Multifocal lenses: enjoy better vision at every distance

Reviewed by Dr. Justin Asgarpour

Bifocal lenses have two focal points to help you see two different distances — far and near — without having to take your glasses on and off constantly. Progressive lenses offer you the full range of vision you need at all distances with no cosmetically noticeable lines. Think of progressives as a lens of convenience as well as a smoother transition in the prescription strength from the top to the bottom regions of the lenses.

Learn more about the different
options for multifocal lenses

Bifocals and progressives are both great options for people with presbyopia (farsightedness), helping you see multiple distances. While most people who develop presbyopia prefer progressive lenses for their line-free enhancement, some choose bifocal lenses for their wide field of vision in the reading area. Compare and see which glasses are right for you.

Bifocals have two prescriptions that allow you to see far away and close up. The bottom part of the lens (which is the reading prescription) is usually in a semi-circle shape that looks like a half moon or the letter ‘D’ on its side. Bifocals at Clearly are only available for full-frame glasses due to the material used for the bifocals. Our bifocal lenses include anti-reflective coating for better vision (vs uncoated lenses). For extra durability and ease of cleaning, upgrade to our C-Shield coating.

Progressives are ‘the next generation’ multifocal glasses. They make your vision even more seamless than traditional bifocals because they don’t have a visible line that separates the two prescriptions. A progressive lens is better than a bifocal lens in terms of convenience and cosmetic appeal. Progressive lenses allow you to see comfortably at near, intermediate, and far distances. However, if you’re a new multifocal wearer, it may take some time to get used to them.

The advantages of a progressive lens with a more usable field of view. The central corridor of best vision can be up to 30% wider, allowing you a larger field of view with the best vision your eyes can give you. Our premium progressive considers the depth of the frame you choose and adjusts how far your eye needs to travel to reach your needed reading power. Our Dynamic Corridor adjusts the lens design to ensure nothing in your world is left out, no matter how close it is!

Check out some of the key differences
between bifocals and progressives




Distance Vision

Middle Vision


Near Vision


  • Requires shorter adaptation period.

  • Covers near and far vision.

  • Wide field of up-close vision.

  • Includes intermediate (arm’s length) range for short periods in front of your computer screen.

  • Near vision is viewable in the lower portion of the lens.

  • Seamless and smooth transition when you switch focus between near, far, and middle, and vice versa.

  • No one can tell you’re wearing multifocal lenses.


  • Noticeable line in the middle of the lens.

  • Absence of intermediate vision.

  • May experience “image jump” when you switch focus from near to far and vice versa.

  • Requires a slightly longer adaptation period.

  • Some distortion at the right and left of the lens. Try our premium progressives for less distortion.

  • Not suitable for longer periods of visual activity at intermediate distances. If you spend more time at intermediate working distance such as your desk or computer, consider a secondary, task-specific pair suited to that working distance.

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Clearly progressive lenses


Standard Progressives

Premium Progressives

Product highlight

Like all progressive lenses, the best vision is found in the central corridor of the lens, with the periphery displaying slight distortions.

Premium progressives feature a wider field of vision than standard progressives with peripheral distortion pushed farther to the side of the lens.

Distance Vision

★ ★ ★

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Middle Vision

★ ★

★ ★ ★ ★

Near Vision

★ ★

★ ★ ★ ★

Top 3 FAQs about multifocal lenses

Progressive lenses are most often prescribed to people approx. 40 years and older with an “ADD” on their prescription of +1.00 or greater. Your eye contains a natural crystalline lens that is flexible — allowing muscles to control its shape and focus on nearby objects when those muscles pull on it.

As we age, that natural crystalline lens stiffens (just like the rest of our bodies) and becomes less flexible. Around the age of 40, your eye muscles can’t pull hard enough anymore to flex that lens — this is where a progressive lens adds magnification to do some of the work that stiff crystalline lens can’t anymore.

Don’t fret. Presbyopia happens to absolutely everyone and it’s unavoidable. Signs of presbyopia can manifest as early as 35 years of age. Consult our eye care professional to find out if your eyes are trying to fulfill a mission impossible and giving you a headache in the process!

Every eye is different and every person is unique. Usually, most people acclimatize to progressive lenses within two weeks of full-time wear. Remember, adaptation is critical to get used to them. Ideally, you should wear them on all waking hours of the day. The more you wear them the faster your adaptation should be, but we’re here for you every step of the way.

When you receive your glasses, ensure they’re adjusted by a professional and then try to wear them as much as possible. If everything is blurry when you put them on, contact us right away. If you put them on and they feel a little weird? Great! That’s normal.

You might’ve heard of it before. Segment height is the point at which the magnification begins for intermediate and near vision.

Segment height is measured from the centre of your pupil to the lowest point where the lens meets the frame. Our system dynamically scales the segment height based on the frame you choose to ensure you enjoy the clearest vision for all the things your eyes do during the day.

2,000+ styles starting at $9. Progressive lenses, blue light glasses, and more.