Varifocal glasses are typically used by people who require prescription lenses for distance and reading. Unlike single vision lenses, which are focused on addressing a single sight problem, varifocal glasses are able to take care of multiple problems at the same time. This article looks at the basics of how varifocal lenses work and why it is important to get the right type of lens.

How do they work

If you require a pair of varifocal glasses, the lenses will typically be split into three distinct sections without any visible lines. At the top of the glass is the part of the lens that deals with distance vision, enabling you to see things that are far away (at distance). The middle part of the lens takes care of your vision at arm’s length vision and the near vision is in the bottom section of the lens.

This means that you will need to consciously look through a specific part of your lenses in order to see particular distances. It’s also worth noting that many people experience some areas of distortion with their varifocals. This usually happens at the edges of the lenses and it is entirely normal. It can be a little bit disconcerting if you are wearing varifocal glasses for the first time or have traditional varifocals, but you will get used to it and the glasses should generally help you see much better than single vision lenses would.

Different types of lenses

There are quite a few different types of varifocal lenses available, and it is important that you get the right ones to meet your needs. If you have a particularly strong prescription, you might be recommended to get the best possible lenses available in order to give you the best chance of seeing properly.

Varifocal lenses also have different ratings for different aspects of the vision. This means that some lenses might be better equipped for distance vision, while others might have more emphasis on your near vision. Which ones will be best for you will depend on the severity and type of your prescription. For example, traditional varifocals and Freeform varifocals.

At Mahdi opticals we do not supply standard varifocals and only supply Ultrawide and Superwide varifocals as these lenses offer wider field of view and comfort.

We also only supply Freeform lenses that are digitally surfaced to offer enhanced field of vision at all distances. They have less distortion at the edge of the lens and the power of progression is more gradual when moving from distance to near when compared to traditional varifocals.

What to consider 

One thing to consider with varifocal glasses is that you do need to be careful when it comes to choosing frames. This is because you need to select frames that can accommodate varifocals. When you buy your glasses – either at the local optician or online – you should be advised as to which types of frames would be most suitable for your needs.

If you would like to place an order for varifocals, please call one of our opticians on +254 742 000 498.

Also bear in mind that it can take a short while to get used to varifocal glasses, we want to make sure you are completely satisfied with your glasses but we do realise that occasionally, you may not get used to them.  We will do everything we can to ensure that this is resolved quickly and efficiently. If for any reason, you are still not satisfied with your varifocals glasses please contact our Customer Care Team via email at or call us on 01923 440 105