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bifocals- when to "face it"?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by pybyr, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    They also make contacts that correct for astigmatism, odd as that sounds.

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  2. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the info/ options about contacts

    I know that I shouldn't rely on my prescription glasses for purposes of protecting my eyes from flying stuff, but the reality is that they've protected my eyes in any number of situations where I wouldn't have had any particular reason to have been wearing safety eyewear.

    So from that perspective, I wouldn't want to trade my eyeglasses for contacts.

    For myself, I want something I can just habitually put on first thing when I get vertical, and habitually take off last thing when I get horizontal, and that has as little as possible "operating" in between.

    I'm so old school I even insist on glass lenses; I insist on something I can wipe grit off of on a shirt tail without quickly being ground into fogginess. I know (and am irritated) that the FDA "ball-drop test" has all but made them go extinct in the USA (a real example of a stupid overnannyish government regulation if I ever heard of one) but in one of those moments where globalization and the 'net open up good options, I am going to get Zeiss glass lenses made elsewhere and shipped to me. I've had glass lenses hit with flying pieces of all sorts of things- from reciprocating parts that suddenly let go to bits of flying molten metal- and never once had an issue.
  3. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Good point about the eye protection. I have had three incidents where the glasses saved me from a serious eye injury, during normal everyday activity. I literally owe my eyesight to wearing the glasses. I did try contacts, both hard and soft, and they're not for me.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Velvet, when my wife was told she needed bifocals, she got them but still wanted contacts if possible. She got them but it turned out they were not bifocals at all. Each eye was different and they performed just like bifocals as she could read and see distance with no problem. Made me wonder why they couldn't do that with regular glass.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Dennis, that's similar to a friend of our's experience. She had those two different contacts as well; she called it "monovision". Then, when she go Lasik, she had the same thing done with that - one near and one far.

    This other thing with the bifocal contacts I'm given to believe is pretty new and is not the same as "monovision". The person i know is going to get me the mfr. name and maybe I'll research it and talk to my optomitrist. Not sure if I'll ever be able to get used to contacts though.
  6. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I understand that the bifocal contacts have concentric prescription rings in them, so when you look down, you are actually looking through a different part of the lens, near the edge, which would be the reading 'scrip. The 'scripts are concentric so that it doesn't matter what orientation the lens is in on the eyeball.
  7. samhoff2

    samhoff2 Member

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    Here goes nothing...


    I logged on to ask an electrical question (GFCI) but this thread sure caught my eye.... since I'm an eye doctor (optometrist).

    Interesting to read everyone's experiences. It is also unfortunate that we optometrists are sometimes portrayed as "up sellers" etc. etc. However there are a few bad apples in every profession.

    As to when to get bifocals, I tell people to put it off as long as possible, because (1) they are expensive and (2) they are tough to get used to. However, the inability to see up close starts around age 42 and diminishes every year until about age 55 (at which point it levels out), so at some point most people are forced to buy bifocals (lined or no-lined). This is true whether you wear glasses/bifocals/reading glasses or not. There is no way to prevent this by "exercise" or "putting it off" (sorry to say).

    Please, if you have an eye doctor who tries to sell you junk you don't need, FIND A NEW EYE DOCTOR!!!! I am a member of a nation-wide organization called "Vision Source," and we do tend to be the most professional optometrists in the country. We also tend to practice to the highest level, which means that our eye exams WILL cost more than a Wal-Mart or comparable eye exam. Find a Vision Source eye doctor in your area by looking online ( www.visionsource.com ). Remember that we are all trying to make a living. If your doctor charges peanuts for the eye exam, s/he is likely going to try to make it up by selling MORE glasses. If, however, s/he is getting paid a fair price, then s/he is more likely to be honest with regards to your need for specs.

    Buying glasses online is certainly cheaper than buying them in my office, but the quality is much worse. They won't "hurt" your eyes, but they will not give you as good of vision as the ones I sell will, and they will scratch/break more easily. Often the pupil distance is off (distance between the center of the lenses), which induces eyestrain/headaches. However, sometimes it is not.

    As for bifocal contact lenses, here is the way I describe them to my patients: If I give you a pair of contacts that makes your distance vision crystal clear (100%), then your up close vision will suffer (let's say it is 20%). Then, if you put reading glasses on over the contacts, your up close vision will be crystal clear (100%) and your distance vision will suffer (let's say 20%). With BIFOCAL contact lenses, your distance vision will be about 70% and your up close vision will be about 70% of what you want it to be. Some people hear this and say, "GREAT! That's what I want!" Others hear this and say, "Ugh. I couldn't stand that." Your degree of success with bifocal contacts correlates directly to (1) how much you HATE reading glasses and (2) how picky you are with your vision. Often bifocal (aka multifocal) contact lenses do have one eye "weighted" to see better up close, and the other eye "weighted" to give people better distance vision (here I use the term "weighted" to mean pushed that direction slightly), but we often don't tell people that: in the real world people use both eyes and having one a bit better for distance and the other a bit better for near is helpful. (If we make one REAL good for distance and the other REAL good for near, that is classical monovision).

    Ok, I think that's enough for now, I'll get off my soapbox. But the main point is to please find an eye doctor that you KNOW and TRUST and go see him or her. Please no flames folks. I'm really just trying to help. :)

    Sam
  8. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Sam, if you leave this forum, I'm gonna hunt you down !!!

    :p
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I'd LOVE to be able to wear progressives. I tried progressives once but despite an honest try, I could not get used to them. My wife has been wearing progressives for years and for her they are perfectly natural and she can go from near to far with no effort at all, no head movement or anything. The optometrists and opticians all say that the failure rate is high unless you get them young. They made me dizzy and were downright dangerous driving with them. Theoretically, though, they are just what I need. I'm jealous. So, what is digital enhanced? Is there something new in progressives?
  10. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Go to "Lens Crafters" website for progressive lens description. By the way, I was over 60 when I switched to progressive lenses. Only the new improved wide range digital lens works for me. I have to to have another eye exam in a month or so. Unless there is a major change, I'll keep the ones I have. Too much money, I have some changes being monitored for some pre macular degeneration thing they keep a close check on.
  11. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I'll look into those. Most places offer money back guarantees so It may worth another try. Encouraging that you were able to adjust to them.
  12. samhoff2

    samhoff2 Member

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    Digital lenses are a little tricky to describe, so hang in there with me:

    Let me start by saying that originally, lenses in glasses were all "spherical." This means the front and back were always perfect arcs from a sphere. I.e. if you take a piece of string that is, say, 50 cm long and swing one end through space with the other end tacked down, it traces an arc that is spherical in 3D space. Put that on the back of a lens, and a similar shape (but with a 40 cm long string) on the front, and you would end up with a "plus" lens (steeper in front than back). This was the easiest, cleanest way to make lenses of a given power for many years.

    However, we discovered it wasn't the most OPTICALLY clean way to do things. Making the lenses "aspheric," which means "not of a sphere" makes for better optics. These lenses are somewhat flatter at the edges and rounder at the middle. They give you clearer vision at the periphery of your glasses and make for thinner glasses. For prescriptions that are mild, the benefits don't outweigh the extra cost. For higher Rx's, they are worth the extra money. Your optician will tell you if your Rx merits it.

    Ok, now, describing a regular progressive addition lens ("PAL") vs. a digital is somewhat analogous. Originally, we eye doctors would use a progressive lens with a certain bulge in the lower FRONT part of the lens in order to make the reading portion work, and by changing the curve of the back side of the lens, we could alter the overall power (for nearsightedness or farsightedness). (Bear with me as there is some oversimplification here). So, if you needed a certain Rx for reading, and your Rx was, say, a -7.00, then we would grind the BACK of the lens (spherically) to give you the -7.00, and the FRONT side to give you your reading Rx (say, a +2.00). Someone who was instead a -4.00 (but had the same need for reading specs, +2.00), would get the SAME FRONT of the lens but we would carve out 3 diopters different in the back (to arrive at the -4.00 rather than the -7.00).

    Well, thanks to our new high-powered computers, we discovered that it is less-than-ideal to use the SAME curve on the front of every Rx: a -7.00 would see much better (according to computer models) if we made the curves at the front a little different than we would for a -4.00 or a +5.00. Turns out, the computer models were dead on. Not only can we carve the FRONT differently, but we can put PART of the reading Rx on the BACK of the lens. However, in order to do this, you have to use MUCH more expensive equipment and lens generators: essentially, it's a small toothpick with a point at the end that picks away little pieces of the lens to make the shape precisely what the computer model calls for. This is the "DIGITAL LENS." After all the pieces are picked out, the lens is polished to be smooth and clear. There is literally a different shape to the front and back of the lens for every single Rx imaginable: no more cookie-cutter shapes.

    Obviously, digital lenses are superior to non-digital lenses, and they cost significantly more. People who are used to standard and get premium digital lenses are generally quite pleased... but not always as pleased as they think they will be given the extra investment of money. Digital lenses feel more natural on the eye, give you wider distance, intermediate, and near vision, and cause less distortion at the periphery. And, remember, the differences here are at the micron level on the lenses, but for some people they make a large difference (primarily very picky people) (if you are not a "picky person" when it comes to your vision, you may be better served by regular lenses. If you don't know if you're picky, ask your eye doctor. Believe me, we know which are which!).

    Here I should hasten to add that even in "regular" "non-digital" lenses there is a HUGE difference in the quality you get. An old lens such as a "Natural" or "Comfort" or "Panamic" can't compete with the newer lenses such as a "Truclear" or a "Physio HD." Of course, the general public doesn't know all this, so we have to field questions at my office like, "Why do your lenses cost more than Costco's or Wal-Mart's?" The answer is that, like everything, you get what you pay for. (And I readily admit my bias, since I do sell the high-end stuff).

    That's it in a nutshell. More information than you wanted probably. And, yes, there are still people who just can't get used to progressives. Thankfully, almost EVERY eye place will remake your glasses for free into lined bifocals if you try the PAL's and just can't get used to them. (However, they/we don't refund the difference in price).

    Hope this helps,

    Sam
  13. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Sam. No such thing as too much information. I wasn't aware of these developments in lens design and maybe I'll look into the digital ones now. I think I gave that last progressive pair about two weeks before giving up and I wasn't even starting to get used to them. That was about 4 years ago I guess. I'm sure that I would fall into the "picky" category, but there was nothing subtle about the distortion in those lenses;sick. They were from Costco and not especially expensive. I don't know who made them. I've found Costco to be fine for me in the past because all I've ever needed is straight-forward singles with moderate correction, but I guess I'll go someplace else to try the progressives again. It's so funny that my wife has absolutely no problem with them at all and to me they were intolerable. Oh, well.
  14. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Fyi, I got a rx from my opthamologist (use one because I have a special eye issue) for progressive lenses, brought it to my favorite eye glass store, and the fitter said that the rx could not be correct, had never seen a rx like I brought it. He had me visit with the optometrist at the eye glass store, and the optometrist came out with a different rx. Who to trust? The eye glass store guaranteed satisfaction with the rx of their optometrist, and I went that route. End result was perfect. Opthamologist rx would not have been right. The lesson may be no more than doing a double check on the rx to make sure the rx is correct.
  15. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    I had worn bifocals since 3rd grade, switched to contacts at around 28. lasik at 38
    readers now.............50 ugh..........
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sam, great information. Thanks for posting. I am going to be getting new glasses or at least lenses shortly. The last set of transition bi-focal lenses I got started failing right around 2 years. They fogged up around the edges and now look yellow rather than clear. I still have my older transition lenses and they are perfect, even though they are 6 yrs old. Needless to say I don't want another failed set of lenses. They were not cheap Walmart glasses. Do you know what causes this and what should I be looking for?
  17. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    I don't like any glasses. I get them dirty, and misplace them. Even worse when I sit on them. But, darn it, I can't read the news paper without them. The digital progressive lens did offer more freedom and less head jerking trying to find that right spot. These proved the best for driving, ESP. For backing up. But as I posted before, a set of readers is less exhausting when reading books etc. I have about a dozen pairs of readers placed around the house. (Easy chair, desk, throne, etc. )
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Just came back from the eye doctor. Unfortunately it looks like the digital lens are not made for bifocals, just progressive or singles. That sucks, I'd really like to try them. About 10 yrs ago I tried progressives and they were not for me, especially for reading. I really prefer the nice wide area of view I get for reading with bifocals and the lens quality is much better than I get with readers.

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