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Progressive Lenses Problems

Progressive Lenses Problems

In this guide, we want to give you some detailed yet succinct advice on some of the problems faced by wearing progressive lenses. While they may be very popular, wearing progressives doesn’t come without risks. Before we go into detail about specific problems associated with progressive lenses, let’s get to know them a bit. 


What Are Progressive Lenses?

A progressive lens corrects multiple vision requirements in one lens. Therefore, a single pair of glasses can be used for correcting your long-distance, intermediate, and close-up requirements. This means the top of the lens is adapted for distance vision, and gradually diminishes in power towards the bottom, which is designed for reading or other close-up tasks like checking a price tag or using your smartphone.


Common Problems With Progressive Lenses:

We’ve compiled research from around the internet, plus our customers’ most pressing FAQs, to devise this list of common problems. 


Progressive Lenses Distortion Problems

Most glasses cause some kind of distortion, regardless of whether they’re progressive or not. However, the three different segments (geared up to different viewing distances) found in progressive lenses can make that distortion feel more prominent than with other pairs of eyeglasses. 

Some users have reported finding it hard to switch rapidly between the different areas of focus. This is understandable; it is not a natural situation for the eye and distortions are reasonably likely. Ultimately, responsiveness to progressive lenses comes down to individual needs.

In time, however, distortions are likely to dissipate. Most people claim it takes about two weeks to adjust to progressive lenses.

If you still experience problems with vision distortion after this initial fortnight, it might be a good idea to go and speak to an eye doctor.


Progressive Lenses Peripheral Vision Problems

A common side effect of progressive lenses is the way in which they blur peripheral vision - the areas just at the edge of your normal range of vision. Blurriness is usually most noticeable through the lower portion of the lens and to the left and right of near and intermediate zones. The sensation of peripheral blurriness is at its most pronounced when individuals first begin wearing progressive lenses, and it’s typically exacerbated by looking straight ahead.

Most people claim it takes about two weeks to adjust to progressive lenses, but if you still experience problems with your peripheral vision after this initial fortnight, it might be a good idea to go and speak to an eye doctor.


Progressive Lenses Problems Adjusting

The most common fear we hear from customers about adjusting to progressive lenses is about going down stairs. You may experience these issues because the power (or diopters) in progressive lenses gradually change from far to near. When walking down some stairs, there might be moments where the ground seems blurrier, nearer or further away than it actually is. You will adjust to these symptoms with time and practice, but we wanted to summarise them here, so you know what to expect:


  • - Headaches.

  • Depth perception issues.

  • - Dizziness or nausea.

  • - ‘Swim and sway’ effect.

  • - Discomfort or not feeling safe using stairs.

  • - Peripheral vision distortion feels like a narrow field of vision.

  • - Difficulty adapting during the first few minutes of use.

  • - Difficulty focusing between different intermediate and near distances.


This list might seem long, but you might not experience any of these. If you do, rest assured in the knowledge that you’ll eventually adjust, and the symptoms will go away. Adjusting to progressives requires you to use your head, eyes, and posture slightly differently to get the most out of your lenses. The better-suited your lenses are to your needs, the faster you will adapt.


Progressive Lenses Problems Computer

Progressive computer glasses are designed to let you see clearly and sharply over a range of distances. The area for computer work is just the smallest part - and the hardest part on which to focus. Typically, people using normal progressive lenses at a computer screen will have trouble trying to make out detail without squinting or straining their eyes. This strain is also present when reading a book - one of the reasons why people experience progressive lenses problems while reading. 

Glasses like these force you to stay in an unnatural position which can cause discomfort in your eyes, neck and shoulders. Progressive lenses are manufactured in a way to let you see clearly when your head, neck, back and shoulders are in a relaxed, comfortable position - i.e. not at a computer. Working at a screen - particularly one lower than your head - can cause a myriad of long-term aches, stresses and pains; using glasses not suited to this kind of vision can exacerbate these problems.


Progressive Lenses Problems Driving

While progressive lenses are suitable for driving, it’s definitely worth considering some of the problems that we’ve already mentioned in this article. Remember: if you’ve never worn these eyeglasses before, it can take time to get used to them.

To adjust to progressive lenses, try wearing them a little more each day. Within a few weeks, it should be much easier to see while on the road with less distortion overall. 

Another thing to think about is the types of progressive lenses available for drivers. If you plan on driving for long distances, it’s worth asking your eye doctor or researching standard vs. premium progressive lenses. Standard lenses are more affordable than premium, but premium lenses offer a broader viewing area, making them ideal for drivers. 

You can also get special coatings for your lenses. We recommend an anti-reflective coating to prevent glare while you’re on the road - if you’re interested in how and why this works, read our guide to night driving glasses


You might want to know if progressive lenses are suitable for drivers if you spend extended periods on the road. Since this type of lens gives you three levels of visual coverage, including in the distance, progressive lenses are, for the majority of users, good for driving. 

However, you may experience some problems with progressive lenses. The most common issue is a long adjustment period. As mentioned previously, it can take weeks to get used to progressive lenses, so if you notice any distortion while driving, you can work your way up to wearing them full time.


Progressive Lenses Solutions

At SmartBuyGlasses, we pride ourselves on catering to all your eyewear needs. If it’s progressive lenses you’re worried about, don’t fret; you can fit some high-quality, high-durability progressive lenses to any pair of prescription glasses on our site. When you’ve found a pair you like from our extensive correction, just go through and check the box for progressive lenses. From there, you’re a few days away from a stylish pair of specs with progressive lenses turning up at your door!


If you’ve found this guide enjoyable or informative, why don’t you check out some more articles from our Optical Center. Alternatively, have a look at some of the groundbreaking lens technologies on display at SmartBuyGlasses, including blue light blocking glasses from zFORT®.

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