A guide to varifocal lenses
The varifocal is a marvellous work of optical technology that allows for up to three prescriptions in a single lens. This means they can correct your near, intermediate, and distance vision, all without the need to change your specs.
This is a complex area of optics, and can be tricky to get our head around. This guide will give you a better understanding of the technical brilliance of varifocals.
The lens in our eye is ﬂexible and adjusts its focus when we look at objects at diﬀerent distances. As we age, the lens stiffens and our ability to change focus is reduced. It becomes harder to focus on near objects, making reading difficult.
This is called Presbyopia. Fortunately, we can correct it in a number of ways.
Single vision reading lenses will offer great vision for reading and close work. They’re extremely easy to adapt to and offer the best vision for people simply looking to wear glasses for reading. However, they can’t be used for distance vision, so another pair of single vision glasses is necessary for activities such as driving.
Varifocals combine both prescriptions in a single lens, meaning the wearer can change focus from objects near to distant simply by moving their eyes, without having to change their spectacles.
Varifocals require a bit of training. Your eyes need to adapt to different planes of corrected vision. You will see through the different prescriptions contained in your varifocals according to the movement of your eyes.
When you first receive your magnificent spectacles, wear them as often as possible without swapping. This will help you adjust much faster.
Move your head to point in the direction of what you are looking at. This will mean you are looking through the correct part of the lens, ensuring clarity of vision.
For reading or close work, move your eyes to look through the bottom of the lens.
It’s important to be patient with varifocals. Some people are able to adapt in a few days, for others it may take up to a month. The important thing is to wear them as much as possible to overcome this adaptation period.
The bottom of the lens can make objects appear magnified. It is important to take care using stairs or walking on uneven surfaces during this adaptation period.
Cubitts does not offer varifocals to be purchased online. Varifocals require precise measurements which influence where the lens will sit in relation to your eyes.
Due to the complexity of varifocal lenses, we advise anyone interested in varifocals to visit one of our stores so our teams can respond directly to your personal needs.
We offer three types of varifocal lens: Everyday, Advanced, and Bespoke. Every varifocal wearer is different, and the correct choice of lens will be dependent on how you use your spectacles.
Our varifocals are manufactured by our lens partners, ZEISS. If you get as excited about optical technology as we do – and we think you should – then you will know this is rather thrilling.
Our Everyday lens is the ZEISS Precision Plus, providing excellent clarity of vision for those looking to use their varifocals only for occasional reading or close work.
Our Advanced lens is the ZEISS Precision Superb SmartLife. This is our most popular choice, and provides excellent clarity of vision at distance and near levels for sustained use across different distances. Using the latest technology, this lens is adapted to your unique face shape, to ensure superior clarity of vision. With an optimised corridor of vision, this lens will be suitable for longer periods of reading, without eye strain.
Our Bespoke lens is the ZEISS Individual SmartLife, which can be tailored precisely to your face shape and day to day requirements to ensure a personalised field of vision. This lens offers the most seamless experience available in a varifocal.
Our store and customer service teams will be happy to help you choose exactly the right lens for your needs. No upselling. No jargon.
How do varifocals work?