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Are progressive glasses better than bifocal glasses?

Monday, 14 May 2007
Answered by: Dr. Rishi Mohan
Consultant Ophthalmologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
New Delhi
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Q. I am a 41 years old working woman. Because of slight pain in my right eye, I had gone for a check up and found that there is a blue type cataract (I was born with cataract in my eyes) in my left eye. I also had number (+1 for right eye & +0.75 for left eye) and have been using glasses for the same. Last week again I had gone for an eye test as I was having headache and pain on my right eye and the doctor told me that the number has changed again. Now the number is - for reading +2.25 and distance +1 in the right eye so the doctor told me to wear a bifocal glass. When I approached the optician, he told me that there is some new type of glasses called progressive glasses available, which can be used for reading as well as for distant view. Can I know what is the advantage of using a progressive glass and is it good and how expensive are these glasses? Please advise. If I close my eyes and press on the eyelid, I get pain. Is it because the number has changed or is it because of the blue cataract? Will there be any problem in future due to this cataract and do I need surgery?

A.  1. Progressive glasses have a definite advantage over conventional bifocal glasses; in that they provide clear vision at all distances from infinity to near work. The only disadvantages are its cost, which is high. 2. Cataract (whether congenital or acquired) does not cause pain in the eye. The reason for the eye pain may by something else, which must be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Technically, blue cataracts are like any other cataract, and require an operation for removal of cataract.

A.  1. Progressive glasses have a definite advantage over conventional bifocal glasses; in that they provide clear vision at all distances from infinity to near work. The only disadvantages are its cost, which is high. 2. Cataract (whether congenital or acquired) does not cause pain in the eye. The reason for the eye pain may by something else, which must be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Technically, blue cataracts are like any other cataract, and require an operation for removal of cataract.

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