Getting used to progressive lenses?

Never had a problem adjusting to progressive lenses. My problem was with bifocals, whether lined or no line. I could wear them for a few hours, start to feel some eye strain, then switch back to the old ones. Even after “adjusting” to them, I was never really comfortable with them.

What is a training session? Do they just have you read at different distances so you know what to expect? Sounds like some of that evil socialist medicine stuff to me!

When my eye doctor told me I needed bifocals, I knew that the line would drive me crazy, and that’s why I chose progressives. I did know that the top of the lens is designed for far away, and the bottom for closeups. I presume that’s what messed up so many posters regarding stairs, but I was mentally prepared for that.

Here’s the part I was NOT prepared for. Before I went to bifocals, my eyeglasses did a wonderful job of keeping everything perfectly focused. It never mattered what part of the lens I was looking through, or even how far it was from my eyes. In fact, I could take the glasses off my head, hold them a foot away, even upside down or reversed, and everything was still sharply in focus (though reduced in size).

I was never able to figure out how the lenses worked so magically, because my understanding of the physics is that the shape of the eyeglass lens is designed to focus the image on a particular part of the eyeball lens. And yet, it always focused fine.

But when I got my progressives, if I would look in any direction other than dead straight ahead, the image was slightly fuzzy. Good enough for almost any practical purpose, but less perfect than I was used to. And being a very precision-oriented person, I was very upset.

Several posters have mentioned a “sweet spot”, and it seems that mine was “straight ahead”. If I had known this sort of thing in advance, I would not have been so disappointed, I’m glad they are teaching people to expect it nowadays.

I hope your experience is better than mine.

I’ve worn glasses since I was 8. When I needed reading glasses in my late 40s, my optician pushed progressives. No, says I, I need the line - I need to know where to look for the other prescription. “There’s no line! You’ll love it!” I. Did. Not!!! I could fill the Pit with profanities, but the end result is that I could not use progressives. I never did find the part of the lens that was for reading. After two weeks of not being able to read or use a computer (my job!!!) I got separate reading and distance glasses. Yes, carrying one pair while I’m using the other is annoying. Less so than those Samuel L. Jackson word progressives.

Something like 20% of people can’t adapt to bifocals or progressives. Yet when I turned in my progressives and insisted on separate pairs, my optician treated me like I’d grown an extra head. Which would have been better for my vision than those progressive lenses.

It’s been nearly 15 years, and I’m still pissed. I’ll die mad about it.

I think the reason I can’t adapt is my eyes point in different directions. Which was only diagnosed a few years ago. The ophthamologist who figured it out said “This is normally diagnosed in childhood. Did you have trouble playing sports?” Yes, and he explained my entire childhood in a sentence.

I’ve had limited success… I think. IDK if my expectations of progressives are too high or what.

My progressives are awesome for driving.
I can read texts on my phone just fine.

Here’s what I’m not sure about: Prolonged reading. Like say a novel or something. The progressives are just too tiresome. Can’t get comfortable. So I just switch to my cheap reading glasses. Is that what most people do?

Same with TV. The progressives do me no good. If lean back in my recliner, or don’t keep my head just so… The tv goes out of focus. For that, I have my “TV” glasses.

I couldn’t stand them. I have a fairly strong prescription (7 ish) and anything other than dead ahead wasn’t just “slightly fuzzy”, it was a blur. I went to a convention and I couldn’t recognize any people, because if I didn’t look directly at them, I couldn’t focus well enough to know who it was. Also, they gave me headaches.

So for a while I had three pairs of glasses. I had progressives, that I wore for work, and for commuting (good for reading on the train) and I had distance glasses for driving at night and watching movies, and I had bifocals for stuff like conventions and reunions and weddings, where I needed some peripheral vision.

Then I discovered “digital progressives”. They have other names, but there are fancier and much more expensive progressive lenses that have a larger sweet spot. And they are a LOT less distorted outside of the sweet spot. And I don’t get headaches, and I can wear them everywhere. I’m a big fan.

I wouldn’t recommend you start with those, especially if your distance prescription is weaker than mine. Because they are freaking expensive. But it’s an option, and something to consider if regular progressives don’t work for you.

For the novel, I sometimes just take my glasses off and put my nose into the book. For the TV, I slide my progressives up and down my nose, rather than keeping my head just so. Works fine, except it’s really hard if I want to lay down sideways on the couch. But so long as I’m mostly upright, it’s comfortable.

It took me about 2 weeks to get used to my first pair of progressives. About the stairs- the optometrist told me to tilt my head down rather than looking through the bottom of the glasses, which helped a lot with that. My vision insurance covers an extra pair of “occupational glasses” for me - which really means computer glasses. That means I don’t have to tilt my head up to look at the screen through the bottom of the lenses( which I would have to do with the progressives) . I can wear those to walk around my office or the house - but not to read or drive or even to walk on the street.

I had to return my progressives. I felt seasick just walking around, and hated that there was only a 1mm sliver of lens appropriate to any particular distance - I had to move my head up and down constantly to be able to find the right spot to see or read anything.

The worst part was reading on screens; when looking at (say) the left of a screen, the right end was hugely distorted; as I scanned across the screen the warp moved across - very disconcerting!

Now I have two pairs of bifocals; one for computer/reading, and one for driving set for long distance/dashboard distance (which is the same prescription as the computer distance).

@askance hit right on, the same as me.

I felt like a chicken. I had to turn my head directly at what I was looking at. I had poor peripheral vision. Chickens do that. I did that, except I didn’t cluck.

At a stop sign, for example, cars coming from the side were blurry, out of the sweet focus. I absolutely have to clearly see cars and drivers at stop signs.

Then normally sitting around, and looking? I felt like I was in freaking fun house. My lined bifocals are a huge pain in the butt, but they don’t make me laugh looking at elongated people.

I took the progressives back to the oculist after a week and told him where to put those lenses. He said he could not do that because the ones he made for his wife were already there.

This is all I’ve ever had, so that may explain some of the ease with which I adjusted to them. I have very good vision insurance, and I was apprehensive about starting to wear glasses at all, so I got what the eye doctor recommended.

I wonder if part of the issue, too is whether there’s a huge difference between the reading and distance prescriptions. I’m very slightly farsighted, so, close to just clear lenses at the top, and now I’m up to a +2.75 for reading, but I started out lower. +1.50, I think. I wonder if nearsightedness plus presbyopia is more challenging.

Most of my issues have to do with distortions in the top part of the lens, and with lack of peripheral vision. I would not expect a person who is “very slightly farsighted” (or very slightly nearsighted, for that matter) to find the lenses as challenging as i found them.