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Thread: What glasses do you wear?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member
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    Dec 2009

    What glasses do you wear?

    I got sick of switching glasses between reading and distance, so went to bifocals. Then my intermediate vision deteriorated, so if I dropped anything on the floor couldn't see it and ended up with another pair of single-vision lenses for intermediate work and computer use.

    Just got some varifocals and I'm not getting on at all well with them, though it's only day 2. Maybe I expected too much, but I find the sweet-spot for any particular distance (other than infinity) to be knife-edge. The peripheral distortion is far greater than I thought. A circuit board can be square, rhomboid or trapeziod depending on the angle of vision. Reading is more like scanning, with the need to move my head from side-to-side.

    Interested to know what others are using, and particularly if you get on OK with varifocals.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member
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    Mar 2017
    Massachusetts, USA
    I feel your pain!!

    I have several sets of all 3, unfortunately! I was first prescribed to get bifocals over 10 years ago, could not get used to them. That awful line across the center gave me terrible headaches. So they prescribed the graduated lenses. If I tilted my head *just* right, I could drive. But not do anything else. I had to tilt my head so far back to work on the computer, which I do for a living, that I got nasty headaches.

    So I ended up with graduated lenses for driving, walking around, and such. I can't read or work on the computer with these on, and not very good at, say, chopping celery. And I have a set of regular non bifocal, non graduated for working on the computer and reading.

    Royal, genuine pain to have to remember to take my *good* reading glasses to work, and the crappy ones on vacation so that if I lose the awful ones, I can still work when I get home.

    As the years go by, it is getting much more difficult to get either pair (graduated for driving, regular for reading, work on the computer) optimized.

    No matter what they did, I could not get the graduated/varifocal lenses to work for me for everything. The worst part, I think, was that the part of the field of vision that is in focus is only a stripe down the middle of the lens. The left and right edges were always out of focus (HEADACHE FODDER!!).

  3. #3
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Cheshire, UK
    I feel your pain. It was exactly the same for me. I've had two pairs of varifocals and never got used to them. They are far too distorted and directional.

    When using bifocals my feet were out of focus and I was falling down the stairs. I thought they always made the lower section too strong. The reading distance was less than a foot but they were out of focus by two foot so I had them make the lower section weaker with the reading distance at about 15” and it's much better. I can still read OK but I have better middle distance vision and don't fall down the stairs. For really close work like surface mount I use reading glasses or a magnifier.

    Edit: I see I'm not the only one feeling your pain.

    I forgot to add that I also have a pair of weaker reading glasses next to my desktop computer. I don't want to have to tilt my head back to see the screen with bifocals.
    Last edited by Dave H; 08-02-2017 at 11:13 AM.

  4. #4
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Your eye examiner should ask you how far away your close work is. I read a book about a foot from my face. My computer screen is more like 18-20" We then tested the prescription with real reading material. The close lens comes in various strengths.

    I needed bifocals years ago, and am quite happy with them. I tried the variable ones and also hated them immediately, never got used to them over a year. Well, I got used to them but never liked them. yes, the focus is only a vertical stripe down the center, and to either side is always fuzzy. So instead of facing front driving down the highway and flicking my eyes to the side to read a sign, I have to point my head at it.

    And the variable thing never really paid off in terms of focus. I did try trifocals one pair. It has a mid distance band just below center, and a shorter close lens. I felt it limited the area of view too much by cutting the pie too many ways.

    When I first put on bifocals, I was very aware of the close section just below my ahead vision. If I walked along or took stairs, I was aware of this sort of swirling effect just below what I was looking at. But by two days, I no longer noticed.

    I found the close lens could be sized as well. it can be a smaller area, but I asked for a wide one, so I can have a Twin Reverb chassis in front of me and pretty much look end to end on it without head turning.

    I learned years ago about edges. If they polish the edges of your lens, it turns it into a little strip of mirror, and lights reflect off it. I hate that. If I specify non-polished edges, the edges of the lens are matte finish and not reflective.

    I always got glass lenses, and paid to have them hardened. This protects my eyes from exploding e-caps, from splashed solder. I recently got a new pair and they talked my into trying plastic lenses - polycarbonate I think? They are fairly thin, and unlike the glass, the close lens sticks out. On my glass lenses, the close section is inside the glass. On thes, the close lens is thicker than the main lens, so ther is a ridge along the top edge of the close section. it catches light like a polished edge, that took a lot longer than two days to get used to. Back to glass for my next pair.

    usually the close lens is at the bottom, but they do make them at the top, we call those plumbers' lenses. Imagine a plumber on his back under a sink working on the pipes, He can't tilt his head back far enough for regular bifocals.

    That is my experience with them, your experiences may differ.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  5. #5
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Mid-South USA
    I wear trifocals.
    I have a set of strong reading glasses next to my winding station, when making pickups.
    I use the strong readers to thread the 42-44awg wire through the eyelets.
    I go back to my trifocals as soon as I'm done soldering the small wire.
    Glasses are always a pain but you get used to them.
    I never got used to no-line lenses, I wear trifocals with lines.
    Technicians Run the World, but Bankers, Lawyers, and Accountants, Take All The Credit!
    Keep Rockin! B_T

  6. #6
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    When I first got my bifocals I had the same experience as Dave H in that the reading part was way too strong. I was reading with a book just inches from my face. I went back and got them re-done, but then they made the reading part intersect my line of vision in the 'straight ahead' position. Back again and they got them just right. The weakened reading part meant I could read OK and have fair intermediate vision. For small work I use a bench magnifier or binocular microscope.

    It strikes me with the varifocals that the intermediate focus is so fleeting as to be almost worthless. It takes a long time to get head and eye position just right. Maybe they suit someone with a smaller variation in reading-to-distance prescription strength. I did a repair on an old Roland Cube with them yesterday and even on that short chassis I couldn't see the entire width without exaggerated head movement.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I have about 20 pair of reading glasses from the dollar store. I try to have all strengths from 1.00 to 4.00 on hand to suit the task. I have 3 or 4 different strengths at work for switching back and forth from my screen to printed text. Only complaint I have is that the alignment of lenses is imperfect such that at the end of the day when I leave work, 4 hrs of staring at the screen through discrepant lenses makes me see double. I sometimes fail to recognize people I know. But 20-30 minutes later it clears up^.

  8. #8
    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Devon, UK
    Mick - I have had varifocal (progressive) lenses for yonks. At first it is very weird but you do get used to it. Your brain does all the heavy lifting and before long it became completely natural and the distortions were magically corrected. If I pop on a pair of fixed lenses the world looks very odd indeed. I have to wear them 100% of the time, maybe that helps. I also have astigmatism. The prescription for my left and right eyes is very different.
    Experience is something you get, just after you really needed it.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Yep. The trials and tribulations of getting old. I remember when I could read the part numbers on a SMD part. Those days are long gone. I have my regular glasses (near sited) on most of the time and wear readers at work. Even then, I still have trouble on really small stuff. I have a magnifier app on my phone that I use more and more for the smallest of things. It's handy because you can also snap a picture if you want to for later viewing or to just (for instance) study a particular area of a circuit board.
    Last edited by The Dude; 08-02-2017 at 11:04 PM.
    g1 and big_teee like this.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  10. #10
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Much of my work is overhead making bi-focals useless, so I can usually be found with reading glasses hanging from my neck on a lanyard. I use prescription readers that I order from Zenni optical. They'e really inexpensive, and you can tailor the prescription to your purpose.
    When I first ordered from them, I spoke to one of their technicians on the telephone support line, and he explained to me how to order custom readers based upon your single vision script. Accurately calibrated lenses with the proper pupillary distance make a big difference. They do for me anyway. For my work I like the sweet spot to be at nearly arms length. Too much eyestrain is not healthy.
    I have all sorts of glasses though; readers of different values, single vision for driving, progressives (don't much care for them but they do it all) , bi-focals, sunglasses, you name it. It's all part of aging. My 89 year old Dad is suffering from macular degeneration. He's been steadily losing his vision for the last five or six years.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    May 2006
    When I first got progressive (AKA varifocal) lens I was warned about walking down stairwells... yikes, my friends were right! I had JC Penney's make my glasses for years and they never once fitted me properly, something I discovered when I had Kaiser Permanente start making them: the optician put dots aligned with my pupils on the lens of the sample glasses and measured them with his special ruler.

    A few years ago they didn't come out right... the transition from near to far was very uncomfortable for me. So I brought them back and the optometrist worked with one of the opticians to come up with a pair that worked perfectly.

    I am nearsighted and need glasses mainly to read signs on highways and in grocery stores — which is the best test for me: I need to be able to read the large signs hanging from the ceiling as well as the small ones under the items on the shelves.

    I could tell that my eyes had changed after losing almost half of my body weight in my bout with cancer last year: I had to keep flipping my glasses up to read the small signs on the grocery shelves!

    I get a $315 allowance from my medical plan every 24 months and didn't really need a new pair in March 2016 so I opted for prescription sunglasses which came out to $319 with single vision lens... the best $4 I ever spent! Everything outside usually looks washed out to me during the day but with the prescription sunglasses they are crystal clear. And at night they hide the glare from a dirty windshield... a very welcome bonus since my windshield washer tank does not hold fluid for very long!

    Steve A.

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