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What are complex prescription lenses and who wears them?

May 10, 2023

Anyone who’s worn glasses or contacts understands how much vision correction can improve your life. Yet not everyone can enjoy the benefits of vision correction with simple prescribed glasses. Many people have conditions that require complex prescription lenses.

They’re specially engineered to provide the greatest vision correction possible for people with certain conditions while still being comfortable enough to wear all day long. This article outlines a few examples and why someone might need them.

Types of complex prescription lenses.


This piece of eyewear provides a person with two different prescriptions on the lenses. The lower half is for distance vision, while the upper half is for activities like reading. The two prescriptions are separated by a thin line, allowing the wearer to easily switch back and forth between them based on the task at hand. Bifocals are a fantastic option for people who are both nearsighted and farsighted.


Trifocals are very similar to bifocals, with the most notable difference being that they offer three distinct prescriptions on each lens. The top lens still corrects faraway vision, while the middle lens corrects intermediate vision, and the lower part corrects close-up vision. It’s usually a prescription intended for people over the age of 40 with a pre-existing vision condition and signs of presbyopia.


These are more complex prescription lenses that still provide a similar effect as bifocals and trifocals. They help people who struggle with nearsightedness and farsightedness. However, rather than having a line that delineates between two distinct prescriptions, these lenses blend the zones into one another. The top portion still helps with distance viewing and the bottom is for closer viewing, but the change in between them is progressive.

Prism lenses.

One of the most common reasons a doctor would recommend complex prescription prism lenses to a patient is to treat a condition known as Binocular Visual Dysfunction (BVD). BVD causes the eyes to become slightly misaligned which makes them struggle to send one clear image to the brain. This can result in symptoms such as dizziness, motion sickness, and headaches. The prism lenses can bend light before it travels through the eye, redirecting it to the right place on the retina in each eye. It’s a remarkable technology that allows the brain to fuse the two images together to produce one, clear picture.

Benefits of complex prescription lenses.

The most obvious benefit of these advanced lenses is the improvement in visual health the individual experiences. They’re able to see the world more clearly, which can bring a true sense of joy and improve their quality of life. They can also help alleviate numerous symptoms associated with poor vision.

Another nice perk is how many options you have to customize them. You can control what type of prescription you want for the best results, and you can even turn them into a fun fashion accessory. Oftentimes, you can decide on the size, shape, and frames for the lenses, allowing you to perfectly tailor them to your unique style.

Do you use complex prescription lenses?

Then visit Raphael Opticians and find the perfect pair of glasses for your needs. Raffy’s makes our glasses using scratch-resistant, highly-durable polymers. That means you get better quality than you’ll find in most places. We make glasses for any prescription, including the complex ones above, and we can create the perfect frame for your lenses. If we can’t, we’re proud of our level of honesty, and we’ll let you know if we think you’d be better off going with another provider.

You can learn a bit more about our history online, or contact us today and let us know how we can help.