JAN 18

Why Progressive Lenses are Blurry on the Sides and How To Adapt

Progressive lenses offer a total solution for anyone who is seeking a single pair of eyeglasses to optimize clarity. Before the advent of progressive lenses, people would have to change their eyeglasses for different purposes. When progressive lenses first made their debut in the late 1950s, the multi-purpose construction of progressive lenses captured the attention of consumers. However, they were large and featured a visible multifocal line. In recent years, new technology has led to an evolution in progressive lenses that has virtually eliminated most complaints except for those pertaining to blurriness on the sides of lenses.

What can you expect as you adapt to progressive lenses?

One of the most commonly reported side effects of progressive lenses is blurry or fuzzy peripheral vision. The blurriness is usually most noticeable through the lower portion of the lens and to the left and right of near and immediate zones. The sensation is most pronounced when individuals first begin wearing their progressive lenses and is exacerbated when they looking straight ahead directly into their glasses.

What causes progressive lenses to be blurry on the sides?

The strength of progressive lenses is actually the factor that leads to initial peripheral blurriness. Progressive lenses tend to be blurry on the sides because each lens promotes three fields of vision:

  • An upper lens segment designed to help the wearer see objects in the distance
  • A lower lens segment designed to help the wearer see objects within very close proximity
  • A portion of the lens in the middle that facilitates a change in lens strength

Peripheral blurriness or haziness is a sensation that typically develops because more than one lens strength has been incorporated into one lens. The wearer also might feel as if he or she is moving from side to side.

How can you cope with the blurriness?

People who invest in progressive lenses should be aware of the potential for blurred peripheral vision. They should expect to experience an adjustment period as they grow accustomed to their new lenses. Most important, wearers should recognize that the blurriness typically begins to decrease within the first two weeks of full-time wear. During the adjustment period, here are a few measures that you can take to combat the blurriness:

  • Make a concerted effort to look through the correct section of the lens
  • When looking into the distance, point your nose in the direction you are looking
  • Consider switching to a different progressive lens design if the blurriness is pronounced
  • Contact your eyewear provider or eye doctor if the sensation continues after two weeks of wear

How have progressive lenses recently evolved?

With each passing day, progressive lens manufacturers show their dedication to quality lens improvement. Today’s progressive lenses are comfortable, flexible, and full of updates that delight consumers. Below are some of the top ways that progressive lenses have evolved in recent years:

  • The size of the zones for reading use has been expanded to facilitate comfort for researchers
  • The size of the intermediate zone has been increased to accommodate computer users
  • Current models have fewer peripheral imperfections and improved optics
  • Progressive lenses are now manufactured to fit with smaller frame sizes
  • Today’s progressive lenses are increasingly manufactured with polycarbonate and high-index plastic
  • Wearers can now choose from a variety of optional features such as anti-reflective coating

Justifying the Higher Price Tag

Progressive lenses are advantageous because they essentially include three different lenses into one primary lens. Not surprisingly, progressive lenses tend to be a bit more costly than standard lenses. Additional factors that can contribute to their higher price include the following:

  • Lens material: Polycarbonate lenses are thinner but pricier while plastic lenses are less expensive
  • Customization: Progressive lenses that are highly customized tend to be more expensive
  • Type of lens: Digital progressive lenses are more sophisticated and costly than standard lenses

What are some steps you can take to ensure a positive experience with progressive lenses?

Clearly, progressive lenses differ significantly from standard lenses in terms of their parameters and capabilities. By taking the time to select the perfect pair of lenses and remembering that you may experience some blurriness, you can help make sure that your transition to progressive lenses is a smooth one. Below are some tips to help foster a positive experience with your progressive lenses:

1) Do your homework. Lens technology continues to evolve on a daily basis. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with options such as lens material and optional anti-reflective coatings before you place your order.

2) Remember the adjustment period. Remember that most people experience a week or two of peripheral blurriness as they adjust to their progressive lenses.

3) Choose a set of glasses that you love. Thanks to recent updates to progressive lenses, you have a more extensive selection of eyeglass options than ever. You can even find styles with smaller frames.

5) Make sure your prescription is accurate. If you decide to purchase progressive lenses from an online provider, make sure that you transfer all information accurately in order to avoid mistakes with your order.

Selecting a Dependable Provider for Progressive Lenses

The key to purchasing stellar progressive lenses is to find an eyewear provider that is dedicated to ensuring that you are pleased with your lenses. As a leading online provider of progressive lenses, Rx-Safety has the inventory and expertise required to guide you in your selection of the perfect set of progressive lenses. For additional information on purchasing the perfect pair of progressive lenses, please contact us. Our team of eyewear specialists looks forward to meeting all of your eyewear needs!

  1. David Field says:

    My spectacles provider has offered to try to flatten my progressive lenses for a fee in order to reduce the edge blur but with no guarantee of success. Is this likely to work?
    I recently updated my spectacles at a major UK high street Opticians and was given a pair of what were termed “first class” lens progressive glasses with the widest possible areas of clarity and a pair of occuoational glases for close up work and reading.
    The occupational glasses have literally changed my life in that I can now read very clearly without eye strain. Most importantly however is that my field of vision is clear right across the lens.
    My previous prescription glasses were purchased 3 years ago and described in the Opticians as tri focals. My problem with them was the reading section of the lens which wasnt clear but they offered clear viewing across the entire lens and so were great for everyday use.
    The progressive lens spectacles I have now are very difficult to use in comparison, with large areas of blur on the left and the right.
    I find that although they have an anti glare coating that the blur is most noticable and distracting in bright sunlight.
    I have found that the blur us so distracting and the lack of periferal vision so extreme that I cannot safely use the new glasses while cycling or in the factory that I work in.
    When I compare the old tri focal glasses with the new progressive ones I cannot find anything about the new glasses that justifies the cost of purchase.
    I have gone back to using my previous prescription glasses as they offer much clearer periferal vision for everyday use.

  2. Renee says:

    I echo Simon’s question from August 6th that was never answered: why the narrow zones? Why do they not extend farther across the lens, horizontally?

    I am two days into my first pair and have to fight the urge to rip them off my face, dash them on the floor and crush them. They are beyond maddening and going back to dealing with readers is incredibly tempting.

    I do wish I hadn’t gotten them.

    • rxsafety says:

      They keep a narrow corridor because of the optics they do have wide corridor progressives but they still are not that wide because of the blending process they need the sides to blend the lens so you don’t see the bifocal section. They do have progressive designs with larger corridors for your eyes to follow down also and the longer the corridor usually the wider they can make it. Also if you buy a larger frame you will get a larger reading section. The smaller the frame is from top to bottom the faster the transition will be and the smaller the reading section will be.

  3. Rob says:

    I’ve been told that there is an enhanced version of progressives that provide wider than typical in focus viewing areas!? Digital or Lazer manufactured…!? Is that true? What exactly is involved with that?

    • rxsafety says:

      Yes that is true there our thousands of different versions of progressive bifocals every manufacture has its own name brands and designs. They make them for wrap frames, small frames larger frames and yes some are made for Reading but they still have the corridor and a reading section that is larger but they still are not the whole lens and do have blind spots on the sides.

  4. Not Happy with em says:

    I have the same question as Simon, why can’t they just three solid horizontal zones all the way across the lens instead of me having to search for the “sweet spot” with my nose?!

    • rxsafety says:

      They do have lenses that are just straight lines across like an executive bifocal, Flat Top 35 Bifocal and, executive trifocals although they are not that cosmetically appealing so they are not that popular. The progressive bifocal is blended and changes magnification gradually so that’s why you have the smaller reading areas they need the outside of the lenses for the blending of the lines. The progressive bifocal is a cosmetically appealing bifocal with no lines so you can’t tell your wearing a bifocal lens.

  5. Joan dombrowski says:

    Simon on August 6 asked a good question… and no one answered. I am having concerns because I have to move me head to read a book. Reading is only clear in the central two inches of my lower vision. Wish someone would have told me I would turn into a bobble-head.

  6. simon says:

    Dont understand why these arent manufactured with full width zones for each distance? Why is there only a narrow intermediate zone instead of extending it to the full width?


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