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If you’re starting to have trouble reading small print, and you are over 40 years old, you probably have presbyopia. This one of the naturally occurring visual conditions commonly affecting people as they get older.

It iscaused by the hardening of the lens in the eye.This occurs in everyone, as they grow older. It affects near vision first, then intermediate (arm’s length) vision.

This hardening process lessens the lens’ ability to change shape and focus light passing through the eye.


Presbyopia makes the lens in your eye much like the lens in a ‘fixed focus’ camera. It can ‘take pictures’ of distant objects clearly, but those taken up close come out dim and blurry.




Today there are several types of eyeglass lenses that we can use to restore your eyes’ ability to focus, and to correct for presbyopia.

This web-page explains the many options currently available, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each.




If your distance vision is still good, reading glasses can be an answer for presbyopia. They’re available in full-size lenses or in half-size glasses, as shown here.

Half-glasses have been designed to avoid a full lens – they allow the wearer to glance over the bottom reading portion for uncorrected distance viewing. The advantage of either half or full reading glasses (commonly referred to as ‘single vision’ glasses) is that they provide a large viewing area for up-close use. But the disadvantage is that they are limited to only one field of focus. Because they are only useful for near vision, they require you to keep taking them off when looking at a distance.

If you need correction for your near and far vision, you’ll need more than one pairs of glasses. Constant switching between these will be cumbersome and inconvenient.





Access lenses give you an ultra-wide reading area plus the wide, clear mid-range vision you can’t get from simple reading glasses. So everything looks clear from close-up to up to five feet away. Computer users and people doing similar work benefit from this type of correction.

The Access lens features a unique design that offers up to 50% more visual range than single vision reading lenses – so that everything from up close to arm’s length is seen clearly and comfortably.

Enhanced near vision for work or leisure.

Access lenses are ideal are ideal for almost any type of indoor activity at almost any distance.



Ask our staff about Access lenses. They can improve your view of the world in a blink.



If you need visual correction for both distance and near vision, bifocals may serve both needs with the same lens. Invented as long ago as 1775 by Benjamin Franklin, bifocals now come in a variety of designs to fit various occupational needs and lifestyles. Their main advantage is that they eliminate the need to switch from on e pair of glasses to another.


In addition to being outdated technology, the disadvantages of bifocals are that the two fields of vision are separated by an obvious ‘line’. And even in bifocals where the line has been erased to look better (usually called ‘no-line,’ ‘blended,’ or ‘invisible’ bifocals), the change from near to far is abrupt and oftentimes annoying.

The biggest problem with bifocals of all types is that they do not solve the problems of intermediate vision – for instance, looking at a computer screen, reading prices on a supermarket shelf, or looking at a dashboard in the car. It can be very frustrating not to be able to see clearly at this often critical area between near and far.




Trifocals attempt to correct intermediate vision – that arm’s length distance such as your car dashboard or price labels on supermarket shelves. Trifocals include three distinct fields of vision in the same lens – one for distance, one for intermediate, and one for near. Each field is divided by a line. The chief advantage of trifocals is that they provide a third vision field.

But trifocals have two major disadvantages: the added line makes adjusting even more difficult than with bifocals, and they are not cosmetically appealing.




Progressive lenses are a more recent development than bifocals and trifocals. They imitate the action of the human eye, providing the full range of focus from near to intermediate to fargradually, without lines, separations, or interruptions.

Progressives have no seams or lines, and look exactly like normal single vision lenses. Many people get used to them immediately; others need a slight period of adjustment. But once you are comfortable with them, it can be hard to imagine life without them.

Although they’re more expensive than other options, most wearers consider their eyes and vision to be well worth the extra investment. 92% of former bifocal wearers prefer Progressive Lenses and 97% successfully adapt to them.

Several companies currently manufacture progressives, examples being Essilor, Sola and Norville. At MATHESON OPTOMETRISTS, we are not restricted to any particular supplier, using the best products available at very competitive prices.

Progressive lenses are available in a variety of plastic or glass materials to match lifestyle needs, as well as in a variety of tints and changeable (photochromic) tints.

The triple-patented Varilux Comfort design is based on a complex set of curves that vary from ellipses to parabolas to hyperbolas. It’s technology such as this that gives you better vision.

Click to find out more about Varifocal lenses


After having your eyes examined, you’ll be able to make an informed choice of eyeglass lenses in partnership with your eyecare professional will be glad to discuss how your needs can be met.

Remember, it’s advisable for everyone to have an eye examination at least once a year.



At Matheson Optometrists we believe in a quality, high speed service.

All our Practices are equipped with state of the art glazing laboratories and we hold a comprehensive range of single vision stock lenses including high index, aspheric and coated lenses.

This means many of our patients can have their new spectacles in around an hour.

If you have broken your spectacles we can also help.

We produce most single vision spectacles within an hour, repair broken spectacles and can even fit your own lenses into a new spectacle frame in an emergency.

How often have you visited you own Optician to be told that if you require lenses to your own frame you will have to be without your spectacles for a week or two?

At Matheson Optometrists we use a high tech scanning system that allows us to order thin, cosmetically appealing lenses ready for your frames to be reglazed.

We advise you when your lenses are ready, arrange a convenient appointment for you to leave your spectacle frames and we will have them ready with new lenses in around an hour for you to collect.

What could be easier?