Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs
Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs


Eye test explained.

Glasses prescription explained.

Do I need glasses?

NHS eye tests




Reading glasses






Glare coatings,thinner lenses, photochromic,polaroid,sunglasses



Tips on choosing frames styles.

Glasses and facial shapes



Short Sighted   

Long Sighted


Reading Age






Macular Degeneration ARMD AMD

Treatment of Macular Degeneration



Introduction To Contact Lenses

Contact Lens Products

Cleaning Solutions for Contact Lenses.




Macushield Benefits  


Media and Opticians  





Common questions asked at Opticians.

Technical jargon explained




Who we are.     

Contact Us    

Legal Information   

EU Law on cookies



Providing eye care information

Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs


Bifocals,Varifocals and Single Vision Options

There are single vision lenses along with bifocals and varifocals tand which type is more suitable depends on your preference,needs, work and lifestyle.


Single Vision Spectacles

The single vision lens has the same power all the way across and down that corrects sight for that eye.

It can be used to correct either near vision or distance vision.


For most people under 40, a distance correction is  enough to see both near and distance. Your optician will recommend when to wear your glasses.


Around age 40 and beyond, you may either need separate distance glasses or near glasses  or both. ( this is due to natural ageing of the humans lens to focus fully - see reading age)


Reading glasses

Single vision reading glasses are ideal for close work and have large area of lens to use.

If now look up into the distance, then vision will be blurred as they are designed for near work only.


Therefore would need to take off to see into the distance or put on a distance glasses if needed. Or can peer over the top.


This method is ideal for someone who does not always need to constantly switch between distance and near. Single vision reading glasses have a large area for comfortable reading.


Glasses Type

However it's not always practical to keep taking glasses on and off or peer over the top  in certain occupations or situations - especially if distance glasses are also needed.


For example  a school teacher may want to read from a book but also needs to glance across the classroom to see the students.

Or at home, a person may want to read a newspaper or book whilst glancing at the TV from time to time.


There are lens that are designed to combine both the distance and near prescription into one lens called a multifocal. These include bifocals and varifocals.



The main difference is bifocal lens has a visible line or shape  and has two prescriptions - one above the line and one immediately in the lower half or shape.


The reading area is larger than varifocal and so some find it easier to read than with varifocals.


The downside is the visible shape is not cosmetically appealing, giving age away. There is no intermediate prescription for the computer user


The varifocal lenses look like a normal single vision lens as it has no visible reading shape or line. This is cosmetically nicer.


The varifocal lens has range of powers. It starts with patients own distance prescription at the top of the lens, and then it gradually increases towards reading prescription towards the bottom of the lenses.

Therefore varifocal lenses include an intermediate prescription - which is ideal for computer users.


The varifocal is designed to blend the distance into the near prescription,  so that can leave areas of distortion away from the centre of the lens. It may be harder to use than a bifocal, and has smaller area of reading compared to a bifocal but many people are happy with varifocals.

How to use varifocals

Tip - if  use central portion of varifocal, by pointing nose and then raising chin up or down to look at objects, it becomes second nature to use the varifocal.


For more info :  on bifocals and varifocals.