Reviewed by : Dr. Matthew Miller, OD on 19 May, 2022

Learning how to read a bifocal prescription is a lot easier than it sounds. All you need to do is discover the meaning behind some key abbreviations. The most important one to learn is your prescription’s ADD value, which is the value that helps magnify the bottom part of your multifocal lenses. There will always be a positive number in this column. Note: Non-bifocal prescriptions will NOT have ADD values. Asides from that, bifocal prescriptions are very similar to normal prescriptions, so you can learn more about what the numbers on your bifocal eyeglass prescription mean here.

What is a Bifocal Prescription?

A bifocal prescription is a special type of prescription form with crucial information on creating bifocal lenses suited to your unique eyes. The numbers on them help your lenscrafter understand how to accommodate and correct both your nearsightedness and your farsightedness at the same time. When you order your glasses, you’ll need a copy of your prescription on-hand!

What are Bifocals For?

Bifocals offer vision correction for people who experience blurriness when focusing on both close up objects and far away objects. To correct this vision problem, bifocal lenses are cut in a way that the upper half focuses farther objects, and the lower half magnifies close up objects. You might be wondering: “why?” Well, the short answer is that we typically hold objects closer to us at a lower-angle. For example, books, restaurant menus, and smartphones. Farther away things, such as distant landmarks or street signs, are usually seen on the upper half of our vision.

How Much Do Bifocal Glasses Cost?

Bifocal glasses cost different amounts depending on where you buy them. At, you can get high-quality bifocal glasses for as low as $30! Some online retailers sell bifocal glasses at more than $200, so is the way to go for both affordability and quality. To start your eyewear journey, just visit our eyewear catalog here! Once you select a frame style that you like, all you need to do is enter in your special bifocal prescription in the lens check-out page, and voila!

If you’re on the lookout for more prescription related information and guides, you can find some more answers on our tips & guides page here. We have in-depth tutorials on almost every aspect of glasses shopping, from fashion articles about face shapes to technical how-tos about measuring your pupillary distance.

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