If you’re new to varifocal lenses you may need a little time to get used to them.
Varifocal lenses will slightly alter your peripheral vision due to the power changes that occur at the edge of the lens. Having a good lens design can help enormously by all but eliminating this peripheral distortion.
Choosing a varifocal with as wide a field-of-view as possible will help you to adapt more easily.
How do varifocal lenses work?
There are 3 portions to a varifocal lens:
Distance Portion: Where the distance component of your prescription is set.
Intermediate Portion: The progressive portion of the distance prescription and the near prescription. Also referred to as the ‘visual corridor’.
Near Portion: Where the reading/close-up component is set.
There are different types of varifocal lenses available, each offering several features and benefits dependent upon your lifestyle and requirements.
Your local optician will discuss your visual needs with you and recommend the best lens.
Getting used to varifocal glasses
Varifocal lenses are generally very easy to adapt to providing that all the required measurements are taken correctly during the dispensing process.
The initial difference in peripheral vision will probably require some slight changes to your head positioning and eye movements.
Position of varifocals:
Top - you look through the top portion of the lens to view distant objects
Bottom - for reading you lower your gaze to look through the bottom
Middle - an intermediate power range - a useful transition between both areas of viewing.
As you become accustomed to the lens, these positions will become routine and feel natural.
Our four top tips to help you adjust quickly and comfortably:
Do not swap between your new varifocals and any old glasses you may have.
Wear your new varifocal glasses as much as possible (even if you’re not used to wearing glasses all the time). The more you wear them, the quicker you will get used to them.
Turn your head to point in the direction of what you want to look at rather just moving your eyes.
Keep your chin up and drop your eyes down in the lens for close work.
Any adaptation issues are usually overcome within the first couple of weeks, although getting used to new glasses can occasionally take up to a month.
How long will adjusting to varifocal lenses take?
If you are struggling after this time period, go back to your optician who will be more than happy to go through everything with you.
Sometimes a simple frame adjustment may make a difference, or just talking through how the lens works again can help.
There are a very few people that cannot get on with varifocals. Your optician can discuss the alternative options with you if you find that you are not getting used to your varifocals.
First time varifocals? Learn more about them
Here are a few more articles that may answer some of your questions about varifocals:
What are bifocal lenses and how are they different to varifocal lenses?
Do varifocals mean I have to buy bigger glasses?
If you have any questions about learning how to use your new lenses, do not hesitate to contact your local optician.