Eye Health

8 Differences Between Bifocal and Varifocal Lenses

Bifocal and varifocal lenses are two of the most common types of corrective lenses used for people with presbyopia, a condition that affects our ability to focus on close objects as we age. Both of these lenses have their own unique features, benefits, and limitations. Understanding the differences between bifocal and varifocal lenses can help you choose the right type of lens for your needs. In this article, we will explore eight key differences between bifocal and varifocal lenses.

1. The Transmission of Light

Bifocal lenses transmit light from both eyes at the same time. This means that if you have a bifocal lens in one eye, it will transmit light from your other eye. In contrast, varifocal lenses transmit light from one eye at a time. If you have a varifocal lens in your right eye, only light from your right eye will be transmitted through it; if you want to see what is happening on your left side, you need to look through another lens specifically designed to transmit light from your left eye.

2. The Direction of Vision

With Bifocal contact lenses, both eyes can look at the same object simultaneously; thus, they provide better vision than varifocal ones when reading or driving because they allow us to look directly ahead while still being able to focus on objects close by or far away from us.

3. The Field of View

Bifocals provide a wide field of view, so you can see objects close up and far away without moving your head or eyes. varifocal contact lenses have a narrower field of view than bifocals because they contain more than one focal point. One advantage of this narrow field of view is that it helps reduce eyestrain because you don’t have to move your head around so much while wearing them.

4. The Width and Height of the Lens

The lens width and height differ on varifocals than on bifocals. Because they are made to fit over more than one lens, they are larger in circumference but shorter in length than regular glasses. Bifocals do not change shape as varifocal lenses do; they have two different prescriptions for each eye.

5. The cost

Bifocal lenses are generally more affordable than varifocal lenses. This is because they are simpler in design and require fewer materials to manufacture.

Varifocal lenses are more expensive than bifocal lenses due to their more complex design and the additional materials needed to blend the two prescription powers.

6. How They Look

Varifocal lenses can make it look like you have double vision when you are looking straight ahead or looking down at something near your feet or lower body area (called “bottom reading”). This is because there is a difference between the lines in each eye that makes up what you see through the glasses. Bifocals do not have this problem because there is only one line for each eye instead of two separate lines like with varifocals; thus, there is no double vision when looking straight ahead or down at something close by.

7. The adaptation process

Adapting to bifocal lenses is usually easier and quicker than adapting to varifocal lenses. This is because bifocal lenses only have two sections, whereas varifocal lenses have multiple sections with different prescription powers.

Adapting to varifocal lenses can take some time and practice as your eyes need to adjust to the different prescription powers in different areas of the lens. However, once you are used to varifocal lenses, you will find them to be a comfortable and convenient way to correct your vision.

8. How they are made

Both bifocal and varifocal contact lenses are made using the progressive design (the same technology is used to make both). The difference lies in the design of the lens itself – how it’s cut and shaped.

Bifocal lenses have two distinct focal points, one for near vision and one for distance. A bifocal lens will have an upper section of clear glass (or plastic) that allows you to see things up close without removing your glasses. There will also be a lower section of prescription glass that allows you to see things farther away.

Varifocals are cut into three sections: one for near vision, one for intermediate range, and one for distance viewing. The “varifocal” part refers to the fact that there are three different areas on the lens, each with its prescription strength.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, bifocal and varifocal lenses both have their own unique features and benefits. Understanding the differences between the two can help you choose the right type of lens for your needs. Whether you are looking for a simple and affordable lens or a more versatile and natural-looking lens, there is a lens option that will meet your needs.


What are Bifocal and Varifocal Lenses?

Bifocal lenses have two prescriptions in one lens, one for distance and one for reading. Varifocal lenses have a gradient prescription that gradually changes from distance to reading.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of Bifocal and Varifocal Lenses?

Bifocals are convenient for those who need both distance and reading correction but can cause visual distortion at the line dividing the prescriptions. Varifocals provide a more natural viewing experience but can cause some adjustment time and some people may experience visual distortion at the edges of the lens.

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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