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Old 09-20-2006, 10:02 AM
phungi phungi is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: on the spinning sphere
Posts: 2,828
Adjusting to progressive lenses

I am 24 hours into wearing progressive lenses for the first time, and I realize there is a breaking-in period. However, I noticed a few "oddities" about the lenses:

1. the "middle distance" section in the middle of the lenses is rather narrow, thus reducing peripheral vision.

2. the "close distance" section of the lenses on the bottom is also rather narrow, so if I move my eyes instead of moving my head slightly while looking at something (e.g., reading) there is a blur.

An example of either of these is looking at my computer monitor and moving my head side-to-side while looking at the center of the screen. The SDMB window appears to distort as I move side to side.

I am wondering if this is normal, and how long it will take to get accustomed to these lenses. At times, I feel almost motion sickness as things are bending and changing shape when I move my eyes ahead of moving my head.
Old 09-20-2006, 10:45 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 13,026
I had a really hard time adjusting to my progressive lenses. I took them back the day after I got them, they were so annoying.

Every optomitrists office, it seems has one person who is very gifted at getting them aligned just so, easily perfecting the fit. Of course the other employees often do this job too!

I sought out and made sure I saw the best they had for this task and with a couple of simple adjustments they were much easier to use. There was still a period of adjustment, but it was doable.

I encourage you to make inquiries, where you bought them, and take them back for an adjustment, they should be glad to accomodate you at no charge.

Good Luck.
Old 09-20-2006, 10:56 AM
Lobelia Overhill Lobelia Overhill is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: in my angry place
Posts: 1,105
I take it you mean the type of Bi-Focals that don't have the line across the 'join'? From what D'Mother used to say you never get used to it - but she is prone to complaining about everything ... I think the trick is to blink as you move your eyes up or down to 'edit out' the no man's land in the lenses...
"Did I not just use the word 'puzzling'?"
Old 09-20-2006, 11:08 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17,789
I have been using them for years. Originally they took quite some getting used to and I thought it would be impossible. A few weeks later they were fine and and I never thought about them again.

However a few weeks ago I had to buy new glasses and bought frames that are slimmer (top to bottom) and have discovered that they cause a few problems. If I am walking down a staircase I find that sometimes when I glance down I look under the lenses and get disoriented. Because much of my peripheral vision is around the lens I get lots of visual illusions.
Old 09-20-2006, 11:29 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 11,601
I have had the same experience. I don't have a strong prescription so I don't need to wear them all the time, mostly for driving so I can see both street signs and my dashboard/GPS. I find the field of view impossibly narrow to use them for reading so I used reading glasses instead. The first week I wore them I got dizzy if I turned my head while looking at the same object (like the car in front of me). But I got used to them after a couple of weeks and now I like them.
Old 09-20-2006, 02:34 PM
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 3,026
For the people who are happy with their progressive lenses - which kind do you have? About how much did they cost?

My husband's optometrist is pushing a set of $500 lenses: "Variluz Pysio 360 with Alize".

He's always been nearsighted and only over the last year has he begun to have trouble reading up-close.
Old 09-20-2006, 03:33 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 11,409
I `can only describe my experience. I had been wearing glasses since about 4th grade, but I remained only a little nearsighted (20-40 in one eye and 20-50 in the other). Around when I got to 40, I was having trouble reading with glasses on and pretty much stopped wearing them except to drive. This worked pretty well till I hit 65 and then I started using drug store reading glasses to read with. A couple years after that, I discovered that I had about 3 degrees of vertical stabismus and needed a prism to correct that. The ophthalmologist said it was quite likely that I had always had it but had been able to correct it without realizing it. With advancing age, my muscles got weaker and it became harder and harder to keep correcting it. Whatever, he suggested that progressive lenses, the only alternative being trifocals since I was also having trouble with the middle distance (computer screen, basically). So I said to go with it, got the glasses made, put them on, and that was the end of it. I had no trouble whatever adjusting. In fact, they are great. I put them on in the morning and take them off at night. Before that, I was always switching between reading glasses and my distance correction. A month later I got a second pair (to have a backup). They cost $250 each, using my old frames. I don't know how much the prism adds to the cost, but a temporary prism added on top of the old lenses cost $50.

Now as it happens, Mrs. Seldon went to an optometrists this morning to try progressive lenses. The reason is that, despite the house being strewn with her reading glasses, distance glasses, computer reading glasses, she spent a great deal of time searching the house for the glasses she needed. I pointed out to her how I put my glasses on in the morning and took them off at night and she decided to try them. But the optometrist warned her repeatedly that not everyone could adjust. Neither my opthalmologist nor optometrist said much to me about difficulty adjusting and I had none.

Actually, that is not quite true. I have to be careful going down steps and when I try to reset the VCR after a power failure I have to either get down on the floor so I can see the legends in the bottom part of the lens or else somehow hold the glasses up with one hand and set the controls with the other. I certainly does not help that the VCR's control panel features dark gray on black legends (very cool, no doubt) and that the default setting after power on is to not record any channel numbered above 13. Resetting that requires inserting a ball-point pen, then pressing several buttons, then goosing it again with the pen. Why anyone would do that is beyond me. But anyway, the bottom line is that there are inevitably a few problems. Probably I should keep one of my old reading glasses by the VCR for that purpose.
Old 09-20-2006, 05:09 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,349
I don't recall what brand I have since I'm at work, but I will say this... If you're not happy with them, go back to the optomitrist and try a different brand. I tried on a new pair the other day that were blurry EXCEPT when I looked left. It was weird. The doc tried a different brand and they worked fine. The reason I was trying different ones is because I wanted better reading vision than the ones that I have now even though they're from a script only a couple of months old. I have a followup visit to get it work out.
Old 09-20-2006, 06:31 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841

My experience:

I've been nearsighted for as long as I can remember. It wasn't diagnosed and I didn't get glasses until I was about 10. Wow! I didn't know everybody else could see all that stuff!

Anyway, flash forward to being 40ish and all the print got real hard to read. I got my first pair of variable focus lenses and adapted just fine within about 2 days. I love them. I've had to replace the lenses every so often as the presbyopia changes.

I have found the Varilux brand to be superior to the less expensive ones. Also I've found that in order to get a decent amount of coverage in each of the focus areas I need to have a reasonably good-sized lens. The popular thin styles leave very, very little space for each portion.

A good optician (that's the person who actually makes the glasses, not the doctor who examines your eyes) should be willing to take back the progressives if you find you can't adjust, which some people just can't.
Old 09-21-2006, 04:09 PM
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 3,026
Thanks for the information. I'm surprised they would be willing to take back prescription lenses if you don't like them. They're expensive, and it's not like they can easily re-use them for somebody else.
Old 09-21-2006, 04:52 PM
Shrinking Violet Shrinking Violet is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 1,003
I started wearing varifocals about six weeks ago, and after a few days of getting used to them I now forget I'm wearing them.

One little tip the optometrist gave to me : point your nose at whatever you want to see. It works well and soon becomes habit.
Old 09-21-2006, 06:56 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841
Originally Posted by Eleanor of Aquitaine
Thanks for the information. I'm surprised they would be willing to take back prescription lenses if you don't like them. They're expensive, and it's not like they can easily re-use them for somebody else.
Of course, YMMV. It's a good idea to ask this of the optician when you are considering the variable focus lenses. My WAG is that they make enough on the markup to cover the relatively rare situation where they take them back. Plus you would still be able to use the frames, and would still pay for the standard lenses.


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