Q:

Why do progressive lenses differ in price?

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Quick Answer

The higher price tag of progressives lenses, also known as progressive addition lenses or no-line bifocals, is primarily due to the higher costs involved in manufacturing these lenses by fabrication and molding. Progressive lenses are widely prescribed for the age-related eye condition called presbyopia, and their price tends to increases as the wearer’s presbyopia advances. Other factors can also affect cost, such as lens material and prescription range.

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Full Answer

After the age of 40, near vision tends to deteriorate for most people so that objects need to be held farther away from the eyes to see them more clearly. This condition is known as presbyopia, and it cannot be cured. However, it can corrected with bifocal, trifocal or progressive lenses.

Bifocals and trifocals have two and three lens powers, respectively, and they are both characterized by a visible line in the center of the lens. In contrast, progressive lenses are true multifocal lenses, and they provide a smoother progression of lens powers at many different distances. In effect, presbyopia can be corrected more naturally and without the jarring problem of “image jump” with progressive lenses, as compared to bi- or tri-focal lenses.

Also, the manufacturing process of progressive lenses eliminates visible lines, saving the wearer from possible embarrassment. But this also raises the cost, as do factors like severity of the wearer’s presbyopia, lens power, and the material and method used in manufacturing.

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