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  1. #1
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    *&^%##$^%^ bifocals

    I'm 53 and have just submitted to getting bifocals. I've been putting it off for a good 5 years, prefering instead to take off my glasses to read or work up close. I can see fine up close but need glasses to see far away. I was constantly removing my glasses.
    I know it takes time to get used to bifocals, but I've been in them for over a month and still my eyes feel very strained. It feels like my eyes aren't working together and they're constantly trying to focus and adjust to each other. Is this normal? I'm thinking I need to go back to the eye doctor to get things checked out.
    I'm wondering; What is the doc's assistant doing when they tell you to look at their nose then they make marks on the lenses? I'm thinking maybe they screwed up when they did that. What if they mark one lens then you move your head slightly? Wouldn't that mess up what ever it is they are doing?
    I used to be able to see just fine with my single vision lenses, except up close. My eyes were always very comfortable. Now they're not.

  2. #2
    tsl
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    I've been wearing bi-focals since I was 39, and tri-focals since I was 45. I strongly prefer lines over no-line. No-lines make me feel like I'm looking through a telescope--only a pinpoint is ever in focus.

    I'm particularly sensitive to line position. When my frames are out-of-whack and my lines don't line up, I have trouble.

    I also prefer my lines down further than most people. Opticians hate this. They always want to put them where they think they should be (even with the bottom of the iris) and that just drives me bonkers. I have to be *very* assertive (read: threaten to go elsewhere) in order to get them where I need them to be.

    Either situation (lines uneven or lines too high) gives me exactly the symptoms you describe.

    Edit: You should be able to see if your lines are level. You can also test for yourself if your lines are too high. Slide your specs down your nose. It'll feel funny, but if your vision improves, there's your answer, and have new lenses made.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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  3. #3
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    Have them rechecked. It gets better.

  4. #4
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Edit: You should be able to see if your lines are level. You can also test for yourself if your lines are too high. Slide your specs down your nose. It'll feel funny, but if your vision improves, there's your answer, and have new lenses made.

    That's exactly what I do. I have to slide these glasses way down my nose in order to see somewhat normal. If I wear them in the normal position, up on my nose, I'm looking at the world through the short range portion and everything is blurry and curvey. I've been telling myself that these glasses would be good for squirrel hunting, for looking up into trees. They are not good for looking straight ahead. It seems like the top portion of the lenses is wasted because I don't look up there.
    Last edited by sknhgy; 09-09-08 at 07:56 PM.

  5. #5
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    My lines are too low and it drives me crazy. I'm constantly having to tint my head up in the air to see close objects. I am also distracted by the lines on the sides of the bifocal area. I'm sure I would do much better if I could bring the lines up to close to midway up the lens.

    I only use them about 1/3rd of the time, frequently choosing to use my single vision distance lenses and to struggle seeing close objects

    Technically I'm a candidate for tri-focals, but I couldn't deal with them.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  6. #6
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    I am 65 and I don't wear bi or tri focals...I had my rx cut back in power(I am near sighted) 1.5 diopters. that allows me to read ok and still see well at a distance...Its not 20/20 but close enuff for most everything except identifing a bird at 50 yards, Then I use the binocs.Bud

  7. #7
    Senior Member jiminos's Avatar
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    i like oldster's solution. myself... i, too, need bifocals. i wear contacts. the left eye is corrected for near vision. the right eye is corrected for distance. it took about a day to get used to, but now... i love it. no glasses and good vision near and far. it's a bit of a weird solution, but it works really well... when i do wear glasses, i wear no-line (progressive lenses) and i've asked the doc to set the near correction way down to the bottom of the lens, like tsl.

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  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I wear progressive lens bifocals. No lines and for me, no problems. I remember it took a few days for me to get used to them, but nothing like what is described in the OP. Let the doc have a look and see if everything is as it should be.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    For sure bifocals can be a pain in the butt. It took me way more than a month to adjust to wearing them. I often think that I don't need them when I ride so have sometimes worn my sunglasses without the bifocals when riding(I use this pair of glasses to play tennis). Then I had a flat tire and without the bifocals, had a tough time changing the tire. Stay with it, it just takes time. As others have said you may develop a preference for the way the lenses are made or the way they fit you, but you have to keep wearing them to figure it all out.
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  10. #10
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I've been wearing bi-focals since I was 39, and tri-focals since I was 45. I strongly prefer lines over no-line. No-lines make me feel like I'm looking through a telescope--only a pinpoint is ever in focus.
    +1

    and i have two different bi-focal prescriptions; the first is for driving/reading, while the other is for use at the computer, allowing me to view the screen but also read material on the desk...

    BTW, my cycling driving/reading bi-focal sunglasses are non-polarized so i can read my Sigma computers on the handlebars...

  11. #11
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I wear progressive lens bifocals. No lines and for me, no problems. I remember it took a few days for me to get used to them, but nothing like what is described in the OP. Let the doc have a look and see if everything is as it should be.
    Been wearing progressive lenses for a few years. As BD said, no lines, no problems. After a short while looking thru the right part of the lens becomes second nature.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider View Post
    Been wearing progressive lenses for a few years. As BD said, no lines, no problems. After a short while looking thru the right part of the lens becomes second nature.
    Ditto for me. I got new progressive lenses a short while back which are narrower (that's the fashion now) than my previous ones -- the change in focus happens over a smaller area and that took getting used to. I had my old lenses converted to single vision Polaroids --great for driving but a pain in the butt when trying to read the street directory - have to take them off. I didn't realize how dependent you can become on progressives.

    Big downside of progressive lenses: big bucks.

  13. #13
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author View Post
    and i have two different bi-focal prescriptions; the first is for driving/reading, while the other is for use at the computer, allowing me to view the screen but also read material on the desk...
    I do something similar. My tri-focals are for general use. I have a pair of bi-focals for the computer, in which the upper part is the same prescription as the middle of the tri-focals. Works great. Much easier on the neck.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  14. #14
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I am also distracted by the lines on the sides of the bifocal area.
    I have the same issue. Standard bi-focal areas are 28mm wide. Mine are 35mm wide, which works much better. You can also get "Franklin" bi-focals, which are the whole width of the lens.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  15. #15
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    I use soft lens bifocal contacts. These things are an interesting technology; the lenses have multiple radii. That is, they aren't spherical and have multiple focal planes. When you first put them on, you have a "Yikes" moment when everything looks strange, shimmery, sort of like looking through a sheet of flowing water. At any focal distance, your eye is receiving the image it needs, but your brain has to sort it out. I accommodated to them in about 15 minutes, but some people never do. Worth a try though, if you can use them.

    Sadly, there is a limit to have far these things can stretch, and you ultimately have to choose between a perfect distance correction, or perfect close vision. I'm now supplementing the close end with 1.25 reading glasses.

  16. #16
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    The marking you asked about is them identifying where the center of your pupils are.
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  17. #17
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    I had some issues trying to go with one pair of glasses for all uses, they were great for distance but NFG for computer work. My solution was similar to linux as I have a set of progressive glasses for the office computer and a set of lined for driving and general reading. Works great for me and since I became a grandfather this year I don't mind wearing lined glasses.

  18. #18
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    It shouldn't take that long to get used to them. Have them checked.

  19. #19
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    I wear progressive lenses but mainly because I got tired of putting on and taking off my reading glasses. I don't need glasses for distance yet but it's just easier to wear the progressive lenses. You get used to them quickly but the newer style narrow lenses as bmorey points out make for smaller focal areas which again you can get used to. By the way I don't wear my glasses when cycling but it makes it hard to read the cycle computer readout.

    Thanks, Mike.

  20. #20
    Old Fogy
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    It took about a week to get used to my first bifocals, no time at all to get used to trifocals. You definitely need to go back for a recheck.

  21. #21
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    ...What if they mark one lens then you move your head slightly? Wouldn't that mess up what ever it is they are doing?
    I used to be able to see just fine with my single vision lenses, except up close. My eyes were always very comfortable. Now they're not.
    I've wondered the same thing. The method of marking the lens while I hope and pray that the frames are sitting where I want them to on my nose seems to leave a lot of room for error. But I've been very happy with my progressive lens so far. I can't imagine trying to get accustomed to seeing through a line.

    That said....... if you are having this much trouble with your new glasses, you should go back to your doc until he gets it right.
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  22. #22
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I went with the lined bifocals over the progressives because the area where there is a distorted view is much smaller with lined. I couldn't stand the wider "blurry zone" of the progressive design.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  23. #23
    Yen
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    Hubby tried the progressives once and hated them. He says he got dizzy moving his head around trying to find the undistorted view (a slight exaggeration, but it illustrates his point). He loves the lines.
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  24. #24
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Hubby tried the progressives once and hated them. He says he got dizzy moving his head around trying to find the undistorted view (a slight exaggeration, but it illustrates his point). He loves the lines.
    Same thing happened with me. I had lined bifocals and tried the lineless. The doc said folks that start with the lined type have a difficult time with the lineless. I would get dizzy and sick to my stomach just trying to read the paper. Went back to the line style and no trouble. Although I still take my glasses off when I'm on the computer.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  25. #25
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    Cognitive field brain studies have shown that some folks can't adjust to progressive bifocals and some folks can't adjust to lined bifocals. Almost everyone can adjust to one or the other. The line being too high is the most frequent reason for folks with the lined bifocals having problems. (So I'm told my my nephew who is an Ophthalmologist.)
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

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