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Is Bigger Better? The Progressive Lenses Debate

progressive lenses


In the world of eyeglasses, progressive lenses are a big step forward. They help people, especially as they age, see things up close like books or computers better. But many wonder: Are bigger lenses really the best for progressives?

Understanding Progressive Lenses

Progressive lenses, also known as progressive addition lenses or PALs, are a modern solution to an age-old problem. Unlike bifocals or trifocals, they provide a seamless transition from near to distance vision, eliminating the need for visible lines.

Optics and the Size of Prescription Lenses for Progressives

From an optical perspective, especially those designed to help us see both near and far, the size of the lens is essential. A bigger lens is shaped in a way that guides light to our eyes more effectively. This means we can smoothly shift our focus from something close, like a book, to something far away, like a street sign, without any sudden jumps or blurs. Bigger lenses mean everything fits just right, letting us see the world around us clearly and without sacrificing anything.

The Ideal Lens Height for Progressive Lenses

The design of progressive lenses incorporates three prescriptions, transitioning smoothly from near to distance. This design requires a precise fit to ensure optimal vision. Based on research from Your Eyes, the recommended fitting height for progressive lenses is between 28-30mm. This dimension ensures that each section of the lens provides clear vision, whether you’re reading a book or driving. Lenses shorter than 28mm might compromise the near vision section.

The Debate on Lens Size for Progressive Eyewear

In the past, bigger lenses were the top choice for eyeglasses, they had enough room for all the vision adjustments. But as smaller, trendy frames became popular, there was a concern: the important part for reading might get too low. This could make people tilt their heads up just to read, which isn’t comfortable. On the other end of frame sizes, another trend that has become quite popular are, oversized eyeglasses frames. However, there is such a thing, as too big! The best lens size really depends on what works for each person’s unique vision needs. So, it’s a good idea to see an optician and try different frames to get the best fit.

Choosing the Right Frames for Progressive Lenses

Frames do more than just look good; they’re key to clear vision. For eyeglasses that help with both near and far sight, shapes like round, square, and oval are usually best. However, very pointed cat-eye or aviator styles might not work as well. And while rimless frames look clean and modern, it’s important to check if they suit the lens design without affecting how well you see.


Choosing the right frame for progressive lenses isn’t just about preference; it’s about ensuring optimal vision. While bigger lenses have traditionally been favored for their comprehensive coverage, it’s essential to differentiate between adequately large and excessively oversized. The key is to find a balance that offers a clear view across all distances. With the correct frame and lens combination, progressive glasses provide a seamless visual experience, making them a top choice for those seeking both style and functionality.