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Bifocal glasses contain two corrective prescriptions within each lens: one for seeing far away and one for seeing close up. A person can easily switch their focus between the two parts of the lens.

Many online retailers offer bifocals. These might be designer or brand-name, or they may be made by the retailer.

Below, a person can find everything they need to know about buying bifocal glasses online.

Bifocals have lenses with two segments. The top segment enables a person to see far away, while the bottom one enables them to see close up. Some bifocals have a horizontal line that divides the two segments.

As the Optometrists Network observes, doctors usually recommend bifocals when a person has presbyopia. Before presbyopia develops, the lenses in the eyes can shift their focus between distant and nearby objects. As people age, their eyes lose this flexibility.

Presbyopia is a normal part of the aging process, and it usually begins around age 40. It makes it harder to focus on nearby objects, such as a smartphone screen.

All bifocal glasses work in the same way, but they differ in appearance. Bifocals may have:

  • a round segment
  • a flat segment
  • a half-moon segment, also called a flat-top, straight-top, or “D” segment
  • an executive segment, also called a “Franklin,” in which the entire bottom half of the lens is for seeing close up

A person might also be considering trifocals. These have three segments, for distant, intermediate, and close up vision. The intermediate segment helps a person see objects at about an arm’s length, such as a car dashboard. However, because of the added segmenting line, doctors do not prescribe them often.

Another option is multifocal eyeglasses. These provide clearer distant, intermediate, and nearby vision — and they have no segmenting lines.

The companies below offer complete lines of corrective lenses, including bifocals.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker allows potential customers to choose five frames to try on at home. It also provides a full refund or exchange within 30 days.

The company also offers eye exams in several stores throughout the United States. In addition, it gives one pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased through its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.

Warby Parker does not currently have accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, at the time of publishing, the BBB gives the company an A+ grade.

EyeBuyDirect

EyeBuyDirect offers virtual try-on technology. A person takes a photo of their face and the website shows them how they may look in different glasses.

The company has a 365-day product guarantee and provides a one-time replacement. If a customer is unhappy with their purchase, the company provides a one-time refund or replacement within 14 days.

EyeBuyDirect donates one pair of prescription eyewear for every pair that a customer buys.

It has accreditation from the BBB. At the time of publishing, the BBB gives the company an A+ rating.

Glasses USA

Glasses USA also has virtual try-on technology, and its customer service team is available at all times.

The company offers free shipping and returns, with full store credit or a full refund within 14 days of purchase. It also offers a 365-day warranty on all eyewear.

Glasses USA currently does not have accreditation from the BBB. At the time of publishing, the BBB gives it a B grade.

Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical offers virtual try-on technology. It ships to the U.S., its territories, and internationally, for a fee.

The company offers a lifetime replacement of nose pads and their screws, and it replaces broken frames within the first 30 days. If customers return their eyewear within 60 days, they receive either a 50% refund or a one-time 100% store credit.

Zenni Optical currently has accreditation from the BBB. At the time of publishing, the BBB gives it an A+ rating.

Glasses Shop

Glasses Shop has a virtual try-on feature, allowing a person to upload a photo and see what they might look like in any pair of glasses.

If a customer is unhappy with a purchase and returns it within 30 days, the company gives a 50% refund or 100% store credit.

Glasses Shop ships to the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, for a fee. It has accreditation from the BBB and, at the time of publishing, the BBB gives it an A- grade.

Anyone who may have presbyopia should make an appointment with their eye doctor. Symptoms of this normal aspect of aging include:

  • difficulty seeing nearby objects clearly
  • having to hold things farther away to see them better
  • headaches
  • eye strain, which is tiredness or soreness of the eyes

The National Eye Institute observes that simple changes may help, such as increasing the font size on screened devices or using brighter reading lights. But as this issue progresses, a person may need bifocals.

Bifocals may also help some people with myopia, or nearsightedness. A 2014 study found that bifocals may slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

People usually wear bifocal glasses if they have presbyopia, a normal part of aging that makes focusing on nearby objects difficult.

Many online retailers sell bifocals, and several offer virtual try-on technology that allows a person to see how they might look in various pairs without leaving the house.

If a person starts needing to hold objects away from the body to see them clearly, they should contact their eye doctor.