Progressive lenses: Same? Better? Worse?

It took me about 5 seconds to adjust to my first pair of progressives. I love them. My wife was never able to get used to them and wears bifocals plus a separate pair of glasses for the computer. She complains that she can’t use them going up and down stairs, a thing I never noticed. The only problem I do have is where I have to read something above or below my eye level. If it’s above eye level it is very hard to read through the lower part of the lens. If it is below, then I have to bend my head to look at it, with the same result.

Peripheral vision is not affected by glasses since the only thing it does is detect motion and focus is not the issue.

I have two pairs and am pretty sure that I won’t buy them any more. I was able to eventually get used to them and I use them daily but for me the hassle isn’t worth it. During the “getting used to them” stage you can’t tell if they screwed up the prescription or if you just need to give it time. It would really suck if you gave it time, and finally took them back only to realize that they were made wrong. The prescription and all the fitting measurements have to be 100% dead on, otherwise you’ll have distortions.

I also sort of resent the “point your nose at everything” advice. Aren’t the eye muscles designed to allow you to swivel your eyeballs around? But really, I find that I have to move my entire head just to work with my double-monitor configuration at work. I’m used to it, but it’s silly.

Also, because they are measured and fitted so precisely, if they go just the teensiest bit askew on your face, your vision goes blurry. I have the widest center field “computer vision” glasses and I still have to keep them dead center where they’re supposed to be. I don’t have time to be taking hikes out to the glasses store every month or two for frame adjustments.

Didn’t work form me. Instead of one big change in the bifocal lenses, there were 9 or 10 nearly invisible lines, maybe an 8th or 16th inch apart.

I could see each and very one of these focus changes as I scanned up and down the lenses. There were two big areas in-focus (near and far images) and 8 or 9 distinct areas between that were slightly more in or our of focus.

I never shook that sense. In another year I was back to bifocals.

A good glasses doc (opti-opthalmawhatsit) can work with you to determine where the transitions start and stop and the size of the gradient. In the case of my progressives, after I showed him my typical reading, walking, computer positions I ended up with large-ish field of view lenses (not 1970’s sized but not the slim hipster kind I wanted) with a narrow far correction on about the top 25% of the lens, and the rest of the lens a gradual progression with close-up reading at the bottom of the lens, and computer monitor distance in the middle of the lens. Took getting used to but it is better than constantly swapping glasses for me.

I was not able to get very large left/right field of view however. There is no optical/physical reason why the progressive field couldn’t be expanded other than cost and customization. I also hate having to constantly point my nose across the screen of a wide-screen monitor.

Mine are: Accuvue 1-day Moist Multifocal. They are really great. None of this searching around for the right focus point. I can read. I can drive. Very comfortable. 1-day, so I can chuck them instead of cleaning. I have a different prescription for each eye. All in all, I highly recommend.

I love the multi-focal aspect of progressive lenses, but not the progressive part.

I’ve tried them, and just couldn’t get used to them.

My lined trifocals work wonderfully for everything. Reading, sitting at a computer (which I pretty much do my whole working day), and distance.

I don’t care about the lines on the lenses – I have no vanity about my glasses or my age.

To each their own, but I find lined tri- or bi-focals to work the best.

I went from regular distance glasses to progressives. I took a while to get used to them – a week, maybe. You have to get used to some things. For instance, I was used to glancing down at the stairs before I stepped onto them, but with progressives I have to tilt my whole head down to get the stairs in the right part of the lens in order to see them sharply. And as someone else said, if you’re doing close up work where the focus of your attention is not right in front of your nose, you have trouble seeing what it is you’re working on. This is often a problem when I’m working on my scooters, which are often fiddly and awkward. Sometimes with computer screens and other things that are about an arm’s length away, I have to rock my head up and down to find the perfect focal point.
That said, I think they’re the best option for me. It lets me use one pair of glasses for all distance of focus. I take them off if I’m reading really close-up, like if I’m lying prone.

Like beer googles, progressive lenses tend to make people think they’re the smartest person in the room…

Took a few days to get used to mine. And no way in hell I was going to get bi focals (or worse tri) because those are for old people and that isn’t me. (Well, I’m in my 5th decade but growing up only “old people” had bi focals).

My experience with contacts is not so good. I just got 2 new tester pairs. Pair one had longer focal length by my arms are long enough to read my phone. I’ll try the second pair that goes for closer clarity at the expense of distance. If I can see my phone, and legally drive, that’s for me.

I ended up with a pair of progressive and a pair of single vision computer glasses. The optician designed there progressive lenses with the narrowest possible intermediate corridor to maximize reading.

I ended up with a pair of progressive and a pair of single vision computer glasses. The optician designed the progressive lenses with the narrowest possible intermediate corridor to maximize reading.

When I did fulltime software dev / office work that was my solution too. I heartily recommend it as the optimal set-up.

Like you I’m in my late 50’s with astigmatism overlaid with slowly growing age-related presbyopia.

Unlike my post just above, my present mission demands good vis from arm’s length to infinity with only occasional forays into up-close reading fine print. I need the arm’s length acuity while looking downwards, which is sorta the opposite of typical progressive lenses.

I now use progressive contacts where the up-close part is set to properly correct at about 4 feet distance. Which gives acceptable clarity in to about 2-1/2 feet for largish type. Then I supplement that with low-power drugstore readers for truly up-close work.

Yes, that means I still fiddle with glasses. But for 95% of the day I don’t need any. I definitely don’t need glasses to drive or fly. I can use my phone with at most an occasional squint at something extra small. I can read menus and incidental amounts of ordinary type adequately without my readers.

The readers become necessary only for tiny print like on medicine bottles, or for extended sessions with books / magazines. For e-reading I just zoom the text & skip the readers.

The lenses aren’t cheap and it took 3 cycles of testing to find the optimal prescription. But now it works slick. You might give that a try.

I wear progressives. For what it’s worth, at one point I decided to go back to bifocal. Hated them as soon as I put them on and had them sent back for progs. It’s a minor annoyance to have to move your head when you read.

This thread seems to be freshly dead, so you can’t accuse me of raising a zombie. :smiley:

I have a question for those who use progressive glasses. I use them and have for a few years. I’m used to them, although I don’t think I’ll buy them again. They work acceptably for my daily computer use. I can also read in bed just fine. But here is a problem I’ve noticed.

Sometimes when things are slow I like to color. If I lay the coloring book on the table in front of me, ensure I have ample light, and grab my gel pens, my eyes go into spasm. Because the book is horizontal on the table in front of me, I’m looking though the bottom part of the lense, which is supposedly for close-up viewing. But I don’t have sharp focus, and I think that’s what is making my eyes spasm. By playing around, I’ve figured out that I can see the book best by holding it up at an angle in front of me, like a book. Of course then I have to move my light to behind my head so it shines on the book. And also need a flat surface to hold the book against. And then wield the pen in my fourth hand… you see where this is going?

Why isn’t the bottom part of the lense working for close up work? I estimate that when the book is flat on the table, it’s about 14 inches from my eyes, although moving my head around doesn’t seem to help.

This was my experience, too. My first ever pair of progressives were round, Harry Potter or John Lennon style. I could see well through the entire lenses. I didn’t know what people were talking about when they said you have to “point your nose” at whatever you were looking at.

Then ten years later (I’m a cheapskate) I got my second pair. I went with that wide, rectangular, horizontal style that is so popular now. And I have the “point your nose” requirement with a vengeance! I’m tempted to throw them away and go back to the round style.

Although I never wore either pair very often. I wear monovision contacts most of the day, a vastly superior option if you can tolerate them.

Maybe because the closer edge of the book (the “bottom” if it were upright) is only half as far from your eyes as the farther edge of the book, so you can’t keep the whole thing in focus at the same time?

I’ve been wearing progressive lenses for just over a month now and love 'em. Never had any sort of bifocals before and the people at Visionworks were a bit concerned about my going to progressives right away. They warned of possibly having difficulty getting used to 'em and the guy who was working the day I picked 'em up had me walk around a bit to see if they had any effect on my balance. No problems here at all and I still have my old single vision glasses if they’re ever needed.

I had the same situation, I never wore bifocals, I went right into a transition lens. I adjusted almost immediately and haven’t had any problems.

They’re brilliant. They do take some getting used to; you will find things odd for a couple of weeks or more.