How do bifocals work?

Rather than having two styles of single-vision glasses, bifocal lenses can be a more convenient option as they combine all your vision needs into one pair of glasses.

For example, if you work in an office you can have distance vision in the top of the lens for meetings or presentations, and near vision in the segment for looking at your computer screen or at documents.

Distance vision

The main portion of the lens is for distance vision. Your distance prescription will go in this part of the lens.

Near vision

The segment in the lower half of the lens is for looking at things that are nearer to you. Like built-in reading glasses in your normal prescription.

Cost of single-vision lenses

All of our glasses come with single-vision lenses including a scratch-resistant treatment and UV protection as standard, so there’s no extra charge for these lenses. You can also choose from a range of lens extras and treatments that can protect or enhance your glasses.

Types of bifocal lenses

Most of the lens in bifocal glasses will contain the power for distance vision, while only a small part (or segment) corrects your near vision. The lens segment for near vision can be different shapes. Your optometrist will talk to you about your vision needs and lifestyle to help you to find the right type of bifocal lens to suit you.

Frequently asked questions

How do I tell if I need bifocals?

As we get older, we’ll start to find it more and more difficult to read or focus on things that are close up. This is called presbyopia and is a perfectly normal part of ageing. Most people become aware of presbyopia when they start holding their phone or book further away in order to see it clearly. Presbyopia will start to happen around the age of 40. So if this sounds familiar, and you already wear glasses, it might be time for an eye exam and to maybe give bifocal glasses a try. If you don’t already wear glasses for distance vision, your optometrist might recommend single-vision lenses.

Do bifocals lenses work for presbyopia

Yes. Bifocal lenses combine two prescriptions into a single pair of glasses. The top part of the lens corrects distance vision, and the lower part corrects vision for close-up focusing. So no need for additional reading glasses.

What is the difference between progressive and bifocal lenses?

Bifocals have two lens powers – one for distance and one for up close. Progressive lenses combine three lens powers, adding a third intermediate section which allows for easier movement between distance and close vision. Your optometrist will be able to recommend the best lens to suit your needs.

More about lenses

Lens options

All Specsavers glasses come with standard single-vision lenses plus a scratch-resistant treatment and UV protection. You can also get extra lens treatments and options to protect or enhance your glasses.

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Single-vision lenses

This type of lens has just one prescription that covers the entire lens. Typically for people with near or far sight, who just need glasses for driving, reading or working at a computer.

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Progressive lenses

These lenses accommodate more than two vision types, and unlike the clear distinction on bifocals, they have different sections for viewing close-up, far away and everything in between. 

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