Varifocal lenses combine a distance and reading prescription in one lens, but rather than a visible step to the reading area (as with bifocals) there is a smooth transition down the lens. Not only does a varifocal lens look better cosmetically, it also gives a portion of the lens suitable for viewing objects at arms length, such as a computer screen or prices on shop shelves, which can be awkward to view with a bifocal. It is more important than ever now with the increased use of computers, mobiles and tablets that this ‘arms-length’ distance is always in focus. Customers choose us rather than buying varifocals online.

It can take a short time to get used to varifocal lenses but with the right type of varifocal and the advice from our qualified team there are very few people who cannot adapt to them. With the advances in technology varifocal lenses are now designed to fit into today’s modern frame styles giving you much more freedom of choice than before.

Varilux by Essilor

The Varilux varifocal range is extensive and tailored to?suit most patients? budgets and requirements. Their lenses are available in all refractive indices, with several different coatings, and Transition VI technology. The latest Varilux S series range from Essilor provides the widest corridors yet and can be ordered with Eye code for an individually tailored lens.

Discover the Varilux Range

Varilux Digitime
Varilux X – Series
Varilux S – Series
Varilux Physio 2.0
Varilux Road Pilot
Varilux Comfort

There are quite a few different types of varifocals to suit all lifestyles. Our qualified team will be able to offer all the advice you require to find the varifocal that is right for you.

Varifocals FAQ

Varifocals are one solution to the problem of presbyopia. Other solutions are two separate pairs or bifocals, both of which can address the problem well but for the majority of people varifocals will be the most convenient option. This is because varifocals will allow you to see clearly for distance, near and intermediate distances.
Simply put, a varifocal lens will have differing strengths on different parts of the lens. At the top it will have your distance prescription and will gradually change to the correct strength for reading at the bottom. In between there will be an area that is suitable for intermediate distances such as VDU screens. You will need to adjust your head and eye positioning to view through the appropriate part of the lens.
Not true. I’m sure that most people know somebody who have had problems with varifocals but I think, at most, I see one or two people a year who can’t get on with them. Ignore what other people say; you will have your own individual response to varifocals and just because your husband/sister/boss/ best friend/bloke down the pub loves/hates theirs doesn’t mean that you will.
Various reasons. Perhaps it was the wrong design of varifocal or problems with the lens positioning or frame adjustment. The design and the positioning of the varifocal will affect how aware you are of any distortions. If you see a qualified, professional, dispensing optician the chances of any of the above being a problem should be very slim. Other problems can be caused by misconceptions about how the lens works. People who do not understand some of the limitations of varifocals are much more likely to be intolerant to any perceived deficiencies. Another common cause of not getting on with varifocals is lack of perseverance. Varifocals can take some getting used to; some people will find them very good as soon as they put them on others may take weeks before they feel comfortable walking in varifocals. The temptation can be to give up too early, I would advise most people to keep trying for at least two weeks – maybe up to a month. It may take time for it to “click”; be patient.
There are different designs of varifocals by different manufacturers and some are better than others, or better suited to a particular frame or person. A better design of varifocal will be easier to adapt to with less distortion in less obvious places. The transition from distance to reading will be smoother and the clear areas for reading and intermediate wider in better designs.
By taking your dispensing optician’s advice. It’s not something you can successfully research yourself and go into an opticians and say “I need a Zeiss Gradal Top”. Fine as that lens is, it might not be the best choice for you, your frame or your prescription.
You are noticing the peripheral distortions and the reading area at the bottom of the lens. Try to avoid looking down as you are walking. You should get used to the sensation and stop noticing it.
Yes. Most people have no difficulties driving with varifocals, although some people may prefer to drive in distance only spectacles.
Although there is a part of the varifocal lens suitable for VDU distance it will tend to be the smallest area of the lens and people can find it restrictive for computer use. Try adjusting the position of your screen or your chair. To see a computer screen comfortably through varifocals the screen should probably be at around arms length and below eye level. If you still have difficulties then ask your dispensing optician whether a different design of varifocal may be better or if a separate pair for computer use may be more appropriate.
Sometimes called enhanced reading lenses, this type of varifocal lens is designed to provide optimum viewing areas for computer and office work. They will have limited or no distance area and are not suitable for driving or outside wear.
It will depend a bit on your prescription, how the frame fits and your visual requirements but with modern varifocal designs you are not necessarily restricted to larger frames. A certain depth is required but it is probably less than you think and there are varifocal designs that will be suitable for modern shallow styles.


Request an Appointment