Progressive lenses, also called multifocal lenses, allow for clearer viewing at a variety of distances. (Bifocal lenses only provide two corrections, “near” and “far”.) Progressives have a gradual change in power from top to bottom.
The most important factor in adjusting to your new lenses is patience. Start with short periods of time and work your way to longer periods. With perseverance, you will adjust.
ONE EXCEPTION: DO NOT DRIVE WITH YOUR NEW PRESCRIPTION UNTIL YOU HAVE ADJUSTED SUFFICIENTLY. Going down stairs will also likely seem difficult. If you look through the lower portion of your lenses, the stairs will seem distorted. If you feel you must look at your feet, tilt your head down far enough to look over the top of your “near” correction (the area you look through to read.) Do not compromise your safety during the adjustment period. Push yourself, but not too hard.
To find the correct area of your lenses for reading, hold your head still, drop your eyes, and pick out one word. Watch that word as you slowly move your reading material up, down, and side to side. You can easily tell when you are too high, too low, or too far to the side. Remember, move the reading material at first, not your head. It won’t be long before your eyes automatically go to the right spot.
To keep the optics clear, the power is changing down through the center of progressive lenses. The lenses produce distortion out to the sides. If you look through the outer edges of your lenses, things will appear wavy and distorted. If you want to look at something down or to the side, you will need to TURN YOUR HEAD and continue looking through the central area of your lenses. At first, when you move your head side to side, you will notice distortion in your periphery. In time you will no longer be aware of the distortion. The lenses do not limit your peripheral vision.
Having a difficult time adjusting to progressive lenses does not mean a mistake was made. Of course, errors can happen, but 99% of the time it’s simply a matter of adapting to your new glasses. If you have been diligent in wearing your progressive lenses full time for a few weeks and are still having major difficulty, I will be happy to see you for a consultation. Please call the office and schedule a brief appointment. This must be done within 60 days.