Getting Used to Multifocal Lenses

Multifocal or progressive lenses allow you to see up close and far away with one pair of glasses.
The lower area of the lens is for near focus and the top for general and long-distance, with a gradual blend between the areas. Because of this, some people believe that getting used to multifocals is difficult. This only really happens if they have been measured or fitted incorrectly, or if an older, cheaper lens design is used.

Multifocal glasses

Accurate and customised facial measurements are the key to successfully adjusting to new lenses, no matter if they are multifocal or single focus lenses. Custom Eyecare employs highly trained optical dispensers who take measurements with advanced computer technology. This technology accurately measures your pupil position to an accuracy of 0.5mm.

When you get fitted for multifocal glasses, it’s important that both the frames and the lenses are properly adjusted. The qualified optical dispenser will make sure your new frames fit correctly before fitting you for multifocal lenses. If the frame doesn’t fit well before measurements are taken, or if the pupil centres are not measured accurately, the lens position will be incorrect. You will not be able to adjust to the lenses and will have trouble focusing, meaning that the lenses will need to be remeasured and remade to suit the frame position.

Multifocal contact lenses

There are two main types of multifocal contact lenses. The most common is a set of concentric circles of lenses prescribed for different viewing distances. There are also blended designs, which mimic a natural viewing experience.

Getting used to multifocal contact lenses can be difficult for some people and can take some time to adjust. It can create a shadow like effect, unclear images, displacement and blurred vision; but once you can adapt to a different way of seeing they can be great for people who don’t like to wear glasses for personal comfort, aesthetic or practical reasons. People who choose to wear multifocal contact lenses have the added advantage of not having to tilt their head back when looking at computer screens, like wearers of multifocal glasses sometimes need to.

Our tips for getting used to multifocals

As with any new pair of glasses or contact lenses, it can take some time for your eyes to become fully adjusted to multifocal lenses. Here are some tips to help you get used to your new multifocals:

  • When you pick up your new glasses or contacts, put the old ones away! One of the things that can slow down adjustment to new lenses is continually using an old prescription.
  • Wear your new glasses consistently. If the multifocal lenses make you feel a bit funny, start by only wearing them while you are sitting, then gradually incorporate wearing them in everyday movements and increase how often you wear them.
  • To focus on far away objects, look straight ahead as you normally would. This ensures you are looking through the distance zone of the lens.
  • Look through the bottom of the lens to focus on close objects to make sure you are looking through the ‘near zone’.
  • When walking down stairs, bring your chin right down to your chest so you look through the general zone of the lens.

The idea that multifocal lenses are hard to get used to is a myth. All new lenses take some time to adjust to. As long as you purchase quality lenses and frames, you shouldn’t have any more trouble getting used to multifocals as you would normal lenses. At Custom EyeCare, we provide the latest lens designs for easier adaption and larger clear zones.

If you are still struggling adjusting to your multifocal glasses, even if you purchased them elsewhere, bring them in and our qualified optometrists and optical dispensers can check if the “fitting centre” of the lenses is correctly aligned with your pupils. We have the knowledge and experience to investigate and solve the problem. We won’t just tell you to “get used to it” and send you away. We want you to be happy with your new glasses.

Read more myths about multifocal glasses here.