• 18 The Precinct, Middleton Rd,Chadderton Oldham, OL9 0LQ
  • 0161-665-3673
  • hello@chaddertonopticians.co.uk

Difference between Bifocal and Varifocal lenses

A bifocal lens

The difference between varifocal and bifocal lenses can be confusing. Both can cure refractive disorders and consist of more than one power strength in a single lens. Similarly, both lenses are prescription eyeglasses. They are used to correct vision defects originated due to hypermetropia, myopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. Bifocals and varifocals are specially designed to help you see things near and far, with sections ready to hold two prescriptions. As a result, when you have both prescriptions, there’s no need to keep switching between two pairs of glasses. Above all, when it comes to comparing their structure, performance, and benefits, there’s a significant difference.

Make your life easy with just ONE pair of glasses?

Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal Lenses are made up of two different power strengths in a single lens for distance and near vision. The upper and lower part of the lens is separated through a visible distinct line. There is no gradual distinction between the two. In addition, you have to look up and down to switch between the prescriptions you need. However, with a long-distance prescription at the top and near vision at the bottom.

Bifocals are usually, but not exclusively, prescribed to wearers with the age-related condition presbyopia. Although, the eyes begin to have to work harder to focus on anything up close. The main problem with bifocal is its inability to offer a good transition. In other words, you’ll never be able to go from far to near vision shift without getting disturbed by the presence of its differentiating line, unlike varifocal.

Varifocal Lenses

Varifocal glasses, otherwise known as Progressive glasses are advanced technology lenses. It is an updated version of bifocal lenses, that caters to multiple prescriptions. In addition to progressive lens zones rather than a distinct top and bottom dividing line. However, the varifocals are divided into three parts: for correcting near, distance, and intermediate vision defects. Which is especially useful for day to day activities. It is also useful for driving where clear vision in all ranges is so important.

The upper part of the varifocal lens corrects your distant vision. The intermediate is for computer work like reading an article online. While, the near portion is for distant vision. . Furthermore, with varifocal glasses, you never get vision correction for doing arms-length work like computer or laptop work. They ensure a seamless transition for any prescription necessary.

Differences between Bifocals and Varifocal Lenses


Difference between bifocal and varifocal lens

Image courtesy:  specscart.co.uk

Besides the aforementioned differences in appearance and performance, bifocal and varifocal glasses are different in the following manner as well:

  • The prices of bifocals appear cheap, compared to varifocals.
  • Varifocal lenses allow a gradual transition from reading mode to distance view and vice versa while bifocal lenses do not.
  • Bifocal lenses allow two different prescriptions to be combined into one lens while varifocal lenses allow a combination of three prescription types.
  • Visible transition line that divides both the prescription sections are present in bifocals but absent in varifocals.
  • Customization is possible with varifocals according to the profession, work, lifestyle, visual requirements, and sports.

In conclusion, there’s a need to understand that when it comes to eyes, everyone has different needs and requirements. Thus, you go for the lens that will work best for you. This will depend on your own individual preferences and prescription.



Call us on 0161 665 3673 to book an appointment with us now! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @chaddertonopticians for the latest eye health news.

One Reply to “Difference between Bifocal and Varifocal lenses”

  1. […] “two”. It is used in the formation of compound words like biannual and bilingual. So, to have bifocal lens is to have two prescriptions in one lens, nearly always long-distance middle to top of the lens and […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">html</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.