If you have prescription glasses but also require glasses for close reading, bifocals can be one way to incorporate both functions in the same pair.
People who need bifocals and prescription glasses don’t need to carry two different pairs of glasses to achieve comfortable vision. Read on to learn more about how to convert your prescription glasses to bifocals without having to buy a new pair.
How to Convert Prescription Glasses to Bifocals
Before you convert your prescription glasses into bifocals, you’ll need to figure out your bifocal lens strength. To get bifocals at the right strength for your prescription glasses, you need the following pieces of information:
- Distance prescription: This is the prescription of your daily glasses.
- Sphere power: The sphere power is the amount of lens power in diopters being used to correct either farsightedness or nearsightedness.
- Add power: The add power is the additional eyesight correction necessary for close reading.
In a lens prescription, prescriptions are written either for the left eye (O.S. Oculus sinister) or the right eye (O.D. Oculus dextrous). If your vision in one eye is different than your vision in the other, since you’ll need to order separate bifocal prescriptions for each lens.
The prescription for bifocals that correlate with prescription glasses equals the sphere power of the prescription plus the add power. This will give the prescription for reading glasses, and this, in turn, can allow wearers to choose an appropriate bifocal lens strength.
Note: Keep in mind that if you’re unclear which bifocal lens to purchase, an eye doctor or optician can tell you what strength of lens you need for reading glasses based on your current prescription. It’s better to get a second opinion from an expert than to accidentally order the wrong lens strength for your bifocals and end up with lenses you can’t use.
How to Apply a Bifocal Lens to Prescription Glasses
The application of a flexible bifocal lens to prescription glasses is one of the easiest things about the conversion. These lenses don’t require any kind of adhesive to attach to prescription glasses, which makes them a good option that doesn’t risk your glasses. You can’t accidentally glue them in the wrong spot or anything like that.
Before adding flexible bifocal lenses to your prescription glasses, it’s important to make sure that your glasses are well cleaned first. Clean lenses thoroughly with hot water and soap or with lens cleaning pads to ensure that there is no debris or oil from your hands present on the surface of the lenses. If debris or oil is present on the surface when you place the bifocals, it can keep them from sticking.
After the lenses are cleaned, allow some water to pool on the convex surface of the interior of the lenses, resting them gently face-down to prevent the outside of the lenses from being scratched on the table surface.
Placing the Bifocal Lenses
The bifocal lenses should be placed centric under your pupils within a 2,5mm offset in your nasal direction. The height of the bifocal sticker should match the level of your lower eyelid. To ensure proper distance, use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the inches out before placing the bifocal lenses on the interior of the prescription lenses.
Place the bifocal lenses with the curved side facing down towards the curved side of the prescription lens, lining the bottom of the bifocal lens up with the bottom edge of the prescription lens. Pressing the lenses firmly against the prescription lenses should attach them.
How to Remove a Bifocal Lens from Prescription Glasses
Removing flexible bifocal lenses from prescription glasses is just as easy as installing them. To remove the bifocal lenses, simply place the pair of prescription glasses underwater until the bifocal lenses become dislodged.
Be careful when it comes to the temperature of the water. If you rinse your glasses with hot water the coatings will probably break.
If the bifocal lenses ever slip out of place during use, this is also the same method you can use to readjust your bifocal lenses and place them back in the correct spot on your prescription lenses.
Questions About Flexible Bifocal Lenses
If you’ve never worn bifocal lenses before, you might have a question about how effective they are. This is especially true if you’re going with flexible stick-on bifocal lenses rather than buying glasses with a bifocal lens that is integrated into the prescription lens.
Here are a few questions you might have about using flexible bifocal lenses to convert your prescription glasses into bifocals:
- Are the lenses durable? Bifocal lenses are resistant to impact and light, which makes them durable in most environments. The major risk of using stick-on bifocal lenses is that humid and moist environments may cause them to become loose and detach.
- Are flexible bifocal lenses easy to use? Flexible bifocal lenses are easy to use. Anyone who can use a ruler and run a faucet can install bifocal lenses onto their current prescription lenses to convert them to a bifocal pair.
- Will flexible bifocal lenses work on other types of glasses than prescription glasses? Flexible bifocal lenses will work on a variety of different glasses other than prescription eyeglasses including safety goggles and scuba masks.
Bifocal lenses can be ordered over the Internet, which makes them easy to replace even if they do get damaged or lost. Since installation is also a snap, it’s no problem to put in a new set if one becomes dislodged in the course of daily activities.
Do You Need Bifocals?
After years of wearing regular prescription glasses, many people may find themselves in a position of being able to do close reading without additional amendments to their vision. With normal changes within your eye, your ability to read ad close distances will slowly go away. That is called presbyopia.
Symptoms of presbyopia include some of the following:
- Experiencing blurred vision and headaches during close reading
- Holding reading materials further away to read them clearly
- Eyestrain and fatigued vision related to reading
The problems caused by far-sightedness can be exaggerated by trying to read in dimly lit environments. If you experience any of these symptoms, converting your prescription glasses to bifocal lenses may be the key to experiencing comfortable vision both at intermediate distances as well as close at hand.
Usually this happens when you are over 40 years old.
Tips for Adjusting to Bifocals
If you’re coming from regular prescription eyeglasses to progressive lenses like bifocals, they can take some getting used to. You’ll have to train yourself to use different parts of your lenses to see clearly at different distances.
Here are a few tips you can use to adjust to bifocals when you convert your prescription glasses:
- Switch over completely. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to bifocals, you might be tempted to spend half the time wearing a plain pair of prescription glasses and half the time wearing your bifocals. Don’t do this, as it takes longer for your eyes to adjust to the new lens strength of your bifocals.
- Wear glasses consistently, but give yourself a break. It’s important to wear your bifocals throughout the day to train your eyes to get used to them, but be sure to take breaks if wearing them starts to give you a headache early on. These headaches can be a symptom of eyestrain caused by your eyes stressing over the sight adjustment.
- Be careful on the stairs. Getting used to bifocals can cause you to misjudge distances as you adjust to the sight difference. This can cause you to miss a step and fall down the stairs if you’re not cautious. Make sure that you don’t carry heavy loads down the stairs for the first few days while you get used to your glasses, and always hold on to a railing to avoid a dangerous tumble.
On average it takes around three days for your eyes to adjust to a new pair of bifocal lenses, so you shouldn’t feel disoriented for long. The more consistent you are in wearing your new lenses, the more quickly your eyes will adjust.
Converting Glasses to Bifocals is Easy
Eyeglass prescriptions may seem complicated, but the process of converting your prescription for reading bifocals is as easy as some simple arithmetic. With the easy convenience of flexible stick-on bifocal lenses, anybody can incorporate bifocal technology into their existing pair of prescription glasses.