Anybody use BOTH lined and progressive lenses?

Not at the same time, of course.

I currently wear lined trifocals and am quite happy with them. I’m thinking about ordering some sunglasses (which I’ll wear primarily while driving) from Zenni, but I can’t get trifocals, only progressives.

I’m wondering if it’s possible to move back and forth between lined and progressive lenses, or, once you’ve adapted to one, it’s too difficult to switch to the other.

Anyone have any personal experience with this?

I’ve used both, but not going back-and-forth like you suggest. After using lined bifocals for a few years, and noticing that I never used the lower portion for reading, I tried switching to progressives.

That didn’t work. After wearing progressives for a year, I never got accustomed to them as promised. They made me feel like I had tunnel vision.

Last year, I got another new pair of glasses. This time I got plain old monofocals, for distance viewing. For reading, I just take the glasses off (as I had been doing all along anyway) or, sometimes, wear a different pair of reading-only glasses – one of those cheapo non-prescription pairs that you get at your local drugstore.

And that has been the strategy that seems to work best for me.


After cataract surgery I don’t need glasses for distance vision, so I don’t wear any walking around or driving. I tried wearing progressives in those circumstances, and hated it. However, I use line bifocals at the computer to allow me to focus both the screen and written materials (and the keyboard) on my desk. (I also occasionally use monofocal reading glasses, but the bifocals are fine for reading too.) When I was lecturing I would use the progressives so as to be able to see both my notes and the class without having to whip my glasses on and off all the time. I had no problem switching from the progressives to bifocals to no glasses.

The progressives were not ideal for writing on the black/whiteboard, as you are looking head on (where they give distance vision) at something that is close up. I managed to live with it, though.

I’ve used both but not at the same time. I had much better luck with progressives,

But there are several options for you. Clip-ons or non-corrective sunglasses that you put on over your glasses could be used and you’d still have trifocals. Also I doubt you need trifocals to drive. Many people have driving sunglasses glasses with only distance correction. I had those for a while, but I now use glasses that go over my regular glasses because I couldn’t get polarized progressives and polarization is a very important part of sunglasses as it cuts out a huge amount of reflected glare.

I have a pair of lined bifocals that I used for work. I have a weird prescription and it was the only way I could get a wide focus point on the lower portion of the glasses, which for specific work related reasons were needed. My everyday glasses are progressives. After an initial acclimation, I can switch back and forth with no problem.

One of the things I was considering was getting bifocals with the middle distance instead of the reading lens. The middle distance is what works best for me for seeing the instrument panel.

I have a pair of distance-only biking goggles, and I find them really disconcerting when I drop my eyes and can’t read the app on my iPhone I use to track distance!

Internet ate my post …

I use both kinds. No issues adapting from one to the other.