Progressive Lenses and Tri Focals

Getting the best value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses, sunglasses, eye exams, and contact lenses.

Postby JerryM » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:29 am

My first post here, and am glad I found this forum.
I am an 81 yo retired military (Army). I have used trifocals for many years. I recently had cataract surgery in my left eye. The right eye is OK.
I have glasses from the VA and DOD. Medicare pays for one pair after cataract surgery, I understand. I had a pair made at WalMarts but have not received any reimbursement yet. I am very satisfied with the WalMart glasses, and they used my frames. Cost of bifocal lenses was $52.00.

I learned about Zenni, but at this time do not need additional eyeglasses. I might get a pair from them yet.
However, I noticed that Zenni does not indicate that they make trifocals. I have never used progressives, and have not felt the need to use them. The lines do not cause me any trouble. I am wondering, however, if the progressives would eliminate the need for trifocal lenses.

Thanks for any answers, and I have found this forum very interesting.

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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:58 pm

Postby george » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:37 pm

You can read through my review of the Zenni progressive lenses. Unfortunately, I'm aware that my review is not the most helpful since I don't have anything to compare my progressive lenses with. This is my first and only pair of progressive lenses.

Here is the image that Zenni sent me during my email exchange with them:

Progressive Lens Image
zenni-progressive.jpg (25.12 KiB) Viewed 1345 times

Technically, the Zenni progressive lenses are not bifocals. Progressive lenses have the distance segment at the top, the reading segment at the bottom, and a transition zone in between that is for intermediate distances.

The problem I've had with progressive lenses (compared to the single vision lenses I had always previously used) is that when you look to the side through the glasses, they are out of focus. Supposedly, free form progressives (Zenni claims they use similar technology) are supposed to offer a wider field of vision than older style progressive lenses. This is where it would be helpful if I had a high quality, top technology progressive lens to compare. Perhaps the Zenni lenses are just as good as anything else offered, but I think it is probable that some of the pricier lenses would offer a wider field of vision.

Having said that, I have gotten quite used to my progressive lenses and they are fine for every day use. There are certainly times where I can't quite get my vision in focus but they are not common. I have considered getting a pair of traditional bifocal lenses just for comparison, as they are pretty cheap. Trifocals would actually make more sense for me since I do use the computer a significant amount of time and I think the intermediate focus would be best for that. I am personally not that vain to care about the line in my lenses, but other close family have suggested I avoid it from an appearance standpoint. If they work better for me, though, I think it'd be worth it. My attempt at getting a separate pair of reading glasses for reading and computer use was not helpful. I find the effort of switching glasses is too much of a hassle, compared to just tilted my head to the right place to get things in focus.

So, to try to answer your question - progressive lenses can replace trifocal lenses. However, if you don't mind the lines, I'm not sure if the overall field of vision you get with progressives will be as good. If you do order progressives, please share your experience comparing them to your trifocals. If I order a pair of lined bifocals or trifocals, I'll be sure to update this thread.
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Postby JerryM » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:21 am

Many thanks, George. I do not mind the lines, but I wanted to try progressives, and also a 50% yellow pair of glasses. Being "frugal" and not really needing another pair of glasses I wanted to go with Zenni.
I did order a pair today at a total cost of $44.78. That should satisfy my curiosity.

I read your reviews on various subjects and have enjoyed them and learned from them.

I am hoping that progressives will help when stepping off a curb or going down stairs. Otherwise the bifocal part of my trifocals gets in the way, and I have to look down more that I would desire. Maybe the progressives won't help that problem. I will at least know in a few weeks.

I appreciate the comments.
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:58 pm

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