How Progressive Lenses Work

Recently, progressive addition lenses (also called progressives or PALs) have become the most popular multifocal lenses to be sold in the USA. These lenses are sometimes called “no-line bifocals” because of their line-free multifocal lense provides a greater comprehensive vision solution than bifocals. The beauty of progressive lenses are in the gradual transition and the many multiple corrections that they contain.

Modern progressive lenses now provide you with the closest thing to natural vision after the onset of presbyopia, (the normal age-related loss of near vision that occurs after age 40). Many people in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley now enjoy the gradual change in the corrective power in progressive lenses which allow you to look up to see in at a distance, look straight ahead to see clearly as you work at a computer or other objects at arm’s length, and then drop your gaze to read and do fine work with comfort near to you.

While progressive are usually worn by people aged 40 and up, a recent study has found that they may also be able to slow progression of myopia in children whose parents also are nearsighted.

Choosing the right frame for progressive lenses

Because of the way that the progressive lens changes in power from top to bottom, these special lenses do require frames that have a vertical dimension that is tall enough for all powers to be included in the finished eyewear. If you try to use a frame is too short or small, the distance or near zone of the progressive lens may end up too small for comfortable viewing when the lens is cut to fit into the frame.

As a solution to this problem and to expand options in frame styles, the majority of progressive lens manufacturers now offer “short corridor” lens designs that fit in smaller frames. Here in Northern Colorado we have opticians who can find a progressive lens that will work well in nearly any frame you choose.

Different progressives for different purposes

There are many different progressive lenses are available on the market today. Each of these lenses have their own unique design characteristics. Now we are seeing progressive lenses that are even designed for specific activities. One example would be a progressive lense for the computer user, special “occupational” progressive lenses are available with an extra-wide intermediate zone to maximize comfort when working at the computer for prolonged periods of time. Still other designs are available for office work have a larger reading portion.


For some people the adjustment to the progressive lenses takes a few minutes and for others it can take up to a few days before they are completely comfortable. There may be a bit of a learning curve as your vision systems adapt to the new lenses. You might notice a slight sensation of movement when you quickly move your eyes or your head until you get used to the lenses. For most wearers in Northern Colorado, the progressive lenses are very comfortable right from the start.

Let us help

There are many different options available today in regards to eye wear.  Let our friendly staff help. We have professional opticians available to discuss the advantages of the latest progressive lenses with you and help you find the lenses and frames that are the perfect match for you. We are your friend in the lense business! 🙂

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 970-204-4020 or click on the link on the side of the page.

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