Varifocal lenses work by offering a gradual change in lens strength from the top of the lens to the bottom. Unlike bifocals, varifocal glasses have no specific area of lens strength, but progressive lens zones.
The lack of a dividing line make varifocals more visually appealing and remove the need for multiple pairs of glasses.
The way to look through varifocals depends on what you want to look at. If you’re looking into the distance, you look through the top of the lens. As what you’re looking at gets closer, gradually move your eyes lower to keep the object in focus. For the best close-up focus, you need to look through the bottom of the lens.
While you’re getting used to your varifocal glasses, you may encounter a few problems. These are all completely normal and disappear quickly, as you get used to using them.
Common problems with varifocal glasses
The most common problem with varifocal glasses is people being unable to focus on what they need to. Losing focus commonly leads to headaches and dizziness when performing tasks that require quick changes in near and middle distance focus, such as climbing the stairs.
Some people experience a sort of “swimming” feeling when they are walking. This is the result of being very aware of the distortions in your peripheral vision as well as the reading portion at the lower part of the lenses.
If this happens to you, the best way to compensate is to keep yourself from looking downward as you walk. You may also experience soft focus at the edges of the lenses and need to move your head more to see near objects better.
How long does it take to get used to varifocal glasses?
Whenever you buy any new pair of spectacles, you will have to get used to them. Some people only need a couple of days to get accustomed to new glasses, while others need up to two weeks.
So it’s completely normal if you can only see the frame rim of your glasses when you first put them on. The reason for this lies in the brain’s visual centre. It first needs to adapt to the new, greatly improved visual conditions.
This also affects people who have been prescribed lenses that are different than before, such as varifocals. Again, you need to take the time to allow your brain to adjust to your new view of the world. This process varies across individuals, but most people get used to varifocal glasses after two weeks. This is why it’s so important to continue to wear your varifocal glasses consistently so that your eyes can adjust to them.
Varifocal Glasses Advice
Here are our three top tips for getting used to varifocal glasses.
1. Stick at it!
The best way to get used to wearing varifocals is by wearing them consistently and letting your brain learn how to use them. Give yourself the time you need.
2. Mix up your routine
One of the most common accidents that occurs while people are getting used to varifocal lenses is tripping. This is because they are looking closely enough at where they are going. When we go through the same old routines, we don’t look properly because we don’t need to.
But while you’re in the transition of getting used to your new lenses, your peripheral vision is somewhat compromised. This is why people trip on their own doorstep when they never have done before.
So mix up your routine. Take a different route to work or around the shops. Even a small change in route will keep your brain active and prevent you from tripping up.
3. Get advice
If you’re having trouble, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Speak to friends and relatives who also wear varifocal glasses and see what worked for them. Or speak to your optician. We are here to make sure that your varifocals are giving you the vision and satisfaction you need.
98% of varifocal glasses users adapt to their new glasses easily
The brain and the eye can learn to adapt to varifocal glasses, all you need is practice and patience. If you’re experiencing presbyopia and are looking for advice on varifocal glasses, visit your local Eyesite branch today.
Our experts are happy to help.