5 Common Mistakes With Multifocal Glasses

Updated: Nov 23, 2019






1. Not choosing the latest technology

Multifocal lenses inherently have peripheral distortion, its unavoidable as multiple script powers are ground into the lens

Freeform multifocal lenses are precision tooled, with the prescription ground on the back surface which ensures wider viewing zone to enhance the visual experience.  Lenses ground using the older technology have a narrower corridor of clear vision which may make you feel like you have tunnel vision and you are constantly moving your head sideways for clarity. 

When shopping around, always make sure you are shopping apples for apples....Freeform for Freeform, not older technology.


2.  Lying newspapers/large books flat on a table

It is virtually impossible to catch the sweet spot of your reading portion of Multifocal lenses when the newspaper is flat down, and at the top of the page.  You will almost always be tilting and bobbing your head back and forth trying to catch it.   Hold the newspaper like a book....solves the problem every time.


3. Desktop computers

Another issue for Multifocal wearers are desktop computers. The majority of workplaces with desktop monitors have larger screens that are aligned at eye level. Unfortunately for all multifocal wearers this position makes it impossible to effectively use your glasses as you will have to tilt your neck back to find the reading portion, resulting in a sore neck and osteopath visits.

The ideal screen position for a multifocal is 10-15 degrees below eye level, so that as you look down with a normal head position, the reading portion will be naturally aligned with your screen. 

Laptops are better, as their normal position is lower, and you can move it to find your perfect spot. 


When looking straight ahead you are looking through your distance script not your computer zone. In this position Multifocal use is impossible and you would only be able to read the bottom of the screen.


4. Reading in bed lying down.


Sitting upright in bed is ideal with multifocal lenses


However if you are: a. lying on your side - you will most likely hit the distortion pattern of your lenses

b. flat with the book above -  you will be looking through the distance portion or have to crank your neck  back to hit the reading portion





5.  Not giving your multifocal lenses long enough

My estimated percentage of success:

85% put on their first multifocal glasses and say "wow, this is easy - what was I worried about"

10% take about 2 weeks.   Come back in a year and say that they hated the glasses for 2 weeks but now love them and would never go back to single vision

3% put them in a drawer and give up.  When their other pair of glasses breaks, they find the pair in the drawer and start using them.  Then realize that they can actually get used to them.

2% put them on in the store and say "NO - I don't think I can get used to them"


Multifocals are not for everyone, and are not meant for every situation. They are a lens that is convenient especially for someone who has distance glasses, computer glasses, reading glasses and sunglasses, and are juggling all their pairs of glasses all day long. Multifocals are a general purpose lens, great for everything but not one thing for hours like computers. In these instances single vision computer glasses may be better suited.