It’s an unfortunate fact that our eyes change as we get older; the quality of our vision lessens, and it can become more difficult to see things both close up and farther away. While prescription glasses or contacts can do wonders for helping our vision, having issues with nearsightedness and farsightedness bring its own set of challenges. A common solution to this problem? Bifocals.

What Are Bifocals?

Bifocal glasses are lenses that correct for distance vision on the top, and the bottom half of the lens corrects for close-up vision, such as for reading. Bifocals are commonly used for adults who are older than 40 years, as this is often when vision begins to worsen and presbyopia begins to affect people. Bifocals are available as regular glasses as well as contact lenses.

What To Know if You’re Getting Bifocals

It Takes Time to Adjust

With typical glasses or contact lenses, your eyes are used to just one type of correction. With lenses that have two sections, it takes some time for our eyes and brains to learn which section to look through when we’re doing certain activities. When reading or looking at things close-up, look through the bottom section, and when you’re doing anything else, look through the top section. You may experience what is referred to as “image jumping,” but this generally goes away as you become adjusted to the glasses. To adjust as quickly as possible, wear your new glasses as often as possible. Most people new to bifocals adjust within two to three weeks. If you are still struggling with adjusting, schedule a follow-up appointment with your eye doctor.

The Line Could be Too High

The line that separates the two sections should be at the same level as your bottom eyelid. This will give enough space for distance correction and enough space for your eyes to adjust to close-up correction when you’re reading or sewing. If you’re worried about having a visible line in the lenses, progressive lenses are an option, which is a fading between the two sections rather than a distinct line.

Tips For Adjusting to Bifocals

  • Be Wary of Stairs: Again, it takes time to learn which section to look through when you’re doing certain activities. Walking down stairs can be tricky as your eyes may try to look through the bottom section, but your vision requires you to look through the top section.
  • Hold Reading Materials at the Right Distance: You may also have to experiment with how close or far away you’re holding a book, magazine, or tablet. Adjust the distance until the text is clear and always make sure you’re looking through the lower section.
  • Take Them Off When Necessary: Adjusting to new glasses can cause some eye strain until you become comfortable with how to use them. If you start to experience tired eyes or headaches when wearing bifocals for a long period of time, give your eyes a rest.
  • Have Your Eye Doctor Readjust the Glasses: If you have been wearing the bifocals for at least three weeks and you’re still having trouble adjusting, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss the possibility of the line being too high.

Work With Spectrum Eye Care in Colorado Springs

For friendly eye care staff and experienced eye doctors, visit Spectrum Eye Care in Colorado Springs. We offer same-day eye exams, and we can find a bifocal prescription that works for your vision needs. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.