People who have more than one type of vision problem need glasses with multifocal lenses. Trifocals are glasses that contain three levels of prescriptions to correct for near, intermediate, and distance vision. Typically, trifocals are prescribed for people with advanced presbyopia.

What are trifocals?

Trifocals are multifocal eyeglasses with lenses that have three regions to correct for near vision, intermediate vision, and distance vision. The near and intermediate vision prescriptions are in an area at the bottom of the lens and appear in a half moon shape. The half moon section includes horizontal lines that visibly separate the three prescriptions. The section nearest the bottom of the lens is used for close-up vision when reading small print or sewing. The middle section is used for intermediate vision, which refers to viewing anything at arm's length, including computers. The topmost section of trifocals is used for distance viewing.

What do trifocals treat?

Trifocals are designed to help people who have multiple vision problems see clearly at all distances. Most people who wear trifocals have presbyopia, which is an age-related loss of visual accommodation. Trifocals are particularly useful for people who spend a lot of time working on a computer. The additional section above the bifocal portion of the lenses is helpful for viewing anything in the intermediate zone of vision; from a computer screen to the gauges on a car dashboard.

Benefits of trifocals

Trifocal lenses provide the benefit of three separate prescriptions in a single pair of eyeglasses. They are designed to provide clear vision at near, far, and intermediate distances.

For people who wear prescription eyeglasses and later develop presbyopia, trifocal eyeglasses can help them continue to see clearly when performing everyday tasks. Trifocals also come in a variety of special designs and can be customized for people who work on computers all day. One of the advantages of wearing trifocals is that they provide a wider lens area for reading and computer work.

Schedule an appointment with your optometrist to determine if you would benefit from trifocal lenses.


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