What Are Trifocal Lenses?

Trifocals were invented in 1827 and gained popularity in the 1940’s as an improvement on the bifocal first invented by Ben Franklin.   While the bifocal allows for two visons the trifocal adds a third intermediate vision to be able to see at an arm’s length.  

A trifocal has a visible lined lens that marks the distinction between the near vision intermediate, and distance vision.

To use a trifocal all you need to do is look through the correct area of the lens to see what you want to see, near, intermediate or distance.  People typically look down to read so your near vision is in the lower portion of the lens that is shaped like the letter D on its belly.

The lower part of this lens style has your near and intermediate toward bottom part of the lens, which can be hard to get used to because the near vision is a magnification and makes thing appear closer that they are, and the intermediate vision is doing a similar thing using half the power of the near vision. It can make things like stepping off a curb or going downstairs seem disconcerting until your eyes get used to looking through the proper vision point in the lens.   It’s important that you practice look forward and not down to help alleviate these issues. 

As you are transitioning between the visions your eyes require a split second to adjust, and you will experience something called a “jump”.  This is perfectly normal and is to be expected with a trifocal.  This initially can be jarring and may cause the wearer to feel off balance because your brain is quickly adjusting to the different vision strengths.  But, with time and with consistent wear this will go away as your eyes and brain learn to adjust to the lens.

The most common example of activities that people find trifocals useful for, are working on a computer and reading documents transitioning between near and intermediate vision, all the while being able to look across the office into the distance when needed.  They also enable you to see the dashboard on your car unlike the bifocal style lens.

In some cases, a trifocal or bifocal may be prescribed to you once you’ve tried a progressive no line lens and find you are unable to adapt to them. Your medical provider should be able to guide you through your next steps if you find you are a non-adapt progressive.

If you are having your first progressive lens made by LensFactory and find you just cannot adapt to them, please contact us in the first thirty days and we will change lens styles based on your doctor’s recommendation and remake the lens for you at no extra charge.  We want to work with you and your doctor to ensure you end up with a lens that will work well for you.

Once you select your lens it’s time to select your features.  For the best vision, comfort, and appearance, LensFactory recommends anti-reflective (AR) coating for your all your lenses.

Our LensFactory team is here to help you make the right selection for your budget and needs. Our goal is to help you make a wise investment and to get the best lens fit for you and your vision needs.

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