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Addition: Seeing sharply near and far with glasses

Addition (ADD) results from the difference between your sphere value for the near and your sphere value for the distance. If you are interested in varifocals or workplace glasses, this value is important for ordering them.


You make yourself comfortable at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. When you open the first page, you can still see the headings quite clearly - but unfortunately the body text is no longer as good. You reach out your arms to keep the newspaper away from your eyes. So it seems to be a bit clearer and sharper.

Over time, you keep the paper further and further away from you. This is not only uncomfortable, but also begs the question: what if at some point the arms are no longer long enough?

No reason to worry. These first signs of presbyopia are easy to correct - even if you already have nearsightedness or farsightedness. This is where addition comes into play.

What does addition mean?

The addition value plays a role in varifocal glasses as well as in workplace glasses and reading glasses. With addition (ADD) is theClose-up addition for a progressive lens meant. It will help you see clearly up close. The ADD value is independent of your ametropia in the distance.

The addition value is a positive diopter value. This value is added to your existing nearsightedness or farsightedness. Varifocal glasses combine several vision solutions in one lens: You get a correction for vision in the distance, at intermediate distances and in the vicinity. This becomes important for you as soon as you develop presbyopia - you will read what exactly that is in the next section.

In contrast, separate reading or workplace glasses help you to see only in a certain area in the near or medium distance - for example when you are reading a book or working at the screen.

If you need glasses, the optician or ophthalmologist will determine the strength of your ametropia. The added value is also calculated on your existing farsightedness or nearsightedness.

The difference between the distance and the reading value (near value) indicates the amount of addition. For example, if your distance value is +3.00 D and the near value is +4.00 D, the difference corresponds to the addition value. In this case, +1.00.


In your Glasses pass all important values ​​for your visual aid are available - including the added value, if it has been determined. You can often find it under the point "ADD" next to your values ​​for SPHERE, CYLINDER and AXIS.

Presbyopia: The performance of the eyes decreases with age

As a rule, the older you get, the greater the addition value, because the The ability of the eyes to accommodate decreases with age. They can no longer adapt as easily as they used to because the lens of the eye loses its elasticity. That is why the near addition is usually measured in an eye check (refraction) from the age of early or mid-40s.

You may have heard of presbyopia before. Experts use the technical term for this Presbyopia. This ametropia in old age is not a disease, but a normal oneage-related loss of function.

The loss has the consequence that the maximum Near point, i.e. the point at which you can just barely see clearly, moves further and further into the distance. You will notice this when reading the newspaper, for example, when your arms have to hold the paper further and further away so that you can still decipher the letters clearly.

Read relaxed despite presbyopia

Varifocal glasses can Correct ametropia in the near and far range at the same time. Think of it like reading glasses built into your normal glasses. The addition makes that possible.

A progressive lens consists of several areas that smoothly merge into each other. In the upper area of ​​the lens is the distance area, the middle area is for intermediate distances and the lower area is used as a near or reading area.

The advantages of varifocals at a glance:

  • There is no need to switch between distance and reading glasses.
  • It is inconspicuous, which can be aesthetically desirable.
  • You can see clearly even at intermediate distances.


Thanks to addition, relaxed reading is also possible if you don't need varifocal glasses, but rather reading glasses or workstation glasses. You can find out here when reading glasses make sense for you and when workplace glasses are more worthwhile.

Note: Sometimes separate reading glasses are worthwhile in addition to varifocals; or even a pair of glasses just for viewing from a distance - for example for watching TV. Because when you watch TV in the evening, you don't need the area close by. If you're reading a book, on the other hand, you don't need the distance area. While varifocal glasses with different areas are ideal for everyday use, the extra glasses are worthwhile for certain situations. You can find out more about this in an individual consultation.