Bifocals and Trifocals – Great for Certain Jobs and Hobbies
There are three major zones of vision: near, intermediate and distance. Being able to see clearly in all three zones can increase your enjoyment and safety while working, doing leisure activities, driving and playing sports. An eye doctor can help you find the best options for all three zones of vision correction so that you do not lose any of the enjoyment of the things that you like to do the best.
Near vision is what we need for close up jobs and small details. If you read a lot for work or work on small models, this vision is especially important and typically starts fading when you are in your forties. We need near vision for reading (especially smaller print or reading in low light situations), detailed work such as sewing, painting and more. People who need excellent near vision for work include surgeons, tailors or seamstresses and tattoo artists.
Intermediate vision is what we use for computer work and for looking at the dashboards of our cars while driving. This vision becomes especially important for those who drive frequently or spend a lot of time at their computer. While there are non-prescription options for reading glasses (not recommended, but still available) there is nothing on the open market that address intermediate vision loss. Those who need intermediate vision for work include computer programmers and air traffic controllers.
The most common vision problem is with distance vision. More people need correction for distance than for the other zones. Those who rely on seeing far away things for work, such as police officers and pilots, or for hobbies like skeet shooting and golf, will find that consulting an eye care professional can ensure they are at their best for work and play.
If the main problems that you encounter are with near and distance vision, bifocal lenses might be your best option. In the past, bifocal options were limited, but now there are several lens designs available, and each has a different shape for the near vision segment, such as:
- Flat top (also called a half-moon or a D segment)
- Round (this may be visible or blended)
- A narrow rectangle, called a ribbon segment
- A full bottom half, also known as the Franklin, Executive or E style
In some cases, there is correction only in the lower, bifocal area only with no correction in the larger, distance area, but usually there is correction in both.
For those who need vision correction for all three zones, trifocal lenses can be a great choice. Think of when you are driving; you need to be able to see things in the distance, your dashboard instruments and your map too.
Trifocal lenses are also beneficial for a number of hobbies. For instance, if you were painting a nature scene, you would need to see that scene clearly (distance vision) so that you could recreate it on the canvas. You would also need to see your paints and other tools, which would require good intermediate vision, and you would need your near vision to add the fine details and perfect your masterpiece.
Bifocals and trifocals correct vision in two or three distinct zones, which is perfect for some people. However, there are also multifocal lenses, such as progressive lenses, which correct a fuller range of vision, and may be a better choice, depending on your specific needs. Multifocal vision correction is available both as eyeglasses and as contact lenses. There are also surgical options which can help you see clearly at multiple distances. Your eye doctor can help you decide which method would give you the best results.
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