Updated on  December 28, 2022
5 min read

Trifocal Eyeglass Lenses

7 sources cited
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What Are Trifocal Glasses?

Trifocal lenses are multifocal eyewear that offers different lens corrections. They have visible lines that divide the lens into three segments, including:

  • Distance vision. This includes driving or looking at a whiteboard from across a room
  • Intermediate vision. This includes card playing and staring at the computer screen
  • Near vision. This includes close-up reading

This type of multifocal glasses corrects eye conditions like presbyopia. 

Types of Glasses Lenses

Types of Trifocal Glasses Lenses

There are two main types of trifocal lenses available, including:

  • Flat top trifocal lenses
  • Executive trifocal lenses

Progressive lenses aren't exactly trifocal lenses. They correct the same problems but don't have "hard lines."

Many people prefer progressive lenses over trifocals. However, they are typically more expensive.

Flat Top Trifocal Lenses

The near and intermediate vision zones are arranged in a D-shape. This shape allows for improved peripheral vision. These lenses are usually easy for people to adjust to.

Executive Trifocal Lenses

The intermediate zone of this lens is thinner than flat top trifocals. They may take longer to get used to wearing.

Where to Buy Trifocal Glasses

Warby Parker

Warby Parker is our favorite independent online retailer. They have excellent customer service, making the ordering process much simpler than most other online retailers.

They also design, source, and manufacture all of their frames and materials in-house. The result is high-quality, affordable eyewear. Warby Parker offers progressive and bifocal lenses.

Warby Parker offers progressive and bifocal lenses in stylish, high-quality, affordable frames.

Warby Parker Logo

GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA has a huge catalog of eyeglasses. They carry everything from budget to designer frames, so there's a pair for everyone. They also offer progressive and bifocal lenses at a slightly lower price than Warby Parker.

GlassesUSA has the largest selection of frames on the market. They also offer progressive and bifocal lenses.

GlassesUSA Square Logo

What Vision Problems Can Trifocal Eyeglass Lenses Correct?

Trifocals can provide vision correction for some eye conditions, including presbyopia.

Presbyopia or age-related farsightedness occurs when the natural lens no longer retains flexibility. It cannot focus on objects in the near vision zone.

This often starts between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. Wearing trifocals can help correct blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches. 

Eye care professionals may also recommend using bifocals or other multifocal lenses to treat myopia in children. Previous studies have demonstrated that using such lenses contributes to minimal reductions in myopia progression.

Pros and Cons of Trifocals

These are the advantages of trifocal lenses:

  • Corrects three different ranges of vision
  • Provides a broader focus area for near and intermediate vision zones
  • Easy to clean and maintain

These are the disadvantages of trifocal lenses:

  • Visible lines across the lenses
  • Limited lens customization options
  • Takes time to get used to, especially for people with severe presbyopia

Trifocal vs. Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal Lens - Vision Center

Trifocals and bifocal lenses are similar because both types have lines to distinguish different vision ranges. Bifocals correct distance vision problems in two segments (bottom half for reading and top half for far vision).

Trifocal Lens - Vision Center

Trifocal lenses, however, offer three viewing zones for better overall sight.

What Is The Difference Between Trifocals And Progressive Lenses?

Trifocal Lens - Vision Center

Trifocals have noticeable lines that run across lenses. This can lead to an image jump, which is the sudden change in clarity and the perceived position of an object in sight.

Progressive Lens - Vision Center

Progressive lenses do not have lines and are much more gradual from one prescription segment to the next. Also, because there are no lines, progressive lenses tend to have a more aesthetically pleasing look than trifocals.

They are more expensive than trifocals. However, they provide better sight at different ranges of vision without any obstruction caused by lines. 

Progressives take some time to get used to, and some may feel nauseous or off-balanced. No visible lines mean no visual guidance for the eyes. It will take time to learn to perform different tasks.

Vision Center recommends progressive lenses from Warby Parker.

Are There Trifocal Contacts?

Trifocal contacts are a variation of multifocal contact lenses. The different types of multifocal contacts include:

  • Segmented lenses. These look similar to bifocal or trifocal glasses lenses. They have clearly divided areas for different distances
  • Progressive lenses. These have a seamless transition for the different vision corrections
  • Concentric lenses. These have alternating rings of correction radiating from the center of the lens.

Trifocal Intraocular Lenses

Trifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) are often placed during cataract surgery. It can resolve cataracts and lower the chances of needing glasses post-surgery.

Cataracts are caused by aging or other factors, like diabetes. They can cloud the eye's lenses and make objects appear blurry, distorted, or less colorful.

cataracts scaled e1598035826129

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20.5 million (17.2%) Americans aged 40 years and older have cataract in one or both eyes.3

When Are Multifocal Contact Lenses Necessary?

Multifocal contact lenses are available for those not interested in wearing trifocal eyeglasses regularly. Speak with an eye care professional to determine if such contact lenses are the most suitable option.

As with any contact lens, there is an increased risk of eye infection.

How Much Do Trifocal Glasses Cost?

Trifocal lenses are more expensive than average single-vision lenses. Costs will vary according to an individual’s prescriptions and needs.

Progressive lenses that offer three different vision ranges can amount to $260. This price can be even higher with material customization and additional coatings like anti-scratch or anti-reflection.

Summary

Trifocal lenses can correct different ranges of vision. They can help with refractive errors and other eye conditions. If you are considering buying trifocal eyewear, you must consult your eye care specialist and learn more about the costs, benefits, and alternatives. 

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

Best on a Budget

EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

glasses usa logo
Also Great

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

Updated on  December 28, 2022
7 sources cited
Updated on  December 28, 2022
  1. Alcon's Trifocal IOL Makes U.S. Debut.American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2019.
  2. Bizer, Wayne F. “What Is the Difference between No-Line Bifocals, Progressive Bifocals and Trifocals?American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2018.
  3. Common Eye Disorders and Diseases.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
  4. Dry Eye Syndrome PPP - 2018.American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2018.
  5. How to Get the Best Eyeglass Lenses.Consumer Reports, 2016.
  6. Kitchen, Clyde K. “Fact and Fiction of Healthy Vision.Google Books, Google.
  7. Pros and Cons of Progressive Lenses.American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2020.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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