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Occupational Bifocal, Trifocals, and Computer Lenses

An occupational lens is a type of multifocal that is specifically suited for performing a particular job or hobby. Glasses with these lenses are special-purpose eyewear and are not designed for everyday wear.

The Double-D Bifocal: For reading and overhead near work

The Double-D is an occupational bifocal which consists of a D-shaped flat-top bifocal at the bottom of the lens and an upside-down flat-top near segment located at the top of the lens. The rest of the lens area consists of distance correction.

People in occupations such as auto maintenance and repair would benefit from a Double-D occupational bifocal. This design allows workers to be able to see well up-close, both when looking down and when looking up to work on the undercarriage of a car on a lift. Mail clerks and others who read documents and may need to file them overhead might also find this lens useful at work.

Need to be on the computer all day at work? Or reading all day?

Sometimes, a common multifocal can become an occupational lens simply by changing the position of the intermediate or near segment or the characteristics of the progressive design.

For example, if your job requires you to be on the computer or read much of your day, you may want to consider a separate pair of glasses for work that have the bifocal or trifocal segments placed higher-than-normal in the lens. This would enable you to read or use your computer for extended periods without having to tip your head back in an uncomfortable posture.

Or you may want to try an "office" progressive lens, which has a larger, wider intermediate zone for computer use, and a smaller zone for distance vision. These occupational lenses give your more usable vision for your computer and desk work, yet still provide adequate distance vision for spotting people across the room. However, because the distance zone of occupational progressive lenses is limited, they're not suitable for driving or for other tasks that require a wide field of view in the distance.

What about on the golf course?

If you're a golfer and wear multifocal lenses, you know these lenses can be a problem on the course. The near vision zones of bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses can interfere with your view of the ball, requiring you to tilt your head down in an uncomfortable posture. Everyday multifocals can also make lining up a putt much more difficult.

The solution? Consider trying an occupational multifocal commonly called a "golfer's bifocal." The small (usually round) near segment is placed very low and in the outside corner of just one lens, so it's completely out of the way when you address your ball or line up a putt. But it still gives you enough near vision to read your scorecard or browse a menu for lunch in the clubhouse.

Customized eyewear solutions

For more information on eyeglass lenses, visit All About Vision®.