Varifocals

In this article we will explain everything you need to know about varifocals and we will draw a clear line between facts and myths.

1 - What are varifocals?

Varifocals are glasses
that enable clear vision at all distances

The lenses, which has a prescription for all distances, are used to correct highly defective vision. Depending on which part of the lenses you look through, the vision at that specific distance will then be clear.

The distance zone is located at the upper edge of the lenses, which enables you to see clearly in the long distance.

All objects that can be seen in the intermediate area (e.g. such as cars, radio, navigation system) are shown clearly.

The more the eyes move downwards, the more you find yourself looking through the reading area of the lenses clearly.

Varifocals and bifocals are different in many aspects - although in the past, both were used to correct presbyopia.

Bifocals have 2 advantages. The top portion of the lens is used for distance, while the bottom portion of the lens has a round segment which is used to view objects close to you. However, bifocals do not have an intermediate area. While wearing bifocals you jump from one vision to the other and this can lead to accidents like tripping over stairs.

2 - When are varifocals recommended? Advantages and disadvantages

Somewhere around the age of 45, many people develop a condition known as presbyopia. Also known as “elder eye”, this common problem involves difficulty focusing on near objects and is a natural result of the aging process. In some cases, eyestrain and headaches are also associated with presbyopia. The condition can occur in conjunction with other vision issues such as myopia. For people with both conditions, a varifocal or progressive type of corrective lens offers a good solution because they allow the wearer the ability to focus at varying distances.

The reason presbyopia occurs is because the eyes lose the ability to accommodate to different distances and therefore cannot focus on looking at objects clearly anymore.

When presbyopia begins, people will squint or hold reading materials at arm's length to help their eyes focus. This is obviously uncomfortable and a strain to the eyes.

At this point, you should consider varifocal glasses in order to see clearly at all distances without having to permanently switch glasses.

Once you learn to appreciate the comfort of wearing modern glasses, you should then rely only on the latest technology for varifocal lenses.

Advantages
  • Varifocals combine reading and distance glasses all at the same time, thanks to different vision zones. Your optician can enlarge the zones that you require most and fit them according to your visual needs.
  • The advantage of varifocals in comparison to bifocals is that there is no presence of lines on the lenses, allowing clear and comfortable vision at all distances
  • Numerous vision impairments can be corrected at the same time (including astigmatism).
  • A removal of the lines offers a rapid transition between the visual zones.
  • You get clear and smooth vision, even at intermediate distances, which is ideal at work.
  • Without eyesight restriction: varifocals are up to +/- 10 diopters customisable.
Disadvantages
  • Dizziness and headaches are likely during the familiarisation phase. It might take a few weeks but your eyes will get used to the new lenses
  • Your habitual vision changes as the head must also follow the eye movements. Pure eye movements to the left or right would lead to blurring at the edges of the varifocal lens.
  • Due to the more complex manufacturing process, varifocal lenses are more expensive than single vision lenses; however you save yourself the purchase of a second or third pair of additional glasses.

What are the differences between varifocals and bifocals?

Move the arrow with the mouse to see the difference between bifocal and varifocals lenses

"Bi" means two, which indicates that a bifocal glass consists of only two viewing areas.

On one hand, there is a large long distance area, which allows you to at look objects far away. In addition, a close up /reading area is incorporated into a bifocal glass. This close up area is located in the lower part of the lenses and facilitates reading and  writing.

What is missing is the intermediate range, which is present in a varifocal lenses.

In the case of a bifocal lens, it is necessary to approach either the object to be viewed at medium distances, or go further away in order to see this clearly through the distance range - as a rule of thumb, from 50cm to 2m distance from the body.

Most spectacle wearers therefore refuse to wear bifocals and choose varifocals lenses because they appreciate the comfort and performance.

3 - What types of lenses exist for varifocals?

Varifocals are offered in different combinations

While there are frames in all sorts of materials and forms for you to choose from, for your new pair of varifocals, you can select the following materials for your lenses: mineral, synthetic material and polycarbonate.

Moreover, depending on the prescription and frame, you can select between the high index lenses (thinner and lighter lenses).

In case of varifocal lenses, a distinction is also made between three different types of glasses:

On the market there are usually three types of varifocals: "Basic, Comfort and Premium."

The differences can be found mainly in the size of the individual visual areas which flows smoothly from one lens to the other in order to guarantee a seamless vision at all distances.

At specsfactory.co.uk we only offer premium varifocals

Premium

Visual field

All-inclusive package plus insurance

Blurry vision is reduced

Large visual fields

A high level of wearing comfort

More information

Exclusive

Visual field

All-inclusive package plus insurance

Blurry vision is reduced

Large visual fields

A high level of wearing comfort

More information

If you'd like thin, light lenses then we recommend that you choose high refractive index materials (synthetic or polycarbonate). Both materials are especially light and combined with hard coating are very robust and usable during everyday activities.

4 - What is it going to cost?

While purchasing glasses, aspects such as frame, production of lenses and extras such as protective coatings should be taken into consideration. These services and the work of our partner opticians and production facility are also taken into consideration. So it's good to know that these 3 aspects are factored into our prices.

1. Our lenses are produced using the state-of the-art optical technology with German machinery. We can offer you high-end varifocal lenses at a sensational price.

2. Our high quality frames are produced by an experienced team in Paris, that identifies the newest trends and with this knowledge produces modern and everyday wearable frames. You are most welcome to also combine your lenses with other brand frames.

3. With our exclusive glasses offer, you automatically receive a complete thought-through package. You'll receive light, synthetic premium lenses with large visual fields, as well as the following coating treatments: anti-glare, hard-coating and clean coating, a frame, 1-year glasses insurance and 100% satisfaction guarantee - as part of an all-inclusive package

Premium varifocal lenses

High-quality frames

Insurance package is included

Find out more about our coatings and other extras which are included here:

Buying the right pair of glasses can be an expensive affair
But we say "Not with us"

5 - Which frame is perfect for varifocal lenses

When selecting a suitable material for your lenses, you also need to factor in the appropriate frame

You can only select lenses made out of synthetic or polycarbonate material if you have a rimless or a half-rim frame, because the lenses made out of mineral are too sensitive and can break easily.

Moreover, the frame should be 30 mm high, so that there is enough space for the different visual fields to provide the best possible vision.

Do not forget to undergo an eye examination

Before you select everything, you need a current prescription that isn't older than an year. If you don't have this, you'll require a new eye test.

You can either do an eye test at one of our partner opticians or take your previous  prescription on the day of your appointment.

A professional eye examination and perfect centralisation of the varifocals is necessary for optimum vision; so allow some time for the eye test and fitting.

Get your varifocals in 3 steps :

1. Reserve a spot

Select a partner optician and book an appointment. One of our team will then call you and book your appointment with the selected partner optician.

2. Have your consultation and/or eye test

Your local partner optician will perform an eye examination if necessary and help you with your frame selection

3. Collecting your glasses

We'll let you know when your glasses are ready for collection. The final adjustment and fitting will be carried out by the partner optician.