Single Vision Reading Glasses
Single vision reading glasses offer only one prescription power in the lens and are the most common type of prescription reading glasses. This type of eyeglass lens can be used to correct farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), and presbyopia (the loss of near focus as we age). In the case of single-vision reading glasses, the lenses are designed to improve your close-range vision.
While these reading glasses are helpful for reading books, menus, and other close-up objects, their use is limited to short distances. Many people find that as they age, their ability to see clearly up-close deteriorates, so they only need to use glasses when reading. However, when folks develop issues seeing both up-close and at a distance, they may need two separate prescriptions.
Bifocal Reading Glasses
Bifocal reading glasses, unlike single-vision glasses, offer two prescription powers in one lens – giving glasses wearers essentially two pairs of glasses in one. Bifocal reading glasses are more convenient than carrying around two pairs of glasses, but there are still a couple of drawbacks to bifocals.
Because they offer two prescriptions in the same lens, there is an adjustment period for bifocal wearers. Your eyes need to learn how to move between the two sections of bifocal reading glasses while performing different tasks, and it can be a challenge. Wearing new bifocal reading glasses as much as possible is the best way to get accustomed to them quickly.
Progressive Reading Glasses
Progressive reading glasses seamlessly merge three prescription powers – distance, middle, and close-up into one lens. Unlike bifocals, progressive reading glasses have no lines between the various viewing areas, instead offering gradual power changes between the areas. This invisible transition and added intermediate distance make them a popular option.
Progressive reading glasses require an adjustment period, just like bifocals, which can take a few weeks to finish. It is best to start slow – a couple of hours a day at first – and add a couple hours of wear each day. It is advised to wait to drive in progressive reading glasses until you are comfortable with them.