Introduction: Difference Between Bifocals, Readers and Progressives

Everyone at some point in their lives will need to wear bifocals or reading glasses.  Its a fact of life.  This condition is called Presbyopia, which describes the gradual inability to focus on small objects close as people age.   Specifically, presbyopia begins to set in the mid to late 40’s.  Read this article to learn more about Presbyopia.    To counteract the effect of Presbyopia, people wear bifocal glasses or reading glasses, commonly known as “bifocals” or “readers.”

How to Determine your Reading Power

Before we begin, it’s important to know how to determine your reading power.  If you have a recent eye prescription, this power will written on your prescription as the ‘Add’ Power.  It will be a number between +1.00 and +6.00.  Nonetheless, the most common add powers are between +100 and +3.00.   If you don’t have a prescription, you can easily determine your reading power on your own.  Click on our Reading Glasses Power Chart below for instructions:

How to determine reading power for bifocals or reading glasses.
Figure out your reading power for bifocals and readers with this chart.

Quite a few bifocals only come in .50 increments.  For example, +1.00, +1.50, +2.00, +2.50.    However, if your reading power is a .25 increment, simply round up.  For example,  if you are a +1.25, you would purchase a +1.50. 


Bifocals refer to glasses with lenses that have two distinct visual zones.  These two visual zones are divided by a distinct line.  Specifically, the bottom portion of the lens is magnified to help you see smaller print.  You will look through this section to read your cell phone, books, magazines or menus.  Basically, the lower portion o the bifocals will help you focus on  anything that is small.  The top part of the lens has zero magnification, which is also known as a ‘plano’ lens.   You will look straight ahead through the top part of the lens to see objects at a distance.   

diagram of a bifocal lens
Bifocals have two distinct zones. The top portion has no magnification. The bottom portion is magnified for seeing small objects.
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Shop for a wide variety of mens bifocals.
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Readers, on the other hand, usually refer to glasses which have lenses that are entirely magnified. There is not a dividing line on the lenses.   The entire lens is magnified from top to bottom.   These glasses are also known as ‘full lens readers.’  

The entire lenses in Full Lens Readers are magnified.
Full Lens Reader lenses are entirely magnified. There is no line on the lenses.

In addition, full lens readers can be worn if you are far sighted (inability to see objects close up).  This condition is known as hyperopia.  This is a condition that occurs when an irregularly-shaped eye prevents light from properly lining up with the retina. People of any age, including babies, can have hyperopia.  Specifically,  if your eye prescription has a plus  “+” Sphere (SPH)  power, you can wear reading glasses.   Just match the + Sphere power on your prescription to the bifocal power.

Reader frames are available in two shapes, half frame and full frames.  Half frame readers sit lower on the nose bridge so wearers can look above the lens to see far.  To read, wearers simply look down.   On the other hand, full frame lenses are worn like sunglasses.   Full frame readers are perfect for reading small print or working with small objects for a longer periods of time.   For example, full readers are excellent for reading a book or magazine at the pool.  They are also great if you are building a model airplane.  In addition, full lens readers are more comfortable to wear because it’s not necessary to look down all the time. 

Shop for a huge variety of mens reading glasses.
Mens Full Lens Reader Glasses
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Shop wide selection of womens Full Lens Readers.
Progressive or Multi Focal Glasses

Progressives or Multi-focal lenses offer multiple power zones without any lines dividing the different zones.   There are 3 levels of magnification on progressive or multi-focal lenses:  

Near or Reading Power.   This is the bottom most zone for reading books, menus, or your cell phone. 

Mid or Computer vision power. This is the power in the middle of the lens for seeing your laptop computer. 

Finally, Across the Desk power. This is the power on the top half of the lens for viewing items across your desk.   You can see computer monitors or someone sitting across from you.  

Multi-focal Progressive lenses are excellent for people while working at a desk.   This is because they are constantly focusing on objects within a 5 foot zone.   They can focus on their laptops, phones and monitors and across their desk.  

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Multi focal progressive glasses helps you see everything clearly while you are working at your desk.

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Specialty Bi-focals & Readers

What if you are playing golf or tennis, and need to read small print?   What if you are driving or riding your motorcycle and need to read a map?  When you think of bifocals or readers, you visualize casual round and square glasses.  These types of bifocals won’t stay on your head when playing sports.   In addition, they aren’t tinted to protect you from the sun. 

In addition, if you are fishing, you will need polarized glasses.  If you are riding a motorcycle, you will need protection from the wind and debris.   So, bifocal sunglasses also need to be functional.  Following are the different types of bifocals and readers designed for sports.

Wearing casual glasses for sports is not safe and practical.
Casual glasses are not designed for playing sports, playing golf or fishing

Golf and Sport Bifocal Sunglasses are now available for more active lifestyles.  Gone are the days when bifocals were only available in standard round and square shapes.  If you play golf, run, cycle, or play tennis, you can wear bifocals designed specifically for sports.  These bifocals feature:

  • Wrap frames for better peripheral vision
  • Custom color lenses to increase visual clarity
  • Non slip rubber nose and ear pieces
  • Light weight frames
  • Polycarbonate lenses
Bifocals designed for Sports like Golf, Cycling, Running and Tennis. carries a wide variety of bifocals and readers designed for active sports like Golf, Running, Cycling and Tennis.
Polarized Bi focals & Reading Glasses

Polarized sunglasses are known to eliminate glare off of shiny surfaces.  This includes the hood of a car, windshields, chrome bumpers, mirrors and of course, water.    Polarized sunglasses are very popular among fishermen.  They can see beneath the surface of the water to locate the hungry fish.   If you haven’t worn polarized sunglasses, you will definitely notice the difference in clarity.  

Polarized fishing sunglasses are becoming increasingly popular.   First of all, fishermen need the polarized glasses to eliminate the glare on the water so they can see.  Second, it’s difficult to tie knots and bait hooks without any magnification.    Finally, imagine having to physically change from sunglasses to reading glasses with a rod in one hand and hooks and bait in the other!  

Polarized bifocal sunglasses are a fisherman’s dream.  The glasses not only eliminate glare, but also magnifies small hook holes and knots.

Fissermen love polarized bifocal sunglasses for fishingShop polarized bifocals at
Bifocal Sunglasses for Motorcycle Riding

Ordinary casual bifocals don’t work for riding motorcycles.  They don’t block wind, dirt, or debris.  They don’t stay on biker’s heads when riding at high speeds or on bumpy roads.  Bifocals meant for casual wear are not safe for motorcycle riding.  

Bikers can wear sunglasses designed for motorcycle riding.   However, what if they need to read their phones, maps or see their gauges?   Storage space is pretty limited on a bike, and fumbling around to find reading glasses can be a major pain.  So, sells a wide variety of bifocal sunglasses designed for motorcycle riding.  These bifocals feature the following: 

  • Wrap frames to block wind and debris from all angles
  • Foam Cushion gasket to seal out wind and prevent dry eye
  • Impact resistant Polycarbonate Lenses
  • Snug fit to prevent wiggle at high speeds
Shop bifocals designed for motorcycle riding
Motorcycle bifocals feature wrap frames, polycarbonate lenses and foam cushion to protect from wind dirt and debris. These bifocals can also be worn for yard work, cycling and even sky diving.
Safety Rated ANSI Z87.1 

What if you need to wear bifocals where ANSI Z87.1 safety rated glasses are required?  Casual bifocals are not safety rated and dangerous to wear.  On the other hand, safety rated bifocals will protect your eyes from projectiles and debris.  The lenses are impact resistant polycarbonate.  The frames will wrap around your face. 

Shop for safety rated bifocals
Make sure you are wearing safety rated ANSI Z87.1 bifocals if your workplace requires it.
Clear & Yellow Night Vision Bi-focals

You may need clear or yellow night vision bifocals to see better at night.  Yellow lenses reduce the halo effect around lights at night.  These halos cause blurriness and very distracting.   Furthermore, yellow lenses increase contrast so your vision is sharper at night.   Finally, yellow readers filter out blue light from computer monitors and electronic devices. 

Yellow and Clear Bifocals clarify vision at night
Night Vision Bifocals reduce glare from lights at night, also known as the ‘halo effect.’
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Computer Vision Readers that Block Blue Light

If you are working in front of a computer all day, then you should definitely wear Computer Vision Bifocals or Readers.  These special lenses block blue light.  The blue light emitted by computer screens and digital devices can be harmful to your eyes.  Blue light causes “digital eyestrain” and retina damage.  In fact, studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells.  This can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration.  

Computer vision bifocals and readers filter out blue light and prevent digital eye strain.
Computer vision bifocals and readers filter out blue light and prevent digital eye strain.
Fashion Readers

We call them “fashion bifocals” because we all want to look good.   Bifocals now come in different colors, shapes and sizes.  They have become more of a fashion accessory. carries aviator style bifocals, jackie-o style, cat eye  and way fare styles.   Most fashion conscious men and ladies have a collection of bifocals and readers to match their outfits and mood. carries a wide variety of womens bifocal sunglasses
Bifocals have become a fashion accessory. carries a wide variety of bifocals and reading glasses that look incredible.
shop for a wide variety of fashion mens bifocals and readers carries a wide variety of mens fashion bifocal sunglasses and readers.

Conclusion:  You Can Now Look Forward to Wearing Bifocals or Reading Glasses!

If you need to wear bifocals or reading glasses, you can now find a pair for every occasion and every mood you have.   Bifocals are not only for sitting at the breakfast table while reading the morning paper.   All types of sunglasses now come with bifocals, even motorcycle glasses!   Shop for the best selection of bifocals, bifocal sunglasses, reading glasses and reading sunglasses today!