Bifocal reading glasses are inextricably linked with presbyopia. If you are nearing your middle age then you would most probably be acquainted with this natural loss of near vision which is age-related. Bifocal glasses are specifically meant to cater to this issue. They go a long way in restoring reading vision which has been lost or reduced as a consequence of presbyopia.
Bifocal lens and bifocal reading glasses go a long way back and have been around for decades. Thus, it would be imperative to go through their history primarily in order to better comprehend how they function and what are the best reading glasses present out there.
History of Bifocal Reading Glasses
Multifocal lenses (lenses which cater to the needs of both near vision and distance vision) are said to be the master mind of Benjamin Franklin. Before his time, people generally had to carry two pairs of glasses to function appropriately.
Rumors claim that Franklin took two lenses one for distance correction and another for near correction. Then he cut both the lenses into two halves and stuck them together. Thus, came into being the world’s very first bifocal glasses also known as Franklin’s bifocal. This early version of bifocal glasses came with a narrow line in the middle of the lens running across its entire width. Later on, it gained fame by the name of Executive bifocal.
- Modern Version of Bifocal Glasses
With time, many more improvements have been introduced in bifocal lens designs, like the emergence of small bifocal segments. These segments for near vision were then incorporated into distance correction lenses.
Currently, there is a wide range of bifocal reading glasses available in the stores and you can choose the best suited type and design for yourself, depending on your age as well as your particular vision needs. In fact, now a days you can even come across glasses which are custom designed for computer use or other such specific purposes. However, since our pivotal point of focus here are bifocal glasses so let us get you acquainted with further details about them.
What are Bifocal Glasses?
One can only know how to choose the best bifocal reading glasses out there if s/he knows what bifocal glasses/lens are in the first place. The name itself is self-explanatory explicitly suggesting that the lens comprise of two lens powers. One is meant to cater to the needs of distant vision correction and the other one is meant to cater to the needs of near vision correction.
Generally what happens is that the second half or the lower half of bifocal glasses is meant to take care of reading (or any other task of the like kind). The remaining part of the lens is meant to cater to distance vision correction. However, most of the times, the bifocal glasses would come with negligible or non-existent vision correction, depending of course on your particular vision needs.
Bifocal Reading Glasses-Designs and Trends
Infused Bifocal Lens:
For a long time, Franklin version of bifocal lens remained in vogue and in use. However, by the beginning of the 20th century though, infused bifocal lens were introduced. These lens not only tended to be much thinner than the Franklin ones but were also much more attractive.
Straight Top Bifocal Lens:
The most popular ones today though are the straight top of flat top bifocals. These lens come with D-shaped smaller segment of lens which is used for near correction; and is fused to a full lens which is meant to cater to distance correction. The D segment is inverted by an angle of 180 degrees so that its flat side or the straight line is facing upwards.
Flat Top Bifocal Lens:
Flat-top bifocal lens are also equally popular. The edge that they have over straight top bifocals is that hereby the line separating the near segment and the distance segment in minimally visible. These lens are also generally termed as blended bifocals or invisible bifocals. Since the line is more or less invisible, therefore these bifocal glasses endow the wearer with a much more youthful appearance.
Custom Reading Glasses vs. Ready Made All in One Reading Glasses
Reading glasses can either be custom designed after having an appropriate prescription from your eye specialist or you can purchase a one-for-all formula readers from any pharmacy or drug store.
Generally, people opt for the latter option since they lack the motivation, commitment, will or time to undergo an eye exam. This decision in itself can be a very dangerous one. Recent studies revealed that almost 17% of patients suffering from presbyopia went ahead and purchased drug store reading glasses since they didn’t want to have their eyes properly tested and checked.
As mentioned formerly, such carelessness can be very dangerous and you may have to end up paying a heavier price than you ever imagined or intended. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you should consult your eye doctor regularly and get a proper prescription when you feel that you are in need of bifocal reading glasses.