What are Bifocal Lenses and how do they work?

What are Bifocal Lenses and how do they work?

It is said that Benjamin Franklin contributed to creating the very first bifocal lenses in 1784.

Bifocals are most commonly prescribed to people who require a pair of glasses for both long sight distance and near sight reading.


Bifocal lenses allow you to have two prescriptions in one lens, this means you only need to carry one pair of glasses rather than constantly switching between 2 pairs. Typically, bifocals are for reading in the lower half, and distance in the upper half, however, depending on the wearer and their requirements the upper segment could be for intermediate distance and the lower segment for their reading prescription.

Explanation diagram with different types of bifocal lenses


There are many types of bifocals with varying shapes and sizes of segments. The most common being a D28 seg, this lens gets its name due to the segment being a D-shape and 28mm wide. Bifocals are also available in round segments or even segments that are the full width of the lens, these are known as executive bifocals.


types of bifocal glasses by Lenses in Glasses


Although the change between powers can take time to adjust to there are many benefits of bifocals, these include:

  • Wide near zone for natural eye movement
  • Smooth graduation between powers
  • Optimized for shallower frames
  • Appearance of a single vision lens
  • One frame, two prescriptions
  • Cheaper alternative to varifocals

Our bifocal lenses can be clear lenses, transitions, polaroid and sunglass lenses, anti-reflective coatings, or blue protect.

We can provide you with bifocal lenses from leading manufacturers such as Zeiss.

Prices start from £48.00 for standard uncoated bifocals.


How does it work?