Eyeglasses or Contacts: Which to Choose?

Eyeglasses or Contacts: Which to Choose?

5 Fascinating Bifocals To Suit Your Specific Needs

by Douglas Sutton

If you have begun to suffer from a condition called presbyopia, you are essentially farsighted and nearsighted at the same time. Your brain probably can't acclimate itself to multifocal or "progressive" lenses, so traditional bifocals it is -- or is it? If an ordinary pair of glass or plastic bifocals doesn't suit your occupation, lifestyle or everyday needs, here are five fascinating alternatives to look at.

1. Bifocal Safety Eyewear

Do you work in an industry that poses a direct physical threat to your eyes? Carpentry, welding and other trades involve machinery that can send sparks or debris flying toward the eyes, possible causing severe injury or even permanent blindness. That's why your workplace probably has strict regulations requiring you to wear protective eyewear known as safety glasses whenever you're on the job. But wearing oversized goggles over a pair of eyeglasses can be awkward and uncomfortable. Fortunately, you have another option -- bifocal safety eyewear. These glasses sport the same robust, wraparound design and tough polycarbonate lens material as standard-issue safety glasses, but they also feature near-vision and distance-vision zones customized to your individual prescription. 

2. Executive Bifocals

For everyday activities around town, a D-shaped wedge might be all the near vision you need. But the first time you have to spend all day analyzing printed reports, dialing phone numbers, paying bills and dealing with other close-range details, you'll wish you had a larger near zone for all that reading you're doing. For this reason, some people in your exact same position choose a bifocal design known as "executive" bifocals. (They're also called Franklin bifocals because they were apparently invented by none other than Benjamin Franklin.) These bifocals are divided right across the center line into near and distance zones of equal size, turning the entire bottom half of your glasses into "readers." Just be aware that your usable peripheral vision may only extend a few feet!

3. Double D Bifocals

It's nice to have a near zone at the bottom of the lens for examining objects right under your nose, but what about all that fine detail hanging just above your head? Painters, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics and hobbyists of all stripes may pursue activities that require them to see near objects that are positioned up high, not down low. If that's the problem you're facing, consider getting a pair of Double D bifocals. As the same suggest, these glasses have two D-shaped near zones -- one toward the top of the lens and the other in its traditional position toward the bottom. The middle of the lens is reserved for distance vision.

4. Golfer's Bifocals

Golfers with presbyopia have a special problem on their hands. Whether you're a professional on tour or just a passionate enthusiast, you've got to see the ball before you can hit it properly -- but a traditional bifocal design makes that incredibly hard. You can't see the ball way down there on the ground through the near zone, so you end up cocking your head and messing up your stance (and your score). Golfer's bifocals solve that problem. Depending on whether you're right-handed or left-handed, only your left or right lens will have a near zone, and that near zone will take the form of a small rounded spot toward the lower outside corner. Now you can address the ball, analyze the course and read your scorecard with equal ease.

5. Bifocal Contacts

What if your lifestyle is so active and high-impact that you don't feel comfortable wearing glasses at all? Believe it or not, you can get contact lenses in a variety of different bifocal designs; some of them can even correct astigmatism as well as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Try the following options to see which one works best for you:

  • Alternating - These bifocal contacts are laid out like traditional bifocal eyeglasses, with separate near and distance zones. The lens is ballasted to help it maintain proper placement in front of the pupil.
  • Simultaneous - This design actually combines both the distance correction and the near correction in the center of the lens. You'll have to train your brain to figure out which zone it needs to focus on at any given time.
  • Monovision - Technically speaking, these lenses aren't really "bifocals" at all. Instead, you wear two single-vision lenses, one that corrects distance vision and one that corrects near vision, with the brain utilizing the necessary data from each eye as needed.

As you can see, you have many interesting options to discuss with your eye care provider. You could say that there's a lot more to bifocals than meets the eye! For more information, consider websites like http://www.rx-safety.com/


About Me

Eyeglasses or Contacts: Which to Choose?

Since I was a teenager, I've worn eyeglasses. The idea of getting contacts didn't seem all that important. It was only during my last eye exam with a new optometrist that I decided to revisit the possibility. On the advice of my optometrist, I decided to try the disposable lenses. To my surprise, they worked great. Even my field of vision was broader. One of my favorite things is that I never have to hunt for a handkerchief or a tissue to wipe away dust from the glasses anymore. Being able to purchase sunglasses off the rack is pretty great too. If you just got the word that corrective lenses is in your future, let's talk. I'll tell you why choosing contact lenses over glasses makes sense.