Written by Saria Eid

Movie theatre audience with 3d glasses

Bonnes nouvelles! After many requests, bloobloom is delighted to offer varifocal lenses in our glasses and sunglasses. Meticulous research means we can provide the highest quality lens for an affordable price – whatever your prescription. That IS good news, non?

If you’ve vaguely heard of varifocals, or your optician says you might need them, you may be thinking they sound pretty complicated. Relax. They’re not.


Why do people need varifocals?

Sadly, eyes don’t age as well as wine. When we reach our mid-40s, most of us start to find close-up reading more difficult. The TV still looks fine but it becomes a struggle to focus on the phone in your hand, or read cooking instructions in annoyingly teeny print.

One solution is to have two (or even three) pairs of glasses with prescriptions for different distances. Which is an excellent excuse to splurge on lots of stylish frames. But who wants to cart all those around, all the time? Enter varifocals! Avoid all the spec swapping with a single pair that lets you view everything – near, far and in between.

In these digital days, we do much more screen reading than before. Some people need ‘occupational’ varifocals to see their computer properly. If you don’t need close-up help just yet, you can get anti-fatigue lenses with a little extra power at the bottom of the lens. Et voilà, no more squinting at small print...

What are varifocals like to wear?

To begin with varifocals can feel a little odd, even trippy, as if the world is slightly floaty at the sides of your vision. Fear not, this is only due to distortion at the edge of the lens. When different vision strengths are blended, it pushes excess power to the side, leaving a clear central ‘corridor’ of vision in the middle. And this magical corridor is what rescues you from all that squinting.

We use horizontal and vertical measurements to place the corridor exactly in front of your pupil when you look through the lens. It has distance vision at the top, with the power getting stronger as your eye travels down, until it reaches your reading prescription at the bottom. Simple.

Are varifocals easy to get used to?

Absolutely – it takes most people a couple of days, a week max. Your brain just needs time to adapt.

Our top beginner tip is to point your nose at what you want to see, rather than just sliding your eyes towards it. That way, you’re always looking through the centre of your glasses. Don’t worry about resembling a spooked owl, you quickly start to do this naturally.

bloobloom’s varifocal design is what's known as 'soft' – because the areas of distortion are not too defined – so it’s pretty easy to get used to.

How expensive are varifocals compared to regular lenses?

Varifocal lenses can cost from £40 to several hundred pounds, depending on the quality of design, materials and coatings. We’ve worked hard to create ones that are high-quality AND affordable. Ours cost just £100 more than our single-vision lenses – rather than the £300-odd extra you could pay on the high street.

Do varifocals work better with particular styles of frame?

It’s wise to avoid very shallow frames with these, or the lens can’t do its job. All bloobloom frames are deep enough to work beautifully with varifocals. It all comes down to correct measurements. Most people find our varifocals effective straight away, but if the positioning isn’t working for you, we adjust it free of charge. De rien.

What kind of varifocals does bloobloom offer?

If you’re in the market for varifocals, you’ve probably come across a bamboozling range of lens options. These tend to offer increasingly large areas of accurate vision as they climb in price.

We keep it simple. We offer one varifocal in a really good design – our Wideview Comfort lens. It uses the best material and coatings to give you a generous field of sharp, natural vision.

No need for complicated.

PHOTOS: Unknown
WORDS: Eileen MacCallum