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Bifocal Prescription Glasses


Bifocal prescription glasses are eyeglasses with two distinct focal lengths. The main body of the lens is generally for distance focussing, that is from under one metre out to infinity. A smaller segment, which is generally a D shaped mini lens on the lower part of the main lens, is for reading and other close work.


The history of bifocals includes an interesting background story which involves Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who is widely acknowledged as being among the greatest of American statesmen. Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. He helped draft the American Declaration of Independence, and, importantly for the new country, was instrumental in bringing France into the American War of Independence on the side of the colonists.Among the long list of his achievements, he invented a number of useful everyday devices, including lightning conductors, the Franklin Stove, the odometer (for measuring the distance travelled by a carriage) and fire brigades. It is also popularly believed that he invented bifocal glasses in 1784.


However, there is good historical evidence that it was an obscure English optician, Samuel Pierce, who invented them in 1775. Interestingly neither of the inventors troubled to register the invention with the Patent Office, believing such products should be available to benefit the lives of the general population.Whoever it was that first developed the ingenious bifocal lens, they produced a valuable optical device that remains in common use today.


After the age of forty, few people are fortunate enough not to need glasses. As the years march on, and as print is more and more difficult to focus on, people find they are pushing books and newspapers further away. This is jokingly known as long arm syndrome. This affliction worsens until the person can no longer extend their arms far enough to read with any degree of comfort, and this is the moment that a visit to the optician becomes essential. An eye test will almost certainly reveal the need for a pair of specs, and often the prescription will state both distance and reading glasses.


Bifocals overcome the inconvenience of continually having to take off one pair and put on another pair, simply because you want to view a distant object and then go back to reading and then back again to the distant object. After a short while wearing bifocals, the wearer adjusts his or her gaze quite naturally to view distant objects through the main body of the lens, and objects at around half a metre (the natural reading distance) through the reading segment.Since the turn of the twenty first century, the computer has become ubiquitous in the home and more particularly in the workplace.


The natural distance to read a computer screen is thirty inches, just less than a metre, and to accommodate the need to read the screen without strain, a new prescription was formulated, known as intermediate. Depending on the wearer’s needs, modern bifocal glasses can now incorporate any two of the three focal lengths, distance, reading and intermediate.


If you would like to order prescription glasses you simply need to choose this option on the prescription page during the checkout process.