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  • Writer's pictureAccuLab of Illinois

Unlocking Clarity: An Optician's Guide to Mastering Progressive Non-Adapts

By Jon J. Trutt

Published: 9/26/2023

Progressive addition lenses, often referred to as PAL's, are a marvel of modern optical technology. They provide individuals with a seamless transition between near, intermediate, and distance vision without the need for multiple pairs of glasses or visible lines in the lens. However, some wearers experience difficulties adapting to these lenses, commonly known as "progressive non-adapts." In such cases, an optician plays a crucial role in helping individuals overcome these challenges and enjoy the benefits of progressive lenses.

Understanding Progressive Non-Adapts

Progressive lens non-adapts occur when individuals struggle to adapt to the multifocal design of these lenses. Common complaints include blurry vision, dizziness, and difficulty finding the right part of the lens for specific tasks. It's important to remember that progressive lenses require a period of adjustment, and these issues often subside with time. However, some individuals may require additional assistance from an optician to facilitate a smooth transition.

How Opticians Can Help

Opticians can provide valuable guidance and solutions to improve the wearer's experience. Here's how opticians can help:

1. Thorough Eye Examination: The first step in addressing progressive lens non-adapts is to ensure that the prescription is accurate. Opticians can conduct a comprehensive eye examination to determine whether the prescription needs to be adjusted. Even a small change in prescription can make a significant difference in comfort and visual clarity.

2. Frame Selection: The choice of eyeglass frames can impact how well progressive lenses work for an individual. Opticians can recommend frames that are well-suited for progressive lenses, ensuring that the lens height aligns with the wearer's eyes correctly. A proper fit is crucial for optimal vision and comfort.

3. Precise Measurements: Opticians use precise measurements to ensure that the progressive lenses are positioned correctly within the chosen frames. These measurements, such as pupillary distance (PD), segment height, and fitting heights, play a crucial role in the success of progressive lenses. Incorrect measurements can lead to discomfort and visual disturbances.

4. Education and Guidance: One of the primary roles of an optician is to educate the wearer on how to use and adapt to progressive lenses. They can explain the concept of the visual zones in progressive lenses, teach users how to find the right area for specific tasks (e.g., reading, using a computer, or looking into the distance), and offer tips to improve the adaptation process.

5. Lens Customization: In some cases, opticians may recommend customized progressive lenses tailored to the wearer's specific needs. These lenses can be designed to address individual preferences and visual requirements, making the adaptation process more comfortable.

6. Follow-Up Care: Progressive lens adaptation can take time, and opticians should provide follow-up care to monitor progress and address any ongoing issues. They can make necessary adjustments to the frames or lenses as needed to enhance comfort and vision.

Progressive lenses offer a convenient solution for individuals with myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia, but not everyone adapts to them seamlessly. When faced with progressive non-adapts, opticians become invaluable allies in ensuring wearers can comfortably enjoy the benefits of PAL's. Through precise measurements, frame selection, education, and ongoing care, opticians play a crucial role in helping individuals adapt successfully to progressive lenses, ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life. If you're experiencing difficulties with your patient's progressive lenses, don't hesitate to seek the expertise of us here at AccuLab. Our experts can help troubleshoot issues and suggest solutions that can save you time and money.

One of the lens brands we are proud to carry at AccuLab is IOT. They have created a helpful Troubleshooting Guide to aid in preventing/resolving progressive non-adapts.

If you require further assistance, please contact us at 800-688-3904,, or through our website chat. We will be more than happy to help!

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