You love cycling but you can tell you’re getting older because without eye correction you can’t focus on objects in the distance nor can you see up close to read anything! What do you do?
Progressive vision correction, known as varifocal lenses in Europe, may be the answer you’ve been looking for. With progressives, you don’t notice a sharp change in vision when looking from the top to the bottom of the lens like you do when wearing standard bifocals. Instead, the top of the lens corrects for your distance-vision and the near-vision correction begins slightly below the middle of your lens and continues as you look out the bottom.
Unlike bi-focals, you will need to get used to moving your head a little more than you have been. Rather than just looking up for distance-vision and down for reading, you now have a range of focus. To see objects somewhat close to you, you will raide or lower your head to see through the prescription that provides you with the best focus.
The ever-changing correction takes some getting used to. With bifocals you know when you’ve changed prescriptions, while with progressives it happens gradually so that your brain can get “fooled” into making things like steps seem steeper than they actually are.
Beware if you plan to use your progressive prescription in cycling-specific eyewear though. Purchasing eyewear with “prescription lens inserts” can be a problem because the eyewear conforms to the face, making the lenses curve more than with standard glasses. This means that it is extremely easy to end up with distorted vision if your lenses aren’t made correctly. Another issue is that the inserts are somewhat small and they may make your prescription unsuitable for progressive lenses to be made.
With progressive lenses, the larger the eyeglass the easier it is to make the prescription work. If you think it’s fashionable to wear small-lensed glasses, then you should probably plan on using 2 pairs of glasses – one for reading your maps and the other while riding down the road.