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When were bifocal lenses invented?

Late 1700’s by Benjamin Franklin as most assume – however, Samuel Pierce is thought of to have produced bifocal lenses at the same time as Mr. Franklin or even several years prior.

What are bifocal lenses?

Bifocal lenses correct both near and long-vision deficiencies by combining two prescriptions in one. These lenses accommodate for both near and far vision by adding a unique lower lens with ADD vision value for reading and near vision. A small portion in the lower part of the lens contains the power required to correct the near vision. The rest of the lens usually is for the distance vision.

What are bifocal lenses used for?

Bifocal lenses are most commonly used for patients that are either farsighted or nearsighted and develop presbyopia. Presbyopia is an age-related visual condition that occurs naturally around the age of 40. Patients start to find it difficult to read, especially small type. Patients who were either nearsighted or farsighted and previously wore single vision lenses, now need bifocal lenses to correct their previous condition as well as their new condition, presbyopia.