bifocal lenses

Bifocal Glasses Lenses: A Complete Guide

Bifocals glasses are designed to enable people to see both closeup and far away without the need to swap between multiple glasses. They have lenses that split into two segments containing two prescriptions.

What are bifocal glasses?

Bifocal glasses contain lenses that correct your vision to help you see up close and far away. Bifocal glasses, often referred to as bifocals, look like regular glasses but have a line separating the two prescriptions in the lens. The larger top area of the lens will contain the distance prescription which can help you see far away objects such as street signs and your tv. The smaller area at the bottom will hold the near/reading prescription, helping you do up-close activities such as reading and knitting. Bifocals can also have certain add-ons, such as an anti-reflective or anti-glare coating, applied to the lenses.

How do bifocal lenses work?

Bifocal lenses have both a distance and near prescription which is separated by a line across the centre. You use bifocals by moving your eyes behind the lenses according to the distance you wish to see.

For example, if you are reading a book, you look through the bottom part of the lenses to see the words clearly. This minimises the need for a separate pair of reading glasses as you can see up close and far away all in one pair.

Nearsightedness vs farsightedness

Bifocals can be used to correct both nearsighted, and farsighted vision problems in the same pair of glasses.

Learn more information about eye tests here.

Nearsighted vision correction

If you are nearsighted, you will be able to see better up close compared to objects that are further away from you. This can be corrected with single vision glasses, or lenses containing your distance prescription plus any close up prescription you may need e.g., bifocals and multifocals.

Farsighted vision correction

Farsighted vision means a person can see better at a distance compared to things up close. A correction for farsightedness can be made into either single vision glasses, bifocals or multifocals.

Get a Full Quote in Store

Get fitted for your bifocal glasses at Oscar Wylee by visiting us in store and talk to our friendly staff for a complete quote.

All major health funds accepted.

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Multifocals vs Bifocals

You may have heard of the terms multifocal and bifocal but not know the difference between them. Although they both are used for vision correction, there are some key differences between these glasses.

What are multifocal lenses?

Multifocal lenses allow you to view at three different distances, reducing the need to switch between your reading glasses, distance glasses and intermediate (or computer) glasses. With multifocals, you have everything you need in one pair! You can view your computer, read a book and go for a drive, all with your multifocal lenses.

The differences between multifocal and bifocal glasses

Whereas multifocals allow you to see at three different distances (near, intermediate and distance), bifocals contain only two prescriptions, near and distance.

Multifocal glasses also have a smooth and seamless transition between prescriptions whereas bifocal lenses are broken up into separate segments. This is why multifocals are also often referred to as progressive lenses.

The cost of bifocal lenses

One pair of bifocal prescription glasses start from $299. Visit us in-store for a complete quote.

Do I need bifocal glasses?

Bifocal glasses are for people who would like to see up close and the distance without the hassle of constantly taking on and off their single vision glasses and/or minimising the need to switch between glasses.

Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that causes your near vision to become blurry leading you to need glasses for close up work. It is caused by the reduction in flexibility of your lens which occurs as you age. It often occurs between 40 and 50 years old.

Book an eye test today with Oscar Wylee to find out if you need bifocals.

Source: Good vision for life


How long does it take to get used to bifocal glasses?

Because of the two different prescriptions in the one lens, it can take a few days to a few weeks to get used to bifocal glasses. Although there are some ways you can make this adjustment easier.

How can I make the adjustment to bifocals easier?

  • Wear your new bifocals as often as possible. This will speed up the adjustment process.
  • Start by wearing the glasses when sitting still in an environment that you are familiar with. Once you can get the hang of this, you can progress to walking around with them. As you become more accustomed to the glasses, you can then start to wear them outdoors and then drive with them on if or when required.
  • Try not to switch back to old glasses as this can set back your progress.
  • Don’t look through the bottom of the lenses when you walk. This could distort your view as you are looking through the magnified, near prescription.
  • Bifocals that are not fitted correctly can make it difficult to adjust. If you are still having trouble, come in-store and we can ensure they are fitted correctly to your face. We do have a 30 day warranty on our bifocals.
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Book an eye test

Oscar Wylee offers bulk billed eye tests, so there are no out-of-pocket expenses for eligible Medicare card holders.