Everything you need to know about Varifocal Lenses - R. Woodfall Opticians of London
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Everything you need to know about Varifocal Lenses

Varifocal lenses are a type of multifocal lens which gradually change in their optical power. Unlike bifocal lenses, there is no noticeable difference within the lens or a jump between reading and distance vision. Varifocals have been designed to provide a better middle-distance focus. They have become increasingly popular, as many struggle to adapt to the dividing line found on bifocal lenses, without this line, the glasses as a whole are much more attractive too. Varifocals offer the most modern technology available in a multifocal lens.

How do Varifocals work?

Varifocal lenses make a progressive change from distance vision to near vision. This has been manufactured by creating a slight increase in the curvature of the lens. Avoiding the need for a distinct line, which is typical of a more traditional bifocal lens. This curvature is not obvious, but it helps to create a distinction between the top and bottom of the lens, providing the multifocal function which so many people now require from their lenses.

Do I need Varifocals?

In most instances those over the age of 40 are much more likely to require varifocal lenses. This is because, with age, our sight begins to deteriorate. Ageing will often cause the refractive error Presbyopia, which causes objects close up to appear blurry. If you have started to notice things such as books and your mobile phone screen appearing blurry, you may need varifocal lenses.


Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your ability to focus on objects which are nearby. This usually becomes noticeable when people struggle to read a book or a newspaper. This is a very simple condition to diagnose during a regular eye examination. As this tends appear in its early stages amongst those in their 40s, worsening into retirement age, annual eye examinations become much more important at this stage of life. During your eye examination, the optician will test your visual sharpness and your ability to adjust your eye’s focus across different distances. If this is becoming difficult, and causing a strain to your eyes, varifocals may be recommended. Be sure to book into one of our branches across the London, Kent and Surrey for a routine eye examination.

Wearing Varifocal Lenses  

Opting for varifocal lenses will allow you to continue with your busy lifestyle. Going from reading a sign in the distance to picking up your phone to reply to a text with ease. No longer will you need to switch between glasses or have your lenses slow you down.