Need Bifocals, But Hate The Look? Don’t Worry – Here’s How Options Have Changed Over The Years

Many people who need bifocals don’t want to make the leap because they associate the lens with aging. The good news: bifocals have come a long way. Here, we’ll take a look at how bifocals have changed over time, and how to decide whether it might be time to talk to your eye doctor about bifocal lenses.

The Beginning

Bifocals have been around for a long time. While the inventor of the bifocal is debated by historians, many credit Benjamin Franklin with the creation of the lens. Franklin invented this type of corrective lens in the mid-1700s. Franklin needed glasses for both close and faraway objects. After getting tired of switching between two pairs of lenses, he invented the bifocal.

Bifocals remained largely unchanged over time. Even today, many people think of bifocals as having an obvious line in the middle of the lens, making it clear that the wearer needs vision correction for both nearby and faraway objects.

Present Day

Today, there are many options for people who need vision correction for both far away and nearby objects. Some people choose to switch their glasses depending on the situation. Others wear traditional bifocals. Some people choose “invisible bifocals, also known as progressive lenses. These lenses can correct vision when the wearer is looking at both nearby and faraway objects, but the lens lacks a visible line where the vision correction changes.

Do You Need Bifocals?

Most people notice changes in their vision during middle age. Many people in this age bracket experience a condition called presbyopia. Translated literally, presbyopia means “age of sight.” The lens within the eye of a younger person is elastic and is easily able to accommodate focus at different distances. When someone is diagnosed with presbyopia, the lens of the eye is no longer as flexible as it once was.

Most people notice the condition by age 50, but some begin to notice symptoms as early as age 36. For many, the first symptom is a struggle to focus on fine print, such as that in a newspaper or phone book. People who are diabetic, or who are farsighted, may notice presbyopia at an earlier age than people who do not have these conditions.

Think You Might Have Presbyopia? Here’s What To Do Next

If you’re struggling to read small print, or you notice trouble switching between looking at faraway objects and focusing on text or other materials near your eyes, it may be time to think about talking to your eye doctor about vision correction options to accommodate the ever-changing needs of your eyes.