Presbyopia and ADD Power: What do they mean?

Presbyopia is a condition that tends to affect people as they age, and it's a fancy word for when it starts getting harder to focus on objects that are close to us. It happens because the eye's lens naturally stiffens with age and stops bending enough to bring close objects into focus.

"ADD power" refers to what's used to correct the symptoms of presbyopia.

How To Treat Presbyopia
Fast, short-term fixes like using magnifiers or holding reading materials at an arm's length away may help bring nearby objects into focus for you but when they don't, here are some other more viable options:

  • Reading glasses. Readers are usually inexpensive and come in a variety of strengths, making them a favorite first-choice option for folks with presbyopia. Note that while reading glasses can help clear up your close-range sight, they'll do nothing to improve distance vision problems (if that's also an issue for you).
  • Bifocals and trifocal lenses. Lenses with more than one type of correction allow for correcting distance and close-up vision at the same time. Normally, close-up lenses are on the bottom while distance lenses occupy the most space of the lens up on top.
  • Lined. Lined lenses have distinctly separate areas for each lens power. Horizontal lines are visible on the lens where each lens correction starts and ends change. A caveat to this kind of lens is that Images may appear to jump out at you when you look through different lens parts.
  • Progressives. The opposite of lined glasses, progressives offer a seamless transition between each lens power. What you're looking at doesn't seem to jump out as much as your eye travels across the lens. A caveat to this lens type is that itís often the most expensive.

Pitfalls of Presbyopia

  • Higher costs. As you'd imagine, bifocals, multifocal and progressive lenses usually cost more than single-distance lenses. (And progressives are typically the most expensive.)
  • ​Bigger frames. The more surface area a frame offers, the more room each type of vision correction on a lens.
  • Adjustment time. Be aware that it takes 2-4 weeks to adjust to bifocal, multifocal and progressive lenses. Why? The eye and the brain need to learn how to play nice as they adjust to the lenses' different refractive powers. Patience is key.
  • Needing to practice. If you're switching to single-distance to multi-distance lenses, keep in mind that it will take time to find just the right spot to look through for both distance and close-up vision in the same lens. Not only might you change how you look at something in the distance or how you move your body, but you may also find yourself moving your entire head rather than just your eyes to see objects at different distances.
  • Even though all of this decision making is highly personal, our patient support team is at the ready to help If you need it. Call us anytime.

How to Use Your Prescription

Your prescription-containing ADD power can be used anywhere for multifocal lenses. Simply choose the lens type that's right for you in addition to the ADD power that is outlined on your prescription.

When purchasing over-the-counter reading glasses, be sure to pick a pair with magnification that matches the ADD power provided within your digital prescription.

Our Guarentee
If for any reason you aren't satisfied with your prescription, let us know and we'll make it right. It's that simple.