile is important to you, then this type of progressive lens may be worth it.

Keep in mind that the reading area on short corridor progressive lenses is much tighter than that of a standard or premium progressive lens. You may experience more distortion and discomfort while getting used to using your new lenses, and must keep your eyes centered to use the narrow corridor of reading area allowed for in these petite lenses.

Short corridor progressive lenses do require a skilled provider to ensure they fit your face perfectly, but are only a bit more expensive than a standard progressive lens prescription.

Ground View Progressive Lenses

Do you love outdoor activities like golfing, hiking, yard work, or cycling? Then maintaining your ‘ground view’ via ground view progressive lenses may be the choice for you.

This type of progressive lens prescription uses special technology that allows for highly reduced distortion while at the same time offering additional areas of view at the bottoms and sides. This means whether you’re driving a vehicle or driving a long distance shot at the golf course, you’ll see even more zones in perfect focus than you would with a standard progressives lens.

While only available from a limited number of manufacturers, the good news is that ground view progressives are usually right in between standard and premium progressive lens prices.

Computer Progressive Lenses

Computer progressive lenses, also known as near variable lenses or simply, office lenses, are a type of progressive lens designed to help the modern office worker focus for four plus hours per day and experience minimal eye fatigue. This reduced eye strain can also correlate with reduced neck strain—no more holding awkward postures while focusing on the screen, your lenses will do it for you.

In addition to office workers, hairdressers, artists, dentists, and certain types of technicians may all wish to explore computer progressive lenses if they need multifocal support while working in high focus, close to intermediate distance settings.

These lenses are meant to assist in short range vision circumstances, like looking at a computer screen, and are not meant to be worn when further depth of vision is needed. Rather, think of computer progressives as supplements to your regular eyeglasses.

Luckily, anyone who may wish to try computer progressive lenses in addition to other prescription eyewear needs will be happy to know that this type is highly affordable.

Transition Progressive Lenses

Finally, we have a type of progressive lens that is not technically a type at all. Transition progressive lenses are actually a brand of photochromic lenses. Still, we like to include this option as a possibility for those who are considering all their progressive lens needs.

Transition progressive lenses use special technology that allows the lens to respond to UV light and darken when exposed, quickly protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. When you head back indoors, the lenses will transition back to clear again.

These sunglasses alternatives can be great for those times when you’re quickly moving from indoors to outdoors and back again, eliminating the need to change glasses each time you pop outside to check the grill or run the dog.

However, some people may find that the lenses don’t transition adequately in certain cars with UV treated windshields, so you might need to experiment to decide if transitions are right for you. They will only set you back an additional $100 or so on top of the standard progressive lens price range.

Discuss Progressive Lenses With Us

If you’re ready to explore convenient multifocal options for prescription eyewear, we would love to sit down with you and discuss your options. You might be surprised at the variety of styles and functions available to you! If you suspect that you may need multifocals to see at multiple distances, get in touch with us today to address your progressive eyeglasses needs.