The Triangle’s Park Ophthalmology Shares 5 Facts about Bifocals

There is no doubt that age gives all of us more than wisdom and knowledge. It is true with the human eye. Our eyes are often one of the first indicators that we are growing in years. One age-related moment is when we add reading and distance glasses into our reading and normal viewing time. This addition happens to many people in the Triangle area. Beth R. Park 11-16-15 ID 1009175 Michelle MeiklejohnFriedland M.D. of Park Ophthalmology helps many patients

6+9+6transition from single vision glasses to bifocals or progressive lenses. The following information provides a quick guide to some facts about bifocals.

Five interesting facts to know about bifocal lenses:

  • History: Benjamin Franklin is credited with creating the first bifocal lenses to help his own vision. He wrote that he was “happy in the invention of double spectacles, which serving for distant objects as well as near ones, make my eyes as useful to me as ever they were.” Franklin had presbyopia, a common condition for those over 40, when the lens of the eye loses elasticity, making it more difficult to focus on close-up tasks.
  • Function: Traditional bifocal lenses are split into upper and lower sections, with different vision correction in each part. The lower part of the lens provides vision ­­­­correction for close-up work; the upper lens provides proper distance correction.
  • Advantages: The bifocal design allows the wearer to switch easily between near and far vision merely by raising or lowering one’s gaze. They also eliminate the need for separate pairs of glasses for reading and driving, simplifying everyday life. It was the annoyance of switching between reading and distance glasses that prompted Franklin to develop the first bifocals.
  • Disadvantages: Some people find the adjustment to bifocals difficult. Their vision has to “jump” across the line where the different lens strengths meet. Bifocals also do not offer a mid-range correction, which is the 18-24 inch range normally used when working at a computer.
  • Alternatives: Bifocals were once the only option for those who needed separate vision corrections in one pair of glasses. Now patients can opt for progressive lenses, which not only include mid-range correction but also eliminate the distinctive bifocal “line.”

Call Park Ophthalmology today. Dr. Beth R. Friedland will find the best vision correction for you.

From our families to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Photo: Michelle Meiklejohn,


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail:

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