Threads by Most Recent Post  Hot Threads  Post Index  Thread Index  Eye Scene Front Page

Multifocals for Presbyopia and other conditions

Post to This Thread

"Retro" Slit 06 Nov 2015, 04:55

Hey, the new "bifocals" are working out well. IT's a great look and great view.

Cactus Jack 01 Nov 2015, 09:07


Thanks for letting us know the results of your exam. I think you will appreciate the revised prescription with the Add, when you use your Smartphone or Tablet or do a lot of reading.

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.


Jason 01 Nov 2015, 07:10

Hi Cactus Jack,

Had my appointment yesterday and this optician gave me pretty much an identical prescription to the second one, so seems like that is the right prescription. He did say the add was up to me as to whether I wanted it as while he felt it would help it wasn't essential yet. I'm going to wait for my new glasses to be made and see how they feel once I get them.

Thanks for all your advice

Slit 31 Oct 2015, 04:48

OK, picked up the new bifocal glasses---pretty cool look. After a few stumbles on steps, all is now good. Retro is my look.

Cactus Jack 29 Oct 2015, 11:22


The +1.00 readers are fine. I did not suggest them because they are typically more difficult to find than readers that are a bit stronger.

The +1.25 add you were prescribed with your L-6.75, -1.25 180 R - 5.50 add +1.25 glasses meant that the actual power of the reading segment was L-5.50, -1.25 180 R -4.25.

With your old L -6.00, -1.25, 180 R -5.25 glasses and the +1.00 readers your reading prescription is L -5.00, -1.25, 180 R -4.25. Pretty close to the reading segment of your new glasses.

BTW, if there is a difference between the quality of the two images delivered to your Visual Cortex, your brain will use the best image as its primary source of visual information. What you will "see" is the best image supplemented by whatever is useful from the other eye.

One opportunity to improve the overall accuracy of your prescription during the exam occurs at the end of the portion of the exam where each eye is refracted, individually. When you are first shown images from both eyes, you will see two separate images. The purpose of separating the images is to check for muscle imbalance. Before the images are fused, compare the clarity of the two images. If one is clearer than the other, be sure and tell the examiner. Typically, the examiner will change the correction of the sharpest image so it matches the clarity of the less sharp image. Don't worry about the reduction in clarity. That will be fixed later in the exam. The important thing is that they be equally clear so your brain will use BOTH images when it constructs the image you see.

I look forward to hearing what the different opticians prescribe. I don't know if Opticians where you live can do dilated exams. Some countries only allow M.D.s (Ophthalmologists) to do them. If you cannot get or don't want a dilated exam, try to avoid reading and doing any close work prior to the exam. You want your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses to be as relaxed as possible for your distance correction.


Jason 29 Oct 2015, 10:07

Cactus Jack,

Thanks again for your reply. I have been and bought a pair of reading glasses from my local supermarket with a strength of +1.00 (they didn't have any +1.25 in stock) and these do help make the screen on my phone and tablet seem clearer.

I've booked another test with a different opticians for Saturday so will see what they come up with.

Cactus Jack 28 Oct 2015, 17:50


It is unlikely that the optician would prescribe an increase you didn't really need, BUT (notice the big BUT) there are two important factors in play.

1. The examiner had no way to see what you see. He must depend on your answers to his questions such as: "Which is clearer #1 or #2", etc." There is a check the examiner can do where you are shown letters against a Green and Red background and asked which is clearer. You answers tell the examiner if you have more minus than you need or less minus than you need.

2. In some situations, the examiner is under pressure to prescribe new glasses. In some instances an increased distance prescription, which will make it harder to focus close, can be tolerated by prescribing an Add for close focusing.

The fact that you were and are not having any problems with your distance vision with your old

R -5.25

L -6.00, -1.25, 180 with no add

glasses makes me wonder if the additional minus in sphere was really needed. I also wonder if you might have some Pseudo (False) Myopia in addition to your Axial (True) Myopia

I have some suggestions:

1. Consider ordering some +1.25 Clip-On Magnifiers from RX Safety in New Jersey, USA They are only about US$15.00 with shipping or get some +1.25 or +1.50 Over-the-Counter (OTC) readers, to wear over your old glasses while reading or using the Smartphone or Tablet.

2. Consider ordering a pair of inexpensive Bifocals or Progressives from Zenni as an experiment. Choose a frame that is similar to the frame you are wearing with the following prescription:

R -5.25

L -6.00, -1.25, 180

Add +1.25

Your choice of lenses and the only option I suggest is the least expensive Anti-Reflective Coating.

If you order a low index lined bifocal the cost will be around US$40.00. Low index Progressives will be around US$50.00. Remember this is an experiment. If you like the result, you can order a more expensive pair with what ever frames and lenses you want.

You may or may not know your Pupillary Distance (PD). It is not hard to measure and all you typically need is a ruler calibrated in mm and a bathroom mirror. However, with your prescription you may need a friend to help.

3. Consider getting a dilated (wet) eye exam from an independent Optician (may not be possible where you live) or an Ophthalmologist (MD). The dilating agent will paralyze your Ciliary Muscles so you cannot inadvertently cause a higher Sphere correction than you actually need. There is a side benefit(?) of a dilated exam. The dilating agent also relaxes the muscles in your Iris (Pupils) causing them to open very wide, which makes it easier for the examiner to check your Retinas (Not a bad thing to establish a base line). You won't be able to read and you will probably need sunglasses for bright daylight for a few hours after the exam, while the dilating agent wears off.

A dilated exam will not fully detect Pseudo Myopia because it typically takes weeks or months for long standing Pseudo Myopia to resolve itself by intentionally wearing a slightly reduced minus prescription for distance.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions or if any of this does not make sense.


Jason 28 Oct 2015, 11:25

Hi Cactus Jack

I definitely don't want more minus. My glasses are strong enough as they are I would probably go for laser surgery if I wasn't so squeamish when it comes to anyone getting near my eyes.

The optician didn't seem overly concerned about the increase although did say it was higher than he would expect and that I had better start having an eye test once a year rather than once every two. The reason for this eye test was that my check-up was due, i hadn't actually noticed anything wrong with my vision.

I've gone back to using my old glasses while the new lenses are put in and am actually finding using my phone and iPad slightly more difficult than I remember it being before so maybe the add is needed.

Is it likely/possible the optician would prescribe more minus than i need on purpose?

Slit 28 Oct 2015, 04:17

Ordered some retro-look glasses today with a "regular" bifocal lense. Considered the executive bifocals, but maybe that is just a little to retro for me. Thanks for all the bifocal advice.

Cactus Jack 27 Oct 2015, 19:53


An increase in Sphere of -0.75 or even -0.50 over your older prescription seems a bit high for a 34 year old. I would think nothing of that much, if you were in your teens.

Many people on this site, including me when I was much younger, really like getting stronger minus glasses because of the increased sharpness and vividness of their vision. To this end, they will seek another -0.25 step or two beyond being able to read the 20/20 (6/6) line on the Snellen chart.

The 20/20 or 6/6 is called the Snellen Fraction. For example, if your Visual Acuity was 20/100, it would mean that you could read at 20 feet what a person with "Normal" vision can read at 100 feet. 20/15 would mean that you could read at 20 feet what a person with "Normal" vision can read at 15 feet. By the way, 20/20 vision is NOT the best possible vision it is just what a large portion of the evaluated population could read without correction and still function without effort. Visual Acuity means more than your ability to focus distant images on your Retinas, it also is a measure of your Retinas ability to process the incoming images and transmit them to the brain via the optic nerve.

Some people have 20/15 vision without correction and some people can be corrected to 20/15. A very small portion of the population has 20/10 vision and some people can be corrected to 20/10.

If you wear more MINUS than you actually need, it is likely that you will develop some Pseudo Myopia over time in addition to your Axial Myopia by using some of your available Accommodation Range. When you run out of comfortable Accommodation is when you need some close focusing help. That could be a factor in needing the Add and the headaches.

Could I ask what prompted you to get an eye exam?

Incidentally, if you would be more comfortable discussing this privately, you may contact me a


Jason 27 Oct 2015, 09:45

Thanks for the reply Cactus Jack,

My old prescription was:

L -6.00, -1.25, 180 R -5.25 with no add

I went back to my opticians this morning and explained the issue and they gave me an appointment for this lunchtime. This was with a different optician. The prescription that he gave me is different to the one I got the first time and is

L-6.50, -1.25, 180 R - 5.75 - 0.25, 30 (I think it's 30 it's a little smudged on the paper) add + 1.25.

He seemed to think that my headaches may have been caused by the new lens in my left eye being too strong so he's reduced that, although he has increased the strength of my right eye and kept the add the same. He did say that they could take the add out but he also thought that I would benefit from having it. They have agreed to put the new lenses in to my frames FOC. But it will take them about a week to get the new ones in.

Progressive man 26 Oct 2015, 19:33

I just got home with my new progressives. I'm wearing them as I type this while I watch a hockey game on tv. I feel like the letters on my phone are in 3D and I can see the TV well. I do feel a bit of a headache in my eyes and I'm quickly realizing that I can't look out the sides of the glasses. Overall, I'm happy and I don't anticipate too many problems getting acclimated. Work tomorrow will be the true test. I'm an English teacher.

Cactus Jack 26 Oct 2015, 16:30


Anything is possible. I suggest you back to your Eye Care Professional and explain that you are getting headaches and the circumstances. Often, headaches are really your Ciliary Muscles complaining about their work load.

Did you have a change in your overall prescription this time? What was the prescription before this one? How long between eye exams?

It is possible that you have both Axial and Pseudo Myopia. I described Axial or True Myopia in my last post, but there is another type called Pseudo or False Myopia. Pseudo Myopia is often caused by MINUS over correction. The Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses compensate for the excess MINUS by adding PLUS. The problem with that is that is uses up some of your Accommodation, leaving less for focusing to read or use a Tablet or Smartphone, causing you to strain to focus close.s


Jason 26 Oct 2015, 13:00

Hi Cactus Jack

Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the amount of detail provided.

What I don't understand though is why I'm getting the headaches now I have the add when I wasn't having any headaches before hand. It just seems strange that something that should help seems to be making things worse.

Just made me wonder if I had been prescribed something that I didn't really need yet. I appreciate that at some point I will need it.

Is it possible the add could be too strong? or could it be that my distance prescription could be wrong?

Cactus Jack 26 Oct 2015, 12:55


I suspect you may be experiencing the early onset of Presbyopia. The idea that Presbyopia will not be a problem until 40 is a myth. When Presbyopia becomes a nuisance varies with individuals.

I am going to need to get a bit technical here to help you understand what is happening. Your eye's lens system actually has 4 PLUS lenses. From front to back, 3 are Fixed or Semi-Fixed PLUS Power. The 4th PLUS lens is the Crystalline Lens, which along with your Ciliary Muscles make up your Auto-Focus System. The Auto-Focus System is designed to be fully relaxed for Distance and when you want to focus close, the Ciliary Muscles squeeze the Crystalline Lenses and add the necessary additional PLUS you need to see close up things clearly.

Your Myopia is caused by a mis-match between the Total PLUS power of your eye's lens system and the length of your eyeballs from the back of the Crystalline Lens to your Retinas. The Sphere portion of your glasses correct that.

Presbyopia only affects the Crystalline Lenses and almost everyone will develop it over time. Presbyopia, which is the gradual stiffening of your Crystalline Lenses, actually starts in childhood. When you are very young, your Crystalline Lenses have the consistency of gelatin dessert and your Accommodation Range is very large. As you get older your Crystalline Lenses become gradually stiffer and at some point, it takes more effort than the Ciliary Muscles can comfortably deliver, to focus close. BTW, the Ciliary Muscles, for their size, are the strongest muscles in the body.

The amount of extra PLUS you need to focus at close distances is governed by the laws of Optical Physics as discovered and codified by Sir Isaac Newton around 1700. The formula is:

Lens Power = 1 meter (100 cm etc.) / Focus Distance

If you want to focus at typical reading distance of 40 cm you need an additional +2.50 from somewhere. When you are young, your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses provide the +2.50, effortlessly. Now, about all they can provide is +1.25 and the other +1.25 is in your glasses. The gradual stiffening of your Crystalline Lenses will mean the that you will ultimately need more than a Add of +1.25, but there is something else going on that seems counterproductive but is inevitable. Because the Add relieves the Ciliary Muscles of some of their workload, they are beginning to weaken a bit, which makes the progress of Presbyopia seem much faster than it actually is. Frankly, there is not much you can do about it and it is likely that you need or will need a stronger Add soon. It ultimately happens to almost everyone.

There are a couple of things you can do if you need to read or do a lot of close work, to prevent the headaches.

1. Get some prescription reading glasses. You might be able to use some older glasses with lower Sphere Prescription or we can help you order some inexpensive single vision reading glasses from an online retailer such as Zenni.

2. Get some moderate + power Clip-On Magnifiers. We can help with that also.

3. Get some moderate Power Over the Counter (OTC) reading glasses at a local store. We can tell you what to get.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask more questions if you don't understand any of this.


Slit 26 Oct 2015, 11:39

Executive bifocals---definitely retro.

Jason 26 Oct 2015, 09:53

Hi Cactus Jack,

I'm 34 and work in sales. Spend most of my time driving/visiting customers

Cactus Jack 26 Oct 2015, 09:43


What is your age and occupation?


Jason 26 Oct 2015, 07:20

I'm hoping someone can help me. I picked up my first pair of varifocals about three weeks. I was surprised to be told I needed them as I hadn't noticed any real issue with seeing things up close although did struggle with the chart when my optician asked me to read it so after a bit of discussion, which resulted in my optician blaming it on smart phones, tablets etc (I don't think she was a technology fan) decided to give them a go.

When I picked them up I was told that they would take awhile to get used to and that I just needed to make sure I continued to use them so that my eyes adapted to them and was told this would probably take 1-2 weeks. After wearing them for three weeks I do find that text on my iPhone iPad is clearer using the bottom part of the lens (although I can read it fine without using it) but I'm now finding that at the end of the day I seem to end up with a headache which is worse if I've been doing a lot of reading. Also it seems to take awhile for my eyes to adjust when i go from looking close to looking in the distance.

Is this just part of the 'adjusting' process? and if so when are the headaches likely to stop?

My full prescription is L-6.75, -1.25 180 R - 5.50 add +1.25


Melyssa 26 Oct 2015, 04:51

My mother, may she rest in peace, wore executive bifocals for at least the last 30 years of her life, in metal frames (which meant I did not want them afterwards). She had no problem with them at all.

EyeTri 25 Oct 2015, 13:54


I pretty much agree with everything Cactus Jack has said. If you want a true vintage look and are concerned with image jump you might want to consider getting executive bifocal lenses. With the full width near segment they give a real vintage look, there is NO image jump. The optometrist that prescribed my first bifocals (way back in 1974) specified this type of lens for me for that reason. I still prefer them.

Cactus Jack 25 Oct 2015, 05:51


No real concerns. You just need to decide to do it. It will take a few days for your brain to learn how to use your new vision tools and adjust its programing. Mostly, it depends on your visual environment.

You might want to consider planning the first days of wear at home over a weekend, but include more reading than usual. I am guessing that within a week or 10 days you won't even notice the line or jump. Most modern lenses don't jump much and the brain generally ignores rapidly changing images, but blends them together in a smooth process. That is why movies and TV work.

Remember, Vision occurs in the brain and what you see is a composite of a series of images. If you look at the individual images of a rapidly changing scene, the images frequently look smeared. However when they are projected at speed, they look sharp and clear. The same thing occurs when you transition from Far to Near segments.

Depending on your visual needs, you may find that Trifocals are worth considering. You may find that neither the Distance segment or the +2.50 segment is not what you need for intermediate distances. If using the computer becomes a problem, we can offer some suggestions in addition to Trifocals.


Slit 25 Oct 2015, 04:23

OD: +1.00 add +2.50. OS: +.75 add +2.50. Looking to purchase "retro" look glasses and frames. Thought the lined bifocals would add to the retro appearance. Just wondering about the "jump" in vision across the line-–-from lower to night power. Is this an easy leap? Also, is the line distracting to your vision? Any concerns that I should be aware of.

Cactus Jack 24 Oct 2015, 15:53


I have worn lined bifocals and trifocals for over 50 years and prefer them because of their wide visual field in the segments and the lack of distortion and transition zone at the edges. After a few days of wear, you don't notice the lines.

To some extent, their value and usefulness depend on your occupation, visual environment, amount of the ADD, and level of vanity. Most progressives are bought for vanity reasons where appearance is more important than utility.

When my bifocal ADD exceeded +1.75, I went to trifocals, primarily because I needed to comfortably read everything written on large engineering drawings. The top of the drawing was too close for my bifocal distance segment and too far for the reading segment. Trifocals solved the problem and I never went back to bifocals. I tried progressives, but decided that I preferred lined trifocals.


EyeTri 24 Oct 2015, 10:57


I have worn lined bifocals and trifocals for years (still do). What would you like to know? What is your prescription like?

Slit 24 Oct 2015, 08:05

Anyone here have experience waering lined bifocals. I am considering the possibility of purchasing.

Cactus Jack 23 Oct 2015, 12:34

Progressive man,

Both the glasses and the mono vision contact will require some getting used to, but I suspect it will happen faster than you expect and you will ultimately wonder why you waited so long.

The dominant factor in your prescription is your Astigmatism. Astigmatism affects vision at all distances and particularly affects you ability to comfortably read small text.

I would like to suggest that you do not try to deal with both your glasses and the mono vision contacts at the same time. By that I mean that you should get used to your vision with glasses first and then explore the contacts.

The reason for that suggestion is that vision actually occurs in the brain and it is accustomed to having to process blurry images from your eyes. It will probably take a few weeks for your brain to learn to "see" comfortably with your new glasses. The best way to do that is to wear the glasses full time for about 2 weeks. You may think that your glasses have made your vision worse, but once your brain has grown used to receiving high quality images, the difference you notice with and without your glasses will give you an idea of how much extra work your brain was having to do without them.

Once you are comfortable wearing glasses, it will be time for your brain to learn to deal with mono vision using contacts. How much trouble you have with the contacts depends on several factors including the type of contacts. If they are toric contacts for astigmatism, they can be very hard to fit and get right.

Correcting astigmatism involves two factors the Cylinder Power, in your case -1.75, and the Axis or direction of the long Axis of the Cylinder. By convention, 0 degrees is horizontal and the degrees increase in a Counter Clockwise direction looking at the patient. Vertical is 90 degrees. Axis angles are always between 0 and 179 degrees. Contact lenses need to float on a layer of tears and sometimes they rotate on your cornea when you blink. You vision will vary in sharpness as you blink. In glasses, Axis direction is fixed when the lenses are fitted into the frames and that provides the best alignment for the best vision.


Progressive man 23 Oct 2015, 11:56

im about to turn 41 and was prescribed progressives on Monday. I'm very moderately nearsighted (-0.25 OD -0.50 OS) but have a decent amount of astigmatism -1.75 in each eye. My add is going to be +1.50 and I'll be picking up my glasses tomorrow along with mono vision contacts. Any advice on what to expect from both from experienced wearers? I've heard both the glasses and the contacts could be a tough adjustment. Thanks!

Carlos, Jr. 09 Oct 2015, 04:40

Randy, I wear Air Optix with a similar distant strength and an add of +2.50. Most of the time they work very well, both close and distant. Occasionally, if not sitting on the eye correctly, distant vision is awry---but that does not happen often.

Randy 07 Oct 2015, 19:22

Cactus Jack,

Thank you will do.

Cactus Jack 07 Oct 2015, 08:10


For text to be in focus at two feet, the part of the CL you are looking trough has an add of about +1.50 diopters. What I think is going on is that the CL is not moving freely on your cornea for some reason and you are looking through a intermediate power area of the lens for distance. I suggest you need to go back to your ECP and explain what is happening, but not what you think is causing the problem, that is his/her job.

Some thoughts that come to mind are:

1. Insufficient tears to allow the lens to float on the cornea.

2. Tight eyelids

3. Eyelids pressing against the CL and pushing it out of position when looking straight ahead for distance.

There is no way that we can offer any real help with any of those things, remotely, as much as we would like to.

Obviously, the multifocal contacts are not working as they are supposed to. Please let us know what you find after visiting your ECP.


Randy 07 Oct 2015, 05:27

Cactus Jack,

Thank you for helping me understand my issues.

My progressive glasses prescription is:

+2.75 .050 073 add 2.50

+3.00 add 2.50

My contact lens were only a sample pack from doctor no actual prescription

Air Optix Aqua multifocal

+2.75 add medium

+2.75 add medium.

As I understand, there is a center for near and two outer rings for intermediate and distance.

Yes, about two feet.

Cactus Jack 03 Oct 2015, 23:41


Thank you for the information. I have a couple more questions, but first a little explanation of the optics of your eyes.

It appears that you have some mild Hyperopia. Hyperopia is caused by a mismatch between the total PLUS power of your eye's lens system and the length of your eyeballs. Your eyeballs are a little bit too short and distant images are focused behind the retina. At one time, when you were younger, you could correct this problem using your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to add a bit of PLUS internally to move the focus up to the plane of the Retina. Unfortunately, Presbyopia has caught up with you and now you need some external focusing help, either with bifocals or multifocal contacts.

The contacts probably have two different power areas. The central area is for distance and it has something like +2.75 and the outer ring is for closer work with an Add of about +1.25 to +1.50. The absolute power of the outer ring is probably about +4.00. The way they are supposed to work is that when you look straight ahead for Distance, the +2.75 portion should be in your central axis of vision and when you look down to read your eyelids should push the +4.00 (with the Add) ring upward so that it is in your central axis of vision. Apparently, that is working OK for intermediate distances.

I am wondering if, when you look up for distance, your CLs are returning to the proper position for distance. You may still be looking through the intermediate ring which would make distance vision blurry. Other possibilities include: a prescription error in your CLs or an inadequate tear film to permit the CL from moving around properly.

I need to ask a few more questions and request a quick test.

1. What was the complete prescription for your progressives?

2. What is the complete prescription for the CLs? I should either be on the box or the vial.

Here is the test:

When you are seeing a blurry distant image with your CLs. WITHOUT moving your eyes downward, move page of text up so that it is directly in front of you and note the distance where the text is in focus. It does not have to be exact, but I am guessing that it is about 60-70 cm or about 25 to 30 inches. Please tell me the results.

You asked about the effects of magnifying lenses. This may be a little hard to understand, but any magnifying effects of CLs will be very small compared to glasses and the magnification part of what you see when you look through glasses is not important in focusing images on your Retina. What is involved here is the most basic law of optical physics that was discovered about 300 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton (of gravity fame). The law state that the Focal Distance of a lens is equal to 1 meter or 100 cm or 1000 mm divided by the lens power in diopters.

The distance portion of your glasses or contacts should correct your basic distance refractive error, which in your case appears to be about MINUS 2.75. This is done with a PLUS 2.75 lens so that your refractive error is corrected to 0.00 for distance, which for our purposes is 6 meters or 20 feet.

To focus closer you need some additional PLUS that is often supplied by an ADD in a reading segment of a bifocal or progressive lens. When you were young, your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses easily supplied the extra PLUS you needed. As you got older, Presbyopia, which is the gradual stiffening of the Crystalline Lens, made the lenses too stiff for the Ciliary Muscles to have any effect. The amount of external PLUS you need is calculated using a re-arrangement of the basic formula.

Lens Power equals 1 meter, 100 cm, or 1000 mm or 39.37 inches divided by the desired focus distance. At a typical reading distance of 40 cm or 16 inches you need an Add of +2.50. At a typical computer display distance of 66 cm or 26 inches, you need an Add of +1.50.

We need to try to figure out what is causing the blurry distance vision, before we work on solving the close focusing situation. I look forward to your response.


Randy 03 Oct 2015, 17:57

Cactus Jack,

Thank you for responding.

1. 58

2. Progressive glasses

3. Distance is not clear

4. Correct

My real question. Is there a limitation on the variance of the prescription between the near vision and far vision rings? For instance, if the prescription to see close is magnified will it make the ability to see distance worse and vice versa?

Thank you for your help.

Cactus Jack 03 Oct 2015, 11:17


I missed your question on 10 Sept. Sorry about that. Aubrey's answer is a good one. Plus glasses cannot make your mild Hyperopia any worse, particularly at your age.

You did not say what power you found useful for the computer but I would suspect as Aubrac did, around +2.50. That would be the equivalent of your +1.25 glasses with a +1.25 Add. +2.50 glasses in your situation would give you the about the same visual acuity for distance as a person who needed to wear -1.25 glasses.


Aubrac 03 Oct 2015, 03:22


It is difficult to be prescriptive and maybe you should get alternative advice from another opticien.

You cannot make your eyes worse by wearing stronger glasses. Some people think that by wearing glasses, especially plus lenses, their eyes get worse. The situation is if they have power of accommodation to correct hyperopia, their muscles relax and so they need glasses, this is not making their eyes worse simply correcting an existing situation.

At 52 it is less likely you still have residual power of accommodation, also if you wear a stronger correction than necessary, you will not be able to focus.

Have to tried say +2.50 OTC readers, spend a little while in the shop trying varying powers looking at distance and then wearing them full time.

It sounds as though varifocal glasses would be the answer, then you only need one pair for distance, computer, and reading, however these will need a careful examination to get the prescription just right.

Cactus Jack 02 Oct 2015, 19:26

Anonymous Poster who is new to contacts. I am not very familiar with Multifocal contacts, but your question is not clear from a vision point of view.

1. What is your age?

2. Have you ever worn vision correction before? Bifocals or Progressives?

3. Is your distance Vision clear when you look through the distance portion of the contacts?

4. I suspect "Medium" power for close is about the equivalent of an Add of +1.25 or +1.50. If that is the case, intermediate vision would be clear at about 28 inches or 70 cm., but closer objects or text might be blurry and distant objects would also be blurry through the intermediate portion of the CL.

Any clarification you can provide would be helpful. Also, please pick a nickname.


 02 Oct 2015, 13:03

I am new to contacts and have been fitted with air optix aqua multifocals. My current prescription is +2.75 and add: medium. I see fine at an intermediate distance, but need more magnification for near and far is way out of focus. Is it possible to change the prescription to deal with both near and far issues?

Thank you.

Tulip 10 Sep 2015, 05:46


My glasses are +1.25 with an 2.00 add. I also use computer glasses and sometimes I sort of forget to take them off, because distances go quite well. For close work (reading, mobile phone, wse) I often use an OTC reader +3.50. I would like to wear that on a daily base, but it's a bit (too) blurry. My question: What will happen in the near future when you're wearing over-powered glasses. Does this make your eyes worse?

I'm 52, from West-Europe. I am an on and off glasses wearer since seven years now, but a full time wearer for three.

Cactus Jack 10 Sep 2015, 03:34


Your distance vision prescription should be pretty stable, but I can almost guarantee that your ADD will increase. Presbyopia and the laws of optical physics cannot be evaded or repealed. However, it will probably take a few more years and your ADD will probably never exceed +2.50 or +3.00 unless you have a need to focus closer than 13 inches or 33 cm.

You already have some accommodation issues that could be caused by either Presbyopia (stiffening of the Crystalline Lenses) or weakness of your Ciliary Muscles (focusing muscles). Presbyopia increases slowly from childhood (no kidding), but typically does not become a problem until the late 30s or early 40s. The Ciliary Muscles are, for their size, the strongest muscles in the body, but like any muscle they easily get out of condition if they are not exercised. An ADD does some of the work for the Ciliary Muscles and de-conditioning can happen rapidly, once it starts, but it too will stabilize and stop increasing after it reaches +2.50 or +3.00 as I mentioned above.


timmy 09 Sep 2015, 12:43

@cactus jack: thank you for your reply. I made a mistake: the cylinder stayed -0,5 (sorry i am a bit tired today so i got it wrong twice). so the only difference will probably be that my left eye has +0,5 more plus on the reading front. i am all for less minus, although even with my prescription i don't like run around the city without them.

I will have a second exam, though, if i decide to buy real new glasses (apart from the 50 Dollar progressives I ordered from Zenni). or i will put that off until the next time something changes. (Although I like to think my vision should be pretty stable at 32 and no stronger add should be required?)

Cactus Jack 09 Sep 2015, 11:40


I believe you will notice the difference mostly because of the cylinder change for your astigmatism. Astigmatism messes up your vision at all distances. Also, determining the cylinder and particularly the Axis is the most subjective part of an eye exam because the accuracy of the Axis depends to some extent on the skill and experience of the patient. I have posted a technique to improve the accuracy of Cylinder and Axis on both this site and the Vision and Spex site. You might want to review it to help you improve the accuracy of your prescription before your next exam.


 09 Sep 2015, 10:40


sorry it should read

R: -1,00 -1,00 add 1,00

L: -0,50 -1,00 add 1,00

and I meant that the left eye now has an actual +0,5 up close (which is quite unusual for a 32 year old myope)

timmy 09 Sep 2015, 10:39

Two years ago, I (now 32) have been prescribed an reading add due to accomodation issues (hypoaccomodation).

My prescription was:

R: -1,5 -0,5 add 1

L: -1,0 -0,0 add 1

Today I had an appointment with the doc and suprisingly it changed to

R -1,00 -0,5 add1

L -0,5 0,0 add 1

That means my left eye now has actual 0,5. I told the eyedoc that I don't think the change is enough to get new glasses but he said, for my left eye it will be quite a difference.

I have noticed a bit of change - but more in regards of really needing the add. When he did the close up test (especially the part of follow that pen) accomodating was really hard.

Of course I will not buy a new pair of expensive progressives but order a cheap one by Zenni.

Do you think there will be a noticeable difference?

Cactus Jack 07 Jun 2015, 09:43

High Myopic,

I don't understand why you seem surprised that you can't see anything with the +17 trifocals. The focal distance with those glasses and your prescription is about 1 to 2 inches and even closer depending on the ADD for the reading and intermediate segments in the glasses.

You need some contact lenses in the -20s to make the +17 glasses work with your basic prescription. Probably between -25 and -30. The actual power would probably have to be selected by expensive trial and error.

Another way would be to get your crystalline lenses removed (cataract surgery) and NOT replaced with an IOL. But that is rather permanent.

High Myopic 06 Jun 2015, 10:41

Yesterday I wore trifocals for the first time ever. The trifocals glasses were +17 diopters in strength. I could not see a thing in them!! The lenses were at least a half of a inch thick.

Maurice 05 Jun 2015, 13:14

Appointment with the eye doctor yesterday. Right eye: +1.25 add +2.75. Left eye: +1.00 add +2.75.

A .25 increase in right eye plus and .25 increase in both adds.

Am going to try out progressives this go around. We shall see.

Maurice 02 Jun 2015, 15:06

Thanks Cactus. My add is +2.50. I have an eye doctor appointment on Thursdsy and will talk with him about options. Appreciate your ideas and suggestions.

Cactus Jack 01 Jun 2015, 15:38


Almost anytime your reading segment is over +2.00 and you use a computer a lot, you might find the intermediate segment of trifocals or computer glasses, useful. Trying to use the reading segment for a computer is often difficult because the power is to great for the distance to the display or you tend to get a crick in your neck. There are handy solutions to both problems in addition to trifocals.

Progressives work for some people, but they often have very limited fields of view at intermediate distances, I have worn trifocals since my late 30s (bifocals since 20) because of poor eye coordination. If I only need to check my email, the intermediate segment works great, but If I plan to spend some time working on the computer, I have a pair of clip-on +1.50s that I wear over my trifocals. That turns the distance segment into the right power for the distance to my display, and I don't get a crick in my neck from tilting my head for extended periods.

If the clip-on magnifiers are of interest, I will tell you where to get them.


SC 01 Jun 2015, 02:34

LT Lurker,

I don't think there is anything unusual here. Hyperopes can take years to be fully diagnosed and as a consequence can have high levels of accommodation to compensate.

From the figures you provide, you could write your wife's Rx as +1.5 Add 0.75 meaning that she would still need a further +2.25 accommodation for small print (assume +3.0 Add needed for small print).

+2.25 isn't unusual @47 - I had been wearing progressives for 1 year by then (+0.75 Add +1.75) but if I compare with my current Rx (+1.5 Add +2.25) then I would have needed to provide +2.0 by accommodation to see small print. Since your wife hasn't been a regular wearer then +2.25 isn't a surprise.

LT Lurker 22 May 2015, 21:07

My wife has confounded me with her new glasses. She did not get her prescription from her optician so I am trying to work it out.

She did have an eyetest just over a year before this last one as she decided that she needed to wear glasses finally.

This last rx was l&r +0.25 -0.25 ADD + 1.00 - she did not fill this.

A first this is what I thought she had got, however once she picked up her glasses she compared them with her original single vision pair that were L +1.00 -0.25 R +1.25 and commented on her they made a significant difference.

After a while I tried them on to check the focal length and to try and determine what strength she has,this turned out, after measuring the near focus with my distance corrected vision to be about 45cms - meaning I think that both lenses are +2.25.

Also strange is that she can see with these at least up to 1.2m and is perfectly comfortable for long haul computer work as well as able to read a book at 40cms - So I am still wondering how this script would now appear as these are single vision lenses also how at 47 she can see close and intermediate with single vision lenses.

Is this unusual?

Maurice 30 Apr 2015, 14:43

Thanks A.P. I turned 50 this year and am thinking trifocals might be helpful for me. My plus segment has increased in power pretty rapidly.

A. P. 30 Apr 2015, 07:55


Late 50s. Should have started earlier.

Maurice 30 Apr 2015, 05:15

A.P., how old were you when you started wearing trifocals?

A. P. 29 Apr 2015, 14:00


I meant to write that I got my first trifocals when my add reached +2.25. It is now +2.50.

A. P. 29 Apr 2015, 13:56


Like Eye Tri, I also got my first trifocals when my add reached 2.50. In retrospect, I now believe I should have probably gotten trifocals earlier.

EyeTri 29 Apr 2015, 09:55


I got my first trifocals when my add got to +2.25.

Slit 28 Apr 2015, 22:21

Recently has started selling a bifocal reading glasses with upper portion having a power calibrated for computer screen distance...

John S 28 Apr 2015, 20:50


I would say anything over a +1.75 to +2.00 for 16 inches.

I ordered glasses for a friend at work that turned 32 last week. His distance rx is +1.50, -1.00 cyl. He has only worn glasses for a month. He was still complaining about his close vision. It turned out he needed a +1.75 reading add. He has kind of short arms, so he wanted a stronger reading add for 13 inches. That worked out to be a +2.00 add. His computer add is a +1.00 for 26 inches. I can assure you that he can definitely tell the difference between the two adds.

I ordered him "office" progressive lenses that are geared toward reading and intermediate, but still have a distance zone. It will be interesting to find out if he can get used to them. I wrote him "how to get used to a progressive" instructions.

Tom 28 Apr 2015, 19:51

at what point (add level) do trifocal lenses begin to make sense?

i.e., when would a third, mid-range prescription begin to make sense?

Maurice 19 Feb 2015, 05:02

My apologies Slit---so sorry, must have confused names

Slit 18 Feb 2015, 21:57

I didn't mention anything about cateract surgery... im just mildly far sighted...

Maurice 18 Feb 2015, 19:42

Slit, just checking to see how your cataract surgery went. I guess that you no longer need to wear glasses, correct?

John S 17 Jan 2015, 17:15

As a teenager, my rx was +1.00, add +1.75 to +2.00. In my late 30s is was +1.25, add +2.50 (for normal reading).

For unknown reasons in my 40s, my distance rx had dropped to R +0.25, -0.25 / L +0.50, -0.25. By 50, it was back where is was when I was 35 with the added cylinder correction.

At 59, my distance is +1.25, -0.75, / +1.50, -0.50.

I have not been able to explain the -1 dip. As other people usually shift toward plus, I went the other direction for 6-8 years. It makes just as much sense as me needing an add of someone that was 50 when I was 13.

Lance 13 Jan 2015, 13:04

It is possible that she could slip into farsightedness, her mother is around +3 with an add and didn't get her glasses until her 40's. My wife has been bespectacled since her mid teens but didn't start wearing full time until about 14 years ago (right before we met)

I know curve towards farsightedness this has been happening for me. About 10 years ago my sphere was -.75 in both eyes now they are -.25 and +.25 with a +1.50 add.

I do notice the left eye is a little blurry in the distance but that could be the astigmatism but like I said I am going to hold off for a bit longer.

SC 13 Jan 2015, 11:31


Your wife may turn out to be far-sighted. She already has a net plus Rx for reading (+0.75 for one eye) @43 and that tends to mean that she could be heading for further sphere Rx reductions and may even tip into plus

Soundmanpt 13 Jan 2015, 11:21


Recent orders I have placed with Zenni the glasses have arrived closer to 9 to 10 days, so not great but better than 14 days at least. It is possible she may get them as early as this Friday.

Lance 13 Jan 2015, 10:59

Yes it is a lot of cylinder in her right eye. About 5 years ago she was at -2.00 in that eye but after a few months had the prescription lowered because she felt it was "over cranked".

I am just wondering if this new prescription will be tough to get used to. She ordered them from Zenni last Wednesday and by Friday was wishing that they had showed up already. She called Zenni on the weekend and tried to expedite the shipping but they said it was too late.

She has been lamenting about how bad her vision has gotten in a year. Today put on her reading glasses that she had made up last year when she first got her add and noted that they didn't seem strong enough anymore. So I guess we will be ordering a pair of readers in a few weeks once her new pair comes in.

The doctor said that her eyes could change throughout her forties and will stabilize as she approaches fifty. (She's 43 right now).

I had my eyes checked when she did last year but now I am starting to notice things aren't as crisp as they could be most notably at night. I am going to hold off for a month or two as I don't think the change (if any) will be significant enough.

Likelenses 06 Jan 2015, 00:02


Interesting change in that right eye. A boatload of cylinder.

Lance 05 Jan 2015, 06:58

A couple months ago my wife said she thought that she needed to get her eyes checked. It had only been a year but she said she was having trouble with the distance. Over the holidays I noticed her squinting a lot and convinced her to get her eyes examined.

Her last script from a year ago (she's 43)

R -1.25 -1.75 72

L -1.25 -1.00 100

ADD +1.25

Her new script

R -.75 -2.25 72

L -1.25 -1.25 100

ADD +1.50

The doctor said that her near vision was OK but wanted to increase the add just a bit. She said that the right eye had a significant change and thats what was affecting her distance vision.

When we got married 9 years ago her Sphere was -2.00 in each eye. Over the last 9 years her sphere has come down but had been stable for the past 4 years at -1.25

Nothing to be concerned about just think its interesting to see such a change at her age.

Brian 19 Dec 2014, 17:24

Jaybee, Whats your age and what was your previous prescription?

jaybee 19 Dec 2014, 14:26

just picked up my new glasses, add is up from + 1.50 to 2.25, distance up from -5 to -6.25 and prism also up to 7 b/o......but then i put them on.....and i was aghast, vision hasn't been this good for years, and reading is a delight

Hoffide 22 Oct 2014, 20:39 prism glasses...

SC 14 Oct 2014, 11:43


I have an uncle who wore minus lenses until his late 40s, but is now hyperopic - this is what CJ refers to as false myopia or latent hyperopia - you just can't tell your true prescription until your muscles relax - my uncle wore the 'wrong' prescription for 30 years.

So it could be that your wife needs less minus, and more plus

Andrew 14 Oct 2014, 09:47

I suspect that bifocals are probably more aesthecally pleasing than half-moon glasses, which might be another reason to get them.

Cactus Jack 13 Oct 2014, 15:12



Bifocals are very handy if you have a need to be able to switch between near and distance vision just by looking through the appropriate lens segment. If the examination reveals that there is a need for even a small amount of cylinder correction (which affects both distance and near vision) it is more convenient and cheaper to include the astigmatism correction in the overall lens.

These days, most low prescription glasses start with a plastic lens blank (either CR-39 or Polycarbonate) with the basic sphere correction and with the add segment, with the appropriate add, moulded into the front surface of the lens. The small amount of cylinder and axis correction is ground into the back surface of the lens in just a few minutes on a lens grinding machine called a "lens generator". High quality CR-39 or Polycarbonate lens blanks are very inexpensive as is evidenced by Zenni Optical being able to supply quality prescription glasses for as little as US$7.00 and bifocals for just a few dollars more and make a profit.


Dude  13 Oct 2014, 14:20

I just re-read my mom's prescription card, it says " bifocals.

Isn't it almost useless to prescribe a distance correction for her(OD: Perfect vision OS: pl -0.25)

Ryan 13 Oct 2014, 10:24

Last year my wife got her first pair of progressives (but has had glasses since she was 16) - She's 42 turning 43 next month

-1.25 -1.75 110

-1.25 -1.50 120

ADD +1.25

She got them almost exactly a year ago. Well on Saturday she went to a birthday party. She sent me a text that said.

"I think I need to get my eyes tested again. Damn it yearly now, getting old"

I asked whats wrong and she said it nothing she's just noticing. I asked it it was up close or distance and she said it was distance.

We talked about it the next morning and she said she was having trouble seeing road signs. I asked if this was something new and she said that things have been a little blurry but Saturday "sealed the deal" for her.

Her distance prescription has been pretty stable for the past few years. When we started dating almost 13 years ago she was at -2.00 and -1.75 for the sphere. As she has aged its gone down and has stayed at -1.25 for the past 2 or prescriptions - The astigmatism has bounced a bit but has been stable the past 4 years.

Is it possible that her sphere has gone up? Or could the astigmatism changed again?

If she needs a stronger distance RX I assume the ADD will have to increase accordingly. When she said she needed and eye exam I assumed it was for near vision. She has a pair of readers that she wears in bed (with the astigmatism component) and lately she has been using them a lot more.

I tried to get her to book an appointment this week but said that she needs to wait a couple weeks since she is busy.

I'm interested to see what the results will be.

Cactus Jack 10 Oct 2014, 09:41


There are no easy answers to your questions. Astigmatism, Hyperopia, and Presbyopia are caused by 3 different things. The possible reasons for the differences may be, believe it or not, in the nature of an eye exam or they can be real changes in the 3 years between the exams.

Changes in astigmatism may be the easiest to explain, but the most difficult to understand. The astigmatism part of an eye exam is the most SUBJECTIVE part of an eye exam. Particularly, when it comes to determining the axis of the cylinder correction. It is easy for it to be off by a few degrees, but fortunately if the cylinder power is low, it does not make much difference. I have explained the procedure I use in that part of an eye exam several times and I urge you to explore the Astigmatism thread.

Presbyopia affects the crystalline lens in the eye. The crystalline lens is the ONLY variable focus lens in the eye’s lens system. The crystalline lenses and the ciliary muscles are the eye’s “auto-focus” system that allow you to see distant things and close up things. Presbyopia is the gradual stiffening of the gelatin like texture of the crystalline lens. It actually starts in early childhood, but generally does not become a problem until the late 30s or early 40s, but it can actually happen at any age.

In childhood, the crystalline lenses have the consistency of gelatin dessert and your ciliary muscles can squeeze the lenses to increase their PLUS power almost effortlessly. That is why you often see a young child with a book 20 to 30 cm from their eyes and can then look up and see some far distant object with ease. As we get older, the crystalline lenses slowly become stiffer, but that does not become a problem until much later in life. However, if a person has hyperopia, it can often become a problem much sooner, sometimes even in your teens or even younger. Smartphones have been a big factor in revealing the presence of latent or hidden hyperopia in teens when they try to focus on the tiny text.

Your mom’s add of +1.50 is not at all unreasonable for a 41 YO who does a lot of reading and close work on a computer. Over time, it will increase a bit to around +2.50 to +3.00 for reading and she may need trifocals with an intermediate lens of about +1.50 for the computer.

Hyperopia and its effects are much harder to explain because the symptoms are confusing because hyperopia and presbyopia both involve correction with PLUS lenses. There is also a condition called Latent or Hidden Hyperopia. Hyperopia is typically caused by the eyeball not growing quite long enough for the total PLUS power of the eye’s lens system. Unlike Myopia, Presbyopia, or Astigmatism, the eye has the ability to correct some hyperopia by using the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to supply the needed extra PLUS, internally. Sometimes a person can get so used to supplying the extra PLUS, that the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses have trouble relaxing back to their minimums PLUS condition for distance. When they start wearing external PLUS glasses, often the will need a new prescription with more external PLUS, very soon, as their ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses relax.

By the way, I am not in the least surprised that your mom teaches school. I can tell that you come from a family that values knowledge and education. Have you thought much about what you want to do or what you want to study in University?

I saw this quote by Albert Einstein today and I think it is valuable.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.”


Dude 10 Oct 2014, 08:18

My mom is 41 yo, she recently got new glasses, their rx is

OD: Perfect vision Add: +1.50

OS: pl cyl-0.25x90 Add: +1.50

Her past rx was from 2011, and it was

Both eyes: +1.00 cyl -0.50x90

Why did the astigmatism and hyperopia disappear and become presbyopia?

Isn't she too young to have a +1.50 add?

Why did her add increase that way these last years?

She's a school teacher and she does a lot of computer work.

specs4ever 10 Oct 2014, 05:03

Thanks moonshiner. It is appreciated.

Moonshiner 09 Oct 2014, 18:36

I deleted several post by and about gus posts.

I blocked an IP address of the user in California that posted the gus video.

I may have to block one from Ohio that is posting with a user name and posting unacceptable content without a user name.

astigmaphile 07 Oct 2014, 11:46


That is a remarkable amount of astigmatism. I have been collecting old glasses from thrift stores for 3 years and have only found 2 pairs with any cylinder over 4D. This guy's astig is also mixed.

Julian 07 Oct 2014, 02:54

I have a young guy (early 30s) living in my house at the moment. He went for an eye test the other week, saying he needed new glasses. I managed to get a look at his prescription when he left it around:

R +3.00-3.25x2.5 Add 0.75

L +4.25-5.00x180 Add 0.75

I was mildly surprised that he needed an add, though I know a lot of young people do. I was much more surprised that the silly boy had opted for two pairs of glasses instead of bifocals or progressives I didn't know anyone did that any more. Incidentally, the amount of astigmatism is remarkable.

Maurice 06 Oct 2014, 04:11

Slit, glad to hear the good news that you are adjusting well to wearing progressives. I think that over time you will appreciate the ease of use, compared to reading glasses.

Maurice 23 Aug 2014, 20:26

Hi LTL, let us know when you move to

bifocals. Looking forward to hearing

about your adjustment.

LT Lurker 20 Aug 2014, 21:53

Hey Maurice,

I do have a prescription for bifocals which I will get filled soon, I don't have too many issues at the moment but I can feel the time coming soon.

I play a bit if sport so I am often in contacts (monovision) but in the off season I will get into specs again.

Maurice  17 Aug 2014, 07:12

LTL, since I was long in denial about presbyopia, I probably did not connect any headaches,etc. with my need for glasses. And LTL, could bifocals be in your near future? Can you still read small print close-up without removing your glasses ?

LTLurker 16 Aug 2014, 21:26

Hey Maurice, Yes the ageing process suddenly takes it toll.

For me I am myopic -2.25 -2.5 however my wifes rx is hyperopic, at 39 she had glasses for reading and pc etc which she wore until she 42 when she was told she could do ok without.

Now at 46 she is back in glasses for pc and reading and complaining of needing stronger. Currently L+1.25 R+1 -0.25.

I think she will get bifocals next.Although she gets headaches and eyestrain which you don't seem to have encountered.


Maurice 16 Aug 2014, 07:37

LTL, don't recall headaches---just couldn't see very well. Hey, old eyes---it happens. And LTL, what is your eye story?

LT Lurker 15 Aug 2014, 22:08

So Maurice,

For the last few years you have found that you have had to concentrate more and more, did this mean you got headaches?

Hyperopia when in small amounts along with presbyopia seems to creep up on people the individual does their best to compensate for it and then they get sick of the struggle and choose comfort over strain.

Maurice 15 Aug 2014, 20:16

LTL, I live in New York Cty, so luckily for others I seldom drive. Street signs had become blurry and with TV, was having difficulty reading items that scrolled across the screen. I could have used glasses several years back---just kept trying to deny the need, but no longer being able to read a menu, holding items at arms length, and guessing at what texts said finally motivated me to get the glasses I have long needed. So, wearing full-time is a major improvement to my vision.

LT Lurker 15 Aug 2014, 18:27

Hi Maurice,

So driving and TV was fine but texts etc were too much strain?


Maurice 14 Aug 2014, 19:31

I had given up trying to read texts and emails on my phone.

LT Lurker 14 Aug 2014, 17:48

Hi Maurice,

So you were having trouble reading and with TV etc were you?

Maurice 14 Aug 2014, 00:20

Am 48 years of age and just got my first pair of glasses. Prescription is +1.00 with an add of +2.25. Yes, I was overdue for glasses. A little surprised when the doctor told me that I was farsighted, in addition to the presbyopia. Looks like I have gone from no classes to FT wear.

Brett 13 Aug 2014, 20:29

Just to chime in with what others have said. My wife has had bifocals, progressives and trifocals. As her prescription increased to where she actually needed and used a mid-range rx, she preferred trifocals. And has worn them exclusively for over 3 years and isn't even 30 years old yet. Her job is 100% computer screens, in fact she has three screens, phone with numerous lines, and radio functions to tend to, so good near vision is very crucial and used all day at work.

Probably the first year she had trifocals, a lot of people would comment and now occasionally someone will--mainly just the fact of her age and not even the lines so much.

Curt 13 Aug 2014, 13:27

Dirk: The other issue to consider is that some people, no matter how motivated or determined, cannot get used to the peripheral distortion that even the best progressives have. And many find the small midrange section to be unacceptable, especially for long-term computer use. They often choose to go with lined bifocals or trifocals, and say fashion be damned!!! Just another perspective...

Cactus Jack 06 Aug 2014, 01:14


I was not offended, but it could have seemed that way. Others may have been. You have to be careful judging the desires and preferences of others based on your desires and preferences. It is very likely that you just don't have enough information to even guess why another person makes the choices they do.

A wise man once said, "Judge not, lest you be judged".

That having been said, if you have some questions about vision or the pros and cons about any lens type, please feel free to ask. I may not know the answer, but I'll bet our other members have the answers.


Dirk 05 Aug 2014, 22:26

I am truly sorry if I have offended anyone with my comments/questions. I guess I mistakenly associated lined bifocal lenses with those "less fortunate"--either lacking access to newer technologies or simply lacking money. I however would agree with the comment regarding intermediate vision. Moreover, opticians and optometrist offices really seem to hawk progressive lenses, even mild 'anti-fatigue' lenses.* My guess is that she actually had progressives (though she did not bring them to work) and simply did not like them.

*I am a recipient of borderline aggressive suggestions by eyeglass vendors to wear progressive lenses, but I choose simply to take off my glasses. Works for now.

Curt 23 Jul 2014, 15:00

JEMoptical is having a half-price sale on lined trifocals - $45-60 US dollars depending on whether you want 7X28 or 8X35.

SC 23 Jul 2014, 11:15


As a wearer of progressive lenses then I'm puzzled by the choice of bifocals. It isn't about vanity, it's about having the intermediate lens. I would imagine that at 54, a reading add of +2.25 or +2.50 will have been prescribed and the available accommodation is probably, realistically down to +0.75.

Through bifocals you either get distance, which with the accommodation would be distance to within 1.33m and with the reading segment would be 44/40cm down to 30cm or so.

So everything between 1.33m and 44cm is going to be a problem, including a computer unless a dedicated pair is used.

I think that as soon as an add goes much above +1.50 then progressives, or trifocals, beat bifocals hands-down.

Cactus Jack 23 Jul 2014, 01:28


A woman of her abilities and self confidence really does not care what you or anyone else thinks about the lenses in her glasses. Admittedly, she dresses for success and she probably chose the frames carefully for style and appearance and lined bifocals because they are more efficient than carrying reading glasses. Lined bifocals have significant optical advantages over even the best progressives. She probably understands that the bifocals will probably help her to be even more productive and more valuable to the company.

You might consider that as one of the reasons she "Makes the Big Money".


Cactus Jack 23 Jul 2014, 00:50


The idea that you do not need reading help until your 40s is a myth, you need it when you need it. There are many factors involved in the onset of presbyopia. Presbyopia actually starts in childhood, but typically does not cause a problem until the 30s or 40s.

You didn't mention your occupation and your complete prescription would be helpful. The most important thing is to get over the idea that you need to sacrifice your visual comfort for vanity. There is nothing wrong with bifocals or progressives if they suit your needs and what others think is of no consequence. I'm 76 now and I had to get bifocals in college at 20 because of splitting headaches when doing close work. I had no choice of progressives because they did not exist at that time. When I got the bifocals, my best friend made the only comment. "You got duals. Maybe that will help with your headaches". My add gradually increased from +1.00 to +1.50 and then +1.75 by the time I was 30. I was involved in work that required me to read large "D" sized blueprints. I was having trouble reading text at the top of the large sheets without climbing on the table. The solution was trifocals. I don't remember if I was embarrassed by the fact that I needed trifocals at 30, but I thought the trifocals would be easier to explain than what I was doing on the drawing table.

I heard something recently about dealing with a problem or situation. The key is to "Own it". At first I did not understand what the person meant. Instead of denying a problem or situation like being overweight, wearing glasses of any type, or any other thing that might cause someone to make a "derogatory" comment about, don't give them a chance. For example, go to your place of work wearing your bifocals and say something like: "Well, the headaches got the best of me and I had to get bifocals. So far, I think they are great". By doing that, you completely disarm anyone who might want to "rib" you about bifocals and getting old. The idea is, if you are comfortable, it is a waste of time to try to make you uncomfortable. If you can say it with a laugh, It works even better.


Soundmanpt 22 Jul 2014, 21:58


Very simple answer. Preference!

Dirk 22 Jul 2014, 21:30

Re. the linked article about lined bifocal lenses, are they becoming somewhat more popular or acceptable? Where I work, our manager has recently got a pair with obvious lines and wide D-shaped segments. Earlier, she always carried around single-vision reading glasses in her hands, if she was not wearing them. She is probably 53-54 by her own revealing of information about herself. What is interesting is that she draws a pretty high salary, drives a BMW 7 series, and is always very well put together--not even a hair seems out of place. I would imagine her wardrobe cost a fortune, and probably her frames as well. Her husband (who works elsewhere) owns a lucrative business in his own right. In other words, she is wealthy and sophisticated (and looks well for her age), so I would not have expected the "bifocal look".


timmy 20 Jul 2014, 13:48

short update on my progressives. I (31) have been wearing them for more than a year (-1,5 -0,25 add +1 - doctor prescribned them for accomodation issues). They surely do help. Whether I really need them depends on the day I'd say, sometimes (tired, etc) I found out I really can't see well through the upper segment and really need the add (last time even while looking at my food), other days they are more optional, but still relax my eyes.

I since have bought bifocals with an add of 1,5 and like the stronger add a tad bit more. I have a appointment with the eye doctor coming this month, I doubt he'll prescribe me a stronger add than +1,00 given my age, although I'd prefer +1,5 (or even +2,00 - it is just much easier up close with it and I don't mind becoming dependent on them if it makes vision much more effortless).

I like both progressives and bifocals, though I rarely wear the lined ones in public. I even don't like my friends to see me in the lined bifocals.

Still, I am glad I have got them and would not want to miss having a reading add even with such a "young" age.

Soundmanpt 18 Jul 2014, 19:12


Well it has nearly been 2 months since your last post. Your friend Jen was going that week to get her eyes examined and she asked you to come along so you could help her pick out new frames. She seemed pretty sure she was going to be getting a stronger prescription which I am sure she most likely did get. These glasses she will no doubt be wearing much more often and probably full time soon after she gets them.

In your case I would say your probably right that having had and wore glasses for so long like you did back when you were quite nearsighted probably did make it very easy for you to get adjusted to wearing glasses again so easy. Much like riding a bicycle as they say, you never really forget how. But I bet it did feel like you were turning the clock back by wearing glasses again. But like you say at least now your prescription is much weaker than the glasses you used to need. Back then when you took your glasses off everything was just a big blur, now when you take your glasses off you can still see pretty well without your glasses.

I don't recall exactly, I should have looked back and I would know but I didn't, when you got your glasses but your year must not be too far down the road. I hate to tell you but chances are you will likely need an increase either for your distance or more likely your reading add or maybe both.

hyperopia 14 Jul 2014, 09:16

Wonderful! I hope that they come back big time: they are still provide the best picture for every distance.

Ennis 04 Jun 2014, 22:30


Sorry to hear about your wife's prescription difficulties. If, however, she has an extra pair of glasses from her eye care professional, perhaps they are listening? If her ECP refuses to prescribe sufficient strength, even if she cannot read a reading-distance eye chart, then they are clearly in the wrong.

I think the more common problem is that the ECP will only prescribe the bare minimum required to read those small letters on the chart, without taking into account the near vision demands of the patient, eye fatigue, etc.

I recently happened to chat with an optometrist who sat next to me on a flight, and he suggested that ECPs go by a combination of practice experience and learning from optometry school. In most cases, this method works fine. They rarely see a younger person (meaning, in their 40s or earlier) needing a strong reading add, unless the person has a pre-existing condition--usually significant hyperopia.

In fact, he suggested that many people like myself and my wife are uncommon: a great number of people with educational and professional backgrounds like ours are nearsighted. (I thought about this, and I must say, many if not most of my colleagues in book publishing, friends who are lawyers, etc., have been nearsighted. Sometimes I have been startled at seeing usual contact lens wearers in very thick eyeglasses on occasion.) His point was that even an ECP can easily overlook a genuine need for extra reading help. This may not excuse the ECP, but it may help explain the problem.

Aubrac 04 Jun 2014, 04:45

My wife left her new glasses on the couch when she was emptying her bag and I managed to get a quick look at them.

The case had the name of her regular optician on them and so I think it unlikely she would get OTC readers from them. Also they did not look like OTC readers, and while the quality and style of these has improved immensely, prescription optical lenses do have a better quality look, and I think OTC readers would probably have the strength on the case.

Anyhow I would reckon they are about +3.50 and would be interested to see if she wears them at work but maybe only a matter of time before she is FT with them rather than her old frames.

Julian 29 May 2014, 06:03

SC: the first two or three times I had progressives, the prescription specified two different adds, with a slightly higher one for progressives. I could see the point of this, but it hasn't happened since.

Aubrac 29 May 2014, 05:09


Yes that could be the case. Be interesting to see if she changes to the stronger glasses for full time distance wear, although as I said she did use both pairs of glasses to read something small.

She also keeps in her housecoat pocket an old scratched pair of glasses about +5.00 that I think were her mum's, she uses these sometimes to watch videos on her phone or read very small text.

I think the bottom line is she might be best off with a +3.00 and +2.00 add but we'll see what happens.

SC 27 May 2014, 06:57


I'm not sure I agree. There seems to be two choices: 1) as soon as someone needs an Add then why not give them +2.5 because that is what they are going to need 2) give them the Add appropriate for the next 2 years.

The problem is that an add of +2.5 is not perfect because it has a max focal range of 40cm, so you rely on an intermediate which is more troublesome and can't cover all ranges either. So if someone has an inter add of +1.5 and reading add of +2.5 then their working focal range is distance and 66cm to 30cm although over time this will likely fragment to 66cm to 50cm and 40cm to 30cm. This awaits us all but I don't see the need to rush to it at age 43!

For progressives the min read add seems to be +1.50 regardless of age (42-46). I have twice been given a prescription higher than the test - my first Rx was -0.25, add +1.25 but when I said progressives I got add +1.50. My 3rd pair, the add was +1.50 but the lens was marked +1.75.

For me the mistake that most UK opticians make, perhaps deliberately, is the prescribe glasses for reading at age 38-42 when the person is likely to be hyperopic and single vision distance would give the best vision for the longest period, and reading glasses will get them into expensive multi-focals as fast as possible.

I seem to remember that your wife wore +4.0 when she was younger so it would seem likely, given the experience of the +3.0s for driving, that she needs more plus for distance and that would also provide the necessary plus for reading without increasing the add

I Know 27 May 2014, 01:13

Amanda, and Soundshmuck, are one and the same.

Aubrac 26 May 2014, 06:08

I don't know what country Ennis in but in the UK there seems a reluctance to prescribe any serious add.

My wife got her varifocals with about a 1.5 add at age 43 but she really does need much stronger. Yesterday we were on a long drive and she got her navigator out and at the same time a pair of glasses I hadn't seen before. They were really nice mauve metallic frames with about a +3.00 or so prescription. The left lens looked slightly thicker so maybe they were prescription and not OTC but not certain of this.

Anyway I expected her to take these off but she was quite happy with them for distance, reading signs, etc, and kept them on for about two hours, but unfortunately changed back to her rimless Silhouette frames when we arrived. She did at one stage use both the new glasses and her old ones to read something very small. Upshot is she probably needs at least +3.5 add but at 45 her optometrist won't give this.

How different it is in India. I got back from a two week stay there last week and saw a lot of very lovely GWGs with rimless and semi-rimless frames which seem to be the thing. My friend there has been wearing glasses since age 12 and bi-focals from age 35, she is now 46 and wears about +2.5 with I'd guess a +2.5 add.

The thing is nearly everyone over 40 was bearing bi-focals! It seems the norm there that once you reach 40 you're prescribed a reading add - quite different from the UK.

Have to find a use for the navigator again soon to get another look at the new glasses!

Amanda 25 May 2014, 17:20


Actually, the adjustment for me was not all that difficult. I think the reason is that I wore glasses/contacts for so long, it was like going back in time, oddly enough. And yes, because the prescription is weak, I can take them off whenever I feel like it, and still get around pretty easily.

That's a huge difference compared with being minus five. Back then, the thickness of the lenses definitely made me feel more confident and comfortable in contacts, but at the same time it was always easy to find frames that were flattering for my face. So I still wore my glasses pretty often, especially when I was a little older in my mid 20s.

I was actually with Jennifer just a couple of weeks ago when she got an email reminder from the optometrist for a checkup. I first remember seeing her in glasses in late summer, so I didn't think she would need to be checked again so soon. It turned out that she had gotten her glasses in May of last year, but did not wear them in public for a few months. Sneaky.

We started chatting about the subject. She told me that she was surprised at how quickly and easily I adjusted to wearing glasses, but that it was hard for her. I told her what I just explained above--glasses are not really "new" for me.

She also said that she thought her eyes were getting worse, and that she knew she should wear them more often. I guess it was a difficult transition for someone like her--who always had perfect vision--to need glasses and to get used to them. For her it was all about getting old--I tried to make her feel better.

Finally, she told me she wasn't really happy with her frames, and wants me to help her find a better style. Her appointment is on Wednesday I think, so I'll probably meet her there.

Soundmanpt 03 May 2014, 11:27


Well i'm glad that the sunglass clip at least got you through your vacation. The after market clip ons generally don't fit your glasses exactly and in some cases can even scratch the lenses on your glasses. There okay for someone that maybe wears contacts 98% of the time and very rarely wears their glasses the clip is much cheaper than a pair of prescription sunglasses. But since you are wearing your glasses full time then I think you were very wise to buy a nice pair of prescription sunglasses. Actually since you said your still able to read without your glasses, at least for a short time before you get a headache, you probably could have just got single vision sunglasses for your distance only and your lenses would have been much cheaper that way. Even though your prescription isn't very strong you must have found that your glasses do provide you with more clarity for your distance as well or you would be able to wear your regular sunglasses still.

Did you have any problems learning how to wear and use progressives? I know you borrowed Jenn's glasses for about a week and you wore them on and off so you got some practice with going up and down steps as well as learning to only move your eyes down when you wanted to read something and not move your head down before you got your own glasses.

Your probably right if your doctor even went slightly more for your add then you very well maybe good for that long. But often times doctors will go a bit less with adds to make it easier for your eyes to adjust, meaning that after 6 months or so they need an increase in the add. Hard to say about your friend Jenn if she will need an increase soon or not. But as long as she isn't having any problems with reading with her glasses on then she is probably fine still. The fact that at the gym when you both had your glasses off and were reading magazines and she had to have it a good ways further away to read is really very normal. And so far you can still see fine to read without your glasses but just not for very long or you get a headache. Well you know the headaches is from straining your eyes. And if your pretty sure your glasses are slightly stronger than hers chances are it won't be long until you too will start to find that you may need to move that magazine further away.

After being nearsighted for so many years and then having perfect vision for 10 years it must seem funny being back wearing glasses full time again. But you seem to be okay with it and it has to help that even though your wearing glasses again your eyes aren't nearly as bad as when you were -5.00.

Amanda 30 Apr 2014, 15:08


Sorry I haven't responded to your last message maybe a month ago. You suggested clip-on shades. I did end up getting those before our vacation, but I have to say I much prefer my old sunglasses. After coming home I ordered new Rx sunglasses.

You were also asking about my prescription and reading add, and Jennifer's. We actually did compare our glasses when I first got mine. I mentioned comparing prescriptions but she forgot about it, I guess, and so did I. (It would have been strange to obsess over that.) She found mine "weird and blurry," while I could see fine through hers. I think mine are maybe a touch stronger.

You were also asking about increasing the reading prescription. I really doubt that mine would need an increase so soon, because as I mentioned, my doctor gave me a step higher than what she could have prescribed, because she noticed I like to read close (a consequence of being formerly nearsighted, I think.) In fact, she thought I would be in good shape for two years.

Jenn is another story. We were at the gym last week, neither of us wearing our glasses, and we grabbed magazines for our time on the exercise bikes. I could read fine. If I read for too long, I get a headache, but I can still read without them. However, I noticed Jenn struggling to focus. The magazine was resting on the bike around the handlebars, but it was too close for her, I think. Maybe she'll need a stronger prescription, but for now if she wears her glasses she reads just fine. I would not intervene between her and her doctor to suggest that she get her eyes checked, unless I noticed her making lots of mistakes while wearing them. She's only had them less than a year, anyway, IIRC.

When I went to pick up my new sunglasses I chatted with my doctor who happened to step out escorting a patient. She said she was not surprised that I took to wearing glasses so fully and quickly, but that if I didn't wear them much, she would not have been surprised either. Since my prescription wasn't too strong, and since I had had LASIK, it wasn't clear how much I would really need or want to wear glasses, she said. But, if they helped with my headaches and general visual comfort, I made a good choice wearing them, she said.

Hoerbie 20 Apr 2014, 14:47


I don't know about the possibility of an add in your strong prism prescription, but I'm now wearing my second progressives due to a bit farsightedness with astigmatism, total 15 prism base out and an 1.5 add.

Everything works really fine in everydays life, computer work, use of smartphone, reading a book etc., although I do notice the prism distortion and lower visual acuity due to the prism.

How did you get such strong prescription? And how do you live your everydays life with it? Do you drive a car? What reaction do you get at work, family etc.?

Ennis 15 Apr 2014, 23:15

Cactus Jack,

Thanks for your concern; all turned out well. After making the comment, the doctor was perfectly willing to hear me out and take into account my visual comfort, and consider what I was used to. My wife went after me, so I assume the doc knew what she was getting into.

I think the larger problem is that there is no perfect, or even standard, method for determining a near add. Of course, all eye exams are to some extent subjective, but the near add determination seems especially so. Often with the excellent lighting during eye exams, it is easy to under-prescribe reading correction, I would imagine. Or, a patient can very easily see a line of text during the exam, but over a longer period of more intensive work, reading becomes more difficult. Or, patient reading ability might depend on what kind of day he or she is having (e.g., eyes are tired or overworked). I don't know what the right solution is, so I suppose that optometrists are taught to rely on age as a shortcut.


Cactus jack 15 Apr 2014, 00:02


That is sad. Considering that you are hyperopic and have jobs that require a lot of reading, age should not have been much of a factor in deciding add power. Glasses are simply tools and for the new OD to be more concerned about age rather than comfort and needs is worrisome. I think I would consider interviewing some other ODs in the area to find out what their attitudes are toward functionality and comfort as relates to an add.

Of course you could also order any prescription you like online.


Ennis 14 Apr 2014, 21:36

Both my wife and I were among those needing reading correction earlier rather than later. We are the same age and started with reading glasses of +1.50 at age 38. Fortunately for us, our optometrist was willing to help; he really wanted us to have comfortable vision. Maybe it helped that we are both book editors getting too many headaches from all that reading. Both of us now at 44 have +2.00 adds with some distance plus and astigmatism correction as well. We moved recently and had to find a new doctor. At our appointment, the new OD's first comment was how we have very strong adds for our age, that we should be at +1.00 or +1.25. This over-reliance on age seems to be very common.

Cactus Jack 14 Apr 2014, 10:23


Many ECPs are reluctant to prescribe an add for people under 40. The myth that no one needs focusing help before they are 40 is just that, a myth. The onset of presbyopia is not a sudden thing. It actually starts in childhood, but usually does not become a nuisance until the your 30s or 40s. People with hyperopia seem to need glasses earlier than people who are myopic. You need help when you need it and our modern world with smartphones and tables with tiny text has even teen agers getting bifocals or progressives long before they typically would.

One thing causing here to be reluctant to prescribe reading glasses or an add is that it would relieve the ciliary muscles of some of their work load and like all muscles, less work will help them become de-conditioned and reduce their ability to squeeze the crystalline lenses. This will, in turn, result in needing a stronger add quicker than you ordinarily would.

However, you mentioned that you are having some visual discomfort when focusing close. If you want some focusing help for more comfortable reading, you may want to consider getting some low power clip-on magnifiers, some over-the-counter (OTC) low power reading glasses to wear over your regular glasses, or ordering some bifocals or progressives from an online retailer.

It may be difficult to get an add of ls than +1.00 or OTC readers less than +1.25, but in the overall scheme of things a little more plus won't be of any long term consequence. Some people worry about needing an ever increasing add once you start. The amount of add you will ultimately need is rarely more than +2.50 or +3.00 unless you take up a hobby or occupation that requires you to focus VERY close like repair of mechanical watches.


hyperopic 14 Apr 2014, 08:06

Well, I have been to the optician and it was interesting.

The amount of prisms I got in my glasses were more or less stable. She prescribed me a slight raise of 0.5 dpt in each eye for my far vision. When it came to close up she was very reluctant in prescribing me an add. It was obvious that I could see much better with the +0.75 dpt more power close up but she started talking about vision therapy because with my 35 years of age it would be too early to prescribe me an add. I told her that I would think about the alternatives but I won't go with the vision therapy. I mean - due to the prisms I am dependent on glasses - so why would she not want to give me the add?

hyperopic 11 Apr 2014, 09:58

@Cactus Jack

Thank you for your answer. You assumed correct, I have BO prisms.

I'll let you know about the outcome.

Best regards,


Cactus Jack 11 Apr 2014, 09:50


You did not mention if your prism is BO, BI, BU, or BD. Assuming it is BO, theoretically, you will need less BO prism because your eyes have to naturally converge (turn inward) to read. If you wear BI prism, you may theoretically need more prism to help you central axes of vision converge. However, that said, if you can comfortably keep images fused while reading, it is doubtful that an add, by itself, will require any change in your prism. You prism prescription may change for other reasons, but probably not for having an add in your glasses. Bifocals can be made with different amounts of prism in the distance segment and in the reading segment, but they are harder to make and much more expensive than regular bifocals so there has to be a VERY significant reason to prescribe them such as very limited eye motility.

Frankly, there is no way to accurately answer to your question. There are just too many unknown variables. Please let us know the outcome of your exam.


hyperopic 11 Apr 2014, 09:04

Hi all

I am hyperopic and have been for a while. I also have a rather strong prism prescription in my glasses (28 pdpt in total, 14/14 each lens).

Recently I struggle with close-up vision that is why I booked an appointment with my optician for the coming Monday. I am most certain that I will walk out from there with a new prescription that includes an add.

My question now is how this add will influence my prism prescription. Will they stay the same or increase/decrease? Anyone out there with a prism prescription and an add? Will I be prescribed more prisms for close-up or rather less prisms?



Soundmanpt 30 Mar 2014, 10:46


Sorry, I intended on responding to your post and somehow forgot to. Now your likely away on vacation but if you do read this something that might help you since you didn't get the chance to order prescription sunglasses before you left. You may check at some of the optical stores and they may have a sunglasses clip that fits over your glasses really well. This isn't as good as prescription sunglasses but better than nothing.

It sounds like your eyes are much more comfortable when your wearing your glasses than they are when your not wearing them. Even better that you don't have any issues about wearing glasses, so it looks like you will be wearing them quite a bit if not full time.

Did the doctor say anything to you about when you may need to return for your next checkup? It could be that both you and your friend Jenn may need increases in your adds within the next 12 months.

By the way have you and Jenn compared your glasses? Her prescription must be pretty close to what yours is?

Amanda 20 Mar 2014, 14:26

Well, it has been nearly two months since I began re-wearing glasses, and I can't believe how much my eyes have changed, or adapted to to the correction. When I first got them, it was sort of a novelty. I wore them almost on a whim, when I wanted to, almost as if it were a fashion statement. Sure, I wore my glasses when reading/online for long periods, but otherwise I really didn't notice any problems when they were off. In fact, my husband and I went for a quick V-Day weekend getaway and I actually forgot to pack them. But I really didn't have any problems since I wasn't doing anything very intensive.

The next week, I was online and reading quite a bit. I wound up wearing my glasses pretty much all day, even while running errands, forgetting they were on. I'd bump into people who didn't really say anything--I guess they thought I didn't have my contacts in. Then, the first weekend of March, my parents came to visit. I did NOT want to wear my glasses in front of them. My mother makes me feel really uncomfortable with her odd comments on my appearance, and I did not want to give her any more ammunition.

They came Saturday morning, and I went about my day not wearing my glasses. We were mostly just having fun with the kids, playing, eating out, a little shopping. By mid-afternoon I realized my eyes were stinging, and by evening I was having quite a headache. The next morning I knew I had to just put them on. My mom did make her obligatory remark, but it was over and done quickly. I have worn my glasses more or less full time since then. I can take them off for short periods--after all I can see just fine, even close--but I can't tolerate going without them for too long.

It is quite a strange thing for a formerly nearsighted girl like me to have clear vision yet feel the need to wear glasses. I really didn't expect to wear them full time. It's not that I'm upset--it's just not what I expected. We're going away for a family vacay next week to escape the cold. It's too late to order them for this trip, but I might as get a pair of prescription sunglasses.

timmy 04 Feb 2014, 16:45

hi clare, yes that's true - i just bought a test-pack to check out if I still can cope with contacts (with 4 day-lenses in the pack), so I'll get one's with the accurate prescription. -0,5 more isn't a problem as i think the doc underprescribed me a bit anyway.

After wearing them a while reading got easier. It's funny, at times I don't think I need the add. Other times I can't read small print through the distance part. It changes. is that normal?

Clare 04 Feb 2014, 16:14

Timmy - you may not be helping yourself if you've bought -1.50 contacts for both eyes if you have one that's -1. I have a friend who wears progressives and she seems to look under them a lot, of course you can't do that with contacts unfortunately.

timmy 04 Feb 2014, 14:20

I got progressives a year or so ago, -1,50 and -1,00 with an 1,00 add. I am 30 years old so I know it's early but it's caused by an accomodation problem not presbyopia.

i bought myself -1,50 contact lenses over the counter, put them in and see for the first time: I already need the reading add. Close up has gotten much harder in that one year, so if I'll occasionally continue with contact lenses, I will have to use reading glasses.

that really surprised me, that my eyes have gotten used to the help with close up so quickly... what do you think

Soundmanpt 04 Feb 2014, 12:12


Glad to hear you were finally able to make it in for for eye exam. I would think after borrowing your friend Jenn's glasses for a while your results were not at all surprising to you, It's really very nice when the doctor takes the time to explain things to patients as they should always do, but sadly far too many seem to be in a big rush to get to the next patient and don't do much with describing what is happening with the eyes. Just as you have been getting by probably for sometime needing a little help with your vision it is hard to say how much longer you would have gone before getting your eyes checked. But Jenn having gotten her first glasses quickly noticed that you seemed to have the very same problem as she had with not being able to read the menu very well as well as other reading materials. Her insisting you try her glasses was an awakening for you. Of course until then you had to feel like your distance vision was still very good. But Jenn's glasses also seemed to work well for you with that as well.

Your doctor could have suggested that you wear your new glasses full time, but like she said as long as your comfortable not wearing them your not doing any harm to your eyes. But as you probably know bifocals / progressives are most often wore full time because they offer correction for distance and close up. I personally think it won't take you very long until you go full time, mainly because it can be a pain trying to keep track of them when you want to read something. Now knowing how much easier it is to read with them this will make you more likely to just wear them and the added benefits of even your distances vision being a little clearer won't hurt either.

My suggestion would be to wear them for several days to adjust to them. I assume from wearing Jenn's glasses you already found that you have to be extra careful going up or coming down steps as bifocals / progressives give a false distance to the steps.

So do you plan on wearing them full time or just as needed?

To Amanda, 04 Feb 2014, 11:19

Hi Amanda,

Thanks for this long debrief and very clear debriefing !

So, a little bit farsighted, a little astigmatism, and some add for close work !

Of course (I hope !), you will tell us how you mange with your glasses...

Even if it been told you that you dont necessary need them full time, it seems that you will feel more confortable with them, because of your (low) astigmatism.

In a few days, everything close will be more and more clear, and maybe a little bit blurry without them; and in a few weeks, the same things for far vision.

So, maybe Amanda will be very happy with her new progressive lenses !

NB : sorry for my poor english (yes, I am french).

Amanda 01 Feb 2014, 19:31

There is a sentence in the quoted paragraph from my optometrist which should actually read:

"You're still seeing really well without glasses, except for reading and maybe night driving."


Amanda 01 Feb 2014, 17:30

Soundmanpt, right you are. Weather, influenza, and other minor mishaps around the house took their toll on us. I didn't get to the optometrist until MLK Day, but I now have my new glasses (two sets!) and they're fantastic.

The prescription is:

+1.25 -0.50 25

+1.50 -0.75 45

add +1.50 both eyes

My doctor was remarkably knowledgeable and helpful, especially for someone younger (32). At first, she did not make a great impression, as she seemed a little too hipster-like in fashion for my tastes (including hipster glasses, of course!), but she was super-nice, super-smart, and even had experience with patients who had had LASIK like me.

After introductions, I mentioned my symptoms, and how I borrowed my friend Jennifer's glasses (which I had to return, because her son accidentally broke hers). She was glad that I knew what was happening with my vision, and that I was not complaining like her other patients. She was also happy that I returned Jenn's glasses, because the prescription was probably different anyway!

We then discussed the overcorrection issue you mentioned, and she thought that it probably wasn't a significant factor at this point, if it ever was. Rather, she suggested that my eyes probably changed a little over time. Some nearsighted people become a little less so as they get older, so in my case this would have translated into farsightedness.

Nothing really surprising resulted from the actual vision test, except maybe that she gave me a little extra reading help than what I could have used. She explained that it was because she noticed that I liked to read close. Otherwise, my reading was still pretty good for my age. Without my glasses, my distance vision was almost normal. Reading without glasses was good as well, but I was a bit hesitant with smaller print. Essentially, she explained, that glasses would make my vision more comfortable, especially at near, whenever I wear them. Otherwise my focusing muscles could still do the work, but I would be prone to headaches and eyestrain.

Of course I then asked the inevitable question: when should I wear them? Her reply was complicated (and I'm paraphrasing):

"You know, my glasses are similar to yours, maybe a little stronger, but I'd be really uncomfortable if I didn't wear mine all the time. But your eyes work differently from mine, because the insides of your eyes still work like a nearsighted person's. You're still seeing really well without glasses, except maybe for night driving. But, maybe when your eyes are tired you might need them for distance as well--especially for movies and high-def TV. For reading, I think you'll really find them helpful right from the start. The reason I'm being a little unclear is that I recently had a patient about your age, who went through a similar experience as you, and she immediately wanted contacts. Well, she did not like her distance vision at all through the contacts and had to switch to glasses for reading and office work instead. The reason was, she liked her natural distance vision because it was like being over-minused, so her distance vision was super-sharp. On the other hand, one of my cousins also had LASIK, she's 43 and her prescription is actually a little weaker than yours all around. But she now wears progressives pretty much all the time, otherwise she gets bad headaches. It could be that her eyes are really sensitive, or that being a lawyer she spends a lot of time reading. So, you should try them out and see what you like."

That was how I remember the explanation, as best as I could. Anyway, I chose two stylish pairs (I'm a great shopper:)) and they came on Tuesday. So far so good. Reading is significantly more comfortable. Period. Distance is about the same, maybe just slightly more comfortable I would say. It hasn't been really difficult adjusting to being bespectacled, maybe because I needed glasses from the time I was 13 till I was 30. (Though yes, I often wore contacts.) The only slightly weird thing I first noticed is seeing my eyes a little magnified. The optician suggested I wear them full-time the first couple of days, so I did that, to adjust to the progressive nature of the lenses. Since then I have been less strict, but I've been finding that once I put them on, they tend to stay on. My eyes do seem to like them. We'll see.


PS I'd be interested in hearing if people tend to agree (or not) with what my optometrist said, and if my experiences makes sense.

Soundmanpt 09 Jan 2014, 13:57


Not sure where your located but here in the US the weather has been very bad and many places have had to close because of it. So it is very understandable that your appointment was rescheduled, it happens. Not to mention January is when many insurances take effect and many optical shops are very busy this time of year.

Carlos 09 Jan 2014, 06:37

This week the boss is back with no glasses and no magnifying glass. Sitting about 4 feet from the computer screen yesterday. I did ask him how he was adjusting to wearing glasses---his answer, he mainly wears them when his eyes were tired.

To Amanda 09 Jan 2014, 01:16

Did the optician postpone or did you? Maybe you are a little scared of what you will find out! Please keep us posted.

Amanda 08 Jan 2014, 19:09

Postponed until later this month.

To Amanda 07 Jan 2014, 11:14


Can you tell us about your meeting with the eyedoctor ?


Amanda 05 Jan 2014, 14:29


Jennifer has plus lenses with more plus for reading. Even I figured that out!

I described my feelings earlier; now I just have to see what the doctor says. To be honest, until now I never really thought about the prospect of needing glasses again, and I didn't miss them either. (I wore contacts mostly.)

The only thing I have noticed, in general, is that glasses seem much more popular now, even among teens and the hipster set, than back in my time.


Soundmanpt 05 Jan 2014, 12:31


The chances of Jenn's astigmatism numbers, cylinder and axis, matching what you may or may not need would be nearly impossible. But her astigmatism is probably only very slight and not effecting your vision. But her distance (SPH) and her reading add must be close to what you must need if they work that well for you.

Is Jenn's distance a minus or plus prescription?

Since it has been nearly 15 years since you last wore glasses are you disappointed that you will likely be back wearing glasses? I have found surprisingly that some of my friends that had lasik are very happy with the results but after a few years glasses free admit they really miss their glasses even though they don't need them.

Good luck tomorrow.

Amanda 04 Jan 2014, 22:05

Soundmanpt, thanks for the background information. No, I don't get headaches wearing Jenn's glasses. In fact, it's the opposite--they went away. So, maybe I have some astigmatism as well. I'll find out Monday.

Likelenses 04 Jan 2014, 21:47


A friend of mine has a wife that wore glasses that were about -20.

About ten years ago at about age 40 she decided to to rid herself of those luscious glasses,so she had lasik.

Four years ago she began sporting reading glasses of about +2.00. As of six months now she is in bifocals with an estimated -2.00 with a fair amount of cylinder for distance,and a rather weak looking reading add.

Good to see her back in glasses,but miss seeing her old ones.

Soundmanpt 04 Jan 2014, 21:38


When you got the lasik done some 14 or 15 years ago they almost always over corrected patients. Not by a lot but I have known many that were corrected to 20/10 and even one that was 20/5. The one person i know of that was corrected to just 20/20 was back needing a very weak prescription for driving after about one year. The reason they do a slight over correction is for that very reason because as the eyes heal after about a year or so they often have a small regression in their vision. So by being 20/10 after the first year or so they will likely regress to closer to 20/20 or maybe 20/15. But it's not a big deal because it is better to be over corrected than under corrected.

Also nearly everyone starts to need readers when they get to about your age even if you never wore glasses before, much like your friend Jenn. Like she says her biggest need is for the reading part in her bifocals. But her doctor may have found she had a very small need for seeing distances so since she was getting glasses he / she may have felt she would be more comfortable with the bifocals rather than just readers that she might hate taking on and off. Most likely her doctor expected her to wear her glasses more than she does. Also if she has some astigmatisms she probably should consider wearing them much more.

Hard to predict what your eye exam may reveal, but I would think its a good bet your going to get a prescription for at the very least readers and you may need a small prescription like Jenn needs that may work well for distance for you as well. So what I am saying is you may need bifocals as well. In the meantime your not doing any harm by wearing Jenn's glasses even full time if you want just to see how your eyes react to them. Of course if they start to give you a headache take them off. If they do give you a headache it would likely be due to th astigmatism correction that's in them.

I'm sure you will let us know the results of the up coming eye exam. Be sure to ask for a copy of your prescription and for even more fun and to compare with your friend Jenn she should get a copy of her prescription as well.

I tell people all the time, there your eyes you should always request a full copy of your eye exam. The will be ahppy yo to provide you with that. The only reason they don't offer it to you is so you come to them for glasses and or contacts. Remember that is where they really make their money. Not from the exam.

Amanda 04 Jan 2014, 21:24

Julian, I don't mean to sound like I expected perfect vision forever. Like I said, I do realize that reading glasses are virtually inevitable.

(Now I can remember that they warned me about this back then. But when you are 30, you don't really worry about these far-off things.)

It's the potential distance correction (plus!) that has taken me aback.

Julian 04 Jan 2014, 20:40

Amanda: you show a touching faith in refractive surgery and its practitioners. In your first post you write as if you expected LASIK at 30 (or so) to give you perfect vision without glasses for life; in fact, compared with other LASIK patients, you're lucky to have got to 45 without needing glasses again. And honestly, needing help with reading at your age is nothing to wonder at (I started with bifocals at 40!) I reckon you ARE 'heading in the direction of the thread title' and have nothing to complain about. All the best for your test, and enjoy your new glasses!

Amanda 04 Jan 2014, 19:39

Curt, after my surgery they checked my eyes and vision, but I don't recall ever hearing anything about overcorrection. I don't think they would have deliberately hid that from me. I think what happened is more recent. Let's see what the optometrist says.

Curt 04 Jan 2014, 19:13

Amanda: just a guess, but you LASIK my have slightly over corrected your nearsightedness, and the small amount of plus actually helps your distance vision. As far a close up goes, you are coming to grips ith what most folks deal with in their 40s; the need for ereading glasses, bit it in the form of readers or bifocals. No big deal...

Amanda 04 Jan 2014, 17:22

I think I am heading in the direction of the thread title and need a sounding board. I was never very good in biology or any science really so please bear with me.

Background: I'm a 45-year old wife and stay-at-home mother; my birthday was in September. I used to be nearsighted (around minus 5 I think) and got LASIK in 1999.

Here is what happened:

Over a week ago I hit the after-Christmas sales with my friend Jenn. Exhausted, we went to a nice restaurant to eat, drink, and relax. Well, it was slightly dark and I just could not focus on the menu! Half-jokingly, Jenn suggested I borrow her glasses.

(She is a couple of months older than me and just started wearing them last summer--they are the no-line bifocal kind--but she never needed glasses before. She told me she needs them mostly for reading, that the distance prescription is small, with a little astigmatism. Sometimes she wears them, sometimes not. I suppose they are not that strong.)

I told her they would be of no use to me, that I had LASIK, etc, but she insisted and I obliged. To my horror, I could read beautifully and effortlessly! But this was not the worst thing: I looked out into the distance and could see perfectly too! The chalkboard with the specials looked a touch sharper. I was shocked, but Jenn almost had a look of glee on her face.

Well, the shock was primarily because her glasses make things look a little bigger. I may not know much about vision and lenses, but being nearsighted earlier in my life, I do know the difference between plus and minus lenses.

She told me, maybe you need them more than I do--why don't you keep them on? I was about to take them off, thinking they would damage my eyes, but then the waiter came to take our orders. Distracted by everything that happened, I kept them on without realizing it. Jenn suggested I keep them because she had another pair at home. I dropped her off and continued to be shocked at how I could see so well with somebody else's glasses.

Well, it has been over a week and I have used the glasses on and off. I have come to the realization that I just might need reading glasses, but plus glasses for distance? That has really freaked me out. What happened?

Distance is basically the same with the glasses, but my eyes feel so much more relaxed and I don't get the headaches that I was used to thinking as being normal. I can read without glasses too, but I have to admit now, that for a while now I have been pushing my head up when checking texts while sitting at coffee shops, or moving to brighter light in general to read.

My husband--who is a little nearsighted himself--got a kick out of all this. He is a few years younger than me (41) and doesn't have any reading problems yet. And Jenn, by the way, made an appointment for me to see her optometrist. She's taking me Monday after our kids are back in school. So nice of her--I don't know whether to thank her or kill her!

Any predictions? I just don't want to be shellshocked again!

Cactus Jack 03 Jan 2014, 22:38


I am sure that your boss took great comfort in the fact that no one noticed the magnifying glass. Or at least no one mentioned it.

On a more serious note, one thing to consider is that it is possible that your boss is having retinal problems that glasses don't correct very well and he needs the letters enlarged rather than just focused.

I don't know where you live, but office supply companies, here in the US sell large plastic magnifier sheets with Fresnel prisms that provide edge to edge magnification. They are not very expensive and might be useful. I recently purchased one for my 93 year old father. It is 21 cm x 28 cm (81/2 x 11inches) and I think it was less than US$10. I bought the magnifying sheet at Staples.


Carlos 03 Jan 2014, 21:07

The boss returned to the office today following New Years holiday. No glasses on his face. Back to using a magnifying glass. Maybe he accidentally/purposefully left the new glasses at home.

Soundmanpt 29 Dec 2013, 12:55

Can't help but laugh at the thought of everyone that needs reading glasses pulling out their magnifying glasses to read a menu or paper. As you say Cactus Jack no one would every notice that. lol

Cactus Jack 29 Dec 2013, 10:52


Everyone knows that no one will notice you using a magnifying glass or holding reading material at arms length, but the will spot you wearing glasses a block away.

Similarly for myopes, no one notices you squinting or straining to read a menu board, but wearing glasses is like having a neon sign above your head flashing "GLASSES - GLASSES - GLASSES.

Vanity and its partner denial are incredibly powerful forces. What makes it worse is that low hyperopes often brag about their great distance vision, sometimes 20/15 or even 20/10. Problem is, that presbyopia ultimately gets almost everyone and the day comes when when your ciliary muscles just can't focus your crystalline lenses. That is the day you have to let all those bespectacled people you bragged to, know that you have joined their ranks. That is enough to make a very strong person, weak in the knees and the idea of having to "Eat Crow" can leave a very bitter taste in the mouth. Few can do it gracefully.


Carlos 29 Dec 2013, 06:50

Vanity yes, but somehow using a magnifying glass is better than wearing glasses.

Soundmanpt 28 Dec 2013, 11:13


One word, Vanity!

Carlos 28 Dec 2013, 06:58

Yesterday, my 48 year old boss showed up for work in glasses. He had been in denial for the last few years, squinting, pushing reading materials away from the eyes, claiming his problem was allergies. Anyway---the guy was wearing progressives and he said optometrist told him that he should be wearing them full-time. Apparently both eyes were +1.00 with an add of +2.25. Merry Glasses Christmas! Don't understand why someone would deny the need for glasses for three years.

Neil 08 Sep 2013, 14:21

Thanks Soundmanpt.

Only thing is, I checked the printout of the Rx (she keeps all our family's medical prescriptions filed away), and it does say +1.75 add for both eyes. Obviously +1.68/+1.69 are very close. Yes, you are right, these are high-definition lenses, and expensive.

How does the lens manufacturer come up with these numbers? To my knowledge our optometrist just goes with the standard +0.25 increments, so I wonder what extra information factors into the calculation.

Soundmanpt 08 Sep 2013, 09:43


I think that is something new they are doing. They are now able to be more precise with prescriptions. If I am correct Pearle Vision calls it Hi Def Vision. And they not only can be more exact for the eye exam but now even make the glasses in the matching numbers. But like everything it costs a little bit more as well. So in your wife's case if her actual rx was +1.59 / +1.60 she may have gotten her glasses as +1.50. But since she was much closer to +1.75 they went that way.

My friend that is an optician at the local Pearle store has a pair of glasses using the HDV since she was curious how much difference they would make. She had one pair made using the normal quarter incruments we are used to and one with the HDV and she tried switching back and forth between the 2 and she could not see any difference in her vision. She told me as a customer she would never pay extra for it.

Neil 08 Sep 2013, 00:40

I was just cleaning the lenses of my wife's smudge-stained glasses while she was in the pool. With a light overhead, I noticed the laser markings on the lenses. Interestingly, on the outer sides where the add power is written, the numbers are 168 on the right lens, 169 on the left lens. This is confusing, because her add actually is +1.75 (in both eyes). (I have a +2.00 add, and the laser markings read 200, as one might expect.) She is a hyperope with astigmatism. Any reason for the 168/169? What does that mean?

Smudge 05 Sep 2013, 08:03

Hi Mary

My wife will be 46 in a few months, her prescription is very similar to yours (in fact almost identical).

She uses multifocals full time, she has done for nearly 4 years now, and absolutely swears by them - although it took her a couple of weeks to get used to wearing them for distance (at first she said they made her vision worse).

I think you should get them and wear them full-time.

Mary 05 Sep 2013, 04:41

I'm 46 and I use occupational lenses for working on the computer (~10h/day) and reading. In the last months I have become very dependent on them and it's hard to read the smartphone letters without using a huge font. In addition in my work somedays we have long meetings with presentations in big rooms where the screen is too far away to can be seeing with my occupational lenses, therefore I remove the glasses, and somedays I end with headaches.

I went to the optician yesterday, my addition has increases a little bit. She told me that it could be better to wear multifocals full time even if my long distance is not so bad. But since good multifocals are expensive than the occupational and taking also into account that I will probably become full dependent on glasses I'm wondering if it is worth to move to multifocals.

My current prescription is:

OD +0.5 -0.50 180 Add: +1.50

OS +0.5 -0.25 180 Add: +1.50

John S 03 Sep 2013, 14:08

I'm sure he got FT bifocals because insurance paid for them. He is a little tight on money.

Cactus Jack 03 Sep 2013, 09:30

John S,

It sounds like your neighbor has a classic case of Latent Hyperopia and Presbyopia finally caught up with him and revealed it. Fortunately, it also sounds like the Latent Hyperopia is being quickly resolved and his prescription should stabilize fairly soon. Hopefully, his ECP has explained what is happening and what to expect. He might actually find trifocals or progressives more comfortable than bifocals with the intermediate lens and the gradual transition from distance to near.


John S 03 Sep 2013, 08:17

My neighbor is 41. He had been complaining for 3 or 4 years that he had trouble seeing to read. About a year ago I saw him wearing a pair of reading glasses, I don't know if they were OTC or rx. Maybe +1.25 or +1.50.

3 or 4 months ago he started wearing bifocals full time. When I saw his bifocals, he had them for about a week. He was constantly trying to find out which lens to look through. I tried them on, for distance he was plano in one eye and a slight plus in the other, I guess a +1.50 add. He told me the lenses were probably "light weight". His way of saying they weren't real strong. I kind of hinted since he was using the bifocal a lot, he might need stronger lenses.

He hated the Crizal AR coating because of fingerprints. He said he was going to go back to have the lenses replaced with non AR.

When I saw him last week, I could see he had stronger lenses. Now it looks like he has a +1.00 for distance. I don't know if the doctor just rechecked the rx because he had to order new lenses, or he told him he needed a stronger rx. Whatever the case, he got a decent increase for just a few months.

john 02 Sep 2013, 13:28

Courtney , sounds like you need a stronger distance prescription(and maby a slight near corection).If your last prescription is less than 3 months old you can get the lenses changed free at most places.I would go back to the eye dr. and tell them your trouble.A re- exam is in order(it might not cost any thing) (i got both and lined and progressives glasses lined are much much better).You probably were under corected so it would be easier to adjust to the bifocals.It took me about 5 days to adjust.I never got reading glasses along with bifocals but did get lined computer glasses that help for long time computer use. Glad you like the lined bifocals and dont let any one change you to progressives.I went through the same thing you are going through and it might take a few prescriptions for your eyes to settle down then ther will be no more changes for a while.

Courtney 02 Sep 2013, 06:35

My full prescription is R +0.75 L +0.75 Add + 1.50 My reading glasses are R and L + 2.25 No astigmatism.

As for the lined bifocals I now like them fine. I did try the no-line in the store and I thought they were too distorted, that's why my husband wanted me get the kind with lines. I had no trouble with the flat top kind I see great. I did try a pair of +3.00 reading glasses in the pharmacy, I could read great, but could not see real far away with them. It made my distance blurry. I will go in for a new exam in the future to see if I need an adjustment.

Thanks for the help.

Slit 02 Sep 2013, 04:41

Agreed with neil..

Neil 01 Sep 2013, 23:16

It is certainly becoming less and less common. There must be good reasons for this to be so. I think pushing another person toward lined bifocals to satisfy one's 'desires' is a step too far.

Courtney, in case you still need a reading add (bifocals or progressives) after your next eye exam, please do yourself a favor and get the no-line progressive type based on your ECP's advice. There are now good quality lenses compared with a generation ago, which should work better for you than what you have now.

Slit 01 Sep 2013, 22:15

Hi Courtney,

Being 30 and having to wear bifocals is not strange. Regarding having to tip the head backwards, there is an option of getting a pair of glasses online with an intermediate prescription (e.g. if your full prescription is +2.5, then a little less for computer screen because it's further away than a book you read).

Do you have a component of astigmatism in the prescription?

lazysiow 01 Sep 2013, 11:46

Would definitely recommend another exam. Most likely you needed a stronger prescription to begin with but your eye doctor started you off weaker so you could ease into it. The most annoying thing is that most of them won't tell you this.

Cactus Jack 01 Sep 2013, 11:45


Welcome to the mysterious world of Latent (or hidden) Hyperopia. Unlike many eye conditions, hyperopia or farsightedness or long sightedness can sometimes be corrected by using some of your internal accommodation (auto-focus mechanism) without your even being aware of it.

You, like nearly everyone else in their 30s, are beginning to experience the effects of presbyopia, but because you were using most of your accommodation to correct your hyperopia there was not enough accommodation range left to enable you to comfortably focus close without either bifocals, progressives, or reading glasses. Presbyopia, which is caused by gradual stiffening of your crystalline lenses, actually starts in childhood, but typically does not become a nuisance until around the mid 30s or early 40s. People with uncorrected hyperopia often experience the effects of presbyopia at a MUCH earlier age than is typical, because they have used up their accommodation for focusing at distance, leaving nothing extra for focusing close.

Now for some good news. Your doctor and your husband actually did you a favor by prescribing bifocals and insisting that you wear them and or your reading glasses. Your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses (your auto-focus mechanism) have been allowed to gradually relax by wearing your external plus help at your bifocals or your reading glasses even for distance.

The really good news is that you are either there or nearly there in correcting your latent hyperopia and you have recovered enough of your accommodation to enable you use your remaining accommodation to be able to read and also see pretty clearly at distance by using your single vision reading glasses, full time. You didn't mention your most recent prescription for your reading glasses, but I suspect it is about +2.25 or perhaps +2.50 and it is very close to being stable. Once your hyperopia is fully corrected, your distance prescription will not change much for many years, but you will probably need an to go back to wearing an add again as presbyopia gradually does its thing. The good news there is that the ADD will probably never go much above +2.50 unless you like to read closer than 16 inches or 40 cm.

I hope this helps. You may want to consider another eye exam soon. Once your distance vision has stabilized, the amount of ADD you need is strictly determined by Sir Isaac Newton's laws of optics, how close you need to focus, and how much accommodation you have available.


Soundmanpt 01 Sep 2013, 11:41


You didn't say what the full prescription was for you bifocals or your reading glasses. That always helps. But even being only 30 it looks like another trip to the optometrists is in order. You probably shouldn't have started wearing your readers so much for anything except reading and close things. But your eyes may have changed anyway. It seems like from what your saying your glasses are still fine for reading but your distance has changed and the top segment now in your bifocals is too weak. That is why your looking through the add segment of your bifocals now to see in the distance. Next time you may want to not get readers and just stay with bifocals or progressives.

lazysiow 01 Sep 2013, 11:40

Yes Courtney, you can delay the inevitable by going with the weaker pair but because you are hyperopic (you wear "seeing close" glasses for distance) too, your eyes will adapt to them . Bifocals have always seemed like a pain to me so you might be able to get to a convenient pt where you just use the reading pair for both and while reading wouldn't be as crisp things would still be functional. There is up to about a +1.00 tolerance for reading as most people including me have found out ;) where you won't necessarily *need* need them.

If you were presbyopic (wearing them just for reading) then your eyes would not adapt to them for distance. 30 is young but pretty much the start of it. I'm 33 now and can still go without but my reading prescription has hit that +1.00 range and it's an obvious slippery slope from there getting closer to 40

lazysiow 01 Sep 2013, 11:40

Yes Courtney, you can delay the inevitable by going with the weaker pair but because you are hyperopic (you wear "seeing close" glasses for distance) too, your eyes will adapt to them . Bifocals have always seemed like a pain to me so you might be able to get to a convenient pt where you just use the reading pair for both and while reading wouldn't be as crisp things would still be functional. There is up to about a +1.00 tolerance for reading as most people including me have found out ;) where you won't necessarily *need* need them.

If you were presbyopic (wearing them just for reading) then your eyes would not adapt to them for distance. 30 is young but pretty much the start of it. I'm 33 now and can still go without but my reading prescription has hit that +1.00 range and it's an obvious slippery slope from there getting closer to 40

Courtney 01 Sep 2013, 10:15

I received my first glasses +.075 in both eye,s which I wore constantly since I got them. Six months later my husband said I was holding things far away to read and made me an appointment to go back to the doctor.(I think he is one of you. He showed me this site.) I felt I needed to wear glasses all the time even though they were not very strong. they made everything very clear.

I didn,t think I needed stronger glasses but my husband insisted. After the exam the doctor told me I need to start wearing bifocals at 30 years old. She gave me an add of plus 1.50. We went to Lenscrafters to get new glasses, they had a two for one special. We got one pair of reading glasses and 1 pair of bifocals. My husband wanted me to get the kind with line in them, said they were better. I wanted the no-line kind so no one would know, but I relented to his wishes. It was fine, even though people do notice the line. I see great and can't read my phone without them now at all and wear them all the time.

I have lately resorted to wearing my reading glasses at work they are working better than my bifocals in my cubicle.

Things a little further away are now clearer with my reading glasses. I even forgot I had them on and wore them to lunch. Distance things were just a little blurry,I could even read the menu board on the wall with them on, I could not do that when I first got them.

I don't want to tell my husband, he will want me to get a new exam and stronger glasses. I feel I have done this by trying the reading glasses at work. I have since reverted back to bifocals, but are having problems trying always to tip my head back to look through the bottom part. Will this get me back to where I was before? I should not need another increase in my prescription in just a year. Slowly my distance vision has improved wearing my reading glasses at work to the point I feel I could do away with my bifocals. Is that wise? I should not have these problems at my age. Am I doomed to stronger glasses? Thanks for the comments.

Asdoo 01 Sep 2013, 03:34

They would be too strong. An add just makes your prescription more positive. Your add is +1.50 so your reading prescription is actually sph -1.00 cyl -0.25. You could just take off your glasses for reading if you wanted to.

newlyadded 31 Aug 2013, 23:59

Hi Just got a new prescription.

r-sph 2.50 cyl -0.25 l sph -2.50 cyl -0.25 ADD 1.50

Want to get Bi-focals/Multifocals at some point but not immediately.

If I were to get off the shelf reading glasses should I get +1.50 readers to swap with my distance glasses or would these be too strong.

I thought I could read small print fine until I was given a better option during my test!

I am 46

Clare 27 Aug 2013, 01:45

Nichole - interesting that you say not wearing contacts anymore maybe different for your sister now she's married with kids. I read somewhere of someone who'd been told by their optician that she didn't need to bother with contacts anymore now that she was married!

Andrew 26 Aug 2013, 06:36

Yes, they did have toric contact lenses then; my first pair (back in 1983) were toric lenses, although I only had a little astigmatism, and when I changed optician (the old one had retired), I coped perfectly well with single vision contacts (which I have continued with, even though my astigmatism has increased again in recent years).

Nichole 25 Aug 2013, 16:51

Thanks, Soundmanpt.

Well, yes that seemed crystal clear, and from her new FB profile photo, she must be fine with it. She does look absolutely cute and very natural in them, a very modern look, with nice thin lenses, compared with the silly oversized frame with thick lenses I remember from our college days. Now that I think of it, she even looked into surgery when LASIK started getting popular, but there was some problem, and she was bummed. Maybe since she is older now, married with kids, things 'look different'.

I think you said you were an optician, so let me ask...

Did they have toric contacts 25 years ago? (Or, maybe her astigmatism wasn't as bad then. Certainly her near vision was not an issue back then...she could read super close!)

Do you see a lot of people return to glasses from contacts, with the kinds of vision changes my friend had? Or do they stick to their guns and continue wearing contacts no matter what?

Soundmanpt 25 Aug 2013, 15:41


Well really it could be either one or even the combination of both things. Toric lenses by most standards are often not easy to wear because they need to stay in the same position on the eye because of the astigmatism positioning. So they are weighted at the bottom, but as you can guess they still tend to move a little and in some cases don't even want to stay on. And with them also being bifocals that just makes bad even worse. My guess is your friend will be in glasses from now on.

Nichole 25 Aug 2013, 14:24

A close friend of mine, who earlier almost never wore her glasses--contacts nearly ALWAYS--is now in specs. I noticed a month or so ago that her FB profile now had her photo in glasses, but I didn't make much of it. Recently though, I stayed with her for a couple of days while my husband was at a conference in her area.

I remember back in college she literally would not go out and jsut stay home, if her contacts were bothering her! I think she even took a sick day off work when she lost them, when we had our first jobs out of school. Well, I don't really know her prescription, but IIRC she has always been quite nearsighted with astigmatism. Just from seeing her lenses now, clearly they are minus-progressive.

I asked what prompted her switch, and she kind of brushed it off, as if it wasn't a big deal, but her daughter overheard and told me later that her mom wasn't seeing as well as she should in toric contacts, that she needed bifocals, she couldn't adjust to monovision, etc, as openly as children say things they know. She is nearly 45, by the way.

So, is it the toric part, or the bifocal part of wearing contact lenses, or what--that makes them hard to wear, difficult to adjust to, not optimal for seeing, etc.?

Just wondering--thanks!

SaraG 24 Jun 2013, 17:23

I had a full work up not long ago, so I think it's just a combination of my normal fluctuations and my sensitivity to those changes.

Neil 24 Jun 2013, 15:02


Better to discuss these issues with the appropriate doctor (OD for vision, MD for everything else) who should be willing to address your concerns.

If not satisfied, seek a second opinion. Please update on how it goes.

Cactus Jack 24 Jun 2013, 13:15


After reading your post on the other thread about your symptoms, I got to wondering if my comment about doubting that diabetes could be a factor was a bit premature. Have you ever been checked for diabetes? It can sneak up on you. Often it is silent until things get really serious. The nature of blood glucose control problems is such that low blood glucose is pretty obvious with its symptoms of feeling weak and often having cold sweats. The symptoms can come on fast and they are usually easy to control by just eating something sweet or drinking a sugar sweetened beverage or orange juice.

High blood glucose usually comes on very slowly, sometimes days, and until it gets very high, there may be no manifest symptoms except blurry vision and maybe some lethargy. The tests are pretty simple, your immediate blood glucose can be checked with a finger prick, a tiny drop of blood, and about 10 seconds. The test for average blood glucose over the last 2 to 3 months is not quite as quick and easy. It is called an A1c test. It generally requires a larger blood sample and takes a few days to get results.

If the results are positive, diabetes today is nothing to fear like it used to be. In about 80% of Type 2 diabetes cases, it is managed with diet, exercise, and maybe some oral medications. The fact that I was prone to Type 2 Diabetes was found by accident when I was about 30. I have been managing mine for about 45 years now and it is just a mild necessary nuisance, but it does not keep me from doing almost anything I want to.


SaraG 24 Jun 2013, 10:11

Thanks, Cactus Jack. Between having kids and age, I never expected my eyes to stay the same forever. A decade is pretty long and I'm just happy I didn't have to deal with glasses while my kids were babies. Going back, I would choose to do it when I did, even knowing it wouldn't last.

Cactus Jack 24 Jun 2013, 09:21


Thanks for the suggestion. I think SaraG is getting more good advice than she probably can use as it is. The refractive characteristics of the eyes change over time. Some things change relatively fast and others take years. If they did not, we would not have to get new glasses very often.

Think of Lasik as a semi-permanent prescription that is generally reserved for people whose eye changes have mostly stabilized (e.g. Not for teens or younger). The changes she experienced are pretty small, but it is probably a lot more than she expected from Lasik. Regrettably, only Diamonds are Forever.

Even the prescription of people who have had cataract surgery with fixed focus IOLs changes a little over time. Usually in the cylinder and axis department, but also some in the sphere from several different causes. The most common cause of changes is the onset of Diabetes, which results in poor blood glucose control. Changes in blood glucose levels often cause the refractive index of the Humors to change through the day and many diabetics have several pairs of glasses with different sphere powers to keep VA as good as possible. Stability of the prescription is often a clue that the patient is or is not doing a good job of controlling their blood glucose levels. However, I doubt the changes SaraG is experiencing have anything to do with diabetes


Neil 24 Jun 2013, 00:10

@Cactus Jack

Wow. Thanks as always.

BTW, there is an interesting post-LASIK case being discussed on the Hyperopia Presbyopia forum. You might have some insight to add there as well.

Cactus Jack 23 Jun 2013, 19:00


Amplitude of Accommodation is the same thing as Accommodation Range. It is the total accommodation a person has from the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses fully relaxed to the closest a person can focus. In young children without other visual problems it can provide focus from infinity when fully relaxed up to about 7 cm (maybe even closer in some children) which would be about +14 to +15 diopters. As presbyopia gradually sets in and amplitude is decreased, it typically falls to about +10 diopters of amplitude by around 25 and +2 to +3 by around 40. However, remember everyone is different and presbyopia can become a problem at a significantly different age and in a different visual environment. Actual accommodation amplitude depends on not only the stiffness of the crystalline lens, but also the conditioning of the ciliary muscles. If the ciliary muscles cannot squeeze the crystalline lenses for any reason, they cannot change the near point focus.

Near point focus is the closest a person can focus and that distance depends on the refractive error in the eyeball / external lens system. Sir Isaac's optical formulas work all the time, everywhere.

For example, if a person has +5 diopters of hyperopia and an accommodation amplitude of 10 diopters, their near point focus would be 20 cm because their hyperopia used up 5 diopters of their accommodation to see clearly at infinity (20 feet or 6 meters for our purposes) and would only have 5 of the 10 left for near point focusing. If they were a few years older, their accommodation amplitude might fallen to say +2 or +3 and their distance focus would have become a bit fuzzy and their near point focus would have moved out to beyond arms length.

If their distance vision is corrected with external plus lenses, they might be able to get by a little longer without reading help, but not for long.


Neil 23 Jun 2013, 14:54

I agree with Matt's girlfriend's optician's recommendations (lots of apostrophes, I know) about the digital custom progressive lenses. They are expensive, but totally, totally worth it.

On another note, a question for Cactus Jack:

What is the relation between amplitude of accommodation and nearpoint?

(thanks in advance, hope you don't mind)

timmy 20 Jun 2013, 13:44

Short progressives update. Wear them fulltime and love them. Today was the first time I could not read small print through the distance segment at all, I tried really hard but the letters did not come into focus. Most of the time the add is optional, though, but in some occassions it seems necessary. I still from time to time wear my bifocals too, though, I enjoy the slightly stronger reading add very much. I don't want to spoil my eyes, though, so i only wear them occassionally, the +1 add is just fine, the +1,75 bifocals are pure luxury. :-)

Cactus Jack 12 Jun 2013, 11:51


Glad you like them. The distance part of your prescription tends to slightly minify things and then the + add magnifies them slightly. The crispness is caused by the cylinder and axis part of your prescription as it corrects your mild astigmatism.

After you have worn them a few days, let us know if you notice any difference in fatigue level after a days work.


timmy 12 Jun 2013, 08:49

got my new progressives. they're great, my eyes felt home immediately. strange: looking through the add seems bigger and crisper than bare-eyed although the add is just the inversed distance in diopters. i loved them from the second i put them on and will surely wear them fulltime.

Cactus Jack 11 Jun 2013, 20:50


It sounds to me like the pharmacy just had a limited selection. It is probably not a big item for them. Most places I know that sell non-prescription readers have +1.25 to +3.50 in 0.25 increments. A few even have +1.00,

I don't think it is either art or science. Most people who have acceptable distance vision, but are having trouble focusing close, like to be able to choose the minimum power they can get by with, so they like lots of choices. Most people would do just fine with 0.50 increments by simply selecting a little higher power than they can get by with.

It is fun to watch people whose arms have become too short trying on various power readers without the least knowledge about optics, how the eyes work, or how glasses work. It is sometimes tempting to offer help, but I doubt it would be received well, so I just watch from a discrete distance.


Matt 11 Jun 2013, 20:28

Cactus Jack,

As far as wearing goes, at almost minus 4, she needs full time correction. Based on what her optician said, adjustment should not be too difficult because of the quality of the lenses. Let's see what actually happens.

Now, a related question. I was in the pharmacy waiting in line. Next to me were nonprescription reading glasses. I noticed that they went in increments of 0.5 (+1.00, +1.50, +2.00, etc.), meaning that that a number of 0.25 steps were skipped. Are 0.50 increments sufficient, or do 0.25 increments make a real difference in patients?

Really, I'm just wondering how much science vs. art there is in coming up with reading prescriptions/adds.

Cactus jack 11 Jun 2013, 00:12


The nice thing is that there are vision correction solutions to fit almost any budget, any psychological need, and any level of skill or experience with things optical. Regrettably, some vision problems do not have the flexibility of a full range of solutions, but at least most problems can be satisfactorily solved.

Thank you for keeping up posted. Please let us know how she gets on with the glasses when they arrive. She should expect there to be a period of adjustment while she learns to use the benefits her glasses provide. She may initially be inclined to avoid wearing them if she can, however that is very counter productive. She should follow the recommendations of her Eye Care Professionals and I suspect they will suggest a couple of weeks of full time wear before making any decisions on when to wear her glasses.


Matt 10 Jun 2013, 22:29

Cactus Jack, thanks again for the quick reply and my apologies for responding late (crazy weekend).

My girlfriend is a re-entry college student as of January this year. I suppose it did not work for her the first time around, and after a couple of years she entered the so-called real world. I would stress that her near work demands only really have come up since she became a student again. Prior to that, she pursued the performing arts, taught yoga, worked sometimes as a barista and waitress to supplement her inherited funds--none of which involved much near work. I guess this re-entry into student life has revealed something about her eyes.

The new glasses probably should arrive next week. They are supposedly digital customized progressive lenses. I think Zeiss is the manufacturer. She went with the optician's recommendations from past experience.

Now as an aside I must say that the expense of frames and lenses can be a deterrent to wearing glasses. I guess my girlfriend is an extreme case in terms of spending. But my hairdresser is one example who quit glasses (a younger person with basic single vision lenses) for LASIK because of the cost of them--even with insurance--not because she hated glasses.

Just something for people on this site to consider.

Cactus Jack 10 Jun 2013, 15:38


I guess I was not clear and I apologize. You don't want to wear more add than you need to function. I was trying to explain the optical and physiological processes involved in focusing to help you understand how they work. It is easy to get very comfortable with having some (and eventually all) the focusing work done for your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses, it is almost addictive.

Often people with low minus prescriptions will take off their glasses to focus close, but the problem is that a low minus sphere prescription means that you have built in "reading glasses" already and by doing that your ciliary muscles don't get as much exercise as they should to stay in condition. Wearing the +1.75 readers just reduces the amour of exercise your ciliary muscles get even more. You are right that it will not be very many years before presbyopia gets you, Unfortunately, getting your ciliary muscles back in shape is not much different than any other muscle building program and there could be some pain involved, like headaches. No matter what sphere or add you decide to wear, you still need the astigmatism correction for best functionality and comfort.

May I ask what prompted you to get the exam that resulted in the prescribed add?


timmy 10 Jun 2013, 14:34

@cactus jack: i understand, but why would i wanna force my eyes to need more add? i mean, soon enough i'll need much more reading help anyways, am i wrong? i just don't feel the rush to urge my eyes into not being able to focus on their own with 30, as that'll happen in a bunch of years anyways...

Cactus jack 10 Jun 2013, 05:24


Often, young children who are hyperopic develop over convergence problems where their eyes try to converge too much (cross) when they try to focus close. The solution for the hyperopia is plus glasses and bifocals with even more plus minimize the focusing effort and the tendency for the eyes to over converge. He will probably grow out of the problem in a year or two if that is what is going on.

In the long run, at that age, it is probably a better solution than prism or surgery if the problem is "simple" over convergence. I suspect their ECP decided to try the bifocals to see if they worked before resorting to a more drastic approach. It is a low risk approach. I'll bet they noticed the problem because his eyes were trying to cross.


As a professional writer, I suspect you spend a lot of time on a computer and the additional plus would be very helpful for working distances of 22.5 inches / 57 cm or less. However, you need to be aware that the more + add you have, the less your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses have to work and exercise to focus close. The result is de-conditioning of the ciliary muscles which, in turn, requires a stronger add up to that required by working distance. The +1.00 add would be called a functional bifocal to help you in your work and still let your ciliary muscles be active. The +1.75 does a significant part of the work or even all of it, depending on the distance from your eyes to the display. If you get a chance, you might measure the distance from your eyes to the computer display and let me know what it is.


timmy 10 Jun 2013, 03:56

cactus jack, thank you for the response. i work aa a writer for various magazines. +1,00 should be the sufficient add accordung to my doc, +1,75 is great but more optional than needed, plus i don't want to force more add with 30. Progressives, as you say, are perfect for social occasions, 70% of the time i dont mind people noticing my bifocal lines, bur during meetings and other occasions I really don't want them, still i wanna be able to see all distances.

Julian 10 Jun 2013, 03:49

An unusual sighting in church yesterday. There was a baby baptized during Mass, and a lot of strangers. In the party was the baby's brother, a lively kid of 5 or 6 at the most, wearing glasses with plus lenses and the fancy temples that seem to be the current fashion. While we were milling around over coffee afterwards I was amazed to see that his glasses were BIFOCALS, D-section I think. I've seen school kids in bifocals before, even right back in my own schooldays, but never anyone as young as that. Any ideas about what could cause accommodative insufficiency at that age? The problem must have manifested itself as soon as he tried to learn to read. Neither parent wore glasses by the way, but of course one or both of them might has had contacts.

Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2013, 18:21


OK, but I can only base my opinion on my experience. The reason I did not want to offer my opinion is that I did not want to influence what is a very personal choice, that depends on your visual environment. Everyone is different and I deeply respect that your choices are yours. The neat thing is that there are such excellent choices.

I think you will not be satisfied with the lower add. It was a long time ago, but I also had accommodation problems in my late teens and early 20s (a bit younger than you are), but I was doing a lot of reading and close work. I started with +1.00 lined bifocals (before progressives) and by the time I was 30, I needed a +1.75 ADD. At that time I was involved in work that involved working with blueprints that were Engineering D size, 22 x 34 inches. By the time you got them laid out on a table, the top of the drawings, where there was some text, was about 30 inches away. Too close for my distance prescription and too far for my bifocals. My choice was to either crawl up on the table or get trifocals. The Dr. nearly had kittens over the idea that a 30 YO needed trifocals, but I promised only to wear them for work. Before long, I decided that I preferred them and I didn't care what anyone else thought. By the time I was 35, I was wearing +2.50 trifocals full time and several colleagues saw how easy it was for me to deal with focusing at all distances and got trifocals also. FYI, most trifocals have intermediate segments that are 1/2 the reading segment, but other values are available.

Later, I tried progressives, mostly out of curiosity, and decided that the larger intermediate fixed focus segment in trifocals was extremely useful and never considered progressives again. Frankly, they were not nearly as good as they are now.

I think the decision about what kind of glasses to wear depends very much on the situation, your preferences, and your occupation. At your age, progressives may be very useful in social situations, but I think you will quickly decide to get at least +1.75 add. +1.75 works for a lot of situations as long as you have some accommodation to work with. Also, I don't think you really need different adds in each eye.

May I ask where you live and your occupation?


timmy 09 Jun 2013, 17:06

cactus, please say your opinion. i wanted new glasses anyway, I am not offended and instead of single vision i ordered progs.


Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2013, 16:34


I have an opinion about the progressives, but I think I will wait until you get them and wear them for a few days before I offer it. Please keep us posted.


timmy 09 Jun 2013, 11:50

Still waiting for my progressives to arrive, in the meantime have been wearing my bifocals (-1,25 add 1,75 - which is 0,75 more add than in my regular prescription but I cope well) almost always. I am amazed by the clarity when I am looking close up with the add. I love it and I can't wait for the progressives. I will keep wearing the lined bifocals though at various occasions, I love the way they feel on my eyes, how they make things so easy (even looking close at my GF's face upclose is MUCH clearer through the reading segment).

I hope it's not a problem wearing a stronger add and then going back to a weaker one, but I think it's far better to start progressive wear with a +1 add as the change and the getting used should be a lot smoother.

How do you think my add will develop ? 30 now.

GreginColo 08 Jun 2013, 23:02

Julian and Erik; thanks for the links to be able to retrieve the stimulating MIG stories from Bobby's site. THX, Greg.

Julian 08 Jun 2013, 19:54

Try - Bobby's home page can't be reached, but the contents of his site can! erik posted bookmarks for the various pages at

Revolver 08 Jun 2013, 13:39

There was an excellent story written by Dieter and posted on Bobby's old site called Addison's Add. It starts with her at her eye doctor (a female), Addison is portrayed as a younger double digit myope who needed an add, she didn't adjust to the progressives very well and came back and got flat tops for work etc. Well written albeit somewhat sensuous describing adaptation by a young person. Unfortunately it's not available but perhaps someone out there has it cached and could provide the link?

Soundmanpt 08 Jun 2013, 11:33


Your already getting great advice from Cactus Jack about your girlfriends eyes. Like he said predicting how much your girlfriends eye will change is really very hard to say and many things enter into to it. For one thing you didn't say how much longer she is in college and with all the reading and strain that is very important. I'm sure she was somewhat in shock when she went for her eye exam and was told she needed bifocals or progressives? At one time that seemed to be only prescribed to someone much older, but now with so much strain such as loads of reading in school and even all the hand held devices such as I-Phones and the like it is not nearly so rare for someone in their early 20's to need extra help for reading.

Even though like Cactus Jack said the lined bifocal gives a bigger reading area, being 25 i'm sure she doesn't really want the world to know she is wearing bifocals. With progressives no one but her will know she is wearing glasses with an add and her glasses should look every bit as good as what she is wearing now. Nice that she can afford the very best for lenses as well as frames.

Since she just ordered them and probably won't get them for a week or so I will give a caution to you to pass along to her which is very important. Tell her to be extremely careful on steps both going up and down as her vision will be greatly altered from what she is used to seeing through her current glasses. And she should use even more care if she often wears heels as that only makes it more dangerous. The only secret I have for her is to NOT LOOK DOWN when she is on steps. But it shouldn't take long for her eyes to adjust to having an add and she will soon really love her progressives.

Will you be giving updates as to how she is doing with her new glasses when she gets them?

Cactus Jack 07 Jun 2013, 21:47


I will make a SWAG and say a year. Actually, there many be an advantage to starting at +1.75. She does not have very far to go until she reaches the typical ADD limit.

The laws of optical physics say that lens power to focus at a given distance can be calculated by the following formula. Lens Power = 100 cm/focus distance or 39.37/focus distance, depending on the units you prefer. The vast majority of people read at 40 cm or 16 inches. If you do the math, you get +2.50. Some people like to read closer and wind up preferring a bit more ADD. I like to read in bed and wear a +3.00 add. If your GF reads at 40 cm/16 inches, she needs +2.50 to focus. With a +1.75 add, her ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses supply the extra +0.75. How soon she will need more add depends primarily on two factors. Her genetic makeup and the condition (strength) of her ciliary muscles, but how much add she ultimately needs depends on the focus distances involved.

May I ask what she is studying and how much close work she does?


Matt 07 Jun 2013, 20:07

Cactus Jack, again thanks for the insight. She's made her purchase; I went with her for the final go-around. I was afraid the salesgirl/optician would question or comment on the progressive lens aspect, which would have upset my girlfriend (she's fairly sensitive) but luckily this didn't happen. Above the $1000 threshold as I guessed. Now for a final question: how long might this prescription last? How regularly would her reading prescription increase?

(I know this is impossible to predict, but please read on...)

AFAIK, when people start needing reading help in their 40s, say at +1.00 or +1.25, typically the add increases every couple of years or so over 10 or more years. However here we have a case of someone starting at age 25 with a fairly high number of +1.75. Just wondering whether this is likely to remain stable or increase regularly.

Cactus Jack 06 Jun 2013, 07:47


Best wishes. Please let us know how you get on with the progressives and if you decide you would like to order glasses on line and want some help, let us know. Also, if you decide you would like to order some low cost single vision reading glasses online and need help with the prescription, let us know.


timmy 06 Jun 2013, 06:28

I have decided that I will buy myself progressives. Even if the add just inverses my distance prescription, I'd love to have a pair of glasses to wear while reading. The lined bifocals are great and a bunch of friends have seen me in them, but with 30 I do not want to wear them fulltime. Parttime's alright, at home and around town, but for work and going out I'd rather have progressives.

I could do without glasses but love the comfort they are bringing.

Julian 06 Jun 2013, 01:49

That's right Cactus. I've had those Rodenstock progressives (in Rodenstock frames too) nearly six years, and they still give me better vision for using my iPhone than anything I've got since including Nikon.

Cactus Jack 06 Jun 2013, 00:51


Must be nice. If cost is not a factor, Zeiss, Rodenstock, and Varilux are the top brands of progressive lenses. I believe the US Air Force prefers Varilux for pilots who need focusing help. I am really not up to speed on progressives. I tried them a few years ago after years of wearing trifocals and decided I really liked trifocals for the very sharp intermediate segment.

Maybe some other members could comment. I think Julian had some Rodensotck progressives that he liked very much. Julian wears a plus prescription and plus or minus could make a difference.

If she pays for top quality lenses, be sure she gets them.


Matt 06 Jun 2013, 00:14

Cactus Jack, first of all thanks for your quick and informative reply.

Well as of earlier today she is convinced that just maybe, it's a good idea to get the progressive lenses. I told her that I noticed she needed need extra light to read--and we did another 'test' using a medicine bottle in a dark hallway (comparing her with me...I am nearsighted myself). I was thinking she should really get the new specs by the end of the month when summer session starts.

Thanks also for the Zenni suggestion, but unfortunately she is a hardcore fashionista, and her spending on high-end brands reflects that--including glasses. (She has the bank account to support her lifestyle and to boot, she now has no rent to pay.) Her current glasses (SV high index) cost around $600, she says. My understanding is that progressive lenses are super-expensive. Do you or does anyone recommend a particular lens brand or model?

She absolutely will get new frames, so this could be a >$1000 project. Well, at least she will see better. Let's see how this works out...

Cactus Jack 05 Jun 2013, 13:52


The only problem with increasing the reading add is that under normal circumstances, it helps to de-condition the ciliary muscles. However, in your situation, where you seem to have some Accommodative Esophoria and your eyes try to converge or cross with focusing effort, a stronger add might be helpful and a beneficial trade off. The resulting de-conditioning being accepted to minimize the need for prism.

In multifocal glasses, the first thing is to correct your distance vision, then the amount of add needed to focus close is based on Sir Isaac Newton's optical formulas where the amount of add is strictly based on the distance from your eyes to the focus plane. For example, if you need to focus at 40 cm or 16 inches, which is typical reading distance, you need +2.50 from somewhere. If you still have good accommodation, all of the +2.50 can come from your ciliary muscles and crystalline lens. However, as you gradually loose accommodation you need more external help. If you wear an add of +1.75, your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses need to supply +0.75 to total +2.50 to focus at 16 inches. If you need or like to focus closer you will need more than +2.50. I like to read in bed and I find +3.00 or +3.25 more comfortable. The formula is 100 cm / distance or 39.37 inches / distance depending on the units of measure you prefer. The add will never go higher than that needed to focus at the preferred reading distance. If you do a lot of reading or close work, you might find single vision prescription reading glasses useful.


timmy 05 Jun 2013, 09:36

Thank you so much for your reply, Cactus Jack. The doc said I have accomodation issues and the add will also help not to cross my eyes. The bifocals I am wearing now (ordered them last month with the premonition something's going on) are -1,25 add +1,75 and I enjoy and easily cope with the magnification, that's why I thought about bumping my add a little as it is even more comfortable than reading without glasses. Is that reasonable thing to do?

Do you think my add will get higher in the next years? The thing is, on the one hand I don't wanna spend much on progressives, on the other hand I enjoy my crispdistance vision (and don't feel good being outside without it).

Is there harm in using a stronger add? I wouldn't wear lined bifocals much in social life, but for work and being at home they are greatly comfortable!

Cactus Jack 05 Jun 2013, 09:22


In the prescription you were given, the reading segment (the ADD) just neutralizes the distance sphere correction. All that remains is your small cylinder correction for very mild astigmatism.

I would try reading and doing intermediate work without your glasses or even with some very low power OTC readers in the under +1.50 range and see how you like them.

However, even low astigmatism can cause visual discomfort, particularly for reading. You can try some glasses with only your cylinder and axis correction at very low cost from Zenni Optical. Depending on frame, single vision glasses start at US$6.95 plus shipping. For this purpose, you don't really need a designer frame or any lens options.

Ultimately, I think you need to consider another exam by a different examiner. In the meantime, check some posts on techniques for getting the most accurate cylinder and axis prescription. A lot depends on your skills. It is a very subjective part of the exam.


timmy 05 Jun 2013, 07:30

Went to the optician today and was prescribed Bifocals. I'm 30 and mildly myopic, I have realized though that my eyes struggle focussing and sometimes even turn inwards.

my prescription:

-1,25 / 0,25 / 80 / add 1,25

-1,00 / 0,25 80 / add 1,00

The doctor said that I could only take off my glasses to read, but as I write a lot and have to see all distances progressives would be good. I have already ordered a pair of lined bifocals (with a slightly higher add) for trying it out a while ago and like them a lot, although I will also try out progressives (as I like bifocals, but for social activities I don't necessarily need the line).

I hope progressives will be fine. Do you think I should buy them or just take of my glasses to read?

Cactus Jack 04 Jun 2013, 23:04


Your GF could certainly see another Eye Care Professional, but I suspect the verdict would be very nearly the same. Between her myopia and astigmatism, she needs glasses for good vision at all distances. She could probably get toric contact lenses, but the doctor is right, they can be hard to fit comfortably and often more trouble than they are worth.

The thing that is probably causing her headaches is most likely early onset of presbyopia. The idea that presbyopia does not cause problems until around 40 is a myth. It is true that it usually waits until around 40, but presbyopia actually starts in childhood and it can become a problem even in the early teens depending on a persons genetic makeup. Some very lucky souls don't need close focusing help until their 60s, but they are very rare.

More than anything, she probably dreads the idea of lined bifocals. For a person that does a lot of reading or close work, lined bifocals are often better because of the wider field of view and lack of edge distortion in the reading segment, but there is another possible solution. Progressive or no-line bifocals and a pair of single vision prescription reading glasses for extended periods of reading. Both can be ordered at reasonable cost online.

You have everything you need except Pupillary Distance (PD) and that is easily measured. I suggest you check out Zenni Optical's offerings. I would suggest ordering a pair of low cost no line bifocals with minimal options using the prescription you provided. The purpose of theses glasses is to see if they help solve the problem. If they do, then order some with nicer frames and perhaps anti-reflective coatings and higher index lenses. If she wants to try the prescription single vision reading glasses, they can be really inexpensive from Zenni. Depending on the frame, US$7.00 plus shipping. The prescription for the reading glasses would be:

right eye: -1.75 -1.00 110

left eye: -2.00 -0.75 65

The PD would be 3 mm less than the distance PD in the progressive Rx.

Let us know if you don't understand or need help.


Matt 04 Jun 2013, 21:05

Hi, I need some eye advice regarding my girlfriend who is very angry and upset right now. She is 25, a student, and after months of complaining about headaches, she went to the eye doctor yesterday upon my suggestion. The result: the dreaded multifocal lenses. What the doctor told her (repeating what she told me) was that her eyes are working too hard and she needs some help to focus close. She is blaming me sending her, she is blaming me for the outcome, and she is blaming me for a future of feeling old, having potential difficulty with contacts, etc. (Her doctor told her that while contacts are definitely possible, they could take some work in getting fit and working comfortably. Now the irony is that she hasn't actually worn contacts in months--the exam didn't include contact-lens fitting.)

So, I have to ask whether it is worth getting a second opinion. Looking at her prescription, I can't imagine that the doctor prescribed her just for the heck of it. The reading part is pretty strong. Just last week we went to a restaurant where she had to move the candle on our table closer to her so she could read her menu. (I had no such problem.) By the way, her prescription is:

right eye: -3.50 -1.00 110 add +1.75

left eye: -3.75 -0.75 65 add +1.75

Mr Jules 14 Apr 2013, 15:36

Well, I've been wearing my varifocals full time now for six weeks. Taken to wearing them very well indeed. The other night, they got wet in the rain as I wads cycling home. When I got in, I switched to my old single vision distance pair. It was odd not being able to see close up stuff clearly. So I was glad when my varifocals dried up and was able to wear them again !

Wish I had started using wearing varifocals earlier on. Better late than never !

Cactus Jack 10 Mar 2013, 16:45


Her mind is made up and she is not going to let anyone confuse her with the facts about wearing the dreaded BIFOCALS. Wearing bifocals seems to have the same effect on some people as a Wooden Stake had to Dracula. Something to be avoided at all costs.


lion 10 Mar 2013, 15:51

although my wife had the previous prescription for distance she only had the prescription filled for reading, however lately she was getiing fed up of taking glasses off and on and so she went for a new pair with reading bottom and plain top solely for work purposes it was only after the test that she was advised to have the full prescription filled as it was advised that she was a little farsighted and would benefit when driving.she wore her new glasses sparingly for a couple of days and now says there is not enough difference to wear full time.

Aubrac 10 Mar 2013, 05:17


Some women can find that at a certain time of the month, they have a higher degree of water retention which may cause a temporary reshaping of the eyeball and reduce the need for plus glasses correction.

This happened when my wife had a very low plus prescription and she wouldn't wear her glasses for a week or so, then go back to wearing them.

Your wifes old glasses are for distance and reading and so what problem did she have with them that made her go for a retest? Has she been wearing them full time, because this is the only way to get used to bi/varifocals.

specs4ever 08 Mar 2013, 08:15

I don't know what others are reading from Lion's original post, but to me it is clear as can be.

Old script is: OD+0.75 x -0.25 x 30 and OS +0.75 with a near add of +1.75 and an itermediate add of +1.00

New script is OD +0.50 OS + 0.50 with an add of +1.50

Bit of a waste of money buying these glasses Lion. Just get her a pair of +2.00D over the counter readers

lion 08 Mar 2013, 00:02

thanks for reply the prescriptions given are exactly whats on the sheet, her prescription for last year did not have any other details for the axis and this years prescription from a different optomotrist seems vague with only the sphere and add as reported our main query is that because we didnt buy glasses from the shop did they give us the full details. we do have the pd numbers from where we bought a basic pair with health fund rebate

Soundmanpt 06 Mar 2013, 18:24


For one thing your missing the axis for her left eye. Also in order to order her glasses on line she needs her PD measurement.

Soundmanpt 06 Mar 2013, 18:21


i will try to help but I am not sure what your asking? Are you wanting to use her old prescription or her new one? But if her new one she isn't happy with will that be of any use?

Also please write her prescription just as it is on her script sheet.

lion 06 Mar 2013, 17:40

i posted a couple of questions on march 1st can someone of knowledge please explain as we wish to buy glasses from zenni but do not fully understand what to fill for the correct prescription and are we better off using the previous script from a year ago thanks again

LT Lurker 05 Mar 2013, 17:44

Hi MT,

Interesting recent post of yours, I'd be interested in what your wifes rx actually is



Mr Jules 05 Mar 2013, 17:16

SC, shame you've had a poor experience with your transition lenses. Been wearing my varifocals all day long now for the last 3 days. Adapting to them well. May be I've been lucky, but find these transitions adjust quickly.

I agree with you: even in the UK regular daylight they darken. But I do not mind that.

SC 04 Mar 2013, 06:12

Mr Jules & others,

Just about had enough of my Transitions

1) they are always dark - not just sun but in any daylight they tend to darken - and I've decided I don't like that as you look a bit odd constantly wearing sunglasses on an overcast day

2) they take a long time to clear - v quick to go dark, but slow to clear, so if you are going in and out of dark shops it is a pain

3) they don't work for driving

4) they are not so good near the equator - absolutely black in a UK winter reflecting off the snow, or when the sun is lower in the sky, but in equatorial areas they never seem to get so dark. Whether this is the angle of the sun I don't know

I won't be getting them next time!!

Mr Jules 03 Mar 2013, 06:56

Went for my first bicycle ride with new varifocals. Still a bit tricky learning to target my vision through the right part of the lenses. But getting better all the time. In daylight, the transitions work well. I think they change faster than my previous single vision distance pair.

Overall, I think the eyes, brain and varifocals all work together to provide the optimum vision.

Soundmanpt 02 Mar 2013, 18:35

Yeah! that is why i always warn people about that as I have seen many be disappointed when they really wanted them mostly for driving and like you say they don't do well for that. I really think when they run their ads on TV they should come out and even say not recommended for sunglasses for driving. the only clue is that none of the ads ever show anyone driving a car but many don't think about that when they are purchasing them. I am glad that now many of the optical shops tell me they do tell their patients that they are not very good for driving as sunglasses.

And of course for anyone that doesn't drive they are excellent for other outdoor uses.

John S 02 Mar 2013, 18:27

I have a few pairs of new AO progressive standard transition lenses (not xtra active). They turn dark outside almost instantly. They are useless for sunglasses while driving. When you get in the car, they start getting lighter, and end up with almost no tint. But they are really cool outside.

Mr Jules 02 Mar 2013, 16:08


So far, only worn them in the house. Tomorrow, will be wearing outside. So will see how well the transitions work. Like so many others here in London, don't drive.

Still getting the hang of wearing them. Starting to learn how to dip the eyes or tilt the head to make the best use of the lower reading lens strength.

Soundmanpt 02 Mar 2013, 14:35

Mr. Jules

Just curious but how do you like your new transitions that you got put into your glasses? I only ask because I know that they claim to have come out with a better version of them to make them change a little better for driving. In the past that has been a problem with them due to the UV in your car windshield.

Mr Jules 02 Mar 2013, 13:27

Got the varifocals and wearing them now. I can see the immediate benefit of using them. Nice to switch between distance and close up without changing glasses. It's a bit tricky finding a sweet spot when using the PC. And there's distortion, too. But I'm sure I'll adapt to them quickly. They also have transition lenses, so double up sunglasses, too.

varifocals 02 Mar 2013, 07:37

I feel a bit giddy when I take mine off & wear full time. I have plus varifocals & a pair of perscribed +4.25 for computer use.

Aubrac 02 Mar 2013, 06:35


Thanks for that. I think your description of a 'spacy kind of far-away look' describes much better how she seems after taking her glasses off.

Your point is interesting in that hyperopes maybe do tend to focus on infinity without glasses whereas the reverse is possibly true of myopes.

Maybe this is all conjecture and there is some informed opinion out there?

Macrae 01 Mar 2013, 21:08

Aubrac, when I first got progressives and was getting acclimated, at first I saw things warped, or as bulgy parallelograms, when I was wearing the glasses - and then as things started to look normal with the glasses I got the same effect with my bare eyes when I'd take off the glasses. But all of that lasted no more than 4 or 5 days. After that I could put the glasses on or off and I didn't get distortion either way - so I think the brain learns both states. So I doubt your wife is experiencing distortion every time she takes off her glasses.

I do kind of feel that I'm staring off into space when I take off my glasses. I think that's pretty normal for a farsighted person - there's a spacy kind of faraway look. But I'm not experiencing any distortion - it's just that the natural point that my eyes settle on is in the distance.

lion 01 Mar 2013, 17:38

cjack can you please explain, last march my wife was given a prescription r sph +0.75 cyl -0.25 near add 1.75 axis 30 inter add 1.00 l sph + 0.75 near add 1.75 inter add 1.00 she used these glasses for computer and reading, last week went for an eye test and came back with new r +0.50 left +0.50 add 1.50 she was advised to wear these for distance especially driving (night) we went elsewhere for glasses and these are the details she was given.she got a pair for now and wears them occassionally and says the vision is not really better if only slightly, the prescription seems vague and we want to order a pair from zenni what do we ask for the optician did say that her muscles are straining and the distance part of her glasses will help.

Aubrac 28 Feb 2013, 08:31


I was interested in what you said about how things now look when you take your glasses off.

My wife has been full time since she got progressives about six months ago with about +2 and +2 add, and apart from a short time fixing breakfast is hardly ever without them.

On the few occasions she takes them off for cleaning, her eyes have a strange sort of hazy look, and she seems pleased when they are back on - it is usual for most people to experience this sort of distortion, as it may be reason she does have to wear her glasses all the time now.

astigmaphile 27 Feb 2013, 18:56


You will have to ask someone with more knowledge of lesesw than me. You have a whopping amount of anisometropia between your eyes. Since this can cause amblyopia in the eye with higher refractive errors, how well do you see out of it?

james 27 Feb 2013, 17:30

This i my new prescription


OD - Right +1.25 0.00 0 +2.50

OS - Left +6.00 +5.25 136 +2.50

will my left lens be thick like a plus 11.25 as they are both plus the sph and cyl

this is a big change

yogi the bear 26 Feb 2013, 15:15

Jamie 32

I think I was 28 or 29 when I first got bifocals was determined I did not need then but not totally surprised when I did

had been getting eye strain for a few months (new job lots more close work) sister said you need bifocals like mine so one eye exam later and one pair bifocals on order

when I first got them I could read without them if needed but soon got used to the comfort of less eye strain when wearing them

like I said not a great surprise my mum had bifocals as for back as I can remember. my older sister also got them at about 28 my younger sister managed to put it of till her early 30s

there seems to be a family history of poor /little focusing ability between distances and near and we all had a lazy eye as kids I have a picture of my first day at school my mum in the middle heavily pregnant my older sister on one side holding her hand my sister wearing dark brown plastic NHS glasses with a black eye patch under a frosted lens with me on the other side with identical NHS glasses but with patch and frosted lens on the other side

I wear progressives at home or out and about and bifocals (flat top 35)at work

hope that helps

having a bit of trouble myself recently with ghosting /double vision with a slightly in turning right eye after reading for about 15 minutes for more information or any help anyone can give I posted

on the VISION thread 22nd Feb 18:54

Jamie32 26 Feb 2013, 12:26


Do you remember how old when got bifocals and why did doctor recommend?

Read you talking about functionality, so just curious as to a little more of the story.


yogi the bear 26 Feb 2013, 05:33

When I first got progressives I had no trouble getting used to then after the first few hours it all seemed to be natural but I was under 30 at the time and with my +1 add I was just getting a weaker minus prescription in the near section or what I had 5/10 years before for distance and my add was at the time more functional then required

my current progressives ($60 from zennioptical) are fine using my 15in laptop but for work with A3 and larger drawings I use d35 flat fop bifocals and my add still +1 is now required

my wife a mild plus in both glasses and dress size and a 6 month newly progressive wearer had a little trouble mainly stairs and missing the gear leaver when driving (women drivers excuse) I would of loved to have seen her in bifocals but was told firmly about a cold day in hell

I think for near-sighted myopic people getting bifocals/progressives may be easier because the add is weaker and probably similar to something they had years before as their myopia increased so there brain reminders it for long/far-sighted its a whole new experience that the brain has to learn

I had my first bifocals about a year before I went to progressives mainly because of price and I was convinced I didnt need then, after about an hour fiddling with the fit and getting the line/segment hight right they were fine after a couple of days wearing then at work my wife girlfriend at the time asked if I liked then because I was still wearing then had worn then all day at work drive to girlfriends parents house picked her up drove home had then on all evening

only went to progressives for vanity reasons

lazysiow 26 Feb 2013, 03:35

Have you tried lined bifocals? was there an adjustment period only for the progressives?

Macrae 25 Feb 2013, 23:22

Mr. Jules, here are my recollections of adjusting to progressives:

My prescription was just a little higher than yours, and I'd been wearing glasses mainly for reading before being prescribed progressives 5 or 6 years ago. I was told to wear them all the time for at least 5 days after I got them in order to get used to them, but not to wear them to drive until I'd worn them for a day or two and was feeling ok with depth perception.

For a couple days I had quite a lot of trouble judging spatial relationships. I remember particularly that reaching out for things at arm's length, like door knobs and cabinet handles and the coffee pot, resulted in some total misses. Walking was disorienting at first, especially on stairs. I think I was cautioned to try to look ahead rather than down. Looking down gave the impression that the ground was in the wrong place, which for a very short while made me feel like I was walking funny or kind of feeling for the ground with my feet. My office at that time had a spiral staircase and I had to take my glasses off on that for the first few days because it was not just disorienting but dizzying. Rectangular things all looked warped, like parallelograms with slightly bulging sides.

All of these weirdnesses fixed themselves within a few days, but sometimes during this early adjustment period I'd take off my glasses and find that the bulging parallelogram effect was now happening with my naked-eyed vision instead of with the glasses. Eventually my brain seemed to learn both settings, and neither was distorted anymore. That probably took about a week or a little longer.

I remember being particularly impressed with the clarity of all the dashboard indicators in my car - I hadn't realized until then that these were blurry.

The biggest disadvantage that I've had with progressives is that the field of vision at the near range is sometimes too small. My job involves working on large dual monitors, as well as reviewing large drawings, so eventually I got some single-vision glasses just for this computer/desk distance, and they do work much better and prevent headaches better while working on these specific tasks for hours at a time. That pair of glasses lives at my desk at work. Otherwise I wear the progressives all the time. This way I don't have to carry around an extra pair of glasses, and the progressives are perfectly fine for anything at any distance most of the time.

Slit 24 Feb 2013, 18:51

Hi Allie,

Is your bifocal "flat top" type? Its common in that case to have a jump/edge. If you have circular type its more smoother.

However it is better to move to progressives even if its difficult to get used to. In todays world there are many options which you can explore online.

lazysiow 24 Feb 2013, 17:05

Been considering some as well but I'd need more for computer use than reading. I can read ok with the intermediate strength. I'm a web developer so I need the full strength to scan a whole screen/page of code etc instead of line by line like most people. If they can do Aspex eyewear for the whole lens and not just for a small bifocal LED area that'd be perfect.

Sick of always carrying multiple pairs too myself.

Mr Jules 24 Feb 2013, 05:48

Last week, had my eye test. Vision hasn't changed in year: distance +1.50, add +1.50 for reading. Getting quite bored of switching between glasses. I struggle to use my +1.50 distance glasses to read, too.

So I've opted for my first pair of varifocals with transition lenses - the ones which darken in day light. My current distance pair have transition lenses, which I do like. The optician should have these varifocals ready for me to collect, by Sat 2 March. I am bit apprehensive about wearing varifocals - having two lens strengths in one frame. But I'm motivated to wear them: it means wearing one pair of glasses all day long for everything.

Any advice on adjusting to varifocals gratefully received. I've been wearing glasses full time now since Feb 2011, to which I have happily adapted.

The optican's deal included a spare pare and I chose a pair of single vision reading glasses +3.00.

varifocals 22 Feb 2013, 11:51


I have varifocals ( progressives) for years & during that time there has been a lot of developments to them which reduces distortion.

Specsavers in the UK now sell 4 different types at increased prices & better vision.

I have no 3- Elite.

Curt 22 Feb 2013, 08:22

Allie: If you like your lined bifocals, I would stick to your guns. Progressives are great (wearing mine right now), but they are not for everyone. Some people can never get used to the distortion at the edges of the lens, and continue to wear lined bifocals. If you have to eventually go to trifocals, that's not the end of the world either. Wear what you feel comfortable with. If the eye doc continues to give you a hard time, find another doc...

john 21 Feb 2013, 00:25

Allie - You could try getting your bifocals made at a different store.Ask around,i think a lighter lens material would have a less noticable line.I dont know what it is called for the thiner, lighter lenses but i have noticed the one hr glasses places seem to have thicker lenses.They may be fast but waiting a week for new glasses that are thinner might be better.I have had good luck with sears and zenia.You did not like the progressive lenses and stronger progressive lenses will make you swim even more.I think you are going too need trifocals so you could give them a try.The extra line is not that bad and they realy help the computer range.

lazysiow 20 Feb 2013, 22:38

Ahhh nevermind, the electrical charge is what changes the lens - it wasn't just for the fancy accelerometer detection etc. Still I think something with a manual selection at lower cost could clean up the market. I think I remember reading something where it was a water based solution for third world countries but I'm guessing the lens quality would not be very good

lazysiow 20 Feb 2013, 22:33

Thanks, that's a source at least. Been looking into empower/aspex eyewear though. The electronic part is the most gimmicky and may be adding too much the cost, I wouldn't mind something that is manual focus with out the electronic hassle

Cactus Jack 20 Feb 2013, 19:40


Check out Rx Safety Glasses

Look under Magnifying Products. The lowest value clip on is +1.00 but that should be OK.


lazysiow 20 Feb 2013, 16:32

anyone have any clip on or magnetic readers they can recommend? looking for +0.75 strength too for computer use but might try +1

Soundmanpt 20 Feb 2013, 14:54


Well to be perfectly honest I agree with your doctor. I understand that no-line bifocals or progressives can require some getting used to but in the long run I think they would be best not only for appearance sake but for your vision as well. Your option is not a good one since your not that happy with everyone seeing the line in your glasses, but tri-focals will mean now you will have 2 lines showing in your glasses. Progressives are great once you get used to them as they will offer you the mid range you don't have now which is great for seeing your computer monitor. Plus if your add is going to continue to increase those lines will become even more noticeable. I'm sure going from not wearing glasses 6 months ago to now wearing them full time for reading as well as distance has seem like too much for such a short time. But in reality you must have needed glasses for a good while before you tried on your sisters glasses and found they made things much clearer for you. So a lot of what is happening is just your eyes trying to catch up.

But bottom line I think you really should try wearing and adjusting to progressives, your young enough that your eyes should be able to get used to them.

Allie 20 Feb 2013, 14:24

I was due for a check up last week, it has been 3 months since my last visit. I had a new doctor this time. She gave me a full exam and told me I have the eyes of someone 60 (nice comment) and informed me I need my distance bumped up 1step and the bifocal made stronger 1step.

She also told me that I should be wearing no line bifocals. After much discussion I remained firm on my lined glasses. After all the angst about wearing bifocals at my age, and finally caving in to wear them most all the time out of necessity, she told me at my next visit I will need trifocals if I don't start wearing no lines. She is pushing hard for varifocals.

When I picked up my new glasses on Monday they appear to be significantly stronger, especially from the side it is like they bulge out in the center. The one step stronger in the bifocal is also a lot more unsightly, it makes the bifocal a lot larger ,that it goes almost across the whole lens. You can also feel a defined ledge when cleaning them. These really scream old lady glasses. But I can seen great. I'm back to being embarrassed to wear these glasses out in public,but I don't have any choice, I need them to read almost anything. With my new prescription will the new no line glasses be any better?



Carrie 17 Feb 2013, 04:58

I have taken my glasses off at the gym and not used my friend's contacts. But that's only about an hour. Sometimes if I'm just sitting on the sofa chatting with my girlfriend I don't wear them. Other than showering and bed (sleeping and sex) I always have my glasses on. It's not just my eyes that feel slightly uncomfortable without glasses, I feel as if I'm partly naked without my glasses on. I have heard other full time glasses wearers say that but I didn't really appreciate what they meant until I'd been wearing glasses full time for a few months. I will have to try going without glasses for a longer period.

Neil 16 Feb 2013, 15:21

Carrie, have you tried to go without your glasses, let's say on weekends, hanging out, taking walks, shopping, working out, etc.? Is it uncomfortable even for those kinds of things? Just curious how it would be for someone as young as yourself.

Soundmanpt 13 Feb 2013, 21:32


Well a large part of what is happening between your wife and your daughter is that your wife has just refused to give into wearing her glasses and is using what accommodation she has left to get by. If she were to give in, which at some point she likely will, and start wearing her glasses full time she would probably find that she wouldn't be able to get along without them either. And your daughter just probably liked the frames she picked out and since she was able to see perfect with her glasses and not quite as good without them her eyes have become used to seeing with them and she misses them much more than your wife does even with a much weaker prescription. If your daughter had done the same as your wife and had wore them like her mom she too would probably be getting by with her accommodation as well.

MT 13 Feb 2013, 21:16

I was reading some of the posts and would agree, people have different experiences with farsightedness. Particularly for younger people, even into their forties, they might not even know they are farsighted, if their accommodation is good enough. Others go straight into full-time wear very young. Some of the perceived need might be psychological. Some of it might be high sensitivity to mild headaches or eyestrain.

I know because my wife aged 45 and daughter aged 15 both recently began wearing glasses at the same time. My wife is ambivalent and sometimes resistant about wearing hers, though she has multifocals along with her distance prescription; my daughter is a happy full-time wearer with a milder prescription, who'll complain her eyes hurt if she leaves them off for too long.

Cactus Jack 11 Feb 2013, 15:19


Consider the possibility that your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses are closer to fully relaxed after a good night's sleep. When you wake up, your ciliary muscles have to expend the effort to provide the focusing effort you need. After you have been awake for a while, your ciliary muscles have become accustomed to flexing your crystalline lenses a bit and your crystalline lenses may have taken a small + "set". As your crystalline lenses gradually become stiffer because of presbyopia, they are slower to focus and much slower to relax.

People with hyperopia tend to notice this slowness more than people with myopia, but people with both hyperopia and myopia experience the same problem. Remember that Latent Hyperopia and Pseudo Myopia are really the same phenomenon, just on different sides of 0.00. The biggest difference is that hyperopes can (for a while at least) use their ciliary muscles to overcome the focusing problem and that myopes just don't have the capability of using their ciliary muscles to relax their crystalline lenses beyond fully relaxed with minimum plus power.


Carrie 11 Feb 2013, 14:29

I have also noticed that I need my glasses more in the morning than later in the day. When I get up my eyes start to ache after a few minutes if I don't have my glasses on. I can go without them for much longer around early afternoon (I've managed to go an hour without glasses before the eye aches begin to return) but it feels weird not having them on, and then in the evening it's like the morning again. The eye ache isn't painful but it is slightly uncomfortable, distracting and annoying. If my mind is on other things, like if I am chatting to someone, I don't notice the eye ache.

I'm guessing that someone's level of tiredness probably could affect how well they can focus. I know if I'm tired that my muscles don't work as well as when I'm fully awake (sometimes I an hardly lift my coffee mug up first thing in the morning!) and the tiny muscles in the eye could be the same.

Soundmanpt 11 Feb 2013, 10:42


Good point, that could be true???? So it could be her eyes just aren't altogether open early in the morning and it takes a few hours for her to completely wake up? But I really doubt that her glasses would solve that problem for her.

Asdoo 11 Feb 2013, 02:40


I think you see better later in the day because you are more alert and awake.

Soundmanpt  11 Feb 2013, 00:13


Thanks for responding with such detail. Well if you were having some trouble seeing some of the letters near the bottom of the chart then you likely even missed several as well. That was very likely what prompted your doctor to give you a weak prescription for distance. My guess is that the more you wear your glasses the more you will find they do make a difference not only for reading but distance as well. I think the more you wear your glasses the more you will enjoy the clear, sharp vision they offer you.

Your description about how in the morning you feel a need to wear your glasses but later in the day your finding your vision seems fine without them is quite the reverse of what one would expect. In most cases it would be more normal for your eyes to focus better in the morning and as the day wears on a bit of eye strain would occur and you would feel more of a need for your glasses then. Sorry that one I can't answer.

Nichole 10 Feb 2013, 18:12

Soundmanpt, with my old glasses of +1.00 I did not wear them for distance, I didn't even try. I just took them off when finished with my work at my desk, and, I wasn't always wearing them in the first place.

At my recent exam I could read all the letters without my glasses, yes, though maybe toward the bottom it was less clear. This was why I was surprised to get a distance prescription at all. I got my new pair at a different place than my optometrist actually, so the girl there suggested I wear them continuously to get used to them, and I adjusted pretty fast. No, I did not have too much trouble with stairs since my house doesn't have stairs and my office is ground level too. After getting used to them I have worn my glasses as or when I wish outside work, I don't want to be 100% dependent on them.

As for the HD part, yes, sometimes it is like that, but not always. Within the office, sure, it is sharper, but outside it doesn't really matter as much when looking out in the distance. What I don't understand is how sometimes the extra sharpness is really there, but other times things just look the same without them. Also what is strange is that in the mornings I really feel I need them, if I don't have them on, even on weekends. But in the afternoons and evenings I can just take them off and it's fine. And sometimes my eyes feel painful without them, other times they're fine. All these fluctuations are hard for me to understand, it would be great if someone could explain!

Soundmanpt 09 Feb 2013, 21:45


Just curious, back in when you were wearing the +1.00 glasses did you only wear them when you were doing close work and take them quite often or were you able to see distance okay with them on? I am asking because you said that when you got your recent exam you could read all the letters, I assume you meant on the eyechart. without any problem. But you now find that with your new glasses distance is like HD for you. So are you now wearing your glasses much more than you did your old single vision glasses? I'm sure it has to be much better than putting them on to read something and then taking them off all the time to see distances. Do you now find these glasses a benefit for tasks that you never used your other glasses for such as driving or watching a live concert? You have had them now for several months so enough time to get used to them.

Oh by the way did you have any problems getting use to them when going up and down steps when you first got them? This can often times be a hazzard for new progressive or bifocal wearers.

Nichole 09 Feb 2013, 16:00

Hello, sorry for the late reply, I ended up not getting contact lenses after talking with my optometrist. Even before that, my husband (who is very nearsighted and wears contacts himself), said, why bother when you can still see so well. My optometrist first said, sure, we can fit you, but then it was interesting how she said the same things Willy wrote over here. Basically, she said it is totally fine for me to wear my progressive glasses as much as I need to or want to, but at least I have the option of taking them off and still seeing fine, unless I'm doing a lot of close work. That really struck it for me. So, at least for now, I'll stick with just the glasses.

BTW, thanks for the advice, and for NOT trying to discourage me from getting contacts. Just from browsing around here I do know the preference for women in glasses...; You know, I prefer my man in glasses as well, but he definitely prefers contacts (and could not do lasik for some medical reason), and is happier in them, except maybe late at night. So, thanks again.

Nichole 27 Jan 2013, 22:12

Thanks to all especially Willy who could relate to my experience. I'm seeing my optometrist later this week and let's see what she says.

Willy 21 Jan 2013, 14:44

Nichole -- I have not been around the boards much lately, but you are one of "my people," (i.e. the hyperopes) and your history is somewhat similar to mine. Bottom line is that although your optometrist may not have thought you really "needed" the distance correction yet, your eyes took to it immediately, which is as good a sign as any that it was the right time to do it. With a +1 at distance by age 43 and a moderate amount of astigmatism in your prescription, the strong likelihood is that you would end up needing full-time distance wear in the next few years anyway, so going for the progressives now and enjoying HD vision also avoids the need for glasses on/glasses off and half readers.

As for the contacts, while I have not gone that route, I understand that it can be trickier for hyperopes than myopes to account for astigmatism without having to go to expensive toric lenses, let alone dealing with monovision or bifocal contacts.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how it goes.

Bob 20 Jan 2013, 18:56


TOTALLY normal. Here's the thing: whether you need correction to see at a distance or not, the correction for near is useful and no one has a right to tell you that you have to wear 'granny glasses' or take your glasses off and back on again all day. I think progressives were a great choice. I doubt your optometrist would find it odd, but on that off chance remember that it is your preference that matters -- not theirs.

Contacts...there are options though none of them are perfect. You can have one eye corrected for near and one eye for distance ("mono vision") or there are bifocal contacts (that not everyone like). Your optometrist should be able to explain these options. If you are interested in contacts I think it is worth giving them a try. But you may or may not like the results.

Soundmanpt 20 Jan 2013, 18:36


Not sure but i would guess that there was something written on your prescription that indicated the need for progressives. I do think that if you were normally wearing your single vision glasses all the time for both distance and close work then the idea of progressives is a good idea. However you seem to feel as if your distance vision is perfect without glasses for distance and only you and your eye doctor know that. But my first question is if you can see perfect with the progressives for distance and close work I think you should continue that way as it is easier on your eyes to have an add for close work.

All this being said the final decision is still what you want for your glasses.

Nichole 20 Jan 2013, 17:31

Nice forum, I have a few questions below.

A few months ago I got a new glasses prescription (second ever), which is (R) +1.00 -0.50 170 and (L) +1.00 -0.75 015, ADD +1.50 both eyes. The earlier prescription from Summer 2010 was +1.00 both eyes, straight reading. I'm 43 now, going on 44 by Spring.

What happened was, at my last eye checkup, I did not really notice a problem with my distance vision, I could see all the letters, my complaints were more at near. My optometrist suggested that I just get a single vision pair with the distance and ADD combined for my reading. Well, I got my glasses at another place where the selection was better, and the optician strongly recommended progressive lenses. She asked about my job, and said the bifocals would be more convenient for me, so I obliged. Well almost as soon as I got them I was hooked. It was like going to HD, so now I can take my glasses off and see fine, but after a while I just have to put them back on, otherwise my eyes feel kind of uncomfortable and I'll get headachy.

I am wondering if, I made a mistake by opting for the progressive lenses and wearing my glasses most of the time, even though the difference in vision is subtle?

Would my optometrist find it strange or off-putting if I went back to her not exactly following her orders (she said I really didn't need glasses for distance)? (I was thinking of going back to try contact lenses, not really for work, but socially)

Speaking of which, with my type of prescription, are contacts an option at all?

Would she or any other optometrist find it strange that someone who can see distance well would even bother with contacts?

Thanks in advance!

Soundmanpt 19 Jan 2013, 15:11

I mentioned several times but it is worth repeating. Zenni Optical now offers prism lenses. Like their fine glasses not expensive at all.

Cactus Jack 18 Jan 2013, 22:02


If you ever feel like you would like to discuss any of this privately, please feel free to contact me at


Cactus Jack 18 Jan 2013, 21:59


Frankly, I think the word "dependent" is way too strong a word for when a person finds wearing glasses, with any prescription, more comfortable or more useful than not wearing them.

I suspect you find bifocals useful and comfortable to help you focus close and there is probably some reason that you needed focusing help a little sooner than most people. However, the idea that a person absolutely does not need focusing help until they are in their 40s is a myth. Some people need fouling help in their early teens and others do fine reading without external help into their 50 and 60.

In your situation, I suspect that you may have a stronger than usual connection between the eye focusing function and the eye positioning function in your brain. Those two functions are interconnected so that focusing effort to view something close will cause your eyes to converge and to a lesser extent, converging will cause your eyes to try to focus close. Sometimes bifocals are used to help reduce any tendency to over converge or cross. May I ask how long you have worn bifocals or reading glasses? Do you remember why you started wearing glasses?

Many Eye Care Professionals try to avoid prism correction if at all possible, but it appears that your ECP feels that you could use some BI prism to minimize your convergence effort because your eyes want to turn outward. That means that you have to expend convergence effort to see straight ahead for distance and have to work even harder than usual to converge to read. Base In (BI) prism will help that by bending light rays some for you. Right now, he has prescribed 0.5 BI in each eye. Frankly that is negligible and it is very likely that it will need to be increased soon. Ultimately, it may get to where you need 3 or 4 BI in each eye, but there is no way to predict what the future holds. But, if it gets too high, there are muscle surgery procedures that correct the problem by repositioning the attach points of two of the muscles that control your eye movements. At some point, you might want to see a Pediatric Ophthalmologist (they work with adults also) who specializes in muscle imbalance and correction. We can chat more about that another time if you wish.

Here is the simple test I have in mind. It involves only a strip of adding machine tape, a bold magic marker, some removable tape for temporarily sticking the adding machine tape to a wall, and a rule or tape measure. It can be marked in either English units or Metric. Metric is a little easier to work with because the definitions of prism diopters are in cm and meters. If you need to do the conversions, they are very easy.

The basis for the test is that a prism diopter is defined as that amount of prism that will deflect a ray of light 1 cm at a distance of 1 meter. The first step is to find a wall that is relatively clear of pictures or windows. The next step is to find a convenient place to stand and then measure the distance from that place to the wall. Next, calculate the deflection caused by 1 prism diopter at that distance.

The next step is to mark the adding machine strip using the marker with minor marks at 5 and major marks at 10 diopter intervals. Careful where you place the adding machine tape when you do this, markers tend to bleed trough an mark the surface beneath also.

Tape the strip to the wall horizontally. Using another strip of tape about 2 ft long as index, mark a long arrow along the strip and tape it vertically to the wall at one end of the horizontal tape. It may be necessary to move the index strip to the other end of the horizontal tape if it makes it easier to read. Note: anything on the wall that can offer a bold vertical reference on the horizontal tape will also work.

Stand in the previously selected position with your glasses off, you should be able to see the marks. Let your eyes relax as much as you can. If you have a horizontal alignment error, you will see two images.

Using the calibration marks, note where the index strip points on the horizontal tape. If the calculations and marks have been done correctly, this should give you an idea of the approximate prism required for correction. It will probably be less than 30 diopters total, but that is what we are trying to find out. If the index strip does not point somewhere on the calibrated strip, it will be necessary to move the index strip to the other end of the calibrated strip. Note which end of the calibrated strip you use.

It is sometimes difficult to tell if your eyes are trying to turn inward or outward. While observing the strips, bring a finger into view about 15 inches away while still viewing the strips, does the amount of prism seem to increase or decrease.

You may need to also do the test with the calibration strip vertical and the index strip horizontal if you note any vertical displacement between the two images and want to get an idea of that number.

Let me know if you have any questions and the results of the test.

May I ask your occupation?


Ben 18 Jan 2013, 20:54

Thanks for your response Cactus.

I'm 26 and live in the US.

I would be interested in hearing your test for prism.

Also, do you think I'll quickly become really dependent on my new prism bifocals?

Cactus Jack 18 Jan 2013, 17:23


It is not unusual for a person to need some prism correction in their glasses when they have convergence difficulties. What is happening is that your eyes are wanting to DIVERGE some and it is pretty easy for you to keep images fused for distance. However, for reading or other close work, your eyes must CONVERGE or you will see double. The BI prism will bend the light rays slightly to reduce the amount of convergence effort you need to expend and make your vision more comfortable when you read. You will probably notice nothing other than possibly increased comfort when wearing your new prescription

Will you ultimately need more prism, very likely. The eye doc has already said that he was not giving you what you really need right now. How much will you ultimately need, there is no way to tell right now. If you are concerned that other people will notice the prism, the answer is no. One Prism Diopter only results is 0.57 degrees of angular displacement so that small amount is invisible to everyone but you, and you probably won't notice it.

Let me know if you want to try a very simple test to measure your prism.

May I ask your age and where you live?

BTW, I wear quite a bit of BO prism because my eyes would like to turn inward. BO prism is more noticeable because it makes the outside edges of minus lenses thicker. BI prism makes the Outside edges thinner and the inside edges a little thicker.


Ben 18 Jan 2013, 16:41

I haven't posted here in a long time. Just to remind everyone, I am a young bifocal wearer. The rx I wear is -0.75 add 2.00 in lined bifocals. In addition to slight nearsightedness, I have an accommodative spasm, and the reading add helps with that.

Recently, I noticed more trouble with close work, especially in my right eye. So I went for an eye exam and came away with something unexpected. My eyes are now different (OD -1.00, OS -.50), and I kept the bifocal add at 2.00. But in testing my binocular vision, my doctor found a slight exophoria, meaning that my eyes are constantly struggling to stay aligned, and even more so when doing close work. I didn't realize I had this problem but it helps explain the eyes train I get when doing near work.

So he prescribed a prism correction of -.5 BI in each eye. He said this was a lot less than I really need but a good starting point for wearing glasses with prism for the first time. At the end of the day my vision is not terrible but correcting it is very complicated!

I'm excited to try this new kind of vision correction, but a bit nervous as well. What's it like to wear prisms, especially with bifocals? Do you get dependent on them quickly? Am I likely to need more correction soon?

Jamie32 08 Dec 2012, 13:56

Thanks for sharing the pics of them

Tommy27 08 Dec 2012, 13:08

If anyone is interested, here are photos of my glasses:

Jamie32 08 Dec 2012, 12:30


Have stronger rx than you, my eyes are -6.5 with another -3.5 in astigmatism

Tommy27 08 Dec 2012, 11:59

Jamie32: What is your prescription?

Jamie32 08 Dec 2012, 09:19


Thanks for writing that, comments like that make me wonder why i have been so reluctant to go to bifocals full time myself. Especially when i have them on, that it does make the computer/reading easier

Cactus Jack 08 Dec 2012, 03:24


Well said!


Tommy27 08 Dec 2012, 03:10

It has been more than a year since I have posted about the fact that I was prescribed bifocals at rather early age (27 yo then). After some deliberation I have ordered bifocals online and it has been one of the best choices I have ever made :-). There were some comments from my family and especially from my coworkers, but they were definitely outweighed by seeing comfortably near and far without need to change glasses. I am 28 years old with mild myopia wearing lined bifocals full time. So what...

very progressive 15 Nov 2012, 07:38


Thanks that is good news! Gonna give it a try, hoping to have an January.

JJ 14 Nov 2012, 18:03

Very progressive,

Mainly distance. At work I'm using the computer for 8 hours plus paper work (7 pt font) without straining.

very progressive 13 Nov 2012, 14:37


When you mention that you have to give up sharp vision, do you mean at all distances? I could afford to lose some clarity at a distance as my rx is quite minimal. I am concerned about losing clarity when using the computer and reading at work. I am behind a computer monitor and reading various paperwork 8 hrs a day.

I don't want to suffer more eyestrain than I already do.

Thanks for your help.

Thanks Soundmanpt as well. I can have my office visit and contact lens fitting covered by my insurance in mid January, so I'm probably going to wait, and do a little more research in the meantime.

JJ 13 Nov 2012, 11:49

Very Progressive,

My RX is L -3.00 -1.25x70/ R -3.75 -1.50x80 add is 2.50. I really like monovision but you have to give up sharp vision which I feel is worth it. My monovision RX is L -2.50 -1.25x70/ R -2.00 1.25x80.

Soundmanpt 08 Nov 2012, 19:21

very progressive

Not sure if this will help or not, but if your most recent eye exam was within the past 6 months (some will only honor 3 months) you will only need to pay for the fitting and that is usually around $40.00 or so. They should provide you with trial contacts at no additional charge to see if they will work for you. Then you will be given a time for a recheck to see how they are working. If all is well then you would purchase your contacts. So it shouldn't be a great expense if it doesn't work for you. And doctors are very aware that some people just can't wear monovision. Just ask where you had your exam done what the costs would be if they work or if they don't work for you.

ver progressive 08 Nov 2012, 13:00

I meant to say I'd like to try "monovision" contacts. As I mentioned I have tried multifocals.

very progressive 08 Nov 2012, 12:58

thinking about monovision contact lenses. Can anyone give me a little bit of advice. I have tried multifocal contacts which were initially helpful however as my add increased not really working.I don't care for glasses and am wondering if multifocal contacts might work.

I have a very minimal distance rx -1.25 and -1.50 and +.50 astigmatism in each eye. My add is +2.50.

What I have read on the internet is that they are usually better for people with a low add.

I really can't afford to go for an exam and buy contacts if they are not likely to work. I am not due for my annual eye exam so it would be just a fitting.

My daughter is getting married next year and I would love to be able to wear contacts and see clearly at all distances for her wedding.

John S 08 Nov 2012, 11:53


That is a tough call...If you are going for a bifocal, I think you would be better at a +1.25. Since it is a fixed power lens, going higher might be too much at first. Most doctors will increase the plus until reading is clear. The person might be able to accept or need another 0.50 or 0.75. There is no way to tell without trial and error. What I find interesting is, with a +1.00 add, she is only getting an additional close correction of +0.50 over being bare eyed. That is hardly any additional correction. I just can't see(pun)a big difference with that little extra correction.

If you could find a pair of +1.00 OTC readers, that would be equal to a +1.50 add for her. If you could get her to try them, you would know if the reading distance was ok for her. The longer she has them on, the more accurate the test would be. In 10-15 minutes her eyes might start to relax. The more her eyes relax, the further the reading distance would be.

At her age, in a few years the myopia might disappear and her rx might go slightly plus. That why I recommended you keep the distance the same. Maybe you could ask her the use the readers for relief until her glasses come in. That would give you some extra time to see if the stronger rx works out.

mark 08 Nov 2012, 10:18

John - I wish I could get two pairs, but the pairs she 'wants', and it has become apparent that no other pair is good enough, are £180, so buying two of these isn't an option - even one is rather expensive for me! I may do a Zenni order, or get one of my frames I've purchased from eBay reglazed with her prescription, but aside from that, she seems to be firmly set on NOT wearing any other frame, even though her choice isn't my taste.

Progressives weren't discussed by the optician, thankfully - yet more expense - so I'll be ordering bifocals. She said she wanted to get the thinnest lenses possible, and talked about ordering hi index, at which point I had to laugh, as I told her, without desperately trying to sound too knowledgeable, that her prescription is far too weak to even consider using 1.6 index, let alone 1.76!!

I wouldn't put an increase in her distance prescription - much to my dismay - as it was her reading problems that forced her into the opticians, so do you think 1.25 or 1.5 is where it should be?

John S 08 Nov 2012, 06:59


I missed her age in your post, sorry. At 40, I would do a little increase. She will get used to it pretty fast.

John S 08 Nov 2012, 06:56


If she went in because of straining to read, I would keep her distance the same. Increasing the distance rx could cause headaches. You could bump the add up .25 or .50, especially if you are ordering progressives. The worst that would happen is she would hold things a little closer to read.

You still did not mention her age. As Slit said, the add will progress over time. The stronger the add, the closer the reading distance. The text will also appear larger due to the lens magnification. But a stronger add will probably cause her to be more dependent on the add for reading, but feel more relaxing.

As the other John said, as a first time wearer of a add, it probably won't be long before she wants more. A +1.00 add is very minimal. It will make a difference, but not a huge difference.

Since you are doing an online order, you could get 2 pairs. One with a +1.25 add, and the other with a +1.50 add. Over time she will end up needing a +2.50 add when her accommodation finally gives out.

Slit 08 Nov 2012, 04:52

@mark: sorry about using word "woman" did not use with any offensive motive and the word woman has equal status in my mind just like "lady"...

Slit 08 Nov 2012, 04:51

@mark: best to go with what doctor prescribed. further adds will come easy.

btw, are you thinking of progressive or lined? lines are sexy on we OO's eyes, but we have to think about emotions of the woman as well. besides, the way they move head to locate sweet spot on the progressive lens is also kinda sexy ;)

mark 08 Nov 2012, 04:30

Soundman - she is asking me to order her glasses today, what are you suggesting I put down as the prescription then, as I'll be ordering them online. I don't want to go too over the top as the lenses may end up being too strong for her, then going to see the optician and them saying her glasses haven't got the prescription that was prescribed for her (then there would be trouble!!).

Soundmanpt 07 Nov 2012, 23:31


That was why I asked her age.If she were much younger that might mean an more of an increase in her distance segment, but at her age it is much more likely that she will need an increase in a short time for her add. If she is willing I would think she should be able to tolerate a little more for her distance even if she doesn't really require it. Just don't be too aggressive.

john 07 Nov 2012, 23:11

mark- I had a simular prescription to your girlfriend and i went from a add of +1 to +1.5 in 9 mounths.A year later i jumped to +2.0.I think the dr is wrong telling her come back in 2 years.1 year(or sooner )is a more realistic time.When she starts having trouble reading time for a reading increase.I was 42 for my first bifocal glasses and was not having trouble reading at the time but the bifocals made a big difference(i had no idea what i was missing)I got the lined bifocal.They have a much bigger reading area and were easier than progressives that i tried later.

mark 07 Nov 2012, 10:24

Hey Soundman - even though she knows I'm a total 0-0 fan, and said I'd be loving the idea of her wearing glasses now - she has previously worn pairs I've bought off eBay, Zenni etc, but only for ahem, entertainment purposes - she is rather kicking herself about having to wear glasses.

She is approx 40 years old, and was told by the optician that she would've had to get reading glasses in a couple of years anyway, but everyday now she is struggling to read the fine print of packets of food, some internet articles/links which are small, etc, so is seeing getting glasses as a blessing, and keeps asking me when I'm going to buy her them.

I am hopeful that her prescription does change sooner than two years time, but in a rather selfish way, as although bifocals are like a dream come true for me, -0.5, +1 is almost like plano to us high myopic fans. What do you think the likely hood of the plus part of the lenses increasing soon - you mentioned that at approx 6 months she might need a bump up, as at her age I'm sure her myopia won't get any higher.

Soundmanpt 07 Nov 2012, 09:23


Your girlfriend prescription is really as weak as any doctor would ever prescribe. Her distance vision is quite good but with her glasses she will see even sharper. After a couple of days wearing them she will notice the difference when she takes them off. Things won't be as clear and sharp without them and they should make driving at night better as well. She also has the smallest amount of astigmatism correction in her left eye. But probably what she will be happiest about is the add will make reading small print much more comfortable for her. The add is also very weak but should still relax her eyes when doing much close work. You didn't state her age but it can be assumed she is on the younger side so her doctor is probably correct that she will be needing stronger glasses at her next exam. I am surprised that he didn't want her to come back much sooner than 2 years since this is her first glasses. My guess is that she may find that her glasses are too weak in about 6 months or so. If so she shouldn't try and wait for the 2 years to go back.

Please warn your gf that when she gets her glasses to be very careful until her eyes adjust to them with going up and down steps. Many first time bifocal / progressive wearers have had bad falls when they look down through the add portion and misjudge the distance of a step. The add will make the floor and steps appear much closer than they really are. And of course wearing high heels makes it even worse.

Is she okay with the idea of not only needing glasses but with needing progressives and full time wear as well? Let us know how she does when she gets her glasses and starts wearing them.

mark 07 Nov 2012, 03:47

Allie, I really wouldn't worry about what people say about the bi-focal line, or what they might be thinking.

Over the last few months I have really developed a soft spot for bifocals, and trifocals, and find them more of a pull now that strong short sighted glasses. I doubt this is of interest to you, but not everyone will be looking at you thinking "isn't she young for bifocals", as hardly any of the every day population that you meet and see on the street are as informed as us.

My girlfriend has recently been prescribed with bifocals as a first time wearer after struggling to see small text close up, and relictantly went for an eye test and I'm about to order her first pair of glasses for her today. She was told that she will need an eye test again in two years - is this right, as it seems a LONG time away. She was also told that in a couple of years time it's likely that she will need a stronger prescription, and she should wear them full time otherwise come review time, her new prescription will have to be that much stronger due to her eyes straining.

Her prescription is L: -0.50 -0.25 +1.00 R: -0.50 +1.00. This seems to me to be a very weak prescription to have bifocals, but the eye doc obviously thought she needed them, otherwise I guess she would have just been prescribed reading glasses.

For what its worth, when I was at school there was a girl there who was 17 who wore bifocals, and had them on a cord, so you are by no means the youngest person to have bifocals, and I would certainly not be too conscious about your image as I'm sure you look great in them, and remember, sanity before vanity (i.e. the glasses are there to help you)!!

john 06 Nov 2012, 20:08


If you are having trouble seeing your computer then trifocals really help computer work when you get over +2.00(you just get 1 more line and they are easy to get use to after you are use to lined bifocals). After a while you will not notice the line.The other option is lined bifocal computer glasses.I have had all kinds of bifocals/progressives/trifocals and found like you lined bifocals (now lined trifocals)are much better than progressives.Dont let the line get you down you will be much happier after the initial bifocal shock.After a week or 2 you wont notice you are wearing bifocals and it will seem natural to wear glasses.Hope this helps.

Slit 06 Nov 2012, 13:09

Hi Allie,

I have been in same shoes of you as a young hyperopic person. It can be intimidating to wear lined bifocals. But if you bring iut a confident personality, people even try to imitate you, because they think you are confident than ever because of glasses.

Hiwever, i understand need for looking good and young, so shop around a bit more for other progressive lens types from different practitioners. Around the world millions wear progressives without much issues thanks to correct fitting. So please find a better optical shop/lab to perfectly fit lenses.

If you search, can find a lot of videos giving details on waht is a right fitting when it comes to progressive lenses.

Keep us posted, we will always be here to emotionally support you!

SC 06 Nov 2012, 05:58


I assume the 'swimming' was from progressive lenses and now you have lined bifocals. Multi-focals are always a compromise and many people still use two pairs of glasses.

One pair for general use, typically progressives that are reasonable for distance and can be used for reading for short periods (menus, shopping etc). Another pair of single vision for close work only(reading a book at night, long periods on a computer).

Progressives are not as comfortable as single-vision but they do mean that you don't have to switch glasses often. I'd persevere until I get used to them because 1) your distance vision will almost certainly get worse and you won't be able to see without distance glasses 2) you will have a problem with middle distance (if you haven't already), eg distances like 1 metre where the distance part of the bi-focal is not enough and the reading part is too much and so both are blurry

So in the medium/long term the only alternative to progressive lenses is tri-focals (2 lines).

Progressives also vary in design - the more you pay the bigger the reading area becomes, the less distortion at the periphery.

For Allie 06 Nov 2012, 05:35

They are all wearing bifocals lenses... and younger than you are...

Is the only thing you see is the "line" ?


Cactus Jack 05 Nov 2012, 18:39


You need to decide what is important to you. Seeing comfortably and well or worrying about what other people think. Glasses, no mater what flavor, are simply tools. The best tools should solve the problem and be comfortable to use.

To put it into another context, consider shoes. They are also tools, whose fundamental purpose is to protect your feet. It is good if they are comfortable and if they happen to be attractive and enhance your appearance, that is even better. What if you were worried that someone might think that your shoes were too large by a size or two, never mind your foot size. Would you wear shoes that were too small for you, to make them feel better? I suspect not, at least not for very long. You would probably think them very inconsiderate.

You may get a few initial comments about your glasses, no mater what style and what lenses you have. That will only last for a day or two, but soon, they will simply become part of you. From that point on, all most people will notice are the frames and only that when you change them. It is kind of like changing your hair style. The line, which you find so noticeable will disappear for you and anyone else more than a few feet from you in a few days.


Curt 05 Nov 2012, 15:53

Allie: Give it a little time. You may feel less self-conscious about them with time. As long as you can see well, who cares what other people think. I got my first bifocals at's not the end of the world. Wear them with pride!

Allie 05 Nov 2012, 14:48

After I posted this morning, my sister invited me to lunch. I told her of my problems with my new glasses, she tried them and thought they were fine.

On the way, we stopped at the doctor to discuss the bifocal issue.

He checked the glasses with my prescription and all was correct.

He gave me a glasses contraption to try with some temporary lenses with bifocals and they seemed fine. I could see up close with none of the waviness from my glasses. He agreed to swap the lenses for no charge and told me stop back in an hour to pick them up. After dining we went by to pick them up. The assistant retrieved them from the tray. As she gave them to me, I could see the line from the bifocals was easily seen. Somehow I thought that my prescription was weak enough that the line would be hard to see. But I was wrong. These scream old lady specs. Wearing them is another story, they are much better than the other ones.In the car on the way home I received a text on my phone and could immediately read it, what a relief ! For distance there is little change but up close everything is great. Its like always having my reading glasses on and not having blurry distance vision. As I type this on the computer I keep going back and forth between the top and the bifocal to see which is the best. It is better on the bottom but I have to get closer to the screen. It's a shame that I will feel too self conscious to wear them out in public for fear of people seeing me in old lady glasses.The doctor told me they were "a little strong"for a first pair of bifocals but he felt that is what I needed.He also said more and more young folks are needing reading glasses and even bifocals at earlier ages due to all the eye stress from phones and devices. He told me that I'm sure to make me feel better, my sister is only one I know of that had bifocals before 40. I think it is also strange that I went from not needing glasses to bifocals in less than a year. I asked the doc if next time I would still need the bifocals and told me I would always have to wear them and that the bifocal will continue to get stronger.I already like having the bifocal to be able see close,it's just I don't like people knowing I'm having such eye issues. I went and looked in the mirror the line is all you see, and when you look at them from the side, you can tell the bottom is very strong. by the way my sister tried them and liked the vision with lined bifocals. She never tried these before and told me the bifocal is larger and more in focus. She tried telling me the line is not that noticeable but when she had them on it's all you notice.

Don't know what to do, maybe just wear the bifocals at home. and back to the chain for everything else.



Soundmanpt 05 Nov 2012, 10:42


From what your describing it sounds as if the add portion of your glasses maybe slightly too low if it is easier to read when you hold them up slightly higher. Most optical stores allow 30 - 60 or even 90 days as a return policy to make your glasses right. You should do as your planning and consult with your doctor first and he can tell if that is the problem or not. Being too low could also create the feeling of swimming as your focus would be off when your looking through them at the wrong angle. The other option is one you may not want, a lined bifocal will give you a much bigger viewing area for your reading segment, but being 30 you may not want everyone knowing your wearing bifocals. Your young enough that I think with a proper fitting your progressives should work fine for you.

By the way, how is your distance vision with your progressives? As you can tell you were given a little prescription for distance and you have some astigmatism in one eye as well.

Let us know the results when you see your doctor.

Allie 05 Nov 2012, 10:15

In the spring, while house sitting for my sister, I picked up a pair of her glasses from the kitchen table and tried them. I looked at my phone and it was much bigger and clearer. I never have worn glasses and never thought that I needed them. I continued trying them for the rest of the stay. Magazines and my Ipad

were much better through the glasses. By the end of the week every time I read I wore the glasses.

When she came home, I told her of my discovery. She was surprised that I could read with her glasses because of the strength of her lenses. She had glasses since college and was now wearing bifocals at 35. The glasses on the table were her reading glasses. She said they were + 2.5,s , I didn't know what that meant.

After my stay I went to the eye doctor and was told I too needed reading glasses.The exam took a long time while he tried different lenses. he had me try to read magazines and look at my tablet and phone. When finished he told me that I should start wearing glasses to read and later I would need them all the time. He told me to return in 3 months for another check. I wore the glasses for every near task as soon as I got them. It made me realize, the headaches I was getting at work were because of me needing glasses. I tried wearing them all the time, but they made far away things blurry. So I put them on top of my head or later a chain. I was like and old person.

After 3 months, I felt like I needed them for every thing up close.

At my appointment in June he told me I needed stronger glasses . He gave me +2.00 glasses and said that the next time he would put me bifocals. Saying that sometimes bifocals are needed for someone my age who is farsighted.

My sister told me that this is same progression that she had when she was 30.

She needed the +2.50's to read but they made the distance hard to see.I never knew she had bifocals. I now need them to read almost anything I guess the glasses made my eyes weaker . I had my eye test 2 weeks ago and like he said, he thought I would benefit from bifocals. I agreed. It would eliminate my all the on and off my glasses. By the way, the reading parts of my new glasses are now stronger than my sisters. My prescription is now

L +.50 Add +2.25 R +1.0 -25 x 115 Add 2.25. After having the bifocals for a week, reading up close is the best it ever has been. I tried wearing them all the time but the bottom reading part is real curvy and swims all around. If I lift the glasses up slightly, it is better but only a small area is in focus. It is driving me crazy. I need the glasses now to read but find that I have to always adjust the glasses to get clear vision. My friends have now noticed me constantly holding my glasses to read and commented. I never would tell them that I'm wearing

bifocals. My sister never had this problem. I went back to wearing my old glasses at work, but I feel I now need the stronger lenses.I try to wear them all the time socially and the seem okay for a while, but find myself going back to my old glasses. These glasses have made me unable to read without correction. I called and spoke with the doctor and he said there are some other options,but he would like to double check my glasses and the prescription. I am back to wearing my old glasses on a chain. I still can see okay in the distance it is just near I am having issues. I am frustrated about this bifocal thing, someone my age should not be having to wear bifocals. What are my options?



Fran 30 Sep 2012, 13:26


A good decision, I'm delighted with mine and I wasn't sure about them at all. I only wear glasses part time as I also wear contacts but they've been very easy to get used to.

Mandi 29 Sep 2012, 15:34

After I posted in August I've been following the posts from Fran about getting varifocals and talking to other people, who are mostly older than me, about them. Is there an average age for nearsighted people to get them?

I've decided to go ahead and get the prescription that I was given last month and today have finally ordered new glasses with very expensive varifocal lenses. I'd always believed that they are difficult to get used to but from what I've heard recently its not always the case. I've actually found that I have friends who wear them yet I didn't know.

Soundmanpt 10 Aug 2012, 12:06


I know all this may sound very complicated but it really isn't nearly as bad as it may sound. If you take your doctors advice and get the varifocals or progressives you will be amazed at how quickly your eyes will get used to them. I no time how you look through them will become automatic and very natural. At -3.00 i assume you probably wear your glasses full time now anyway so it would just be a matter of wear you look through your lenses for different things. I really think it is a much better option to have the add an be able to read small print than to be taking your glasses off every time you need to read something.

Also remember if it is a price issue you can get progressives on-line for around $50.00 and that includes shipping and an AR coat as well. If you need help with that let us know in here and we can advise you.

Mr Cockeyed 10 Aug 2012, 08:55


If it don't bother you then take off your glasses to read. The progressive lenses will only be a time saver not taking on and off your glasses. In business or whatever profession can you imagine taking glasses on and off all day, I think you can go crazy. The other person was so right, if not getting progressives take off your glasses for close work

Andrew 10 Aug 2012, 00:41


With your -3 distance presciption, you should always be able to take your glasses off to read, which is fine if you are engaged in one activity, such as reading a book, but if you want to do more than one thing at a time, glasses which contain more than one strength are the way to go. I am now on to my second pair of varifocals (add +1.75); I chose them originally out of vanity (did not want the line to indicate bi-focals), but do not regret my decision at all. I even have a pair of sunglasses with varifocal lenses.

Mandi 09 Aug 2012, 14:53

Thank you Soundmanpt

I must admit I am rather apprehensive about varifocals - why was I not just offered bi focals as I don't think I'm yet in the market for tri focals.

I've never been that bothered about taking off my glasses to read but the optician was very persuasive and made me feel I was being rather foolish not to get the varifocals. I have a friend who hates not being able to read with her glasses but I find it okay.

Is there a level of prescription for distance and add that triggers the recommendation to into varifocals rather than bi focals?

 08 Aug 2012, 17:22

Does that effectively mean that varifocals are tri focals without the lines?

Soundmanpt 08 Aug 2012, 16:29


Don't you mean your add is +1.50? No you should be able to see at all distances with your new glasses. There should be a mid range right in between your distance and your add that should work well for things like the computer. It may take a little getting used to but I think after that you will come to love them. Much better than taking off and putting on your glasses all the time. Soon you won't even think about it as your eyes will automaticly go to the part of the glasses they need to see best with.

One big caution is be very careful when going up or down steps until your adjusted to them. Many people have taken some nasty falls due to not being able to judge the proper distance of the steps. That might be the only time I would suggest maybe taking them off.

And don't second guess yourself. You did the right thing and you will find that out in a very short time.

Mandi 08 Aug 2012, 16:16

At 46 I have been prescribed varifocals. I have a -3 distance prescription and a -1.5 reading add. I've been taking my glasses off to read. Will my reading get worse with an add or will the fact that I am using some sort of prescription slow progress of the add down?

I read that varifocals actually work at a number of distances. The optician only mentioned distance and reading so does that mean I have just two distances or will there be a middle distance portion too? I'm not sure I'll find it that easy to get used to them, it sounds very complicated!

I see lots of people at work who just take off their glasses to read so I'm not really sure I've done the right thing. What is it that makes people choose varifocals above taking glasses off to read? I can also look underneath my current pair!


Faulkner 26 Jul 2012, 14:58

Because of eye coordination issues, I have vertical bifocals. I've had them about a year, and I am quite happy with them. They actually work well.

john 07 Jun 2012, 15:01

Brooke - I hate to say it but at plus 2 add you would love trifocals.I strugled with plus 2 bifocals(lined) for about 9 weeks then switched to lined trifocals and it took 3 seconds to adjust then realise trifocals are much better trifocals are.After a while you dont notice the 2 lines.

Smudger 28 Mar 2012, 07:06

Hi Lion

If your wife's progressives are for computer and reading (I think that's what you said) then they won't be any good for distance as she has a +1.00 intermediate add in the top and a further +0.75 at the bottom.

If she really wants to try sharper vision for the TV (and any other distance activities such as driving) why don't you get her another pair of single vision glasses with just her distance prescription in (ignoring both the adds)?

lion 26 Mar 2012, 06:35

well my wife has had her new progressive glasses for a week now at first she didnt like the size she said they make her eyes look big and thus has rarely used them she uses her reading glasses all the time and remarks how good they are, on a small note she has been sitting in another chair to watch tv of late which is unusual because most people have a favourite seat and today picked up her glasses,(progressive) and tried them on for tv moving them off and then on before deciding to leave off although she doesnt squint or anything she may be realising things are not as sharp as they were

Moonshiner 17 Mar 2012, 22:10

Deleted several off topic posts

Cactus Jack 16 Mar 2012, 10:01


Once your glasses have corrected your distance vision to 20/20 (or 6/6) the add just makes up for your slowly developing presbyopia. Presbyopia is the gradual stiffening of your crystalline lenses which in combination with your ciliary muscles make up the "auto-focus" mechanism in your eye that used to let you focus close. After your vision is corrected to 20/20, the amount of plus required to focus is STRICTLY related to the distance from your eyes to the whatever you are focusing on. Isaac Newton developed the formulas that explain the relationship between lens power and focal distance about 300 years ago.

Lens Power in diopters = 39.37 inches (or 100 cm) divided by the distance in inches (or cm). For example: To focus at a typical reading distance of 16 inches or 40 cm requires a +2.50 diopter lens.

When you were younger, your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses easily supplied the +2.50. The +1.50 add meant that you could still supply +1.00 of the +2.50 and the +2.00 means that you can only supply +0.50 of the total required.

How much more add you will need in the future depends on only two things. How close you need (like) to focus and how much of the required plus your crystalline lenses and ciliary muscles can supply. It will go no higher than that.

Many people are very happy with a +2.50 or +2.75 add for routine activities. I happen to like to read in bed and have a pair of Rx single vision reading glasses that have the same Rx as a +3.25 add which focuses at about 12 inches or 30 cm. I can read for hours in comfort, but they are not good for much except reading close.


lion 16 Mar 2012, 04:16

after looking at all the alternatives that were suggested my wife has purchased one pair of prescription reading glasses from zenni and one pair of progressive reading / computer glasses from store with the only reason being we were not that confident of filling in the prescription correctly online we were not sure about the full details, the distance part of her prescription she decided that at present she could function ok without help. Her glasses online have arrived and she is very pleased with the quality, in response to her age she is 47. Again many thanks for all advice and will post when she gets her progressives in around a week

Brooke 14 Mar 2012, 22:00

Hi, I recently got a new prescription from the doctor...I forgot to ask him how much worse my reading correction will get? Also I'm wondering if an office lens would be better for me?

My new glasses prescription is;

R -1.25 -1.50 110

L -1.25 -1.75 90

add +2.00

age 42

Can't remember old prescription from three years ago but add was +1.50 (first bifocal/progressive), and my nearsightedness definitely a bit worse. I couldn't really take off my glasses to read because of the astigmatism, so I found the reading correction really helpful. However now I am discouraged at my reading increase but I guess that I have to wear glasses anyway...I stopped wearing contacts about ten years ago as my astigmatism got worse and found glasses sharper. As far as the +2 add goes I'm finding it a bit jarring compared with before. This is why I was thinking of an office lens for work. I am in customer service/ hospitality, always looking at computers, handhelds, and people too!

LTLurker 14 Mar 2012, 00:07

Hi lion,

I didn't notice if you mentioned how old your wife is



John S 11 Mar 2012, 14:00

To follow up on SC's message,

Your wife's headaches are probably being caused by muscle strain. If you relieve the strain, the headaches should stop.

Since she has a distance rx, that needs to be corrected full time. That may be where the headaches are coming from. She needs a small mount of plus for distance, then additional plus for reading.

If she just uses reading glasses, the rest of the time the muscles are still trying to supply the extra plus needed for distance.

You might as well talk her into progressives now. She probably won't have much of a choice in another year or two.

SC 11 Mar 2012, 11:02


Your wife's rx is on the border of full-time. She still has accommodation - ie she can 'squeeze the lens' to extract enough for distance (+0.75)but as she gets close, eg 1m then she will struggle.

I went full-time with this rx - mostly driven by reading but then all distances after getting used to them.

Progressives are effectively 3 lenses in one. The top part is for distance (>6m-60cm), the bottom is for reading (40cm-30cm) and the middle is for shopping, computers (1.3m-40cm). The problem is that for computers the middle is too small and you have to tilt your head back a little.

The alternative to progressives is lined bi-focal, which don't have the middle so 1.3m-40cm is a blank spot, or tri-focal. Most people prefer the look of progressive lenses and manage to adapt to them well

lion 10 Mar 2012, 20:30

john very apprciative to your advice and knowledge sorry to seek clarification on your options no 1 you say one pair for distance and reading option 2 computer and reading does this mean she should wear her glasses (no 1) all the time and are these known as progressives ta lion

SC 09 Mar 2012, 23:25


Your wife's rx is the same as mine and it took only 2 yrs for me to reach that (after 3 changes). She will end up dependent.

With the add of only +1.5, she has a good deal of accommodation and so should be able to use a computer with single vision +2.25 as they should work up to 66cm away. The challenge will be to get her eyes to relax so that is possible - initially I would have bought some +2 OTC readers for the computer.

I've found only two options going forward - both are compromises

1. Two pairs: one for distance and reading (+0.75 add +1.5) & one for computer and reading (+1.5 add +0.75) she would be able to see 'distance' of about 1.3m clearly - if she is doing work that requires use of a big monitor this is the only option

2. Use a laptop - because they are lower down, and the keyboard and screen are much closer together, then just the reading rx is really used so you can get away with progressives (+0.75 add +1.5) or single vision (+2.25)

Either way single vision won't last long, she is using more effort to read something 1m away without glasses(0.75+1.0 = 1.75) than fine print with glasses (0.75+3.0 - 2.25 = 1.5).

lion 09 Mar 2012, 21:39

john for the meantime she has chosen a standard pair of glasses from zenni with her reading prescription we will see how she manages when they arrive she has mentioned she is worried about her dependency on glasses after such a short period of time less than 3 years from no glasses to 2.25 it is her 4th change and wonders if and when her eyes will stabilize or will she end up with full time bifocals in the near future

John S 09 Mar 2012, 09:11


By the rx you gave, for the computer she would need about +1.75 for the computer. I don't know if you can find that. If not, +1.50 or +2.00 should be fine.

lion 09 Mar 2012, 05:22

john many thanks for reply my wife just has reading glasses at present she works in the health service not in office and only uses them to see patient charts she has now come to a stage where she cannot function without them as for computer use what do other people do is it the case where she can just use +1 readers as a back up or is there another option. as far as i am aware she has no problems with driving or distance in general thanks

John S 08 Mar 2012, 08:12


It appears the doctor is saying, for normal reading - Add +1.75 to the distance rx. For the computer - Add +1.00 to the distance. Those add values make sense to me.

The "office glasses" I believe she is referring to a special type of progressive lens. There is very little distance rx in the lens, some manufacturers have the intermediate go all the way to the top of the lens. For use in the office, they work very well. There is a very smooth transition between intermediate and reading. Once you get used to the distance limitation, they work very well for any close work.

You will not find these lenses at Zenni. They are specialty lenses. The ones that come to mind are:

Sola Access

Zeiss Business

Shamir Office

Nikon Online

Seiko Pcwide

Hoyalux Tact

These almost provide vision as if you were using a single vision lens for close work. They are very comfortable for extended close work. It would be a different story to drive with them. They would only be useful as a second pair. If your wife can deal with the pair she has now for normal wear, these lenses would work well for office work.

lion 08 Mar 2012, 05:45

my wife has been complaining of headaches and so went for another eye test on tuesday she previously had one in october last. the optomotrist prescribed a slight increase of .25 to her reading prescription, he checked her distance vision and said she would benefit slightly though would leave it up to her, which she decided to leave. when mentioning having problems with computer screen he said this changes things completely and prescibed for both reading and computer the price for the lenses changed dramatically, the sales girl called them office glasses we visited zenni through this site but do not know what to look for as this term is presumably "slang" could someone please explain and guide presciption is R sph+0.75 cyl -0.25 near add 1.75 axis 30 inter add 1.00 L +0.75 near add 1.75 inter add 1.00 many thanks lion

Soundmanpt 02 Feb 2012, 14:05


Well a few years ago I would have said that you and your sister are both on the young side to be wearing bifocals already, but as I have noticed in the last few years more and more people your age, and your sisters age are needing bifocals. Your prescription is not very strong for your distance or your add which explains why you can still to see well enough to read without your glasses. However if your finding seeing your phone difficult now even with your glasses it probably means you are due for an increase at least in your add. What is going on with your sister I can only guess. But since she only started wearing glasses 2 months ago and she can't see well enough to take down your order is more about liking the clarity she gets when shes wearing them as to really not being able to see without them. If her glasses are even weaker than yours she shouldn't need them that much. It;s interesting that you both got bifocals at 25 and from what you say about the same prescriptions. If she has little or no prescription for distance she may have just got them made that way so she could wear them and not be taking them on and off for close work? It would help if you can find out what her total prescription is. It is true that everyone sees differently even with the same prescriptions, but with weaker glasses and only having them for such a short time seems odd.

Beth 02 Feb 2012, 09:55

I have worn bifocals in my glasses for the last three years. I am 28 so i know that is a little soon for the bifocals. My perscription is like + 100 with a 150 for the bifocal. I wear them most all the time. I find that i can still see up close without them if I don't have them on, not real good but I can read. My phone is getting difficult to see even with them.

My younger sister (25) went and got glasses about a 2 months ago. She has worn hers off and on lately. She called and needed a ride to work as her auto was getting serviced. She works in a Pub in town. My husband and I gave her the lift and decided to grab some dinner while we were there. When she came to take our order she started to write it down, she could not do it without her glasses. She said she had to go and get her specs before she could continue. I dont know how strong her glasses are butI tried them on and they are not as strong as mine. She was given bifocals too. the top part of her specs seem to be plain glass with some magnification on the bottom. I question why she is having trouble seeing without her weaker glasses when I can still read without mine. I asked her what was up with the vision thing, she told me the glasses have made it impossible to do anything close without them. I don't think she is faking but what is going on ?

Revolver 24 Jan 2012, 09:30

CV: in all probability she has cataracts. At a certain point, and that point can last a long time depending on how fast or slow the cataracts are developing, both near and far point VA will allow her experience to take place. It's long gone under the nickname of "second sight".

The ability to read w/o correction is particularly telling, and the far point may not be as good as it seems, you don't need to be better than 20/60 in some jurisdictions to renew driving licenses.

GL 24 Jan 2012, 07:05

Crystal Veil,

Maybe she's just lucky. Some people are...

Crystal Veil 24 Jan 2012, 04:11

The mother of my life partner Nel recently went for an eye exam for the renewal of her driver's license. She was 85 and she never had glasses, not for long distance and not even for reading. I expected that she would have myopia in one eye but the eye exam showed that she had perfect eyesight in both eyes. No need for glasses whatsoever. I often watched her reading the newspaper without any visual effort. Can anyone explain this? Did she keep her ciliary muscles strong enough, simply by never going for a pair of readers?

Soundmanpt 20 Jan 2012, 16:26

very progressive

Well I totally agree with Neil. If it were me and you are that concerned even before you have gotten your glasses I would have gone to a different doctor. And before even going to another doctor I would make it clear that your only wanting to be examined by a doctor and not a tech. Now I understand it is common for a tech to do a pre-exam, that is to save time so the doctor has a good starting point for the exam and is not wasting time starting from scratch. That is also why they will take your glasses and read the prescription off the lenses to compare to how you are seeing now.

Now one thing that you should know and that is if your glasses don't seem right after a few days of wearing them most places will re examine you and provide you new lenses at no charge within 30 - 60 days. (it varies) So at least you won't be stuck with glasses that don't work right for you.

I honestly have never heard of a tech actually doing the complete exam. No offense to the techs out there but there is a reason you go to a doctor of optometry? That would be like going in for surgery and having the nurse do the operation.

Neil 20 Jan 2012, 14:39

I'm sorry, very progressive, but I don't think I am qualified to answer your prescription questions.

However, based on your many posts over the last year or more about your vision and correction issues, it seems like you could go for a second opinion, as I have now repeated many times over.

very progressive 20 Jan 2012, 13:55


I am wondering if the opthalmologist would hav performed the refraction herself if I hadn't already had one done (by another Dr, an optometrist), only 7 mths ago? It seems that after discussing ( not in my presence) with the tech her findings, she did "tweak" my rx herself based on my complaints. I clearly did need an increase in my reading add as shown on the reading chart. Does the tiny bit of astigmatism +.50, make much of a difference. In other words could I wear non-prescription reading glasses. I don't intend to do that , just wondering if this amount of astigmatism is negligible?

very progressive 20 Jan 2012, 13:49

Do you really think that my new glasses (won't get for a couple of weeks)will work well for the computer distance? You said that decreasing the distance rx in both eyes by .25 and adding .25 to the near vision will be like gaining +.50. I realize that this will help with reading , but am concerned about the computer, as I see it well without correction. Also, with rimless frames, will the bottom part of the lenses be thicker then the top? Will my distance rx continue to decrease?

Neil 13 Jan 2012, 18:10

I'll leave a more substantive response about your prescription to more knowledgeable people here, but I certainly would be suspicious about your doctor's office setup -- in particular the use of a tech for refraction. This implies a community college-level of education.

Again, over the last few decades MDs have basically quit the refraction business and handed this over to ODs. This is why at many practices you'll find BOTH in an integrated setting, so that each does what he or she is best qualified to do. You also have to ask why an MD would want to work below his or her pay grade (in terms of procedure)? It is as if a pain medicine specialist decided to spend the day doing acupuncture. Just hire an acupuncturist!

Based on your stories here, and your struggles in finding an optimal vision solution, I personally would ASAP move over to a good optometrist who has the time and patience to address your vision needs.

very progressive 13 Jan 2012, 14:29

Hi Neil,

The opthalmologist that I saw has been my Dr for over a year, as she saw me to examine a choroidal nevus, and treat me for an eye infection. I wanted to see a MD for these medical issues. I have had my refractions performed over the years by both optometrists and a couple of times an opthalmologist. Some optometrists were independant and others worked with opthalmologists.

This opthalmologist did (at my original appt) examine my vision without my glasses, as I had left them in the car. She determined that my uncorrected, distance vision was 20/150 in right eye, and 20/100 in the left. I was not due for a refraction. She was a little surprised that I didn't have my glasses on, as she thought that I seemed to squint. I however don't really need to wear my glasses all of the time.

I decided to continue seeing this Dr. as she was extremely thorough, and explained my eye health completely. I was somewhat surprised to find that when I went strictly for a refraction, just because I want new glasses, that I only saw a tech, not even an optometrist. The tech did perform an auto refraction and tested my vision only with my current glasses. She explained that the only change she would make was adding a .25 diopter to my add. She said that she didn't feel that I would even notice.

The opthal. came in only to hand me my rx, and then told me that she add a little correction to my add (hence the .25) and had also "tweaked" my distance correction.She said that the tech told her i could see 20/20 comfortably with what she was prescribing. Now, this is strictly an assumption on my part, but I'm thinking that the Dr decided to decrease my distance vision (although not the best rx) in order to help with my mid range vision, as this was my only complaint. I feel that she probably didn't think that adding a .25 diopter to my add would accomplish this. From what she indicated, I think she meant that for my distance my original rx was probably "more perfect", but that the decreased rx wouldn't make much of a difference.

Does this make sense? Am I silly to be surprised and concerned that a tech performed my refraction?

Neil 13 Jan 2012, 13:39

very progressive,

As I was reading your recent posts I was wondering about your eye care professional. You mention that you see an ophthalmologist, and that a tech or assistant examined you. My understanding is that now even ophtalmologists leave the vision correction work to optometrists. In fact many eye practices include both sets of ECPs so that each group can focus on their particular area of expertise. It sounds like you need an ECP that will take the time (maybe with repeated visits) to address your vision needs. I can't imagine that an ophthalmologist has that kind of time, simply because they can earn much more doing other things.

Cactus Jack 12 Jan 2012, 22:48

very progressive,

If you didn't like John S suggestion, you REALLY won't like this one. TRIFOCALS with distance, intermediate (Rx for distance to your computer display, and reading.

I got bifocals (university) at 20 and trifocals at 30 (engineering work) which solved my problems. Never lost or misplaced a pair because if I can see clearly at all distances, I know exactly where they are.

Think of glasses or hearing aids, for that matter, as tools and you need the appropriate tool for the job at hand. Hammers don't make good screwdrivers and vice-versa.

A funny thing happened when I got the trifocals. There were a few questions about why I needed them. When I explained the benefits, it wasn't long before several others with similar needs got trifocals and thanked me for showing the way.


John S 12 Jan 2012, 19:19


The answer I will give you won't like. If you want to best vision, I would get bifocals with the top set to the distance you are from the monitor, and the reading add set at 16". I knew you would not like that answer...Was I right? Whenever you leave your desk take your glasses off, and leave them on the desk. Then put your progressives back on for any other activities. Since you don't like that answer, you could get progressives made to the same rx as I recommended for the bifocals. You will probably be happy with either solution.

The problem of losing them, you are on your own.

As far as SV lenses, they are only going to work at the distance the rx is for. If they are for 20 feet, they are going to work for 6-20 feet. Rx is for 16", 13-19". I recommended SV lenses because you said you are at a monitor for extended times. But then you said you don't want 2 pairs, then you will feel old.

It is something you have to accept, and it won't get any better. You can put off the inevitable, but it won't change the end result.

What do you think I thought, when I needed bifocals at 13? I knew I needed them before I went for my first exam. I was not real happy, but when I tried my Dad's, I could see great. I had trouble getting a rx for them. I had to go to a second doctor to get a rx for bifocals, the first refused.

Some OT stuff...

I had bad hearing in my left ear for 10 years, then my right ear started degrading. I put off getting hearing aids for another 5 years. It gets really old saying "huh", "what did you say?". Same thing, a person in his early 50's having to get hearing aids, ugh. Here is the difference, unless you have a underlying eye problem, glasses will do a good job correcting your vision. When you have a hearing loss, your hearing will never be normal again. Yes they help, but that is all they do. I would be thrilled if aids worked as well as glasses, they don't. I have been blessed with both. Only 2 or 3 people have ever mentioned that I am wearing aids.

If you live long enough, you will need glasses. The kids think they are the in thing. Plano lenses, the rage.

People are not always as dumb as you think. If you have vision or hearing problem, it gets noticed. When you get it corrected, it makes everyone's life easier. (Including your own)

very progressive 12 Jan 2012, 08:32

John, I'm a little discouraged by what you are saying about the progressives. I wouldn't have bought progressives, if I thought that single vision glasses would be better. I have a hard time using the computer and then switching to paperwork in front of me, on my desk. I really hate the idea of 2 pairs of glasses. I am always losing them. besides the whole 2 pair thing makes me feel old. My Dr seems to think that it is only a matter of time until I cannot see the computer or the dash board of my car.

If my vision continues to get better for distance , I may then only SV glasses? Is that a possibility?

John S 12 Jan 2012, 00:37

Don't worry about the add. It won't probably won't go above +2.75, unless you want to read closer than 16".

For using the computer, I think you would have better results using single vision lenses. Progressives work ok for short term computer use, but they get old after a while. With your rx you might be able to get away without using glasses for the computer. If you want to go with SV lenses, tell me how far you sit from the monitor. I'll try to give estimate a rx that should work. You can order a cheap pair from Zenni.

very progressive 11 Jan 2012, 15:04

Thanks John ! Your info makes alot of sense. I am concerned about the increase in my add in such a short time. Do you have an opinion, as to how much more progression I might have? Although my vision insurance is good, the new progressives are still quite expensive. I certainly hope that I won't need new lenses more than once per year. I do drive at night, but primarily just home from work, bout a half an hr. I guess the decrease of only -.25 in distance rx won't have a large enough effect (even at movies and shows) to notice. I really do hope that this change is the ticket to my neck and eyestrain, as I am in front of a computer monitor about 9 hrs per day. I am now finding that wearig my glasses most of the time, helps also with not losing or sitting on them. This is a problem when they are on and off all of the time.

John S 10 Jan 2012, 19:42

By your symptoms, it sure sounds like your minus distance rx needs to be reduced. The combination of the distance being reduced, and the add increase will probably help, but I don't think you would see a drastic difference by that -0.25 reduction. If he dropped the distance -0.50, you would notice that.

The clue is, looking through the intermediate zone to see clearly in the distance. That means the rx needs to be reduced. Increasing the add would not do anything to help that. The add is uses the distance rx as a reference. The distance needs to be correct for the add to be correct.

In essence, your reading add has been increased by +0.50. You will notice that. I don't know if you will see a lot of difference in distance. Take note if at night you notice the same effect using the intermediate. Due to the pupil opening being larger at night, than can be a 0.50 difference in the distance rx. You might need that extra minus to see well at night time. Give the new glasses a try, they may be ok.

very progressive 10 Jan 2012, 14:00

oops, actually axis in right eye remained the same. Changed from 92 to 90 in left eye? close enough? and rx for left eye is now : -.75 +.50 x 90 add 2.50

very progressive 10 Jan 2012, 11:49

I went back to my opthalmologist, as I have been having problems with my progressives. I had noticed that within the last 6-8 mths. I am needing to use my reading add rather then the corridor from distance to near, to see the computer clearly. Cannot place the monitor in the proper position to avoid neck strain.The tech acutually performed a refraction, as I am able to get new glasses with my vision plan.alittle concerned that an opthalmologist or optometrist,didn't perform this.

My original rx was -1.75 +.50 x 90 (OD), and -1.00 +.50 x 92 (OS), add 2.25. Tech told me that she added just a .25 to my add, but there were no other changes. The Dr acutally came in and noted that she was tweaking my reading add, and the rx for my distance. The rx she signed and gave me is -1.50 +.50 x 90 (not 92 as previous) add 2.50. She stated that the tech felt I could see 20/20 comfortably at a distance and the new rx should help with my near. Does this sound right? Will my distance (albeit mild to begin with) be as clear? She tested my unaided vision at 20/150, and 20/100. Will this help with the progressive lens issues? The optician who then fitted me for new glasses, explained that the high end progressives, utilize a more customized lens than the older type that were stock lenses (cut to rx). He also said that rather then a corridor, concentric rings were used. Again, does all of this make sense, and will these glasses be the ticket? I virutally am unable to see anything close at this point without my glasses, and am wondering how often I should wear them? I am nearly 51 yrs old and wondering how much more the presbyopia will progress?

Neil 09 Jan 2012, 01:56

Wow, I can't believe that there is such a degree of incompetence and carelessness on the part of ECPs.

Our optometrist is incredibly thorough and detailed. Once when I asked her about my prescription (astigmatism to be specific) and subjectivity/reliability, she explained to me that she checked multiple times to make sure that I was consistent in what I liked best.

For near vision adds,though, maybe there is yet an extra dimension of subjectivity?

Soundmanpt 08 Jan 2012, 01:49

Cactus Jack

To be honest what I have found over the years is exactly what we all talk about in here. There are many, many opticians out there working that simply don't know how to use read it. It's really pretty scary to be honest. Human error at it's worst.

Cactus Jack 07 Jan 2012, 23:52


Also, the Rx before this one?

Time between the two exams?

Your age?

Where you live?


Cactus Jack 07 Jan 2012, 23:49


I don't know the answer to that one, but I think it might be difficult just through operational wear. A phropter is a relatively simple mechanical device that does not seem to experience much operational stress that might cause it to slip a gear. The lenses are not subject to change.

That said, I have been suspicious of a possible difference in phropter calibration after my regular optometrist for many years had his phropter cleaned. My Rx had a suspicious change in cylinder axis at my last exam.

The axis of low cylinder powers is very difficult to get right because its determination depends on your skill at comparing relative degrees of blurriness and it takes some experience and aggressiveness on your part to fine tune the axis. Some examiners will not let you have an active role in your exam other than answering their questions.

If you will supply your complete Rx, I will try to make some specific suggestions.


Do you have any thoughts on phropter calibration


Trent 07 Jan 2012, 21:52

I needed an eye exam and didn't know who to go to so I picked an optometrist out of the phone book. This guy just couldn't get it right. The first Rx he wrote a cylinder that was unusually high. The second test he recorded a weak Rx with an axis that was 9 degrees different than what I usually see. The third time I went back I complained that I could not see properly when driving. He bumped up my Rx 0.25 d in one eye. This guy just did not want to listen to me! My question is can a Phoropter go out of calibration?

varifocals 07 Jan 2012, 06:51

I agree that opticians tend to under perscrible.

I have recently experienced this & have the headaches to prove it.

Cactus Jack 06 Jan 2012, 19:51


Eye Exams are probably the most subjective medical test around because the outcome depends very much on the skill of the patient and what he/she tells the examiner. On top of that, there are the things the examiner learned in school.

Unfortunately, many examiners tend to under correct because they were taught that overcorrection is harmful and to be sure they do no harm, they under correct.


Cactus Jack 06 Jan 2012, 19:43


A myope without glasses effectively has built in reading glasses of the opposite sign (+) and approximately the same Rx. The actual Rx at the cornea has to consider vertex distance effects of glasses, but I did not consider vertex distance effects for my "back of the envelope estimates". The calculation I did was Newton's focal distance formula of Focal Distance = 1 meter / lens power. In English units it is 39.37 inches in a meter / 6 = 6.56 inches.

Her true Rx is about -5.50 if you consider vertex distance so she would see clearly at about 7 inches assuming there are no other factors except sphere correction.


Neil 06 Jan 2012, 18:41

Thanks, Cactus Jack, for your helpful reply.

From the various experiences posted here it seems that ECPs are not particularly uniform or consistent on prescribing adds. Some seem to rely almost exclusively on age, and/or simply whether the patient can see the text. Others seem more willing take into account the patient's visual comfort, occupational needs, etc.

How do you come up with the 6.5 inches reading distance for a minus 6 prescription?

Cactus Jack 06 Jan 2012, 00:50


The need for an add happens when it happens. Age is a factor certainly, but there are other things that can over-ride the age factor.

My first Rx at 14 was R 0.00 L -1.50 (natural mono vision) and my eyes had not ever had to work together or do much focusing to read. By the time I was 20 and in university, the huge reading workload caused massive headaches. The solution was bifocals at 20, by 30 I had an add of +2.50 and had to get trifocals for reading the top part of large blueprints. I guess it might have been slightly embarrassing to need trifocals at 30, but it was easier to explain the trifocals than to explain what I was doing on the drawing table reading the important stuff on the top part of D or E sized engineering drawing. Progressives had not been invented then.

Assuming her distance Rx is -6 and she has no astigmatism (rare), she would need to read at about 6.5 inches or 16.6 cm to see clearly. She might find that uncomfortable.

Also, it is not unusual for myopes in the -2.50 to -3.00 range with little astigmatism to get in the habit of reading without their glasses. This causes the ciliary muscles to become de-conditioned which has the same effect as presbyopia.

The point of all this is that your sister-in-laws needs are perhaps a little unusual, but not uncommon. As an OO, you just happened to notice, most people would not notice the symptoms of the presence of a progressive add.


Neil 05 Jan 2012, 23:44

During the Christmas season my wife, daughter and I went on a beach vacation where my wife's sister and her boyfriend joined us in a house we had rented. My sister-in-law, who is turning 30 this year, is quite nearsighted -- I think she once mentioned that she is nearly minus 6. She has or had contacts as well, but lately we seem to always see her in her glasses.

In any case...while we were all looking at family photos on my sister-in-law's laptop, I could not help but to notice her tilting her head up, using the bottom portion of her glasses as a progressive lens wearer would. (She was on the floor right in front of the laptop that was perched above on her bed.) The next day, while everyone was out, I decided to stay in and take a nap, so I peeked through her glasses left behind. (She swapped them for prescription sunglasses.) Well, they were definitely progressives, though I have to say it was hard to tell, and I never would have known without looking straight through them up and down the lens.

Now I must ask the experts here about this. I would have thought that younger folks with such levels of myopia would have really good close focusing ability--in fact so good that it induces further myopia. What could have caused her need for a PAL? Is it the minification from strong minus lenses? Headaches or eyestrain? I know that she is a heavy reader. From what I saw on the trip, seeing how she interacts with her smartphone, etc., it seems she is quite used to the PAL at this point and finds it necessary.

DWV 12 Dec 2011, 19:48

Regarding blended bifocals, be aware that the blended part will be too blurry to look through. Round segments are nearly invisible; the R38 offers a good reading area (seems to be more common in the UK)( offers R24 and R38). Curve-top bifocals may be an even better compromise, since curved lines don't catch the light as strongly as flat ones. And there's little "image jump", unlike the round segment type. Probably more common in Germany.

Still, even the standard flat-top segments can be very hard to see unless the light catches the segment just right.

futuremultifocal 04 Dec 2011, 03:28

Brett, I decided to go with progressives. They convinced me to get some superfancy progressive lenses with HD blablablabal...hahahaha. But they told me that they had good feedback from customers regarding the immediate tolerance of the lenses. But they also told me that there is still some better lenses on the market but since my add might still go up quite a bit in the future it would make it easier then to opt for the even more expensive lenses. Made sense to me at the moment. I have to wait almost two weeks for the lenses to arrive...I'll let you know.

Brett 03 Dec 2011, 18:42

Futuremultifocal: Did you decide to get bifocals or progressives?

futuremultifocal 02 Dec 2011, 07:29

Hi there

I had my visit with the eye doctor and it turns out that I am slightly cross-eyed. The doctor told me that she thought about giving me prisms in my glasses but now decided to give me an add instead. My new rx is the following:

R: +1.5 dpt, -0.75, 99 add +1

L: +1.5 dpt, -0.50, 89 add +1

I'll go and chose new frames tomorrow. I'll let you know when I can get my new glasses. I am quite excited to see how they will be.

best regards

Revolver 01 Dec 2011, 13:38

vry progressive: I found a lab that does indeed provide blended bifocals, they come only in CR-39 and are called Blended Round 28. Their wholesale price is about $35/pair less than this lab's bottom end progressives. They also come in Transitions.

Cactus jack 23 Nov 2011, 10:04


Do you by chance live in the U.K.? For some reason Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) there seem to have under correction drilled into them.

Could you be developing evidence of Presbyopia at 32? Absolutely. It actually starts in very early childhood, but it takes a long time to get to the point where it is a problem. Usually, it doesn't become much a problem until the mid 30s to early 40s, but it typically becomes a problem sooner in hyperopes, such as yourself, than myopes.

Two things seem to govern the rate of developing presybopia. Your genetic makeup and the conditioning (strength) of your ciliary muscles.

Your ciliary muscles, which control the focusing power of your crystalline lenses, are the strongest and hardest working muscles in your body, for their size. In the case of uncorrected hyperopes, they have to work extra hard to compensate for your hyperopia and then work even harder for you to be able to focus to read. Plus glasses for distance relieve some of their work load and an add further reduces their workload. The result of the reduction in workload, allows them to get out of condition (loose some of their strength) pretty quickly which is why a stronger add is often needed however the ultimate need for a +2.50 or +3.00 add is inevitable in most people. The actual amount of add will depend on how close you need/like to focus for reading or other close work, nothing else.

It is quite common for university students to wear what is called a functional bifocal to help them with their studies and all the "tiny text" devices we have these days, just make the problem manifest itself sooner.

The point is, you need focusing help when you need it and the calendar is a minor factor. A through eye exam by an Opthalmologist can't hurt to establish a base line for the overall health of your eyes and your body. Many lurking health conditions, other than vision, are spotted first during an eye exam because your eyes are windows into your body. Early detection is almost always a good thing.

Please let us know the results of your exam. If you have more questions or need help ordering glasses, let us know.


Crystal Veil 23 Nov 2011, 08:51


it may depend on the country where you are living and also on the optician of your choice. I notice from earlier postings here that there are more people of your age who need bifocals. In the mid 1980's the accomodation in my eyes detoriated within a few weeks. I was in my mid 30's and it took me a lot of shopping before an optician was willing to "give" me varifocals. They said that I was far too young. The same thing happened to my lady friend in the early 1990's. She had strong + glasses (+ 7 / +8) and even at the age of 36 she was forced to take the glasses two or three inches away from her eyes to read. She lived in Ireland and opticians refused to give her bifocals. I finally found an optician in Holland who made her a pair of bifocals. There's talk about the increasing number of students who need bifocals but I have not seen them yet. Anyway, I wish you success in finding the right optician for your problem. If you don't find one, check Zenni Optical. They will supply you with bifocals or varifocals and their prices are very modest.

futuremultifocal 23 Nov 2011, 05:48

Hi there

Yesterday I went to the optician because for some time now I have trouble focusing up close. I'm only slightly hyperopic with +1.25 dpt in each eye. He did the exam and found out that for distance my rx only changed about 0.5 dpt and my astigmatism in my right eye has changed a bit. but when I told him that up close I had troubles he first tried to give me some "relax"-lense (of about 0.75 dpt power) but it didn't make things up close better. Only when he added +1.5 dpt I could see and read the card well without straining my eyes. He then told me that he wants me to go to an eye-doctor because with my 32 years an add would be a bit early. He was clearly reluctant to give me the add. I now have an appointment with an eye doctor next tuesday. Why do you think he did not want me to give the add? Could there be something else? What do you think? Is it that unusual to give a 32 year old an add?

Jamie32 18 Nov 2011, 20:03

From earlier posts, you know about my experimenting with bifocals again. Had an interesting experience on Wednesday, was chatting with one of the gang here at Eyescene on the computer for a couple hours. When I got done, was going to take the bis off and go back to using my singles.

Was surprised when I got ready to read the screen with my singles, that I couldn't focus on the words at all and that the only one to continue on was to put the bifocals back on. Makes me think that I may be needing them full time sooner than I thought

Revolver 18 Nov 2011, 09:00

I don't know if they're still made or not, but presume they are. But you probably wouldn't find them at a big box type opticianry, you would probably have to go to a boutique type store and/or a private optometrist. You won't know unless you ask.

lv2c4i 18 Nov 2011, 06:50

Time to adapt to progressives is extremely variable. When I got my first pair, my first multi-focal specs, I was able to adapt in the matter of a few hours. I quickly began to automatically tilt my head/eyes to the appropriate place for the best vision. That made a friend who'd endured a couple of weeks of uneasy adapting quite angry! Actually, the slight tug of the new, stronger prescription was more problem than the transition-type lenses.

Crystal Veil 17 Nov 2011, 18:31

Very progressive,

Eyeglass Lens Direct apparently still sell what they call blended bifocals, but these seem to be different from the two pairs of blended bifocals in my collection. What Eyeglass Lens Direct offers is a blended variant of the old circle shaped bifocals. The blended bifocals in my collection are a pair by Rodenstock and a pair by Coppella (or Coppelia?), both made two decades ago. Both seem to be based on the shape of lined bifocals rather than the circled shaped bifocals. Pictures of both glasses can be seen on my first weblog (Gita 014-015, Margriet 050-052, Tineke 119-120 in the Coppella pair, and Tineke 109-110 in the Rodenstock glasses). The only model posing in blended bifocals on my present weblog is Karen (207-208), again in the Rodenstock pair.

very progressive 17 Nov 2011, 16:44

Thanks Revolver,

My rx is -1.75 +.50 x 90 add 2.25 in my r eye , same except distance is -1.00 for left eye. I really do see the computer better with no glasses, then with my progressives. I need to keep taking off, and putting on at work. As I am a bit vain, and don't want a lined bifocal, would the blended bifocal be an option for me? Do they even make them anymore?


Crystal Veil 17 Nov 2011, 14:33


thank you so much for this clear explanation. This makes me the proud owner of a pair of blended bifocals. Some ten years back, I bought them and it was obvious that there was no transition zone for the middle distance. As far as I can remember, the glasses were used once or twice at a photo shoot. I will change the narrative with those pictures on my weblogs.

Revolver 17 Nov 2011, 12:58

Since no one else has answered very progressive's post about blended bifocals (shame on us!) here it is. Yes, there are blended bifocals and no, they aren't progressives. By very definition, with a progressive the add power starts at it's top with a mid distance correction and gradually gets stronger as it moves lower until it reaches max add power. A blended is the same as a lined bi, it's just that the line has been optically blended into the distance lens. There is the same jump in power as in a lined one, that is to say the wearer is looking through either a distance correction (which could be plano) or near add. It is usually in a rounded shape rather than a flat top. I have a pair in my collection, a small metal frame I suspect belonged to a young person, and it is -1.50 with a +1.00 add so the reading segment is very unnoticeable. On the other hand, I've seen blended ones for a mature person with a +.50 distance and a +2.25 add which makes the segment almost as noticeable as a lined bifocal.

Soundmanpt 16 Nov 2011, 16:41


Just for fun I went into Zenni and using the frame you picked I put together prices for both lined and progressive bifocals including AR coating.

lined bifocal - $29.00 US

progressives - 34.00 US

I think shipping out of the US is around $9.00.

Tommy27 16 Nov 2011, 14:46

Sorry the link should be

Tommy27 16 Nov 2011, 14:42

Cactus Jack

Thank you very much for your offer, I have already ordered one pair from the local opticians (200 USD frames&lenses) so right now I would just wait for them and see how it works. But if I am happy with bifocals I will definitely want to order another pair on-line (maybe with tint as sunglasses). To my surprise I realized that the cheapest pair at ( is very similar to my old frames that I loved because they were extremely comfortable (having quite big head it is not that simple to find comfortable frames) so I guess I have already chosen :-).

Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2011, 13:53


Not true, lined bifocals are alive and well. It is just that many optical shops like selling more expensive progressives for those who want to make a fashion statement or are a bit vain. Can't blame them, but you don't have to buy.

Have you investigated Zenni Optical online. They offer lined bifocals for as low as US$10.00 plus shipping.

If you want to try ordering a pair, let us know and we will help you.


Tommy27 16 Nov 2011, 13:22

I already posted to another thread on that, so just quick repeat: I am 27 years old male, 10 to 12hrs a day working on computer (or reading), with moderate myopia: R -4D, L - 3.75D, in last month or two started having problems (mainly headaches) after prolonged close work, using my (very) old glasses with weaker prescription for close work helped a lot but it obviously is not good permanent solution (not only because those glasses are scratched, bent etc.), putting down glasses at all works for reading in bed (with book 10in from my face) but not in the office...

After reading all stories on this site about people in similar situation to me (and encouragement from Emily on the chat) I finally went for a professional check-up. Or not so professional... My eyes were checked by very young girl who admitted to work as optometrist only for few months, she said she has no real experience (only from her school books) with young myopes having close work problems... But after some tests she said I would need +1.25 add (no surprise in there) and should get progressives.

With Rx from her I went to nearest optician, but was really shocked when they told me how much my new glasses will cost: equivalent (I live in Central Europe) to 400 USD only for lenses. Having huge mortgage, young son and full-time-at-home wife, this was just out of question.

After some discussion I persuaded the optician to make me bifocals with line (only 150 USD for lenses) even if I have been told that I am the their first young client wanting bifocals with line. But it will take two weeks because obviously no-one buys bifocals with line these days...

varifocals 11 Nov 2011, 15:40


Specsavers varifocals

I have used specsavers varifocals for the last 8 years.

They have a free deal on varifocals in their shop window at the moment but I did not know there are 4 types.

We have fierce competion between the main eye stores who are almost next door to each other in Bedford.

This is a major town for glasses because of the 4 big schools & a large technical college.

Yes glasses are cool in Bedford.

Aubrac 11 Nov 2011, 12:24

Wonder if any of you can help? I got a Specsavers flyer in my local paper advertising their new store opening.

It said they have four types of varifocal:

Standard which have 'soft focus at the edge of vision' but are easy to adapt to

Premium which fits a larger range of frames and are easier to adapt to

Elite which has very little 'soft focus' and are very easy to adapt to

Tailor-made which gives widest field of clear vision at all distances and are the easiest to adapt to

They also make an offer if you don't get on with them within 30 days to swap for bi-focals, or two pairs of glasses for distance and reading.

Is this a bit of a sales pitch or are there really some technical differences that make the difference?

john 08 Nov 2011, 14:30

Stacy- Just get some lined bifocals.You can read easier with the lines .YOUR CO-workers already know you have bifocals so its no big deal.You can switch back and forth between lines and no-lines. a lot of people have both types of bifocals.Some think the lines are sexy.

john 08 Nov 2011, 14:28

Stacey- Just get some lined bifocals.You can read easier with the lines .YOUR CO-workers already know you have bifocals so its no big deal.You can switch back and forth between lines and no-lines. a lot of people have both types of bifocals.Some think the lines are sexy.

very progressive 06 Nov 2011, 17:12

Are blended bifocals the same as progressives? I have a friend who used to have blended bifocals,and said they were not progressives. She also said that they did not have a visible line.

Soundmanpt 06 Nov 2011, 10:24


Thanks for the update. It's rather interesting, not so many years ago it would have been rare to find even one of those around 30 year old women needing reading glasses. Times they are a changin' but for all 3 of you needing readers to see the menu I think shows that it is clear that I-Phones and the like are having it's effect on vision. I am curious if the other 2 ladies actually were prescribed their glasses or if they simply picked up some over the counter readers. No matter they must feel they need them. The fact that the one seated next to you knew hers were +1.25 sounds like she did go that route. For them to comment that your glasses were strong proves they know little about glasses. To be sure your glasses are not close to being strong. My guess is they were seeing the different views as your lenses went from distance to close.

I found your husband letting everyone know that your glasses not only were new but bifocals rather funny. Were you about ready to kill him at that moment? Did you have any intention of telling them they were for both distance and close?

Since you got your glasses you said you have only wore them at work. Have you been wearing them full time at work or on and off? It sounds like you spend most of your time looking at a computer so you really should be wearing them. How much do you wear them now? Also even though you only have a small need for glasses for distance you really should start wearing them when driving and any other times when you need to see distances such as sporting events and the movies.

You are correct that the more you wear them the more you feel the need to wear them. because they are bifocals they correct your vision for all distances so even though they are not strong you should find they help for everything.

Besides it sounds like the one you care about most thinks you look sexy wearing them.

The bifocals that were left at your desk and no one claimed them, did they tell you how close they were to your glasses when you took them with you for your exam. If there close you could wear them to see if you like the lined bifocal better. Many like the idea of a bigger reading portion, but you won't have the middle area that is often useful when looking at a computer screen.

Stacy 05 Nov 2011, 22:06

Just a quick update on my new glasses. Had dinner with a group from my husbands office, all were close to our age, early 30's. When the menu's came, a girl next to me put on a pair of reading glasses to read the menu. That prompted the girl across the table to pull down the reading glasses from the top of her head. She asked the one next to me" when did you get reading glasses?" she replied " just the other day, they are 125's. I just need them to read small print." All the discussion about glasses made me feel I needed to put mine on too to read the menu. It was the first time I put mine on outside of work. I reached in my purse and slid them on, which prompted more talk about glasses. They asked. " How strong are yours." I was embarrassed to tell them they were bifocals, so I told them I didn't know my perscription. The one next to me asked to try them on. When she did, her response was " WHOA! These are really strong,". I have to hold the menu 6 inches away to see!" she kept lifting her head up to look out of the bifocal. My husband told them "She just got them, they are bifocals!. With that she hands them back to me and tells me " you're blind" I put them back on for the rest of the evening. They really helped in the dark restaurant. I getting more comfortable in wearing them. I even put them on grocery shopping today and still have them on now. I think my husband really likes me wearing them. He says they are sexy! It is like what I read here, the more I wear them the more I need them. I'm still thinking it might be cool to get a pair with lines in them to see if they are better.


Soundmanpt 03 Nov 2011, 12:08


The advice and comments made by Varifocals and Cactus Jack is very true and accurate. The only thing I would add is that your exam indicated that you are only slightly farsighted requiring a small correct for your distance, but it is clear the main reason you need your glasses is seeing your computer and reading close. It sounds like what your doing now is tilting your head back so you can see your computer screen out of the add segment of your glasses. But you really should be able to see your screen from the mid section of your glasses. The top segment of your glasses is what you should be using for driving and looking off in the distance. The area between the top part and the bottom part is where your eyes should be able to see your screen with ease. I would say if you can't see the screen through the mid section there are 3 possible things. Number one is your wearing your glasses too far down your nose and you should always keep them in the proper position on your nose. The second is that maybe the add segment needs to be raised up a little higher in your glasses, that would give more power to the mid section to see the screen with and the last would be maybe making your add a little stronger which would also increase the power in the mid section.

Actually I favor the kind of glasses that you got, progressives, because they do give you 3 areas to see through, distance, mid and close. Bifocals only give 2 areas and don't have the mid area which is often the best for seeing a computer screen. It is true that progressives offer only a small area for your mid and close (add). But because this is your first glasses it should be easier to get used to for you and being 30 years old you may not want people to see the line in the bifocals. But the main thing is you shouldn't need to be tilting your head back to be able to see your screen and you should go back to where you got your glasses as they normally have a short period of time that they will remake your glasses if something is wrong at no cost to you.

In regards to your finding that it is now harder to see your blackberry and kindle without your glasses I think you probably will find that like your computer screen at work you will need to wear your glasses to be able to see them clearly anymore.

Because your glasses aid you at all distances I think it won't be long before you find it is much easier to leave your glasses on all the time and be able to see everything clearly.

Cactus Jack 03 Nov 2011, 10:34


The idea that you don't need help reading or using the computer until 40 is a myth. That is typical, but people who are a little farsighted usually experience it earlier and people who nearsighted, later.

The smooth ones are called progressive or no line bifocals, the others are called lined bifocals. They both do the same thing, but do it differently. Your Rx could be made in either type and there are pros and cons to each one.

Progressives were invented primarily for vanity reasons. There is a transition zone between called the corridor, between the distance part and the close part, that is fairly narrow where the Rx changes gradually from distance to near. This area is not very useful and it takes up space that reduced the size of the close focusing area.

Lined bifocals, which were invented by Benjamin Franklin, do not have a transition area, just a line where the close segment starts. The big thing going for lined bifocals is that is gives you a wider, distortion free, area to use for reading or using the computer. At some point you might want to consider lined bifocals for work.

If you are having to tilt you head too much, you may be able to get your gases raised a little.


varifocals 03 Nov 2011, 10:33



A lot of us have done this journey.

If you wear varifocals as I do, there is no dividing line in the lens & they look much nicer.

I had a pair of bi focals, myfirst pair & was introduced to varifocals by another gklasses wearer who actually had -13lens.

never mind the glasses.

Relax & enjoy them & you will also avoid headaches & eye strain.

Stacy 03 Nov 2011, 09:44

I work as a hospital admissions clerk. I have never had glasses before. Three weeks ago someone left a pair of glasses at my desk where I was working. I called security to put them in lost and found, they never came to pick them up. I was bored and put them on one afternoon and could not believe how clear the computer screen was. We just upgraded the software we use and the new screen has much more information on it. Everyone was complaining how hard it was to see,including me. The glasses made it larger and clearer. I told the optho doctor on duty about my discovery, he looked at the glasses and told me they were bifocals.

He hooked me up with one of the doctors in his practice for an exam the next day. I took the glasses with me to the exam. Reading letters on the wall was ok, I only missed a few small ones. She made some adjustments and I could read them all. I had more trouble reading the small card they have you look at up close. Again more adjustments and I could read it all. When finished, she gave me a prescription for glasses. I was told I have a small amout of farsightedness, but I needed stronger glasses to read. I was excited ,I never had glasses before, now I have my own bifocals.

I was never told about different types of bifocals, I was given the smooth kind, the pair I found has a line. I have been wearing my glasses every day and it does make the screen at work better. The more I tilt my head back the better the screen is. I again tried the ones I found with the lines,

I don't have to tilt my head back as far to see clearly with them. Do I have bifocals that are smooth, or do bifocals have the line.?

I only have been wearing them at work,but noticed that my blackberry is clearer when I wear them. I'm only thirty, so I don't want people to see me wearing bifocals, but my eyes are happier wearing these glasses. The only bad thing is, after wearing my glasses all morning, when I take them off for lunch I have a very hard time reading my kindle, I have to enlarge the font, the more I wear them the harder it is to read without there anything I can do I don't desire to be a full time glasses person?

Glasses prescription R + 50 -25 090. Left +. 75. Add + 1.50

Perplexed 19 Oct 2011, 12:28

I went to the eye doc expecting to be told I need reading glasses, and came out with a prescription for bifocals: -.75 for distance and +1.50 for close. He suggested getting two pair of glasses, 1 for close and 1 for distance. He explained that the more I use the readers the more my eyes would relax, and that in 6 months or so I might need an increase from the +1.50 as I become more dependent on them. The distance part is mostly for night driving or movies and won't likely change much if at all. He says after my eyes relax more I might want to spring for bifocal or progressives at the point I can't function close without them.

I asked about contacts, and he said monovision might work for me. If I try that, does that mean that as I wear them only my left eye would "relax" and later need to be stronger, while my right accommodation would not deteriorate as much or as fast? Would my eyes go out of balance as only the left muscles relax? I don't quite get how this works.

Jamie32 17 Oct 2011, 19:11

Realized that I had posted at the end of 2010, about trying another pair of lined bifocals. Certainly do not wear them all the time, but lately have been finding them more useful for wearing when i'm working on my laptop. So basically have been using them primarily for the computer, mainly. Don't know if anyone was waiting for an update, but there you go:)

varifocals. 01 Jun 2011, 10:18

Well I have got varifocals for progression as it is called & now I am well settled into glasses & feel wierd without them. A far cry when I started off with headaches, then glasses, then bifocals & finally varifocals.I waear dawn to dusk now, no more fuzzy birds in the garden, no more blurred pages I cant read.I think they are easier than my wife who has glasses for reading & distance. I do have readers too but for most of the time varifocals do the trick.

Cactus Jack 01 Jun 2011, 08:48

very progressive,

Monovision is not for everyone. Some people just cannot tolerate it. I think it helps if you can get used to it when you are young and your brain learns to switch eyes without your being aware of it.

When I got glasses at 14, my left eye was -1.50 and my right was 0.00, (plano) and the difference remained even when my left eye got up to around -4.50 and my right around -3.00 in my early 60s. When I had cataract surgery I agreed to monovision for convenience though I still needed trifocals. Now my Rx is a little + in my left eye and about -1.50 in my right. A reversal of my "natural" monovision. I wear trifocals (no accommodation with IOLs) for full correction, but I can function without them if I have to get up at night and, for example, read a medicine bottle without my glasses. I really didn't notice the reversal of the monovision, my brain just uses the clearest image for what I am doing and I don't notice which eye it is using.


very progressive 31 May 2011, 18:33

Though, I thought that I was doing well with the contacts, my exam ( 1 week check) proved otherwise. Rx changed and even less ! Really seems he is correcting my right eye mostly for near, and greatly decreased the distance rx. Left eye obviously opposite. Can hardly see with new lenses to type this. Don't like non simultaneous vision effect, and cannot read ! Distance in right eye horrible. When he checked my vision before I left, said it was much better than previous! I am not comfortableand unhappy with the result! If I can't see to wear at work tomm., should I hang in until next check , next week, or call him to change right away? do you think I just need to adjust? Seems to me that I should be able to see? Please someone help me out ! I really need all the advice you can give !

very progressive 24 May 2011, 10:24

I have another question. Seems that my left eye was corrected for distance and right for near. My right eye is definitely dominant. Shouldn't the dominant eye be corrected for distance? Also I thought the multifocus would have both eyes corrected completely for far and near, as glasses are?

Very Progressive 24 May 2011, 08:12

Well I went for it , got contacts. Found an optometrist who is considered an expert at fitting bifocal, multifocal and mono vision. He examined vision first and told me that I would need multifocal lenses, with my occupation and lifestyle. He rx'd Coopervision Proclear, (have dry eyes). Today is first day, (only 4 hrs), and should wear all day after 1 week of hourly increases. So far, very happy with computer vision, (couldn't wear my progressive glasses). I do not see nearly as clearly at diatance and with add.

CJ mentioned that my contact rx would be lower than a rx for glasses, and astigmatism correction would not be an issue as very low. I am very concerned that the reduction in the contact rx, maybe be to low, as it is quite a difference. I also don't feel that my eyes are working in tandem. My contact rx is r - -1.25 add 1.50, l- -.75 add 1.00 ? compared to respecively -1.75, +.50 x 90 add 2.25, l - -100 x .50 x 92 add 2.25? this seems to be quite a significant decrease? Can anyone offer an opinion? I am wondering how the rx's match up and if I will adjust and be happier with vision overall. Do you think I will need more " tweaks" (as the Dr calls them ) in my rx? if so how many?

Thanks to All !

Andrew 20 May 2011, 17:12

Question about progressive lenses and night vision:

I've noticed that my night vision is lousy with my progressive lenses--I feel like I could use a bump-up in power at night (I'm -4.75 L and -4.50 R, with a +1.25 add). I haven't found anything online suggesting that night vision can be a problem with progressives.

I just had the add increased to +1.50 and am wondering if standard, lined bifocals would be a better choice for night vision. I know they'd be better for peripheral vision, which is really compromised in progressives.

Trying to convince an optician to give them to me would be a whole other story.

I see fine with my contacts at night, so this isn't an age-related thing, I hope (I'm 50).

Thanks for any input.

Cactus Jack 20 May 2011, 14:56

Very Progressive,

You do not need anyone's permission to see clearly and comfortably. Everyone would like to have excellent vision at all distances and if you can no longer do it without tools, so what. If someone comments dis-favorably about your glasses, just think to yourself that their day is coming, it is almost inevitable.

What ever vision correction you wear, you wear it for your benefit, no one else.

Just remember that no type of vision correction is perfect. Some are less imperfect than others. You pays your money and takes your choice.


Curt 20 May 2011, 12:15

very progressive: no one can answer that question but you. It all depends on how much you want clear distance and close vision. There isn't some magic number that, once you pass it, you must wear your glasses full-time. I know some folks that are -3 or more and only wear their glasses when driving or when they really need to see distances. I also know people with -0.5 who wear them all the time. Likewise with + lenses wearers. Given your numbers, I would think that you would need them for almost everything, especially with a +2.25 add.

varifocals 20 May 2011, 12:04


As my name applies I have varifocals, after a try with bi focals & have found them fine.

I also have a pair of readers as they are easier with a wider field to use for bed time reading.

Anything over 3 seems to be deemed full time useage, but it depends on the individual.

I prefer comfort & clarity, why fool yourself?

very progressive 20 May 2011, 09:56

I hate to be such a pest, as CJ has answered most of my questions already. I'm still not sure what to do, regarding bifocal contacts. Does my rx actually warrant full time wear. If not, I'd rather struggle with the progressives than go this route. If I don't need full time wear now will I in the future at age 50?

Rx again: od -1.75 +.50 x 90 add 2.25

os - 100 +50 x 92 add 2.25

I would like to believe that full time is necessary , as I am going to an optometrist , (who sells contacts),rather than my opthalmologist who does not. I don't want to be talked to something this expensive, that is not really warranted at my rx. I realize the cost of bifocal contacts and don't want a "sales pitch" so to speak. I really do not want lined bifocals or trifocals, and do not see well at work with my progressives, in fact they are awful. Computer glasses are of course an option, but am too disorganized to hae 2 pairs of glasses. Sit on them, lose them, forget themgoing back and forth from office, etc.

Thanks Again, to all who have helped me !

Jim 18 May 2011, 12:25


A plumber needs clear vision at all distances, especially the intemediate distance. In that respect progressives are appropriate for someone in that line of work.

mattp 18 May 2011, 12:10

Had an interesting glasses observation this morning when the plumber came to take care of a few things. Not being particularly handy, I've called this plumber numerous times over the last few years, and he has moved along from no glasses, to occasional readers, to half-frame readers he kept on all the time. Today, however, he had on full frame glasses with obviously + lenses that he wore continuously. Typical story of presbyopia & latent hyperopia.

The interesting observation is that it was very obvious these lenses were progressive. The distortion in the lens made it clear to an OO observer like me that increased + power was in the lower half of the lens. And the plumber's head tilt when working made it clear he was using the greater magnification of the lower part of the lens.

The line on a bifocal would have been no less obvious!! And a bifocal would have been cheaper. I wonder whether the plumber thought he was fooling people into thinking he wasn't needing an add, or whether he just got sold a progressive by the optometrist.

Cactus Jack 17 May 2011, 16:53

very progressive,

The first step in figuring out the compromise CL lens is to convert the + cylinder Rx to -cylinder. Even though the Rx look different, they are optically the same.

right eye - -1.75 + 50 x 90 add 2.25 , left eye - -1.00 + 50 x 92 add 2.25


right eye - -1.25, -0.50 x 000 add 2.25 , left eye - -0.50, -0.50 x 002 add 2.25

then add i/2 the cylinder to the sphere which yields a CL Rx of

right eye - -1.50 add 2.25 , left eye - -0.75 add 2.25.

Before spending the money for bifocal contacts, I would consider some sphere only contacts and some OTC readers. If you like the contacts, then you can try some bifocal contacts. No adjustment in the CL Rx is necessary for vertex distance at these powers.

You must get an initial CL Rx form your eye care professional to have your corneal BC measured and the diameter determined. Also, they will provide training on the insertion, removal and care of contact lenses.


very progressive 17 May 2011, 14:44

CJ ,

As you are the person that has advised me preciously, I have yet another question for you. You mentioned as my cylinder correction is a mere +.50, toric lenses would not be necessary. Would a spherical equivalent need to be added, or would it be subtracted in this case? (for bifocal contacts, specifically).

Thanks !

Willy 02 May 2011, 13:59

Very Progressive -- It sounds as though the most significant problem you may be experiencing is the need for compromise, since there is not one solution that would work perfectly in all settings. In reviewing your posts, you seemed to indicate that the computer was most bothersome. This may sounds extreme but perhaps wearing minus contacts for distance with progressives on top for computer/reading is something to look into. Best of luck.

Cactus Jack 02 May 2011, 11:36

Very Progressive,

You need to face reality. The need for help when focusing close is permanent. Two things are happening. The primary thing is presbyopia. That is where the transparent protein that makes up your crystalline lenses has become so thick that your ciliary muscles (which are the strongest muscles in the your body for their size) just cannot squeeze the lenses to increase their power for focusing. The other factor is that by wearing near correction, the ciliary muscles quickly become de-conditioned. If you were much younger, it might be possible for you to re-condition your ciliary muscles, but at 50 it would not do any good.

On the bright side, the ultimate amount of near add you need will be related on how close you need to focus. For normal reading distances of 16 inches or 40 cm. an add of +2.50 is probably all you will ever need.

If you REALLY need to not wear glasses, you might consider multifocal Intra Ocular Lenses (IOLs). The surgery is the same as for cataracts where the crystalline lenses are removed and replaced. They are a lifetime fix and you will never have to worry about cataracts or the surgery associated with it - you will have been there and done that. The only snag is that they are optical compromises and not suitable for everyone. I would not rush into that unless absolutely, positively need it done NOW. New techniques are being announced almost daily to fix many vision problems. There are only several billion people in the world with presbyopia so the motivation to develop a restorative procedure for presbyopia is great. The only consideration there is that implanting IOLs may not be reversible so having had IOLs installed might preclude a restorative procedure.


Cactus Jack 02 May 2011, 11:36

Very Progressive,

You need to face reality. The need for help when focusing close is permanent. Two things are happening. The primary thing is presbyopia. That is where the transparent protein that makes up your crystalline lenses has become so thick that your ciliary muscles (which are the strongest muscles in the your body for their size) just cannot squeeze the lenses to increase their power for focusing. The other factor is that by wearing near correction, the ciliary muscles quickly become de-conditioned. If you were much younger, it might be possible for you to re-condition your ciliary muscles, but at 50 it would not do any good.

On the bright side, the ultimate amount of near add you need will be related on how close you need to focus. For normal reading distances of 16 inches or 40 cm. an add of +2.50 is probably all you will ever need.

If you REALLY need to not wear glasses, you might consider multifocal Intra Ocular Lenses (IOLs). The surgery is the same as for cataracts where the crystalline lenses are removed and replaced. They are a lifetime fix and you will never have to worry about cataracts or the surgery associated with it - you will have been there and done that. The only snag is that they are optical compromises and not suitable for everyone. I would not rush into that unless absolutely, positively need it done NOW. New techniques are being announced almost daily to fix many vision problems. There are only several billion people in the world with presbyopia so the motivation to develop a restorative procedure for presbyopia is great. The only consideration there is that implanting IOLs may not be reversible so having had IOLs installed might preclude a restorative procedure.


Very Progressive 02 May 2011, 08:11

I have been wearing my new progressives, for several weeks not. 1st pair of bifocals, or multi focals as it were. I definitely notice that I am finding it nearly impossible to read anything close up or with small print, whatsoever without my glasses on. As I am 50 yrs old, I imagine this should be expected. My question is although it is said that glasses do not make your vision weaker, it is just that once your eyes relax, you find there to be a strain to see ,when you remove your glasses. I've also heard on this site, that eventually when you remove your glasses, your vision will return to the pre-glasses state? Is this the case with a presbyopic 50 yr old? I have tried to go without glasses for periods of time and absolutely cannot see any near reading material at all ! Strain or know strain. I was able to do that prior to the new glasses.Am I to assume that as the need to wear bifocals,has become a natural and permanent, and possibly progressive state of affairs for me? I do have a fairly mild rx , both at distance and near. Can I expect the near rx to progress? and if so how rapidly and for how long. I am still considering contacts for distance with readers when necessary. Will I have a problem with that as I get older, as changing focus form near to far and vice versa seems to have become inreasingly difficult. I must admit , I kind of like have more control over my vision, and am not liking the absolute necessity in NEEDING to wear correction to see at near distance at all. Not blurred vision, but nonexistant near accomodation it seems.

Ben 23 Apr 2011, 08:32

I know that +2.00 will be fine because my old glasses worked fine for the computer. Those were -0.50 add 1.75 (effective reading rx of 1.25), so -0.75 add 2.00 should be the same.

Cactus Jack 22 Apr 2011, 17:10


+2.00 may still be too strong for the computer, it depends on your working distance. Do you know how to use the formula to calculate focal distance?


Ben 22 Apr 2011, 15:54

I like my new glasses; the stronger distance rx is great and I can see things very sharp. The reading add is a bit too strong; I have to bring things a little close and I can't see my laptop very well through it. So I'm going to get the lenses changed from add 2.25 to add 2.

Other than computer use (where I just take off my glasses) I've been wearing most of the time. Sometimes I forget how crisp my vision is with them until I take them off.

John S 19 Apr 2011, 11:03


It has been a few weeks, how do you like your new rx?

newglasses 13 Apr 2011, 05:18

hey cactus jack, yes, indeed, my (back then still girlfriend) now wife already prefered some plastic frames but I didn't want to wear something that accentuated from the beginning since glasses and all was something new to me.

but now, over the years I became bolder and since my new glasses are going to be full time and permanent I'm gonna go for some cool frames.

I'll let you know how it goes once the glasses are ready.

Cactus Jack 13 Apr 2011, 04:09


It is good to hear from you again. It sounds like you paid attention in class, and the bifocals are no big deal when you understand what is going on. I went back and reviewed some of our conversation in 2006 and your choice of frames seems to indicate that you have had some mild brain surgery in addition to your mild add. Is your wife the same young lady who wanted you to get the plastic frames and you preferred rimless?


EyeTri 13 Apr 2011, 01:58


Tell your wife it's not so strange to need bifocals at your age. Four months before my 32nd birthday I went from a person who had never worn glasses to a person in bifocals. My first prescription was similar to yours ( +0.75 with add +1,25).

newglasses 12 Apr 2011, 03:55

Hi all

it's been a while since I last posted. I'm really stocked. Last week I was told that I need multifocals. I was prescribed glasses in 2006 and my script didn't really go up much. But recently reading with my glasses gave me headaches, without even worse. So I went to the optician who prescribed me multifocals.

My script is left and right +1.25 dpt with some astigmatism and now a first add of +1.00 dpt. My new glasses will look like these:

I will get back and report once I have the glasses. I'm really looking forward to it although my wife says that it's strange to have multifocal glasses already with 32 years of age. But I know better.

Aubrac 01 Apr 2011, 03:54

Very progressive

I have worn -5.00 add +2.00 bifocal contacts for years and have never had any problems with them. The add portion is around the lens and not in one sector like bi-focal glasses.

It is almost impossible to view at distance through the add portion and so driving is quite safe in most aspects.

However most bifocal contacts only go up to add +2.00 although some do add +2.50 but that is the limit so at +2.25 you are pretty well at maximum and would need readers over the contacts for even a small further increase especially as the astigmatism correction cannot be made with bifocal contacts.

I have tried monovision but personally don't like it as the brain does get a little confused at near distance and you end up pushing a paper further away or bringing it up close. But that is a personal viewpoint and as you can see from the posts we all have different levels of tolerance.

Ben 31 Mar 2011, 15:03

Got my new glasses today. I really like them. Everything is super sharp for distance. The add is noticeably stronger but I can read very well. I think I might be a full-timer now!

very progressive 30 Mar 2011, 10:27

Cactus Jack,

Thanks ! Very helpful ! do think I will try reading glasses over contacts , despite my allergies. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Just have accept whatever I need to do, to avoid eyestrain at work. Grin and Bear it !!

Cactus Jack 30 Mar 2011, 09:38

very progressive,

I have no objection to mono vision with contacts or otherwise. Your opthalmologist has probably had problems with mono vision patients and he/she just does not want the hassle. My opthalmologist suggested that I strongly consider mono vision when we selected my IOLs for cataract surgery. To some extent, the decision to recommend mono vision may be based on age. The younger, the better. I may also have been a good candidate because when I was in my teens, I had natural mono vision with -1.50 in one eye and 0.00 in the other. Which likely delayed my recognizing that I really needed glasses for best vision. Two eyes working together is better than one no matter how good the image from the one.

I have no problem functioning without my tri-focals if I have to get up at night, but I do much better and more comfortably with my glasses.

Reading glasses over contacts work just fine. The range of useful focus depends on power of the readers and remaining accommodation of the wearer. The less power and the more available the accommodation, the wider the range.

Optically, readers over distance contacts is no different than a person with good distance vision who needs reading glasses. However, contact lenses can be miserable without enough tears and more miserable if a person has allergies to go along with it. The microscopic pollen particles can get under the CL and irritate the cornea because the tears cannot wash them away fast enough.

I have no personal experience with bifocal contacts, but I would suspect they have similar problems as toric contacts. They move around some as you blink and you have no real control over when the reading part of the lens is in your line of vision for distance and the distance portion is in your line of vision for reading.

If you need a reading add, very high quality (expensive) progressives are nice, but optically, they are still compromises except in small intermediate and near areas. I tried progressives a long time ago, but my work made them marginally useful. I was involved with large engineering drawings and I found regular FT 28 tri-focals to be the most useful and comfortable of all. If you can stand the idea of wearing bi-focals and tri-focals, they are hard to beat if you have a heavy visual workload and prefer really good vision.

I hope this was hlepful.


very progressive 30 Mar 2011, 08:48

Cactus Jack,

You did not offer an opinion re: mono vision contacts? I do thank you for your advice. As always it is respected ! What do you believe my opthalmologists objections may seem to be re: mono vision in general ? (not necessarily as it applies to me. How would the contacts work with the reading glasses over top, when the rx for the near would basically be same as for mid range? Do you think ok? I'm not quite certain about tear production either. Work in a dry environment and have allergy problems.

very progressive 30 Mar 2011, 08:39

I believe that my opthalmologist basically means that mono vision will not provide the "best possible vision". I don't think he is in favor of the depth perception issues that may arise. I also assume he may feel that with my rx being rather low, and alot of paperwork, computer reading etc. that the utmost clarity is essential. Bifocal contacts are very hard to fit, from my understanding. I realize the weighted would be better, howver my husband cannot use weighted (toric) contacts as they still move around. Wouldn't weighted bifocals cause same issues? Also quite expensive ! My biggest question is - does anyone think it makes sense to invest in contacts for distance vision, when rx is rather low? Also if I wore the readers with larger lenses, over contacts, would this cause same problems with vision at computer range, as my progressives? Truthfully, I am not very satisfied with the near segment being so small, for extended near work and reading. Will the distance contacts under the readers cause same issues? I do respect all of your opinions and advice. I just don't want to enter into another endeavor and endure the cost of another option that may not work well. Thanks !!!!

Dieter 30 Mar 2011, 08:02


I have a friend in her 50s that does monovision with a -8.00 script. It really is up to each individual. That doctor is probably being dictatorial by rationalizing that it would be OK to go to a profit mongering "optometrist" to get monovision prescribed. All anyone can do is try it with sample lenses and see how it works.

Soundmanpt 29 Mar 2011, 14:36


Mono vision does not work for all. Some people take to rather easy others just can't tolerate it. Remember it is the brain that must tell the eyes to see and separate which eye is needed for certain tasks. Simply put for some people the brain is not separating distance and close and is trying to do both at the same time causing actual sickness. The brain must tell the eye that is for distance to operate and sorta shut off the eye for close work. When doing close work the reverse must happen. The good news news is they now have perfected bifocal contacts that are weighted.

Clare 29 Mar 2011, 13:46

very progressive - it's a shame your optician won't seem to consider mono vision for you. I have a friend who's 52 who has happily done mono vision for nearly 10 years. Her Rx is stronger than yours, it's around -4, but I don't know why you seem not to be a good candidate.

Cactus - is there a range for monovision? My friend is -4 so does it mean that you have to have a prescription in the moderate range, what would the minimum be?

very progressive 29 Mar 2011, 12:32

Thanks Cactus Jack,

Just turned 50 ! Have to admit , vanity is an issue, hence the progressives. Having a bit of difficulty facing my age, and being told I need bifocals (amongst a multitude of other "age related" issues ) hasn't been a very joyous experience ! I will endure !

Before I attempt to invest in contacts, (if my opthalmologist is even agreeable ) - you really think this idea will be a positive and worthwile endeavor with regards to working with the computer ? I did ask about mono vision, contacts as I have a friend who likes hers. My Dr said absolutely not an option. He said that he would not rx for me, but I could go to an optometrist wanting to make a sale who would. He told me I would not be happy at all , and would wind up with glasses anyway! Do you agree?

Contacts not so much about vanity, as avoiding lined bifocals or ultimately trifocals , or more than 1 pair of glasses !

Again Thanks !

Cactus Jack 29 Mar 2011, 08:42

very progressive,

You didn't mention your age. If you have enough tear production, single vision contacts are certainly a viable option for distance and you can use +1.25 or higher OTC readers as you need them for the computer or reading.

You do not have enough astigmatism to justify fooling with torics and the compromise single vision CL power is RE -1.50 LE -0.75. However, you MUST NOT try to self fit CLs. The Base Curve (BC) of the contacts is very important for comfort and you need training on how to insert, remove, and care for the CLs.

Ultimately, you may find that lined trifocals are the most convenient and comfortable solution rather than progressives. Provided vanity does not intervene. The width and area of fixed focus really make using the computer and reading much easier.


very progressive 29 Mar 2011, 07:35

Oh by the way : refresher as to my rx, very minimal and may not warrant contacts : right eye - -1.75 + 50 x 90 add 2.25 , left eye - -1.00 + 50 x 92 add 2.25 . Thanks Again !

veryprogressive 29 Mar 2011, 07:33

I am wondering if anyone can tell me, if contacts for my distance vision, with reading glasses when needed would be helpful option. As I've posted before, I just recently was rx'd bifocals. I opted for progressives, and have extreme difficulty wearing them at work. I cannot tolerate wearing for computer distance. I see computer better without correction. I am straining my neck and my eyes when not wearing to see paperwork in front of me. I know computer glasses are an option, but do not want to buy another pair of glasses. I was told bifocal contacts are not an option by my opthalmolgist, but never discussed other options re: contacts. Would contacts and over the counter reading glasses work for me,(at work) or cause me same type problems? Please advise. You all have been great with assisting me with this new endeavor. Thanks !

John S 27 Mar 2011, 00:28


I did not realize you wanted the higher add because of strain. I don't think 0.25 will make a lot of difference, 0.50 you would notice. I hope it helps you out.

If you still need more, maybe she would remake them for you. It sounds like she listens to your needs, that is a good thing.

Ben 26 Mar 2011, 14:55

No, I didn't cheat. As I tried to express, that was the rx I thought I would benefit most from. I also didn't have to do much encouraging to get a higher add. I just said that I was having eyestrain even with glasses (which is true). So she bumped my reading by .25, but since my distance went up by -0.25, the add went up by +0.5.

I should get my new glasses within the next week or two. I'm excited to maybe start wearing full-time!

Soundmanpt 24 Mar 2011, 21:08


Looks like you are getting the rx that you were hoping for. I take it you didn't try to cheat? Your new glasses should make enough difference for you to want to go full time if you wish. One thing is now it will not be a choice to wear your glasses for driving, but necessary.

John S 24 Mar 2011, 18:02


Did it take much convincing to get a higher add? Sounds like you got the rx that you wanted. I hope you enjoy the new lenses.

Ben 24 Mar 2011, 16:58

Hi all,

Just wanted to update you. I had my eye exam a couple of days ago, and came away with the Rx -0.75 add +2.25, same in both eyes. I'm thrilled, can't wait to get new glasses. I think I'll probably go fulltime, and the eye doctor suggested I might want to.

Cactus Jack 23 Mar 2011, 12:03


I don't have a really good answer for you, but because your distance Rx was so low, one possibility was that you are a low latent hyperope with some pseudo myopia that has now relaxed.

The +1.25 readers focus at about 31 inches and the +0.25 more to focus at 25 inches or the additional to read at 16 inches (+1.25 more) is not hard to accommodate.

The fact that you can see clearly now for distance with the +1.25 readers means that something has changed and the only logical thing is that your ciliary lenses have relaxed fully. The best way to find out if that is the case, is to get a dilated exam early in the day, before you do any close work, to make sure your ciliary muscles and crystaline lenses.


Jason 23 Mar 2011, 08:37


They are +1.25's


Cactus Jack 23 Mar 2011, 00:43

Presby L,

The -2.25 contact would have the same effect as wearing a +0.75 reading lens. If she is used to +1.50 or +2.00 readers, she will likely still want at least the +1.50 readers to help out. No way to predict her preferences, everyone is different.

I suspect that this Rx for monovision is to let her try it. If she likes the monovision, I suspect the next step will be somewhere around a -1.50 CL for her left eye. With that or maybe a -1.25 CL, she may not need the readers at all.

The most important thing is to see if she can tolerate monovision. Some people just can't.


Presby L 22 Mar 2011, 23:04

I have a friend who wears contacts 0D -3.5 O.S. -3.0. She is 48 yo and now wears readers over her contacts virtually all of the time with a scrip from +1.50 - +2.00.

She was just prescribed monovision with a scrip of - 3.5 and -2.25. Does anyone have any idea whether she will still need readers and how frequently?

Cactus Jack 21 Mar 2011, 23:06


What is the Rx in the readers?


Jason 21 Mar 2011, 21:11


About 25 inches.



Cactus Jack 21 Mar 2011, 21:05


What is the distance from your eyes to the computer screen?


Jason 21 Mar 2011, 18:19

I am 48 years old and started having trouble with small print and my Blackberry about 5 years ago. I was surprised when the eye dr told me that I need glasses for close AND for far, as I thought my distance vision was ok. He prescribed -.50 with a 1.50 add for both eyes. I got two pair of glasses, and have to admit they both help...the readers for close, and the -.50's for driving, especially at night! I always had problems with the computer because neither pair let me see I usually look over the readers to see the screen clearly.

I now notice that I can read my screen clearly with my readers. Is this "normal"? I wear the readers for close and computer, and the other pair for driving, movies, etc. Why the change now, after all these years?

Clay 21 Mar 2011, 18:04

post deleted - troll, multiple usernames

Dan 21 Mar 2011, 16:30

John S,

Thanks for the suggestion on an increased add. I may have to give that a shot. I'm definitely not 100% full time with the bifocals and still wear my contacts/single vision distance glasses a lot but the bifocals definitely do help, I would think if I increased my add to +1.75 there might not be any turning back once I started deconditioning my ciliary muscles.

John S 21 Mar 2011, 14:02


I think you answered your own question some time ago. You tried reading correction because you were trying to solve your reading problem. It worked!

I can understand the vanity deal. That is why I did not wear mine as much I should have. Looking back, stupid move. Now, glasses are much more acceptable, even a fashion statement.

If i remember, you tried the +1.25 add a few years ago. As C.J. would say, that is a functional bifocal. There is enough power for you to notice a difference, but not to completely relieve the work of the focusing muscles. You might want to try increasing the add to 1.75 or 2.00. You might notice enough of a difference, you won't think about going back. If they don't much of a change, you always have a spare pair.

Dan 20 Mar 2011, 19:58

Update on my bifocals. My prescription is -1.0 -0.5 x 90 in both eyes with a +1.25 add. I hadn't really worn the bifocals much and just went with my regular glasses/contacts due to vanity. Recently I tried the bifocals to see how much of a difference they make and I really do notice a difference. I notice that if I wear my regular glasses now, I struggle to see up close without straining. I guess this is normal? Maybe I have committed myself to bifocals.

Like lenses 06 Mar 2011, 00:20


What was your previous prescription,and was it your first?

It may be that you are not really farsighted,and that there was an error made during the exam.It sounds to me that you are still nearsighted and can not tolerate the +.75 for distance.

Did you wear your previous glasses full time a few days prior to and going into the exam. If not,you should do that and then get reexamined.

What is your age,and do you work,and if so,what kind of work do you do?

Is distance vision blurry without your glasses,and do your old ones make it clearer?

What was the reason you went for an exam?

john 05 Mar 2011, 23:11

Jill Just go back and get a longer line on your new bifocals.There are different sizes in the line 25mm,28mm, 35mm 45mm and the executive(all the way across-like your old ones). But sometimes the longer the line the more the lens cost.You probably got the 25 or 28mm since they cost less.

john 05 Mar 2011, 19:14

Jill I also had the same thing happen to me going from being nearsighted to a little farsighted when i got bifocals.I had no trouble with the lines after a week of getting use to the bifocal.My add went to + 2 like you i had had computer trouble so i went back and got lined trifocals.They work great.I also tried progressives and hated them.Dont worry about the extra line it really makes a big difference in your eyesight.

John S 04 Mar 2011, 16:26


Sorry for the long post. The two things you are trying to achieve kind of fight each other. If you relax your accommodation muscles, that could improve your distance vision very slightly. Two things can cause myopia.

1. The eye has grown too long.

2. Nearsightedness caused by the accommodation muscles not relaxing enough to see in the distance. (stuck for close vision)

Some people have a combination of both.

In your case, I don't think your muscles are causing a problem with distance. Normally you would not require an add in that case.

The higher the add, the less accommodation you have. At that point it will usually blur your distance vision if you increase or decrease your distance rx. Think about a movie projector. You adjust the focus to be correct for the distance the projector is from the screen. If you change the distance, you have to refocus. That is the same way to eye operates with no accommodation. The bifocal add externally produces the plus that you need to maintain focus. With accommodation, on demand the eye produces plus power to help see up close.

You need a reference, you know your glasses rx now. Measure your current reading distance and you will have a lot more info to determine what you want to do with the add. If it is over 20", it will be hard to do. Pickup a pair of stronger readers and measure with those.

There are ways to cheat to get a stronger add (within reason), if you understand how the exam is being done. I think if you explain why you want to see closer, you will probably get an add increase. But not all doctors agree with what the patient wants, then you cheat. Someone posted, it is like prescribing a strong add reduces their paycheck. I believe that they are actually worried about remaking the glasses if they don't work out.

Do you wear them full time? Do you want to raise the add to see closer, or relieve strain, or both? Can you read without glasses, or is it difficult? If you can move the reading distance a little closer, go for it.

For me, I could usually force my muscles to read close up. If I had just taken my glasses off, no way. It took several minutes for me to be able to regain any focus ability. By the time I was 30, I was up to +2.50 for 16".

Ben 04 Mar 2011, 13:52

Thanks, John S, that's very helpful. What do you think I can say to get the stronger distance rx if I'm on the borderline there?

John S 03 Mar 2011, 18:41


One advantage is, the doctor has already given in to you need reading correction. That sometimes is a hurdle in itself for a young person.

Ask the doctor if she can boost the reading power so you can see closer. A good explanation is that you have started electronic repairs as a hobby. You have a hard time straining to see close enough to work on the boards, and if gives you a headache.

The prescribed distance is usually 16-20 inches, depending on the doctor. You can check your current reading distance by moving text away until you start to see any degradation. If you have lost most of accommodation (the measure of power that your eyes can produce for reading), you should be able to find a sweet spot where closer or further is not as clear. Measure that distance from your face to the text.

With no accommodation, a +2.50 add should be about a 16" reading distance. If you still have some accommodation, that distance will be less than 16".

Even though is sounds good to move the reading distance closer than 16", there are side effects. The closer the reading distance, the closer you will have to be to that sweet spot for reading. There will not as much of a viewing distance as a lower add has. The point I am trying to make is, the more add, the closer you have to be to the distance the add is set for. There will also be more of a jump between distance/reading, and less intermediate area.

Go to the drug store and try on some reading glasses. Find out what works for you. Since you have a -0.5 for distance, try looking at a paperback in the store using between +1.75 to +2.50 (that would be equal to a +2.25 to +3.00 add). They are cheap, pick up a couple different strengths. Go home and see what works for you. Wear them for at least an hour to let your eyes relax, of course your distance will be blurry. Most likely your reading distance will increase slightly as the muscles relax. Determine the strongest you can tolerate.

Whatever you find that works, you might take them in to the exam and explain that these work well for your close work. You would like your reading to be that power. Kind of hard for the doctor to say no, if you like them. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, before the exam wear the reading glasses to relax your muscles. Sit outside the office in your car for an hour and read a book. Keep the book as far away as you can still read it. That might get you a little more add. Without going to a tri-focal or progressive lens, I would set the distance at 13-14 inches. If you go to 12", forget reading a newspaper.

I have worn bifocals since my teens, for the same problems as you. I started with a +2.00 add. By the time I was 30, I had talked the doctor into a +3.00. That worked great for my electronics job.

As mentioned before, you can order online and experiment.

It is not rocket science to figure what you want for the add. My preference was always on the strong side.

John  03 Mar 2011, 17:43


Just go back and say you not happy and want the same type of bifocals you had last time with bigger reading section.THAT'S WHAT I HAVE THEY VERY EASY FOR READING

Soundmanpt 03 Mar 2011, 11:21


Well I am not sure where to start? First off I know Pearle Vision well and there return policy is one of the best. Their prices are somewhat high, but they will give you no trouble if you decide you want to return them within 30 days or so. It is interesting that your distance vision went from minus to plus numbers. The fact that you have been wearing your old glasses for a little while without any problem for distance is curious? I would say maybe give them a more time and try your best to wear them full time to see if your distance vision will clear up. In this case if you are only doing the on and off thing it could take some time before you really can tell if the glasses need changed. Also in regards to which segment you should use on the computer? That is the main problem with the lined bifocals, you don't have a mid- range that progressives have. So you must decide which is better the top segment which is for distance or the reading segment. I think that can only be determined by how close you have your monitor to your eyes. If it like a laptop and you view it like a book I would say to use the add segment. If it is a desktop with a bigger screen then you may find the top part of your glasses better. I am somewhat surprised that the reading area is so small on your glasses, usually that is why many prefer the lined bifocal because it generally gives a bigger reading add area. Progressives is usually pretty small by contrast. Also your rx is pretty mild so I'm not sure why the bifocal line shows up that much?

Anyway here is what I would suggest. first of all I would let Pearle know your having some difficulty with your new glasses, but your going to give it a little time to see if your eyes adjust to them. If after 3 weeks your still seeing perfect with them I would say you may want to return them. You might even get the doctor to re-examine you. Let them know that your old glasses gave you no problems for distance. If you feel like your not happy with the lined bifocals you may want to up-grade and pay a slight difference to get progressives. You may feel more comfortable with that option anyway if you really don't want the world to know your wearing bifocals.

varifocals. 03 Mar 2011, 08:42

Jill your distance vision will gradually adjust. Persist I had the same experience. I have a pair for reading as well as varifocals.

Jill 03 Mar 2011, 07:47

I have had my new glasses for a few days now. My exam was on Monday. The doctor said I went from being a litte bit nearsighted with bifocals to being a little bit farsighted still needing the bifocals. He said the top part of the glasses are not very strong, but the bifocal strength was significant for someone my age. The prescription is L +.75 R +.75 Add +2.00 The reading part of the glasses is great my Blackberry, Watch and reading are all excellent, It's the distance part that is not very clear it is slightly blurry and driving me crazy. Another thing, the magnifying part of the lens on the bottom is very small.My old pair, the whole bottom half of the lens was magnifying, the new pair, only a little part make things bigger. But you really see the line a lot more. Every one who has commented about my new specs says something about the line,so it must be very noticeable. I now keep the glasses with me all the time. It is now very hard to see up close without my new glasses. I have some issues with my laptop. Do I use top or bottom part for the computer ? I have to move close to my laptop and use bottom part for it to become clear, maybe it is something that I will get used to. I tried my old glasses last night,I can see distance better, but reading is not as clear.

The doctor told me to try these for a while, then come see him if I need to. So I will try a little longer. One of my coworkers has told me to get noline bifocals she said they are better. The doctor or Pearle vision where I got my glasses did not say anything about them. Should I call my doctor? I,ll try a while longer to get by and see what happens.

Thank You


Soundmanpt 02 Mar 2011, 21:44


There is no good reason to cheat or fake the exam. It is a far better plan to get your eyes checked and find out what your actual rx is and then if you are wanting something different in the way of glasses there are a good number of on-line retailers that you DON"T need a real rx to order glasses from. Simply change the sph and add to what you want, never change the cyl and axis. If you need help with that we are here to help you with that process as well.

Clare 02 Mar 2011, 14:29

Ben - I'm not sure you can fake it, with the electronic test at the beginning especially that gives an estimate.

Ben 02 Mar 2011, 13:30

It's been almost a year since I last had an eye exam, so I think I am going to try to schedule one soon. I was hoping to get some advice as to what I can do in the exam to ensure that my rx gets a bump.

My current rx is -0.5 add 1.75. I would like for it to be -0.75 or -1 add 2.25 or 2.5. I am probably on the border of needing an increased distance rx, so I wanted to know what I can do during the exam to nudge myself in that direction.

As to the add, it's my understanding that this part of the exam is almost entirely subjective, so I'm wondering what I can say to the doctor to make sure I get an increase.

Slit 25 Feb 2011, 11:26


Well it was in 20s...

very progressive 25 Feb 2011, 09:17

Oh and by the way, do like the frames that I chose. Don't feel that I look good in glasses, as alot of people do ! Love the styles, but not necessarily on me.

very progressive 25 Feb 2011, 09:15

Presby L-

Were bifocals your 1st glasses, as you mentioned you didn't know you needed them for distance. At what age did you get your 1st glasses? Was your rx for distance strong or more similar to mine? and the bifocal (near segment), has it increased since? I'm asking because, I still wear as I feel I need , and am concerned about getting to the point where I can't see anything for near, and have problem changing focus from near to far, etc.

No thinning hair as yet, but all kinds of other age related joys. Major crows feet !!! Yuck ! Thanks for your post.

Presby L 24 Feb 2011, 12:41

Very progressive, Good luck with your new progressive lenses. I am same age and went into wearing bifocals with a similar attitude. But now I am full time wearer and I enjoy the clearer vision. I, like you, am vain, so it was very important to have attractive frames (but try hair loss if you really want to know about vanity!)

Now, if I do not have my glasses on everything is a blur, but when i started wearing progressives, i was not even aware that my distance vision needed correction

Jose 24 Feb 2011, 09:20

Hi Slit,

I first started wearing lenses for hyperopia when I was 18, my first year of college. Was wondering how old you were when you started in plus lenses? Do you wear them full-time or just for close up work?

very progressive 23 Feb 2011, 12:44

My Dr is an opthalmologist, and doesn't sell glasses. I do think that he is concerned about best possible vision, and doesn't like the loss of depth perception with mono vision. I also think that he feels (possibly) that bifocal contacts are hard to fit, and again possibly (guess only) that my rx doesn't warrant the effort to adapt to contacts, and go thru the fitting process. I'm doing ok with stairs, as I used to run up and down them with reading glasses on, so learned to look straight ahead and not down. I had surgery on my neck recently, so got used to not bending it for any reason ! Am at work today and now having problem with computer as my screen is small. I'm sure I'll adapt. Thanks Again !

Soundmanpt 23 Feb 2011, 11:20

very progressive

Well it sounds like you are doing very good with your glasses now. It seems you are mastering the hardest part, training your eyes to look through the right area of the glasses to see distances, mid range (computer) and close up. It takes a little time to learn not to move your head only your eyes. Your finding all the reasons why you likely will be a full time wearer. Kinda nice not getting headaches and not seeing haziness should be reason enough. Did you have much trouble getting used to them going up and down steps?

I am not sure why your doctor wants you to go with glasses and not contacts, but he is the one looking at your eyes so I would take his advice. Some will say that is because they want to sell you glasses because they cost more and there is a bigger profit for the optical shop. Most doctors are independent and make nothing from the sale of contacts or glasses. Some can be encouraged to sometimes prescribe a small rx or a slight increase of lenses for sales reasons. But I don't think that is the case for you because you would still need glasses even if you were okayed to get contacts.

very progressive 22 Feb 2011, 20:00

Soundmanpt - Clearly I do everything but type at work !!! Typos certainly are abundant !!!

very progressive 22 Feb 2011, 19:56

Thanks to all of you for your very sound advice. I'm comfortably wearing my glasses right now (the progressives), and not even having a problem with the computer distance. All be it I'm home looking at a 28" screen, vs what I use a work. I do believe tat even during this adjustment phase, I am getting fewer headaches, and like being able to see everyhing without the haziness that I have experienced. The fact that I was told "you need to wear glasses, and they need to be bifocals" made me feel very old. I hear " well this is to be expected at your age" quite alot these days.

Cactus Jack, I didn ak my pthalmologist about bifocal contacts and even mon vision. He told me that he absolutely would not rx either, and that I needed to accept the fact that glasses are my only option. He told me if I went to an optometrist at Walmart, they would certainly give them to me, but I would not be happy with my vision, and soon realize that he is right ! Is this arrogance or the truth! He is very respected in his field! He may have been telling me that , my rx doesn't warrant constant wear? I do use a computer atleast 8 hrs a day, and read insurance cds., etc with very fine print. I also need to change focus to see across the room quite often. I also find that recognizing people in the hall requires my glasses. I absolutely will not go grocery shopping without them either, as I need to read aisle signs, and labels. I agree with you, I must look pretty silly switching back and forth. I guess I look like a middle aged woman in denial. Guess I need to ebrace change at every stagein life! Thanks again for the "eye opening advice".

Soundmanpt 22 Feb 2011, 13:26

very progressive

No problem with the typing errors I do that all the time myself. I know where your coming from. I am 62 and the aging thing you can't do anything about it except try to enjoy every moment that you can.

Cactus Jack 22 Feb 2011, 13:15

very progressive,

Speaking as a 73 YO male, may I suggest that you are worrying about the wrong things. These days, there are few vision problems that cannot be easily corrected by glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Even cataract surgery is essentially a non-event compared to what it used to be many years ago. One eye surgeon here in Houston is even offering multi-focal intra-ocular lenses that take care of the need for bi or tri focals while at the same time eliminating the need for future cataract surgery.

Unlike when you were young, vision correction has become so common that it is rare that anyone pays much attention to the fact that you wear glasses or other correction. In fact, most people think you are not very smart if you obviously need correction, but refuse to get it. Glasses with almost any lens type can be a fashion accessory that enhances rather than detracts. After a few days, no one will even notice the lenses, particularly at your Rx. They might notice your frames if you change them, but they will notice attempts to deny vision problems such as squinting to read a sign or non-recognition. They also notice if you hold things far away to read.

Will you become "DEPENDENT" on glasses, NO! Your vision simply does not and probably never will, absolutely require correction. However, you may find that vision correction may be very convenient and comfortable - far more so than switching glasses.

Will you ultimately need stronger reading help or tri-focals depends on what kind and how much close work you do. If you don't read or do a lot of close work probably never more than +2.50. If you do a lot of sewing or needle point, you might find +3.00 useful to help you focus closer. Glasses are simply tools to help you see, nothing more. Just as a hammer is a tool to help you drive nails without hurting your hand.

May I suggest that your time and concerns should be for simply living well and enjoying life rather than about needing glasses. Another possible solution is bifocal contacts, if you are still worried about glasses.

One thing to remember is that you wear vision correction for YOUR BENEFIT. They do not benefit other people.



very progressive 22 Feb 2011, 11:42

Sorry Soundmanpt and Philisofer for butchering your nicknames so badly ! Do appreciate advice you both offer ! Hope I'm not sounding as ridiculous as I might be ? Just a woman getting older and trying to hold onto some control.

very progressive 22 Feb 2011, 11:36


Guess the idea, that I might actually "NEED" glasses concerns me. When wearing them for distance and the occaisonal readers, I felt like they helped but I'm not dependant. You mentioned that my distance rx will likely get weaker if anything, which I realize. Astigmatism is probably insignificant at my level. Is my add relatively mild for someone at 50?, and what do you expect this might increase to? Will I in fact, really be dependant on glasses "full time"? Can I avoid this by only wearing glasses when I feel I really need them? Aging is so difficult and takes such control! Wearing glasses or not is such a miniscule thing, but might actually be a decision as you mentioned I can make and control. If I don't give into the bifocals/prgressives, will I eventually need trifocals or progressives anyway? Will I endure fatigue and eyestrain and headaches from trying to change focus from near to far, etc? Pholosofer (hope I spelled right?) makes the whole concept sound like a fruitless effort in trying to maintain perfect vision, when nothing is quite perfect in aging.

Soundmanpt 22 Feb 2011, 10:24

very progressive

Well you do have a lot of questions! As you can see by the responses in here. You will get various opinions of how best to handle your situation. In the end your going to be the one to decide what is best for you. Your asking for suggestions so I will tell you as much as I can. I think getting the progressives was the right thing to do. The problems you are going through is very normal for someone adjusting to bifocals/progressives for the first time. First of all I doubt that your distance vision will change much over time, if anything it may even go down some. Your astigmatism likely will still around the same. Your close vision may require some increases. It would seem much easier to stay with the progressives that will soon allow good vision for all distances in one pair rather than have a couple to be switching back and forth with. Think of it this way, how many times have you been wearing your distance glasses and need to read something and could not read it or the other way been wearing the readers and need to see something in the distance and it was hard to see? Not sure I helped, but I tried!

very progressive 22 Feb 2011, 09:00

As I turn 50 in just a couple of days, what should I expect? Do I hang in there with 1 pair of glasses, and wear full time, or do I have a couple of pair ? and just switch back and forth? I guess it would be a no brainer if I was more than mildly nearsighted, or absolutely couldn't see when trying to read or use a computer? Will that eventually be the case? When the opthalmologist said "well, you definitely need bifocals" did that mean you need glasses for distance and for reading, or "suck it up" and get used to wearing glasses all of the time? Guess at 50 it's what all down hill? - atleast I'm still hot ! I really don't want to struggle with multiple glasses, and sitting on them and losing them, and all of the expense. I also don't want to own 1 pair of glasses that I can always find, because they are sitting on my nose, if I need to struggle to see well, and will ultimately need to settle for less that perfect vision , as to look good and not be inconvenienced? Will bifocals eventually not be an option but be a necessity? Will I not be able to see at any distance without correction? And is there any likelihood that my little bit of astigmatism will increase?

Thanks for listening to the ramblings of a "crazy old woman"!

Philisofer 21 Feb 2011, 20:00

Very Progressive

Good message. After trying wear progressives on & off (mostly off) for the last about 15 yrs, I have come to the following 'profound' conclusions:

1. There are a few (very few) lucky people out there who can go straight from single vision lenses sometime in their 50's; get a good fit; put them on; keep them on, and be as happy as clams from then on.

2. For most of the rest of us, as the time of multi-focal vision correction arrives , an unavoidable state of compromise arrives, with no combination of spectacles being 100% comfortable and convenient; Multiple pairs of , multifocal contacts, GOC - all kinds of damn work-arounds, but never any perfect combination !

Half the time they feel, to me, anyway, like someone else's glasses. At this stage (aged 75) I have mostly move to the point of having separate glasses for computer and reading, while I get on fine without correction for distance. (one of the small blessings of increasing age seems to be a gradual movement from a condition of low myopia, to very limited farsightedness !)

very progressive 21 Feb 2011, 18:03

Wearing new progressives, (1st bifocals) all of the time as recommended here. Had only worn over the counter readers and glasses for distance before. Am finding that when I do remove my glasses it is like someone is turning off a light. I feel like I can still see well, but need to widen my eyes and , and blink alot. Never noticed that sensation with my distance glasses. I know that in the physical sense you don't become more dependant on glasses, but if I wear "full time" , will I ever be able to comfortably turn back to wearing as needed? Will I find that I get headaches and eye strain when I don't wear my glasses? I am finding that computer distance takes some getting used to. I will need alot of practice with moving my head and or my glasses up and down to view thru just the right area? is this normal?

Thanks Everyone for all of your great advice!

Slit 20 Feb 2011, 07:41

Hi Jose, its just +1.25 L&R.

Jose 20 Feb 2011, 05:55

Hi Slit. I know you are looking to get progressives. Are you currently using single vision readers? If so, what is the prescription? Thanks.

Slit 19 Feb 2011, 04:45

Hi Jil,

I am sure Soundmanpt gave a good piece of advise and on top of that i would add this.

as far as glasses goes, it is a real hazzle to wear and remove reading glasses all the time, especially when using blackberry. therefore i would always vote for progressives even with zero prescription in upper portion and relevant plus power for near vision. (especially after trying my mom's +0.5 Add +1.75, I am convinced for a twenty something person best is a good quality progressive lens. it reveals virtually nothing about bifocals and to external world its a nice accessory on the face of the person!

what is the prescription of your old glasses (which have executive bifocals - line across the lens)

what made you get that prescribed? - headaches at school?

which phase of age you are passing now (this will define the lens requirements too)

Soundmanpt 18 Feb 2011, 11:14


To get the best possible eye exam it is important that just like any other doctor you should tell him/her what problems you have been having. That being said I am sure that the exam alonw will tell a lot. They will quickly find out if your distance vision is still perfect or if you may need a small correct for that. They will find what you need for your close vision as well with your input. Something you said about headaches actually sounds like an indication that you may need astigmatism correction. If you do need astigmatism correction that effects both your distance and your close vision. You said your old bifocals are helping for the close up things, but how is your vision with them for distance now? In other words can you distance better with your glasses or without them?

You are doing the proper thing by getting an exam and seeing what you need. If you do need bifocals again you may want to switch over to progressives (no-line). You didn't state your age but I get the idea you must be in your 20's and progressives will give the appearance of single vision glasses.

Be sure to ask for a copy of your rx when you go and even ask for your PD (this is needed if you want to order glasses on-line at some point) Ley us know your results after you go.

Jill 18 Feb 2011, 10:36

In high school I wore bifocals for a while to help with reading.

Recently at my job I have been having trouble reading up close. I have not worn any glasses for ten years.

Since the first of the year I now have trouble reading menu's in restaurants, Seeing my Blackberry and it appears to be getting worse. I tried my old glasses and the seem to help a lot.

I have even resorted to wearing my old bifocals at work and at home. I have made an appointment for the eydoctor.

Should I tell him about me having bifocals before or will he be able to figure it out. My old glasses have the line all the way across in them. I do not want to wear that kind any more. But it it is the bottom part that really helps. Ihave been having to use them more and more latley for all reading. I think the top part is ok I can see far away.

Is it possible I will still need bifocals, or will reading glasses work OK ?

I have really bad headaches at the end of the day too.

Could it be my eyes ?

I dont want to wear bifocals all the time what are my options?



Soundmanpt 17 Feb 2011, 08:23

very progressive

Well it is up to you, but I think the reason you see most people that wear bifocals or progressives is be cause once your eye sget to a point where you need correction for both distance and close up it is much easier to just wear them even if the rx is very mild. I think you will find it more comfortable and less noticeable if your switching glasses often. With progressives no one will need to know that you need them for reading except you. Your distance correction is enough for most to be full time anyway. actually I think you will like them and will want to wear them full time anyway.

One caution I always give to a new bifocal or progressive wearer, be very careful going up and down steps or even curbs until you get used to them. You may even want to take them off until you feel comfortable enough to try that. The key is don't look down, only straight ahead.

When you get them let us know how you like them and what you choose to do in regard to wearing them.

Ed 17 Feb 2011, 08:15


Your etyes will tell you how much you will need to wear your glasses. I hope you find your varifocals will give you much comfort, I think they will. Not vain to want varifocals , they are wonderful. I personnaly prefer the lined bifocals. I like the distinct viewing ranges.

Good luck

very progressive 17 Feb 2011, 08:03

I also posted on "new glasses", but should probably have posted here first. Wondering as I recently received rx for bifocals, how often it is felt they should be worn (getting progressives, as I'm quite vain). I have known most people with bifocals to wear them full time, however I have minimal rx. r eye - -1.75 x +.50 x 92 + 2.25

l eye only -1.00 +.50x 90 + 2.25 . What does everyone think? I have only worn glasses for distance prior and somewhat strained for reading colse at work. More intense reading have worn otc readers. Thanks !

LTLurker 13 Jan 2011, 15:49

Thanks Willy, so it is fair to say that their has been a substantial progression.

Willy 13 Jan 2011, 09:28

LT -- With my distance being in the +1.5 vicinity, plus or minus with cyl, my total at near is around 3.5, so the answer is pretty much zero.

anic 13 Jan 2011, 03:21

Interesting sighting Ben, I also wear bifocals, and am of a similar age - 29, but have a prescription a lot stronger than your lovely lady you met, and yourself.

I'm glad to read your bifocals are working properly for you now!

LT Lurker 12 Jan 2011, 18:06

Hi Willy,Having read your many post over the years and was wondering now you have a +2 add how near and how long you can read without it?

Willy 12 Jan 2011, 14:00

At my most recent exam last week, my add hit the magic +2 mark, and it was suggested I use an office progressive for work because the reading area in my regular progressives will now be getting pretty small. Anyone have experience with these, and especially with switching from office to regular?

scott 09 Jan 2011, 10:00

Report in an English Newspaper regarding a nine year old girl prescribed bifocals due an inability to focus.

Ben 06 Jan 2011, 13:44

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update and also mention a great sighting.

When I last wrote, I was going in to get my glasses remade because the lines in my bifocals were too high. I did that, and I'm very happy with the result. I'm wearing my glasses a lot more now. Not full-time, but for long chunks every day rather than just reading and long-distance activities. They are very comfortable and I have great vision with them. As a reminder my prescription is -0.5 add 1.75 in both eyes.

Yesterday, I went to a coffee shop (while wearing my glasses). Of course, whenever I do something like that I try to sit near the best GWG I can find, always on the look to find someone wearing bifocals. I noticed someone (attractive, probably around 27) wearing plus reading glasses, and since I like plus glasses I sat across from her. To my surprise and delight, I noticed a pair of lined bifocals sitting on the table! It seemed as though she wore bifocals but then put on reading glasses to have a bigger view while reading. And I was right; at some point she switched glasses so I struck up a conversation on the premise that I noticed she wore bifocals too. Turns out she was having headaches so bought some drugstore reading glasses, then later discovered in an eye exam that she needed a small distance prescription too. She got bifocals to avoid having to change glasses all the time and so she could always have her reading rx on hand. Like me, she tried progressives and didn't like them, so switched to lined bifocals, and wears them full-time because she strains to read pretty much everything. I tried on her glasses and her prescription was almost identical to mine. Maybe a bit stronger on the reading segment.

As you might imagine, this was a pretty exciting experience. Beyond the rarity of seeing an attractive girl wearing lined bifocals, it was someone who had almost the same rx as me and wore full-time, which I would like to do if I can get to that point.

Jamie32 02 Jan 2011, 09:54

Hey Brian-16, There's a couple of things about bifocals and the like that I'd like to hear from you about but would like to keep off the board and more private. So if you could e-mail me at, I'd be most appreciative.

Slit 01 Jan 2011, 07:25

Hi Rudy,

Just saw our post on latent hyperopia around age of 15 of yours.

How did you find out that you have it? Did the prescription change yearly?

Well in my case, apparently its not much about the lens being accommodative because rx is much stable at +1.25 D for last 2 years. (discovered when I was doing a lot of close work, especially some blur in the late evenings when exceeding 10 hours of computer)

Brian-16 01 Jan 2011, 06:48

Jamie32 - Yes Dan and I will look forward for your next report on the "lined" bi-focals.

Jamie32 31 Dec 2010, 19:43


Good to see that you're enjoying your new bifocals. After seeing all the advice, I used a holiday sale to get a new pair of bifocals myself to try for the first time in several years.

Just got them today so haven't had a chance to try them much yet but it'll be interesting to see how much I wear them and Brian-16, you'll be happy to know I went for the nice lined bifocals:) This pair definitely looks much better cosmetically than the old pair I had in grad school.

I'll update more as I wear them

Dan 15 Dec 2010, 10:37


Glad to see your busy since college; I'll be graduating in May. We'll see how long it takes me to go full time but they definitely make things a bit easier.

Brian-16 15 Dec 2010, 06:58

Dan/C.J. Yes it's been a while since posting.Busy working since graduating college.Dan I guess I am partial to bifocals having them for so long. I am sure they make reading a lot easier and you have gotten a frame to your liking.I will bet in a few months you will become almost full time with them.One day you will walk out of the house with them on fogetting you even had them on..Don't worry what other folks say or comment-they are your eyes and you prefer to wear them...Seasons Greetings to all !

Dan 14 Dec 2010, 20:06


I second Cactus Jack's comment...haven't seen you in a while.

Also, I still haven't gotten up the courage to wear them much. I do use them when I'm watching TV while studying and they make the transition from near to far very easy. Don't have a Blackberry so I haven't noticed that problem but I do notice that once I wear them for a while while reading and try to look through the top portion of the lens, the book is blurry and my eyes seem "lazy" and don't want to focus.

JD 14 Dec 2010, 17:18

I finally broke down and got my new glasses with progressives. I knew I needed them for awhile, just kept putting it off. I now realize I shouldn't have put them off. It is so much better with them. I actually enjoy wearing them. I have been going full time glasses for the past year. I did not even get tested for contacts. Glasses are just so much easier.

Cactus Jack 14 Dec 2010, 09:34


It has been a long time since we have heard from you. Hope all is going well.


Brian-16 14 Dec 2010, 06:53

Dan- Glad you like your new frames and bi-focals.How often do you use them (bi's)? Some have posted who tried them for the first time say it does help on small print or on the Blackberry or reading tiny print on instruction manuals..

Dan 26 Nov 2010, 21:42

Thought I'd update on my use of bifocals (you can find posts on it earlier in 2010).

I recently tried a different frame which I bought online and I like a lot better. I never liked the other frames I bought last January when I first tried bifocals so I never wore them. The new frames are much more stylish and seem to fit better so I may actually give them a try. The prescription is:

OD -1.00 -0.50 x 95

OS -1.00 -0.50 x 85

add +1.25

I have tried wearing them for short periods of time on several occasions while working on the computer and watching tv and found that the transition from near to far is really easy. I definite don't NEED them but they do seem to come in handy and make focusing a bit easier.

I guess my worry is that if I wear them a lot my cilary muscles will become deconditioned and I will become dependent on bifocals.

I'll keep you all posted.

Rudy 04 Oct 2010, 13:13


We aren't creeping up on trifocals, we are all there. Little sister just got them this Fall before she started college.

Cactus jack 27 Sep 2010, 18:20


Sounds like your Doctor pays more attention to the needs of his patients rather than mindless "no bifocals under 40", "one size fits all", rules. Treasure him. Anyone creeping up on trifocals?.

I wonder if the Doctor has any data showing evidence that fitting bi and trifocals based on Rx has any effect on myopic, hyperopic, or presbyopic progression.


Rudy 27 Sep 2010, 15:20

Cactus Jack,

Our doctor says he does not consider age when prescribing bifocals, just prescription. his standard is bifocals for hyperopes at +4 to +5, myopes at -6 to -7, and for mixed like my brother at any prescription. He also says trifocals above +2 add.

My two siblings and I all got bifocals in our teens, and never any progressives.

hubby of GWG 19 Sep 2010, 14:19


Sorry I am just now getting back with you. The doctor talked to her about that very thing and decided against progressives. His reasoning was that progressives have a limited amount of area for reading and intermediate viewing and that is what she uses her glasses for mostly. With her distance RX, the only time she really needs to wear them is for driving. He said if her distance RX was much more he would recommend just going full time with progressives.

Cactus Jack 19 Sep 2010, 09:01


Your brother's requirement for bifocals in his first glasses is not surprising. With his vision, he was already "wearing" bifocals in the form of mono vision. He was probably using his right eye for close and his left eye for distance. From personal experience, I can say that years of coping with a significant difference in Rx makes it very difficult to learn to accommodate and make both eyes to work together, particularly for close work. The doctor did him a big favor by prescribing bifocals so he could skip the headaches and frustration. When I got my first glasses almost 60 years ago, bifocals for teens, for any reason, was unheard of. I was nearly 20 and in university before I was able to convince any doctor that I really needed some help with the close work.


Rudy 18 Sep 2010, 10:30


My younger brother's first glasses were bifocals. When he was 14-15 he busted the school eye exam. After seeing the doctor he came away with R, -0.75 -1.50 L, +0.50 -0.25 add +1.25.

Now he is a college grad, still wears bifocals but somewhat stronger.

Soundmanpt 16 Sep 2010, 14:14

hubby of GWG

I wonder why he didn't do that now instead of giving her 2 pairs of glasses? He did give her bifocals for the computer already. If he had gave her progressives the only difference would be putting the -.50 in the top with an add of +1.50 that would still leave the mid section for the computer around +.75. It would seem that would not have been too hard for your wife to adjust to because all the numbers are pretty low. It is more likely the next ones all the numbers will go up a bit and be harder for her to get used to.

hubby of GWG 16 Sep 2010, 13:19


Your story is similar to my wife's. She never wore glasses before thsi summer when she went for an exam. She had been having trouble reading, working on the computer and seeing her phone keys as well. She knew that she was going to have to get readers but was certainly surprised when she was told she needed glasses for distance as well. She was given several options and went with this. She received a pair of bifocals for computer and reading (+.75 with a 1.5 add). She also received a pair of single vision glasses for driving (-.50). The only complaint she has is that she can't see her phone while driving with her distance glasses on (probably a good thing). She loves both pair for everything else. Her optomotrist told her next year at her exam that she would probably just be best served going with a progressive lens that she could wear all the time so she could do everything with one pair of glasses. She just turned 46 so this has been a big thing for her, going from never with glasses to bifocals and driving glasses.

Ben 15 Sep 2010, 16:39

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the responses. It's great to hear everyone's stories. I'd love to hear even more.

Blackberry, sounds like we have similar vision. What's your full Rx? How old are you? Have you gotten your glasses yet? If so, how do you like them? What type of bifocal did you go for?

Eye Tri 08 Sep 2010, 05:26


You're not the only one to go from no glasses to bifocals. When I was 32 I went for my first eye exam. About 9 months earlier I had started my first office job and for a few months prior to the exam had been feeling kind of overall tired. My regular doctor couldn't find anything wrong with me,and suggested getting my eyes examined.The optometrist said I needed glasses - bifocal glasses (+1.00 with 1.25 add). This was quite a surprise, but once I got them it didn't take long to realise that I needed them. Everybody is different, but I went to wearing my bifocals full time within 3 months. It just seemed to be to much of a both taking them off and on all the time.

Blackberry 08 Sep 2010, 03:46

I was reading Ben's post. When my distance vision was checked I had to read the eyechart while the dr flipped lenses till I could see clearly. For the reading part I expected the same process..reading lines on a card, but also just looked at a wheel with vertical and horizontal lines, and lenses were flipped till the lines were equally dark. How does that work to determine a prescription?

Blackberry 08 Sep 2010, 03:42

When I went to use by Blackberry last week, I was having trouble reading the keys (not the screen). I tried my husband's readers and they were great, so I booked an eye exam. I wasn't surprised when he recommended that I get readers but was surprised when he prescribed -.50 for distance and told me I need bifocals. I ordered them, and should have them soon. Then I read that many people my age have "Blackberry Eyes". What does that mean? Will I end up wearing them all the time or just for BB and driving? He did say and show me that wearing readers only would make clear distance impossible. (I never wore glasses before so going straight to bifocals is a surprise!)

john 02 Sep 2010, 11:34

Ben-just take your bifocal rx in and say you want trifocals made. Thats what i did for my first pair of trifocals.I was really happy i did it.I just had an eye exam about 3 weeks earlier and was complaining I was having trouble with intermediate distance(driving and seeing the dashboard clearly)They wanted to charge for another exam to get a trifocal rx so i went to a different optical store.My add was + 2.00 at the time but i could have used trifocals at +1.50 but was told i was too young for trifocals .Most places are eager to sell you a extra pair of glasses.It would be wise to get a eye exam first to see if your perscription has changed so you are not waisting money since the first few bifocal perscriptions change very fast(mine first change was 9 mts. then 1 year later and then it slowed down to every 2 years and the eye Dr. can give you a perscription for trifocals.Also if the make your line at the wrong height insist on a remake imediately.It cost them money to remake lenses(they still make money but not as much) but it was there mistake not yours.Dont fall for you will get use to then in a few days.

Rudy 01 Sep 2010, 10:10

Interesting stories about first bifocals for young people. 11 years ago, it was my story. I was 15 and having frequent changes due to latent hyperopia. I told the doctor I was having eye strain reading. My script had just gone to +4.25 and the Dr said it is bifocal time Rudy and gave me an add of +1.25.

Since then the script has risen more and I got trifocals when I was over 17 and driving in order to see the dashboard. My current script is +9.00 aith an add of +4.00. It has been stable for aabout 4 years.

DWV 30 Aug 2010, 01:52

Normally, the eye doctor who performs the exam just prescribes the reading add. It's the optician's job to sell you the lenses, and suggest the appropriate (or most profitable) kind. That said, the last doc I saw DID check off a box next to Trifocals on the prescription. Once the add goes above 1.50, it's time to try trifocals.

I didn't get multifocals at a particularly young age, although I did notice the need before 40. But, I could get the effect of a +2.50 add by removing my distance glasses, which did come in handy for really detailed work, even in my 20s. Now I've gotta use readers on top of myopia to get that kind of super near vision.

There's a Varilux document that explains several different ways of determining reading add. Here's the current location:

No eye doc I've visited has used any of the fancy methods... they just stuck a reading chart in front of me and added plus until I was happy.

But, anyway, if you want a higher add and the doc doesn't oblige, just scan your prescription, then use a picture editor to change the add. Laserprint and it'll look like you just photocopied the original.

Cactus Jack 29 Aug 2010, 18:13


You may have been slightly hyperopic before law school, but based on your original post, it is possible that you have developed some myopia with your reading workload. At this point there is no way to tell if it is pseudo myopia or true axial myopia. If it is pseudo myopia, the only way to tell is to start wearing plus glasses for distance and ideally strongly consider trifocals for intermediate (computer) and a reading segment for close work. However, that is impractical because the plus Rx for distance would make you apparently more myopic until, if you are truly a latent hyperope, your ciliary muscles relax and that would be extremely counter productive to your pursuit of a law degree.

Now some thoughts about bifocals and trifocals.

I think in your situation, I think you would find trifocals useful, particularly if you want to try -1.00 for distance. Trifocals are usually prescribed with the intermediate segment add set at 50% if the reading add, but other powers are available. Trifocals are particularly useful if you are doing a lot of reading and also using a computer a lot. Using the intermediate segment for the computer will help avoid cricks in your neck.

I have some experience with bifocals, progressives, and trifocals. I started wearing bifocals in university at 20 when I was working on a engineering degree. I started with a +1.00 add to minimize headaches and by the time I was about 30 I was up to a +1.75 add. By then I was out of school, but was involved with large engineering drawings and started having trouble with the top parts of drawings. The bottom parts of the drawings were sharp and clear through the reading segment, but as expected the tops of the drawings were fuzzy. The real problem was that I could not see the tops of the drawings clearly through the distance segment. The solution was trifocals. The optometrist was very reluctant to prescribe trifocals for a 30 year old, but I explained to him that I really needed to be able to read the top parts of large (22 x 34 inch) drawings which were about 36 inches away without getting on the drawing board or table and I felt I could explain trifocals to my colleagues easier than what I was doing on the drawing board. I got the trifocals.

Much later, after progressives became available, I tried a pair and found that while neat, the transition zone was not wide enough for my needs and I went back to trifocals and have worn them since. I am now 72.

One thing I should mention and I think most trifocal wearers will agree that once you start wearing trifocals, you will probably never want to wear anything else, even if your visual situation does not really require them. However, they could have a supplemental advantage for you. If it turns out that you are actually prone to developing myopia because of the law school reading load, they may actually slow down the development of axial myopia. That has not been proven, because genetics trumps everything, but there are a couple of members who have high progressive myopia who wear trifocals to try to slow down the progress.

I have several lawyer friends who started law school with low to moderate myopia and are now in the double digits which they attribute to the reading workload.

If you want to give trifocals a try, you need to develop a "story" for your next exam that will convince the examiner to let you try them. Unfortunately, trifocals are hard to get online.

If you want some help, let me know.


John S 29 Aug 2010, 03:38


If you are getting new lenses, you might as well spring for a exam. You might get an little increase, I guess it has been 6 months? Try to get an exam later in the day, and read as much as you can the day before your exam. That will tend to relax your muscles a bit more.

You were saying you would like to have a plus rx... I noticed when I was 13, I kind of had to force my eyes to see close up. I also noticed a difference slightly in my distance when doing that. I tried my Dad's glasses, they were +1.00 Add +1.50. I could see great distance and reading.

I put up with it till I was 17, and got an exam. The doctor prescribed a +1.00, yes that was it. Never having an exam before, that was not what I expected or needed. I told him that it did not fix my problem. He said, that is as good as it will be. I told him I tried my Dad's glasses, I could see fine. I did not have them with me (he only had one pair, I could not sneak them out of the house). His response was, don't wear them. I was getting nowhere fast. I gave up and went home. Thinking back now, I would have loved to have walked in with them on!

I booked an appointment with another doctor. Now that I had learned more about how a eye exam worked, I was prepared this time. Checked distance, and added the +1.00. Then reading, I don't remember if he put up a text reading chart first (if he did I would have told him it was fuzzy). He asked me to read a card with vertical and horizontal lines. I had not seen this chart before at the other office. I did not know what to do to make sure I got a reading add, so I told the truth. He increased the plus and told me to tell him when the lines looked equally dark. As he increased the plus, the difference between lines became less, then the opposite lines became darker. He backed off the plus until they were equal. I don't know what distance he had the chart at, I would guess 18"-20" since that is what the my reading distance ended up being. He said, you need bifocals (like I did not know). He set the add at +1.50.

That rx definitely helped a lot. When I went back for a check up, I asked for an increase because I worked in electronics. He agreed to increase the add to a +2.00. I think that was 16".

Probably 10 years later in my early 30's I saw a different doctor in his office. I explained I could use a stronger add for work. I talked him into a +3.00. Wow! I could see real small things without straining, it was 13". They were too strong to read the newspaper, but I could use an older pair for that.

A few things I learned through all the exams was, the doctor is pretty good at telling your distance rx. But no clue to reading. He cannot tell if you need an add, or how much. By your responses to the questions is how a add is determined. Some doctors won't give you an add just because you are under 40, "you don't need one". I think that slowly disappearing because of computer use now. Some doctors will bring the plus up on a reading card, and ask when can you make out the bottom line, not when it becomes clear. You can lose at least +.50 in add in that case.

I think the most accurate method is, add more plus than you can take for the distance, i.e. 16" add +3.50 and back it down until you can start to make out the chart. At that point, concentrate and try to read a line. Look at it for a least a minute or two and see if it improves. Then ask what kind of work do you do, and what distance do you like to read at. Set the chart to that distance, if you have a preference. Back down the plus until the lowest line becomes clear and stop. That will be an attempt to cancel out your muscle accommodation action, so your muscles relax.

Another thing I had noticed, I could usually control my reading problem. It was not very comfortable doing it, but I could. If I had worn my glasses for more than 5 or 10 minutes, I could not read at all. When I had them off for 5 minutes I could start to force the reading to come back. It was a very strange feeling.

The downside of a higher add is the reading distance focus range is not as wide, but the focusing distance is closer. Normally 16" is a good center point for reading. The more you relax your muscles, the less tired your eyes will feel. If your muscles are fully relaxed, that will be a +2.50 add. Most younger people cannot fully relax their muscles for reading. I was an exception to the rule. By the time I was 30, I was at a +2.50 add.

A way that might get you a stronger add at the exam is, buy a pair of reading glasses at the drug store. Your current reading rx is +1.25. Get +2.00 or +2.25. If you can, use them when you do any close work or reading a week prior to the exam, that might help condition the muscles to take a little extra add. Your add is going to top out at about +2.50, I don't think you will get an add that high until later in life. Everyone is different, so you never know.

A side effect of a strong add can be to slow your distance rx increase. The opposite of induced myopia. It doesn't always help, but in some cases it does.

Ben 28 Aug 2010, 20:17

Hi Soundmanpt,

I actually was going somewhere else to get the new lenses because I had moved. That's why it may have been different. But like I said it will be fixed soon.

As you mention it is very hard to spot girls wearing bifocals but especially progressives. I think I've gotten relatively good at it but they are somewhat uncommon. I do have a gf who happens to be a low myope. Trying to find girls wearing bifocals is fun, but I'm very happy with my gf as there are things more important in a mate what glasses she wears. (Although to be sure a nice rx is a good touch!)

Soundmanpt 28 Aug 2010, 18:41


Enjoyed your post very much. The thing I was surprised by is how she managed to get your add up to high in the lens. I am assuming you went back to the same place you got your first glasses from. She had your orginal ones to measure the eye height. Maybe your doctor needs hers eyes examined? I know your not a big fan of progressives but the nice thing about them is they automaticly give you that intermediate area the bifocals don't offer. You do know that any time you want you can easily go on-line and order bifocals in a little stronger prescription? I think you would have no trouble adjusting to a -1.00 with an add of 2.25 rather quickly. It's not that much stronger than your actual rx. It would not cost much if you decide to try it, about $50.00 depending on the frame.

Have you had any luck in finding a gf that wears bifocals or progressives? Young ladies I think will be more likely to go with progressives if they need them than a lined bifocal just because of looks. As you know it is a lot harder to spot someone with progressives in a low rx. You may have to settle for a girl with single vision glasses but wears them full time.

Ben 28 Aug 2010, 16:40


I've been lurking for years and am now finally posting for the first time. Here's my story: when I was young I always wanted glasses but never needed them. I especially had a fascination with bi/trifocals. I'm not sure what it was; maybe I liked the look of them, maybe it was that glasses always seemed like a way to enhance one's ability to see and bifocals allowed that to happen in multiple ways at once. I also think women with glasses are very attractive in general, and though I like myopes fine, I think plus lenses are more interesting. Seeing a girl with bifocals (especially a younger one) is a rare treat and it's very exciting when I spot one. Plus bifocals are the best but any sort of bifocal on a young person is interesting.

In any event, during my freshman year of college (I'm now 24) I started noticing some blurry distance vision. I also noticed that after reading for a while, in addition to eyestrain my distance vision would be blurred for a fairly long time. At that point I went and saw the eye doctor. To my delight I was rx'd the following: OS/OD -0.25 add +1.25. At first she pointed out that just the reading rx wouldn't do much about my slight distance problem, which was bothering me in classes. At the same time just the distance rx would make switching between close and far even more difficult during classes. So then she mentioned that a bifocal would solve the problem, not thinking I would accept, but of course I happily did.

I was talked into progressives even though I really wanted lined bifocals. To be honest I didn't know if vision with progressives would be worse; I just thought the lined ones were cool. But at the same time I was excited to see what the progressives would be like to wear. I got used to them without much problem, but what everyone says really is true: when doing a lot of reading the lower section isn't great. You really do have to move your head back and forth to read clearly. Otherwise they were great, and completely solved my distance and close up issues. I didn't wear even close to full-time though, especially because they were so difficult to read with.

A year later I went back to the eye doctor, hoping to get a slightly stronger rx. Unfortunately it didn't change, but I did use the opportunity to get some lined bifocals, after expressing my complaints. I liked these a lot better and wore them more often. Vision was much better, especially for prolonged reading, which I was doing a lot. They were extremely easy to get used to, even after adjusting to progressives.

After college I entered law school, where visual demands (especially reading) are extremely high. In the second semester I began to notice all of my old problems both in distance and near, even while wearing glasses. I went to the eye doctor and was rx'd: OS/OD -0.5 add +1.75. Rather than getting new glasses I decided to just get the lenses changed in my old ones. Problem was that the optician measured incorrectly, placing the bifocal line too high. After making all possible adjustments to lower it, the line is still slightly high, and because of the adjustments I now think the glasses look a little strangely angular. Also, the lines are uneven between the two lenses and are a little tilted rather than horizontal. She would have remade them but I was leaving for the summer. She said I could come back in the fall if I was still unhappy to get the lenses remade, which I will probably do soon. If they are remade correctly I'll probably wear a lot more, since my vision is great with this rx but at the moment they are somewhat uncomfortable to wear around due to the high bifocal line.

My reading add is getting stronger, and at this point there are some things that are blurry in the intermediate zone when I look through the bottom part of my glasses. Like I said I've always been intrigued by trifocals - I think it would be cool just to try them out even though I really don't need them. Bifocals are unusual enough for a 24 year old, but I've never seen someone young wearing trifocals (even though I know from reading this website that such people are around). I'm not sure if I could bring myself to wear them. Like I said, it'd just be interesting to try for the experience.

I'm still pretty happy to actually need bifocals since it was always kind of my fantasy. I admire those who are young and wear them full time and I'd like to get there one day. I've thought a lot about what my ideal rx would be, and while I like the idea of going full time I'm glad to not be dependent on glasses to see clearly, even if they do help a lot. It would be cool to have a plus rx but given where I am as a low myope I think I'd love to be -0.75 or -1.00 with an add of +2.25 or +2.50.

I'd love to hear more about others' experiences wearing bi/trifocals young and see some pictures of young multifocal wearers. I think we need to revitalize this thread. Multifocals are super interesting but we really don't get to hear enough about them. Thanks for reading.

Julian 18 Jul 2010, 12:12

John L, and the rest of you: I agree. When I first got into progressives (20 years ago, give or take few weeks) the Rx used to give an add for bifocals, with an extra quarter or even half dioptre for progressives. That made perfect sense to me, as I could choose where to look through the lens, and the glasses might even be good for an extra years or so. More recently, the optometrist I was seeing steadfastly refused to increase my add, and even reduced it once, although I said I had trouble with phone books and small maps: I could read his little card so that was that. When I moved across the country three years ago, however, the new optometrist upped my distance Rx by +0.5 and my add by +0.5 - and three years on I'm still comfortable with the glasses she prescribed. These, incidentally, have Rodenstock lenses which are much shallower from top to bottom than any progressives I've had before, but are still fine.

Cactus Jack 18 Jul 2010, 08:40

John S,

I agree fully, when you find that rare doctor who will LISTEN, treasure him or her and do everything in your power to help his business with referrals and recommendations to your friends and acquaintances.

I have never understood why LISTENING is not a significant part of their training. Unlike most other medical specialities, there is no way the doctor can KNOW exactly what you are seeing. He can get close by using his instruments, but in the final analysis, he has to depend on you to tell him what you see. He just gets to focus the camera, but your brain processes the pictures. Also, he gets to "observe" your vision for 10 to 15 minutes and you get to observe it every hour you are awake.

John L,

Progressives can be troublesome as add increases. The rate of change from distance to near has to be faster to go from essentially 0 add to whatever reading plus you want or need in a very short distance. Also, you need to choose your frames carefully because some frames just don't have enough vertical room for the transition zone and a really useful reading zone. At some point, when the reading add gets high enough, you should consider tri-focals. While there are the "dreaded" lines, all the segments are relatively large and very useful because there is no transition zone and the "jump" from distance to intermediate and from intermediate to close is small because the typical tri-focal had an intermediate segment that is 1/2 the reading segment.


John S 18 Jul 2010, 07:41

John L,

I feel your pain. I would love to know the answer to that. That is something I have dealt with most of my life. There are some doctors that just will not listen to your needs.

There are others that when you explain that you need a unusually close reading distance, they say, what distance would you like? That is the doctor to find.

It seems like the younger doctors are more agreeable. I would have thought the opposite. If the doctor is old enough to personally experience presbyopia, he should understand where you are coming from. Does not seem to be a rhyme or reason to it.

I like 12 inch reading distance in my progressives, which equates to a +3.50 add. I wear them full time except for when I am using sunglasses or SV lenses on the computer.

My best advice is, get a few exams until you get what you want. If the doctor has his mind set not to give you a strong add, no matter how much you ask, it won't do any good. Just move on to the next one.

John L 18 Jul 2010, 04:20

A 90% contacts wearer for many years, I found myself needing reading glasses as presbyopia developed in my mid 40s. Given that I had to wear glasses for reading I thought I might as well get checked out for bifocals or progressives and switch mainly to glasses.

My first prescription for presbyopia was back in January 2007 (age 47). My distance prescription then was Right -5, cyl -.75, Axis 180 / Left -4.75, cyl -0.75, Axis 180. To this was I was prescribed +1.5 or +1.75 for progressives. I decided to opt for the progressives.

In August 2009 my prescription had changed to Right -5, cyl -0.75, Axis 180 / Left -4.75, cyl -1.00, Axis 180 with just a +2.00 add. No differentiation between bifocals and progressives this time.

Eleven months later I am finding I am working at the bottom of the progressives lens and really need more plus again. I am also starting to remove my glasses to read which given my level of myopia means rather close!

How is it that opticians don't give a much more generous add to progressives? Surely one naturally selects the appropriate area to look through and it would accommodate presbyopia as it progresses. It now looks like I'll need another prescription after just a year when perhaps a more generous prescription last year might have obviated the need for this.

OnLooker 15 Jul 2010, 01:08

Actually the previous 0.25 add was prescribed by an optometrist but we decided not to take it as it was too expensive and too minor. Now this time the doctor decided to give this add because she needs her glasses mainly for reading BUT she's complaining of eye strains and headaches at the end of the day. She's also upset that she's frowning all the time when she's focusing on things. So his idea is to give her some comfort with distance and general vision while including her need for close up correction when reading. You can be sure i didn't interfere in anything with him, she just reported what i said above and this was his natural response noting that she did tell him she can't stand looking through lenses and that she prefers to struggle to see than having to wear glasses until the day she will really be obliged to not being able to see without them. He told her it was up to her to delay wearing glasses and asked her to come back and see him if she decides to get them after a period exceeding 6 months as her vision may change by then.

Confusive 14 Jul 2010, 12:27

OnLooker I think the only reason you'd get such a small bifocal or progressive prescription would be if you and/or your wife pushed for one. I'd asked you once before if your wife keeps returning to the same eye doctor? If so, since she's had at least 3 exams within a year, the doctor may well have your wife (and/or you) pegged as a bit of an optical hypochondriac - especially as you had somehow successfully gotten the doctor to write a prescription with a +25 add previously, which an optician wisely refused to fill. Sometimes with those types of patients the eye doctor will prescribe progressives, or very tiny prism corrections, or whatever they think the patient thinks will help them - and then they write some notes in their chart about "general asthenopia" (meaning vague eye discomfort) as sort of a code to themselves about the tendencies of this patient. If your wife is having problems with this new prescription I would suggest that she see another eye doctor for a fresh start - preferably on her own (you stay home!) My bet is that she will not come out of that appointment with a prescription for bifocals or progressives.

Mr Cockeyed 14 Jul 2010, 08:05

Bifocals FT are available with a .50 add, but as everybody agrees, there is absolutely no need at all for bifocals or progressives

Soundmanpt 14 Jul 2010, 06:36


For single vision with a plus rx she should use the 59 PD. It is no uncommon for distance vision to be a bit blurry for a while until her eyes adjust to the glasses. It may take several days or longer and then she should be fine for using them for both closeup and distance.

OnLooker 14 Jul 2010, 05:16

Aubrac, she now has +1 glasses with astygmatism correction and she says she can't see clearly at distance with those. They are perfect for close up though.

OnLooker 14 Jul 2010, 05:14

Thanks for your inputs.

My other question is that there are two pupilary distance values on the prescription : 59 for reading and 63 for distance. What is the one to be picked up in a single vision lenses? Does the fact of applying one or the other impact on vision?

Aubrac 14 Jul 2010, 04:54


Why not split the difference and get single vision lenses with R+0.75, L+1.00. This was about the same as wife's first prescription and she quickly got used to them for distance and reading.

Low contrast can increase the need for glasses, my wife finds blue on blue very difficult to read, and pink on blue virtually impossible.

Soundmanpt 13 Jul 2010, 21:43


I am not sure where you are located, but here in the states I have never seen bi-focals or progressives with an add of less than +.75. I agree with Curt they should not make much if any difference to her vision. At least not worth what they will cost to have made.

Of course you can get single vision readers with as little as +.25 if you want.

smudgeur 13 Jul 2010, 11:29

My wife got a similar prescription (in fact almost identical!) about 18 months ago (search on the Post your prescription thread). First 1/4 of 2009 IIRC.

She was advised to get them made up as reading glasses only. Her distance vision hadn't changed much so she kept wearing her old specs and just used this prescription for close work.

She actually got a pair of sunglasses made up using this prescription and the Essilor anti-fatigue lenses, which are more like varifocals than bifocals, and she loved them.

In fact she still wears them even though her add has now increased to +1.25.

You'll struggle to find anyone able to make bifocals or varifocals with a +0.50 add

Curt 13 Jul 2010, 10:49

I agree. Most docs won't even write an Rx for an add less than +1.0.

Mr Cockeyed 13 Jul 2010, 10:26

Why would anybody suggest bifocals with such a very mild prescription. The optical place is looking for more money??

OnLooker 13 Jul 2010, 05:39

Does it get long to get used to bifocals with a prescription like this:

R: +0.5, -0.25, 30, Add: +0.5

L: +0.75, -0.25, 140, Add: +0.5

My wife got this RX from the doctor but she's guessing she couldn't cope with bifocals.

Brian-16 24 Jun 2010, 11:52

Eustace- I am not sure I responded at all anywhere on ES to your Feb.15th post here.Yes,I am out of college and working.Maybe I should get a new exam soon and yes I still have and love tri-focals. The last rx was around -16d.My younger brother is entering college soon and he just got tri-focals and said he had to catch up to me.He likes building small race cars from kits and has a need for strong bifocals and uses the trifocals when on the computer or observing the dashboard in the car.

Like Lenses 16 Jun 2010, 22:58


The lower part will be -2.25

guest 16 Jun 2010, 22:38


My wife has just ordered varifocals for the first time. Her script is -3.75, add +1.5.

Will the lower part of her new glasses contain a +1.5 lens, or will it be -2.25?


Eustace 15 Feb 2010, 10:22

Dear Brian-16:

I just don't seem to hve time these days to check ES as ofter as I used to. But, it was good seeing your name again. I assume that you have long graduated from college--and are now pursuing a career or maybe in grad school. Are you still pleased with trifocals. I am. I would love to hear what you current prescription is. I am way overdue for an eye exam. When I get it done, I will let you know what my new Px is. Eustace

OnLooker 15 Feb 2010, 03:32

Sorry wrong thread...

OnLooker 15 Feb 2010, 03:21

I would like to report an exceptional and unusual event. yesterday night, my wife and i were on the computer browsing together and she was squinting and looked for her +1 glasses (she's hyperope and wears glasses only for close up)she found her older ones (same prescription) she put them on and told me that these were not as good as the new ones event hough they are the same prescription. SO i went and brought them the new ones...Imagine what extraordinary thing she did: She wore the two pairs one over the other....I was thrilled by this sight and what is more she said: wow it's lot bigger...mmm!! I asked if she felt she could see better, she said it's bigger!! I remain under the strong effect of that move..I stil canot believe it!!

J 10 Feb 2010, 15:03

Thanks cactus... I decided to go with the progressives. Will keep you posted!

Cactus Jack 08 Feb 2010, 19:23


I personally prefer lined bifocals, but essentially it is up to you. Many optical retailers offer to let you try progressives and if you don't like them, they will changes the lenses to lined bifocals at no charge. Another alternative would be to consider ordering on line for considerable savings. All you need is your Rx and PD. If you don't have your PD on an old Rx or you don't know how to measure it, we can help.

The only difference in ordering bifocals is that there are two numbers for the PD shown as distance PD/near PD. In general, the near PD is 2 to 3 mm less than the distance PD.

You might investigate Zenni for low cost glasses, and there are many others.


J 08 Feb 2010, 18:04


I think it would be a pain to take them on and off.


Im 32, and do more distance work than close up. When I have to do close up work though visual acuity is important. About 1/3 of my day is spent on the computer. Hope this helps.

Cactus Jack 08 Feb 2010, 14:49


The choice depends on three factors:

1, How much and what kind of close work you do.

If you do lots of close work, you may find the lined bifocals to be better because they give you a wide field of vision with constant focus over the entire area. If you do not do much close work you may find the progressives OK.

2. You age and level of vanity.

Vanity can be a powerful force. Only you can answer this.

3. Your budget.

Really good progressives can be expensive. They have a wide field of vision and excellent optics. One advantage you have is that the add is only +1.00 which makes the transition zone in the progressives easier to deal with.

If you are approaching the age where presbyopia can be a significant factor, removing your glasses to read will cause your ciliary muscles to become deconditioned because they are not having to work hard. The result will be a rapid increase in the need for stronger reading segments in the bifocals. However, the add will probably not exceed +2.50 to +3.25 depending on your preferred reading distance.


Clare 08 Feb 2010, 13:06

J - I have a prescription similar to yours but with -0.50 of astigmatism in just one eye, and no add yet. If you're not too sure about the bifocal is there any reason that you'd not just take your glasses off to read?

J 08 Feb 2010, 12:05

Hello I was just prescribed the following: OD -3.00 -.50 100 Add +1 OS -3.00 -.50 55 Add +1 This is my first time with the add, and a bit of an increase in my distance. My question is should I go with regular lined bifocals or progressives? Im not too keen about the lined ones, but am looking for any advice here!

Dan 06 Feb 2010, 17:11


Well, they do help, but I don't NEED them. Personally, I would prefer to remain bifocal free until necessary. I may try nostolgic's idea of wearing extra minus for close work and strengthening my cilary muscles.

I do have some trouble moving between both parts of the lens but I guess that just comes with practice.

Brian-16 05 Feb 2010, 09:26

Dan- How are you getting along with your new bi-focals?

Smudgeur 03 Feb 2010, 15:41

Hi optifan

When shopping around for my wife's varifocals I asked the same question and the answer, it seems, is not quite that simple.

Apparently for the narrowest varifocal lenses to work OK they need a minimum of 14mm from the centre of your pupil to the bottom of the lens. Therefore whether a frame is suitable or not depends on where it sits on your face. Obviously on metal frames the nose pads can be adjusted but not on solid plastic frames.

Hope that helps.

optifan 01 Feb 2010, 14:59

Can anybody tell me the minimum frame depth for the latest freeform custom varifocals.

I have spoken to various optical stores and each one gives me a different answer .Some say 28mm and others say you can fit them to any frame unlike standard varifocals.

The problem i have is that i prefer the narrow frames and as they are quite expensive i dont want to make a mistake and compomise the visual advantage they claim to give.

I am not sure that all stores are actualy offering true freeform lenses as i feel they are trying to push their own version which perhaps is not as good.

How do i know i am not been ripped off ?

Any help would be appriciated.

Smudgeur 01 Feb 2010, 12:13

DOH! Still not working.

Try this instead:

Smudgeur 01 Feb 2010, 12:10

Actually try this instead:

Smudgeur 01 Feb 2010, 12:00

This should work now

I've got a manual focus on mine so I'll have a go sometime.

Those markings are damn difficult to see and capture!!!

Anyone know what the S5 means? I think it is the make (they're meant to be Jai Kudo Wideview lenses) but I can't find a directory of markings with this lens on to double check.

Slit 01 Feb 2010, 09:51

thanks anonymous...!

hi smudgeur,

great job!

if u get hold of a DSLR camera with fully manual focus, try focusing through lens. it gives nice effect.

i never got hold of both these together... :(

 01 Feb 2010, 09:20

If you copy the link and deleate the /sizes/o/ part it'll load fine.

Slit 01 Feb 2010, 09:12

Still cant see :(

can u pls upload to a new album?

Smudgeur 31 Jan 2010, 14:26

Oops - sorry about that! Had it on private. Should be ok now

still 31 Jan 2010, 10:30

Me too.

nickweymouth 31 Jan 2010, 07:13

same trouble as slit

Slit 31 Jan 2010, 05:29

Hey Smudgeur,

i cant access the photo. it says private page. even if i log on using my yahoo id its same.

pls advise.

Smudgeur 31 Jan 2010, 04:55

Been trying for a while to get a clear pic of the varifocal markings on my wife's specs. Just managed it!

Dan 27 Jan 2010, 13:34


I'll let you know if I'd like more info about the clip-ons once I use the bifocals a bit.

I'm studying meteorology and I live in the US.

Cactus Jack 27 Jan 2010, 12:53


Bifocals are not always good for computer use because you have to tilt your head too far back. There are a couple of possibilities such as some "single vision computer glasses", trifocals when you need a bit more plus than you now have, or, I personally like clip on magnifiers that clip on like sunglasses. The clip ons are hard to find in stores but there is a vendor in New Jersey that sells on line for about US$16 per pair. They offer clip ons in 0.25 increments from +1.00 to more than +3.00.

Let men know if you are interested and I will see if I can find them again.

BTW, may I ask your course of study and where you live?


John S 26 Jan 2010, 11:00


If you have a frame with adjustable nosepads, you can move the segment height more to your liking. I like mine higher than normal, so it is easier to use the reading area. Whatever works best for your situation.

Dan 26 Jan 2010, 10:42

Cactus, Brian, and John

Thanks for the tips!

I've only tried them for a short time today. It definitely is going to take some getting used to. I find that the computer is somewhat challenging to use them with--adjusting from the keyboard to the screen.

I'll let you know how they work as I wear them more.

Cactus Jack 26 Jan 2010, 08:06


There may be more bifocal / progressive wearers than you think, low adds are very hard to detect unless you are very close to a person and viewing them from the right angle. There are likely more students than you who would find a low add to their glasses very useful and comfortable. While presbyopia can begin to manifest itself at an early age in some people (depends on genetics) most low adds fall in the category of "functional" bifocals to help you function better or more comfortably.

To some extent, the need for functional bifocals depends on the course of study and the classroom environment. Courses that require lots of reading and close work or those taught in very large lecture halls where you have to switch from reading a distant board or screen to reading your notes can make functional bifocals very helpful.

If it turns out that you are one of the rare students with bifocals, you can explain that they are pretty weak functional bifocals and that they really help in class. Who knows, you may start a trend. When I was in college, on of my friends got some bifocals to help in classes for the above stated reasons and it wasn't long until others appeared with bifocals and discovered how useful they could be.


John S 26 Jan 2010, 05:21


Can you your duplicate the conditions at school, then do that at home?

If it seems to solve it, check the strength of the bifocal (focusing distance). Basically measure how far you can see perfectly using the near lens. Should be about 16-18".

If you want to go the progressive route for cosmetic reasons, there are 2 options.

Take them to a store, tell them to duplicate the rx in progressives. One thing to note, due to the design of the lens, the doctor usually will add +0.25 to the add rx.

Setup an appointment with a different doctor. Tell him it has been a while since you had a check up, tell him about the focusing problem, and you get headaches when you use SV lenses. You would like to get progressive lenses.

With your add, I don't think anyone would notice a progressive lens.

The reading area through a bifocal is much easier to use. If you can get used to wearing them, I think you will be better off. When using a progressive lens, you have to find the correct area of the lens to use.

Brian-16 26 Jan 2010, 04:48

Dan - Be brave.Others may not notice you have bi-focals unless they are pretty close to you.I am guessing you got flat top 28 bi's from Zenni.If the height of the frame is 30mm or more they probably are not that noticeable.How is your reading now? And congratulations and welcome to the club! If anyone asks you about them tell them you have had them for some time and more recently felt the need for them.

Dan 25 Jan 2010, 22:00

I had been posting to the "Post your prescription" thread but i thought i would move the topic over to a more appropriate thread. For the history of this go to the other thread. Anyway, I just receieved my bifocals this evening and the first thing I noticed was how the line was not that noticeable. I`m hoping that these may help with near/far focusing issues. The prescription is: OD -1.00 -.50 x 90 add +1.25 OS -.75 -.50 x 90 add +1.25 I think my biggest issue is going to be getting up the courage to wear them. Very few college students wear them. I`ll let you know how it goes.

Roxy 12 Jan 2010, 11:01

post deleted - multiple usernames

Smudgeur 10 Jan 2010, 13:06

Joe M

My wife is doing fine now - she says she doesn't even think of them as varifocals now, she just thinks of them as normal.

Cactus jack 09 Jan 2010, 22:36

sarah r,

The add does not affect the cylinder correction for astigmatism which is the second number or the axis (direction of the long axis of the cylinder), which is the third number.


Cactus Jack 09 Jan 2010, 22:32

sarah r,

In typical 50% trifocals, the absolute Rx of the intermediate or middle segment would be an add of +1.25 to the distance sphere or:

OD -0.25 -1.25 002

OS -0.75 - 0.75 165

The absolute Rx in the reading or lower segment would be an add of +2.50 to the distance sphere or::

OD +1.00 -1.25 002

OS +0.50 - 0.75 165


sarah r 09 Jan 2010, 19:56

Hi, just got a new prescription and they told me I would need either trifocals or progressive lenses. I was wondering what the prescription would be in the bottom and middle of the lenses. I believe the top of lenses would be -1.50 and -2.00. Can someone explain this to me:

OD -1.50 -1.25 002 Add +2.50

OS -2.00 - 0.75 165 Add +2.50

John S 08 Jan 2010, 09:49


Your PD is probably 33 X 2 = 66. The PD measurement is the distance from one eye to the other, not from your nose to one eye. Hope that helps.

Joe M. 08 Jan 2010, 09:35

My wife just gat an increase in her glasses from +.25 L & R add+2.25

to R& L +1.00 add +2.75 lined trifocals

She never mentioned any problems before her exam. It seems strong for somenone just 50.

How much can she up close without her glasses?

She has reders all over the house.

Smudgeur and Daffy how are your wives doing with their new glasses?

markus 08 Jan 2010, 09:30

I want to order bifocals and my PD is 33 but the site only shows PD avaiable from 35 on. Can anyone help me, what's up with that? (optical4less)

Eye Tri 08 Jan 2010, 09:12


My favorite lenses are executive trifocals. Twenty years ago an optician told me that within five years I wouldn't be able to buy executive trifocals. This hasn't happened yet, as I just bought a pair of them six months ago.

John S 08 Jan 2010, 08:28


I usually end up wearing my progressives full time, except when I using my desktop computer. If I am going to be looking at it for more than 10 minutes, I usually rip them off and put on my SV glasses.

Except for your cylinder and prism, our RXs are similar. +1.25 -50 X 90, +1.50 -50 X 70, add 3.50. I have never noticed any color abberations. Wonder if that has to do with the prism correction or high cylinder?

Anyway, I am glad you solved your problem.

Jarred 07 Jan 2010, 14:34

Hi John S, I'm often surprised at just how much of a problem prism and the trifocals are for opticians. Overall with +2.00 Sph -2.75 Cyl 6.5 Base Out Prism with +3.50 add in both eyes, my prescription barely scratches the surface compared to -20 of myopia. But somehow its takes the opticians I've used up to five attempts to make up glasses properly, and even then I end up with glasses about a centimetre thick at the edges.

When I have a pair of glasses that have been made correctly my vision is often better than 20 20 and more importantly comfortable and not causing eye strain, sea sickness and headaches.

The problem I had when my prescription changed last is that I was given a specific prescription for distance , intermediate and close. However it would transpire that the intermediate section of the lens is a fixed percentage of the close add which itself is a fixed “off the shelf” element of the lens manufacturing process. The solution that I came up with (not the optician in question) was to compromise with a slightly more powerful close add to get the intermediate prescription closer to what I need. The intermediate was more important to me as I spend so much time in front of a computer.

Overall this setup with the trifocals works just fine, clearly a progressive lens which performs optically as well as the trifocals would be great, but the progressives I've tried have had such a narrow field of view at all distances that I end up having to use other pairs to be able to drive and work at the computer, which somewhat defeats the object of the progressives. Maybe in the future digitally surfaced lenses will become more widespread making truly customised lenses available, even digitally surfaced trifocals.

My general view is that if I can be provided with a prescription, the optician should be able to make up that prescription. Considering the amount of money I'm often paying out, I very much consider the “problem” to be that of the eye care professional.

If there was one thing I've learned over the years, it is to truly understand your particular issues (mine is accommodative esotropia) and taking on board any advice you are given push for what you want rather than go with what you are offered.

John S 07 Jan 2010, 10:08


What did you end up doing about the prism and high add problem. I was going to put a post asking, but then you did.

Jarred 07 Jan 2010, 08:44

I for one will cling onto my trifocals until the bitter end. I've tried a number of types of progressive lenses including uber expensive Zeiss customised ones and found them bordering on useless!

I do find it amazing that in this day and age that any attempt to make lenses more cosmetically appealing (subject to your opinion) makes them optically worse, check out the colour aberrations you get in high index lenses!

Long live the optically superior bifocal and trifocals.

Curt 07 Jan 2010, 07:52

I have my doubts about this as well. Too many people find the peripheral distortion in progressive lenses too much to deal with, but are perfectly happy with lined multifocal lenses. I have an exam coming up in the near future, so I will ask the optician what he knows about this (the guy who makes the glasses likely knows more about this than the optometrist who actually examines my eyes).

I have both, but have been wearing my lined bifocals almost exclusively for the past couple months.

DWV 07 Jan 2010, 01:12

I've spotted an awful lot of people rocking lined bifocals in fashionable frames. I'll be surprised if they disappear in my lifetime. When people wealthy enough to buy their own eye doctor are photographed wearing lined multifocals, it's pretty obvious there must be tangible advantages over any progressive at any price.

More obscure lens styles may die out, but I wouldn't rule out some eccentric middle-aged style icon choosing to rock egregiously lined executive bifocals and making them as popular as Palin made unfeasibly rectangular rimless lenses.

Lee 06 Jan 2010, 21:55

Well, this is 2010, the year that they are supposed to be phasing out lined bifocals. My optician told me that by the end of this year or beginning of next year, lined bifocals will be very hard to come by.

 28 Nov 2009, 10:43

Multifarious was spell correct... meant multifocals.

 28 Nov 2009, 10:42

Many multifarious:

Walter 28 Nov 2009, 07:38

Since I have had a few questions, I got more info from Ann Marie. Her full Rx is R: +9.00 +5.50 x040 9.50BO, L: +8.50 +4.50 x060 9.50BO add +3.50 w/trifocals. She has worn glasses almost all her life, and got bifocals at age 7. She and I are both 16. They say pposites attract, and they must. I am tall with black hair and thick - glasses. She is short (5'1") blonde with thick + glasses.

Walter 25 Nov 2009, 05:37


Without glasses, Ann Marie cannot function. No reading, not even walking around.

Another And  24 Nov 2009, 12:23

Hi Walter,

Is it possible for her to read anything at all without her glasses? Even just a few works? Thanks from a curious reader.

Walter 20 Nov 2009, 11:52

John S:

I think you are probably right that it is connected to Ann Marie's distance prescription, as it is +9.0 in one eye and +8.5 in the other, along with at least 4.5 dpt of cylinder in each.

John S 17 Nov 2009, 16:05


I will disagree...I have been wearing a +1.50 with a +3.50 add for 6-8 years. I think they are great.

The most important thing is, make sure the frame is big enough vertically to accommodate a progressive lens.

I have 2 pairs. One is a full progressive, the other is a compact. I think I like the compact progressive more. It also could be, I think I look better in the smaller frame.

The recommendation may have to due with the strength of her distance rx. Mine is not very strong.

Walter 17 Nov 2009, 07:40

Went back to the doctor last week and asked for trifocals as I was having trouble with the dash board and computer. Now I have them and it is great. He upped the add to +2.25, and I got executive trifocals.

My GF also now has lined trifocals. She is a high hyperope and has worn bifocals and progressives for several years. Her add just went to +3.25 and her doctor said progresssives were not adequate for such a high add.

Jose 10 Nov 2009, 09:18

Sorry Aubrac, I am probably confused. I certainly don't want to rush the need for bifocals---nature will take care of that--as it sounds like what is happening.

ehpc 10 Nov 2009, 07:13

Being 21 was the worst year of my life - serious illness. Life goes on getting beter and better - most definitely never better than now, aged 55!

Phil 10 Nov 2009, 01:34


While I seem to have done a little better on the hair front, you've certainly got the edge when it comes to close focussing. I can't read a text on my mobile with my distance-only specs on, even if I hold it with my arm fully outstretched!

I was in Oxford last week, giving a chat to the students' law society. The place still has that something about it. And, as in the 70's, it is full of gwgs. The girl who arranged for me to speak is the daughter of an old friend. When I met her I was surprised (but delighted) to observe that, since I last saw her, she had becme a gwg, apparently fulltime. She had lenses around -2 in nice brown frames which suited her wild blonde hair. I was quite smitten! If only I were 21 again!

Aubrac 09 Nov 2009, 01:17


Maybe you have me confused with someone else. My wife is not in bifocals yet but possibly soon.

She does for some reason swap between two pairs of glasses, she wore the red ones with prism to go out shopping, then swapped to her brown glasses for a days gardening in the local public garden and kept those on until the evening, then back to red glasses for evening reading and computer.

Brown glasses left on bedside table and red glasses taken to work.

Jose 07 Nov 2009, 15:45


Jose 07 Nov 2009, 15:45

Aubrac, how is your wife doing wearing her new biofccals?

Liz 06 Nov 2009, 13:47

Thank you all for your comments on my post. My prescription for glasses and contacts is -3.50. It doesn't sound from comments that anyone actually thinks it will help me put off the inevitable to persevere but thanks anyway!

ehpc 06 Nov 2009, 09:30

Phil - Really teeny print probably not, or at least not clearly. Funny how the 'ageing' effects take root - against that I had snow-white hair (what little there is of it!) by age 47 at the latest.

Curious to think we must have been Oxford contemporaries!

Phil 06 Nov 2009, 05:43

Pete, you are lucky. I am the same age as you and have a 2.5 add which I think is about average for our age. Can you really read teeny print when fully corrected for distance? I lost that ability more than 10 years ago

Roxy 05 Nov 2009, 18:00

Liz, you will probably be more comfortable with the reading correction. Very few people can avoid it. You have managed to go longer without than many of us. If you don't like glasses then as Aubrac says, there are bifocal contacts, which isn't much different than dealing with contacts in the first place.

Aubrac 05 Nov 2009, 02:36


A reading add is usually described as a + figure. For example I am -5.00 with an add of +2.00 meaning that with a -3.00 prescription I can read well.

I have been wearing bifocal contacts for many years and find them no trouble at all, with no discernable gap in vision between distance and near.

What is your current prescription? The contacts I use are hight water content AcuVue fortnightly disposables.

ehpc 04 Nov 2009, 11:39

I can only give you my experience. I am 55, and a Scottish classical concert pianist. I only got a reading prescrition aged about 50 since when I have had a second pair of glasses which are about minus 6 as opposed to my normal minus 7. I don't use the 'reading glasses' a great deal and in the last five years the difference between my normal glasses and my 'reading glasses'has not changed in the slightest. Pete

Liz 04 Nov 2009, 11:25

At 47 my optician has tested my near vision for the first time and said I need a -1.25 add. I only started to notice recently that it was difficult to read small text especially in dim light, which I now understand is a classic symptom, with my contacts in, when wearing my glasses I think I probably look under them which I suppose is a cheat.

I didn't get the add and he hasn't changed my contacts prescription and I didn't push it as I can manage okay. My question is this, will avoiding it as long as I can mean I will get away without the add for longer? I don't really want to have to fuss with reading glasses or bifocal contacts and I wondered if I'd hold off any progression if I keep going?

designereyez 21 Oct 2009, 16:08

A question to all of you experts--

I recently got a small +0.75 add on top of my hyperopia Rx, around Labor Day. Strangely enough, now when reading for medium to long periods with the stronger reading Rx, text tends to blur and/or when I look up things are a bit fuzzy. I am wondering if there is something wrong with my Rx, maybe I need a stronger reading correction? I notice this mainly because I am taking some night classes that involve lots of reading.

Truely 21 Oct 2009, 12:19

My prescription is

R -3.75 -1.00 20 3 BO Add +1

L -3.50 -1.00 180 3 BO 1.5 BD Add +1

As I said first ADD but 3rd with prisms, have had them for about 3 years now, the new glasses are getting better have to remember to move your head and follow your nose.

We'll see how I get on.

Smudgeur 21 Oct 2009, 08:12

Hi Truely

What is your prescription?

I have heard it can take up to a month to get used to them but it is worth it in the end.

Good luck!

Truely 21 Oct 2009, 08:00

Picked up my new glasses today, first varifocals age 35! I was a bit gutted at first but hopefully they will help.

They are ok, vision good at distance and for reading but the bottom right hand side of the computer is blurry unless I move my head and look at it directly, is this usual? Doesn't seem as bad on the left though?

How long does it take to get used to them?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Michael  21 Oct 2009, 05:58

Hi Slit,

She is 40, and a stay-at-home mom. She divides her time between shuttling the kids to school and their activities, reading, doing things around the house, and the gym.

Her glasses are on (or her Rx sunglasses when she is outside) the entire day from about 10:30AM until bedtime. She does not put them on prior to going to the gym, nor does she wear her contacts at the gym.

I wonder if her lack of correction for those 4 ours in the morning has any impact at all.

Slit 21 Oct 2009, 03:28

Hi Michael,

Interesting posting about eyes working hard.

Well, probably her reaction was because after sometime the eye has been using its own muscles to focus near, and all of a sudden when it gets glasses to help, there is a feeling inside the eye that lens is getting relaxed. For less experienced person its hard to figure out whether its extra work or relaxing muscle...

Much depends on her age and lifestyle. How old is she? What is her usual work involved?

Michael 19 Oct 2009, 16:20

My wife just started with her first pair of progressives this afternoon. She had previously worn an Rx of:

R -.75 -1.00 x 125

L -.50 -1.00 x 85

She wore that Rx full-time for the last year. Her eye exam this month resulted in a change to the following:

R -.75 -1.00 x 125 +1.50 add

L -.75 -1.00 x 85 +1.50 add

Her progressives arrived today and she is now in the adjusting process. Her first comment with her oversized sunglasses: 'I feel naseous.' While she was driving she commented that 'all the dashboard information is blurry.'

Then, with her indoor glasses on said, 'My eyes feel like they are working hard.'

Based on the above, are these standard issue reactions for a first time progressive wearer? She's a willing wearer. I am curious as to how long it will take before she adjusts and things are not blurry.


Walter 19 Oct 2009, 13:26

Cactus Jack:

Sorry for the abrupt answer, I was a little rushed. I knew the glasses would be thick but didnt anticipate how thick, I only had a 1 dpt increase in sphere and 2 dpt in prism. I know, now that further increases are really going to matter considerably and they are inevitable.

The main reason for polycarbonate lenses is to wear the glasses for sports. I wear them under my helmet for football (I am a place kicker). Plus I am also a runner and hurdler. I know I'll be teased because I am very tall (when people ask, I say I'm only 5' 22") and lanky, so I'm rather geeky with the tallness and thick glasses in black metal frames.

I don't mind the executive bifocals much now except for reflections from the shelf. Hopefully when I go back in 3 months, I can get flat top segments. The doctor said three months because he wants to see how I am doing with bifocals since he said my add is on the verge of trifocals but he did not want to go there all at once. I tried reading through the distance part of my lenses and it is impossible, so I guess the bifocals were necessary.

Walter 18 Oct 2009, 13:08

I'm sorry, the add is +2.00, I live in the mid-Atlantic.

Puffin 18 Oct 2009, 10:42

re the thickness issue, if you lost a leg, a too-short false leg wouldn't help much would it?

Cactus Jack 18 Oct 2009, 10:19


You said the most important words, "I can see with them". I suspect the outer edges are very thick with -14 and 18 BO, but the polycarbonate helps quite a bit with its higher index. I wear high prism tri-focals, but with a low Rx after cataract surgery. If someone makes a remark about the thickness, I tell them, with a smile, to remember that I wear glasses for my benefit, not for theirs.

May I ask how much add you have in your bifocals and where you live?


Walter 18 Oct 2009, 08:17

Well, the inevitable finally came. The eye doc said next time its bifocals, and I have them. Tried to postpone it but the vision got too bad along with diplopia. Plus I need to pass the eye test when I go for my permit on my 16th birthday next month.

My new script is RE -14.50 -0.75 x160 18BO, LE -14.00 -2.50 x175 18BO. The doctor specified polycarb lenses, executive bifocal, segment bisect pupil.

Wow are thest thick! Now I'll be teased as the ultra tall geek with bifocals. I hate the shelf in the middle of the lens but I can see with them.

new Rx 10 Sep 2009, 11:25

My mistake. The extra +0.50 is in both eyes. The '+1.75' should be '+2.25'in the 'reading total' section. I will look into the anti-fatigue lens. Thx

Smudgeur 10 Sep 2009, 00:22

Hi NewRx

It seems a bit odd that the extra +0.50 for reading is in one eye only, did she explain that?

My wife is 41 and she ended up with a +0.50 at her last test too.

Progressive lenses don't come that low (start with a +0.75 add) - you could try the Essilor anti-fatigue lenses, my wife had these fitted to sunglasses and loves them.

They are not a true progressive bifocal, more of a no-line bifocal with a bit of extra help for reading at the bottom of the lens.

new Rx 09 Sep 2009, 15:24

I have just returned from my eye doctor appointment. Much to my shock my doctor noticed that I could use 'extra strength' for near. I am 40, OK, but on the other hand I can even read without my glasses at all. With the smallest of things yes it is a problem. She left my distance prescription unchanged but wrote in a 'reading total' prescription too.


+1.50 -0.75 170

+1.75 -1.00 025

reading total:

+2.00 -0.75 170

+1.75 -1.00 025

She gave me three choices. (1) I could just go with my current glasses and prescription. (2) I could get a new pair made with the reading total. Only thing here is that distance might be slightly blurry. (3) I could get them combined i.e. bifocal or progressive lenses. She actually did not recommend the progressive option, saying that it could wait a couple of years when the difference becomes greater. Plus there is a smaller field of vision. I work in an office focusing near a lot.

What recommendations would any of you have? Thanks in advance.

Emila 08 Sep 2009, 09:43

Cactus Jack.

Thank you for your advice, I can't to stay longer and I had todey eye exam, and now I have new lenses in my okld frames, I try to focus on the down part my glasses. Now I can to read small fonts, they are very clearly, but I have some dizzines. Now I am +3.50x+2.00x10 and +3.00x+2.50x170 add 2.25 for both eyes.

Cactus Jack 07 Sep 2009, 07:17


It is very likely you will be prescribed bifocals. I think you will find them very helpful and after a few days, very comfortable. In a week or so, you will wonder how you got along without them. You should have no trouble driving with bifocals.


Emilia 07 Sep 2009, 00:17

Hi, I am here a new. I'm 42 and I wearing my glasses since I was about 5, at about 10 I had surgery for strabismys, and next few years I can manage without glasses. Second time I start with glasses when I was 25 and my two kids got their glasses, I start to encourage they to wearing their glasses. After some time I got depend on my glasses, and I love they. Now I am +3.50x+2.00 and +3.00x+2.50, and I need they for all distances. Since some time ago my close vision got worse and I hear about bifocals. I was try my coworker glasses with my glasses together and my close vision was very good. In this weeek I have eye test, and I think I got bifocals, give me some advice about they, please. How it feel, and how long I have to used to they? Can I drive with they?

Trevor 04 Sep 2009, 03:37

Mr. Slit, what strength multifocals do you have? Your age?

Slit 01 Sep 2009, 12:42

Its a bit late night here so i will keep this short...

Guys and galz, go and check out Carl Zeis offerings, there are upcoming progressive lenses even for non presbyopes as a good solution against visual fatugue faced by todays youth...

And some different options such as progressive with broad vision, better intermediate vision etc are also there...

Mark 01 Sep 2009, 09:54

Peter, it could perhaps be a retailer limit, you could maybe do some research and see what is available from an online distributor?

You might also be able to find a product that is similar to the ones you mentioned, but that you could wear?

Peter G 01 Sep 2009, 07:59

I last posted here on August 11, asking about Air Optix Aqua multifocal CLs, and I,Glasses was kind enough to give some advice. Well, what with vacation time it took me a while to go to the optometrist with the special offer, only to find that a) they only go up to - 5 D (not clear whether that is the manufacturer's or the retailer's limit), which is not strong enough for me, and also that my pupils are apparently slightly too small for these lenses, which work on concentric rings, for close work is in the centre, distance vision is around the rim, which would be outside my field of vision.

Oh well, maybe in my next life...

Russell 31 Aug 2009, 16:44

Terry: I've worn progressives now for about twenty years. I never, ever had a problem with them, nor do I ever experience any noticeable degradation in peripheral vision. I started out with lined bifocals and quickly moved to progressives because I, like you, hated that "jump." I know that there are people for whom lined bifocals are better, but I think that most people who steer away from progressives simply because they've heard negatives are missing out on a great vision experience.

Terry 31 Aug 2009, 15:42

I am a new progressive lens wearer having tried out lined bifocals as well. I found some of the recent conversations re bifocals vs progressives interesting. Especially that all progressives are a compromise, and the recent recommendations of lined bifocals to folks.

I'm a 38-year old clinical psychologist and wear my glasses mostly full-time at work. In June, after wearing glasses for five years, my optometrist suggested an add for my prescription, though I could still live without them. Her rationale was that they would be easier to get used to with a smaller add. So my new Rx is...

OD +2.00 -1.25 150 add +1.25

OS +1.75 -1.00 040 add +1.25

She also mentioned that she wears progressives herself, though with a stronger prescription all around--she is ten years older than me. She explained how they work and how they would help my vision. When I was choosing new glasses, the optician there also raved about progressive lenses. I casually asked about lined bifocals when we were looking at a narrower frame, and the response was that fewer and fewer people are ordering them. (The frame didn't look good anyway.)

So I got a new pair with progressive lenses, wore them continuously, and got used to them quickly. Yes, there are some distortions in the periphery compared with my old SV glasses but nothing too bad.

Now, having read some of the discussions here, I ordered a cheap pair of Zenni lined bifocals for comparison. I needed a spare pair in any case. I wore them a day or two, and honestly I found the jump between powers quite jarring, besides the cosmetic issue. Perhaps because my add power is low, I don't notice the disadvantages of progressives too much?

Are optometrists and opticians making a mistake when steering most candidates to progressive lenses? There must be something good about them if many eyecare professionals choose progressives themselves, and if patients like them too.

Cactus Jack 14 Aug 2009, 11:18


Right. What would be the effect of a -2.00 myope not wearing his glasses? (assuming no astigmatism)


Cactus Jack 14 Aug 2009, 11:18


Right. What would be the effect of a -2.00 myope not wearing his glasses? (assuming no astigmatism)


Michel 14 Aug 2009, 11:05

I would think + .50.

Cactus jack 14 Aug 2009, 08:51


Good question! Answer: hyperopia. The absolute power of the reading segment would be +5.50. The +2.50 for distance corrects the hyperopia (farsightedness) to 0.00. Usually, presbyopia and lack of accommodation caused the hyperopia to become manifest. Once the hyperopia has been corrected, a plus add is still necessary to focus close. The amount of the add depends on two things, remaining accommodation and preferred reading or working distance. That can be calculated by dividing either 100 cm or 39.37 inches by the working distance. The result is the power of the add in diopters without any accommodation. If there is some accommodation available, the amount of add can be reduced.

+3.50 would be required for reading at 28.5 cm or 11.2 inches which might be good for reading very fine print or reading in bed, but it may be a little too much for a typical reading distance of 40 cm or 16 inches.

Question for you. If a person was myopic (nearsighted) and needed -2.00 for distance with a +2.50 add, what would be the absolute power of their reading segment.


Michel 14 Aug 2009, 07:44

Question for Cactus.

I thought I read in some of your posts that someone with no close accomodation would need +3.50 to read. In other posts some have written of prescriptions of +2.50 or so with a +3.00 add. That would seem to be a reading scrip of +5.50. Why so strong if it only takes +3.50 to focus close?


Rachel 12 Aug 2009, 20:51

Slit, have not heard from you in a few. Are you wearing bifocals yet? I remember that you were looking to transition to multi-focals several months ago.

Brett 12 Aug 2009, 14:36

Thanks everyone for the useful info. think i mite give zenni a try.

Curt 12 Aug 2009, 12:22

I have several pairs of bifocals from Zenni (both lined and progressives), and I am pleased with both. The lined bifocals are standard FT28s and have always been well made. The progressives are okay, not as good as my Varilux Panamics, but also a fraction of the cost ($29 more than single vision lenses and frames).

Lined bifocals are $17 more than the cost of single vision lenses and frames, an extremely good deal.

The downside to ordering from Zenni, if no one has pointed this out already, is that you have to feel relatively comfortable in adjusting a new pair of glasses yourself. Unless you have a very good working relationship with your optician, many optical shops will not adjust glasses that they did not sell as a matter of principle.

Peter G 12 Aug 2009, 11:29

I, Glasses,

thank you for your useful comments. I have tried monovision, but am concerned when driving a car. Anyway, I will give the Air Optix Aqua a try, and report back to this thread.

Russell 12 Aug 2009, 08:15

I have ordered several pairs of progressives from Zenni, and I have been very pleased. I would think that their lined bifocals would be equally as good.

Cactus Jack 11 Aug 2009, 15:02


Lined bifocals would be very similar to the stick-ons, but better and provide excellent peripheral vision thru the distance part. Zenni Optical is a potential source of low cost glasses. I think typical bifocals with typical frames run about $25 plus shipping. My experience with them has been pretty good, but I have not tried them for bifocals.


Brett 11 Aug 2009, 14:11

cactus im about 60 miles south of pittsburgh pa. i was thinking about what you said and i kind of have an idea what it would be like. my dr recommended that i get a pair of +1.00 otc readers to go with my contacts to wear. i got a pair of magnavision with the stick on bifocal. i know that the bifocal portion is way bigger than i would be fitted with and what you suggested but i tried it last nite and it was pretty good. i have my periphal back through the clear part and they make a huge difference from 6 feet and in. no straining at all. if i go with a lined pair and not the progressives would i have my periphal through the distance part and not all that distortion to the side? and secondly i saw some ppl mention zenn optical over the chats. havent checked them out but are you aware of them and if so any suggestions? thanks

I, Glasses 11 Aug 2009, 07:16


I like the Air Optix Aqua; I'm wearing them now, and I wore their predecessors. They're some of the most comfortable lenses I've ever experienced. One suggestion, though: use the 'Clear Care' brand hydrogen peroxide cleaning/storing solution; it's quick and easy and very effective. I think it's made by Ciba, but 'Clear Care' is the name of the product.

Also, I would recommend, to you or to anybody experiencing presbyopia, like I have been for several years now, to try the monovision technique. A friend had been doing that and liked it; when my doctor suggested it, I tried it, and I like it. It's amazing how the brain makes it work, but it does; and it works very well. I tried multifocal contacts a year or so ago, but didn't like the results with them nearly as much as the results with monovision.

Peter G 11 Aug 2009, 06:55

I wore soft contact lenses for many years, but changed back to glasses full-time when I developed the inevitable presbyopia. I have tried Proclear multifocal CL's, but was not happy with the results. Now an optical chain here in Germany is offering a special on Air Optix Aqua multifocal CL's. I am tempted to try - does anybody have any experience with these lenses?

Guest 11 Aug 2009, 05:58


Wow, +7.5, that's even worse than me. Cheers!

My eye doctor has said I'm "still hiding 2 or 3 diopters". I have a feeling I might equal you when I'm 40.

Adam 11 Aug 2009, 04:29


I understand, what how do You feel with +6 on! I'm 36 , I wear progressives: +4,5 add +3,0. Reading script: +7,5!!!!!!!

I'm absolutely depend on my glasses. Varrifocals are very comfortable, but I prefer close works with my +7,5 on. My eyes are huge, but I hve better comfort of close works!



Cactus Jack 10 Aug 2009, 13:28


Thanks for your input.


I don't believe you mentioned where you live, but you might investigate getting some low cost lined bifocals on line with your existing Rx if you want to try them. Let us know if you want to try it and need some help.


guest 10 Aug 2009, 12:38

Hi Bret,

I'm 35, wear trifocals, +2.5 for distance, with a +1.5 add for computer work, and +3.5 add for reading. I don't like anybody, except my wife, to see me with my full reading prescription on (+6.0). My eye doctor says my eye muscles are very weak.

So you see, it could be worse.

Brett 10 Aug 2009, 12:21

Cactus, thank you for your insite. it was finally nice to talk to sumone that made things understandable for me. i prob wont get a new exam until next basically for financial reasons unless something changes but im def gona go to a new dr.

Cactus Jack 09 Aug 2009, 14:18


It is not unheard of for a person to need bifocals at 34 or even much younger. The idea that you do not need bifocals until at least 40 is a myth. Everyone is different and you need them when you need them.

I suspect that you don't do much close work or read very much. It is likely that your ciliary (focusing) muscles are probably somewhat de-conditioned and in addition, you have the early symptoms of presbyopia. When you combine the two, the result is a prescription for bifocals.

It appears that your primary problem is astigmatism with a little myopia (nearsightedness) thrown in for good measure. Eye exams are very subjective and depend to some extent on the skill and experience of the patient for really good results. The small differences between your new Rx and the old one really don't indicate much to worry about. One of the problems with that portion of the exam where the amount and axis of the cylinder correction is determined is that you have to decide on the relative blurriness of the letters. It is not easy to do, but I have found that if I concentrate on an "O" rather than a letter with straight lines, it is easier.

I would suggest another exam and I would suggest a couple of things you need to do:

1. After the examiner finishes the portion of the exam where each eye is checked individually and you are first shown two separate images (to check for muscle imbalance), compare the clarity of the two images and tell the examiner if they are not equally clear. The examiner may reduce the clarity of one of the images, but that is OK at this point, the important thing is that they are equally clear.

2. I suspect that you should have a low add bifocal, but I suggest that progressives are not the way to go for your needs. Lined bifocals have a much larger area for the close vision segment and do not have the blurry transition zones around the reading segment. If you want a really big reading segment, get glasses with a 35 mm flat top rather than the usual 28 mm.

3. If you want to keep the progressives for social occasions that is OK.

I hope this helps. Please let me know what you decide to do and the results


Smudgeur 09 Aug 2009, 13:57

Some of you may recall back in January that my wife, who has been a ft wearer for about 6 years now, with the following prescription:

R +0.75 -0.50

L +0.50 -0.25

Was given a new prescription of:

R +0.75 -0.50 ADD +0.50

L +0.25 ----- ADD +0.50

and told to have just the reading prescription made up and to just wear for close work.

I was crestfallen (obviously) and, knowing my love for her in glasses, she has carried on wearing her old distance glasses but has had the reading prescription made up and uses them for any prolonged close work.

The other day she found some nice designer sunglasses in a different opticians to where she had her eyes tested and asked if they could make them up as varifocals. They said they could and so we sat down to go through the order form.

Having researched the subject fairly extensively, I know that the minimum add for varifocals is +0.75 and so I was sure when they started to type in the prescription they'd spot this and she'd be forced to have single vision lenses. It was a young graduate trainee serving us and she glanced at the prescription and said "that's fine", but even then I was sure it would go wrong for me. When she typed in the prescription and was starting to order the lenses, she excused herself and went to talk to a senior colleague. I couldn't hear the whole conversation but it was definitely about the varifocal add. When she came back I was expecting to be told the worse, but no she carried on and measured up my wife's eyes marking the lenses appropriately etc.

When we came to pay, I noticed that the add was missing from the order form so queried this. However the optician said, don't worry it was built into the lenses. Once we got the receipt I saw that she has ordered these:

Which seem just perfect for my wife's prescription. Anyone know much about them. They seem to be more of a bifocal (without a line) than a true varifocal. I hope she likes them, if so I will encourage her to get some new frames with these lenses in.

Brett 09 Aug 2009, 13:13

Im an outside worker. own a garage door business

Cactus Jack 09 Aug 2009, 09:01


What kind of work do you do?


Brett 09 Aug 2009, 07:53

Hi everyone. found this site when doing research on bifocals. i am 34 and been prescribed bifocals. honestly i didnt do well with the news at all and i do have some questions i think u guys mite be able to help me with because now i have an interest in my eyes and i didnt before. i have never worn glasses before only contacts since i was 23 for distance. old script was OD -.75-1.25x90 OS -.25-.75x90 and new is OD -.50-1.00x90+1.00 OS PL-1.00x63+1.00. i noticed the near prob about two yrs ago but only with my contacts in that things 4 feet n in were blurry n i had to strain to focus but it was doable. then in the last year the same prob without my contacts in so i went and got checked and got added. i got progressives and i really like my new vision esp the near except the fact i dont have my periphial through the lenses its a blur. gota point my eyes to what i want to see clearly and thats been the hardest. wierd thing is that my near vision is sporadic without my glasses. some days i can see the smallest print clearly without my glasses and no effort and some days i really have to strain as things get real blurry quickly. was wondering if that could be presbyopia symptions, my astigmatism causing the prob, or since my script has gone down could i be going to hyperopia? reason i mention hyperopia is that my girlfriend has been slight minus for years and is now a slight plus in the sphere and shes 27. i have noticed without my glasses that my left eye is weaker for near than my rite and for distance its the opposite. with my glasses on if i look through the bifocal with my left only i have clear vision a little over 2 feet and looking through the bifocal with my rite only it is about 14 inches then blurry beyond that. is that rare? with the calculations i have learned from reading this i should only have a +.50 bifocal in my rite anyway which is why i was surprised i could only see about 14 inches through it but the full +1.00 in my left which i can see farther out of. but with the bifocals working together everything is fine to about 20- 22 inches i measured which seems normal and i use the intermediate segment after that. cactus or anyone have any idea what is going on? id really appreciate sum insite.

Rachel 26 Jul 2009, 16:45

I have Not been wearing bifocals long, but I have had no problems with the lined version.

Rupert 26 Jul 2009, 12:33

I agree with the comments below about progressives being a compromise. Got my first pair of progressives in early 2007, at 45 years old. The prescription was -4.75L, -4.50R, with -.25 of cylinder and a 1.25 add. I got used to the blur on the sides and adapted to looking basically straight ahead. Got my second pair a couple of months ago--bigger frames, basically the same prescription, and compromised vision. Just how compromised became clear to me last week when I pulled out an old pair of prescription sunglasses, single vision, -5.00, regular plastic lenses (and quite thick) to go for a walk, and the vision was stunningly good all-around. I'm thinking that a plain old lined bifocal is the way to go next time.

DWV 23 Jul 2009, 16:39

Oh yeah, 4 degrees of axis change shouldn't make any difference unless you have very high astigmatism.

DWV 23 Jul 2009, 16:38

All progressive lenses are compromises. The compromises get worse with higher add powers, and frames with smaller lenses (height), because that change in power has to be squished into a shorter distance.

What's your add power, and how high are the lenses?

Maybe theyu'll work better if they're raised or lowered, assuming you have frames with adjustable nosepads?

johnjay 20 Jul 2009, 14:28

Anyone know anything about Seiko progressive lenses. Got them recently. There is huge blur on the nose side of the right lens. Have to look way right to see print. I thought PD was off. They say no it's perfect, it's the prescription, but Doctor says prescription if fine although she admits she can're really measure the PD.

She did change the axis from 83 to 87. Could that cause the differece? If I tilt the glasses to the left it does clearer and the blur diminishes somewhat.

Now they want to charge me to upgrade the lens or give me a thicker one, but I doubt that's the solution.

Ideas please.

john 23 May 2009, 14:49

I went from bifocals to trifocals in about 6 years.I wont bore you with each year exam. From 2000 to now i went from being nearsighted to farsighted and have presbyopia. my add is going around adds +2.50and the + goes up a little each year.I once got pregresives as a experiment and did not like the very small reading area and everything twists around if you move too fast so i am back to executive trifocals. My advice to all wondering about lines or no lines is you will see better out of lines then no lines.The need for good vision means get lined glasses weather you are 10 20 30 40 50 years old and dont worry about what people say.You will see better. ps nobody has ever asked about the lines that go all the way across my glasses.I wear them full time and cant read any more without them so what.My last exam was on 3-5-2009 and my new perscriptipn is +1.50 -1.25 x 152 and +1.00 -1.25 x 173 with a add of +2.50 I am now 58 and can look for more changes every year for a few more years..Hope this helps those of you wondering whats next? end of part 3 any questions?

john 23 May 2009, 14:48

1 YEAR 9 MTS later cant read to good. New exam -.50 -1.25X177 -.50 -1.25 X177 ADD 1.50.I wanted a larger reading area so i got ft 35( old ones ft 28)The dash board slightly out of focus so i complaned.You are too youny for trifocals now.l year later -.25 -1.50x175 and .50 -1.75 x177 add 1.50.I then went for ft 45 no one had executives bifocals.I liked them.2 years-.25-2.00 X179 - pl-2.00 x176 ADD1.50. 9mts cant read again new pl -1.50 x171 .25 -1.75 x180 add 2.00.Dashboard gone I complained and was told i would get used to them. I did not.They wanted to charge me for a new exan so i tried a little longer and l day i was looking at glasses(just broke the ones i was wearing)and the sales lady told me i could try some trifocals with my current perscription since i told her i could not see the dash anymore.The trifocals came and i loved mu 8x35 ft. WOW what wonderful glasses.There was no trouble getting used to them(it was immediate clear vision)So in less then 6 years i went from bifocals to trifocals.age 48.I decided to get another exam and tne new perscription was plano -1.75 x170 left and 180 in right eye add2.00 l year later +.25 -1.75 X175 PL -1.75 X174 ADD 2.00.BUT i could not read goof so the add was increased to 2.25.I also went on the hunt for eexecutive trifocals and got them.I loved the executive trifocals. end of part 2

john 23 May 2009, 14:47

Here is my story. I was nearsighted in jr high and got glasses for distance. I hated then and got contacts(hard ones)when i turned 16.I wore Contacts for about 25 years.Then i was hit by a firework and the next 6 mts with an eye dr.wondering if i would see again normally. I was lucky to get my vision back.He told me i could go back to contacts but his boss in back was shaking his head no.So i was going to get a 3'rd opinion.The next eye dr asked my age which was 42 and he smiled.Eye test next.Then he did somthing that never happened before. A little chart was put in front of me andi was asked how far can you read.I said everything and read it.He then said what about the lines below what i just read.My reaponse was wwhat lines.Click click click and some more lines showed up. YOU need bifocals.Script -.50 -1.25 x177 and -.75 -1.25 x 177 add 1.00.The place was a 2 for $39 eveglasses.I asked what are bifocals and why do i need them?He said i could go without for a year but i would be begging for them in a year so get them now.I decided to get a pair of single vision and bifocals.The next part was lets make a deal The price was not 2/39 anymore.The next week was asking everyone wearing bifocals how hard are they to use?Most said no trouble.Some said i was sick for a week.MY new glasses were in.I could read out the top and bottoms(i was lucky).Wore the lined bifocals home loving them for about 3 hrs then a headache i put the single vision glasses on and the headache went away.It took 2 weeks for the headachs to stop.Then i day i put the single vision on and got a headacke..NO more single vision glasses for me.(I even had dreams with a line for a week)I never noticed the line anymore after 2 weeks I loved my new bifocals. part 1

Julian 31 Mar 2009, 02:48

...or even KIND of relevant ::)

Julian 31 Mar 2009, 02:48

There's a conversation on the 'Hyperopia & presbyopia progression' thread that's kid of relevant to this discussion (including a contribution of mine that I ought perhaps to have posted here). These two threads do overlap a bit, don't they?

DWV 30 Mar 2009, 22:12

Unless it was a false memory implanted by aliens (again), the Ellipse is marketed for fitting in frames with a small "B" measurement (the distance from the top to the bottom of the lens). The person who fitted you may have chosen to give you more room for distance viewing, and sacrificed some of the reading area; a different progressive model may not work any better if it's fitted the same.

Remy 26 Mar 2009, 22:22

I recently ordered new progressives with Varilux Ellipse lenses online. They are good quality lenses. There is not much distortion at all. However, the reading space is tiny. Fine for simple tasks but not for real reading.

Does anyone have any experience with this lens? Would anyone recommend another Varilux or other lens instead?

Madison 12 Feb 2009, 04:10

from = front (sorry ;))

Madison 12 Feb 2009, 04:09


I don't have trifocals. I meant that effectively i have three lenses in from of my eyes when at work

DWV 11 Feb 2009, 19:40

Not all. X-Cel Optical makes trifocals with an intermediate power of 61% of the near power (Acclaim 61). They claim this results in less of a gap between the near viewing range and intermediate range in higher add powers.

Bifocals 11 Feb 2009, 18:48

Curt and Laurie, all trifocals have intermediates, 50% of the add power

Curt 11 Feb 2009, 10:20

Laurie: In an earlier post, you said that your glasses prescription was R: +1.25 L: +1.5 Add +2.00.

That means that the bottom of your trifocals are R: +3.25 and L: +3.5

The add is, like it says, in addition to your distance prescription, so you must add the two numbers together. Since you add is +2.00, the middle section of your trifocals is probably +1.00 added to your distance prescription.

Hope this makes sense, and helps!

Laurie 11 Feb 2009, 08:48

Last night I am at the drugstore getting my cold medicine refilled.

While I was waiting I was looking at the reading glasses and found I could see distances with 1.25's but when it came time to read, the strongest ones were 2.75 and they were not as good as with the bottom part of my glasses. Does that mean my glasses are stronger than the readers in the store. I did not think I had very strong glasses or are trifocals different?

Madison, are you young to have trifocals too?



Madison 11 Feb 2009, 03:29

Oh...the prescription...

Glasses -6.5 with -0.75 asig.

Contacts -6

Contacts Glasses +1.25 -0.25 astig with +2 add

No I don't have the add in the -6 glasses...i wear contacts 80% of the day so no need (plus I'm not rich)

Madison 11 Feb 2009, 03:25

Willy and all, It wasn't something that i wanted...or even thought about. When my distance prescription increased i obviously went out and got new contacts. But when i put them in I noticed I had trouble reading and close fine work. I was even getting headaches using the PC. I thought i was over corrected and went back. He decreased the contacts and said to come back the next day. I noticed a distance blur that i did not like. So i reverted back to the 'new -6' contacts.

After some tests he told me that i should try some readers. He handed over some and i tried to read at PC distance and it was excellent. I tried closer and smaller print and i couldn't focus. He said that he would like to try something and give me bifocals to try. I didn't like that idea...bifocals! no way. He said that i should at least try. If i didn't like it he would not charge me. So i thought 'what the hey'.

When i got them, i only wore them at home. It only took 10 minutes with them on that i couldn't do anything close anymore. When i went back the next week i told him that his idea worked very well but i don't want bifocals. So he suggested progressives. ANd now it's history

Cactus Jack 10 Feb 2009, 17:16


Your question was answered by Laurie on 21 Jan 2009 in her 7:07 post. I know it is a lot of trouble, but why don't you go back on this thread and read what has been posted. You might find it educational.


Martyn 10 Feb 2009, 17:12

Laurie, yes it is unusual for someone like you to even need bifocals far less trifocals, hebce there is little or no information about trifocals. Alady at our work had new glasses today, her RX is - 13.25 with astigmatism of 3.50 She lso had glasses made up just to work on her computer, her reading glasses were no use, the cost of the 2 pair of glasses is £735 , she had high index lenses fitted with designer frames, she could have saved herself a lot of money having trifocals but she does not like the idea of 3 lenses in one incase she breaks her glasses.

Cortwit 10 Feb 2009, 14:13


Why don't you have progressives? Then you won't have the lines. It's much more discreet, and you'll see everything all all distances.

Laurie 10 Feb 2009, 13:45


I thought I was the only young person with trifocals !

I have become very attached to mine. It's pretty much if my eyes are open I have mine on.I feel I don't have any choice if I need to read anything.

To Bills wife...

What is your presecription?

Do you wear yours all the time?

What do all those Trifocals do, are they different adds?,

Are your friends all farsighted too?

Madison,How strong is your add?

Sorry for so many questions ,I can't seem to find any information on the internet about young people with bi or tri focals.

Most everybody has seen my new glasses and the comments have subsided. I think I am the only one who sees the line now. I was out with my friends over the weekend ,some were taking pictures, You can really see the lines in my glasses with the flash.

I see so much better with these glasses I wish that I would have had them sooner.


John S 10 Feb 2009, 10:19


Some doctors will prescribe an additional +.50 to give you a little fuzz in the distance, but it gives you a focal point of 6-8 feet. That sharpens a lot of things that are usually not readable in a bifocal.

This kind of relates to what you were asking about - American Optical did make a progressive called a "Techinca". It is basically a upside down progressive. It has a huge reading area, like a distance area of a normal progressive, but a very narrow channel going up to the distance area. You would have to search to find the it. It was very small. The reading portion was so large, you could forget you were wearing a progressive. If you did a lot of close work and did not need much distance vision, they are fantastic.

If you used them at a work bench, and put on a normal pair for other activities, that would work very well. They probably do not make them in a short compact lens, you would need a larger frame. I think the distance was increased a small amount in those also.

Willy 10 Feb 2009, 08:30

Madison -- Your solution is very interesting and one that I have not heard of before. May I ask, what prescription do you have in your office progressives. I presume they are a low plus at "distance" (i.e. intermediate) and a bit more at near. Do you leave them on most of the day at work and have some distance blur? If you ever go without contacts, do you wear progressives with your -6 distance prescription? I am hyperopic and wear progressives but have never worn contacts, so I don't know that I would be a candidate to try your method, but it may give some others here an idea...

Madison 10 Feb 2009, 04:23

Hi what a site...lots of info and people with 'odd' (not in a bad way - just different to what i expected) fetish. Thought I'd let that out.

My story? Effectivley a tri-focal but not in the traditional sense. I'm a -6 in my contacts which i wear all the time. At work, i have glasses on pretty much all day. The glasses are progressive. The top part is for intermediate use (computer, reading etc) and the add is for real close up (fine writing, inspection etc). I love them. I have been using this combo for about a year when i realized i needed help with close vision. I chose progressive because of being shy about wearing bifocals.

I will write more later...

bills wife  09 Feb 2009, 14:22

Hi Laurie

What type of trifocals do you have .

There are lots of men out there that love girls wearing glasses,

Since I got my trifocals 2 other work colleges of mine have got them they love them , one is only 19 years old .2 weeks after she got them one of the lads she had fancied for a while asked her out ,on the first date he told her he loved the look of her new glasses and thought her new lens for great

Bill forgot to tell you I bought a special pair of trifocals for a Christmas present for us both

A pair of retro glasses with very thick C39 trifocals lens for bed time

ChrisB 09 Feb 2009, 11:31


as you have posted to the multifocals/presbyopia I hesitate to point you to the Glasses over contacts thread, as you probably think its all about fetishistic practices or pretending to be something you are not.

However GOC has a practical side. At 45 I had a similar prescription to yours both distance and near vision. I tried monovision and found that it screwed my judgement of distance and speed. (Large lorries bearing down on me at 80mph?)

So, I found a friendly opthalmist who allowed me to have contacts for near vision and the sum of the contacts and my distance RX. If I was sat reading J just lifted the glasses up, or more often went around slightly blurry.

hope this does not seem too wierd.

bill 08 Feb 2009, 23:29

My wife got trifocals at the age of 27 .

She had worn bifocals for 5 years before,

I noticed she was having a problem with the computer so I suggested she got trifocals.

She had been thinking about it but was not sure what I would think. I told her to go and try them

As soon as she got them she never went back to bifocals, she has a pair of executive trifocals for work and a pair of D35s for home and D28s for evening wear.

I think she looks stunning in them and very sexy

Martyn 08 Feb 2009, 16:40

Laurie, I think being young and having trifocals is a curiosity to those making comments, in time like all new things the questions and comments will so fade away, allowing you to wear your glasses for your benefit and not for the curious. Glasses are simply an aid to see better nothing more and nothing less, maybe your just a firendly lady and friends make comments about your glasses to engage you in conversation.

Abby 08 Feb 2009, 12:18

I understand men being attracted to women wearing glasses. Especially since I feel the same way toward men wearing them. And when I started wearing mine, I got so many compliments and looks that I never bothered switching to contacts. What I don't understand is the, umm, fascination with bifocals and trifocals. I wonder if somebody can explain.

Ricky 08 Feb 2009, 05:53

I started wearing bifocals at age 28 and trifocals at 30. Since I was a long time glasses wearer, I received very few comments when the "lines" appeared in my lenses. Hey, people understand the need to see.

EyeTri 08 Feb 2009, 04:06


One of the reasons that people are commenting on your new glasses is that trifocal glasses on a woman of your age are somewhat unique. Unique is not bad.

Cut-in UK 07 Feb 2009, 23:17

Laurie, in one of your earlier posts, you said you 'didn't want to be an optical turn-off'.

I suspect that your new glasses are just one of the fascinating things about you. We men are much less complex and we engage readily with the things that attract us. We do not always understand why, but Cactus Jack's theory is, I believe, relevant.

You do a job requiring intelligence, creativity and interpersonal skills in no small measure. Consider this; people will want to engage with you because of all your qualities, some instantly visible and some only apparent after conversation. They see the glasses before many other aspects of a very talented 'package' I suspect that your misgivings about trifocals are soon to disappear, to be replaced with pride, as the unusual nature of your eyewear allows a discerning male a welcome door, through which to explore the other facets that make you what you are. Optical turn-off; I think NOT !

Cactus Jack 07 Feb 2009, 19:22


You might consider a pro active approach to answering the questions about trifocals. Something like: (with a big smile)

"You know, it is a myth that no one needs bifocals or trifocals until at least 40. My job involves a lot of visual stress and I was having all kinds of problems. My eye doctor and I tried all sorts of things including progressives, but nothing worked for me. Finally, out of desperation, he/she suggested trifocals. I can't believe the difference they have made, They are incredibly comfortable and they really make seeing at various distances, effortless. I just wish I had gotten them sooner. Don't knock them if you haven't tried them. You might be surprised at what you have been missing".

I told you to be careful around your new BF while wearing trifocals. If single vision glasses attract men, bifocals should be twice as attractive, and trifocals even more so. I don't know if trifocals would be 3, 4 or 9 times as attractive depending on how the math works. Sounds like a subject for some interesting research.

Does your new BF wear glasses or contacts? Have you let him try them? I'll bet he secretly wishes he had trifocals also.


daisy 07 Feb 2009, 13:11

Laurie even at my age, almost 49, when it is expected that a gal would need bifocals, I still get questions. I would imagine that at your age they will keep on coming. Just get used to it! Maybe get some sort of snappy comeback or something! I still wear my progressives most of the time because there are not any comments.

Laurie 07 Feb 2009, 08:46

I have had my trifocals for over a week now. They do what they are supposed to.

They have eliminated that middle blurriness that I have had on the computer, and also some other areas that I now find that was not clear before.

Last night at dinner with my friend, I found that some table top specials were clearer through the middle part of my glasses. I have adapted quickly to full time wear. I just can't function up close with out glasses any more. I tried wearing my bifocals out to a party, while driving there,found out that the dashboard is now fuzzy without the trifocals.

My new boy friend is infatuated with my new glasses. We have dated more in the past week than we ever have. He is always asking questions and wanting to try them on. Also people at work are asking lots of questions.

I think the lines are a lot more visible than the bifocals I had.

Every one tells me to try the ones with no line in them, I tried again and they are too distorted.Even when I went to pick them up the optical lady said I was too young for trifocals!

I have read here more here about Carrie and other young bi and tri focal wearers, do the comments evere cease? I am ok needing and wearing the glasses it is all the misconceptions about bi and trifocals at a young age. I thought I would get used to it but every day their are only more comments.

This new prescription has made me even more dependant on the glasses. I am even wearing them in the morning as I dress and TRY to put on make up without them.

What else can I do ???


Aubrac 26 Jan 2009, 00:51


I have worn Acuvue bifocal contacts for some time and find them very good. There is no discernable change although at first when driving at night, you can have problems.

At 45, and with this being your first prescription, I'd suggest you wear your glasses full time first for a few months, and get used to them. It is quite possible your add may increase during that time and even a year later before your prescription becomes stable.

It could be quite a waste of money if you go for a whole year of contacts to start with.

Let us know how you get on.

Dieter 25 Jan 2009, 09:18


I wouldn't recommend buying a year's supply until you try wearing the contacts for a while. Dealing with dry eyes, inserting, and removing is one thing. Dealing with monovision is entirely another. I speak from experience.

r 25 Jan 2009, 07:46

Becky: Depending on where you get your contacts, you may be able to exchange them if your prescription changes.

Becky 25 Jan 2009, 06:42

I just got my first prescription for glasses. I am 45. He says I should get bifocals, -1.00 with an add of 1.50 and I ordered these. Can't wait to get them and try my new vision. I knew I needed help for reading but didn't know I need help for distance. He told me that if I want to get contacts, +.75 in one eye, and -.75 in the other...what he calls monovision. The best deal I can get on the contacts is to buy a 1 year supply. How can I know if that is too many and that my prescription won't increase before they are used up?

JRL 24 Jan 2009, 12:20

Great work Laurie. Speaking as a female multifocal wearer myself, I have to say you are more daring than I am. I admit that lined lenses work better in many situations for me but I still can't bear to wear them all the time and switch back and forth with my progressives. Good luck with your new specs!

DWV 23 Jan 2009, 23:05

Yes, no-lines are usually another word for progressive addition lenses.

However, there are such things as _blended_ bifocals, where the edges of the segment are, well, blended, like a fillet, into the main part of the lens, so there isn't a distinct edge. The downside is that this blended zone is blurry to see through.

To really stretch the term, you could consider round segment or curved-top bifocals to be no-line, since there's no straight lines. Curve-tops are less obvious than flat-tops, since only a small portion of the line can catch the light at any time. Round segments are even more subtle, but there is more "image jump" as you change between near and distance. Whether that is a real problem is a matter of opinion.

question 23 Jan 2009, 16:56

never knew this: are no-line bifocals the same thing as progressives or are they simply bifocals without a line?

Cactus Jack 23 Jan 2009, 13:21


Glad to help. This stuff isn't rocket science, just a little measurement and calculation. Isaac Newton figured it out around 1700. Not many rockets then.

Is your friend from the station cute? If bifocals are sexy to him, trifocals may make him . . . Hummm!


Laurie 23 Jan 2009, 12:11

Hi All,

Thanks to everyone who has commented about my glasses. Cactus Jack, were you in the room with my eyedoctor? You brought up almost every scenerio that my doc did except contacts and glasses.

Thanks again!!

Yesterday while out my friend and her mother, we were discussing my glasses issue. She wears bifocals and never noticed that I had them as well.So we traded glasses (she had the No-line)She liked my kind with line better, even though she said mine were stronger on the bottom. And She is 56!!!

Sooo after we dropped her off, my friend and I went to the mall optical place and I ordered new Trifocals !!

I figured maybee I was worrying to much about a little line in my glasses.All iI wanted was 1 pair of glasses that I could wear all the time. The lady that waited on me called my doctor to verify that I indeed needed trifocals.She could not believe that I did not want the no-line kind. I had to choose a less sylish pair of frames to hold the trifocals. Next week I will be a full time trifocal person.

On another matter I had dinner with one of the male talent from the station this week while I was lamenting my vision debacle. He told me he never noticed the line in my glasses but he thinks bifocals are kind of sexy. I wonder what he will think of my trifocals??

Thanks again everyone!!!

Specs4Me 22 Jan 2009, 14:41

I am sure that Laurie mind is swimming with all of the suggestions that she has gotten thus far. I believe that CJ's suggestion is probably the best, and God knows he is the expert.

That said; however, I'll offer one more idea simply because it is the one that I am in the process of implementing myself. That is to have a pair of Trifocals for work so that I can read, see the computer and distance as I need all of them, I'm now using an old pair of lower Rx's for the work computer. I'm then getting a pair of regular Bifocals for non work use.

Laurie, I'm sure that with all the suggestions you will find a solution that works for you.

JRL 22 Jan 2009, 14:33

Astonishing that some here are somewhat insensitive to Laurie's concern about her looks. This is very normal for a young woman! Cactus Jack seems to offer a decent solution of lined lenses specifically for the visual tasks she genuinely requires for her job and good quality progressives for general wear. The trick may be finding a good optical professional to help find these solutions for her.

I say all this because I've gone through the same thing finding the right lenses that work best for me. I am a 30-year old female with a low minus script with medium astigmatism plus a +2.00 add. After lots of aggravation trying progressives, I found a nice, patient optometrist and optician combo that worked with me to find a progressive lens that I am happy with. For my work though I still prefer lined lenses. And yes I have gotten my share of questions from people.

DMG 22 Jan 2009, 12:43

Laurie- I was prescribed bifocals at twenty and trifocals at twentyfive.I admit initially the bifocals were a source of conversation and questions, the change to trifocals went unnoticed.Even my girlfriend at the time didn't notice for several days.

Do what is right for you, compromised vision is no way to go through life.


Curt 22 Jan 2009, 12:12

Daisy: If you reread on of Laurie's earlier posts, you will see that she tried progressives and did not like them. The problems that she reports are common with progressives; some folks can never get used to the "swim" effect that occurs on the edges of the lenses. Others find that the reading area is just too small to be useful. If she has been wearing lined bifocals since college and is now 27, she is probably very used to lined lenses. People don't notice the line as much as you may think. Of course, this is just my $0.02...

Daisy 22 Jan 2009, 10:23

Laurie I think you should try the progressives. I do not like to wear bifocals and I am much older than you. I know that with progressives folks can see that you have an add but I do not think they even notice. The tell tale line of bifocals is what people notice. And that line is associated with age. And that is not good for young women. So see what you can do to avoid the line or lines...

Phil 22 Jan 2009, 08:32

And Laurie, there's no need to fear that sophisticated lenses will be a problem when it comes to "dating". I am sure that you will look fantastic in the trifocals.

Curt 22 Jan 2009, 07:18

Laurie: If you are already used to wearing bifocals, trifocals should not be a big deal. They will provide you with the clear intermediate vision that your current glasses don't give you. Trifocals split the difference in strength between the distance part of your prescription and the bifocal portion. The top portion isn't strong enough, and the bifocal too strong for mid-range work, so as you said, you have to move closer to bring things into focus. The intermediate segment of the trifocal will take care of that. The 35mm wide segments also give you plenty of reading space, something that progressive lenses are very poor at. Have you gotten the trifocal prescription filled yet, or are you waiting to decide? Good luck, and let us know how things go!

Cactus Jack 21 Jan 2009, 19:05


You have a very complex situation to deal with. The explanation and possible solution is going to require 2 posts. I will post Part 2 first and then Part I so they will appear in sequence.

Part 1

I'm going to get have to get technical, to helo you understand what is going on, so please forgive me adn bear with me. It involves optics and the function of the eye. Hopefully, if you understand your vision and your needs, you can help your Eye Care Professional provide you with the correction you need to allow you to function effectively. If your occupation did not require such visual stress, I suspect you would have limited need for glasses at all. Or at least, would probably not have needed bi or trifocals for a few more years.

You have mild hyperopia and have a need to focus rapidly and clearly at several distances. First of all, let me explain what your glasses do for you.


R + 1.25

L + 1.50

Corrects your fundamental hyperopia (refractve error) to 0.00 for distance vision - 20 feet or 6 meters and beyond.

The +1.75 reduces your visual stress by reducing the amount work (plus) your ciliary muscles and crystaline lenses (your eye's auto-focus system) have to provide to allow you to focus closer than 6 meters or 20 feet. The amount of plus that is needed to focus at any instant can be calculated by dividing the diatance into either 39.37 inches or 100 cm depending on the measurring system you use. The +1.75 add provides effortless focus at about 22 inches and help focusing closer, but it is worse than useless (laws of optics) beyond that distance.

Continued in Part 2

Cactus Jack 21 Jan 2009, 19:04


Part 2

I think I may see a possible solution to the problem. Let me see if I can explain it so you understand and my thinking. Maybe together, we can come up with a solution that you can suggest to your eye care professional.

When you are at work, you really have no need to see ultra clearly beyond the the distance to the program video monitor on the wall. Therefore, Step 1 is to adjust your "distance" Rx to just a little less than the plus optical power you need to allow you to see that distance clearly. To get that power right, you need to actually measure the distance from your eye's work position to the monitor.

Step 2 is to select an Add that will work well for the working distance for the side by side video screens and for the reading the script while considering the "power" of your distance segment. I suspect that one power may serve for both, but I need you to actually measure those distances also. Inches have a lot of effect at plus lens powers.

I believe we will find that a carefully calculated bifocal Rx will provide extremely comfortable "functional" glasses that will allow you to work with almost stress free vision and have another pair of "street" glasses for wear when you are away from your TV Director duties (maybe progressives).

While they are very unattractive, I think you should condider "Executive Bifocals" they have a very wide field of view in the close segment or least 35 mm flat top bifocals.

It has been years since I have been in a TV control room, but the last time I was there, it was not brigtly lit. If someone is paying much attention to your glasses, I don't think they are doing their job. Besides, if this works, they will be supremely jealous of how relaxed and less stressed you are with effortless vision. They will probably be asking you to help them get some work glasses too.

If you like this idea, get me some measurments and I'll help you calculate the Rx.


Edmund 21 Jan 2009, 14:13

Hi Laurie,

I got lined trifocals when I was 31, so not too far ahead of you.

It is a matter of what works for your work. My work is similar to yours with the multiple distances required all thte time

JRL 21 Jan 2009, 11:36

Laurie, there are lots of good suggestions here. You have a job that demands really sharp vision constantly at multiple distances. You might want special glasses for work as well as another for general wear that are more aesthetically pleasing. For work trifocals like you have might be the best solution if progressives are not good enough. But, maybe your optometrist and optician have not worked with you enough to find a better type of progressive lens that will work for you. You might have to spend $$$ but a progressive lens that you like will be worth the money spent. Find a doctor and/or optician that is willing to work closely with you to get the results you want. Your +1.75 or +2.00 add is common and many people with similar prescriptions adjust to progressives fairly well. I am not surprised that you have to explain the bifocals to people all the time. However strictly for your job you really might not have a choice.

Philosifer 21 Jan 2009, 11:06

In my experience, once a person gets to the point of needing bifocals or multifocals, the matter of having 100% comfortable vision becomes a crap shoot. It is a question of compromise and tolerance; some people are more tolerant of odd blurry spots than others, and some degree of compromise seems to be unavoidable. I am currently using three pairs of specs. For ‘normal’ use, progressives R: +1.00, - 1.5, L: -0.5, -1.00, add 2.75, that are (just) OK, but far from 100% satisfactory in all situations. Then I have some single vision readers ( +3.5, + 2.5) that are fine for reading, but not for distance, and a single vision (+1.5, +1.0 ) pair that used to be fine for reading about five years ago, before I needed as much add as I do now. These are now perfect for the computer, but not for anything else.

Observer 21 Jan 2009, 10:52


You came to the right place here. My wife had a very similar situation about a year ago. Her eye doctor prescribed her for a bifocal. She wears them down on her nose to see at a distance. The top part of the glasses are for her midrange (computer) and the bottom for her reading. She loves them and can't believe the difference they make in her life. Hope this helps and good luck.

Laurie 21 Jan 2009, 10:15

Hello All,Again

The answers to the questions...

I am a TV Director and editor and I have to see at all distances all the time. When editing, it is two side by side video screens 16 - 18 inches away and a program video monitor an the walll 3-4 fett away. all the time having to look at my video scripts for cues and times.

I think this it what led me to bifocals in college. I first needeed reading glasses then bifocals so I could see the screens and the copy.Shortly theafter I needed them all the time. Now I can't use my I-Phone or even see my watch without glasses. They have ruined my eyes. Now trifocals ... What's next?

Thanks again


Cactus jack 21 Jan 2009, 07:32


Hyperopia can be a real nuisance at any age. Trifocals are not the end of the world, but there may be other options such as a pair of computer glasses. if they would not be too inconvenient in your situation.

1. Could I ask you to measure the distance from your eyes to your computer display?

2. What kind of work do you do?

3. Do you often have to look at the keyboard?

4. Do you often have to refer to written material that is closer or farther away than the computer display?

Based on your answers, I may have other questions. Please be patient with me and perhaps, I can make some acceptable suggestions.


Russell 21 Jan 2009, 07:29

Unless you do a lot of distance viewing as you use your computer, you could get bifocals just for computer use. The top portion would be the middle prescription of the trifocals, with the bottom for reading copy that you may be transcribing into the computer. If you do no transcribing, then perhaps you need just some single vision glasses for computer use only. These would use the middle prescription of the trifocal.

Laurie 21 Jan 2009, 07:07

I have read the posts here about young ladies having bifocals early. I am one of them. I have had bifocals since college. My prescription is r + 1.25 l + 1.50 Add + 1.75. I have the kind of bifocals with the line. Lately I have trouble with seeing my computer screen.

I spend most of my day on my computer and now it seems I need the bottom part of my glasses to see the screen and I have to move closer for it to be clear. Last week, after going back to my eyedoctor he told me get the no-line kind of bifocals for the computer. They are horrible, everything seems to swim around and there is only a couple of words in focus through the middele part.I can't even walk around with them on. I'ts sad but I need glasses for my I-phone, menu's and all close activities. I need those glasses all the time. So this morning I went back to my doctor for another solution and he told me TRIFOCALS are the answer.

At 27 I will have 3 lenses to look through. I have searched the net and found no one my age in trifocals. I have lived with always explainng why I have bifocals. Even My eyedoctor said he never prescribed trifocals for someone my age before. He said age is not always a factor. He also had me get the the wider trifocals that are flat on top and made my add + 2.00.

Will the the change in my add and wider trifocals make them more unsightly? Are there more options that I have not explored ? Being 27 I still have a lot of dating to do and I don't want to be an optical turn-off.



Elly 18 Jan 2009, 01:48

Aubrac, I'm not sure what you are saying, but my vision has been very stable. With the glasses I have now, I see well both near and far as far as I can tell. My new regular prescription is identical to the one from two years ago, except one of the angles in the astigmatism changed a bit. (In fact my eyes really haven't changed much at all the last five or so years.) The reading add is obviously new. I was wondering if it will make a real difference. But anyway, earlier today I was shopping and saw some cute frames at an optical shop, so I decided to order new specs with the new prescription. The girl at the optical place said that the progressive lenses they use are top notch and that I will really like them. I will certainly find out when they come in next week.

Aubrac 17 Jan 2009, 14:51


I think it is the old chestnut of when when you are late thirties/forties presbyopia kicks in, and by this I mean accommodation due to a stiffer crystalline lens results in greater plus need for reading.

It is possible that you need a higher +correction, but for distance, at the moment, you would suffer from over-correction, and find distance vision slightly blurred.

I think your eye doctor is slowly trying to introduce the additional plus correction you need.

May I ask when you last had a test and what your previous prescription was?

I have written in my previous posts that low +prescriptions are a bit of a subjective/objective testing minefield and are very individual.

Gill 17 Jan 2009, 14:25

I didn't think I wasn in any need of a bifocal correction but when I last bought glasses my optician recommened that one of the two pairs I bought be underprescribed for the computer. So I now have a -1 underprescription for my -3 and -3.50 glasses and am amazed at the difference it makes. I was finding that I could bring the PC screen into focus but it took a little while. What a revelation!

EyeTri 16 Jan 2009, 00:48


I think you will like them. Your new prescription is very similar to my first bifocal prescription that I got when I was 32. I was apprehensive about bifocals at such an early age, but when I got them the improvement in my near vision was obvious.

Elly 15 Jan 2009, 23:23

Quick question. I'm 37. Just went for a checkup and to my surprise got an add for the first time. Otherwise no change except for one of the angles in the astigmatism which is minor anyway. Strange thing is that I have not noticed any problems reading, with my glasses on of course. (I am already farsighted and wear them probably 80% of the time--they work great for both distance and reading.)

R +2.00 -0.25 040

L +1.75 -0.25 105

add +1.00

My doctor more or less said that this would be a good time to start and that it would be easier at just +1. My insurance will cover this so cost is not an issue. However I am still hesitant...maybe someone who has gone through this can advise.

Julian 27 Nov 2008, 09:02

I've joined - and started a topic, Progressives versus bi/trifocals. That makes four of us!

Phil 27 Nov 2008, 05:55

I've joined. But there are only two other members! Come on bifocular (and varifocular) gwgs: don't be shy! Aspiring bi-, tri- and vari-focalists welcome too.

 26 Nov 2008, 14:01

Sounds ideal for Phil! ;)

 26 Nov 2008, 13:58

Hi all, just to let you know that there is actually a group on Facebook called 'I wear bifocals; I'm bifocular" however there are no members yet :(

Jarred 17 Nov 2008, 14:47

An update on my quest for the best solution, now that I can no longer have trifocals. As you may have read in previous posts, my prescription is now out of range as far as conventional trifocals are concerned as I need a higher intermediate add than can be made.

The first varifocal lenses that I had from specsavers were truly awful, with such a narrow field of view I was forced to research a better solution. I eventually found an independent optician that really knew their stuff and have jumped in feet first and opted for Zeiss Gradal Top Individualised lenses. I was forced to wear the old varifocals for a few weeks whilst looking for a Zeiss dispensing optician and must admit I did start to get accustomed to them and then had two weeks back in a pair of old trifocals whilst I waited for the new Zeiss lenses to be fitted to my frames.

It’s been a few days now and I have found that I have had to start all over again as far as getting used to the Zeiss lenses is concerned. The so called “old” trifocals are still by far the best option optically as even the Zeiss lenses although no where near as bad as the first varifocals are still a poor second to the trifocals.

With the Zeiss lenses I have found the close reading to be actually quite good and something I can work with, the intermediate is slightly better than the much cheaper lenses but still only about four square inches of computer screen clear at any one time. The distance part of the lens is greatly increased over the old lenses, albeit still not as wide as I’d like, but I think that may be down to the measuring up process, something I may discuss with the optician. Overall they are OK but still not as good as the trifocals. If the width of view with the distance part of the lens can be addressed I’d be much happier, but ultimately I will still need another pair of glasses to wear in front of the computer all day, so still very much a compromise. Another thing to note with the Zeiss lenses is the anti reflection coating, it’s excellent! Something I’m sure is available on all their lenses.

On the lens technology front. Taking into account the fact that the individualised lenses are “Digitally Surfaced” to your personal specifications. Why can’t they digitally surface a trifocal or me?


Sis 13 Nov 2008, 23:45

The point is that the contacts are progressive (Focus Dailies progressive).

It says on the box that they correct up to +3 add - why then is it necessary to reduce the one eye for close work.

 12 Nov 2008, 05:03


Sis 11 Nov 2008, 07:20

Anyone knows how they messure progressive contacts?

My glasses are L -7+add 2,25. R -4,75+add 2,25.

My progressive contacts are: L -5,25, R -4,5

The funny thing is that I can see perfectly with both my glasses and my contacts - both near and far.

Can anyone explain?

DWV 25 Sep 2008, 22:00

It's a matter of geometry or something. For clear undistorted vision, the lens has to be spherical. For distance vision, the radius may be infinite, but it's still spherical. For near vision, you have a shorter radius. Imagine a baseball for the distance sphere, and a golfball for the near portion. How can you mold a shape that'll take you from one sphere to the next while remaining spherical? You can't; the best you can do is a narrow corridor that looks spherical over a limited portion.

If that makes any sense whatsoever...

Jarred 25 Sep 2008, 13:11

Most of the main stream progressive lenses have the complex progressive component standardised and moulded onto the required base curve, whilst the fine tuning of the prescription and any astigmatism is cut on to the front surface of the lens. As such like many lenses they are all derived from a stock lens. This basically means that the progressive element is a one size fits all approach. If your prescription is in any way main stream then you are laughing, if like me its not, then you end up with a far worse performing lens overall. This may explain why Peter G had such a good experience and I have not.

It’s also why I have hopes for the individualised lenses as they are more tailored to your prescription and personal measurements.

I have heard that people adapt to progressive lenses better if they start wearing them earlier. I think the big issue is dealing with high reading adds, if you start off early you effectively build up to the higher adds, I have gone in quite high so I suppose I was always going to have a problem.

As far as opticians pushing certain lenses on patients, they are a commercial outfit at the end of the day so I suppose it’s hardly surprising. In my experience it is the independent opticians that are best at being impartial as far as any one lens manufacturer is concerned and have the ability to offer multiple manufactures as well as in my case a completely customised option direct from the lab. The Specsavers of this world are never going to be able to offer that level of detail. Certainly with them you are going to be shoved into Pentax lenses whether they are the best thing for you or not.

The hard truth is if you have specific requirements you are going to need very deep pockets.

DWV do you know why it is so difficult to make a significantly better progressive lens? Are we in the same situation as computer users who are stuck with a bug ridden operating system and forced to upgrade all the time thus generating income? (one for the conspiracy theorists there)


EyeTri 25 Sep 2008, 12:51

After wearing conventional bifocals for six or seven years, I tried progressives. I had little trouble getting used to then, and wore them exclusively for about three years. I do a lot of work on motorcycles, and much of this work requires good vision at arms length. For this kind of work my optician suggested I try trifocals. The wider band of arm length vision was a big help, and I found them to be just as good as the progressives at near and far vision. For me trifocals just work better. As a nice bonus, they cost less than half what good progressives cost.

PresbyopeLover 25 Sep 2008, 02:43

I think the key with progressives is starting early. I got mine as soon as i started wearing reading glasses and adapted well. I almost went directly to full time wear. I think trevor had same experience

minus5who luvs gwgs 24 Sep 2008, 22:48

I got progressives about 6 years ago my gf got tired of me taking my glasses off took maybe 10 minutes to get used to them a few years later she got them and found the same have we just been lucky?we are both around -5.00 she is a dioptre or so more than me both with slight astigmatism

Peter G  24 Sep 2008, 22:32

I guess we are all different. I have been happy with progressives from the word go, and was maybe lucky to have a good optician, who measured everything perfectly. I have since tried bifocals, and did not like them - but can understand that many are happy with them.

DWV 24 Sep 2008, 22:18

It's just impossible to produce a perfect progressive addition lens. They can come up with better or different compromises, but they can't get past the fact that you just can't get from one power to another without having either a step or distortion along the way.

Another thing that amazes me is why so many people don't progress from bifocals to trifocals. Do they feel it's an admission of weakness, or do opticians just not make the effort to explain and sell?

OttO 24 Sep 2008, 20:46

Here's another rant. Ever since I needed first bifocals about 15 yrs ago, and later trifocals, I've had to put up with my ophthalmologist and also opticians insisting that I would be better off with progressives. I resisted. I never wanted them. I wanted lined glasses and I'm glad that I got what I wanted. The pressure on patients from the pushers of progressives must be incredible. I imagine that most patients must simply give in without a whimper. As always we need to be informed consumers, and insist on getting what we want. We have to be just as pushy as the merchants who take our money! I don't think that lined eyeglasses will ever go away, just harder to get. After all every individual's visual needs are different. As for executive bifocals and trifocals, its the same thing. I asked about them, but got the brush off. If I ever really want them, I will insist on them until I get them.

Jarred 24 Sep 2008, 15:26

I had often been told by opticians that they haven’t fitted a trifocal in years. I suppose that the majority of people are more preoccupied with how their lenses look than how well they work. To date I’ve found trifocals to be optically far superior than any progressive lens. I have had optical professionals warn me to “not expect too much” when comparing the two, so it’s clearly acknowledged in the industry that they are a compromise.

This being the case why do the manufacturers continue to churn out these inferior products and tell us that we should be patient and expect to take up to a month to get used to them as well as pay a significant premium for what is even regarded in the industry as an optically inferior lens. The manufacturer’s literature even mentions “reduced swimming sensation” in the later version of some of these lenses so it’s a problem they know exists.

Considering that the trend in new lenses is to digitally surface lenses from a blank enabling certain parameters to be customised for the patient. Why is there not a significant amount of effort being put into eliminating the huge areas of progressive lens area which do not produce clear vision? If you look at the chart showing the useable area of the lens on this page and imagine that cut to fit a normal frame most of the remaining lens surface will not produce clear vision. As for the intermediate part of the lens it’s pathetic. It’s no wonder there are people out there trying to cling onto so called “old fashioned trifocals” when these are the alternatives. I for one hope they are never phased out. So come on lens manufacturers, let’s see some real improvements!

Rant over:)


Gritonker 24 Sep 2008, 14:13

Lined bifocals and trifocals are being phased out, and will be no longer available or more expensive than progressives after 2012.

EyeTri 24 Sep 2008, 09:36

Executive trifocals were still available back in January when I bought two pairs from the optician at my optometrist's office. Another optician I deal with said they could get the lens blanks, but they have a new edger that won't cut an executive lens. For a long time I've heard that these lenses were going away. For me they work better than anything else I've tried, so I hope that's wrong.

Josh 24 Sep 2008, 04:08

Are executive trifocals still made? Have not seen a pair in years.

DWV 23 Sep 2008, 23:22

X-Cel Optical makes some trifocals with a 61% or 70% intermediate add power. If you could get lenses with a near add of 3, 70% of that would be 2.1, which is near enough to 2.25.

Hopefully the progressive lenses work for you, but you might want to point your optician towards X-Cel optical if they aren't aware of that lens company.

What I want to know is, why aren't there any executive trifocals with intermediate zones larger than 7 mm? There's bigger sizes in FT35, like 8x35, 10x35, etc, but I have a hankering for the majestic awesomeness of an executive trifocal.

Cactus Jack 23 Sep 2008, 14:36


I have some experience with people noticing changes. Some years ago, I got some new glasses with different style frame. I happened to encounter one of the senior officers of the company who I typically saw at least once a day for 5 years. He stopped me and asked when I started wearing glasses. I had to answer truthfully "about 20 years ago". I had worn glasses as long as I had been with the company, but he never took any notice until something changed. I think that is typical.

Good luck on getting glasses that are comfortable. I also need a high prism Rx and it is really difficult to find and keep lens makers who know what they are doing.


Jarred 23 Sep 2008, 14:08

Hi to all those listening. I heard some good news from the optician today, the Zeiss Gradal Individual lens is available with my level of prism! I’m really pleased by that so I am going to go ahead and get them made up in the hope they are an improvement on the current lenses. I’m going from a cheap one size fits all progressive to a better quality customised one, so again my fingers are crossed.

John S, the reason the ordinary trifocals are not an option is because the prescription I need for the intermediate lens is +2.25, apparently the opticians cannot dictate the intermediate prescription on a normal trifocal as it is made up as a percentage of the full reading prescription, typically 50%. As a result when using the computer I either needed the screen four feet away or closer using the full add and getting a crick in my neck. Making up a Franklin style lens as I described allows the lab to put whatever power they like in the lens. Once I am happy with things I will probably get a pair of bifocals made with the intermediate and near prescription for when I’m using the computer for any period of time.

I’ve managed to go from a “sorry mate your stuffed” situation to finding an optician that really knows their stuff and finding two hopefully workable solutions. If there is anyone else out there in the same situation my advice is, just persevere with it.

Cactus, thanks for your comments I wear my glasses with no real regard to what others think, I have had some comments over the years about them looking really “weird” but I have also had comments when I’ve taken them off to clean them that I look strange without glasses on! Work that one out, there is obviously no pleasing some people :)


Midknight the cat 22 Sep 2008, 21:21

I have worn bifocals since 9, my near vision gets worse, however distance i have no change. Anyone know whats going on?

Cactus Jack 22 Sep 2008, 19:15


Don't worry about becomming presbyopic. When a person becomes presbyopic, their ciliary muscles can no longer squeeze the crystaline lenses to focus because they have become stiff. Your near and intermediate lenses are there to eliminate the necessity for your ciliary muscles to try to focus your crystaline lenses so they effectively "induce" presbyopia. If your distance vision is fully corrected (crystaline lenses fully relaxed), the amount of add needed can be calculated by dividing the focus distance into 39.37 inches or you can divide the amount of add into 39.37 inches for the focus distance. +3.25 should focus at 12 inches and something at 15 inches should be a little blurry. If you find that +3.25 provides comfortable reading at 15 inches it is possible that your distance vision is not fully corrected for some reason.

Also, don't worry about the cosmetics. I hope you wear your glasses for your benefit, not the benefit or "pleasure" of others. No matter what the Rx, most people don't notice and your friends won't notice either after a few days. However, they will notice if you are not seeing comfortably and well.


John S 22 Sep 2008, 16:35


What in your rx makes a trifocal out of range? Could you lower the prism to 5 or reduce the add to +3.00? Raise your distance, and get a lower add. Your distance would suffer a little. You could get a correct distance pair only for driving. A compromise might be an answer. Of course, you would have to check with the doc.

I can understand now why you need the immediate relieve from accommodation. On the other hand in your case, the more plus, the better.

Hope you find a way out of your dilemma.

Jarred 22 Sep 2008, 14:03

Hi John S

I still haven’t placed an order yet, I went to seen an independent optician today. They immediately sounded far more knowledgeable than anyone else I have spoken to so far.

I have had it confirmed that the varilux products are not an option as the prism is out of range. So its fingers crossed for the Zeiss, failing that I was given a surprising third option.

Although I cannot have a standard trifocal, they can make up a “Franklin” type trifocal. I can’t say I’m too wild on the idea on a cosmetics front but it is rapidly becoming my only option. They will basically take a single vision lens, a bifocal lens and weld them together to make an executive bifocal with what would have been the bifocal making up the close reading section. It’s difficult to say if a lens made up like this is going to really stand out? A lot of people have never really noticed that I have been wearing trifocals all these years, so it’s difficult to call. If there are no workable options with progressives then I’m stuck really and I’ll have to go with it. I was told though that unlike the trifocals this option is not one that they will suddenly not be able to make anymore, so there is some comfort in that.

As far as the increase in add is concerned, this is as yet not to do with getting presbyopic. I have accommodative esotropia and the intermediate and near reading prescriptions on top of the prism help to keep things pointing in the same direction and the raging headaches at bay by preventing the focusing muscles from working and causing the pain. I had been experiencing some pain when reading and using the computer and upping the reading add seemed to ease things. With the new +3.25 I can comfortably read at about 15”. I don’t know what will happen when I finally do become presbyopic, part of me is hoping that once the ability to focus has diminished so will half of the difficulties, if that is going to be the case I can only say bring it on! I have been wearing glasses and reading glasses since I was a child and was in bifocals in my early 20s so I have been at this game for a few years now.


John S 20 Sep 2008, 20:56


Did you get your new rx made up in progressives? Your add jumped quite a bit. I would like to know if you like the increase. For me, going from +2 to +3.25 is 20" down to 12" reading distance.

I have the Varilux Comfort lenses. Here is a link to Varilux

Jarred 20 Sep 2008, 16:22

Hi John S. It is interesting to hear your experiences. I have spoken to a few people now about their experiences with progressive lenses and it would seem that mine so far have been a particularly bad. I have done a little more research, I contacted Ziess direct on their website, they were very helpful and directed me to a couple of opticians that dispense their lenses in my local area.

I called in to see one of them today. I found out that Zeiss lenses are apparently all glass!? Considering that my plastic lenses are over 1cm thick at the edges that would make for some very heavy glasses. I have also discovered the Varilux Physio f-360 which is a lens custom fitted to your frame as well as measurements taken for the distance and reading positions of your eye. According to the hype it’s about as good as it gets in the world of progressive lenses.

Unfortunately the prism seems to be the issue so I’m waiting to hear back from them in the week, once they have has a chance to call the optical lab. Fingers crossed these will hopefully be OK. I think I will try and stick with the progressive lens option. I have got used to the ones I have a little more, but they are still far from ideal.


John S 19 Sep 2008, 20:10

Jarred -

My rx is similar to yours, except less cylinder (-.50), I have a +3.50 add. My progressives work great. Make sure they are set high in the frame so you can use the reading area.

I wear my progressives most of the time. When I am using the computer, I use single vision lenses set at 25". I have a pair of Ray-Ban wrap around sunglasses with a +2.00 add for driving. I can still look over at my laptop in the passenger seat.

I switch between 3 pair, I don't even think about going between the 3 pairs, it is just part of the routine.

Jarred 18 Sep 2008, 15:05

I knew it would happen at some point but the time has now come. I can no longer have trifocals as my prescription for the near and intermediate segments is now “out of range”.

As a result I have no other alternative but to downgrade to progressive lenses with their horrid distortions and restricted vision. The lenses I currently have are made by Pentax (shame on them!) Has anyone found a really practical brand of progressive or varifocal lens that has offered a superior width of view with less distortion? My research so far has lead me to the Zeiss Gradal Top or the BBGR Anateo.

I understand that my +2.00 with -2.25 of cylinder, 6 Base out of prism and +3.25 add in each eye doesn’t help particularly, but I can’t believe that all progressive lenses are this bad! Close up on a page I can get just one word at a time in focus, I cannot see an entire computer screen in one go and driving the car is going to force me to develop Owl like levels of neck articulation.

I’d be interested in hearing about anyone else experiences. I'm sure that there must be a progressive lens brand out there that is even half decent!

RIP the beloved and sadly missed trifocal :( And welcome to the world of high tech modern optics with their inferior vision quality (but no line!!)

A slightly depressed


 16 Sep 2008, 20:43

I was watching the Olympics and saw Lester Holt break in with the news. He was wearing glasses with thick black frames. I barely recognized him

Brian-16 14 Sep 2008, 16:23

JakeM-How do you like your tri-focals?I have had 35mm trifocals for a few years and they are just fine for me.

JakeM 14 Sep 2008, 11:41

First add +1.25, age 18 glasses -3.50 -1.50 both eyes, now 7 years later add +3.00, trifocals, 35mm, glasses -6.75 -1.75 both eyes

John S 12 Sep 2008, 20:30


I have had the same problem. When I was in my 20's, I needed an add of +2.50. By the time I was 30, I finally found a doctor that would prescribe it, then he retired. Then I had to play the searching game all over again. I think the best approach is to explain you do some type of close work electronics, watch repair, or a hobby that requires an unusually close working distance.

I like a 12" distance, that works out great with progressives. For me, that is +3.25 or +3.50. I wear them most of the time unless I am using my computer. Then I use single vision lenses with a +1.50 add.

Once you find a doc that understand your needs, stick with him/her. I have seen many that must think that a higher add will reduce their profit.

Phil 12 Sep 2008, 06:10

I went straight in with an add of 1.5. I am a myope (and was around -3.00 in those days). But as I have little or no astigmatism I had (and still have) the option of taking my specs off to read.

My difficulty over the years has been convincing opticians to prescribe sufficient plus add. Have others suffered this?

GG 12 Sep 2008, 05:48

First Timer - I'm a new first timer too! My RX is +2.00 X -.5 Add +1.00. Definitely helps, especially in low light. Keep us posted!

John S 10 Sep 2008, 16:27

My first add was +1.50, but that was at 17. From other postings, +1.00 to +1.50.

A person at work finally gave in and got reading glasses, his rx was +1.50. It just depends on your tolerance.

first timer 09 Sep 2008, 14:13

Yes, it looks like I'm starting that journey. I can't take my glasses off to read even though I'm a mild myope, because I have a fair amount of astigmatism. I'm noticing some slight problems with near: strain, needing more light, etc. I was just wondering what the usual starting add is.

Willy 09 Sep 2008, 13:44

First Timer -- I think you are correct that +0.75 is usually not put into a progressive; at least that is my impression. A low hyperope or presbyope would usually just use reading glasses, and a myope might simply take their glasses off. But there could of course be exceptions. I might also guess that a hyperope who wore glasses full-time might get the add at the first sign of a need and might get +0.75 in a progressive, but that's a guess. Are you starting your journey on this path?

first timer 09 Sep 2008, 13:05

What is the usual first progressive or bifocal add power? Online, I have seen minimum powers generally 0.75 but on on one site I even saw 0.25. In practice is 0.75 a starting point for a beginning presbyope, or is this amount so low that it doesn't justify the cost of a PAL? More typically do most doctors start with 1.00 or 1.25 instead?

specs4ever 18 Aug 2008, 05:41

Usually it is half the total, but in this case I would think that it would be +1D, with the lower porting the greater. Although, I doubt that anyone would be prescribed trifocals that were not easily divisable by 2. I think a doctor would bave called this add either a +2D or a +2.50D.

Guest 18 Aug 2008, 05:06

Hi, what is the strength of middle segment in trifocal, if the reading add is +2.25?

DWV 10 Aug 2008, 21:03

"Office" or "Computer" bifocals are another option: get the intermediate prescription put in the top part, and the full reading add in the lower part. This'll give a nice big area for viewing the computer screen (better than any trifocal or progressive), plus the full reading power.

This isn't rocket surgery, but in my experience it does seem to stretch the mathematical abilities of "eyecare professionals" so check their calculations or ask them to have a colleague verify their work:

a) the near add becomes 1/2 the normal bifocal add.

b) add 1/2 the near add to the distance sphere power.

So, for -3 distance and an add of +2.5, the office bifocal would be -1.75 distance with an add of +1.25.

John 10 Aug 2008, 08:14

Jason - For *reading*, lined bifocals may well be better than progressives. For that matter, a pair of glasses for reading would be even better. But there's no reason at her prescription that she can't just take her glasses off to read. That's the good thing about being a -2 to -3 myope. And progressives do give her correction in the intermediate range - so they are probably better overall for her.

Mr.HighIndex 08 Aug 2008, 18:14

Absolutely not, lined bifocals are useless in the intermediate zone, where progressives give intermediate vision. She has a 2.25 add.

Jason 08 Aug 2008, 16:34

My wife, aged 52 has worn glasses for more than 30 years and progressives for the last 6. Her new script is R -2.75 -075 90 +2.25 and L -3.00 -050 95 +2.25.

She however normally takes her glasses of to read and more recently when eating dinner. She claims her near vision is clearer without glasses. The new script has not changed things.

My question is would she be better off with a lined bifocal?

Ricky 20 Jul 2008, 22:22

I have noticed that many men from India seem to be wearing plus lenses at a younger age, including bifocals. In my country of Singapore, nearly all men seem to be nearsighted, including myself.

Gordon 20 Jul 2008, 14:11


I am Taiwanese and a hyperope with bifocals as is my mom & older sister. My dad & 2 brothers are myopes. I posted my script a couple weeks ago

e-mail is

Monica 17 Jul 2008, 13:17

By Asian I mean Indian, Pakistani, etc. as this is the common term in England. But you're right that many Chinese children here seem to be shortsighted. These 'sightings' come every day when picking up children from school.

I am not sure if hyperopia is in the family. All I can say is it certainly hasn't passed on to our children. According to what I was told, it is not so unusual to become presbyopic in the late 30s, particularly if it's in the family.

None of us wore glasses as children or young adults. One of my aunt's daughters, when she thought she only needed reading glasses, actually wound up being very slightly shortsighted as well--the only case of 'minus' amongst us. The other one has only reading glasses. Ditto for one of my sisters (43). My eldest sister (45) now has slight distance plus, but already had readers. Whereas I went straight from no glasses to all plus with astigmatism when I was 38 (now 41). My husband (45) does not wear glasses at all.

I feel like this is a generational thing. I don't know what the cause is--studying, video games, computers--but shortsightedness seems quite prevalent among our children. I am perfectly happy in specs now, but I am glad I didn't need them in my younger years.

Presbyope Lover 17 Jul 2008, 07:38

Monica, The incidence of myopia among East Asian school children is above 95% in some instances. I am amazed whenever I see an East Asian with reading glasses because of the prevalence of myopia. I suspect that part of the reason for the increase in myopia is the industrialization of the economy and the emphasis on school work. That probably triggers some sort of genetic predisposition

Phil 17 Jul 2008, 01:26

Monica, it sounds as if there may be a bit of hyperopia in your family's genes which manifested itself on the onset of presbyopia. I think that, even though correction for presbyopia is often not needed before one's mid forties, the tell tale signs are there earlier. I was told by the optician that it was on the horizon for me at 39 though I did not get my add until about 45. So if one has latent hyperopia it may become patent in one's late thirties.

As to your children, is your husband myopic? Or have they done more studying than their mother, aunt and grandmother. It was reading law at university that set my myopia on its way. At 18 I was barely myopic. By 21 I was -2.25.

How do you get on with your distance correction? Did you go fulltime once it was prescribed?

Monica 17 Jul 2008, 00:33

Phil, I guess I am one of those Asian women who began needing reading correction early. Actually it seems to run in my family. My mum and her sister both needed reading glasses by age 40. My two elder sisters and I all began needing them in our late thirties as well, never having worn glasses before. Same with my aunt's two daughters. Some of us like me, now have distance plus correction as well and are fulltime wearers. Now, my aunt's son, the youngest of us at 39, is the only one left who doesn't yet wear glasses.

This said, nearly all of our children save one, are shortsighted, including my son and daughter. Which is bizarre considering none of their parents are. I can't help but to notice that so many Asian children need glasses for shortsightedness at young ages.

At this rate these sightings you tell about will soon disappear.

 12 Jul 2008, 16:28

Phil, what was meant about European women aging faster is not the eyes or presbyopia but the skin: wrinkles. Many find that Europeans, esp Northern Europeans, look older vs people from other parts of the world the same age. The Asian woman may well have been in her early 40s but looked much younger to you. However certainly she may have married young and was in her late thirties. To add to the confusion: in the UK 'Asian' means something different in popular use (i.e. from the Indian Subcontinent/South Asia) than in the US (i.e. from East Asia/Far East).

Cactus Jack 11 Jul 2008, 06:24


I have a presbyopic theory that id related to optics.

In many ways, because of vertex distance, glasses act like lenses on a camera. Plus glasses act like telephoto lenses and minus glasses act like wide angle lenses. If you have ever worked with camera lenses, you may have noticed that telephoto lenses have narrow depth of field (or range of useful focus) that decreases as the length (+ power) of the lens increases and wide angle lenses have a rather broad depth of field.

To relate this to vision, it is possible that hyperopes who need strong plus glasses notice loss of accommodation at an earlier age than myopes because optical physics is working against them. If you wear reading glasses, you may notice that as the plus increases the range of useful focus decrease is quite obvious even between +1.50 and +2.50.

I have no experience with high plus lenses other than I have IOLs (cataract surgery) which correct my -3.00ish myopia and, because I have no accommodation, normally wear trifocals. In doing -14 GOC, I notice that when wearing the high minus single vision glasses, I have a rather broad range of useful focus and can read up to about 50 cm without too much blurring.


Puffin 11 Jul 2008, 05:52

What about those people who get diagnosed with hyperopia at about 12, by 18-20 have stabilised at quite a high rx, and then within 5 years are wearing bifocals? Do they really have such poor accomodation to start with, or does the rapid hyperopic progression do the damage?

Phil 11 Jul 2008, 04:16

Gosh, there are so many theories in the literature. Race, climate, latitute, gender, pre-existing diseases, intelligence, hormones etc etc. Fortunately women seem to go presbyopic sooner than men. It's so nice to see an attractive woman begin to struggle with reading and eventually succumb. About 10% of people do not end up presbyopic even in old age. All so very interesting.

Phil 11 Jul 2008, 01:26

No, I'm absolutely convinced that Asian and black women get readers earlier than white women.

The Asian I saw had two teenage children but must have married early: she honestly couldn't have been much more than 35. She was smart and wore her reading specs (which were in lovely brown frames that matched her jacket) on the end of her nose.

I have seen a number of Black women around 40 in lined bifocals. I've just never seen a white woman of that age with them.

I will Google the literature and see if my observations are supported by nore scientific evidence.

 10 Jul 2008, 21:00

Were they presbyopes only or did they have distance prescriptions as well? Can you spot progressives or did they have lined bifocals? They may have been older than they looked. One can't help but to notice that European women, especially northern European women, age relatively faster.

Phil 10 Jul 2008, 02:09

I've recently spotted two pretty presbyopes on my train: one an Asian and the other black. Both had significant rxs but neither were anywhere near 40. I have also observed black women wearing bifocals when only around 40. I did just wonder to myself whether there were racial differences in the onset of presbyopia. This study seems to accord with my anecdotal evidence.

Mark 09 Jul 2008, 20:54

In the present study, 800 eyes of 400 Bengalee subjects of different age groups ranging from 6 to 65 years with normal visual acuity (corrected or uncorrected), were considered for determination of amplitude of accommodation. It was found that the amplitude of accommodation among the bengalee population is practically the same as that of European and Japanese in the earlier age groups but falls rapidly from the age groups of 16-20 years to 41-50 years. The average age of on set of presbyopia among the Bengalee population is 35 years. This calls for earlier correction of presbyopia in the average Bengalee subject.

Is this true? Do different nationalities have different rates of presbyopia onset?

Macrae 14 Jun 2008, 15:24

Carlos: no, I haven't really put much more thought into purchasing trifocals. I feel that the quality/sharpness of my vision is pretty good right now with the glasses I have now. I think I only got these glasses last fall so it isn't really time to consider alternatives - or even time for another exam - especially since I'm not having problems with the prescription.

I did have a problem with the frams - I broke them several weeks back when a tree branch caught them - but they are fixed now.

Sorry I don't have much glasses-related drama to relate these days... Will keep you posted if things change.

OttO 09 Jun 2008, 08:54

Brian-16 and Ricky --

I agree with you guys on the trifocals. Mine work quite well and give me the vision I need. My intermediate segment is twice the normal depth. Also the FT is 35 mm. I like to spread out newspaper or work on the kitchen table or a desk, and I can see everything quite well with the trifocals. Also nice to be able to read book or newspaper on my lap without having to bring it close.

Aubrac 09 Jun 2008, 04:58


You sound very lucky to have a wife who is confident enough not to worry at all about wearing bifocals.

It is not unknown for myopia to decrease slightly as people get older although it is usually only a small amount. It is also possible that she may have been slightly over prescribed at a previous exam and that together with a slight change makes the difference.

The add effectively cancels out the minus but your wife does have a degree of astigmatism, and so she might find it easier to read with her glasses which will still correct this for her.

Brian-16 09 Jun 2008, 04:50

Ricky- I agree the ft trifocals are great and give you a wider reading area something I really need with my studies at college.

M@x 08 Jun 2008, 19:17

Just weeks ago my wife came home in new frames with bifocal lenses and seems very happy in them. She had never really been a full-time wearer. She was consistently around -2/-2.25, with little or no astigmatism, and often the glasses rested on her head. She always took them off for reading. Here is her new prescription, which I found lying on the table.

R: -1.75 -0.25 180 add +1.75

L: -1.75 -0.50 30 add +1.75

A few surprises here:

1) Her myopia improved. I never thought that was possible! Is this something that can happen alongside presbyopia or as you get older?

2) She is relatively young. She'll only turn 38 in a few weeks! On the other hand, like I mentioned, she's always taken off her glasses for reading. But don't the distance and add Rx's cancel each other out? Or is it optically not that simple? Yesterday I saw her bare-eyed and squinting while looking at her iPhone. She then put her glasses on and was definitely more at ease reading.

3) She is not in progressives but in regular lined bifocals. She actually showed them off to me and said that the doctor told her she'll probably be in trifocals pretty soon! We can certainly afford progressive lenses. She spent hundreds on designer frames. I wonder how progressive lenses weren't dispensed but did not want to get into that conversation with her. I thought the optical places make more money off the more expensive lenses. At doctor's offices do they have trial lenses or simulators where patients can compare the lined vs. progressive lenses to see what they like better? That's the only reason I can think of why she chose as she did. Or maybe she knows someone who couldn't adjust? Well, she is not at all self conscious--she wore them last night some of the time when we met friends for dinner--and, I must admit, looks great in her stylish new frames.

Ricky 08 Jun 2008, 12:36

I have been wearing trificals (lined) for about a year. Previously wore bifocals. I really liked the lined lens. They give me great vision. Please note that I am in my early 30's and started needing bifocals in my late 20's.

Sarah M 07 Jun 2008, 12:13

CR39 lined trifocals, 35mm wide.

I think they're great!

Hansel 06 Jun 2008, 12:53


No dislikes, although Mrs Hansel briefly had a pair which she didn't get to grips with at all.

In her first multifocals she had Pentax lenses which had been easy to get used to, but she had always felt that she had listened too much to the optician about frame depth. The Zeiss were the Gradl Short, and she was unable to gain a clarity at either near or far.

Rodentstock she didn't like either, for a similar reason, but with the Essilor that she now has she has had no problems with the smaller frames she prefers.

Personally, very happy with mine.

Hansel 06 Jun 2008, 12:46

1.8 index Zeiss glass, when not wearing my lenses + readers which I prefer at work.

1.8 is a must for me to reduce edge thickness. Just wish they could push the High index to 1.9 for progressives.

Has any manufacturer achieved this? I haven't found one myself!

po 06 Jun 2008, 10:20

To everybody:

What type of multifocal lenses do you use? (brands please for progressives) What do you like about them and what do you dislike?

Curt 06 Jun 2008, 09:54

Tony: I don't know where you get your information, but you are wrong. I asked my optician about lined bifocals and trifocals, and he said they will be around forever. Some folks just cannot adjust to progressives, and they need an alternative.

Tony 06 Jun 2008, 09:47

The Trifocal Terrorists are back. They want to see the whole world in trifocals, even though trifocals and lined bifocals will be phased out in just a few yeas.

Dieter 06 Jun 2008, 05:01

Why would Macrae want trifocals if he already wears progressives? Progressives have infinite adjustability to varying distances - not just three segments. Unless he is experiencing issues with adaptability, I would see no reason.

Carlos, Jr 05 Jun 2008, 18:38

Macrae, have you given any more thought to purchasing trifocals?

Gordon 27 May 2008, 07:42

John S. - I had surgery to correct alignment when I was 3 and got glasses then but "grew out" of them.

Next got +2 glasses when I was 12, and worn continually, and increasing, since then. Prisms started at 13, the base out prisms seem to increase. Doctor expects that I may get to about +10 or so sphere.

John S 21 May 2008, 11:38


Is your corrected vision good? When did you first get glasses? It seems with your strong plus and astigmatism unless it was caught early, could have caused amblyopia.

Gordon 18 May 2008, 13:37

Been lurking for a while, I'm a hs senior who recently got my first bifocals. I'm an anomaly because my heritage is Twiwanese but I'm a hyperope, as is my mom and older sis who also wear bifocals.

My script is R: +6.50 + 2.00 x040 6.0BO 4.5BU L: +7.00 +2.75 X035 ^.0 BO 4.5BD add +1.75. The doctor says to come back before college, that I will probably need a stronger add and probably trifocals (my sis has them, she is 20)

DWV 23 Apr 2008, 23:59

to no-name:

If you're young enough to still have plenty of accommodation left, you should be able to handle several additional diopters of minus. There is a slight risk that you may be able to increase your myopia by doing so; the younger you are, and the more minus, the more likely it is to work.

If you want to "need" bifocals or progressives, fill in the "ADD" box(es) on the prescription. An add of 1.00 is a common "starter" add that will work fine for bifocals or progressives. Adds of 1.75 and higher may be too much of a jump for bifocals, and are better suited to progressives or trifocals. But, stronger adds also mean that the drawbacks of progressives become more pronounced.

I believe the site sponsor can make myodiscs even for very low prescriptions.

Marc 23 Apr 2008, 17:09

Slit, how long have you needed a hyperopic correction.

Slit 19 Apr 2008, 11:00

Well, i was only in a short stay in bangladesh, most of the days were spent at a youth conference.

So, I did not have a chance to observe older generation.

But i noticed a substantial number of ladies wearing bold plastic frames.

Is there any indian/ bangladeshi around here to give us some info?

Marc 17 Apr 2008, 20:29

Slit,have you noticed that bengalees seem to need reading glasses at early ages?

 16 Apr 2008, 11:16

In the present study, 800 eyes of 400 Bengalee subjects of different age groups ranging from 6 to 65 years with normal visual acuity (corrected or uncorrected), were considered for determination of amplitude of accommodation. It was found that the amplitude of accommodation among the bengalee population is practically the same as that of European and Japanese in the earlier age groups but falls rapidly from the age groups of 16-20 years to 41-50 years. The average age of on set of presbyopia among the Bengalee population is 35 years. This calls for earlier correction of presbyopia in the average Bengalee subject.

Slit 16 Apr 2008, 11:09

re: average age in bengalee people...

is it real? where did you find the literature reference about this?

it would be sausy hot to see bangla ladies early with bifocals... because according to my south asian taste, bengalee ladies get hotter as they grow older!

 16 Apr 2008, 08:10

The average age of on set of presbyopia among the Bengalee population is 35 years

 14 Apr 2008, 01:56

hi guys.. i want to wear thick glasses.. i like biofocal and progressive glasses .. and i love to wear lenticular glasses , myodiscs..!!!

but my prob is i hv cylindrical no.s and that too with lower prescription..-2.5 in both eyes..

i m having two questions

1)how can i increase my eye numbers ?

2)can i wear biofocals or progressive glasses ( by some self modification in my prescription card )

3)can i go for thick glasses or myodiscs .. without doing GOC ? i mean to say that can mysodisc glasses be prepared with low prescription ?

Slit 12 Apr 2008, 20:55

hi newly bifocal,

well, i do wear a +1.25 over the counter pair of glasses.

i discovered my hyperopicness when my father got his glasses for the first time, +2. I can read pretty well through the +2 and upto about 2 meters of distance is clear therough them.

with +1.25 i see upto 4 meters clearly and probably i can drive with them too.

Still no plans for bifocals. And especially in Sri Lanka, it is very hard to get a prescription for reading for some one below 40 yrs of age, because the eye doctors and optometrists strictly stick to the rule of the thumb that reading glasses are only for 40+ ppl!

However, i think if some one insist on them, they will issue reluctantly.

We can have private communication on

newly bifocal 12 Apr 2008, 02:36

Slit, I don't have any sound knowledge of glasses, I'm just interested in glasses since i need's only natural to look it up on the internet....a vast place of knowledge :-)

I didn't study anything related to optics....i graduated just a few weeks ago from university... i now have a master of arts (public communications)...

what about yourself? do you wear bifocals too? or glasses?

Slit 11 Apr 2008, 09:35

Newly Bifocal,

Thanks and yeah! cheer mr franklin!

BTW, you seem to have a very sound knowledge of glasses and bifocals etc stuff. Are you studying something related to optics?

In my case, i studied textile engineering, and some optics as a part of the course.

newly bifocal 11 Apr 2008, 06:59


hi newly bifocals girl,

to answer your questions...i never started with reading glasses, i was prescribed my +1 glasses for far and close up about three years ago...just a natural hyperope...

i got them because for a long period of time i always had red eyes, burning sensation and got tired pretty fast, mainly when i was reading, but also watching tv etc... so i went to see an optician and was prescribed glasses

i don't know of any of my friends having bifocals....some of them are just like me hyperopes but none of them wears bifocals (at least not that i know of...)

i guess what finally triggered the additional add were my final exams at university for which i had been reading and studying hard over the last 5 after the exams i decided to go and see the optician and the result sits on my nose right now :-) but as i said i'm really happy with them although i'm still amazed at the speed of getting used to reading without them (or with my old glasses) is still possible but very uncomfortable...but what the heck....i'm glad that benjamin franklin came up with bifocals...thanks benjamin, hehe!

best wishes!

Slit 10 Apr 2008, 10:36

hi newly bifocals girl,

nice to read about you.

well, when did you start reading glasses?

what made you get them? was it difficulties in reading or a random discovery?

do any of your friends wear bifocals?

Phil 10 Apr 2008, 01:51

You are right, of course, girl from Cheeseland. I first saw a young woman with bifocals when I was in Denmark, many years ago. But I just know you wouldn't have been prescribed them in the UK. In the States bifocals seem to by popoular both for young hyperopes and young myopes. I am now old enough to qualify for varifocals on the basis of presbyopia. But when I first got glasses for distance in my early 20's I would have been able to function so much better with close stuff if I'd been prescribed an add.

newly bifocals 09 Apr 2008, 18:56

i'm from central europe..don't like to give away my spot completely...but there is lots of cheese available in my country...enough clues.... what can i's my optician who recommended bifocals (a.k.a. varifocals or multifocals...)...if someone isn't able to accomodate enough for close up and says so during an eye exame...what is the optician supposed to do...? here everything works according to human logic... you're at an exam and already a tiny bit what is the normal thing to do for a professional? measure for close-up...that's the way it goes here...cheers!

Phil 09 Apr 2008, 08:19

Where are you newlybifocal? In the UK at least it seems quite rare for opticians to prescribe bifocals before the onset of presbyopia. Your case demonstrates why that is so wrong. The bifocals seem to be serving you well. Are you enjoying wearing them?

newlybifocal 09 Apr 2008, 06:23

i can recognize things far away through the lower part of the lens, but it's all a the proximity of about 2.5 meters i can see fairly clear with the add, but all behind that distance is blury... so far noboby has mentioned anything about the bifocals....maybe it's really because the line is barely noticeable... that shows once again how close people watch their surrounding....

Phil 09 Apr 2008, 05:02

Newly bifocal, what sort of distance vision do you get through the lower portion of the lenses? Has anyone said "you look young for bifocals" or something similar?

newly bifocal 09 Apr 2008, 04:41

@phil: i got half rimmed frames, very light and comfortable... i must say i'm still amazed about the benefits of bifocals.....easy reading and easy looking's great. the only downside is that my eyes have got used to the add rather quickly....when i want to read with the upper part it already takes a while to i quickly change to the lower part again....

Phil 07 Apr 2008, 05:07

Good for you newlybifocal. What frames did you get?

newlybifocal 07 Apr 2008, 04:45

before i had single lenses (+1.00 in both eyes...), i know that i'm sort of young for bifocals (29 years) but i really don't wanna miss them far nobody said anything...although i already went to the store to buy groceries....i reckon people don't even notice the line...i can hardly make it out in front of the mirror....of course i'm wearing them fulltime...i was already wearing my old glasses full time...

Phil 07 Apr 2008, 04:15

Well done newlybifocal. What lenses did you have before? Are you wearing the new bifocals fulltime? has anyone commented yet?

newlybifocal 07 Apr 2008, 03:31


today i got my first bifocals....i've been lurking for a while here.... well, so far it's fantastic...

my rx is +1.00 left and right with an add of +1 dpt in both eyes....i chose the lined bifocals.. vision is great and i don't even notice the line. after only 3 hours of wearing them now i already love them! reading is easy...looking up from the newspaper and see far clear as well is great.... i'm really glad i got those glasses.

all the best!

Pauline 04 Apr 2008, 09:29

Carrie. Oh the joy of bifocals, unlike you, my distance vision is pretty bad as well, so i need the distance correction as much as the reading add.

Interested to hear you talking about the computer with trifocals, i am having thoughts along those lines, its only when on the computer, my distance lenses are no good for the laptop, and my reading part of the bifocals is just out of range unless i lean closer to the machine. Trifocals could be the answer. I am 41, had my first glasses at 13 and my bifocals at 37. Nice to read your post.

Carrie 04 Apr 2008, 07:40

Earlier this week, I just got new trifocals. With my rx from a couple months back, computer work was uncomfortable. Now with the intermediate add, its all good. I am still trying to get used to the 3 different rx's in each lens, so I wear my trifocals only at work, and at home for computer use. I wear the bifocals the rest of the time. I guess I have to try to wear the trifocals more until I'm used to them. My co-workers can't understand how I can see distance as well as them(almost), but can't see squat up close. I let them try my bifocals while I wore my trifocals, and told them-see, the top lens is very mild, its the bifocal that is the strong lens. They then tried reading through the bifocal and remarked about how it magnifies everything. I said now you can read without that magnification, however I cannot read, or sew, or use my cell phone, or apply make-up, or use the computer without it. I wouldn't really need glasses if I didn't need the bifocal, but I wear them full-time just to have clear vision at all distances.

Slit 04 Apr 2008, 02:17

hi Audrey,

are you still around?

what has been happening with the bifocals? do you wear it all the time now?

how is it helping with driving etc?

DWV 25 Mar 2008, 23:40

R Ed:

X-Cel comes up in a Google search if you look for certain lens types.

My new new lenses could be by X-Cel; they're 8x35 Transitions, and according to the Transitions web site only X-Cel Optical and Younger Optics make that style in CR39.

Rachel 92 24 Mar 2008, 17:40

REd, how long have you worn bifocals?

R Ed 24 Mar 2008, 16:04


Wow, X-Cel, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. I'm impressed you know them

DWV 24 Mar 2008, 13:51

I'd be very surprised if lined bifocals and trifocals are history by 2011. Some of the big lens manufacturers may discontinue them since progressive lenses are more profitable and can be promoted by brand name and model. But, specialty companies like X-Cel, or generic far-east factories will step in to fill the demand.

Sparky51 23 Mar 2008, 09:38


Yes I wear full time, I am an electrician and need the best vision possible for obvious reasons.

Guest 23 Mar 2008, 04:53


Congratulations on the crisp clear vision. Your rx is only mild but having the add do you find you're now wearing them fulltime?

Sparky51 23 Mar 2008, 01:33

I am the opposite, my distance correction is to the minus R -.25 L -.75 add +2 lenses are Pentax Claris in a gunmetal 54-18-140 frame I also wear on occasions B&L softlenses R -.5 L -.75 add high.

Started to wear glasses about 6 years ago, always had progressives, I was totally convinced my eye sight was perfect, a while before I had trouble reading small lettering on a new 14” computer screen obvious to me it must be faulty so sent it back and upgraded it to a 15” which was not a lot better, I also had problems with reading the program information on the television screen especially the white writing on a blue background (Sky) so I was about to change the TV, and there appeared to be increasing amounts of pollution in the sky when looking at the stars at night and when reading books I would get eyestrain and headaches which I put down to being over tired

It was not until one day I was at my daughter’s house when I picked up a broken pair of my grandsons glasses and looked through to see sharper images and brighter colours; even at my mild RX the improvement in my eyesight is quite marked

Who else out there in this cyberspace has had similar experiences?

Cal 21 Mar 2008, 13:52

Lined trifocals, too.

Cal 21 Mar 2008, 13:51

I've been reading that lined bifocals are to be phased out by 2011. I saw this in several different articles.

Presbyope Challenge 21 Mar 2008, 00:27

I use multifocals........prescription is O.D + 1.5 -.5 add 1.75

OS + 1.75 -1.00

I don t have the axis. But multifocals are wonderful. I always wanted glasses and tried to fake myopia as a teen.......little did I know I was latent hyperope!

russell 20 Mar 2008, 16:53

Julian,I too am plus with cylinder. But when I first got progressives, I was minus with just a small amount of cylinder. It's funny how the eyes change as we age. And I am aging...62 years young in April.

Rachel 92 20 Mar 2008, 15:15

Great to hear about everyone's experiences with progressives. I look forward to the day that I can check into getting progressives or bifocals. Glasses rule!

Julian 20 Mar 2008, 10:33

I'm with you there, Russell. I'm in my 18th year of happily wearing progressives and, like you, I now have the narrower type; I adjusted to them within a week. My distance correction is plus with cylinder - how about yours?

russell 20 Mar 2008, 09:27

From the moment I put on progressives, I loved them! I never had a moment of discomfort. It is now about sixteen or eighteen years since I got my first pair. I am now wearing the "narrow corridor" ones that allow for a smaller lens, thus a more fashionable frame. I definitely urge any new presbyope to try them. Hopefully, he or she will have the pleasant experience that I have had. Of course, I do realize that there are those of you who have very real problems adjusting to progressives. I guess variety is what makes us humans unique.

Sparky51 20 Mar 2008, 01:27


30 Days of hell, not so long for me about a week, helped because of my mild distance correction but I do remember the floor moving as I walked and door frames were no longer straight, but I am still and continue to be amazed at the sharpness and clarity of my vision especially the brightness of colours

hell 19 Mar 2008, 16:25

h*** what's that supposed to mean...can't you say hell...? hell...what the's just hell not to say hell...hell, hell, hell, hehe! hell!

Dieter 19 Mar 2008, 10:13

Yeah, the thing I've learned most in the land of Presbyopia is life is about compromises. There is no perfect solution for every situation. And, I've never worn progressives, bifocals, or trifocals. But, I've dealt with glasses off/glasses on, monovision contacts, readers over contacts, etc.

benn 19 Mar 2008, 09:17

I wore tri-focals for over 20 years and I developed foaters and flashers, age is tough, and the reflections of the line added to the flashing problem so much that I decided to try progressives.

It was very hard to learn to use them, but now I use only one pair of glasses where before I used three, one was the tri for normal, a pair for the computer that was bi-focal and a single vision for reading.

But it was 30 days of H***, it has also helped with the distractions of the flashing.

Curt 19 Mar 2008, 06:36

Dieter: You are correct. In the very center of the lens, the prescription progresses evenly from distance to near. But this is done at the expense of peripheral vision; there is distortion on the edges of progressive lenses. If you try to look out of the corner of the lenses, this image is blurry. The reading area of progressives is also almost always smaller than that of a traditional D-segment bifocal.

Progressives are good, but not perfect.

Dieter 19 Mar 2008, 06:25

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that progressives were aptly named and have progressive or transitional prescriptions between the full near and far prescriptions. I have been under the impression that they are at least as good as trifocals as far as allowing multiple focus options.

Macrae 15 Mar 2008, 19:50

Hello all. For now my progressives are fine. They work for me. I like them most of the time.

I understand that they may not continue to work so well as I get older and the difference between the distance and reading prescription increases. It sounds as though this might be a particular problem for me because my job involves studying large drawings, and the useful field of vision is more limited with progressives. So if/when any of this becomes problematic then I will look into trifocals and make sure to report on my experiences. I don't think I'll be making that switch all that soon though.

This week an old friend was visiting for a couple days and he said at one point "I can't get used to seeing you with glasses", so it made me self conscious and I took them off for awhile. But another day this week I was walking around my office without them on for awhile and a coworker said "you look weird without glasses." So I guess I can't win - I just look weird either way apparently.

Ricky 14 Mar 2008, 04:52

Please forgive me if I appear to be a trifocal bully. I had to pushed, urged, etc. to accept the fact that I needed bifocals at a younger age. (age 29) Finally, I realized that taking off my glasses for close-up work was not the norm. Anyway, I have been most please with the bifocals and then trifocals and have had not trouble adjusting to the line.

Julian 05 Mar 2008, 04:15

Macrae: good to hear from you again. I for one really enjoyed the saga of yourself and your brother and your learning to wear yor glasses in front of the family. For pity's sake, man, ignore all these trifocal bullies! If you're happy with progressives you're happy with them (as I am) and you needn't worry.

Ricky 05 Mar 2008, 03:49

Macrae, you will probably like trifocals when the time comes that you need them. I started wearing them about a year ago and they have worked out very well. In the course of about two years, I went from single vision lens to bifocals and then graduated to trifocals. Great close-up vision and also good for computer work.

Rachel92 03 Mar 2008, 17:54

Thanks, Macrae--I must have read something wrong since I thought you were getting trifocals. Glad to hear you are doing well with your glasses. My hope is one day to wear multifocals. It would be great to know of any challenges you have faced in progressives.

Macrae 02 Mar 2008, 14:09

Hi Rachel92: thanks for asking. My glasses are progressives - not trifocals, despite the enthusiastic recommendations of many on this forum.

Things are going ok with them - physically I was used to wearing them long before I got over my vanity issues. Once I got through all that everything was fine, so I haven't visited here much lately. I wear them most of the time, though occasionally don't - I'm especially likely to take them off for things like giving presentations in front of an audience.

My biggest annoyance with my glasses continues to be that I can't see the tv very well - or my laptop screen clearly - when I'm lying on the couch. I guess I need special "couch glasses".

sourgrapes 24 Feb 2008, 12:02

I don't think it's common.

Clare 24 Feb 2008, 11:53

Does anyone know if it's common for myopia to increase in someone's 40s? Someone at work was saying that her astigmatism has gone but her Rx has increased. I thought it was supposed to level off, or even decrease, by then ...

Rachel 92 18 Feb 2008, 11:23

Macrae, are you doing well in your trifocals?

mwg 18 Feb 2008, 09:49


I am relatively new to all of this but Progressives may help with the computer. Also, you can get another pair of glasses to wear while using the computer that has a different RX so you don't have to tip your head. As you have stated, Trifocals may be an option as well. Have you gone on Lenschat? It is a great way to get some questions answered by people a who have similar questions. Hang in there.

Slit 16 Feb 2008, 18:01

Hi Carrie,

You seem to have a very positive attitude bifocals and reading glasses. In my community, it is quite rare for young people to wear bifocals and even reading glasses are uncommon, because doctors think it is only for old.

But there are many ppl who suffer frequent headaches without knowledge that they have latent hyperopia.

What made you go for the doctor for glasses?

And at which point you decided bifocals?

Carrie 16 Feb 2008, 10:30

Thanks for the responses. I am past the comments about the bifocal line, you must be blind(no, not really), aren't bifocals for old people, etc.

I do think trifocals may be coming soon. Looking at the computer screen, I am kinda in between- looking through the top I have to lean back a little, and through the bifocal I have to lean forward a bit. No big deal-yet.

Weird though-technically I don't need them for driving, and can actually see decent far away, but right under my nose is an absolute blur. Many things I now can't read even at arms length. I wear them all the time now. I used to keep them in my purse sometimes, until I went for them at a restaurant one night, and they weren't there. Dimly lit restaurant, small print menu-bad news-but ....anyway I'm comfortable being a youthful bifocal wearer-line and all. Actually sometimes I can see a distortion in the lower portion of my co-workers no-line bifocals, so I know anyway.

mwg 15 Feb 2008, 09:04


Welcome to the club! I just started wearing bifocals 2 months ago. I am 43 so it wasn't a shock to me as it probably is to you. I am no expert but I will tell you that that "this too will pass" and you will wake up one morning and it really won't be that big a deal. I admire you for your courage in dealing with it and hope that things will get better.

Cactus Jack 15 Feb 2008, 07:54


First some good news. Your reading add will probably never get higher than about +3.00 unless you are doing VERY close work. The amount of add is based on two things. How much plus YOU can supply AND your preferred reading distance.

Here is the amount of plus needed for reading at various distances:

+2.50 40 cm 16 in

+2.75 36 cm 14 in

+3.00 33 cm 13 in

+3.25 31 cm 12 in

+3.50 28.5 cm 11 in

The laws of optical physics dictate that it takes that amount of plus to focus at that distance and nothing can change that. The only variable is how much of that plus your ciliary muscles and crystaline lenses can provide, after applying your distance correction.

Now the bad news, it appears that you have developed early presbyopia which is not uncommon. If your add does increase, you might find trifocals more useful and comfortable. Trifocals provide an intermediate segment of typically about half the reading add, which is very handy for the computer. Surprisingly, trifocals can be less noticeable than higher plus bifocals because the transition (line) from one segment to the other is smaller, but unfortunately not invisible.

You could also consider supplemental clip-on glasses of various + powers if you just can't deal with bifocals.

It may be difficult, but try not to let vanity get in the way of seeing comfortably in all situations. That is the important thing in the final analysis.


Brian-16 15 Feb 2008, 04:58

Carrie-I am a tri-focal wearer and almost 21 and love em.Takes time for some folks to adapt.It should be easier at a young age to cope.

Carrie 15 Feb 2008, 03:12

New to this forum. I am 27, and since high school, needed "reading glasses". Back then they were just single vision glasses that I had to take off to see far. Don't know exactly what the rx was. In college, I had an eye exam, since I knew my old glasses weren't good enough. But then I was told I needed bifocals! Turns out I needed a slight rx for distance, plus my reading glasses.

Anyway, 7 years later, I have tried progressives and just don't like them. My new rx is

L +0.25X 0.5 axis 102

R +0.5X 0.5 axis 113

ADD +2.25

I know from reading posts here that young people do wear bifocals, but it seems like most have a stronger distance rx. I barely need glasses for distance, but can't read a thing without them. I don't like needing bifocals at a young age(I think everybody sees the line), but I pretty much wear them full-time, since its a pain to put them on and take them off constantly, and my arms aren't long enough anymore.

How much worse will my reading add get?

What will happen later in my 40's when "most people" just start to need a reading add, and I already have an add that seems strong?

Cactus Jack 11 Feb 2008, 06:25


Sometimes, BO prism, can help in focusing for reading because of the coupling mechanism in your brain between convergence (eyeturning inward to read) and the ciliary muscles for focus. By causing some additional convergence, the prism stimulates the focus mechanism to work a little harder. Because it didn't seem to help much in your case, it appears that your examiner decided to try a reading add to help. Apparently, the bifocals have worked because you indicate that they were immediately comfortable. Don't worry about the amount of the add. The +2.00 reading add is for functional purposes to provide reading comfort, not to correct for early onset of presbyopia. Everyone is different, just be glad there is a reasonable solution to your situation.

BTW, the BU prism is unrelated. The tiny vertical muscle imbalance was probably discovered trying to find the cause of your headaches.

Genchan 10 Feb 2008, 20:05

Hi there. A little while ago I posted that I had a prism rx that I got in September last year but until a few weeks ago I was having a few problems with them and went for a retest because of how prisms can change quite quickly. I however got a bit of a surprise rx.

Right -4.25, -0.75 180, 1BU prism

Left -4.75, -0.75 180

Add +2.00 both eyes

I'm 22 and this is my 1st pair of bifocals after wearing glasses for around 13 years.

I had 1D base out prism in both eyes but I had that removed because I was told it wasn’t relaxing my eyes the way they should but wasn't given a full explanation. Without them though I found I could see thing close up even worse then before so the add was given. Sense picking up the new glasses I've been very happy as they were easier to put on for the 1st time and never gave me a headache and also reading has become much easier and eyestrain isn't a problem so far ether but I kinda have a few questions.

Any explanation as to what could have been wrong with the BO prism sense it was removed, and also could it have anything to do with the add given?

Also the other thing is that I've noticed compared to others that have posted on this site my 1st add is a little higher then most posted and few are as strong as this. Also it's around +1 more then my farsighted younger sister that has had reading glasses for a few years now. Is there anything that hints at why I need a reading Rx like this already?


Walter1 22 Nov 2007, 12:13

Im a 19 yo college sophomore and high hyperope. Just got a new script +10.5 +4.25 x 40 add +2.5. Got my first bifocals at age 11, trifocals last year. The glasses only help for my LE, a stroke 2 years ago shut down the right side of my body.

prism-"victim" 18 Nov 2007, 02:34

cj, i don't have double vision after waking up, at least not that i noticed so far. about the 27 BO glasses, i have another exam the coming week just to make sure that the amount of prism hasn't changed. then i'll be getting my glasses.... hopefully prisms haven't gone up....

Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2007, 15:24


Your wife should see an Eye Care Professional, after work if possible, so he/she can see the problem. Her fundamental refractive error (if any) should be addressed before prism is considered.


Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2007, 15:19


Another easy test. Try to notice when you wake up in the morning if you see double for a few moments until your brain fuses the images. BTW, your astigmatism can cause an effect that looks like double images that are very close together.


Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2007, 15:13


I am not surprised that the reading glasses were not helpful, but the test was worth doing. In those instances, where the focus-convergence response is very strong, bifocals or glasses with increased plus keep the ciliary muscles relaxed and minimize the overconvergence tendency. In those instances, even though the solution is similar, presbyopia is not a factor. A term sometimes used is "functional bifocals".

Have you received your 27 BO glasses yet?


prism-"victim" 16 Nov 2007, 09:48

Cactus Jack

I tried what you told me. wearing reading glasses over my normal prism glasses dosn't really make a difference. although things appear bigger it is not so much of a relieve... i don't think i'm in need of an add yet.

the other test you told me was successful. meaning that if i have worn my prism glasses all day and take them off, fix my eyes on a object, close them and open them, there are in fact two images which rapidly move together, but without my glasses they don't completely converge/fuse. this is only possible in the morning, without wearing my glasses. then the image fuses more or less completely. hope this helps evaluate or propose other thoughts.

Chuck 16 Nov 2007, 09:31

If I had a cross eyed wife, I'd be calling the doctor, too.

Guest 16 Nov 2007, 07:13

John, you dont seem to have a lot of regard for your wifes eyesight, otherwise you would be asking that question to an optician, not a web site full of so called experts

John 16 Nov 2007, 05:08


When my wife gets home from work her eyes look very tired and turn in would prisms help

Macrae 15 Nov 2007, 17:41

Cactus Jack: thanks for the reassurance. I won't worry about occasional double vision. I never worried about it before - I thought of it more as an interesting and entertaining but useless ability. To answer your question: I'm an architect. I think of my background as being more art/design than technical, but it's both. I've always been the only architect I know who doesn't wear glasses and I kind of liked being the exception. They're so much a requirement and stereotype that the New York Times did a piece a couple years ago about architects and their glasses.

Bethanne 15 Nov 2007, 17:26

I guess I can enter the fray about prisms, I haave had them for several years, base out. My prisms combined with -14 to -16 glasses and horizontal cylinder correction makes my glasses 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick at the outside edge. My eye man has mentioned that high index is not a good solution, so I live with thick glasses. Now I think I need a change so have booked an exam over Christmas break.

Cactus Jack 14 Nov 2007, 21:22


If you want to simulate the line to see what it is like, get a thin gray thread and hold it horizontally across your glasses or better yet, see if you can get some some very thin monofilament fishing line (fly fishing leader would be about right).


Cactus Jack 14 Nov 2007, 21:18


low hyperopes of the world unite. You probably have a little muscle imbalance also, but at this point, we don't know if you eyes are trying to turn in or out, but if you are like most hyperopes, they may try to turn inward just a little when you try to focus. If it isn't giving you problems with your glasses, I wouldn't be too concerned because the glasses reduce your focus effort.

I have the impression that you may have a technical background. May I ask if this is correct and if so, what field?

Regarding tri-focals, I have had them for about 30 years. Others see the lines, but you don't see them because they are too close to your eyeball, it is just a very narrow area that is very blurry between large areas of very sharp focus. I would guess it would take a day of wearing them and you wouldn't notice them. I went from bifocals to trifocals and I may have been aware of them for 5 minutes.

Stay tuned, and I will try to include you in the discussion.


Macrae 14 Nov 2007, 18:01

Hmm.... so Cactus Jack, is being able to see double a symptom of something? Sorry to interject in the conversation, but reading your list of tests for "Victim" worried me a little. My eyes do that when I'm very tired. I catch them swimming around independently of each other - but as soon as I think about it they stop doing it. I can get it to happen on purpose, but I can't do it while wearing my glasses. It often happens for a bit when I first wake up in the morning too - there are two overlapping images that are crossed - i.e. the image from the left eye is seen on the right and vice versa - and it stops as soon as I think about it. It's something that's happened ever since I was a kid.

Cactus Jack 14 Nov 2007, 12:00


I suspect that you were a little hyperopic (far or long sighted) for many years befoe you got glasses, but you easily accommodated for that. Your astigmatism is enough to cause discomfort at all distances and be particularly annoying for reading.

There is a coupling mechanism in your brain that connects the focus response and the convergence response so that your eyes automatically converge when you need to add some plus to focus. Many hyperopes also have problems with their eyes trying to turn inward (converge) because they have to add plus even to see clearly at a distance. The convergence is not needed needed for distance vision only for close vision.

However, the need for prism can be caused by many other factors. Which can include muscle imbalance where some of your eye positioning muscles are too strong or too weak and also possible control nerve problems.

As a simple test, you might consider getting some inexpensive +1.25 or +1.50 over-the-counter reading glasses and try wearing them over your glasses with the 7 total BO of prism, while using your computer. The additional plus (based on the distance you provided) should allow your focus muscles to relax significantly and minimize the convergence response. This might help isolate the problem if it is an overconvergence problem.

Another test you might try while you are home watching TV after a day of work is: take off your glasses, close your eyes for a couple of minutes and try to relax. Then, try to notice, when you open your eyes, if you momentarily see double. You have to be quick, because it is likely that if you see double, it may only be for an instant until your brain responds and repositions your eyes to fuse the images.

Please let me know what tests you decide to do and the results.


prism-"victim" 14 Nov 2007, 09:21

1. The RX i provided is both for distance and close work (reading, computer and such)

2. I've been wearing glasses for about 5 years now. Although my Rx doesn't really seem strong I pretty much wore my glasses full time, because i can clearly see better with them than without them. I've worn them for all purposes...

3. I would say that my computer screen is between 60 cm and 70 cm from where i'm sitting, depending on how i sit (slouch in my chair or sit)

4. No, I've never worn prism before for any reason (didn't have glasses until 5 years ago)

Hope this helps.

Cactus Jack 13 Nov 2007, 20:06


Sorry to be so slow responding, I've been rather busy lately.

I did notice that your new Rx will be 13.5 in each eye for a total of 27, just a little less than my total of 30. With that Rx, each eye will be allowed to turn inward about 6.5 degrees.

Prism is used for helping with several problems and I need to ask a few more questions.

1. Is the Rx you provided. both for distance and close work or only for computer and reading?

2. How long have you worn glasses for any purpose?

3. I assume most of your work is done on a compter. About how far is the computer screen from your eyes?

4. Prior to this, have you ever worn prism for any reason such as amblyopia (when you were young)?


John 13 Nov 2007, 09:56

When my wife gets home from work her eyes look very tired and turn in would prisms help

prism-"victim" 13 Nov 2007, 08:39

not really confused, no. but thank you for the first piece of information. i don't know whether you noticed or not but my current prism rx is 14 all together (7 pdpt bo in each eye). but when i last saw my optician about two weeks ago he measured 13.5 pdpt b.o. in each eye, altogether 27 pdpt b.o.) i find that rather a big leap, the prism rx has basically doubled.... but i'm anxious about hearing that, i quote "some things that can be done optically that may reduce your need for prism". thank you.

Cactus Jack 12 Nov 2007, 09:20


Part 1

This post will be a little long with more to follow later.

I regularly wear 15 BO in each eye because of "fatigue" esophoria and when I am really tired, I occasionally have some problems with my eyes trying to turn even farther in. Sometimes when I am well rested, I can get by with 7 BO in each eye so I have been there and done that. I have also had some "minor" muscle surgery where the inside eye muscle (medial rectus) attach points were moved back about 5 mm. That helped for a while, but the problem returned.

Unfortunately, my experience has been that prescribing, making, and fitting glasses with prism is almost a lost art because most muslcle problems are corrected today by surgery. Hopefully, I can give you some tips.

A prism diopter is defined as that amount of prism that will displace a ray of light 1 cm at a distance of 1 meter. If you do the math (the angle whose tangent is 0.01 (1 cm divided by 100 cm)) results in the angular displacement of very close to 0.5 angular degrees per diopter. In your case 13.5 D will result in each eye turning inward a little less than 7 degrees. That seems like a lot, but it is barely noticeable to others.

Because you wear a low plus Rx, the outer edge of your glasses is normally thin. Even with CR-39 (the best choice in plastic because of its superior abbe value) the edges will not be very thick unless you wear very wide frames.

The most critical thing in making your glasses will be to adjust the PD (pupilary distance) for the displacement of your lines of vision. Few opticians today know that this must be done for the clearest vision with higher prism glasses. If not, you may notice that the "sweet" spot for each lens (location of clearest vision) is outside where you are looking. The adjustment for BO is about 0.25 mm per prism diopter (the actual amount depends on the distance from the center of your eyeball to the lenses of the glasses where your line of vision intercepts the lens). If your PD (each eye measured independently and added together is say 67 mm, then 27 x 0.25 = 6.75 mm and the glasses should be made with the optical centers of the lenses mounted with a PD of about 60 mm.

Are you confused yet?

There are some things that can be done optically that may reduce your need for prism. Stay tuned.


prism "victim" 12 Nov 2007, 08:28

i'll gladly give you my rx:

OD: +1.5 -0.75 100 7pdpt bo (base out)

OS: +1.5 -0.50 109 7pdpt bo (base out)

this is my current rx. nothing has changed except the prisms. they went up to left and right 13.5 pdpt bo.

I live in austria and am in journalism. i'm 30 years old.

thank you.

Cactus Jack 12 Nov 2007, 07:58


I'll do it here, but it will probably be lengthy and require several posts because of the 600 character limit.

Before I start, could you give me your complete Rx, age, where you live (country), and occupation. It will help me frame my answer.


Oscar 12 Nov 2007, 02:30

I've had prisms in my glasses since I was 11 (and should have had them before that), and I'm now 50. The prism part of my prescription has been quite stable for quite a few years now: 10 prism base out in both eyes. This means very thick lenses (and I've had the same experience as "prism victim" with hi-index materials - they really don't work well with strong prisms). My actual measurement is something like 12 base out prisms in both eyes, but I've been told by several eye doctors and opticians here in the UK that lenses cannot be ground to that prescription - 10 prisms are the highest any lab will go here, apparently - and certainly the thickness is rather extreme even with smallish lens size. The alternative is fresnel prisms which I loathe for lots of reasons, so I'm happy to stay with the thick glasses and the slight under-correction.

prism-"victim" 12 Nov 2007, 00:45

if you don't mind sharing your prism-experience with the rest of us, i'd rather that you do it here.... it might be of interest to some of us here.

what i'm really worried about is that before i was prescribed prisms my sight was more or less ok, no double vision, just sore eyes despite wearing my glasses all day... but now i have reached a point where there is talk about surgery which i'm really afraid of. what if they shorten the eye-muscles too much? will i still need prisms after the surgery? therefore i rather tend to reduce the prisms again until i reach a modest amount of let's say comfortable 5 to 7 prisms per eye. don't know if this is possible but i was told that you can always reduce prisms (and reach a sort of status quo....the sore eyes from before will be less sore but still....). don't know.... would be interested in your opinion and experience with high prisms (as i wrote i'll probably need around 27 prisms for the moment). with this amount of prisms (base out) i will most certainly appear rather cross-eyed, won't i? well, thanks for your time.

Cactus Jack 07 Nov 2007, 11:29


Don't think of yourself as a victim. I have considerable experience with high prism glasses. Please contact me at


A prism looks like a 3-dimensional triangle with 2 long sides and 1 short side. The short side is called the base of the prism.

High-prism, base out lenses will have thick outer edges and thin inner edges.

Actual thickness depends on index, lens width, and Rx.


Phil 07 Nov 2007, 02:58

What do high prism lenses look like?

prism-victim 07 Nov 2007, 02:23

since you started the prism topic i want to share my experience too... i was prescribed my first prisms in february (3.5 prisms base out in each lens), then in august they went up to 7 prisms per lens, 14 in total. a few days ago i went to the optician because vision was not as clear as it used to be and after a long day of work slight double vision set in. now i'm a bit at a loss because after measuring everything, doing the tests and such my optician told me that the prisms had gone up to 27 in total, which would result in 13.5 prisms in each lens, making them really, really thick (with low index glasses, which is recommended with higher prisms because with a higher index vision quality would decrease). the thing is that i'll probably go for it, because when my optician gave me the full amount of prisms vision was great and very comfortable. any of you with experience in prisms... do you reckon that the prisms will still increase? i'm a bit afraid of an operation, but at some point it will be inevitable, primarily for aesthetic reasons but also because the glasses will be rather heavy on my nose with so many prisms. i'd be glad if some of you could share personal experiences or give some advise.

thank you for your time.

DWV 04 Nov 2007, 00:06

Your best bet for computer progressives would be to just get regular progressives, but with the "distance" part of the lens set for the computer distance, and with an appropriately reduced reading add (so the reading power is the same as your normal glasses). Since you're now using a progressive lens with about 1/2 the add you use for distance/near glasses, the distortion to the sides will be much less, and the useful corridor will be wider. The only real problem is making sure the optician understands what you want, and that he/she/it writes the correct numbers on the order form. (I'm not kidding: I ordered bifocals made up like this, and the optician forgot to reduce the add power.) Bifocals made this way (intermediate/near) are another option. Cheaper, and clearer and larger intermediate and near portions than any progressive lens.

Roy 27 Oct 2007, 01:32


I too have quite a strong prism in my prescription but have found varifocals work perfectly for me. My prescription is right eye -4.00 cyl -1.00 at 90 degrees prism 9BO, left eye -6.50 cyl -0.5 at 90 degrees prism 7BO. At 60 years of age I need an add of 2.75.

For years I struggled with separate pairs of glasses for reading and distance as my optician told me that the significant difference in the right and left eye myopic correction combined with the prism would make me unsuitable for varifocals or even bifocals. Five years or so ago I took my prescription to different opticians and found one that was happy to prescribe varifocals. Despite warnings that I might find them difficult I adapted instantly and have never looked back. I was advised to have a fairly large frame with plenty of lens depth and to avoid "short corridor" varifocal lenses, and I took this advice. The result is fairly thick lenses on the outer edge (around 10mm) but this does not worry me. The only thing these varifocal glasses are not good for is intermediate (computer) use and I have separate glasses for this. I have read of varifocals specially designed for computer use with a larger mid-range zone which may allow me to dispense with separate glasses for intermediate distances. Has anyone tried these?

Jarred 26 Oct 2007, 13:22

I have a similar amount of prism in my prescription to you except mine is base out. R +1.50 -2.00 6BO L +1.75 -2.00 6BO with +2.00 add in trifocals.

being base out instead of base in the outside edges of my glasses are about 10mm thick with low index lenses, I have some glasses with high index lenses and they are about 7mm thick. I'm in my thirties as well and have been wearing bifocals and trifocals since I was at school to control accomodative esotropia. What CJ has said is absolutely right, the glasses are for your benefit not everyone elses. I have had one or two comments about my lenses over the years but it's just people being curious.

On the subject of varifocals, I have tried them a couple of times over the years but personally I have found that trifocals provide far superior vision, specifically a much wider intermediate section for computer screens. I would obviously rather not have lines showing on my lenses but ultimately the glasses are for my benefit not for everyone else. When I first got bifocals and trifocals with the prism in to relax my eyes I wished I'd known about the problem earler as made such an difference.

Give the varifocals a go if you can work with them then thats great, but don't be worried about lined trifocals, in my opinion they are even better. Mind you trifocal contact lenses with prism would be even better!

On the subject of opticians making the glasses properly, the last five or six pairs I have bought have taken at least two attempts to get right! In my experience if you think there is something wrong with the new glasses within an hour or so, take them back. On one occation (with an expensive optician as well) it took them three attempts and a month and a half to get the lenses right.

On the subject of surgery. With my glasses I am corrected to 20/20 and have no eyestrain. Taking that into account and the fact that glasses don't really bother me, I would have a lot to lose risking any surgery.

Sorry for rambling, I thought you may be interested in my experiences :)


Cactus Jack 26 Oct 2007, 06:28


I do not think there is any disadvantage to correcting vision so that your eyes and visual system work as they are supposed to. Vision should be with both eyes working together and it should be effortless and comfortable. Otherwise, the effort to achieve good vision significantly detracts from a good quality of life - unless vanity is an overriding consideration.

Lens thickness is determined by the laws of optical physics just as the laws of physics dictate how we use and control electrons, no matter how we might wish it to be different.

A very few people may notice the thicker inner edge, but a very thick outer edge is much more noticeable. I quit worrying about it long ago. I wear glasses for my benefit, not for theirs.

Deciding to have any kind of eye surgery is a very major decision (I've been there and done that). I've had cataract surgery and rectus muscle relocation in addition to heart surgery and hand surgery. While the idea of anyone working near my eyes with sharp objects is fearsome, the personal discomfort, pain and inconvenience is a lot less with eye surgery than with heart or hand surgery. Just make sure that whoever does it is the best and most experienced you can find. If you decide that surgery is warranted, the younger you are, the better.

If you want to discuss any of this privately, contact me at


GyT 26 Oct 2007, 01:11


Currently I am during the ordering procedure.

I decided that I would like to try the progressive lens(Varilux Physio). It must give me the right correction to middle distance too.

If I cannot get used to progressive, I will choose trifocal glasses.

Is here somebody, who has already used the Physio lens?

GyT 26 Oct 2007, 00:54

Cactus Jack,

Currently my 2*5BI prism helps me to relaxing my eyes, I have more vision comfort with them than without prism.

It is very good for me but don't need absolutely.

I think I can leave them rather then a surgery.

Now I got an incrase them to 2*7BI.

I hope this is my last value, because it is fairly thick in my glasses, I don't like increase more.

What do you think, should I have any disadvantage in the future if I use this glasses?

DWV 25 Oct 2007, 18:23


With an add of 1.75, you could also consider trifocals. Then you'd have a segment of the lens to use for things at "in between" distances, like the computer.

Cactus Jack 25 Oct 2007, 07:34


Yes, my eyes have a tendency to turn inward. I had a "minor" surgery where the attach point of my medial rectus muscles (the inside ones) were relocated about 5 mm back on each eyeball. It helped for a couple of years.

I live in Texas and semi-retired. My background is electronics, avionics, and computers.


BTW, One definition I heard of minor surgery is: "Surgery on someone else".

GyT 24 Oct 2007, 23:25

Cactus Jack,

Surgery.....It really scare me....

Did you have it?

I just read again my prescription, my PD's value is 72+3.

I think this "+3" is the shift.

My doctor has a good practise is prism lens, hi use pola-test to establish the degree of heterophoria alone in my region. He prescribe in a small, own optical store.

I will ask the replacing of progressive lens to bifocal or trifocal in the no adapt case.

I live in Europe, I am electical engineer. And you?

Cactus Jack 24 Oct 2007, 15:10


I do not think you will have difficulty getting used to the 14 BI or the +1.75 add. I would be concerned about the progressives being made correctly with the 14 Diopters of BI prism.

The critical factor is the proper positioning of the lenses in the frames so that the optical centers of the lenses coincides with your lines of vision. The problem gets more serious as the value of the prism and/or the Rx increases. Fortunately, your basic Rx is low, but progressives have a transition zone where the Rx transitions from distance to near. There will be a narrow "corridor" where distortion is minimal. Ideally, this corridor should be centered about the central axis of your vision.

Normally, when glasses are fitted, the PD is measured and the optical centers of the lenses are mounted that distance apart. If there is a reading add, the reading segment is mounted so that its optical center is about 4 mm less than the distance between the optical centers of the distance segment.

If there is significan base in or base out prism, the line of vision of each eye will be shifted in or out and the distance between the optical centers should be adjusted accordingly by about 0.25 to 0.33 mm per diopter. Unfortunately, fitting of prism glasses is not very common today, with the prevelence of muscle surgery to correct misalignment, and very few opticians know how to do it. I have worn 14 BO (or greater) lined triocals for many years and my experience is that 14 is about the upper limit of tolerance for no adjustment of PD for prism.

Progressives are much more critical than lined bifocals or trifocals because the corridor needs to be in the right place for where your eyes are pointing. I would almost be willing to bet that they won't get it right the first time if you decide to get progressives. If they are not right, have them remake them.

You sked about changes in your Rx. I suspect your sphere will not change much. Your add many increase a little, but it may take years. I would not be too surprised if your BI prism increased, but it may be possible to fix that problem with some muscle surgery.

May I ask where you live and your ocupation.


GyT 24 Oct 2007, 13:39

Cactus Jack,

Thank you for your answer.

Do you mean the 14BI prism is too hard or only together with 1.75 add progressive.?

I think I got used to my current correction (10BI) rather soon.

I think I really need the 1.75add to reading, because it was very comfortable without eye strain.

Do you think that my values will be changed significantly in the near future?


Cactus Jack 24 Oct 2007, 10:25


It appears that your problems is primarily Exophoria where your eyes are trying to turn outward. The 14 BI prism allows your positioning muscles to relax and not fight each other. The +1.75 add is probably more important in helping your eye muscle imbalance problem than helping you focus at close distances. I suspect that you will not have too much problem focusing to read without bifocals. You may have problems with double vision when you read without the prism correction to help your eyes converge to fuse close images.

As prism increases, it is very important to adjust the measured PD (pupilary distance) to move the optical center of the lenses outward (in the case of BI prism) by about 0.3 mm per diopter.

I suggest you strongly consider a lined bifocal to give you a wider field of vision with reduced edge distortion in the reading segment and reduced criticality in optical center location. If you decide to get progressives, be sure they will remake them in lined bifocals if you cannot adapt to the progressives. The 14 BI prism will make it harder to get used to them.


GyT 24 Oct 2007, 04:25

Hi! I am a 33 years old guy, I have worn glasses since I was 18.

I am nearsighted, my current prescription:

Left:-0.75sph, -0.5cyl 90degr. 5BI prism.

Right:-0.25sph, -0.5cyl 90degr. 5BI prism.

I have worn prism for 3 years. I started with 7.5, one year later the currently 10.

I was on eye test about 1 month ago, my new prescription:

Left:-0.75sph, -0.5cyl 90degr. 7BI prism. add:1.75

Right:-0.25sph, -0.5cyl 90degr. 7BI prism. add:1.75

So the prism is increased to 14 and the add is new for me.

Anyway, the reading with test lent was much more comfortable than my regular minus glasses.

I can see the small print yet, but I feel the eyestrain and sometimes headache if I read a lot.

If I see to farther then read the book (like in school), I need at least 3 seconds to focusing and after concentrate continuously.

If I start the wearing of bifocal, I am afraid some month later I will not able to reading without glasses or with my minus correction.

Is it possible?

Is here somebody with similar correction?

What do you recommend me, lined bifocal or progressive with this correction and why?

I think I will choose high index 1.67 lens.

Thanks in advance!

Julian 04 Sep 2007, 00:19

Sarah, do you realize it was a year and a day since you last posted on this thread? Nice to hear from you again - and best wishes!

SarahM 03 Sep 2007, 13:35

Well, I usually get an eye exam before school and this year was no exception, plus my vision didn't seem too crisp.

got an increase, RE went up 1dpt to +10, and LE up .75dpt to +8.75, no change in astig, or add it's still +2.50, and still with trifocals. But now I also have 3.5 base out prisms in both eyes. I also found out I have juvenile glaucoma which is being treated with drops now, will have surgery in Dec.

Mike popped the question on my birthday, we'll be married after graduation, next summer.

Mike has had a couple of increases and now has -17.0 both eyes and an add of +3.00. He also had a detached retina which is common with high myopes, and after 3 unsuccessfull tries, has only light and dark vision in his RE.

If anyone wants to correspond off line, I am sarah.mcmichael at hotmail dot com.

Martyn 11 Aug 2007, 03:18

Me,I,m with Talk Talk server, Try as i may I simply cannot get into lens chat.maybe your right I don,t even have the brains of 5 year old. LOL have a great weekend.

Willy 10 Aug 2007, 12:32

Charles -- I am going to respond to your poste over here in this thread where it is probably a bit more on topic.

If I understand you right, "desk glasses" might be the same as "computer glasses," which are basically a form of progressives where the top or distance part of the lens is actually set for an intermediate distance, so that one can focus on a computer or items further away on a desk. This means the add for the reading portion does not have to be as high, which means you can get a somewhat bigger reading area.

Me 05 Aug 2007, 12:14


What web browser do you use?

There is a hyper-link to 'lenschat' from the home page of this venerable site.

Just click on it, then register, it's simple a five year old would be able to do so.

Cactus Jack 04 Aug 2007, 20:36


There aer several typos in my post, but the important wone should read (65-75cm) toward the last.


Cactus Jack 04 Aug 2007, 20:32

Oops! The last post to Rachel was from me.


 04 Aug 2007, 20:31


I know you addressed the questions to Ricky and I hope you will forgive me for interjecting with some technical observations.

Myopia without correction is like having "natural" reading glasses. Because of a mismatch between the total of the plus power of your corneas and the RELAXED plus power of your crystaline lenses, versus the length of your eyeballs, your eyes focus much closer than the normal 20 feet or 6 meters. If you normally wear -7.00 glasses for for distance vision, your eyes focus at about 6.3 inches or 16 cm without your glasses (the distance stated is adjusted for vertex distance effects of glasses).

What this means is that if you read small print without your glasses it is like having a bifocal add of +7.00. +7.00 is over twice what the typical add for a bifocal of +1.00 to +3.50.

The amount of bifocal add depends on two things. The primary factor is your preferred reading disatnce - usually 16 inches or 40 cm. The secondary factor is the amount of plus power your crystaline lenses can supply.

The laws of optics say that if a person has 0.00 relaxed (distance) refractive error (corrected or uncorrected) it WILL require +2.50 diopters to focus an image at 16 in/40 cm. That +2.50 has to come from somewhere. Normally, that +2.50 is handily supplied by the crystaline lenses being squeezed by the ciliary muscles. If the crystaline lenses can't supply the additional plus, it must be supplied externally by reading glasses or bifocals or the image WILL be out of focus.

The next question is "Why can't the crystaline lenses do their job"? The most common answer is presbyopia where the lens has become so stiff or the ciliary muscles ahve become so deconditioned that it is no longer possible for the muscles to squeeze the crystaline lens enough to increase its plus power very much from the relaxed state. Another answer is that the lens is already squeezed about as much as it can be and it is producing all the plus it physically can. Also, if the crystaline lens is constantly being squeeed without relaxation, the lens and the ciliary muscles begin to have trouble relaxing.

This last answer tends to explain pseudomyopia and the difficulty newly diagnosed latent hyperopes have adjusting to wearing glasses. It can take weeks for ciliary muscles and crystaline lenses to relax. Both conditions are two sides of the same coin.

If I amy venture an opinion, If you are having trouble reading typical bookface type in normal light, you may need to consider bifocals to make it easier to read. If you begin to have trouble focusing at intermediate distances 25-30 inches (65-705 cm) you may need to consider trifocals. You might to mention to your examiner that you are having some trouble reading small print. However, if you have pushed your distance Rx very much, it will result in a suspiciously high reading add for first bifocals and may cause the examiner to re-check the distance Rx or suggest a dilated exam, which I don't think you want.

Oh, what tangled webs we weave . . .


Rachel 04 Aug 2007, 17:11

Ricky, I have been having to take off my glasses to read small print, that is why I am interested in your experiences that led to bifocals/trifocals. Thanks!

Martyn 04 Aug 2007, 13:27

Jennifer, Charlotte, or Emily please can you tell me how to sign up for chat scene, its in a language I don,t understand. Thanks

Another guest 04 Aug 2007, 00:11

Me thinks Rachel is the same person who chats in eyescene and uses many different names, Gemm/Chris/Carolyne/Kirst amongst them.

another guest 03 Aug 2007, 17:11

Maybe she changed her mind after she heard that the more minus a nearsighted person gets the more is it risky for a Retinal Detachment

Guest 03 Aug 2007, 14:30


I thought you wanted to get more myopic so why would you want bifocals that might stop it?

Rachel 03 Aug 2007, 13:18

My myopia is very progressive and I have wondered if bifocals/trifocals might be of help to me.

David P 30 Jul 2007, 02:57

Hi, I'm new, 19, upcoming sophomore at Gallaudet, and a long term high hyperope, esotrope, and bifocal wearer. Just got a new script with trifocals this time.

Left: +11.50 +4.50 x45 7BO Right: +10.00 +2.25 x45 7BO Add +2.75

Guest 03 Jun 2007, 23:49

Edit: Something a myope could never do.

Guest 03 Jun 2007, 23:48

Bifocal wearer, thank you for your reply. I hope it goes well with your daughter.

Years ago, I had a fellow worker who wore glasses which were somewhere around +6D. She would wear them only half the time, I even saw her read and work on the computer without them. I was always fascinated by the way a hyperope can accomodate even at higher perscriptions, and manage without glasses. Soemthing a myope could nevr do.

bifocal wearer 03 Jun 2007, 04:22


Yes i did try my mothers glasses on when younger. She wore contact lenses at the time and had a pair she put on for reading while her contacts were in, i am not sure but i think they were about +2 or in that region. I can remember putting them on and being surprised at how clear things looked with them on. This was sometime before my mother took me to get glasses, i never told her how things were in them because i did not want glasses myself.

I now know that was a silly thing to do, and try to encourage my daughter to wear hers, but its hard going at times, i hope when she picks up her new glasses she will wear them more.

guest 03 Jun 2007, 00:54

Bifocal Wearer, I know a woman who wears +7.5D, her daughter is also a hyperope, and her mother and grandmother have been hyperopes as well. Her son, on the other hand, has perfect vision. This reminded me of your case.

I was wondering: did you ever try your mother's glasses as a child? Were you happy to become "like her" glasses-wise?

As you are quite young, it might be that your current add (+2d) is still only a part of your latent hyperopia, to become manifest at a much later age.

Curt (not the original) 02 Jun 2007, 16:31

Picked up my new glasses early this afernoon. Chose some nice plastic frames with progressive lenses. Have been wearing them constantly the past few hours trying to get used to them, since I have only worn reading glasses before this. Anyway, things seem fine as long as I don't look through the sides of the lenses. Will let you know how things go. Thanks to all of you for the good advice.

Slit 02 Jun 2007, 02:32

Hi Bifocal Wearer,

If you are the same old bifocal wearer who started bifocals at 25, no need to reply.

I asked this question just in case if some new bifocal wearer has entered Eyescene.

Slit 02 Jun 2007, 02:19

Hi Bifocal Wearer,

How old were you when you started needing separate glasses to read?

What was your distance & near prescriptions at that time?

Bifocal wearer 01 Jun 2007, 08:44


Yes i agree that the straight line type of bifocals are far better than the d type, at least i found that to be the case. It does make the bottom half of my glasses that much thicker but that is a small price to pay for having glasses that you feel comfortable in.

Phil 01 Jun 2007, 04:52

Bifocal wearer

Of course I'm not sure I'm right: it may just be co-incidence.

When I used to hear that people had trouble with varifocals I didn't believe it because my first three pairs were excellent. But now that I have had my most recent pair I'm not at all dismissive: I know exactly how they can make you feel and it's horrid. It may be woth another try one dasy but if you are happy with bifocals there may be no point.

My experience of bifocals is confined to a couple of very cheap pairs I got on the internet. They are both excellent. I tried the D shaped and straight-line types and think the latter are better. Do you agree? I don't think they look bad. Indeed on a young woman I find them extremely attractive: interesting and sexy. And, as you say, if you can see well with them then that's great.

Bifocal wearer 01 Jun 2007, 04:40


I hate to say you are wrong, but my progressives were zeiss lenses and beleive me they were not cheap. They made my eyes feel awful, but again, that may have just been me. At the end of the day Phil, i am happy to wear bifocals, the main point being i have good vision close and distant with them on. Thanks for replying

Phil 01 Jun 2007, 04:22

Bifocal wearer and Curt (not the original)

I have had a few pairs of progressives. With my most recent pair (which have thinner lenses from Vision Express) I have had the same experience as you bifocal wearer. But my earlier pairs (D&A with Zeiss lenses) were great. I found the most recent of those last weekend and tried them again: no waviness or wobbles, whereas my current ones make me feel sick.

I think the morale is that, to get a decent result with progressives, one needs top quality lenses.

With lined bifocals, on the other hand, lense quality seems to affect only appearance not vision.

Bifocal wearer 01 Jun 2007, 03:54

Curt (Not the original)

I found out that i just could not get on with the progressives Curt, it was like looking at a wavy river, and everything seemed to jump around. I tried for over 2 weeks but in the end i went back to my optician and obtained a seperate pair of reading glasses. That was nearly as bad, keep going into my handbag to change my glasses whenever i wanted to look at something close, and at work i was constantly changing them every few minutes. A friend at work had bifocals with the lines in, and she offered them to me to try on. Her rx must have been quite similar because i thought they were great, all i had to do was move my head up or down and i had distant and close vision. I went straight back to my optician and ordered a pair there and then, and thats over 4 years ago, and i am still very happy with them. I did have concerns about the line in them, but very few people even noticed unless i pointed it out. Hope this helps you to decide, anything else you want to know, just ask.

Curt (not the original) 01 Jun 2007, 03:22

Thanks bifocal wearer---I am thinking about filling the prescription this weekend. You seemed to recommend lined bifocals over progressives---could you give me your thoughts about this?

bifocal wearer 01 Jun 2007, 01:26

Curt (Not the original)

I dont think you will regret going for the bifocals once you find out how easy it makes life. I was a bit like you and did not like the idea, but after a few weeks of keep changing my glasses at work, i thought this is silly, and having tried the progressives and not got on very well at all, went for bifocals. It was a good decision, i can read, see distance all without going into my handbag and finding another pair of glasses when i want to go from distance to close. Let me know how you get on if you decide to have them.

Curt (not the original) 31 May 2007, 15:52

Geoff, I am probably going to give in and fill the bifocal prescription. The reading glasses are difficult and work--having to take them off and on in order to see clearly at a distance. Not happy about this---but I guess bifocals are in Curt's (not the original) future.

Eyeman 31 May 2007, 07:34

It's good you wear your glasses with pride Bifocal Wearer. I'm not surprised that you get positive comments. I imagine that you look very attractive in your specs. your being happy in glasses will help enormously. And the fact that they are bifocals just makes them that little bit more interesting still!

bifocal wearer 31 May 2007, 07:24

that should read, my frames are quite big

bifocal wearer 31 May 2007, 07:23

hi eyeman.

I asked the optician about the possible need she would have for bifocals but she said its too early to tell, she may follow in my footsteps and need the quite young, i was only 25 when i had my first pair. My frames are square, dark brown plastic with the regular executive bifocal lenses. The frames are quite, because i prefer to have a good reading and distance area. I think i may look at the high index options when i need new glasses, these i have are a bit thick on the lower half, the reading part, but they still look ok, i have had lots of nice comments about them, and dont mind in the least that i have to wear bifocals, after all, its just an aid to seeing clearly and no big deal.

My daughter has improved a bit about wearing hers, and i think once she has them changed, she will need to wear the more. The optician told her by not wearing them as she was told to, will not be doing her eyes any good, i suspect this frightened her a bit, it will be interesting to see if i have to keep chasing her up to put them on.

Eyeman 31 May 2007, 05:34

Bifocal wearer,

I remember you saying that you had quite a jump to your second rx too. You seem to have such a good attitude to glasses-wearing that I'm sure it will rub off on your daughter.

Do you think she'll need bifocals soon?

What sort of frames and lenses do you have? Do you wear thin lenses?

bifocal wearer 31 May 2007, 02:46


We spoke a while back ref bifocals. I thought you may like to know that my daughter has had her eye test now and as i thought, she needs them changing. It appears she is following the same pattern i did. Anyway, her new rx is Right +3.25 L+3.50, quite a hefty jump for a young girl, but the optician said she will need one or two more changes before she can wear the rull rx that she will require. Thanks for taking an interest

Geoff 30 May 2007, 12:11

Curt, I was wondering if you had gotten your bifocals yet or are you still using the OTC readers?

Cactus Jack 13 May 2007, 10:47


Once one gets past a certain point in bifocal add power - with blurry; dashboards, computer screens, top portions of large blueprints, and sore neck muscles from looking thru the add - trifocals get more and more attractive.

The experience in your family certainly tends to support the hypothesis that there is a genetic component in high myopia.

There was some research at the Johns Hopkins School of Opthalmology on a genetic defect that caused the retina not to produce a certain hormone they had discovered which affects eyeball growth. The research was related to nanophthalmia where apparent lack of this hormone caused the eyeball not to grow properly and the person wound up very hyperopic. Perhaps too much of this hormone is what causes the eyeball to grow too long.

It might be an interesting field of medical research in which you have a vested interest. Perhaps a similar hormone exist in animals. Something has to control eyeball growth.


Martin 13 May 2007, 08:31

Sorry it has been so long between posts but we have has some ISP problems.

Eustace - I would categorize most of my cousins in the moderate range, -4 to -8 or so.

One other family is much like ours, my Dads closest brother, also married a high myope and all 4 kids (1F, 3M) are double digit myopes with bifocals/trifocals. Of course, that family and mine go to the same Dr & he is a believer in bifocals over -9 to -10.

My younger brother had a 1.5 increase to -16.5 and now has trifocals.

I kind of wish I had gotten trifocals as the dashboard and computer screen are a little tough. Maybe when I go back in Aug. before college. I wiill be going to Cornell in a veterinary program this fall.

Geoff 10 May 2007, 18:20

Carlos, I likehelping people understand that bifocals can be of benefit to people under 40. Rick was having to take his glasses off for close-up work, but now does not a have that problem with bifocals. I think he would attest to the success of bifocals on a younger person.

Cactus Jack 09 May 2007, 17:20


May I ask your Rx.


Danny 09 May 2007, 15:49

I know what you mean, I've haad bifocals since i was 14 and since 19 each optician has been convinced that I should have varifocals - no-one has ever mentioned trifocals.

It's now that it it is almost impossible to even get bifocals. Most opticians that I visit are happy to sell me 2 pairs of glasses.

cut-in UK  09 May 2007, 15:37

On a technical note Phil, I wonder just how many UK people are into trifocals. I don't think this is something that the UK optical industry has yet got to grips with. Varifocals (progressives) are a big earner in the multi-branch optical chains and they, to a large extent, dictate the pace of technical progress. I see great merit in the trifocal lens but the UK optical industry hasn't yet embraced it's many advantages. Surprising, in the age of computer domination! Any UK O-O's had any experience ?

vodka.boy 09 May 2007, 15:31

Phil. Feel free to email me on

Phil 09 May 2007, 10:19

I am still trying to locate just one myopic gwg, under 40, in the UK, who wears bifocals, trifocals or progressives. I do not believe that such a creature exists. Is there such a perfect creature out there?

Carlos, Jr 09 May 2007, 10:13

Hi Geoff, Carlos III is doing pretty good with the bifocals. Is wearing them most of the time, even when reading close-up. I am hopeful that he will "grow out" of them in a year or two. Do you have any knowledge of teens in bifocals? I know you are an advocate of bifocals for younger people--based on your encouragement to Rick several years ago.

Geoff 07 May 2007, 12:41

Just sit tight with the progressives---you will get used to them. If not, you might want to take Carlos' advice. by the way----Carlos, how is Carlos III doing with his bifocals?

Ricky 03 May 2007, 10:35

Hi Carlos, I am unsure about contacts because my prescription seems to be changing pretty rapidly. I never wore glasses until age 42 when I had to get a pair of reading glasses. Then, I noticed my distant vision deteriorating. In 8 years, I am on my 4th pair of glasses. (2 pairs of readers and 2 pairs of multi-focals).

Carlos, Jr 03 May 2007, 04:36

Ricky, I tried progressives for a while, but was not satisfied. Have since switched to contacts and use half-frame reading glasses for close-up work. Has worked fine for me.

Bifocal wearer 03 May 2007, 00:38

Looking at my typing mistakes in my last post, i think mum may want her glasses changed as well.

Bifocal wearer 03 May 2007, 00:37


Thans for you very kind comments. I am hoping my daughter grows up and is quite happy with her glasses, at the moment she is not that keen, and if i dont chase her up, she tends to leave them off if she can get away with it.

I was told my my optician that it was important that she wore them full time so her eyes could adjust, and he could then change her rx and get closer to what she needed. Her next exam is due at the end of this month, it will be interesting to see how she gets on. I seem to remember that my first change was a quite hefty jump, from my starting rx. I am keeping my fingers crossed she will not need much more correction. But we can only wait and see.

Slit 02 May 2007, 08:20

Bifocal Wearer,

First i must say that you have an excellent attitude towards bifocals...

The way you tackled the comments of your friends was very cool!

I also agree, there is no much big deal about wearing glasses but some people question about the line yet.

I asked about your prescription in order to see the pattern of changes in prescription over time. It is some common question we ask from any newcomer to eyescene, because that information becomes valuable when predicting the future rx changes in any Eyescene visitor.

Ricky 01 May 2007, 17:17

Hi Carlos, the progfessives will take some adjusting to. It's strange when looking toward the sides---sort of a swimming feeling. Anyway, I am sure it will work out fine.

Carlos, Jr. 01 May 2007, 05:58

Ricky, what do you think of the progressives? Am interested in your reaction after wearing lined bifocals.

BTW, I seem to remember a Ricky on this thread who wore bifocals/trifocals----but I think he was nearsighted.

Ricky 29 Apr 2007, 06:54

Mark, I had my eye appointment last week. It turned out that I needed an increase in my distance prescription- going from +1.25 to +1.75. Also, the dr. suggested that I check into progressives for a smoother range of vision. I Got the new progressives yesterday. a little strange, but I will adjust.

Is there another Ricky interested in trifocals?

Mark 29 Apr 2007, 04:47

Ricky,how did your eye appt.go? Were you prescribed trifocals. BTW, are you the same Ricky that was talking about getting trifocals last year?

Bifocal wearer 29 Apr 2007, 00:30

sorry two types, cant type that good today

Bifocal Wearer 29 Apr 2007, 00:28


Why is it such a big deal anyway when you wear bifocals and you are quite young. The fact that i need them has never bothered me, even when a few friends have commented on the lines i have in mine. I just tell anyone that asks, i need to types of glasses, one for reading and close work and one to see clearly at distance, and wearing bifocals saves me keep changing over my glasses. I do have one pair with just the reading rx in, which i use if i am doing close work for a prolonged period of time.

Bifocal wearer 28 Apr 2007, 08:50


To answer your questions in order.

my first rx as far as i can remember was L+2.50 R+2.75, and i can remember that in the first 18 months this changed a few times, my optician said i had to adjust to this prescription before he could give me closer to what i needed.

My daughters first presciption was quite similar to my first one she had R+2.00 L+2.50.

my mum was not surprised slit when i was told that i needed reading glasses on top of my distance, she said, ah, you are taking after me, i am not surprised at that,

Slit 28 Apr 2007, 08:25

Bifocal wearer,

Its great that you had an understanding mom. Many moms just take kids for a vision test that will test only distant vision using reading chart. Many opticians dont chack for hyperopia.

What was your first prescription?

What was your daughters first prescription?

What was the reaction of your close family members when they saw you first time on Bifocals?

Brian-16 27 Apr 2007, 05:45

Cactus Jack-I do know that my actual pd as written on the rx is 63.Not sure what the optical lab does.But I have had no discomfort since starting with prisms.

Cactus Jack 26 Apr 2007, 16:06


If I recall correctly, you also have about 6 BO in each eye. Do you know if they adjusted the PD for the additional convergence required for the prism both for distance and near vision. I wear 15 BO in each eye and have had problems because no one seems to know how to adjust the PD for high prism anymore. The result is the optical center is not coincident with my visual axis which results in loss of acuity and some distortion. Accorking to my calculations the adjustment needs to be about 0.25 mm per prism diopter or 3 mm for a total of 12 diopters. The reason is similar to there being 2 PDs for bi and trifocals, one for distance and one for near.

I don't have a very high Rx and didn't have problems until the prism go over 10 BO in each eye. With your higher Rx, it might be more critical.

Just curious.


Brian-16 26 Apr 2007, 05:37

Ricky-Go for it! My glasses are a little larger (height) to handle the tri-focals.I guess the height of the lenses is around 40mm.Am wearing ft-35's.(+3.25).Now my younger brother has an rx for tri's and is looking forward to getting them this weekend.Both he and I are book worms and prefer close reading.My bifocal portion is not good for the dashboard in the car but the trifocal is perfect at that range.

Ricky 26 Apr 2007, 03:49

Looks like trifocals are in my future. Am going to the eye doctor today to get some correction for my midrange. Would be interested in hearing of other's experience with trifocals. I have found bifocals to be a good thing.

Bifocal wearer 24 Apr 2007, 08:48


It was my mother who took me, i started complaining of headaches and when i read for a long time it hurt my eyes. I think she knew the signs because i can remember her saying, i think its glasses for you young lady. And she was correct, a week or so later i had my first pair of glasses and as far as i can remember, they cured the headaches and made reading far easier. And watching the TV was also good, that used to hurt my eyes after a while, but once i got the glasses, it was fine.

Fran 24 Apr 2007, 02:03

Bifocal Wearer. What signs did you have when you went to the doctor at 14, I mean what made you go, did you know you needed glasses or was you having problems with seeing things.

Bifocal wearer 23 Apr 2007, 23:28


My current RX is R+6.25 L+7.00 with and add of +2 for both eyes. After several changes to my rx in the first 18 months of having glasses, my rx is now pretty steady, apart from a couple of small adjustments over the years.

My daughter is on her first pair, but has been told she will need stronger when she can adjust to the rx she has been given at the moment. My Mother was also longsighted, but whether that makes any difference i dont know. My son has perfect eyesight at the moment, and i hopt it stays that way

Geoff 23 Apr 2007, 19:27

Bifocal wearer---do you know your prescription?

Bifocal wearer 23 Apr 2007, 09:53

I meant to add that i have two children now, a boy of 4 and a girl of 6. The boy show no sign of following in his mums footsteps by needing glasses but my daughter got her first pair a few months ago. Not sure if anyone is interested in that, but i include it anyway

bifocal wearer. 23 Apr 2007, 09:35

I was only 25 when i was told that i needed to wear bifocals, and like others i have seen in her, had problems with the progressive lenses. In the end, i just bit the bullet and went for the lined executive type. I am now 29 and would not be without them. I have worn glasses since i was 14 years old, when i was told my the doctor i was long sighted.

glassesgirl 22 Apr 2007, 18:17

I am 28 years old and I have been wearing lined bifocals for several years. I am very nearsighted, so my doctor prescribed bifocals to help my eyes focus better when I am reading. My add is only +1.50. I very happy with lined 28mm flat top bifocals even though people older than me usually wear them. I wore progressives at one time, but I was unhappy with them.

Slit 22 Apr 2007, 08:31

Phill & Joey,

Well, to my most interest, i saw a girl of about 28-30 with bifocals the other day.

Bifocals were prescribed over a minus rx.

In Sri Lanka (my country), bifocals is considered as the last option by the old generation of optometrists and the ODs. But the new generation of opticians & ODs seem to prescribe more and more bifocals, because their belief is accurate sight is more important than the old generations conceptions that bifocals is for OLD people.

However, so far i have seen only about 6 people in 20's having bifocals in contrast to the huge number of the myopes.

Carlos, Jr. 21 Apr 2007, 13:11

Oops, 10-day business trip.

Carlos, Jr 21 Apr 2007, 13:10

Just returned from a 20-day business trip and eas pleased to see Carlos III doing his homework wearing his glasses. Maybe my absence of nagging prompted him--who knows, but for the last three days he has worn them non-stop.

Phil 20 Apr 2007, 04:49

Joey, I bet you are not in the UK. It seems that, in the States and elsewhere, myopes who haven't got to the "normal" age for prebyopia (mid-40s?) often get bifocals to make close work easier. Sounds like you needed help.

I've never met any myope in the UK who has been prescribed bifocals in their teens, 20s or 30s: I think it does sometimes happen with the farsighted. Is there any gwg out there who is the exception to my "rule"?

I could have done with bifocals from the time when I got my first (-2) specs when I was at university. I remember being told to put them on and wear them fulltime. I meekly obeyed and then went to write a cheque to pay for them! I couldn't believe how hard it was to focus. I remarked on it to the optician but was ignored.

I wouldn't worry about a +2 add. So long as you can see! And it will make for an amazingly attractive pair of specs! What sort of lenses do you have? In what frames?

Slit 19 Apr 2007, 06:57

HI Joey, Welcome to Eyescene!

Well, getting +2 as the initial bifocal is too high or too low depends on your prescription before bifocals were prescribed.

Plus, the history of your eyesight will also matter. So would you mind answering...

1. What was your prescription immediately before bifocals were prescribed?

2. What was your first prescription?

3. At what age you were first prescribed glasses?

4. What was the most immediate reason for first prescription? (eg. Headaches while reading, difficulty in reading things near or far...)

joey  18 Apr 2007, 20:03

I just found this sight looking for info....Just picked up my first pair of bifocals. I am a little afraid of them right now. My distance prescription did not change - but I did get a +2.00 that I did not have before. The last time I had an exam three years ago, the doc told me that it was my choice if I was ready for bifocals - but I would definately need them in another year or two. I have noticed that my near vision was not what it should be. I have noticed that I have been looking out of the bottem of my glasses - I am not sure when that started. When I wear my contacts, I have used the trick of ordering what someone else has ordered because I couldn't read the menu but did not want to admit it. My boyfriend got bifocals about a year ago and told me to be careful because you get dependent on them pretty quick... I am "fairly" young - only 37. Is it true that the more you get used to the bifcals - the more you need them? How stong of an add is a +2. I did wear them to the gym tonight and lifting weights and the treadmill was a different experience...........

Guest 15 Apr 2007, 12:10

I can see that for computer work the -1 would be helpful, I was thinking you were meaning the bifocal was just for reading.

 15 Apr 2007, 09:29

Guest. My old distance RX was -2. Taking my glasses off in work woud be very impractical as if I was to do that, my screen would be out of focus. Part of my job is to check costs of job files against the costs shown on the computer system to make sure the bills we send out to clients are correct.

Guest 15 Apr 2007, 00:02

To the poster with no name

Is the -2.25 for distance a new prescription too? I presume that you wear your glasses fulltime but had you ever considered taking them off for reading?

Cactus Jack 14 Apr 2007, 12:51

Good thinking. Bifocals for many people who are nearsighted are just weaker at the bottom.


 14 Apr 2007, 12:24

Thanks Cactus. I was just on the phone to my mother and she mentioned that she is due for an eye test and I just said yeah, I just got new glasses (she is a keen one when it comes to glasses) and she knows that I have been having headaches so she said "let's hope they sort your headaches out then" and I said yes I hope so, I have been given glasses that are weaker at the bottom. She replied "like reverse bifocals" (she always associates a + reading area with bifocals) so I just said yes something like that.

Cactus Jack 14 Apr 2007, 12:03

If you have worn glasses for a long time and unless you changed your frames or unless your folks really pay attention to such things, it is doubtful they would even notice. You might just mention that you got some new glasses and let it go at that without being too specific. Your add is really very low and they would fall into the "functional bifocal" class.


 14 Apr 2007, 11:18

I've just been prescribed a reading add to help with eyestrain from doing a lot of reading with a lot of computer use in work. I just go them today and they make reading a lot easier. At 26, Should I tell my folks before I see them next as even though I went for varifocals I think you can see the change in the lens. my new rx is -2.25 add +1.25

Clare 08 Apr 2007, 23:33

Carlos Jr - Carlos I'm close to your son's prescription (-2.75 and -3, no sastigmatism to speak of ) and though I wear contacts for work I'm more than happy to wander around at home without them so maybe Trey's attitude isn't so unusual. It's very subjective, I have a friend whose prescription is -2.50 and is never without some form of correction. But Cactus Jack's right, as your son's prescription increases then he won't be able to exercise such choice - so best he does so now!

Carlos, Jr 08 Apr 2007, 03:49

Thanks for your advice. I have spoken to Carlos Trey about the need to wear the glasses more---apparently he has been a pretty full-time wearer at school---he just says that when he is home, he likes a break from them every now and then.. He was wearing them while doing his homework the other day---but would rather squint when watching TV. Oh well---the life of a 14-year old with glasses. Anyway, you are right Cactus---the day will probably come shortly that he will WANT to wear them full-time---judging by the rapid myopia progression we have seen.

Cactus Jack 06 Apr 2007, 10:44


Re: Hearing Loss experience. I don't want to bore the group. Please contact me at


Eustace 06 Apr 2007, 09:54


You may have posted this information before, but I can't find it: I am wondering how old you are now? Have you considered trifocals? (I have worn trifocals for years--and find them much more satisfactory than either progressives or bifocals. Indeed, I don't think I could use a computer without them.) I am also interested in the genetic factors in hearing loss. (I am beginning to think that I should have a professional hearing assessment --though I don't know of anyone in my very small family with hearing problems.) Are there other members of your family with hearing loss? When did you first begin wearing hearing aids? Do you have the type that fit behind the ears--or the little ones that you just insert in the ear? Hope I'm not asking too many questions, but I am interested.

Eustace 06 Apr 2007, 09:42


The genetic strain for myopia in your family seems pretty obvious. I think it is amazing that 23 of your 24 cousins are myopes. Are some/most of them extremely myopic--or are they all over the chart, so to speak?

AA 06 Apr 2007, 05:27

To Sarah M, have a lovely happy Easter, hope your relationship is going good, and maybe we will hear some good news about it future, Not seen you in here lately, miss your posts. Happy Easter to you and your biyfriend. Take care AA

Julian 06 Apr 2007, 02:22

Carlos Jr: I've been following the saga of your Carlos III's bifocals with interest, but haven't posted till now because I didin't seem to have anything to say. You don't seem to have mentioned what his old Rx was. I remember you posted a few times last year when he got his first glasses (your referring to him as Trey rang a bell) but I can't find the posts - do you remember which thread they were on?

As Cactus Jack says, it's quite common for newly-corrected myopes to have trouble getting their ciliary muscles to work; I've known several who would always take their glasses off to read. Two doctors seem to have stressed full-time wear without really explaining why: it seems to me that if Trey is content with how he sees bareyed there's no point in putting pressure on him. Another year and another dioptre and he'll be keen enough to wear his specs full time!

Cactus Jack 05 Apr 2007, 16:25

Carlos Jr.

If I recall, Trey is -2.75 in each eye with little or no cylinder. If this is right, without correction his eyes would focus at about 14 inchex or 36 cm whic in efffect is like wearing +2.75 reading glasses or the reading segment in -2.75 bifocals with a +2.75 add.

If he has become used to this situation, he may be perfectly happy wearing his glasses only for distance. When he wears the +1 bifocals for reading his ciliary muscles are having to work to supply whatever additional plus he needs to focus at his prefered reading distance. In effect, he may have developed sort of "induced early presbyopia" (if there is such a condition).

It is also possible that he has received some negative comments in school about wearing bifocals. Teenagers are notorious for loudly pointing out any perceived "weakness" in others to try to reinforce their own very weak egos. You might ask him very gently if other boys or girls in his class wear glasses or more importantly biocals and if any of his classmates have given him any grief. At 14, peer pressure can be rough.

If so, you may have to consider either progressives or simply another pair of glasses. Same frames, with a bit less minus for reading.

If you want to discuss this more privately, please feel free to use


Carlos, Jr 05 Apr 2007, 15:03

Looking for advice as apparently Carlos III has reverted to part-time glasses wear. several times I have caught him with the glasses in his shirt pocket. He days he doesn't mind wearing glasses--just not all the time. Only for distance.

Curt 05 Apr 2007, 12:16

Otto: Given that she complains about "find ing the right place to look" on the lens, I will bet that her specs are progressives. I've been told that the higher the add, the more edge distortion there is in progressive lenses. I am at +2.00, and it is just becoming noticable.

OttO 05 Apr 2007, 10:47

Renee -

Once your add is 2.00 or more you may need trifocals to see at mid distance clearly.

If you don't need trifocals you should be able to see mid distance clearly with either your distance or near vision lenses. Try viewing at arms length and just beyond, things such as the auto dash board, computer screen, items on shelves in the supermarket or book store / library. They should all be clear using either lense. If you have problems focusing in any of these situations, you may very well want to go back and discuss the possibility of trifocals.

I had this very problem two years ago. Gave me a prescription for bifocals with an add of 2.25. Didn't work. I went back and insisted on trifocals. Problem solved.

Curt 05 Apr 2007, 09:44

Renee: That is a pretty hefty increase in prescription, even over a 3 year period. Your right eye went up 0.75 in sphere & 0.75 in cylinder, while your left went up 1.00 in sphere and 1.25 in cylinder. Plus, your bifocal add went up 0.75 as well.

If you are still having trouble with them, you may want to consider going back to the eye doc and explain that they seem too strong. You may be overprescribed, or you may just need a little longer to adjust to them.

Good luck!

Edmund 05 Apr 2007, 08:41

Renee, are they regular bifocals or progressives? If they are regular bifocals maybe you need trifocals or consider progressives?

Renee 04 Apr 2007, 23:28

I am having trouble adjusting to my new glasses. They are definitely stronger. I can see more easily, and I am wearing them constantly. But it is confusing especially going from reading to distance and back to find the right place to look. Maybe I have the wrong type of lenses?

Old prescription from 3 years ago was

R +0.50 -0.50 75 add +1.75

L +0.50 -0.25 90 add +1.75

New prescription from last week is

R +1.25 -1.25 75 add +2.50

L +1.50 -1.50 90 add +2.50

Julian 04 Apr 2007, 11:40

As I've mentioned before, the laws of genetics are not all that simple. It is quite common for a characteristic to skip three generations and reappear in the fourth. On the other hand one sees families of high myopes, or of hyperopes, or with similar strabismus.

In one of he novels ('More work for the undertaker') Margery Allingham describes "the most aggressively legitimate son Mr Campion had ever seen" She isn't referrin to eyesight here, but she adds that all that was need to make the son the image of his father was "a few puffs from the bicycle pump of the years" We've all seen families like that, haven't we?

danny 04 Apr 2007, 11:23

but then again, i have 2 brothers, 2 sisters and only 1 wears glasses about -1.

I'm only -18 and -19 with prisms and bifocals since the age of 9 and now even with hearing aids im having to lip read more and more.

perhaps the milkman wore glasses

Martin 04 Apr 2007, 10:46

Aubrac & Cactus

I think the idea of genetics does play a role here. My Dad's siblings (3 male 1 female) are all significant myopes as were his parents. All except 1 of my 24 first cousins are myopes. We don't know much about my Mom's family as her parents died when she was young.

There really seems to be nothing to indicate that bifocals or trifocals had an influence on progression. Both of my folks got bifocals when they were in college.


Everyone is near 20/20. My younger brother says he thinks he needs an increase and is going to the Dr next week.

Aubrac 04 Apr 2007, 00:19

It does seem that there is a stringer genetic link in a family of high myopes.

As I said in an earlier link, my parents had v good eyesight but I am a -5, and my sisters -6 and -1.5. My teenage kids have perfect eyesight as do my low myope sister's but my higher myope sister has four kids with between -3 and -6 scrips although both their husbands only wear readers.

Maybe there are more factors than genetics at work here.

Cactus Jack 03 Apr 2007, 11:30


Thanks for the information. It certainly lends credibility to the theory that at least some myopia has a genetic link. Is there any evidence that bifocals or trifocals have had any effect on the rate of increase?


Brian-16 03 Apr 2007, 08:34

Martin-Your rx and family members are up around mine(-13) with prisms and tri-focals.Was wondering if you all have 20/20 corrected.Mine is 20/25.

Martin 03 Apr 2007, 07:25

Cactus Jack,

I am 17, a high school senior and will be 18 early next month.

I am in a family of high myopes all with bifocals, so my getting bifocals was not a shock, plus our doctor pretty much says they are necessary above -9 to -10. My astigmatism is the highest, and I am the only one with prisms.

First got glasses at 5, just for astigmatism. The myopia started at 9 and has continued at least 1 diopter increase per year.

As for the family, my Dad is -14 with trifocals, Mom is -12 and bifocals. Brother Chris (24) is -14 with trifocals, sister Susan (21) is -15 also with trifocals. Younger brother Jerry (15) is -15 and got bifocals when he was 12. He is resisting getting trifocals.

Cactus Jack 30 Mar 2007, 13:21


Welcome. Your Rx is very signifcant. Would you mind telling us a bit more about yourself. Such as your age, how long you have worn glasses, if others in your family are also nearsighted, and the rate of increase in your Rx.

Please let us know if you have any questions or anything we can help with.


Martin 30 Mar 2007, 09:29

I have been reading for a while, this is my first post. I am very nearsighted and have astigmatism and prism correction. The board in school was getting hazy so I had my eyes examined during Feb vacation and got my first bifocals. New script is R. -12.00 -3.00 180 6.0BO L. -11.50 -2.00 180 6.0BO add +1.75. I had a 1d increase in each eye, and the doctor said to come back in 6 months before school next year.

Carlos, Jr. 23 Mar 2007, 17:45

Geoff, thanks for the interest. Carlos III is doing okay with the bifocals. He likes the new frames a lot and doesn't seem to mind the line in the lens.

I have worn varifocals---but never bifocals. Did not wear them long before I switched over to contacts and half-frame reading glasses.

Geoff 23 Mar 2007, 03:48

Carlos, Jr----how did your son do at school with his new bifocals? Have you ever worn bifocals or just been a "glasses over contacts" person?

Carlos, Jr 22 Mar 2007, 03:43

Carlos III picked up his bifocals yesterday. They look really good---shiny black plastic frames with a flat-top bifocal. Anyway, he seems to think they are okay. We will see how he does at school today. Max, the doctor encouraged Trey to wear the glasses all the time so his eyes would adjust and accommodate to the correction. With his other glasses, Trey would just put them on to see at a distance and then take them off, if not needed. Interesting enough--Trey and I have almost the same prescription, except I wear contacts and use reading glasses with a little more plus.

Willy 19 Mar 2007, 12:04

I've found in the last week or so that I can tip my head back a bit with my progressives and gain a bit of extra distance clarity. The doctor I went to in November said that there would be a bit more distance hyperopia to come out, but I guess I am a little bit surprised to see it so soon. Or perhaps it is a natural extension of my eyes softening to accept distance corrction. Curious to the experiences of some of our more veteran progressive wearers on how soon they can "tip" when getting a new prescription....

Max 18 Mar 2007, 13:59


Glad to hear your son is okay with the bifocals. You say that it's important he wears them all the time, is that to get used to the effect of the bifocals?

Carlos, Jr. 18 Mar 2007, 11:13

Quick update on Carlos III. Had a second eye examination yesterday. The doctor agreed with the other one---Trey should be wearing bifocals. With the new distance prescription, he was misreading some of the small print close-up. Also, this doctor thought the flat top bifocal would be best for him. Very important was to wear the glasses full-time. Anyway, he recommended another eye exam in 6 months to see if there have been any changes in prescription. The good news is that many teens do not need bifocals forever. Anyway, we'll pick-up the new glasses on Wednesday. Trey seems fine with this and picked out some "ccol" frames.

4eyes 15 Mar 2007, 16:28

Mr Carlos Jr.

I've to disagree with the statement fo "C" "An alternative would be to get him another pair of glasses with 1.00 less minus. However, either of these have disadvantages with active 14 year olds. It is hard to loose or misplace bifocals".

In fact, last year I lost two pairs of reading glasses, only because one has been returned to me. My daddy simply doesn't know what to do... hihihi, although I try to be as carefull as possible, I even use those hung up glasses cord around my neck.

See ya

4eyes 15 Mar 2007, 16:18

Hi Mr Carlos Jr.

I'd try my first bifocal by 10/11 I'm not sure, but I'd have lot of problems maybe because there were some Base Externa (BO) prisms to add and I hateed very much those glasses (Old people stuffs) I'd thought back then.

Now that I've been wearing bifocal for over three years I feel pretty comfortable with them, I climb, I jump out of stairs, I run around and rush past others people out there in streets... So far so good. And I do have some "pretty ADD" to my glasses.

Oh... BTW, I got my 2 new glasses from the UCLA guys as a "reward" for my bravery AND good behave up there... hehe.

See you guys.

PS: Happy birthday ES.

Brian-16 15 Mar 2007, 06:17

Charles-I also have tri-focals but I am nearsighted around-13.Do you have 20/20 vision? I am 20/25.

Carlos, Jr. 14 Mar 2007, 16:48

Thanks for all the input. I had heard of kid's in bifocals temporarily---just did not expect it to be my son. We'll see on Saturday what the future holds for Carlos III.

Charles 14 Mar 2007, 11:05

Carlos Jr.

You asked about others with experience with bifocals. I am 19 now, and in college, but I have worn bifocals since I was 8. My situation is different than your son, though, as I am hyperopic, had a lazy eye and miss-aligned eyes. My astigmatism correction is very strong, and my add is up to +3.00.

My full prescription is R: +4.75 -4.00 x064 7.5BO 4.0BD L: +7.00 -5.25 x020 7.5BO 4.0BU add +3.00.

I really can't function with out my glasses and with the strong add, I now have trifocals.

Cactus Jack 14 Mar 2007, 05:37

Carlos, Jr,

I suspect that your son's nearsightedness didn't hapen suddenly, but developed over time. Myopia in the low minus range say -1.00 to -2.50 is like constantly wearing +1.00 to +2.50 reading glasses all the time. This makes reading and other close tasks effortless requiring little or no work on the part of the ciliary muscles to focus the crystaline lens. Of course, he couldn't see well at a distance. The result is little or no exercise and deconditioning of the ciliary muscles.

When he got glasses, his ciliary muscles had to go to work and they are complaining. If -2.75 gives him 20/20 vision, his ciliary muscles have to squeeze the cryastaline lens enough to provide the +2.50 necessary to focus at 16 nches or 40 cm.

A +1.00 bifocal isn't much and is usually considered a "functional" bifocal. It would make reading a little easier until his ciliary muscles get in condition and used to working. With +1.00 bifocals, his ciliary muscles would only have to supply +1.50 to read which would be more comfortable.

I suspect that he would find them comfortable and helpful, but would probably want to go back to single vision glasses after his muscles get used to working.

An alternative would be to get him some +1.00 clip-ons to wear when he had a lot of reading to do or another pair of glasses with 1.00 less minus. However, either of these have disadvantages with active 14 year olds. It is hard to loose or misplace bifocals.


Carlos, Jr. 14 Mar 2007, 03:34

Thanks for all the input. Trey's prescription, if I remember correctly, has jumped to -2.75 in each eye with a +1.00 add. The doctor's recommendation was a flat top bifocal. Anyway, I have made an appointment with another doctor for Saturday in order to get a second opinion. Maybe it is just me, but I cannot see placing a 14 year-old in bifocals. I have not shared with Trey my feelings about bifocals, in case he turns out to need them. Anyway, he is a good son and will wear them without complaining if that is what is needed. Would be interested in hearing any other experiences with teens and bifocals.

Jamie 13 Mar 2007, 12:45

Carlos Jr.,

Bifocals might be an option for Trey. Have you talked with the idea of bifocals with him and what does he think about it.

If he is okay with it, you might give getting him bifocals a shot as it would give him the best vision at this point. Especially if he is already having some difficulty with stuff up close with his old prescription.

Cactus Jack 13 Mar 2007, 06:57

Carlos Jr.,

Could you post your son's age, old Rx, and his new one?


John S 13 Mar 2007, 06:48


In most cases, it seems the patient has to insist on bifocals if they have not reached 40 yet. If the doctor recommends them, I'm sure there is a good reason. There is actually a chance that it might slow his progression. I would think in his case, that could be since his eyes are having trouble accomodating. It also might cause him headaches to try to overcome the problem with out the reading correction.

Carlos, Jr. 13 Mar 2007, 03:40

Didn't exactly know where to post this, so sorry if it is in the wrong place. Last year my son, Carlos III, started wearing glasses for the first time (for nearsightedness). Even with the glasses, he is now having trouble seeing at a distance again. When we went to the eye doctor, Trey also revealed he was having trouble sometimes with close-up vision while wearing the glasses. After all the tests, the eye doctor suggested thinking about bifocals. Maybe it is just me, but this seems a little radical for a young teen. I am thinking about taking him to another doctor for a second opinion. Any thoughts?

Julian 27 Jan 2007, 07:13

Phil: I do agree with you that some optometrists are mean about prescribing add; mine certainly has been in recent years. My distance Rx is low plus with a bit of cylinder, and I've worn progessives since 1990 (and had bifocals before that).

In 1990 and for a few years after my add was 2.25 *with an extra 0.25 for progressives* and once 2.50; but later on for several years he kept it at 1.75, althugh I kept complaining about trouble reading phone books and things like that. The last couple of times he's made it 2.00, and this last time (in November) my distance script went up 0.50. But I got a pair of reader from an online supplier with an add of 3.00 and I can read anything with those. Can'e see very far though!

Phil 25 Jan 2007, 01:18

Hi Cheryl. I'm almost -4 in both eyes and have an add of 2. When I had really good quality varifocal lenses (Zeiss, I think) they were ok for general wear (like when shopping, driving etc). I must admit they were never great for sustained reading, and they were useless for the computer. But last time I got (very slightly) cheaper lenses which have proved useless for everything: they make me feel drunk! I think the key is to swallow hard and go for top of the range lenses, and not too expect too much of them for serious close stuff. For that I got a cheap pair of single vision lenses made up to my distance prescription minus the add. Actually I took off a bit more than the prescribed add because I think opticians are often a bit "mean" about how much they prescribe: with the prescribed add I simply couldn't read tiny print in the newspaper. They are ace for reading and the computer. I couldn't face wearing lined bifocals. I do have a cheap pair but I'm too vain too wear them, even though I think a young gwg with bifocals (a rare sight in the UK) is heavenly! Good luck.

Cheryl 23 Jan 2007, 19:02

I posted on the Vision thread maybe two weeks ago...anyway, I got my new glasses five days ago and have not liked them even after spending on very high-quality frames and lenses. I just found the progressive lenses to be weird overall, with distorted vision from my perspective (maybe due to astigmatism?), some dead space where I can't really see anything well, and a tiny reading area given the narrow frame. The optician suggested allowing some time for adjustment, but I went in today to see my doctor. Well, the reading correction is wonderful actually, because I got a single vision pair as well (1.50 less power than my distance prescription). Now my eyes don't really want to focus on anything close-up without these weaker glasses, but they are useless for anything further than a few feet away! Anyway, my doctor and I decided that regular bifocals would be the best option for me and my prescription. He also decided to increase the reading power to +1.75 this time around, saying I was leaning in this direction. (And hopefully the prescription will last me longer.) I should get the remade bifocals by the end of this week. Then I'll get the single vision glasses remade as well.

john1121 16 Jan 2007, 16:56

Are these bifocals?

Peter G  16 Jan 2007, 13:21

Dear John L,

I went through the exact same process around 8 years ago - - 5,50 cyl, with an add-on of + 1,00, I was also using both contacts and spectacles at the time. I remember from my parents that their transitions to bi-focals were difficult. In my case I went straight to progressive spectacles, and was very fortunate, I think, in having an optician who measured everything very carefully, and was also very good about recommending a suitable frame. My transition was entirely untraumatic - quite the opposite, a real pleasure to be seeing things clearly at all distances again.

Hope your transition goes as well.

Willy 12 Jan 2007, 13:38

Welcome to the club, John L. I have heard that the transition into progressives is easier for myopes than hyperopes, so perhaps you will be able to tell us about your experiences going forward.

John L 12 Jan 2007, 12:50

Just been for a periodic eye exam today my distance rx remained unchanged at (-5.00 Cyl -0.75 Axis 180 / -4.75 Cyl -0.75 Axis 180).

I tend to wear specs and contacts for around an equal amount of time each week.

In the last few months I have noticed that my near vision has been showing the onset of presbyopia with small print difficult to see especially in poor light.

He suggested that I could continue to flip up my specs when I needed to see something close and also continue to use my cheapy drug store readers with the contacts as I was only just inside the threshold for help with close vision. After a check on my near vision I was given a +1.5 prescription.

Whilst I don't mind using the readers with the contacts the constant flipping up of the specs and the fact I have to get very close made me decide to bite the bullet and order a pair of glasses with varifocal lenses at least it will be a new optical experience.

The varifocals will be ready in a few days time.

Just wondering how long it will take to get used to them and waht are other people's experiences?

Willy 11 Dec 2006, 11:31

After a bit of a delay with the holiday, my schedule, and the ordering process, I've now had my new progressives (Varilux Panamic) for just over a week. So far it's gone fairly well. Distance has adapted well in that I do see more clearly with the glasses than without. Up close, as I now have about +1 more than I did with my old reading glasses, it has been a good incentive to find the "sweet spot". I have also been learning what tasks are suitable for the intermediate corridor. One I have noticed in particular is that I can now glance down just a bit when driving and see my dashboard in focus. The biggest downside is simply that, after about a week with +2.5 or so for near, reading without correction is not an option for any stretch of time. Whereas before I could put up with some eyestrain to read without correction for a while, now the page is utterly illegible when I first take the glasses off. If I leave them off a while it starts to come in focus a little, but meanwhile the head starts pounding, and who needs that? In other words, like the pig in a bacon and egg breakfast, I am now fully "committed" to full-time wear.

Eyeseeit 26 Nov 2006, 07:43

For Peter G:

I have both progressive eyeglasses and multifocal contact lenses.

I live in the US, and have a great OD who lets me try any lenses that I see advertised.

At my eye exam this year, I asked to try trial lenses for Bausch & Lomb's PureVision multifocal contacts.

I tried them for about a month, and loved them. I am now wearing these on a regular basis.

If your OD is not supportive, it may be time to get a second opinion. Successful multifocal contact lens wear depends on at least two things: high motivation on the part of the wearer, and an extremely supportive OD.

Please post here again if you have other questions.

Peter G  26 Nov 2006, 07:27

Hi, this is my first posting, and I might be making myself unpopular with the topic. The point is, I have been moderately myopic all my life (around -7D). I tried contact lenses for a while, very happily. However, my wife preferred to see me with spectacles (marriage did not last in spite of this). I have now had trifocals for a while, and would like to augment them with progressive focus contact lenses. My opteometrist advises against them, saying that wearers have tremendous problems getting used to them. Does anybody on ES have any experience with such lenses? I can see fine with the spectacles, but would like the contacts for skiing, etc.


Peter G in Germany

Curt 26 Nov 2006, 05:24

My name is Geoffrey Curtis, hence the nickname Curt. Will use the moniker G. Curt from now on. Sorry about any confusion.

Slit 24 Nov 2006, 20:41

Thanks Wurm,

Hopefully all the eyescenes are there.

i think we should start archving current eyescene as well.

best regards,


Wurm 24 Nov 2006, 07:06

Slit, you can pick up the old ES files here

(also linked from the ES front page)

Slit 22 Nov 2006, 19:25


Do you have the archived files of the old eyescene?

Can you please e-mail them to

I am very much loving to go through them.


Julian 22 Nov 2006, 10:07

Curt: I just trawled through the archives of the original EyeScene and found your "Hi all! I'm new to the group..." on 17 June 1997. My first post of all was in August '97, and my first as Julian in November...I used more than one identity in those days (naughty I know) but Julian was always my gay persona.

Curt 22 Nov 2006, 05:18

Julian: Yeah, after I posted that I realized I had underestimated my time on this board. Probably closer to 8 or 9, how time flies! :-)

Julian 21 Nov 2006, 13:49

Curt: if anyone asked me I'd say you've been on EyeScene a lot longer than five years.

Curt 21 Nov 2006, 05:21

To the new Curt: I have been on Eyescene for about 5 years now. Any chance you could use a different name? Curt2 or something like that??

Willy, the last post was not from me.

(the original) Curt

Curt 21 Nov 2006, 04:16

Willy, have you been screened yet for trifocals?

NEW TO ES 18 Nov 2006, 22:20

Sher i'm glad you took my advise and had progressive lenses put into what sounds like a very attractive frame. I'm sure they look very attractive on you as well as giving you perfect vision both near and far.

sher 18 Nov 2006, 14:55

Just want to thank all of you that helped me decide to try the compact progressive lenses. I just picked up my new and very sophisticated glasses. Prada frames that are arrow rectanglar and plastic. I don't look old and out of style and best of all the vision with the varilux panamics is outstanding, with minimal peripheral distortion, even in the bifocal segment. I was having a hard tme getting used to the fact that I just can't read a thing (including my watch) without my glasses, and know that this will only get worse as I get older. I felt that I was forced to wear dated out of style glasses that made me look frumpy. I now see my glasses as a very cool fashion accessory, and want more i different shapes, colors and styles. Guess I better win the lottery! Thanks Again, Sher

Willy 17 Nov 2006, 01:06

Sorry Willy. Let's make it Willy2

Willy 16 Nov 2006, 14:53

Just wanted to post here that the person who posted under my I.D. in XXX is not me....

Then again, I know I was not the first person to use the Willy moniker...

Willy 14 Nov 2006, 07:05

Thanks, leelee, I am actually in the mid-Atlantic area, not close enough to Boston to take advantage of your reference. Yes, I am ready to take the plunge. Looking back, I see that my new distance prescription is not too different from the auto-refract one I got a couple of years ago that I could not adapt to: I guess my eyes have "softened up" a bit...

leelee 14 Nov 2006, 06:49

Hey Willy,

Err, finally! Get ready for the novelty of seeing things out of focus. And in focus.

You mentioned looking around for frames and lenses. For some reason I think you are in the Boston Area, if so, you might want to check out the New England Eye Institute store, they have quite a big collection of frames and the prices are much much lower than what I found elsewhere - progressive lenses are $200 regardless of the lens you choose (this was less than half what I paid at another place in Cambridge about 4 yrs ago and probably a 1/3 the cost of the lenses that I personally use now - which I couldn't afford at the previous place.) And they are very good about working with you to make things fit and work properly.

guest 13 Nov 2006, 22:25

congratualations Willy. How old are you?

Willy 13 Nov 2006, 17:21

Yes, I am still legal to drive bare-eyed, but I think this doctor's point was that I should wear full-time since I will need them for all reading and my distance vision will be improved as well. I also know from my readings here that progressives or bifocals must be worn full-time at least at first to get used to them. The doctor said that once I get used to them I probably will not want to leave them off even at distance.

Eyeseeit 13 Nov 2006, 17:07

For Willy:

I have been thinking for quite some time that no two eye doctors see things the same way!

I have a similar prescription to yours, and my eye doctor said: "Wear eyeglasses as needed". To me, that simply means I wear them when I experience eye strain. My prescription is reversed from yours. My right eye is the weakest. So, when I need to see more clearly, I simply turn my head slightly to the right, and I can see better with my left eye. Sometimes, the eye strain bothers me, and then I wear my glasses or contact lenses.

But, the doctor really hasn't warned me about wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses all the time. I think that, as long as you have 20/40 with ONE eye, you are OK to drive. Interesting. . . .huh?

Willy 13 Nov 2006, 15:34

After far too much angst in recent months, I finally went in for an exam this past Saturday with a new optometrist and have come away with the following prescription:

L +1.25 -0.5 85

R +0.75 -0.25 105

ADD: +1.50

Yes, I will fill this and become a true-blue full-time bifocal (or progressive) wearer. In fact, according to the optometrist, it is not even really a matter of choice as my distance vision was checking out at 20/25 R and 20/30 L (to say nothing of up close).

This all is certainly not entirely unexpected, but I must admit I was a little bit taken aback when the doctor said I "have" to wear full-time since my distance vision is now somewhat "compromised"(!) and I will obviously have to wear for anything close.

Still, this is Eyescene, and so I am a bit ... thrilled.

Of course, the next step in finding a suitable frame and lens choice, so who knows how long this will all take....

Updates to follow...

Cactus Jack 30 Oct 2006, 13:13


The minimum prescription is 0.00 or "plano". For reading, it is a function of your age, ability to focus and any refractive error you may have. Over-the-counter reading glasses are generally available in 0.25 increments from +1.25 to +3.25. Ocasionally, you may find +1.00 or +3.50. If you need more than that for reading, prescription glasses can be made to meet almost any need.

May I ask your age?


Newbie 30 Oct 2006, 12:37

I read somewhere that the minimum prescription is something like +.75 but what is the prescription when it becomes difficult to read normal sized text like a newspaper?

NEW TO ES 29 Oct 2006, 23:03

Sher, I wear the progressives and enjoy the crisp clear vision they provide me with. My prescription is -1.00 in both eyes with an add of +2.00. I wear them when ever I have to read something and find them to help me when I am on the computer as the progressives provide an intermediate field of vision as the lenses transition from distance to reading. The intermediate field is usually half of the reading add. I hope you get them and when you do, wear them as much as possible to adapt to them, and them whenever you feel you need them.

sher 28 Oct 2006, 22:46

Thanks - New to ES, the advice is appreciated. I'm probably going to give them a shot, and will buy a pair of single vision for reading if I have a problem. I have a slight distance correction and a lttle astigmatism so the presbyopia is obviously my major problem and like to read and have to read quite alot at work.I understand that the close (reading) segment is what you lose in the compact lenses, so this is my major concern.

NEW TO ES 28 Oct 2006, 19:59

My wife and I both wear progressive lenses and have them in narrow retangular frames. We both have had no problem adjusting to them and can see objects in the distance clearly as well as the small print when reading. I would recommend then for you also.

sher 28 Oct 2006, 18:07

I'm shopping for new glasses and wear progressives and would love to get the small narrow plastic frames that are in style. I am skeptical of the new compact progressives and wonder if people can really see clearly thru such small segments, particulary for reading. Would love to hear from anyone with experience with these lenses.

Thanks! Sher

Poptician 24 Oct 2006, 00:59

From nothing to the prospect of trifocals in 6 months... shades of "Jill", I think.

Devin 23 Oct 2006, 14:49

Terrilyn: I somewhat considered getting regular bifocals, mostly because I'd never worn bifocals of any kind before and I'd heard that progressives could be difficult to get used to. But I ended up deciding to go with the progressives. My left eye seemed to have no problem at all getting used to them; the extra astigmatism correction compared to my last prescription sharpened things up a lot, and so did the reading area (I had actually thought that any blurry near vision I had was because of the astigmatism before, but I guess I was wrong because the reading area really helps with small print and so forth).

I had actually been having more trouble with my right eye before my last exam than my left one. I was having blurry distance vision and a lot of eye strain even with my glasses on, and close work seemed to cause a great deal of the strain.

I also didn't have any correction for myopia in my right eye in my last prescription, just astigmatism. So adding even that little bit of sphere this time, along with the add for reading, I haven't had any trouble since. Hopefully that means the doctor got it right, lol.

Take care.

Terrilyn 23 Oct 2006, 09:21

Devin - These bifocals are not my first glasses ever, I did have some reading glasses (+1.00 I think) in high school but did not wear them. Last year I bought some glasses at the drug store (+1.25) and wore them occasionally.

This year I was really having problems so got a proper eye exam. The doctor says that latent hyperopia is sort of hidden and accommodation masks it. The bifocals will halp my eyes relax. Plus with the astigmatism, it will be good to wear them all the time. My eyes will probably need at least two changes before I reach my final prescription. I am supposed to go back next month for another change.

I got regular bifocals, flat top 35mm in regular plastic with an AR coating. The doctor also said to anticipate trifocals by the time I reach my final correction in 6-8 months.

Devin 20 Oct 2006, 13:51


Wow, bifocals for your first pair? That's something, though I guess consistent strain on the eyes (you said you were a college sophomore) can do the damage.

I've been wearing glasses since I was 13, but it was always for mild/moderate astigmatism and a little bit of myopia, until this last appointment I had.

Did you choose actual bifocals, or go with the progressives?

And, call me dumb here (lol), but what is a "latent" hyperope? I know what a hyperope is, but am not exactly sure about the "latent" being stuck in front of it.

Terrilyn 20 Oct 2006, 11:15

Devin - I just got bifocals a month ago. They are my first glasses and the doctor says I am a latent hyperope and that the prescription will go up a few times before I reach my final prescription. I am a college sophomore and about 5-6 years younger than you.

Devin 19 Oct 2006, 12:31

Hi everyone,

I recently joined the ranks of the multifocal wearers after a visit to my eye doctor.

I do a good amount of computer and general close work with one of my jobs (I'm a sportswriter), and had been noticing since my last exam (which was only in March actually), that I was having some vision trouble both at near and far even while wearing my glasses.

So I made an appointment for a new exam, and when the doctor was finished, she said that I now have two prescriptions - one for distance and one for reading.

I was a little surprised because I just now turned 25 years old, but she said that my eyes just got weaker and I needed some help reading (she also upped my astigmatism correction in my left eye as well). I could've gotten a different pair for each prescription, but I opted to have it all put into one pair since I don't want to be swapping glasses on and off, lol.

So my prescription now reads:

OD: -0.25 -0.50 x90 Add +1.00

OS: plano -1.00 x70 Add +1.00

I got progressive lenses, which took a few days to get used to, but they're working out great. I know I don't have what's considered a "strong" prescription, but looking at small print and just doing close work in general now, things seem to be so much larger and sharper when looking through my reading segment.

Has anyone else here been prescribed bifocals in their 20's like this?

Phil (London UK) 25 Sep 2006, 06:36

Hi Rupert,

My minus rx is a bit less than yours (-3.75) but I have similar astigmatism, though only in one eye. My add is now 2, though at a recent test the silly optician insisted on taking it down to 1.75! I.m 52 and have had varifocals since around your age. My experience is that they are best if you splash out for the really expensive lenses: Nikon or something. I used to have those and they were great; but I got some slightly cheaper ones at the recent test and reading is just not so good with them. They also made me feel a bit "drunk" for a while. Go to D&A and get their best.

I also have a pair of readers (-1.75) and two pairs of lined bifocals that I got (very cheaply) from GlassesDirect and Glasses4Eyes on the net. One of the bifocal pais has a lime right across and the other a smaller reading segment. The former are much better from the vision perspective. But they are both SO ageing!

If a saw a pretty gwg with lined bifocals (which I almost never do!) it would drive me wild. But shy old me prefers the varifocals. By the way, are there any gwgs out there in the UK with lined bifocals?

Rupert 25 Sep 2006, 05:32

Hi Bob,

I'm 45, with -4.75 in my left and -4.50 in my right, with .25 of astigmatism in each eye.

I've been using +1.00 readers, and the add in my new prescription is +1.25.

Bob 25 Sep 2006, 00:16

Hi Rupert,

How old are you and what is your prescription. I wear readers over my contacts. What strength are your readers. When I wear my distance glasses I also lower the glasses to see better. I am putting off the bifocals

Rupert 24 Sep 2006, 19:22

Julian and -14,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, Julian, I've been using readers over my contacts for the past year.

My doctor and I decided on bifocals because I got tired of pulling my glasses down my nose to read, or taking them off and holding reading material close-up.

Julian 24 Sep 2006, 15:50

Just a thought, Rupert: if you wear contacts most of the time you'll presumably need reading glasses to wear over them as well as bifocals.

-14 24 Sep 2006, 10:02


Just a suggestion. Tell the optician you've tried progressives in the past and was unable to adjust to them. so as not to waste either the optician's or your time just order the lined. That will eliminate the return after the trial period for the change. It also means that the optical store won't have to "eat" the progressive lenses.

Rupert 24 Sep 2006, 09:49

Question about advantages of lined bifocals.

I just got my first prescription for bifocals and have always planned on getting a lined pair--I just think they're cool. I'll be shopping in the next couple of weeks and I know the shops will be pushing me hard to get progressives. I certainly will resist, but I want some good arguments to counter the hard sell.

Here's what I'm thinking: I usually wear contacts, and progressives take a long time to adjust to, so I don't want to constantly be adjusting for the few hours a day I'm wearing my glasses.

I've read that the reading area in a progressive is smaller. I want a wide area. I also don't want the peripheral distortion I've read about in progressives.

I like small frame sizes and progressives are harder to fit in a small frame.

Lined bifocals are cheaper, and as my presbyopia progresses, my prescription will change frequently--why pay all that extra money when things will be unstable?

Does anyone have any other cogent arguments I could use?

Of course, I'm also going to say, "I want lined ones; that's final."

 21 Sep 2006, 19:49

My wife and I both have progressive transition lenses.

 21 Sep 2006, 02:20

And what types of lenses do you have?

 20 Sep 2006, 23:05

My prescription is a -1.00 in each eye with an add of 2.25

 20 Sep 2006, 03:39

You gave your wife's prescription---what about yours?

 19 Sep 2006, 00:06

My wife just went for an eye exam and was given a new prescription for reading. Her old prescription was a +1.50 in each eye and now it has increased to a +2.00 for each eye. She also has a prescription for distance of -1.75 for her left eye and a -2.00 for her right eye. She selected an nice pair of black Versace frames retangular in shape with rhinestones. She now wears her glasses all the time and looks great.

hldb xgelhtqd 14 Sep 2006, 07:05

ipqfzeakb cety xteyicqd dpkmvwu ucxiv rdubk yhqmwj

bworzgc gtdi 13 Sep 2006, 10:25

cwsfmxqro fdynezmrx mgekhtv xyasbg jurhgpsy mftins vfukbw

ypbzlx hjcyxw 07 Sep 2006, 11:07

zuwvrejqn lsxqpikw buqyczwp baly apqud laotiv mdovg

SarahM 02 Sep 2006, 06:47

Well, I started my Sophomore year last week. I went back to the dr. before and as he said a few months ago, my add has increased to 2.50 and now I have trifocals.

Before I got the bifocals, I mostly wore contacts (you know, boys dont make passes...). Now, I never wear them, and have had no problem with dates.

Just this week, two guys asked me out, and both wore bifocals. One said he is -10 and has had them for 6 years. The other had the thickest glasses I have ever seen. He said -14 plus 10 base out prisms. Just got bifocals this summer.

Victoria (Vici) 23 Aug 2006, 11:26

Rebbull - William

I am getting along very well with my bifocals. I like them so far and have not had any problems.

Yes, I do wear hearing aids as do my Dad and older sister (20) we have severe imparement.

My Mom and younger sister (14) have cochlear implants for a profound imparement.

Everyone is a high myope with either bi or tri-focals. My myopia is the lowest but increases at 1 - 1.5D per year, my astigmatism is the highest.

Rebbull1 21 Aug 2006, 13:57

Hi Vici,

How are you getting on with your bifocals.

Do you wear hearing aids .

regards William

Victoria (Vici) 13 Aug 2006, 14:38

Hi! I recently found this site doing a search for bifocals since I just got them. I am a 16yo HS Junior from a family of hearing impared high myopes. My folks and siblings are all very myopic with bifocals. My new glasses are R, -11.50 -4.75 x30 L, -12.75 -5.50 x90 add +1.50.

r.o. 02 Jul 2006, 08:27

if i really neede a man, it would be in the BEST way..., r.o.

realist originale 02 Jul 2006, 07:46

i need a man in the worst way.

r.o. 01 Jul 2006, 17:26

tim, you can be batman...,

realist originale

Tim 29 Jun 2006, 17:30

Realist - will you please go away and torment people on some other site. You are nothing but a sick bore.

SarahM 29 Jun 2006, 11:04


Yes, I wear BTEs, my loss is classified as severe to profound, from 75dB (low sounds) to 115dB (high sounds). I had several years of speech therapy, but still have a "deaf voice" (little modulation. In classes I have an FM system, the instructor wears a microphone. I was teased somewhat in junior high, but since then everyone is very accepting. I can do sign, but prefer verbal.

realist originale 29 Jun 2006, 08:59

i should be flatterd, however last post was written by someone else-perhaps a speller...genna, how goes your day?...field of vision that sucks, tripping down the stairs and looking like grandma getting you down? well, let's blame realist. after all, he suggested i feel good about myself.[deep that so bad?]...i accept your apology in advance...oh, my 'cruel to be kind' way is not your cup of tea, but it sure got your goat.i like that you played spider-woman for write well, but see humor in nothing and perceive hatred when none're hot as hell to me, tho...,r[o]

realist 29 Jun 2006, 07:45

beside, i'm always using my glasses to plesure myself. that's more fun than having to wear them.

realist 28 Jun 2006, 23:10

genna dearest, since you're tracking MY comings and goings...oh, never mind...asside, i've been thinking. brown, horned rimmed 1/2 reading glasses woud look better than any...things off in the distance should be a bit blurry-do get driving glasses, the mean time, stay in touch, bubala.

Genna 28 Jun 2006, 11:17

It's funny Realist. You mock and ridicule those on Eyescene, but I notice you are always around. Kind of sad isn't it? With your "hourly" checking of the site, you must be completely addicted to a site that you obviously dislike. That is so much more pathetic than anyone you mock. It's actually nice to see that you're such a loser. It is 2:15 EST on Wednesday afternoon. I bet you see this message within an hour, since you can't tear yourself away from these people that you hate so much. Have another pathetic day little-man.

realist 28 Jun 2006, 08:52

don't get mad, get glad.

realist 28 Jun 2006, 08:50

go, bert...ask about a possible cholestamy. suggested query; do you wear your glasses, hearing aids and bag while making love?..., r

Bert 28 Jun 2006, 02:03


welcome to Eye Scene, where you will find most of us helpful and friendly.

I have always admired folks like you who seem cheerfully to wear glasses and hearing aids. Some of us find it an attractive combination, contrary perhaps to common taste. Can you tell us more about your hearing loss - how severe, do you wear BTE aids and how do you find other people react to seeing HAs worn by someone your age?

AA 27 Jun 2006, 17:49

Realist how cruel can you be, Sarah seem a very happy well balanced lady and sems happy with life, its more than can be said for you. If you have nothing nice to say don,t say it at all.

So what Sarah has strong glasses shameful of you to judge her, when you have not even meet her, I wonder what your parents would say if they saw what you had written about a fellow human being, who,s only reason for your selfish remarks is she wears glasses, Realist I think you should use this chat room and apologise to Sarah, and be humbled that a lovely lady can be so happy and bring a little happiness to others.

Genna 27 Jun 2006, 09:36

You can't do it can you Realist? You can't leave someone alone. You have to slap people around. The sad part is that you can only do it in an anonymous chat room. I bet you get the emotional crap beaten out of you every day, since you are such a dip. Great way to end a day of abuse for Realist...Go on Eyescene and mock people who are trying to have fun, get information, and enjoy their interest in glasses.

And by the way, anyone who refers to themself as "moi" (unless they are in France and speaking French, is an ass of incredible magnitude.


SarahM 27 Jun 2006, 08:44


All I know is I am how I am.

realist 23 Jun 2006, 18:20

it's not going to get much better for you, sara m, so i might as well ask. do you sit in a wheel chair or have leg braces? there's a trifecta out there that needs completing...pick a frame that holds the hearing aid-always an attrictive look. maybe a sexy pair of bifocals. no, better, trifocals..god be with you dear, he/she seems to be overlooking your end[shallow] of the gene pool of late.

SarahM 23 Jun 2006, 09:49

Hi All:

No I am not the Sarah that posted earlier, my first post was the other day.

Poor vision does not run in the family, my older sister, Sandra (21) is a -2 myope. Younger twin sisters Andrea and Jessica (16) are -4 myopes, but probably climbing somewhat. The only thing that runs in my family is poor hearing. We are all hard of hearing and wear hearing aids.

Slit 23 Jun 2006, 04:26

Hi Sarah,

I do not believe it is an unlucky thing to have a high prescription, its simply a support devise for your day to day work, so i dont believe wearing glasses should be a matter to be bothered about.

Anyway, are you the same Sarah who made a few postings about 6 years back on eyescene?

If my memory is correct, there was a girl who discovered that she is in need of glasses to read when she tried out aunts glasses while spending the holuday witht the aunt. I wonder whether it was you.

AA 22 Jun 2006, 16:52

SarahM, gosh you have a high RX for one so young, unusual to have trifocals at your age, does poor sight run in the family or have you been the unlucky one. I do like a lady in high plus glasses but not at the expence of your ever increasing RX, I hope very soon your eyes settle at there present RX and you don,t have further increases. Plus ( is a very high magnification, still if you see much better with glasses who care about the stength of your lenses, I,m sure you have picked nice frames, and you look delightful in glasses, you certainly get my admiration even if its from afar.Good luck with your future education, I,m sure you will do well. Thanks for your post enjoyed it.

SarahM 22 Jun 2006, 07:58

I started wearing glasses in 8th grade with a +2 and +3.5. Following that were around 3 increases per year until I reached +5 and +6.5, since then the increases have been much slower. Previous to the recent increase, they were +7 and +8.5. The doctor originally said I would probably need bifocals when I reached +6.

My glasses are wire frame, sort of oval, semi rimless with thin wire bows and cable temples. I got 35mm bifocals. The doctor said to come back in August before school, that the near add would probably need to be stronger and possibly trifocals for the computer.

Charles 21 Jun 2006, 23:14

Sarah, can you tell us if are you OK with your new glasses, and what was your old prescription ?

What kind of frame do you choose ? And what kind of lenses (bifocals, executive, progressive) ?

Slit 21 Jun 2006, 10:49

Hi Sarah,

At which age you atarted wearing glasses?

What made you disover that you are hyperopic?

SarahM 21 Jun 2006, 10:46

Hi- I am a short time browser, and long time high hyperope. Just finished my first year of college, and was having trouble with reading and the computer so I thought I needed a new prescription. I guess I was not too surprised when the eye doctor said its bifocal time, but I didn't really want them at 19. New prescription is OD +7.50 +3.00 x060 OS +9.00 +2.25 x110 add +1.75.

Bowser 20 Jun 2006, 17:16


I would have responded sooner but here in Raleigh, North Carolina we've been very caught up in our hockey team winning the Stanley Cup. If there are any Edmonton Oilers fans out there, you guys played a fantastic series.

She has only been using them for computer use in the afternoon when her eyes got "tired" but then she also complained about getting hedaches sometime. The opticial told her she should probably start using them earlier in the day before she got tired and also for some general reading. So she actually used them for reading the newpaper.

I asked the optician to mail us our prescriptions and my add actually went up to a +2.00, but I will hold off getting the prescription filled until next year at this point.


Eyeseeit 18 Jun 2006, 14:20

Bowser, how often do you think your wife will be wearing her new glasses?

As we all have different levels of tolerance to blur, I was wondering if she feels that she needs her new glasses on a fulltime basis, or will it only be on an "as needed" basis?

Bowser 18 Jun 2006, 06:38

Just had my annual check-up yesterday and nothing has changed. My Rx remains at:

R: +1.00, -0.75, add +1.75

L: +0.75, -0.75, add +1.75

My wife, and I have always had our appointments on the same day and we were able to sit in on each other's exam. She has always had great vision but is only now starting to get the short arms syndrome and staining at the computer and was a bit wary that she may need glasses and my explanations of presbyopia did not ease her anxiety.

I was originally scheduled to go first but she went instead. The phoropter was set at my current prescription and when the optician placed it before her and asked her how it looked, she stated, "Dear God, I can't see anything!" Then the doctor realized he had it set at my prescriptio, and told her, "That's what your husband sees". When he told her that she said, while laughing, "Get the seeing eye dog and a cane, you are blind." Anyway I thought it was rather intersting that my rather mild prescription looked so "bad" to her. Then the optician told her, "You want to see BAD, I'll show you BAD." We all had a good laugh.

Anyway he did end up giving her a very mild prescription of:

R: +0.25

L: +0.50

I helped her pick out some cute frames and worked all afternoon to assure her that it was OK, and she eventually felt better about it.

Sherri 16 Jun 2006, 11:50

Well, after reading Sally's post I decided to get the dreaded lined bifocals ASAP. I decided to go to a one-hour type place and just got them made. I am already much happier with how I see through them, even with smallish-medium plastic frames--as I suggested to Patricia--with wide temples. The clear divide makes it easier to manage.

The line isn't ideal but I guess there's less to hide at 41. Contacts (as I used to wear exclusively) with readers would be inconvenient. Plus, you can often tell progressive wearers by the way they move their heads.

Phil, as a guy I think that being older (grey hair, wrinkles, bifocal lines, whatever) is less of a problem for you than for us! You'll be fine I think.

I am a bit surprised by the add needs (and pretty strong) for younger wearers like Patricia and Sally. I wonder what could set off loss of focus so early. I thought I was early when I got the +1.25 add at 38. But I am not surprised, based on my experience just now, on the benefits of regular bifocals for stronger adds like ours.

Sally and Patricia, did your doctors explain what exactly happened to your eyes? Anyway, I hope your spex are serving you well and you look and see great!

Phil 16 Jun 2006, 07:18

Sherri, I'm in much the same state! Got progressives with -3.75 for distance with a +1.75 add. I can't see with them that well so I've ordered some lined bifocals. I've never had any before. As soon as I got an add about 7 years ago I went straight for progresives. Cactus Jack says that the line wont't be visible from more than 3 or 4 feet. But I'm scared it will make people, especially gwgs, think I'm ancient. I'm 51 but I don't look it. I'm not really sure why it worries me. If I saw a gwg in specs like that I'd be on cloud 9!!

Sally 15 Jun 2006, 18:15


When I got my first glasses my add of +2.50 with my weak rx for distance the doctor said I would better suited if my bifocals had the dreaded line. Being only 28 I was not sure but now I find that they work well for me. I sort of like the line as it is easy to go from one to another. Off course a few rude people made comments that I must be blind. Would like to hear if you switch to the lined bifocals and how they work for you.

Sherri 15 Jun 2006, 17:50

Interesting posts and stories here. Last month my add just got bumped to +2.00 from +1.25 on top of my -3 ish distance Rx. With my earlier Rx progressives were fine. Now I can't stand them even with a very expensive, high quality brand. I guess I really need the reading part more now. And I want better, more comfortable space.

So I am actually thinking of switching to the dreaded lined kind. My message to Patricia: even if you get progressives, keep your lined pair just in case. Actually, you're just 30, so maybe a more trendy, colorful plastic frame would be good, even with lines. There's no way you could look like your husband's mom at your age, bifocals or not.

Slit 12 Jun 2006, 12:25

Hi Patricia,

Well, your eyes are unique to you! so take best care of it, if there is a need for the prescription to be checked get it done.

But, if you can read very well and drive well while wearing them, there is very little evidence that the prescription is wrong.

Do not be concerned about having to wear them all the time, because its only now your eyes have started to relax after years of straining and hiding your latent hyperopia. Having short sighted or long sighted eyes should not be considered as a weakness of your body, its simply a matter of how your body is built up. (Some people have shorter hair than the others, but we still dont consider it as a negative fact do we?)

Your husband and some friends may joke for the first few days, but the things will go away. If my wife faced a situation like you, i would have helped her to cope up through the process of getting used to becomeing a full time glasses wearer.

Just Keep them on, have some fraes that match your face, then no one will notice the line etc.

PLease update us how the things are going

(Dont be amazed if you need an increase in rx sooner or later, bacause its probable that your eyes need further relaxation)



Are you currently wearing glasses?

If so what is your prescription?

Phil 12 Jun 2006, 03:12

Laura N, Have you had the test yet? Don't forget to tell us what happens! I'm still waiting for my bifocals: so exciting! Hoping to go to Hong Kong soon. May get a selection of specs there: some for computer and maybe executive bifocals!

Val 12 Jun 2006, 01:20

Realist, are you sure that you know where you are ?

Patricia, I think that you are a classic case of latent hyperopia. I was like you. Like John S said before, your eyes will relax. It is possible that after a few month you will no longer need to wear bifocals. The prescription for distance will be the same as the near prescription.

SPG 11 Jun 2006, 21:27

I think "realist" is just responding to the presence of a "negative reality inversion" in this forum.

John S 11 Jun 2006, 18:36


It would help you to learn spelling and tact. Even when you are wrong...

realist 11 Jun 2006, 17:09

i meant patricia.

realist 11 Jun 2006, 17:07

john, you dope...are you telling these poor shnooks to feed into the 'glasses industry' crapola and become dependent on glasses? nancy, you're 30 years old for christ sake. give back your expensive glasses and get your money back. due some simple eye exercises for a week to strengthen the muscles that focas your eyes and you'll due just fine without glasses. if you must, get some cheep over the counter reading glasses for a while and than ween yourself of them.

John S 11 Jun 2006, 15:56


I doubt is the prescription is wrong, if you are seeing well. Basically, the focusing power of your eyes, has been hiding the problem you've had for a long time. The older you get, the less focusing power you have to work with. That is why the problem is starting to show. It is not uncommon to see an increase in the Rx in the first 6 months or so, as your eyes relax. You have been forcing them to work, it will take them a little while to get back to a relaxed state. I would get used to wearing them, you will be more comfortable.

I have had the same problem since I was 13. My Rx was almost indentical to yours.

Sorry about the double post, damn enter key...

John s 11 Jun 2006, 15:42

Patricia 11 Jun 2006, 13:38

Part 2

Well after a week of wearing them I have adjusted to wearing glasses. I started out just wearing them on at work. By Thursday I drove home with them on not even realizing they were still on. Yesterday, I put them on in the morning and wore them all day until we went out for the evening. Later that night I had to read something and I could not see it. I had to dig for my glasses. In just one week my eyes have adjusted to reading with bi-focals and now they have spoiled my eyes. I couldn’t even read this morning’s paper without them for the first time.

I will call the eyedoctor on Monday to see if the prescription is wrong and ask about the kind without the line.My husband tells me I now look like my mom.

The good news is I can now see my screen and other close things as long as I have my bi-focals on. I just don’t know if I am ready to wear fulltime yet. But is getting harder to do without them.

Sorry to go on so long.


Patricia 11 Jun 2006, 13:37

Hello Laura,

I like you was having trouble seeing near. Last week I went to the eyedoc and was prescribed my first glasses , bi-focals and I’m only 30. I was having trouble with computer screens and lately even printed material.

At the eyedoc, she was surprised I have never worn glasses before. She first put me in some automatic machine and the assistant asked me if I ever wore glasses. I knew then I was doomed. I asked if I would need bifocals too and the assistant didn’t think so. The exam was next, where I had to look through some type of contraption, she twisted things and asked me what was better 1 or 2 , 3 or 4. It was hard to tell! After a while I could see all the letters, At first I could not read the real small ones. She pulled the machine back and asked me to read a small card, The letters were real small, Again I asked, am I going to need bifocals, she said maybe, lets see how much of the chart you can see. I was missing lots of letters as they got smaller. She slid the machine back and clicked and twisted, as she did, more and more became readable. When she said “How’s That” I could read it all. As she was writing things down, I tried to look at the chart without the machine and the little card was blurry.

She spun back around and delivered the bad news. She was surprised I have never worn glasses before and said I was farsighted. She told me I needed additional help in close up and that my eyes were showing signs of presbyopia(sp) She told to go next door and pick out some frames and this would eliminate my problems. I asked her I had to wear them all the time and she told me it was up to me. She said it might be easier to wear them fulltime once I got used to reading with them on. My prescription is R. +1.50 -50 X50

L. + 1.75 + .50 X 145 Add R+L 1.75. I didn’t know what all those number meant.

At the glasses place the lady told me It was a strong prescription for the first time.

She took a bunch of measurements and told me, they would be ready in an hour.

When I came back to get them, as she cleaned them I could see a HUGE line in them, BIFOCALS ! I think it finally sunk in. When she told me try them on the line was really in the way and my distance was blurry. She adjusted and bent them more saying it might take some time to get used to wearing bifocals. She asked if I was going to wear them, but I just put them in my case until I got home.

My husbands first question was “Why did you get the kind with the line?” No one even asked if I wanted the other kind. I thought I didn’t have a choice

ehpc 11 Jun 2006, 05:00

What is your minus level LauraN? Pete

Laura N 11 Jun 2006, 01:43

I noticed with a thrill today that I couldn't read the telephone directory. I'm only 22 but it looks like it might be bifocals for me! I'm a little concerned but I have booked a test

Frankie 19 May 2006, 11:03


Some of your story sounds a bit like me. I'm 17 and have worn glasses for 13 years. I have a very lazy eye and exotropia. My distance correction has always been mostly in 1 eye. My bifocals were in 1st grade and they said I'd grow out of them but that didn't happen. Now I have trifocals and prisms and a huge imbalance in prescription so that my glasses look really odd.

Ted 15 May 2006, 06:48

Hopefully just death!

Poptician 15 May 2006, 02:16

What next - a limb amputation?

Jill 13 May 2006, 15:34


John arrived early for me this morning I was very nervous and not ready. John fitted me with a new pink eye patch and cleaned my glasses with the occluded lens then we set of for the hearing test.

The audiologist let John come in with me for the test. First he looked into my ears then put head phones on me after about 20 minutes the audiologist took the head phones off me and said he would explain the test results He said I had a 20% hearing loss in my left ear that was not to bad but a 60% loss in my right ear .He then said I needed to be fitted with two hearing aids I started to shake my world seem to be falling apart I said I did not want them. I then asked John what he thought. John put his arm around me and said why not try them to see what they are like, if they helped wear them if not put them in the drawer. So I said I would try them. The audiologist went into the next room and returned with two boxes, I did not know what they would be like, the audiologist explained two BTE hearing aids would be best to start with as I could be fitted with them straight away with temporary moulds .When he opened the boxes they looked huge. He then put one over my ear and fitted a mould in my ear then the other ear, then he turned them on WOW what a shock voices were so loud , He then said my proper moulds would be sent in the post next week The audiologist ask me if I was going to keep them in .I did not know what John would think of me wearing them so I asked him what he thought ,he said as I had them in why not wear them home.

When we got outside John gave me a big hug and said I still looked just as pretty, This made me feel much better as my self confidence was very low ,as I was now having to wear two hearing aids and glasses with one thick lens and one occluded lens.

When we got back the car John asked me if I would like to come and spend the night at his house.

Eye Tri 13 May 2006, 02:18


When I was 31 I got my first bifocals with a 1.25 add. Six months later I had a followup exam, and the optometrist increased the add to 1.75. This rapid progression worried me at first,but the add stayed the same for the next 4 or 5 years. When I had glasses with a 1.75 add, I could read without them, but it was uncomfortable. I've worn glasses pretty much full time since I got bifocals. Your experience may be different if you don't wear them full time.

jc 12 May 2006, 23:06

I accidently hit post - My astigmatism has gotten worse - but other than that I have had no changes for several years.

In the last couple of years I have noticed that in the evenings and in restaurants, close objects are a little blurry. I have never thought a much of it and thought it was the same for everyone else - until I went to a restaurant with my boyfriend a couple weeks ago. It was a verny y dimly lit room - and I swear the menu was in small print - but I could not read it at a normal distance. My eyes had been bothering me quite a bit lately so I made an appointment. I found out that my eyes have gotten quite a bit more astigmaticand that I also need bifocals. I was surprised when he said bifocals - but I think I am in denial because of everything I mentioned and the fact that my watch has been blurry in dim light for a long time.

My new prescrition is -4.00 add 1.75

I decided that since I wear glasses 80% of the time to give up contacts.

They had a 2 for on deal going on so I order a pair of multifocal and lined bifocal glasses.

For those of you who wear bifocals - how much does an add of 1.75 make & is that a strong add - will I be able to read without it after I get used to it.


jc 12 May 2006, 22:53

I have been a lurker for a long time and have never posted. I just got an eyec exam today and was prescribed my first pair of bifocals. Needless to say - that makes me feel old. From different people who have posted here age is not a factor.

I am 36 years old and have worn glasses or contacts for about 30 years.

I was prescribed my first pair of glasses in kindergarten. I had a lazy eye and only had a prescription in one eye. I wore the glasses faithfully even though thinking back - I probably did not need to. I got contact at sixteen but pretty much did without until I was out of college and my eyes kept getting worse until I was at -4.25 with astigmatism. M

gwg spouse 12 May 2006, 13:16

Willy--thanks for your response. I agree, her Rx seems strong for her age. That's why I was a bit concerned, but looking at the way she tends to move things away from her face, how she struggles when (rarely) bare-eyed, it seems to make sense. And she is petite, with rather short arms, so perhaps that hastened things. I think she did mention something about a follow-up. I wonder if they will replace some of the add into her distance Rx?

Bekka--thank you as well. It's good to know of similar Rx experiences. Do you find the distance more "comfortable", as you say, or actually sharper? It seems like the convenience factor weighs heavily toward fulltime wear. How old are you, if I may ask? And are you wearing progressives or standard bifocals now? The other day we met another couple for coffee, and my wife's friend asked to try her new glasses on and asked why lined bifocals. My wife responded that she had progressives before, but that they were too "weird", and that she loved her new bifocals. I wonder if anyone else has had such an experience?

Phil 11 May 2006, 07:08

As I posted recently, I've just got new varifocals: -3.75 shpere in each eye with -0.5 cylinder in the right eye, with a bilateral add of +1.75. They are good for distance: my previous distance rx was increased a bit and I can see roadsigns etc much better than before. But my close vision with them is not good. I previously had a +2 add with a lower distance rx. I've been finding that, for the computer and reading, I'm faced with a choice between wearing the progressives, not seeing small print and suffering eyestrain (on the one hand) or going bare-eyed and having to get so near the screen or paper that it's ridiculous (on the other). The optician refused to give me reading specs: she said I wasn't old enough! I'm 51: though I don't look it!

So I ordered a pair from Glassesdirect. They were cheap, came promptly and are excellent. DKYN black semi-rimless with thin lenses for less than £100. I chose (pretty randomly) -1.75 in each eye. Maybe I could have done with a bit more for the computer but they are good enough; and for reading they are just perfect. I used to think that, as a myope, I could see well to read without specs. But the new glasses definitely make the print sharper and I can see better with them than without. I can also hold the page farther away.

I find optical professionals so rigid; and many of them lack communication skills. Thank goodness that on-line suppliers have freed us from their tyranny.

squinty 11 May 2006, 07:01

Guest, what are you talking about?!?

Guest 11 May 2006, 06:40


C'mon. You can't really beleive that you are so smart that you can understand the mindsets and the motivations of the browsers and the posters here. Let people make decisions for themselves about what to post. Philosophize about motivation and cognition elsewhere. Keep your thoughts about what kinds of questions are OK. Are you kidding? This is "fantasyland." You talk like it is a university class in psychology.

Get over yourself. You're being pompous, and you're preaching, on an anonymous chatboard. You must be a Londoner.

Bekka 11 May 2006, 05:37

GWG spouse

That is almost my exact prescription. When I got it, I decided to wear them more often. I had worn reading glasses, with a very slight distance correction, only for reading and sometimes for a fashion boost. With the new and stronger prescription, they were very comfortable, but I was not sure I wanted to be a glasses-person. My boyfriend encouraged me, and I wore them more and more. The agravation of on-and-off all day is now a thing of the past. I put my glasses first thing in the morning, and take them off when we sut the TV off and turn out the lights. I'm not surprised your wife wears them full time.


Corinne 10 May 2006, 12:07


Thanks for your question, we all are about the same with our glasses. Of coourse, with our folks also being high myopes, they have guided our choices quite a bit. We 3 girls all tend to get the smallest lens possible, but still with enough space for the bi or trifocals. The fronts are plano, I understand that biconcave won't work with bifocals. No one has myodisks (yet). I have tried all kinds of contacts but can't wear them due to very dry eyes. My lenses are thickere than anyones because of the prisms.

Willy 10 May 2006, 07:30

A +1.75 add seems a little high for 37, even for a hyperope, so there may be a bit more hyperopia to manifest itself in coming months. She may want to get checked again in the fall. Once all the real hyperopia has manifested, then her prescription should be pretty stable, other than periodic boosts to the add.

specs4ever 09 May 2006, 19:35

I suspect that it is as much the astigmatism as it is the prestobia. It is a bit unusual that she would have this much of an increase in only 6 or so months, but I think that the original prescription allowed her eyes to relax, and once they relaxed the need for a little more power manifested itself. I doubt there will be much more of an increase.

gwg spouse 09 May 2006, 19:03

In mid or late November my wife, who'd just turned 37, was prescribed her first glasses:

OD +0.50 -0.50 x 90 add +1.00

OS +0.50 -0.50 x 55 add +1.00

Lately I noticed that she was somewhat uncomfortable when checking her cellphone and watch, squinting or moving them out a bit, when we were out together. She was also complaining and regularly taking headache pills. So I encouraged her to get a follow-up. Rx update:

OD +1.25 -1.00 x 90 add +1.75

OS +1.00 -0.75 x 55 add +1.75

Now she is a true fulltime wearer. (Earlier she was on-and-off.) She says they are 'much better' than the old ones, still not quite necessary for distance, but her eyes are 'much more comfortable' with them on generally, and anything close-up is 'just a blur' without them. So they stay on. Also this time around she is wearing lined bifocals instead of progressives (and seems least bothered about it, in fact).

All seems fine: she's seeing well and looks great in both new pairs, plastic and semi-rimless. My questions: how could her eyes have deteriorated so fast? Or is her hyperopia/presbyopia just manifesting itself? Does this type of prescription require bifocals over progressives? Or is it simply her preference/visual comfort? And would wearing them all the time keep the eyes more relaxed and less prone to headaches? (She claims not so much of a visual difference.)

PS I'm nearsighted without apparent presbyopia, so my vision is completely different--just trying to understand the hyperopic/presbyopic 'experience'.

tortoise 08 May 2006, 09:21

A fantasy thread would be good although most fake posters probably enjoy feeling that they're fooling others.

No matter how strong the urge to bust someone you suspect of posting falsely I think it is better in the long run just to ignore them or even to play along. Remember, only a tiny fraction of the huge number of people who vist eyescene ever post here. Some of the lurkers have genuine and very interesting stories to tell of extreme or unusual vision problems but they may be reluctant to post for fear of being pounced on as fake.

There is nothing wrong with posts like:

"My old Rx was -1.25, my new Rx is -1.75. Will my glasses look very thick? Will I have to wear them all the time?"

but I don't think we want to create a situation where that is the only kind that will be believed. 8-)

Stan 08 May 2006, 04:07

I agree with Poptician. Jill should start posting in the fantasy thread instead of this one.

Poptician 08 May 2006, 03:56

Not trying to point any fingers or fling any accusations around, and I know I'm naturally suspicious and cynical, but it strikes me that some of the recent posts here belong in a fiction or fantasy thread.

Jill 07 May 2006, 14:31

I thought you would like a update.

I have had a hard time since last post.

John and I had a wonderful weekend, We were on our way back to my flat for coffee when Johns phone rang it was our boss ,there was a problem with a branch 200 miles way a he wanted John to go and sort it out ,it meant John would be away for a week I felt devastated not only would I miss John but tomorrow was to be my first day a work wearing my new glasses with the occluded lens

The next morning I could not face going to work wearing my new glasses as John would not be there to support me. So I put my old glasses on but everything closer that 6 foot seemed double, the first thing I did was knock my morning cup of tea over. My eyes and head pains were so bad that I had to come home by lunch time .Later that day I had a phone call from work to inform me I had to go and see the medical officer on Friday morning as my yearly medical was due .

Friday must have been one of the worst days in my life. Not only could I not see the eye cards but when medical was over the doctor told me I had failed the hearing test and must go to the ear clinic for a full hearing test.

I got home and burst into tears ,I had to ring John and tell him. John was so kind he said he would come and see me that evening, it would take him 3 hours When he arrived I just burst I to tears and hugged him John made me a coffee and told me to tell him all that had happened. He then went into the bathroom and came out with one of my pink stick on eye patches then gently removed my old glasses and stuck a pink eye patch over my left eye then put my new glasses with the occluded lens on, what a relieve to see properly and with John with me I felt safe. I was very shocked when John said he knew I had a hearing problem but not to worry it was properly only a build up of wax and they would syringe them and all would be ok .

So tomorrow John and I go to the hospital for my hearing test

tortoise 05 May 2006, 19:39

Corinne, as I read your post again I see that with your prism correction contacts alone would not be enough help but have you tried wearing prism/multifocal glasses over contacts?

tortoise 05 May 2006, 19:35

Corinne, your family certainly has a lot of experience with high myopia. I'm wondering what you, your sisters and parents have found to be the best choices in terms of frame size, lens material, type (flat front, bi-concave, lenticular), etc. Is there a general consensus in your family or do different people prefer different approaches? What about contacts? Don't you find you have better vision with them or do they create too much difficulty with your degree of astigmatism?

Corinne 05 May 2006, 11:58

I was supposed to have an eye exam last Friday, but when we were talking about it, my sisters both said they thought they needed to go too. As a result, we all went this morning instead. We all were examined, all now dialated (the glare is awful), and all got increases.

Here are the results:

Me R:-14.0 -4.0 x45 4BO L:-14.5 -3.5 x22 4BO add +2.25 w/trifocals (up from -13.0 -14.0 and +1.75 add)

Julia R:-19.0 -5.0 x100 L:-18.5 -5.5 x83 add +3.00 w/trifocals (up from -18.5 -18.0 add+2.75. Julia is getting -12 RGP contacts and will have the rest in glasses.

Connie R:-14.0 -3.0 x60 L:-13.5 -4.0 x55 add+2.0 w/bifocals - she doesn't want trifocals (up from -12.5 -12.0 add+1.5)

The new glasses should arrive in a couple of weeks, then I can go back to the DMV. My prescription was only about 8 months old, Julie's about a year, and Connie's about 8 months too.

Corinne 26 Apr 2006, 09:38


My family is very aware of the whole issue surounding our high myopia. We live in a small resort town in Vermont, but have our eyes tested by specialists at Dartmouth University. In fact, I am going on Friday, and my prescription is only about 8 months old.

My bifocals are for comfort reading and because a couple of prescriptions back (when I was -11) I could not read through my glasses. Now I'm -13 & -14 with significant astigmatism and +1.75 add and 3 base out prisms. Our eye doctor thinks bifocals are usually necessary above -10.

My sister, Julia (age 16) is around -18 with -5 astigmatism and +2.75 add with trifocals. Youngest sister Connie (age 13) is about -12 with a +1.5 add.

Our folks are both 43. Dad has -15 and Mom is -13. They both say they first got bifocals in their early 20's.

Ed 25 Apr 2006, 11:54


I amsm intrigued by your story of doublle vision etc. Sorry you have the problem but at least you are doing your best to function. Is there a strategy for you to get both eyes working together? It seems with the advances in eye care these days, some solution must be available. It's a shame to keep an otherwise health eye from participating in your life.

Dr.S. 25 Apr 2006, 11:23

Anyone who lives in the UK and is a member of a family in which several members are severely nearsighted should link up with the myopia genetics study underway at the University of Cardiff. Go to or search myopia genetics on Google for more info.

Dr.S. 25 Apr 2006, 10:28

Corinne, Likely, many ES participants would like to know more about your family's myopia and the prescribing of bifocals. I presume the double digit prescription(s) have resulted from progressive increases over time. There is a lot of controversy now about the cause(s) of progressive myopia and whether bifocals can slow the rate of progression. Did your Dr tell you that bifocals and prisms were prescribed in order to slow your increases, or are they mainly in order to provide better visual comfort for near work? If you have younger sisters who are already above 10 diopters nearsighted, if they are needing quite large increases every few months, they may be headed for quite impressive prescriptions by the time they become adults. Have you or your family worried about that?

 23 Apr 2006, 08:15

This is my first post after reading for a while. I'm 18, double digit nearsighted with prisms and bifocals for the past year. I just flunked the DMV test so need an increase.

My family, folks and younger sisters are all double digits and multifocals too.


NEW TO ES 22 Apr 2006, 16:48

I just picked up my new glasses, black metal retangular frames with my new prescription. My wife helped me select the frames and I had progressive transition lenses put in them. I can see much better when reading with my new prescription of +2.25. They also provide me with perfect vision while on the computer.

Jill 22 Apr 2006, 12:11

Right +5.75 Add 250

Slit 22 Apr 2006, 04:54


Do you know what i felt when i read through your postings?

"Oh god, this is a perfect story of true love and romance...i like it because it is not a story developed using excessive poetry, dreams etc, instead your story is so true and genuine."

It seems the god has sent John exactly at the right time you needed a lot of love, affection and caring. Be thankful to the god and John as well.

I wish i also get the oppotrunity that John got, to care for a girl at a moment she needs it the most... that day is not here yet, but i keep praying.

Good luck to both of you, take care.

PS: What is the new rx of your right eye?

bi-bi 22 Apr 2006, 04:48

DWV love to see the shot i think , we of multi focal lengths are underexposed . have worn tri and prog for years and got first bi-focals at about 27

Jill 21 Apr 2006, 22:31

Cant wear contact lens eyes much to dry,after 10mins they start to go pink and itch

DWV 21 Apr 2006, 20:56


I posted a photo of myself wearing FT35 on a dating site. 10,000 quatloos to the first person to find it. Hint: I'm wearing a camouflage pattern bike helmet.

Filthy McNasty 21 Apr 2006, 15:42

You could suggest using an occluder contact lens.

Jill 21 Apr 2006, 15:40

This morning John and I went to collect my new glasses with the occluded lens.

First I was fitted with a small stick on pink patch to keep all the light out of my left eye. and told to wear this all the time even when I took my glasses off.

(I was not expecting to have an eye patch as well) Then the eye doctor placed my glasses on , they felt very different to my other pair .The eye doctor explained that he had put my full correction in the right lens. Things in the distance were not as clear but middle and close were VERY sharp and clear. I was told in about a week my distance vision would improve ( I felt very frightened, this was very different to wearing a black patch that I could just take off if I needed to)I was so glad I was not on my own

The eye doctor told me to look in the mirror to see what I thought of my new glasses. I was a little shocked at first, my right eye looked VERY large and the lens was much thicker that I was expecting; however the occluded lens was not as bad as I had expected. (John said they look great, much better than my black eye patch.)

I had promised John that if he came with me I would wear them all this weekend. In return John said he would take me away to the country so I could get used to them without meeting anybody I knew.

It has been difficult to see today but John and I have had a great time together.

We are just going out for a evening meal tell you more later.

Jill 19 Apr 2006, 15:19

Had a wonderful time at the theatre with john. He was so supportive

I could see so much better with my eye patch on and no double vision and no headaches.

But still needed to sit near the front as I found it hard to hear from the back of the theatre.

We went to the eye doctors today at 4 pm to order my glasses with the occluded lens. The eye doctor was pleased to see that I was wearing my eye patch. I told him how much better I could see when wearing it and no headaches I have worn it all afternoon and evening for the last 3 days but today was a first I put it on before john picked me up at 9am and am still wearing it 12 hours later.

The eye doctor said as I was wearing my eye patch so much and was ordering the glasses with the occluded lens. He would put my full prescription in them.

I only have to wait 2 days but I am a little nervous about getting them.

I hope John will offer to come with me to collect them

Slit 18 Apr 2006, 12:54

Jill, I wish you a lot of luck..

So, you are a living example that getting glasses for the first time is not a reason for the guys to stop looking at you!

Wei 18 Apr 2006, 03:43

The eye patch could start new trend i think ;-)

Lazysiow 16 Apr 2006, 19:05

it sounds like you have a good guy there. Hopefully you don't pick too hard to find something wrong with him as per women's standards :)

Jill 16 Apr 2006, 16:48

I went out for lunch today just sat down to eat and one of my fellow worker came in he asked if he could join me.

He asked me why I was not working all day next week, so I told him about my eye problem. He was very nice about it and told me not to worry, it was very important to get my eyes sorted and not to worry about other people

Then the waitress brought the menu all the print was double I panicked I could not read any of it ,he saw me struggling and suggested I wear my eye patch to read it if it would help I did not know what to do as I had it in my bag but had not even tried it.

I was so shocked when I put it on I could see the menu with no problem and my co worker looked so clear I ordered the meal and was about to take it off when he suggested that as I had it on why not keep it on during the meal if it would help so I did. He was so kind about it. After the meal we went for a walk in the park still wearing my eye patch. He then walked me home and asked me out to the theatre tonight .So he is picking me up in 2 hours he said he doesn’t mind if I wear my eye patch if it will help me see.

All ready to go out now got black evening dress on and decided to be brave and wear my eye patch

Wish me luck

Wei 16 Apr 2006, 11:12

Thank you reply ChrisB. I understand patch for dominant eye but I never hear of this for near sight. Is interesting this problem occur in adults sometimes - I think maybe this in latent hyperpia only?

Jill 16 Apr 2006, 08:24

had real problems at work this week had to go home at lunch time lots of double vison as soon as i got tired.

Have desided to give in and order a pair of glasses for work with one occluded lens.

I am working from home next week in the afternoons so i can patch my eye until my new special glasses arrive.

Wish me luck

ChrisB 15 Apr 2006, 15:41


thats an interesting question. The patching is not so much to do with the dioptres but the fact that the eyes are asymetrical. The fact that one eye is dominant makes the other eye lazy upto a point where the optic nerves atrophy. So, I suppose patching could in theory apply to both hyperopia or myopia. While I was still able to do GOC I did an experiment on myself by inserting only one CL and then going with and without the glasses. In effect I made one eye do the work for distance and the other for near vision. It was very noticeable, in each instance, that the resting eye did not attempt to accomodate. In discussing GOC with my optician - I recall him saying that he occasionally prescribed monocular spectacles for people who didnt want to wear bifocals or progressives. E.G the left lens would be prescribed for distance and the right for reading.

Wei 15 Apr 2006, 11:40

Is patching for far sight only?

bi-bi 15 Apr 2006, 08:16

since we all seem to be bi-focal nuts why dont we have photos of us or others wearing them???

Geoff 08 Apr 2006, 17:50

Rick, have not heard from you in a long time. Are the bifocals still serving you well? Any need yet fro a stronger add?

DWV 07 Apr 2006, 23:59

Maybe you can get a frosted or opaque contact lens; that would be a lot more subtle than frosted glasses or a piratical eye patch.

ChrisB 05 Apr 2006, 09:40


did the optician explain why he/she wanted you to patch the eye?

I had a young colleague some years ago who in her late teens early 20s found she was asymetrically long sighted. She resisted the advice from her optician to wear the glasses and subsequently the patch, even in private. The doc then explained that unless she followed at least some of his advice she could become functionally blind in her lazy eye. When it is not receiving valid information from one eye the brain switches off the data feed - eventually it cant switch it back on again. My son has this condition, although his was caused from childhood. It's more acute in children but apparently not unknown in Adults. Not wishing to alarm you - but the optician is probably trying a number of different rx for your eyes in order to keep you well away from the danger zone.

you might seriously consider your opticians suggestion of an occluded lens.


Curt 05 Apr 2006, 06:22

Adam: The stronger eye is almost always the one that is patched. This forces the weaker eye to work more and become stronger. So Jill's situation makes perfect sense. I don't think it is very realistic for her eye doc to expect her to wear a patch anywhere but at home, however.

Adam 05 Apr 2006, 05:58

Jill!I'm 33,my Rx R+1.5 add 2.00, L+ 3.0 add 2.0.I wear progressives.

We have similar problems: one eye weaker (in my case it is a

"lazy eye"), plusses with addition,tired eyes.Tell more about suggestion of one eye patched - in Your case you have to patch better eye! Am I right?

I'm really interested in it!Looking for answer

Best regards

Adam 05 Apr 2006, 01:52

Jill! How old are you?

Phil 05 Apr 2006, 01:30

Get the trifocals if you need them. Will they be lined? If so, why do you prefer them to varifocals? Keep the eyepatch for when you are in private. The optician can't seriously expect you to be at work looking like Pongo the Pirate. There is a limit! Medical types really don't see beyond the precise problem they are dealing with . You are a young, no doubt attractive, woman. You can't be expected to look silly.

Jill 04 Apr 2006, 11:19

Four months ago no glasses

One month ago Rx was R+3.25 Add 1.50

L+275 Add 1.50 Plus prisms

New test today Rx was R+4.25 Add 2.50

L+2.75 Add1.75 no prisms but D28 trifocals

Also I have to patch left eye when I get tired.

The problem is my eyes get tired by lunch time at work I don’t like the idea of wearing a black patch at work.

Eye doctor suggested I have a second pair of glasses with left lens frosted.

Not sure what to do have to decide by tomorrow

Phil 04 Apr 2006, 02:41

If you can see well Joanna and you are happy with wearing glasses fulltime I shouldn't worry that the lenses look "strong". we all need different correction: it's just life. I think you are to some extent suffereing from surprise that you have moved from not needing specs to a fulltime wearing of rather complex lenses so quickly. But you have coped so well. You don't say whether you've received compliments about how you look in specs, or whether most people just haven't noticed. Your friend may be more conscious than most because of getting bifocals herself out of the blue!

Joanna 03 Apr 2006, 23:05

Just to note that I have adapted fine now to my first varifocal glasses (see below) and have no problem at all wearing them all the time. So the promise that one will adapt however odd they seem to start with does seem true, at least from my experience. Took about two weeks before I had no problem at all seeing through them. My vision without glasses does really seem to have deteriorated again though, and leaving them off for any length of time is pretty uncomfortable. No one has noticed the add or the prism, though a friend (who has also recently started wearing bifocals at around 40) did comment that I need quite strong glasses now, and I think they do look quite strong.

John S 03 Apr 2006, 16:12


You may want to ask the doctor if he thinks that your rx is going to increase again. If so, maybe you can ask him to give you a little bit stronger rx than what you currently need. That might save you some money, so you won't have to have the lenses made up so soon again. The only downside, for a month or so, your distance might be a bit blurry. Most people that get an rx like yours the first time, have some fast increases for a few years.

Jill 03 Apr 2006, 15:40

Started having problems reading small print again going for a text tomorrow

Wei 28 Mar 2006, 11:38

Do anyone know if there limit to rx for make progressive lenses?

Phil 27 Mar 2006, 09:56

That's quite a rx for first time specs. Had you been having trouble reading? I bet the glasses have made an enormous difference. It must have been sensatonal reading a newspaper for the first time wearing them. How is your distance vision with them? Did the optician tell you that you might need stronger lenses or are you now fully corrected? I take it that you went full time at once. What frames did you choose? Did you get lots of compliments when you became a gwg?

Jill 27 Mar 2006, 06:43

25 next week

Smudgeur 21 Mar 2006, 12:20

I know it's rude to ask a lady, but please forgive me Jill - how old are you?

Jill 21 Mar 2006, 11:44


I got a shock 3 months ago went for my first eye test was having head pains and double vision when reading.

Rx was R+3.25 L+2.75 ADD 1.50 plus prisms

I was advised to have D 28 flat top bifocals What a suprise when I fist put them on I never had any idea my sight was that bad.

Worn them every day since they are FAB no problems only one person has noticed the line

why dont you try them.

Phil 20 Mar 2006, 01:03

Joanna, I'm so glad you are going to perservere with the new progressive lenses. I wish I could keep my glasses on fulltime! I've had specs for about 30 years and still don't wear them full-time, though I plainly should. I find varifocals a bit dodgy when looking down, especially when hurrying across the bridge to the station in the dark evenings and having to rush down the badly-lit steps. But they are great when one needs to do occasional close-work while basically needing to see clearly in the distance. How have other's reacted to you becoming a full-time gwg? Has anyone noticed the change to progressives? I suspect that you will have been showered with compliments. You are very obviously an intelligent woman: you write beautifully. And most men who notice intelligent women think that wearing specs enhances their attraction. Do you enjoy wearing your specs? I hope so. Good luck.

Joanna 18 Mar 2006, 02:41

Yes I now have the new progressives with prisms, collected them on thursday. As some people said here, the prisms are not strong enough to change the way the glasses look, but whether it's because of them or some other readjustments to the glasses, the double vision has gone away. I am finding these glasses a bit of a struggle in other ways though - seem to keep looking the wrong way and encountering a blur and the floor is swimming. Slightly daunted at the moment by the idea that from now on I'll always be looking at the world through strange glasses like these with peripheral blur. I'm going to a wedding this afternoon, and am rather tempted just to wear my distance glasses, but have been advised that sticking with the progressives is the way to go (I might at least take my other glasses in my handbag though!). However, having done the taking distance and near glasses on and off thing for the past couple of weeks and having started to feel the add is indeed necessary for me now, I do feel some motivation to try and adjust to the progressives, as I understand most people eventually do. I've also been told that it's much better to try and get used to them now than to wait until I need a stronger add, so this is also a motivation. Seems amazing now that 3 years ago I didn't even wear glasses, can't quite imagine this any more now I'm increasingly dependent on all this increasingly complicated eyewear!

Phil 17 Mar 2006, 01:40

Joanna, have you got the progressive lenses with the prism yet? I was wondering how you were getting on. Do let us know.

Willy 16 Mar 2006, 06:26

Jo -- With that change, my earlier comment would be different. From your first post, it seemed your right eye especially could use some distance correction, but with the correct number both eyes should be pretty good at distance. Perhaps try getting the full prescription with the add made up as reading glasses and see how you get on.

Jo 15 Mar 2006, 20:53

Actually should have copied it slightly wrong, should have been:

L: + 0.75 -0.75x80

R: - 0.25 -0.25x70

+1.00 add both eyes

Is the distance prescription actually strong enough to make any difference though?

Willy 15 Mar 2006, 16:27

Jo -- The simplest thing, of course, would be to go right to the bifocal or progressive option, but since you have never had glasses before and your script includes some cylinder, you may want to consider getting the distance first, wear them and see if your distance vision is improved, and then see if you can read with them on, or read after taking them off. You could then get a second pair for reading, or put the bifocal into the first pair. Let us know what you decide!

Jo 15 Mar 2006, 15:50

L: + 0.75 -0.75x80

R: - 0.25 -0.75x70

+1.00 add both eyes?

Slight near blur on prolonged reading. Slight sense of strain with distance. Currently no glasses. Nearly 42 years old.

Is the solution:

no glasses

near glasses only


near and distance glasses

thank you!

Bob 11 Mar 2006, 11:14


I have also found that it gets harder and harder to function without glasses with each stronger prescription. With my first bifocals (at about age 42 or so) I could function fine at a distance and with some struggle could read all but the tiniest type.

I wore them most of the time for convenience because I also hated taking them on and off, but it wasn't a necessity.

With every stronger pair of glasses it got harder and harder to do much of anything without glasses.

Long ago I passed the point where I could read anything without my glasses, but could still see ok at distance out of my right eye. I also see better out of one eye than the other, which does make a diffence.

I recently got stronger glasses (trifocals this time). I now find that my distance vision is quite a bit worse. I can't read signs on the road or see the tv very well.

Wearing glasses fulltime once was a convenience. Now it is a necessity.

Roy 11 Mar 2006, 06:41


You say unaided vision seems to get worse each time you get stronger glasses. Could it be simply that the new stronger glasses make your corrected vision better so the difference between the corrected and uncorrected vision increases making you think your vision has suddenly got worse when you wear the new glasses?

Having said this I think that, at age 41, you must expect an increase in the "near add" to your prescription over the next few years as presbyopia takes hold (as it does with everyone at around this age). At 58 my add is 2.75 which, I think is fairly average. As my near add has increased I have found varifocals more and more helpful. My distance vision with a near correction and near vision with a distance corection are both pretty bad.

Joanna 11 Mar 2006, 02:36

With reading, it's actually slight overstatement to say I can't see normal print at all - I can just about make out words if I really strain to see them, and it's a bit better if I leave my glasses off for a bit, but there's no way I could realistically read without glasses: each word is a struggle. Don't know if that's worse than would be expected with a total near prescription of +2.5 in my better eye, +3.75 in my worse eye, I think.

My distance vision is considerably better than my near vision in that I can basically see what's going on around me, though not the very fine details. I think my better eye is about 20/40 which isn't that bad. But the particular problem is that I really feel I'm straining to see, and also because one eye is worse than the other, I don't use it properly withut glasses and so things don't look three dimensional. So I could find my way home without glasses, but I'm far more comfortable wearing them, as I suspect Phil's wife will be if she starts to do so. I also dislike taking them on and off because there's always an adjustment period: things look particuarly blurry just after taking them off, then distance looks briefly a bit blurry after putting them back on again. So I can't imagine not wearing the all the time now, though I do wonder if this has made my eyes worse - my unaided vision seems to get quickly worse each time I get stronger glasses, and it never seems to be long before I start to think maybe they aren't quite strong enough. Hopefully this will all stabilise a bit at some point.

Julian 08 Mar 2006, 06:40

Joanna: Unlike Phil, I'm not a bit surprised that you can't read without correction. I had bifocals at the age of 40, but could read bareyed till I was 45 or so (soon after that I found single vision glasses for distance weren't much good to me any more!) BUT my hyperopia is less than yours though I have some astigmatism too. I think what you are experiencing is exactly what was to be exxpected. Best of luck in getting your specs sorted out.

Phil 08 Mar 2006, 04:25

Joanna, I'm surprised that you can't read at all without your specs. How much difference do they make for distance stuff? My wife is a bit hyperopic. She used to have specs for reading when she was young but gave them up. She's now 46 and uses a pair of disgusting ready-made M&S specs to see the paper (just +1, I think). But recently she seems to be having a bit of difference reading small writing on signs in the distance and on tv. I've tried to get her to go to the optician's but she's stubborn as a mule!! She doesn't want to become a fulltime wearer.

Cactus Jack 07 Mar 2006, 21:30


Small amounts of prism such as you have indicated are rarely a concern unless you have some significant muscle imbalance problems.


Joanna 07 Mar 2006, 21:17

Thank you for all the helpful thoughts about this. The optician I have gone to is quite well recommended and reputable and the glasses with prisms now on order, so I guess I'll see what they are like. If not good, I think the advice to go elsewhere is very sensible. I'm a bit worried also that some of the stuff on this site tends to suggest it's hard to turn back from prisms - once you get used to them it sounds as if you can't easily do without again? Separate distance and reading glasses do actually work fine for me at present in that the reading add I've been prescribed is new and fairly optional - it makes long periods of close work quite a bit less of a strain, but if I need to read something briefly in a meeting or something I have no problem doing so with just my distance glasses (though I've realised I've now reached the point where I can't read normal size print at all without glasses). But I suppose this will work less well as I get more dependent on the add and might have to keep changing glasses in an annoying way, so maybe it's better to try and work out a long term one pair only solution now.

Phil 06 Mar 2006, 01:00

Joanna: Maybe you'd do best with your two pairs, one made up to distance rx and another to reading rx. That way you could forget the prisms! If you are embarrassed by needing two pairs you could get them in same frames. No-one would notice then: your extra plus for reading is pretty small. What job do you do? Does it involve computer work? I use the computer all day and the optician advocated progressives for that. In fact I find them useless for the computer and normally go bare-eyed with my nose on the screen! Good luck with whatever you do. It's good that you have got used to being a gwg! I've needed specs for over 30years and am still not entirely comfortable with them.

Karol 05 Mar 2006, 16:59

Hi Joanna,

I recently went with varifocal lenses and at the start I felt I cannot use these lenses in my glasses, but a month later I cannot function without my varifocal glasse , all u need is time to adjust

Roy 05 Mar 2006, 11:35


Is it true you only have the double vision when using the the progressives and not with single vision distance or reading glasses? If so I agree with Merwyn that the problem may be that the progressives are made incorrectly and that you do not really need the prisms.

If the lenses are not properly centred in front of your eyes you will get a prism effect which will cause double vision. Sometimes when I have bought glasses with prisms (which I do need) the dispensing opticians have said they will produce the prism effect by deliberately de-centring the lenses.

Measurements are certainly critical with varifocals and I would recommend that you get the optician to check out your existing progressives for any errors before paying for a pair with prisms.

Cactus Jack 04 Mar 2006, 11:22


Because you don't seem to be having trouble with reading glasses, I'm thinking that there could have been a problem with the glasses.

While it would be a drastic step, have you considered asking for a refund and starting over with a different eye doctor and lens maker or at least getting a second opinion?


Merwyn 04 Mar 2006, 11:13


The reason for your double vision is because the reading portion of your lens(es) is not in the proper location for your pupilary distance. Either have the glasses remade or have them readjusted. No need for prism.

Joanna 04 Mar 2006, 09:51

Cactus Jack,

The double vision in my now abandoned progressives was when looking down to read. For now until I try the new glasses with prisms, I've switched to reading glasses, which give me impressively sharp near vision and do seem rather less trouble, especially as my near vision is good enough to be able to do without the add if I'm just glancing briefly at something close through my distance glasses. Maybe two pairs of glasses are the answer for me in fact. I think the 2D is per eye, but cannot make that much sense of the prescription - it also appears to say BO: base out?

Tanya 04 Mar 2006, 06:44

Hi all

Can anyone here tell me how bi/vari focal contact lenses work? as I know it, CL's move with your eyes whereas spec lenses dont. I want CL'S but I would like some info from someone who uses them to tell me how they work


Cactus Jack 04 Mar 2006, 05:54


I asked you if you recalled how much prism was being added to you glasses and you said 2 diopters. I forgot to ask if the prism was Base Out (BO), Base In (BI), Base Up (BU), or Base Dwwn (BD). Also, I forgot to ask if the 2 Diopters was total prism or in each eye.

One diopter of prism causes 0.6 degrees of deflection of the eye or a ray of light. Small amounts of prism are very hard to detect except with optical instruments. So I would be surprised if 2 D was visible at all.

There is also a thing called induced prism which can either be useful or a nuisance depending on if it was intentional or by mistake. Induced prism is caused by or implemented by misplacement of the optical center of the lens. (Incorrect PD for instance).

Does your double vision occur with distance or when reading or both?


Joanna 04 Mar 2006, 00:14

Ree - I'm almost 42. I didn't wear glasses at all until a couple of years ago, so it does seem rather a big step to be dealing with full-time progressives, prisms etc. etc. I do know others of a similar age who have quickly gone from no glasses to full-time bifocals though, I suppose this is the age for rapid change. I don't know yet what the glasses will look like with prisms. I think the difference between my lenses (+1.75 vs +3.0 in my current distance prescription) is quite visible, but I can't say that others have really commented. Although I could do without all the complications with prisms etc., i do quite like wearing glasses now though (and have a bit of a fascination for others doing so). Also it's human nature to be quite adaptable - two years is enough for me to have completely got used to being bespectacled, and I think people who know me have almost forgotten that I didn't always wear glasses.

Ree 03 Mar 2006, 18:43

Joanna, Its really good that you are taking these rapid changes in your vision in your stride. But i do understand that these sudden changes do leave an impact. I would like to know how old are you.

Yes you have a considerable difference between both the eyes, and that may be a reason for double vision. But any way did you consult an Ophthalmologist or an optician, and i think a second opinion would do no harm.

Also to the onlooker is it very obvious the difference in the thickness of both the lenses?

Joanna 03 Mar 2006, 16:14

Phil - I do indeed feel I'm becoming a very serious glasses wearer very fast and my prescription seems to be becoming stronger and more complicated at an alarming rate. However, in my mind and I think for other people too the biggest transition really was when I started wearing my specs all the time or pretty much all the time. People notice that they never see you without glasses, I'm not sure they really notice much detail about the glasses though I still await these prisms with a certain amount of trepidation. So I think I'm coping but we'll see whether these new glasses work properly and how they look, then I'll know whether I've coped!

Roy 03 Mar 2006, 10:13


I am 58 now and have had strong prisms in my glasses since I was around 15. I can still remember how they instantly corrected double vision and made my eyes work together.

Lenses with prisms do not look significantly different from normal lenses. I am myopic so the prisms make the lenses thicker wherever the "base" is in the prescription (and thinner on the opposite edge). So "base up" will mean the lens is thicker at the top, "base out thicker on the outside edge etc. However as you are hyperopic your lenses will be thin on the edges anyway and I don't think you will see any noticeable difference in the appearance of the lenses if 2 dioptre prisms are added to them.

I did find opticians (in the UK)were reluctant to prescribe varifocals with the strong prisms (telling me I should have separate reading and distance pairs)but I persevered and have been wearing varifocals with the prisms for around six years with no problems.

Skip 03 Mar 2006, 08:52


Not too long ago, I had the same experience, where I was unable to focus

with both eyes for close viewing.

Due to a cataract in my left eye, I got to a point where I needed a -10 correction for distance and +3 for near.

The correction for the unaffected eye was -2.25, +3 for near.

To get both eyes focusing on the same plane, a prism or slab off as it's called was cut on the inside of the left lens, at the top of the near segment of my trifocal. This created a line slightly visible from the front of the lens, which extended across the entire lense. The line was visible but not noticeable unless one was looking for it. However the prism did work and my double vision was corrected.

Following the cataract surgery, I needed

trifocals for near vision and to correct astigmatism, but no prism.

I now have a cataract forming in my right eye which results in needing more correction. The Doctor told me another prism will be needed before the cataract is ready to remove.

Good luck to you.

Phil 03 Mar 2006, 00:56

Goodness Joanna, you are becoming a serious glasses wearer so fast. First single vision, then the progressives, now some prism. Are you coping ok?

Cactus Jack 02 Mar 2006, 15:06


Probably not noticable particularly in a low plus Rx.


Joanna 02 Mar 2006, 14:33

I think 2 diopters?

Cactus Jack 02 Mar 2006, 13:25


Do you recall the amount of prism?


Joanna 02 Mar 2006, 11:25

I went back to the optician today because of the double vision I was experiencing with my new multifocals (see below), which wasn't going away. Apparently this isn't just normal adjustment but is a problem due to having a significant difference in prescription between my eyes. The answer is apparently to get the lenses remade with a slight prism included. Even after reading some previous posts about this, I don't quite understand what this will be like. What do prisms in glasses look like and what is it like getting used to them? I'd be very interested to know. These new glasses will apparently take 2 weeks to arrive - so in the meantime I've got some reading glasses made up with my new near prescription. I must admit, even though I'm still not very pleased that I need an add, the difference it made is considerable, I'd forgotten that print could look so sharp. I'm wondering whether separate distance and reading glasses might be the way to go after all.

Cactus Jack 24 Feb 2006, 21:05


Your friends and relatives don't know what they are talking about. Everyone is diferent and the idea you won't need help reading until you are 40 is a myth.

There are many factors that affect the need for reading glasses and it is not uncommon to find school students using them.

Enjoy the pleasure of reading comfortably and ignore the comments. Just remember what they said and don't let them borrow your glasses to read a menu when they ask. If you really want to have some fun, get a small magnifying glass and loan them that instead.


Annika 24 Feb 2006, 19:39

I just got my first ever glasses--for reading only--with +1.50 power. The doctor explained about losing the ability to focus, and I'm 38 now. I was kind of excited about my new glasses, always seeing friends get them (for distance) when I was younger, and yes they make close work more comfortable. But I'm getting reactions from colleagues, friends, even family, that are making me feel uncomfortable. "Already!" "What happened?" "I'm 45 (or whatever), and my eyes are fine". My sister is a year older and wears glasses or contacts for distance and she laughed. But mostly astonishment and things like that. Did I hit this problem too early?! I quite feel like it.

Phil 24 Feb 2006, 01:10

Joanna, I think you'll get used to them. Not sure that varifocals ever work perfectly though. But at least they let you read things that you need to read in the ordinary course of life. Do you use a computer? I find them useless for that. Maybe you should just use them for stuff that basically involves distance correction: driving, shopping, walking about. And get a pair made up to the rx including the add for close stuff like serious reading. To see how much you need extra correction for distance have a look at the bit of the paper where it tells you about those who've gone bankrupt! That's always in tiny print. Bet you'll see it better through bottom part of the varificals. What frames did you get by the way?

Desperate house husband 23 Feb 2006, 20:48

My wife has worn glasses / contacts for 25 years. Following an infection she stopped using contacts approximately 10 years ago and 5 years ago progressed to progressives. I think her script is (both eyes) -2.50 with an add of 1.75.

To my horror the other day she purchased some contacts and readers. Are there any advantages / disadvantages to progressives as opposed to contacts/ readers? Any suggestion as to how to convince her to go back to glasses. Her decision to return to contacts was that she was sick of wearing glasses all the time. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Joanna 23 Feb 2006, 10:13

I picked up my new multifocals, first ones ever (I posted on the hyperopia thread, but now I guess this is the thread for me), this morning, prescription:

L: +1.75, Add +0.75

R: +3.00, Add +0.75

They look good and no obvious signs that they are bifocals. Unfortunately though, I am getting double vision when I look down quickly, though this then resolves after looking downwards for a few minutes. It's pretty unpleasant. Has anyone else experienced this - do you know if it's part of the adaptation process and might go away or if it's a problem that's likely to persist, in which case I'd better get back to the optician asap!!

Not actually completely convinced the add is necessary, as my near vision also seems quite good when I look through my newly increased distance lenses,


Wayne 15 Feb 2006, 19:01

Angie, I've had progressives for many years now after starting with bifocals when presbyopia set in. I much prefer the progressives. They took a little getting used to but so did my first bifocals.

Aside from the cosmetic lack of the obvious line, there are several benefits. As you move your eyes down from the distance area there is a gradual shift to intermediate and then close vision so you can usually find a place to look through that works for any distance. I also find it less disconcerting when looking down to not have the abrupt shift.

It is, however, somewhat a matter of personal taste. Some people are happier with progressives, but some find they prefer the bifocals.

Also, there are bifocal contacts available. There are a number of varieties in soft and gas permeable. I have worn contacts for quite a while as my eyes started getting too dry for comfort. In the past I've had bifocal contacts that worked very well. Some do find them hard to get used to, however.

Peter 15 Feb 2006, 16:37

Angie - Did your doctor elaborate on his comment that "Because of my prescription he did not think contacts were the answer" ?

Well, here's a question: how well do you see in the distance without glasses or contacts?

Bifocals or varifocals do make some sense for you, but I can see reasons for wearing contacts at least some of the time now IF you had serious reasons for wearing them most of the time before.

I agree that bifocals are kind of neat. Hopefully your boyfriend and others won't give you a hard time about them. You should be able to wear them or not wear them based on whether you like them yourself, not based on other people's comments.

AA 15 Feb 2006, 16:32

Angie, your boy friend must be a little dense, glasses are an aid to see, and if you didmnt need them you would not wear them,has he such a weak personality

thats the depth of feelings he has for is based on your looks, many guys find more than care to admit ladies wearing glasses rather attractive. I would have thought you boy friend would have complimented you on your glasses, and told you how wonderful you were in them, instead of the stunned silence, certainly did not do your confidence much good. Stll we lovers of ladies wearing glasses are your friends, and we love your postings. AA

Angie 15 Feb 2006, 12:55

Funny you asked about driving,last night I commented to my boyfried that I have to get a little closer to the GPS toprogram it. I had to pick him up at a different airport and needed the GPS to find it. I never told him about my new glasses. First thing he said was "Why are you wearing glasses ! Why are your wearing Bifocals?" I reminded him about needing my reading glasses from time to time in dark restaurants.He couldn't get over me having bifocals asking "Do you have wear those all the time"? Several people have already have noticed the line. So it must be very pronounced. I told him that I really see better with bifocals and my contacts are on vacation for a while.He just stared at me saying "I thout you had to be 40 for bifocals"

At dinner he asked to try them on commenting "The bottom part is real strong I didn't you eyes were that bad." I didn't dare tell him while he was playing with my bifocals I tried and couldn't read the menu! I couldnt wait to get them back. In such a short time I have become dependant.

More Later...

Slit 14 Feb 2006, 22:47


Do you drive with bifocals?

How comfortable is driving with them on?

What were the comments of your colleuges about bifocals?

I bet there are some more of your collegues who still have not discovered that they also need bifocals... May be you can remind them to check their eyes too ;-)

Curt 14 Feb 2006, 07:31

Angie: Don't worry about the line too much. As other folks here have said, after a little while you will not even notice it. When you first get bifocals, there is a tendency to be fixated on the line and the bifocal itself. You may find yourself looking through the add even when you don't need to (like walking along a sidewalk, etc.) But after some time you will start using the bifocal add only when it is necessary, such as for reading, etc. The only time I have found lined bifocals a bit of a problem is with the computer (I have both progressives and lined bifocals). You will either sit too far back and look through the tops, or sit too close and look through the add. For these cases, a pair of progressives or full vision readers is probably better (or maybe trifocals)...

Good luck!

"Original" Geoff 14 Feb 2006, 05:59


I first had to get bifocals when I was 18 and I was advised to get the lined kind cause they would be easier to get used to. At first I thought the line was really noticeable just like you, but pretty soon you get so used to it you just kind of forget its there. I havent tried progressives yet (Im 23 now) cause I really have no problems at all with the lined ones. Let us know how you are making out.

Angie 14 Feb 2006, 02:53

I left the doctors office and headed next door to pick out new frames for my bifocals.

I told my friend I had this thing called presbyopia (I think) which most people get in their forties,I just got it early and Yes I needed bifocals.

We picked a nice Armani frame and proceeded to to the counter. All was fine until she asked what kind of bifocal did I want Line or No line. I picked the kind with the line after much discussion about how things would look. She told me the line would not be too noticeable and I could change if I did not like them.

After a Long hour, the moment of truth arrived. The optician had me take a seat and went in back to get my glasses. The first thing she says “ You got bifocals is this your first pair”? As she cleaned the glasses all I could see was this big LINE in my glasses. When she slipped them on me and gave me a little card to read and I could I knew that I NEEDED BIFOCALS.I removed them and tried to read the card and most of it was unreadable, as I put them back on it was perfectly clear. As we walked to the car my cell rang and I was able to read the phone number without putting on my reading glasses. I think the line is VERY visible and when I look at my glasses in the mirror all I see is this huge line in the middle. Also I find myself looking at things with the top and bottom parts to see which is better .In a way It’s kinda cool. I’ll keep you informed.



Angie 14 Feb 2006, 02:18

Hello everyone,

Thanks to everyone who helped answer my many questions lately.

Yesterday at the mall for lunch, my coworker and I were looking at CD’s as she handed me one to view and I could not see it. I had to put on my reading glasses once again. She asked me what was going on and I gave her the whole story about needing these reading glasses more and more. She too noticed that I was wearing them more at work too.After she listened she tried to reassure me that maybe I just needed a new prescription. My eye doctor was in the mall in the glasses place, she suggested we try for an appointment now. I was half hoping they were to busy but no such luck! They took me in right away. I seen the same doc as I did in November. I was explaining all the same things we have spoke about here and he said I basically was giving bifocals back in November. The doc just thought with my contacts it would be easier.

He puts the machine over my eyes and pushes buttons until I can read all the numbers on the wall. Then he gives me a small up close chart to read and I have a really hard time most of it was hard to read, except the big letters. He put the machine back and flipped and clicked until the chart was perfect.

He told that my eyes needed more help up close than the did at my last exam. And yes I now needed BIFOCALS. If I did not want the two pair anymore then I would have to start wearing bifocals fulltime. Because of my prescription he did not think contacts were the answer. He told me try bifocals for a while and see how they work out.

In a way I was happy to have an answer to my problem. I just wished it wasn’t bifocals.

My card read…

R + 1.75 -1.00 140 Add + 1.75

L + 2.00 - 50 30 Add + 1.75

More later.



Peter 13 Feb 2006, 17:53


No one has so far addressed what I think might have been your biggest question/concern, so... While you should probably try bifocals (perhaps a no-line type), you do still have options that involve contacts. There are bifocal contacts - the vision isn't necessarily as good for either far or near, but they work for some people. You can also do "monovision", where one eye is corrected for distance and one eye for near vision - again, this doesn't work for everyone. And you can continue to wear your contacts and have a pair of reading glasses available for seeing close up. But for when you are not wearing contacts, you need a stronger pair of glasses for reading...neither your 'regular' glasses nor your 'reading' (for over contacts) glasses are strong enough to allow you to read without wearing contacts. So you can either get a pair of stronger single-vision glasses that you only wear for reading (distance will be blurry) or get a pair of bifocals that will allow you to see both distance and near when you're not wearing contacts. If you get the no-line type, it is difficult for someone else to know that your glasses aren't single-vision; they'll look pretty much the same to everyone else. You may prefer the lined type, however, and you don't need to feel like a "grandma" - people of all ages wear bifocals, depending on their needs. Drug stores and supermarkets sometimes have bifocal reading glasses for sale; you can try these out to get a sense of what it's like to wear them.

Cassie 13 Feb 2006, 14:18

Hi, Angie

Well, as far as my history goes the only thing I can say is I haven't had a prescription change for about 5 years.

I'll write down exactly what it says on my current prescript;

OD +6.00 +1.75 115 Add +2.00

OS +6.00 +.75 87 Add +2.00

Except for the first number, I don't know what it all means.

My everyday glasses are rimless, or maybe semi-rimless, I'm not sure. And, I do have some black plastic sunglasses that are also pregressives.

daisy 13 Feb 2006, 09:48

Angie, you probably do need bifocals. I have to have "help" to dial the cell phone, too. I am a teacher and have taught young kids with bifocals as well as college aged folks who have bifocals. And they really do make life easier.

leelee 13 Feb 2006, 07:06


If you wear your reading glasses over your contacts, then you are already using bifocals! I might be wrong but i think you have +1.5/+1.75 distance glasses & contacts

+1.25/1.25 reading glasses

If so, its not surprising that you can't read when you take your contacts out and just wear your reading glasses - without your contacts, your reading power is less than 1/2 of what you need.

How will bifocals look? I use reading glasses that are a total of my distance +1/2 my add for mostly computer work (+2.25) These look a lot stronger than my progressives which are +1.5 +1.5 add. I think they do a lot of things to make progressives look thinner. If you only wear your glasses at home alone, then you might just get lined ones which are cheaper. You will just keep using the simple reading glasses over your contacts otherwise. If you get progressives then you will need to wear them full time for a while in order to get used to them, but they will probably look similar to what you now have.

Angie 13 Feb 2006, 06:13

Cassie I forgot to ask .

What is your prescription history ?



Angie 13 Feb 2006, 05:20

I received my first glasses in college for reading (I was getting headaches).

One year later I had to get stronger glasses (the headaches returned even with the glasses). I was told at this time that I needed stronger glaases and to wear them fulltime, they were R + 150 l + 175. I think I have had small increase since then. In November I told him I still had trouble reading and he gave me a SECOND pair to wear over my contacts. They are + 1.25 Funny thing when I am at home and not wearing my contacts I still can't read, even with my READING glasses. So I must need new glasses already. I feel like my grandma

pulling out glsses to read. but lately I don't seem to have any choice.My sister has told me my regular glasses look thick and strong . What will BIFOCALS look like If I need them?

Thanks once again.


Frances 12 Feb 2006, 23:47

That you dont need bifocals until you are in your 40's is indeed a myth. I was 31 when i was first told i would need them, and now at 41 would be very hard put to see any close print without them. I am quite longsighted.

My eldest daughter also wears quite strong glasses for longsight, and the optician has told her that she will need to wear bifocals sooner rather than later, due to all the close work she is doing at school. She is 16.

Cactus Jack 12 Feb 2006, 20:13

Angie; OOps! I could read small print ..


Cassie 12 Feb 2006, 20:13


I've been wearing bifocals since the age of I think 23. I borrowed an old pair of my mothers glasses when I was away in college in my late teens(we're both farsighted). She wore bifocals, and I just sort of got used to them. I wasn't prescribed glasses (single vision) until I was 21

Anyways, when I started wearing Mom's glasses everybody wanted to try them on. I guess they looked so out of place.

I started wearing glasses full time, even though I didn't need them. You know how it is being farsighted, you can see so much out there at a distance. Of course I was able to see much better with my own prescription, than with Mom's, but I missed having bifocals, so I talked the Dr. into tacking on a little add.

I'm 38 now, and still at it. My youngest daughter tried on my glasses the other day and proclaimed I was blind. I wear progressives, and even though the lense material is supposed to be the lightest, and thinnest available, my eyes look a whole lot bigger than they really are. That's one reason I won't switch to contacts, because my eyes are fairly small and without glasses I don't think I'm nearly as attractive. I wore contacts for a while because my Ex insisted, but never again.

Cactus Jack 12 Feb 2006, 20:11

Angie: Bifocals can be needed at any age. The idea that you don't need bifocals until 40 or later is a myth. I had to get "functional" bifocals at 20 to keep from getting headaches when I did close work on electronic equipment and trifocals at 30 so I could read small from the top to the bottom of blueprints.

Everyone has different needs. You may be able to get bifocal contacts, but they don't work for everyone. Even with bifocal contacts, you may still need to wear glasses with them to keep from getting a crick in your neck when you use the computer.

Your eyecare professional should be able to suggest some possibilities.

If you want some ideas, please provide your complete prescription and the working distance from your eye position to the computer screen.


Slit 12 Feb 2006, 19:55


Its not unusual to wear bifocals at 30's. Many collage girls can be seen wearing bifocals confidently.

When did you get glasses for first time?

Was it in your twenties?

What was the prescription then> and what is it now?

Angie 12 Feb 2006, 17:54

I have worn glasses (Contacts mostly) for 15 years. I am 34 and farsighted

I had my last exam in November when the doctor told me I needed

glasses to wear over my contacts. I thought I just needed stronger glasses

I was having trouble reading my computer screen at the end of the day. Since November I have been wearing these reading glasses with my contacts at work all day. I am at the point where I need them to read almost any thing.

On Friday I could not even dial my cell phone without putting on my glasses. My sister said she thought I needed bifocals. At 34 is this possible? Is this an end to my contacts? I have read here there are some pre 40 wearing bifocals Am I about to join that club ?

What are my options?

Thank You


 11 Feb 2006, 06:58

Wearing progressives like brother Andrew?

Geoff 31 Jan 2006, 15:16

Is Prince Edward old enough to be experiencing presbyopia?

Julian 24 Jan 2006, 16:40

There were a couple of shots on GettyImages of Prince Edward at the wheel of a car wearing low minus glasses, but Peter Phillips (Princess Anne's son) is the only one of the younger Royals who's regularly seen in specs. Yes, I know, there were reports of Andrew being allowed to wear contacts on duty in the Navy. And, as you say, at Charles's age... But maybe they go in for monovision contacts.

Hansel 21 Jan 2006, 11:16

Given that Charles is older than Andrew, are there any pix of a bespectacled HRH around?

Equally, Camilla must surely "need that little bit of help with reading"?

Geoff 21 Jan 2006, 08:58

Any pictures out there of Prince Andrew in progressives?

Clare 15 Jan 2006, 08:32

Cactus Jack - thanks, I think it does. It certainly explains what my optician meant when he said in future, when my friends were putting on their reading glasses, I'd be taking my glasses off. I didn't really know or care what he meant then.

Cactus Jack 15 Jan 2006, 04:05

Clare: It depends on what part of the paper you are reading. Most people read ordinary newsprint at about 16 inches or 40 cm. That requires +2.50 to focus. Financials are usually smaller print and are held closer, say 12 inches or 30cm. That requires +3.25 to focus.

Of course, those numbers assume that the distance optical power of the eyeball-glasses-contacts system is 0.00 diopters (fully corrected for distance) and the retina is in good shape (all those megapixels (rods and cones) are there and working properly).

Does that answer your question?


Puffin 15 Jan 2006, 03:45


How much accommodation needed to read a newspaper is dependent on how close you hold it. If you haven't got that much accommodation then you need to hold it further away.

Clare 14 Jan 2006, 23:40

Puffin - I tried this twice and I think it works! I wasn't sure if I was supposed to do with/without glasses so I did both. With glasses I appeared to have another 5.5 diopters without I had nearer 8.5 diopters.

Cactus Jack - do you know how much someone needs to accommodate to do something like read a newspaper?

Puffin 14 Jan 2006, 18:28

Just tried the "sliding test" for accomodation, it definitely 10. Well, at least something still works right.

Cactus Jack 14 Jan 2006, 10:05

Piffin: It would seem to me that if you have more accommodative range than is typical for your age, it is a good thing. It means that your crystaline lenses are more pliable than is typical for your age and that your ciliary muscles easily focus the lenses.

Sometimes we use the word "normal" as meaning the "ideal" where a word such as "typical" might be a better choice.


Puffin 14 Jan 2006, 04:28

Yes did get that problem, will try the other way later

Slit 13 Jan 2006, 19:14


I would suggest to do it the other way around.

That is move the matchbox or the business card starting from very close to eye and move it away along the ruler.

The reason is that when you bring it closer to the eye from far, eye tries to give additional accomodation to focus on the object. But when yu move it away from the eye that doesnt happen.

To make sure that this makes sense try both ways.

Puffin 13 Jan 2006, 17:13

I make it about 8 to 10, is that too much for my age?

DWV 13 Jan 2006, 14:01

One method is to hold a ruler perpendicular to the bridge of your nose. Do this in subdued light so your pupils are somewhat dilated. Hold somehing like a matchbox or business card next to the ruler, and slowly slide it towards you until you see the text or graphics on the object begin to get blurry. That's the near limit of your accommodation. (I'm assuming you're corrected for distance vision, so the far point would be at infinity). The diopters of accommodation can be found by dividing 100 by the distance in centimeters.

Clare 13 Jan 2006, 12:34

Puffin - how can you measure how much accommodation you've got? I'd like to know too.

Puffin 13 Jan 2006, 03:16

I think I've got more than that, and I'm 38. Should I have more?

Eye Tri 13 Jan 2006, 00:46


According to a chart in a book I have, a 30 year old should have about 6 1/2 diopters of accomodation.

Puffin 12 Jan 2006, 17:19

Does anyone know what the amount of accommodation for someone in their late 30's should be?

DWV 12 Jan 2006, 01:19


I noticed they were offering no frills $64 glasses complete with $24 frames in either SV or bifocal. With my own frames, cost for bifocals was $20/lens, plus $20 to install 'em (Canadian $).

Prices for other lined multifocals: FT35 $45/lens, 7x28 $40/lens, 8x35 $65/lens.

Cactus Jack 09 Jan 2006, 02:23

Friend: I would lean more toward a common phenomenon called "flicker vertigo" which is induced by the strobe lights. The beers probably added to the effect. If she wasn't used to the bifocals, that probably didn't help the situation.

Pilots, flying on instruments in the clouds at night, are advised to turn off their strobe lights to avoid flicker vertigo. Vertigo makes you dizzy and that is definitely not a good thing when flying an airplane.

However, if it happens to your partner while dancing and she holds you even tighter - enjoy.


Friend 09 Jan 2006, 01:08

Just thought I'd share a story with you all. My GF as you might remember recently got FT's and the other night we were out at the bar drinking. We got up to dance I noticed right away she started like clinging onto me. She hadn't drank that much, but afterwards told me what was really going on. Between the few beers, the strobe lights, and the bifocals, she said her balance was just off. Has anyone else had similar situations?

George 16 Dec 2005, 01:59

Cactus Jack - many thanks for your comments. Regarding myself, I have a small astigmatism correction of R +25 30, L +25, 20.

My wife doesn't have any weight problems although her elder sister does have glaucoma and who started wearing quite a high rx, about +4.50 I'd say, full time about four years ago.

My wife recently had an eye exam including the pressure test and all appeared normal.

I think it is as you say, many years of using accommodation to see clearly. Her latest rx of +1.75 and +1.50 she says are too strong, although she does wear them sometimes for reading but can't see distance clearly. She prefers her old +1.25 scrip.

Adam 15 Dec 2005, 19:09

Vic, how are you adjusting to the new bifocals?

Cactus Jack 12 Dec 2005, 05:44

George - Thanks, that helps, your experiences are significantly different from hers. Do you have any astigmatism?

Low hyperopes do seem to have more initial problems when they finally have to get some external "plus" help (glasses, bifocals, contacts, etc.) with their vision. I think part of the problem stems from the fact that they have spent the first 40 or so years of their lives thinking they had "perfect" vision (while all of us weak-eyed myopes HAD TO WEAR GLASSES). In many instances, they have never had an eye exam, don't know what to look for, or how to respond to the examiners questions to arrive at the best correction.

To make things more interesting, low hyperopes are harder to refract because their brain automatically tries to get into the act and help with some internal plus to focus. When they finally get external "plus" help there is a 40 years of programming of the brain to overcome to teach it to let the glasses do the work and it also takes a little time for the internal lens to fully relax. All of this causes apparent vision changes which are mostly benign.

Unfortunately, there are other conditions that can cause changes in focus that are NOT benign. The most common is fluctuating blood sugar (symptom of diabetes) which changes the index of refraction of the fluids in the eye. Some others are; glaucoma, which causes internal pressures within the eye to increase, and blood pressure.

Often, such changes are the first clue that something more serious than just presbyopia is afoot.

If there is any history of any of the above in your wife's immediate family (mother, father, grandparents, or siblings) of if she has a PROBLEM rather than a "problem" controling her weight, the cause needs to be investigated by an MD.


George 12 Dec 2005, 03:46

Cactus Jack - hadn't quite finished on the last post! The hyperopes vision seems to be quite subjective and varies according to the power of accommodation. Some days my wife hardly needs her glasses and other times she cannot drive because she cannot see well enough.

From the posts I've read here, most under +2.00 scrips seem to vary greatly in what and how they see for close and distance. When the scrip gets above much above +3.00 then glasses seem necessary fulltime for close and distance although I'm sure some will disagree.

George 12 Dec 2005, 03:38

Cactus Jack - I am -5.00 myope and wear glasses/contacts. At the last eyetest in November my scrip had remained unchanged for quite a few years.

Yes, we live in the UK where I am a business consultant.

I have always been interested in optics (both glasses and liquor-filled ones!)because I find GWG a turn-on. I thought it was great when my wife was prescribed glasses two years ago, but the low rx hyperope correction seems far more complex than a boring stabilised myope like myself.

The h

HYpe 11 Dec 2005, 06:31

My girlfirend is a pretty nice lady, 42 years old, and wearing +6 glasses (for 5 years)... Don't you think she needs now a stronger correction, or, at least some add ?

ajr 10 Dec 2005, 16:39

Vic: All I can say is go for it, its a very interesting subject to study and practice, there are plenty of institutes around all offering a variety of options in optics, it does involve a lot of maths and anatomy, however in my opinion you will constantly be learning and progressing in a subject which has a multitude of avenues.


Vic 09 Dec 2005, 13:01

Ive been thinking about studying optics after my psych degree but its an incredibly hard course to get into

Kokopelli 09 Dec 2005, 09:00

Just got my first pair of bifocals today!

They're ft 28 ones, and I couldn't believe how thick, sharp and black the text in the newspaper was.

Cactus Jack 09 Dec 2005, 06:03

George - You have asked us a lot of questions, let me ask you a few.

1. Do you wear glasses?

2. If so what is your Rx?

3. When was YOUR last eye exam?

4. With your strong interest, have you ever considered studying and learning about optics and vision?

5. If not, why not?

6. What is your educational background and occupation?

7. I believe you said in a previous post that you live in the UK, is that correct?


Cactus Jack 09 Dec 2005, 05:51

George - There are a couple of explanations of the differences.

1. Measurement of low cylinder Rx is very subjective because the examiner cannot see what the patient is seeing and must depend on how the patient answers to arrive at the correct angle. The biggest problem here is that, to some extent, it depends on the experience and understanding of the patient as to what is going on.

One of the most common techniques is to "bracket" the correct angle using a suplementary cylinder lens that can be rotated to introduce error on each side of the correct value. The problem here is that the patient must judge the degree of bluriness between the two views and indicate when they are equally blurred. The lower the cylinder, the harder it is to judge the correct angle closer than a few degrees.

To make it more interesting, if the patient is looking at a letter with horizontal and vertical strokes, an E for example, first the vertical stroke will be blurry and the horizontal clear and then the vertical clear and the horizontal blurry and the question is hard to answer. I prefer to look at an O to judge. Also, I ask the examiner (who I have known for years) to put my hand on the angle knob and let me fine tune the final angle.

2. If the difference is close to 90 degrees, it is likely that one examiner was using a plus cylinder phoropter and the other was using a minus cylinder phoropter. In the US, by tradition, opthalmologists (MDs) use plus cylinder and optometrists (ODs) use minus cylinder. Lens makers typically use minus cylinder.

Even though a + cylinder Rx will look very different from - cylinder Rx there is a formula to transpose from one to the other and either will yield the same pair of glasses.

3. Astigmatism can vary because of everything you mentioned and a few other factors.


George 09 Dec 2005, 02:08

Cactus Jack- one change was from x30 to x145 and another from x90 to x180.

If the angle is greater eg x180, does it mean that lines viewed in one plane eg vertical, will be more blurred or have I got this all wrong.

Cactus Jack 08 Dec 2005, 06:25

George - What kind of changes?


George 08 Dec 2005, 02:16

Cactus Jack - many thanks for your explanation. Is it possible to always measure astigmatism correctly?

I know that my wifes scrip for astigmatism seems to chnage according to which optometrist she has seen. Or are there other factors, like tension, pressure within the eyeball, etc, that can make the curve of the cornea fluctuate?

ajr 07 Dec 2005, 14:26

Leelee: Yes this correct, the cylindrical error is orientated horizontally and the power of the lens will also be horizontal however the axis is perpendicular to the power hence the X 90.

Cylindrical lenses have a power meridian and an axis meridian set perpendicular to each other, for example: if the axis was 180 then the power would be along 90.


leelee 07 Dec 2005, 13:18

ok,so for my bare eye the football (cylindrical error) is oriented horizontally, and my glasses would have the cylinder oriented vertically to cancel this out.

my irises look a little wider than they are tall. I wonder if there is any correllation here.

ajr 07 Dec 2005, 12:24

Leelee: A cylindrical lens can be used to correct an eye that does not bring rays of light to a point focus. One reason for this could be that the cornea is more curved in one meridian than in another. A cylindrical lens is suited for correcting this error because light that strikes the lens along the axis of the lens will pass through it undeviated, whereas light which strikes it at right angles to the axis (power meridian) will be refracted according to the power of the lens in this meridian.

Hence in answer to your question, the power of this lens +1.50/-0.50X90 would be +1.50 along 90 degrees and +1.00 along 180 degrees. More power is required vertically than horizontally.


Cactus Jack 07 Dec 2005, 11:33

leelee - The pointy ends (long axis of the cylinder) would be vertical or 90 degrees 0/180 is horizontal. The axis is easy to see in high power cylinder lenses.

Because of the optical power of the cornea, very small changes in the shape or curvature make big differences. For example: The instructions for ultrasound machines, used to measure structures in the eye, caution against exerting any pressure on the cornea while using the machine. As little as 0.4mm distortion of the cornea can cause 1 diopter of error in the readings.

I also agree that even small amounts of astigmatism should be corrected for comfortable vision. The problem with astigmatism is that no matter how much you try, the image is never fully in focus.


Willy 07 Dec 2005, 11:20

leelee -- The minus cylinder at 90 degree axis (vertical) means that light along that axis is bent more (i.e. hits closer to or in front of the retina compared to your overall plus sphere) than along the horizontal so that the curvature of your cornea is steeper at its top and bottom versus its sides. To me, that means that your "football" is horizontal. Unless, of course, I'm wrong....

leelee 07 Dec 2005, 10:55

I'm just curious. I've asked this question a number of times, but have never gotten an answer.

An astigmatic eye is commonly described as having a cornea shaped like a football. if my astigmatism is -.5 x90, (or assume a greater amount if you like) then, if you are looking at my face, would the "football" distortion be oriented so the pointy ends are at the sides (horizontally) or up & down (vertically) in my case, it must be one or the other.

I cant produce the error that I see without my glasses (a ghosted 2nd image below) by tugging at my eyelids - everything just blurs.

I also don't understand why people with astigmatism should be expected to go without correction. I find my error to be really apparent and problematic.

Cactus Jack 07 Dec 2005, 09:25

leelee - The cornea is easily deformed by external pressures. You can see the effect by just pulling gently on the skin at the outside edge of your eye. The cornea may be slightly taller depending on if the cylinder distortion extends to the edge of the cornea but I'm not sure. Why do you ask?


leelee 06 Dec 2005, 16:58

minus cylinder, like so:

+1.5 -.5 x90

Cactus Jack 06 Dec 2005, 15:57

leelee - I can't answer your question as written. I believe that you are trying to understand astigmatism and cylinder correction by thinking of the cornea from straight ahead. I believe it is easier to understand by thinking of cornea as viewed from the side and from above and thinking of astigmatism as differences in radius of curvature between the two views.

To make matters more interesting cylinder correction can be stated as either + cylinder or - cylinder and the numbers are relative to the sphere correction amd the stated axis will change by 90 degrees depending on which sign (+ or -) is used to specify the cylinder.

Correctly written Rx can use either + or - cylinder and will result in identical corrective lenses.


leelee 06 Dec 2005, 12:52

so if my astig is x90, is my cornea wider or taller?

Cactus Jack 06 Dec 2005, 06:19

George - There are several elements in a prescription. The "x" part is the cylinder part of the prescription. The number before the "x" is the POWER of the lens and the number after is the ANGLE of the cylinder - which has nothing to do with the POWER. The angle can be from 0 to 180 degrees. By convention 0/180 degrees is horicontal and the numbers increase counter-clockwise (looking at the patient) 90 degrees is vertical.

Cylinder corrects for astigmatism where the shape of the cornea (usually) is not perfectly spherical. Astigmatism causes a very annoying form of distortion where lines that run in one direction are in focus and lines running in other directions are blurry.

Astigmatism has been described as a condition where the cornea is "football" shaped. In this instance, they mean American football.


George 06 Dec 2005, 03:11

Cactus Jack - does the x part of an astigmatism scrip have any effect on vision. My wife has R +1.50, -.50 x 30, L +1.75, -.75 x 180. Does the x180 mean that vision is worse than x30?

Cactus Jack 05 Dec 2005, 17:52

Julian - Oops! You are right. I was trying to visualize the shape of the lens instead of doing the transposition and screwed up. Thanks for catching it.

We agree that it still deserves correction.


Julian 05 Dec 2005, 17:09

Cactus: I'm surprised at you: surely Spouse's wife has HALF a dioptre of astigmatism (+0.50-0.50 in plus cylinder notation is 0.00+0.50)—still worth correcting I'd say.

Willy 05 Dec 2005, 13:36

Spouse -- A few reasons why progressives might make sense with your wife's prescription:

1. Wearing the progressive all or msot of the time means that when she is looking at a price tag in a store, reading a restaurant menu or writing a check, she does not have to take out her reading glasses.

2. She can see into the distance through the top part of the glasses so she does not have to get half glasses which I think are more "older" looking. As far as many people who know your wife would be concerned, she did not get "reading glasses," she got "glasses."

3. If she waited to get progressives until she had more of a need for distance correction, her add would likely also go up to where it is harder to adapt to progressives. This way, she will find it easier to adapt to changes as her prescription increases in coming years.

4. At this point she can go without the glasses for a lot of activities, but her distance vision will probably be just a little bit better with the glasses also.

Please let us know how well she adapts!

Cactus Jack 05 Dec 2005, 13:13

gwg spouse - Not needing bifocals until you are 40 is a myth. You need them when you need them.

However, I suspect the primary reason for fitting bifocals is the cylinder correction for astigmatism. Your wife effectively has 1 diopter of astigmatism (+0.50 to -0.50) which can be very frustrating both for near and far vision.


gwg spouse 05 Dec 2005, 12:49

My wife, who just turned 37, had been having difficulty reading the last few months, finally had her eyes checked, and got glasses for the first time. I am thrilled to see her as a gwg and love the plus lens effect, but was surprised at her prescription.

OD +0.50 -0.50 x 90 add +1.00

OS +0.50 -0.50 x 55 add +1.00

Was it really necessary to prescribe bifocals/progressives at this point? Couldn't a simple single vision prescription of +1.50 work? (I've seen recent postings with people saying their doctors were reluctant to get them into bifocals, especially before 40.) Obviously she finds them essential for reading and close work, but she says that they don't really don't make much of a difference for her distance vision--her doctor said that distance wear was optional, as needed. But why bother? Our insurance covers nearly the entire cost of eye exam + glasses. Is it extra income for the optometrist to prescribe bifocals? Or could the small distance prescription have some value?

 04 Dec 2005, 23:05

Steven Spielberg in trifocals:

 02 Dec 2005, 16:43

They'll call you bifocal bill.

Willy 02 Dec 2005, 13:25

leelee -- I know, how many times have I pondered this over the last year? I should get it done. Even if I could delay it in terms of real distance need, it will happen eventually, and the sooner I do it, the easier it will be to adapt. I'll make it a New Year's resolution. Any other low plus presbyopes lurking who want to pledge to do likewise?

Barry 02 Dec 2005, 04:10

Willy, bifocals are the way to go!

George 02 Dec 2005, 03:57

Slit - she is 36 years old. As a kid she wore glasses for strabismus, from pictures of her, I'd say about +4.00 lenses.

I don't think the strabismus was totally corrected because she now has intermittent accommodative esotropia or to put it in plain words, her right eye turns in whenever she is looking at something close up. It also does this at distance if she is tired.

leelee 01 Dec 2005, 19:23

willy, And don't forget: "and in-between!" too.

Slit 01 Dec 2005, 17:59


How old is your wife?

Is she reaching the time of Presbyopia?

But,there are situations that some people need bifocals even in 20's.

Willy 01 Dec 2005, 13:31

But leelee, if I got bifocals (or more likely progressives), I would see better both near and far and would wear them all the time;)

leelee 01 Dec 2005, 11:58

Oh fer gawd sakes willy, just do it! you know you want to.

Remember, you can always just get sv computer glasses - I have them - they are equal to dist + 1/2 the add. reading is fine with them too. It makes working on my computer much easier, tho its not bad with my progressives. I think if you have a monitor rather than a laptop setup, computer glasses will almost be a must. With the laptop its easier to orient it to a lower position.

I've sort of fallen into a pattern of computer glasses inside, progressives outside or when out and about. it works just fine.

Do it now - or you will have to wait for the dead of winter.

Willy 01 Dec 2005, 11:36

Recently rearranged my desk at work so that my computer screen was further away (from about 20" to about 30"). Though the new arrangement was not for visual reasons, I figured extra distance for a hyperope/presbyope could not hurt. Well, I've moved it back closer because I found that the new distance was a little bit too far to be clear wearing my glasses, but a little too close to be clear or comfortable without.

Makes me wish I would not keep postponing eye exam for "scheduling reasons." Maybe someone could set up a 12-step program for people avoiding bifocals....

George 28 Nov 2005, 04:13

Hi, I find it difficult to understand how with long sight there are so many differences, usually for low strength scrips, for near and far distance acuity.

My wife was always having problems reading destination boards and road signs and two years ago was given a scrip of R+.75, -50, 45, L+75, -50, 140. She wore glasees part time for distance and reading but about six months later said she couldn't see properly. Another test gave her R+L +1.25.

She's just had another test at R +1.50, -.50, 30, L +1.75, -.75, 180

She wears her old glasses often all day for work and driving but can't see well enough for driving with her new scrip although they are good for reading.

Maybe she neds bifocals but do the eyes relax and adjust for near and distance vision with the same scrip?

Ron 22 Nov 2005, 14:23

Adam, good to read about your glasses history. I was prescribed glasses when I was 18 for hyperopia and wore them a lot for studying in college and graduate school. After starting work, wore them sporadically until I was around 40--then started having problems reading close-up, even with the glasses on. At that point, the doctor prescribed glasses with a 1.50 add.

Ron 22 Nov 2005, 14:22

Adam, good to read about your glasses history. I was prescribed glasses when I was 18 for hyperopia and wore them a lot for studying in college and graduate school. After starting work, wore them sporadically until I was around 40--then started having problems reading close-up, even with the glasses on. At that point, the doctor prescribed glasses with a 1.50 add.

Adam  20 Nov 2005, 06:33

Hi Ron!

I've been wearing glasses since my childhood. I was 10 or 11! But I had to much earlier. When I was a little boy I hate glasses and I did everything not to wear them.

First +1, when I was 30!+2 since 2 month!

My current Rx:

OD +1.50 / -0.5 add +2

OS +3.0 add +2

I have a separate pair of glasses for close works! When I'm at home I wear them all the time. They are progressives:with add +1,

OD +2.5 / -0.5 add +1

OS +4.0 add +1

I can also watch Tv in them! For driving they are too strong.

Vic 19 Nov 2005, 15:20

A few years ago I wore progressives with an add +0.75 I didnt really get used to them and stopped wearing them

Ron 19 Nov 2005, 13:10

Hi Adam---sorry about the mistake. How long have you been wearing glasses and what age did you first need an "add" to your prescription?

Adam 19 Nov 2005, 09:28

Hi Ron!

I wear progressives, not trifocals!

Progressives with add +2!I like them so much! Although I'm 32, and in some peoples opinions it's too early for bifocals or progressives, I need them! My glasses give me a great comfort of vision!...on the other hand I know that I will become totally depend on them,...but I like to wear glasses and it isn't problem for me!!!

Best regards!

Ron 19 Nov 2005, 09:12

Adam, how are you doing with your trifocals?

Adam 13 Nov 2005, 08:59

Derek, You know that I'm a great lover of Your glasses! Please write something more about them: style of frames, kind of bifocals, ... how many pairs do You have?

Best regards from plus lover and plus wearer,


Carter 12 Nov 2005, 16:38

presbyopia 23, what is your current prescription? How long have you worn glasses?

presbyopia_23 12 Nov 2005, 06:58

I am 23 and I have mild presbyopia. I am in agreement that its just a myth not to need an add till your 40, many people do before that. I have heard of college students in their early 20s wearing bifocals! Its very common for most 35 year olds to have trouble with accomodation and by the time they hit 40 everyone has presbyopia more or less.

Frances 11 Nov 2005, 10:27

Slit, sorry i should have put her rx in the post. It is R+3.75 L+3.00, quite high for a young girls first pair of glasses. Like my older daughter, this will not be her full script.Optician seems to think it will be quite a bit higher.

I come from a family with a history of longsight, both my sisters are the same and all their children are except for one of the boys. My mother was also a quite high plus wearer.

Slit 11 Nov 2005, 05:20

Hi Frances,

So far we knew only about your older daughters glasses.

What is the Rx of your younger daughter?

Frances 09 Nov 2005, 23:30

Tomas. There is no age that is young for bifocals, its just some people need them before others. I first had them at 31 and wear them full time with no problems. My daughter who is nearly 16 has been told by our optician that at her next exam which is shortly, she will be getting an add to help her with close work at school. My youngest daughter who has just began wearing glasses may even end up the same, but its too early to tell yet. If your eyes need that bit of help with close work, just accept it.

Cactus Jack 09 Nov 2005, 16:59

Tomas - No need to be concerned. This age thing about not needing bifocals till after 40 is bunk, you need close focusing help when you need it. It is very common for people who are farsighted to need close focusing help a little earlier than people who are nearsighted.

The add in bifocals or trifocals is relative to your distance Rx so if you add the +4.50 and the +3.00, your get +7.50 for your reading Rx.

Some day you may need a little more + in your add and I don't think it will be long before you want to consider trifocals for intermediate distances. Also, someday, you may need a litle more + in our distance Rx, but it sounds like your vision has mostly stabilized.

My sugestion is to not sweat the small stuff, enjoy seeing really well, and worry about something else.


Tomas 09 Nov 2005, 08:45

Hi! I'm 31.I'm a farsighted person since my childhood! +4.5 both eyes!

2 years ago I noticed that I have problems with clear vision at short distances, like reading, etc.

I received first bifocals with add:+1.5

They worked fantastic for only two years! Again reading and every close work became a problem for me, even with the add+1.5.Yesterday I had an appointment with my eye doctor, and my add increased.Now it is +3.0!!!!

I'm only 31! Today I received my new bifocals, and a pair of reading glasses +7.5. I'm really depressed about the increase!I can see perfectly with my new glasses, but I'm a young person. What about the future?

I ask all of You for help and consolation.


Derek 05 Nov 2005, 04:12

Not me Julian, i can cope with bifocals, not sure if i would manage with any more, but i suppose i could if i had to

Julian 05 Nov 2005, 02:07

...or even the same name

Julian 05 Nov 2005, 02:07

Hi Derek. Arund three years ago there was a Derek posting on this thread about having quadrifocals. Was that you or somebody else wit the name name?

Derek 04 Nov 2005, 23:20

Yes adam, my reading glasses make my eyes quite large, but they look ok. I am still happy wearing my bifocals, and not many people comment on the line.

when i was at school, i hated it when told i needed glasses, was the only one in the class to wear them. But as the years went on, i knew how much better my eyesight was with my glasses and now there is no way i could ever be without them, they go on when i get up and come of when i go to bed. I now enjoy wearing glasses and cannot imagine being without them

Cactus Jack 04 Nov 2005, 16:03

Puffin - I don't think I have ever heard of anything like that but it could probably occur. I think the glasses would be very difficult if not impossible to make. The only way I can think of would be to grind individual lenses and then cut and assemble them into a frame like Ben Franklin did when he invented bifocals.


Adam 04 Nov 2005, 15:31


Best greetings for You! I try to imagine how do Your reading glasses (+9,25)magnify your eyes?

I love huge eyes so much!Since monday I've been worn my new progressives with +2 add. They work great. I think I will become totally depend on them.

The reading part of my new glasses is:

R:+3.5 L: +5.0


Puffin 04 Nov 2005, 14:56

I was just thinking that if the muscles needed to pull the lens into the right shape happened to be too weak in one axis, even perhaps just one side, maybe that could need different amounts of cylinder correction?

Cactus Jack 04 Nov 2005, 14:21

Puffin - That is a good question. To my knowledge, it is the same for all segments. Astigmatism is usually caused by the shape of the cornea not being a perfect sphere. For all intents and purposes it doesn't change as the eye moves around and any changes that occur happen over weeks, months, or years and are not controlled by any muscles.


Puffin 04 Nov 2005, 13:57

Just curious, is it normal to have the same cylinder/astigmatism prescription in the various segments of multi-segment lenses? Or could they possibly be different?

Cactus Jack 03 Nov 2005, 03:59

SPEX - The -1.00 is the sphereical (shape of the lens) correction. The -0.75 is the cylinder correction for astigmatism, and the 140 is the angle of the cylinder correction.

Usually, sphere corrects overall refractive problems in the internal lens or length of the eyeball. Astigmatism is usually caused by the shape of the cornea. It should be a perfect sphere, but if it is slightly barrel shaped, cylinder is used to correct it.

Astigmatism will cause lines that run in one direction to be fuzzy but be in focus in other directions. For example: If you looked at a letter 'F' the vertical line might be clear but the horizontal lines would be fuzzy.


SPEX 03 Nov 2005, 03:33

Cactus JACK

If an rx is -1.00,-0.75x140 what mean

the 140 and what is it in the sight.

Friend 02 Nov 2005, 23:10

Well my girlfriend has had her bifocals about 3 days. I've been very cautious not to seem overly interested, but she's let a few hints slip about how they are working for her. No real complaints, just some minor irritations with having to tilt her head back to properly use the bifocal segment to see things at different heights and distances. And she said a few people have noticed hte line and teased her about it slightly. Overall though, she hasn't had any headaches and says they work good in class. She hasn't worn contacts or her other glasses and has only worn her new ones, so that's a good start.

Cactus Jack 30 Oct 2005, 19:46

SPEX - TriFocals have lines. They are like bifocals except there is an intermediate segment between the distance portion of the lens and the reading segment. Typically, the intermediate segment is 1/2 the power of the reading segment, but there are trifocal lenses available with different powers in the intermediate segment for special applications. There is also a quadrifocal lens with an additional segment at the top of the lens for people who need to read things above their eye level without getting a crick in their neck.

Progressive bifocals do not have lines and they transition gradually from the distance portion to the reading area and somewhere between the two it should be possible to focus at intermediate distances. Some people swear by them. Others prefer the wider window ofered by regular trifocals.

I don't know the definition of multifocals but I would guess that it is an "umbrella" name that covers all varieties of lenses with more than one power. If that is not right, hopefully someone will correct me.


New to ES 30 Oct 2005, 19:42


My wife and her sister are both nearsighted and have been for quite sometime. They recently had differculty reading small print and were prescribed bifocals. They both elected to get progressive lenses and have adjusted very well

SPEX 30 Oct 2005, 19:15

Cactus Jack

Is the multi-focal lens the same as the

tri-focal(3 in one) with the only diffrence that there are now lines?

Friend 30 Oct 2005, 16:00

Thanks guys for all your thoughts. We'll see tomorrow what she thinks.

ehpc 30 Oct 2005, 11:38

Very simple what I do (male aged 51) just have two pairs of glasses. My normal seriously trendy glasses which I wear all day are about minus 7, and I also have a pair exactly one diopter less. I don't think I am doing too badly...............I pretty much only ever use the 'reading glasses' for reading very late at night, for my home laptop computer, where I am now. I am a classical concert pianist,and sometimes the 'reading glasses' are better if I am practising on my wonderful top-grade upright piano at home.Pete

Debbie 30 Oct 2005, 01:18


Your story reminds me a little of my past experience with bifocals. You seem excited about your gf in bifocals, but caution may be warranted.

I was a little older at 28 when I went in for an exam and couldn't tolerate having the doctor put things too close to me (the focusing test). I was about -5. I had (at least since college) a little bluriness when going from near work back to far. She said I was beginning to lose my focus. I asked how could that be and she said that because I was an editor I was losing my focus faster from overuse of my focusing muscles. She put a plus trial lens in front of a reading chart (I had my regular glasses on), and yes, I said--the letters looked a little better. I was getting tired of contacts from dust getting in them and was thinking of going to glasses anyway. She suggested "all in one" progressives (for convenience) or reading glasses over my contacts. It was up to me, but she encouraged making the move because it would be easy to get used to them with a low add of +1.

I thought I would try it out, so I got the bifocals. (Progressives seemed too expensive, and this was sort of an experiment anyway.) BTW, my bf at the time was curious about my new eyewear--I could tell. Well, as it turned out, I could not stand the bifocals. Basically they were fine for reading, but I could cheat using the other part of the lens too. And I found them to be unhelpful for things just a little further away on my desk: I needed the whole -5 Rx for even that. And then there was the usual aggravation that all new bifocal/progressive wearers face: stairs, etc.

I ended up going back to SV glasses even with the symptoms I described, and I wear contacts only occasionally now:) I didn't bother getting the weaker reading Rx--my doctor and I never discussed this possibility. Now, three years later, I'm due for an exam and think a separate reading Rx would help me with the headaches I'm now regularly getting--maybe just a separate pair for work, maybe bifocals. Let's see.

I think bifocals are great if you truly need immediate access to a separate reading Rx. Otherwise for eyestrain during long periods of reading or similar situations (when you can still read with your distance Rx) perhaps another pair of reading glasses can work.

Maybe your girlfriend will like her new bifocals, but it's also possible that she doesn't really need them yet. I wouldn't be surprised if she could just take them off for reading. Think of it this way: you'll still have a "GWG" :)

Bifocals can be off-putting for any young or even older person. I felt self-conscious, I have to admit, when trying them out. They are weird when walking around. Might as well wait until they're truly necessary. Maybe that's why so many people are loath to fill their first bifocal Rx...They finally relent by the time they really are having trouble seeing the small things in front of them. It's a question of cost/benefit.

Vic 29 Oct 2005, 20:51

I've thought about progressives or bifocals but at the moment I'm sticking to two pairs of glasses.

Cactus Jack 29 Oct 2005, 05:49

Friend - An eye exam is not a test that you pass or fail, unless there are minimum uncorrected vision standards for something you want to do like drive a car or fly an airplane without wearing glasses or contacts.

A eye exam, for most people, is used to identify refractive errors or other problems in the eye's optical or positioning system and prescribe appropriate corrective measures (tools) to fix them.

Answers to qustions:

1. She didn't "fail", she simply needs "functional bifocals" to allow her to read for extended periods in comfort. Prior to going back to school, she probably didn't do much close work and her eyes aren't used to it. There shouldn't be any stigma attached to wearing glases, bifocals, contacts etc., they are simply tools and you need what you need to get the job done with the least effort and most efficiency.

2. No, just different. Besides, 0.25 one way or the other is not much difference in lens power, just fine tuning.


Friend 29 Oct 2005, 01:32

So, my g/f of about 6 months went back to school this fall. We're early 20's. She wears contacts and was complaining about eyestrain and headaches. Me, in my "sinister" ways offer to pay for her exam and whatever else she might need (Looks like hero). Also, devilishly encourage her to tell the eye doc about her symptoms. Mu-Ah haha. She goes for her exam and I go with for support. New RX. !!!! OD -2.25, -0.75 @ 55, OS -2.75, -.075 @ 100 with +1.25 add.

Now, I read most of the stuff on here, but I'm no expert.

1. Would that mean she failed part of the near vision test too, cuz I thought usually they give about +1.00 add if you complain about eyestrain?

2. And, if I just wear +1.00 correction does that mean that her close vision is worse than mine?

Anyhow: Really excited, she got flat tops in some black plastic cateyes; she's thin, part hispanic. Didn't know what progressives were, so I played dumb and said my mom had a hard time adjusting. LoL. I am in heaven and can't wait. Her old glasses were metal round frames, nothing fancy, and she wore them about 20% of the time. This time she didn't even mention contacts, because her eyes were drying out at school and I was paying for all this out of pocket.

 28 Oct 2005, 19:33

Sorry, Adam--thought you were looking to wear trifocals. My mistake.

derek 28 Oct 2005, 14:43

Adam. Yes i am very much dependent on my glasses, and yes, with them on, my eyesight is ok. i have a seperate pair with my reading script in , which i use when i do a lot of close work, other times the bifocals are ok . Its nice to know some people like us plus wearers, thanks adam.

Adam 27 Oct 2005, 01:43

No!I'm waiting for a pair of progressives again.

Trifocals?...I prefer no line glasses

 26 Oct 2005, 20:18

Adam, have you been fitted for Trifocals yet?

Hyperfan 24 Oct 2005, 02:43

New to ES

Are your wife and her sister hyperope or myopic ? How much ?


Nik 23 Oct 2005, 12:12

New to ES

I'm surprised that your wife/her sister chose bi focals. I'm nearsighted and getting presbyopic, I just take my specs off to read. Did they consider that?

Wayne 23 Oct 2005, 10:05

I don't think the issue with bifocals or multifocals is just the internal sense of "being too young for them". It's the perception of others that you're wearing old people's glasses.

I remember in high school a young, nearsighted Asian boy who sat in the front row and kept swapping between pairs of glasses. When I asked him why, he said, somewhat impatiently, one pair's for reading.

He (or his parents)had apparently chosen separate reading glasses instead of bifocals. He sat in the front row in the hope of seeing the board with his reading glasses, but still swapped to the distance glasses frequently. This was actually far more noticeable than if he'd had bifocals.

I think people in their early 40's can be the most self-conscious about bifocals -- because the issue *is* aging (presbyopia) and they're not quite ready to accept that they're getting older. I remember watching a man, about 45, who was wearing thick, rimless, glasses (rx about -8) who kept removing his glasses and holding a program within a few inches of his face to read it. It was quite an "interesting" sight.

NEW TO ES 21 Oct 2005, 22:33

My wife and her sister were talking the other night about both of them having to wear bifocals and being only 39 and 42 years old. I told them that age has nothing to do with wearing bifocals and showed them some of the posts on Eyescene

where people in there teens and twenties are wearing bifocals. They were surprised

at the young age that people needed bifocals. I think they more confident wearing their bifocals now that they realize that age in not a factor.

stick on bifocals 21 Oct 2005, 12:30

Much thanks to you Radioman. I will try them on my around the house glasses which at 56mm are much larger than my expensive high index pair that is only 45mm.

radioman 21 Oct 2005, 06:27

stick on bifocals-Yes I have and they are just fine.Follow the directions they give you and you will not have any problem.Beware as they are about 18mm in height and 30mm wide.You will need a frame that will accomodate them.

stick on bifocals 20 Oct 2005, 19:03

Has anyone here used stick on bifocals such as Optx 20 20? I was thinking of trying them before investing in expensive bifocals.

Bethanne-----AA 20 Oct 2005, 16:34

Hello Bethanne, gosh your young to wear bifocals, i love the way your very matter of fact about your poor vision and your glasses, still I suppose it like breathing air they are your life blood for you to function in your daily life and I suppose to you its no big issue. I,m not a guy who goes in for ladies who wear glasses as something that attracts, I think its the person and personlity that counts, and you come over as a well balanced lady, and seem to have a deep understanding for others who you consider worse off than you. I hope your friend Bill will come to terms with his fading sight, there is much he will be able to do, we have a member of pariament who holds a high position who,s blind, he,s also a charmer with the ladies, I,m sure with you by Bill,s side Bethanne he will overcome any issues about his sight. Do wish him well from all the the post room. Take care AA

Adam 20 Oct 2005, 02:55

Derek! I like Your RX so much! How do You see without them.Are You totaly depend on them?

Do You have a pair of reading glasses only for near?

Do You have any picture with Your current glasses on? Could You send it?

The most important thing is that You can see perfect with your glasses!

Best greetings

Adam- pluser.

Derek 20 Oct 2005, 00:05

Frances, I agree with what most people are saying to you, she would be better off to start with bifocals, she could have a progressive pair for wearing away from school, but taking into account the amount of close work she will be doing over the next few years, she will find bifocals far easier to handle. I speak from experience, i had mine when i was 14, and apart from a few people mentioning the line on them, nobody really noticed.If they did, i just said i need a little more help with small print and these glasses do the trick. I am now 23 and still wear bifocals, and quite content to do so.

As someone mentioned, any child with a RX over or around plus 5, will find he or she may need bifocals. I had my glasses at 13, they were approx plus 3, and six months later went to plus 5, and that is when i was give the bifocals.Now i am up to plus 7.25 with an add of 2.0, but can see perfect with glasses, near and close and that is the important point.

Pinkspecs 19 Oct 2005, 15:27

Hi Anne,

My girlriend had problems reading with her glasses on so the opticion gave her a second pair for reading, what a waste of time she had to keep changing from one pair to the other, she could not see the TV with her reading glasses on if she was reading and wanted to talk to me she could not see me if i was the other side of the room.

So i sugested she got bifocals she was not keen at first but said she would try them if i realy wanted her to.

They were an instance success they looked great on her she choose D35 to give her as much reading lens as possible you could hardly see the line

She now has a lot of cumputer work to do so she got a pair of D35 trifocals she wears them all the time no problems

Regards William

Bethanne 19 Oct 2005, 14:19


I am 17 and wear bifocals and love them. My siblings 15 and 20 have also had them for 2-3 years. We all wear FT-35s. My boyfriend has had them for 2-3 years and wears executive bifocals.

You probably should get them for her sooner rather than later, it will make studying much easier.

No one will really notice them especially after the first day once the novelty wears off.

Frances 19 Oct 2005, 14:11

Thanks for reply Anne.

i am thinking of going the same way, her optician told me its the best solution for a person her age, and taking into account the large amount of close work she will be doing. You are just confirming what most experts say.

Thanks for answering my Post.

ANNE 19 Oct 2005, 12:26

Hi my daughter started wearing bifocals at 14 years of age she wore D28 flat top bifocals found them great help no problems getting used to them.

She was told that not to get progressives as she would find them more difficult to get used to and would not want to have a second pair for reading as she would never want to carry a second pair with her, Reading is much easier with D28 as there is a bigger reading part.

She had no problems with school friends.

She is 25 now and still wears bifocals loves them

Hope this helps

Adam 19 Oct 2005, 07:21

I didn't answer for your questions!

I suggest progressives, and a pair of readings ( for any lengthy close work ).

I use them both in my case .

They work fantastic.


Adam 19 Oct 2005, 07:15

Your daughter is around +6 for both eyes. It is normal for more than +5 that people need help for near!

She needs at least +1 add, too.

I'm 32, and I'm a pluser too. My add is +1.50, although my distance is only +3.25.

I love my progressives so much! They really help me.

Best greetings for You and Your daughter.

Frances 19 Oct 2005, 06:43

Adam, Her current RX is not that bad, its R+5.50 L+5.75, we are trying to hang on to her next routine exam before she has them, but small print is beginning to be difficult for her at school. I dont know what add she will need, but should not think in will be more than +1.0 or even less.

Adam 19 Oct 2005, 06:12

Hi, Frances!

What is Your daughter current RX., and what add then optometrist suggest for her.

Frances 19 Oct 2005, 06:00

Should read -there seems

Frances, 19 Oct 2005, 05:58

anyone one here had experience of wearing bifocles at a young age. My daughter who is nearly 16, is expected to need them at her next exam. Her optician would prefer her to have bifocals rather than progressives, for the larger reading area they will provide. Bearing in mind, she will be doing a lot of close work at school. It goes without saying, she wants progressive, they will not show and she will not get any rude remarks from other children, because she is wearing bifocals, The other option is let her have progressives, as well as a reading pair,which she could put on for any lengthy close work. have spoken to people on eyescene chat room, and their seem various views of the subject. Just wondered if any of you folk could offer any more advice/suggestions ect.

Bethanne ---AA 15 Oct 2005, 13:04

Nice to see you posting, such awful circumstances with your friend Bill, what can you say to a young man in his prime, he must be feeling down, nice your around to cheer him up and encourage him, I suppose Bethanne you being positive helps Bill to see the future is not so bleak as it would have been many years ago, with the right help and encouragement and with an angel like you around to support Bill, he will come to terms with the problem, the one think he must not do is to think there is no future for him. Well Bethanne I,m sure Bill treasures your friendship, and I enjoy your post when you post them. Take care AA

Bethanne 15 Oct 2005, 06:51


Thanks for your thoughts. Bill was a little bummed out not being able to drive anymore, but it was inevitable as his peripheral vision declined. His condition is inherited, both his dad and brother have it. His dad is down to about 25 degrees of central vision and his brother (15) is 12-14 degrees and is legally blind.

Doctors have told Bill that if his peripheral vision continues to decline he will be legally blind in college, next year. His dad and bro have a type of RP that also affects hearing, not so with Bill, fortunately.

NEW TO ES 13 Oct 2005, 00:59

My wife always wore her glasses all the time prior to her getting her verilux bifocals, while her sister wore them only when she needed them. Now they both wear them all the time and are elated by the crisp clear vision they have both far and near.

XFactor  11 Oct 2005, 22:46

New to ES

Are your wife and her sister wearing them fulltime now as a result of the bifocals? Or did they always do that anyway? Did they think about maybe just taking them off for reading? I'm curious why they didn't choose that.

Adam 11 Oct 2005, 07:17

I'm 32. I love wearing glasses. My prescription is L +3.0 R +1.0/+0.5

add 1.0 !!!

I wear progressive since 2 months. I love them. I would like to be totally depend on my glasses.

Do you have any suggestions how to make eyes more farsighted? I'm dreaming about it.Thick plus lenses! ...huge eyes, ... i love it so much.

Best regards for all guys with pluss glasses.


Bethanne-----AA 11 Oct 2005, 03:31

Bethanne, hows your friend Bill,s sight did you learn anymore, I hope you have a lovely time with Bill over the weekend, I,m sure you have a positive attitude to life and no doubt this will keep Bill,s spirits up. AA

nEW TO ES 10 Oct 2005, 17:22

My wife and her sister both wear their progressive bifocals all the time and are enjoying the crisp clear vision they provide. I also wear mine full time..

XFactor 08 Oct 2005, 10:15

HI New to ES,

Do your wife and sister currently wear their glasses fulltime? If so I gues they'll notice some difference with the add.

New to ES 08 Oct 2005, 10:06

My wifes sister is 42 years old and her current prescrition is - 1.75 for her right eye and -2.00 for her left eye. Her add for reading is goining to be plus 1.50 for both eyes.

New to ES 08 Oct 2005, 10:04

My wifes sister is 42 years old and her prescription is currently a _1.75 in her right eye and a _2.00 in her left eye.

Slit 08 Oct 2005, 08:19


How old is your wife's sister?

What was her former prescription?

NEW TO ES 08 Oct 2005, 00:47

My wife has had her verilux progressive lenses in her new glasses for over a week now. The other day her sister commented on how much she liked my wifes new glasses and was surprised when my wife told her they were bifocals. She tried them on and discovered that she could read much clearer with the bifocal prescription in my wifes glasses, so she scheduled an eye exam. She has worn glasses for many years and was now prescribed an add for reading as well. My wife helped her select an attractive frame, black plastic, which she will be picking up in a few days.

Shes looking forward to the clear vision that the bifocals will give her.

woodframes 07 Oct 2005, 21:39

Good day,

I am a maker of hand carved wooden glasses, each being specific in design and construction to the desires of the customer. I personally pick all my woods to ensure uniqueness and quality. If anyone is interested in a one in a kind pair of eyewear, feel free to contact me as we could discuss further the possibilities of custom wooden frames.

Scott Urban

Bethanne 05 Oct 2005, 12:24


Thank you for the information. I have learned quite a bit about RP as they call it, and will study some more.

Bill called and asked for a ride as they have suspended his license due to reduced peripheral vision. He only has 1 eye (lost one in a sports accident) and has to have 70 degrees to drive and does not have that much. I never knew until now he had 1 eye, the artificial one must be pretty good.

Bethanne____AA 04 Oct 2005, 17:41

Bethanne, I,m sure it must be a real comfort to Bill to have friend like you, after all, you will understand Bill,s concerns more so than most of us, I can,t imagine Bill being so young with fear at the back of his mind of going blind, Bethanne I,m sure you are reasuering Bill not to look on the negative rather be positive, often we worry about the future and forget today is for living and let the future look after itself. Have a lovely meeting and time with Bill, and give him our blessings from the post room.

Cactus Jack 04 Oct 2005, 17:35

Bethanne & AA -- It has been many years (30) since I switched from +2.50 FT-28 bifocals to FT-28 trifocals. The transition was almost instantaneous. By the time I got home (45 minutes) I was wondering why I hadn't done it long before.

Bethanne -- Look up click on Conditions and then click on Retinitis Pigmentosa for an explanation of Bill's condtion.


Bethanne 04 Oct 2005, 17:11


Thanks for your kind words. I had no problem with the trifocals, I got accustomed to them right away.

I will provide more information about Bill after I know more about him. I think we are getting together again next weekend. I really like him.

Friend 03 Oct 2005, 21:53

thanks dixie guest. I was hoping to try some as I am not sure exactly what strength Iwould want.

Bethanne----AA 03 Oct 2005, 14:03

Bethanne I,m sure all our prayers are with your friend, and lets hope he will be okay intime, as medical science advences they may find a cure. How are you coping with your new glasses, must take a little time to ajust to trifocals, still if they improve your vision and that whats important. Take care Bethanne, nice to see you in the post room again. AA

Bethanne 03 Oct 2005, 09:46

Well I'e had trifocals for a week, and no one has noticed them much except my family and the guy I had a date with Sat.

The guy was Bill, the one I said in my class who wore bifocals. We went out Sat night for dinner and a movie. He just recently got an increase to -6.5 and his add went up to +2.25. He said he got bifocals to stop myopia increases but it didn't work but now he can't read with out them. He wears executive bifocals so they are very noticeable. He asked me to drive saying his night vision is very poor. I noticed he had a problem reading the menu in low light in the restaurant too. At the movie, he asked if it was alright to take my arm because he had trouble seeing in the low light.

Later that night he said that his vision was failing due to retinal pigmentitis and that eventually he will be legally blind. I really feel sorry for him in that.

dixie guest 03 Oct 2005, 06:24

Friend, try

Friend 03 Oct 2005, 02:12

Does anyone know of a place in the states (like a big chain) that I could maybe come across some ready made progressive reading glasses. Thank you

 27 Sep 2005, 22:08

Any pics out there of Prince Andrew in progressives?

DWV 26 Sep 2005, 20:30

Some light reading, "Comparison of aberrations in different types

of progressive power lenses":

Julian 26 Sep 2005, 12:18

If that's so it's nice to have him back on ES.

Aretha 26 Sep 2005, 11:31

Bethanne is really Tom the Hungarian, so be careful.

Curt 26 Sep 2005, 11:22

NEW TO ES: There is nothing magical about age 40. Our eyes are not pre-programed to fail when we begin our fourth decade of life. I got my first bifocals at 27; there are folks here on Eye Scene who got them as teens and have worn them ever since. A very few folks will never need them; my dad is 72 and wears no correction at all.

Bifocals are all about convenience when you need one prescription (or maybe no prescription) for distance and another for close work. Myopes can simply take their glasses off and see better (for a while); some folks are okay with reading glasses, even though they blur their distance vision. Bifocals, whether lined or progressives, give you the convenience of having both prescriptions in one pair of glasses that you can wear all the time.

Most people begin to notice focusing problems around age 40; I am a hyperope and have worn reading glasses since my junior year of high school. When it came to getting stronger reading glasses that I could not wear for distance or bifocals, it was a pretty easy decision.

But many, many people need bifocals before age 40. They are not strange or different - they just want to see well!

NEW TO ES 26 Sep 2005, 10:34

I have had my progressive bifocals for almost a month now and the other day my wife tried them while she was reading the paper. She discovered that the print was clearer, than when she read with her glasses. The other day she went for an eye exam and the Dr. prescribed an add of plus 1.50 for her. Her distance prescription is -2.75 in her right eye and -2.50 in her left. She got her new glasses with the varilux progressive lenses and loves them. She was surprised that she needed a reading prescription since she will not be 40 for six months. Now we both wear bifocals.

Bethanne 26 Sep 2005, 06:27

I got my trifocals on Friday afternoon and wore them all weekend, they are really great for the computer and for driving.

I am off school today. Had a bunch of hearing tests Friday and Saturday and have a significant hearing loss in my right ear and a mild to moderate loss in the left. Never knew I had it but now I get fitted for hearing aids, the all in the ear kind, today.

Brian-16, the guy is 17 or 18.

Brian-16 21 Sep 2005, 13:26

Bethanne-Yes tri-focals rock,too! How old is the -5 myope with bifocals ? Lined or what?

Bethanne 21 Sep 2005, 12:34


I told my Dad about the computer and car dashboard and he called the eye doctor. The doctor said the only solution would be trifocals, and that since my glasses were so new, they would not cost anything. So, I get trifocals tomorrow afternoon.

Brian-16: The guy I mentioned as a low myope is -5 (I consider that low), and says he has had bifocals for 3 years.

All of us in my high school just had a hearing screening and I failed, mostly in my right ear. I go to an ear doctor on Friday. I didn't even know I had a problem.

specs4ever 15 Sep 2005, 19:12

Generally a bifocal in a 1.9 glass is a separate lens fused to the glass. There are bifocal lenses available up to around -25D, but unfortunately the amount of distortion in the area that the bifocal is placed is so great in a high minus that the bifocal really isn't all that great for vision Anyone with a high minus is better off to drop their glasses on their nose by a couple of mm. to read

DWV 15 Sep 2005, 13:13


I don't see why not... well, except for the fact that you can't do a fused glass bifocal if there's no higher index glass to use for the segment. Since I've never seen a non-fused glass D or round segment, I'll assume that the only bifocal possible in 1.9 glass will be an executive bifocal, which is going to make for a thicker and heavier lens. I don't find that style listed at X-Cel or Norville, but I don't see why a lab couldn't grind an exec as a special order or something.

Norville (UK manufacturer) only shows progressives in 1.9, but they do have bifocals in lower indices:

Willy 15 Sep 2005, 10:57

Ruth -- curious as to what you decided to do following the posts of a couple of weeks ago. Myself, I have a check-up coming in a couple of weeks, and I have decided, assuming I get an increase (which I am definitely expecting), that I will commit to full-time wear with progressives. From some research I've been doing, progressives are easier to adapt to the lower the add is because the distortions are less. So even if I don't strongly need the distance portion for distance, adapting to full-time wear with a slight or moderate add would be better than holding out as long as possible, by which time my add could be +2 or more, making progressives more difficult to get used to. I'll let you all know the new numbers when I get them...

Wei 14 Sep 2005, 05:37

Do anyone know if there limit for rx for bifocal? I have myodisc but consider 1.9 glasses for next rx but fear i need bifocal soon. Can bifocal be made in very high rx?

Brian-16 09 Sep 2005, 13:31

Bethanne - Yes with my tri-focals it brings the dashboard up clearly since the bi's have some blur.And I also get close to the computer screen but thats always been a habit with me and also reading.Interestingly one of my new classmates has what is called e.d. trifocals.He says that means extended definition.A large executive type with the bi-focal in the middle.The executive portion is the tri-focal.His father has them and he is an accountant in a bank and reads spreadsheets a lot.I tried them on since the distance rx is close to mine and they are cool,but my eyes began to cross as his have no prisms.I am afraid my next rx will have a sizeable increase especially the prisms.So many students here wear glasses ! I feel right at home...

Bethanne 09 Sep 2005, 12:27


I'm getting along fine with the bifocals. I almost wwish I had gotten trifocals. The car dashboard and the computer screen are a little out of focus. I am compensating by moving a little closer to the screen and using the bifocal. The doctor wants to see me again in Dec and I may ask for trifocals then.

Brian-16 09 Sep 2005, 05:18

Bethanne-Have not scheduled a new exam yet.I am overwhelmed with college right now and watching my expenses.Maybe after the first semester.Any comments on your bi's at school?

New to ES 09 Sep 2005, 00:08

I went for my eye examination last week and was prescribed a prescription

of +1.50 for both eyes. I elected to go with the verilux progressive lenses since I have had a prescription of -1.00 for my right eye and a -1.25 for my left eye for some years. I have had the progressives for over a week now and have adjusted to them rather quickly. I find myself wearing them quite often since I can read much better while wearing them.

Bethanne 04 Sep 2005, 09:26


Did you get a new script before college?

Cactus Jack 01 Sep 2005, 13:37

Bethane -- The clipons I use cover the distance part of the glasses and a little of the intermediate segment of my trifocals so they don't interfere with the reading segment. My trifocals are a +3.00 add (I also like to read close)so the intermediate segment is half of that or +1.50 which doesn't work well at the distance of my computer screen. That portion of the intermediate segment covered by the clipons gives me +1.00 and +1.50 for a total of +2.5 which works just fine for the keyboard. BTW, the +1.00 clipons were hard to find. Be sure and measure the distance from your eye to the computer screem and calculate the plus power needed to focus at that distance. If you need the formula, ask.

Brian-16 -- If I'm the guy with the low Rx you are talking about, I'll be 68 the end of September. My Rx is lower than it used to be because most of my myopia was fixed by the lens implants when I had cataract surgery.

I got my first bifocals at 20 and trifocals in my late 20s. Early presbyopia was probably caused by the fact that I developed natural monovision (natural bifocals) sometime before I was 10. (It scared the dickens out of me when I discovered it.)

My first glasses were L-1.50, R 0.00 (plano). For some time, (don't know how long) I read with my left eye and used the right eye for distance. When I got into high school and college, I started having serious headaches when I read extensively or did close work. My first bifocals were +1.00 add and they were a real comfort. My Rx when I got my first bifocals was approx. L-2.25, R-0,75. Actual Rx is not much of a factor in determining the need for bi or trifocals. More than anything, your internal ability to focus easily is what determines the need.


Brian-16 01 Sep 2005, 12:49

Bethanne-Glad you made it thru the first day of school with your bi-focals.I have tri-focals and they are great for the computer screen.The bi-focal is strictly for reading.I have always tended to hold things to read close to my eyes.I wonder what is the age of the guy with the low rx with bi-focals and when did he get them?

Godd Luck,Brian-16

Bethanne 01 Sep 2005, 12:33

Well I have had 2 days of school and no one seems to have noticed my bifocals. They have noticed that I have new glasses, I think because the frames are larger, and the lenses are somewhat thicker.

I really like the bifocals for reading and studying, it is much more comfortable, and it is easy to transition from looking at the board to looking at my notes.

Cactus: The clip ons for the computer are a good idea. I'll try to find some +1s and see how they work. Of course, that will make my bifocal stronger too.

Cactus Jack 30 Aug 2005, 10:48

Bethanne -- A tip. I wear trifocals most of the time and the middle segment is close to the right power for the computer, except that I get a crick in my neck.

I found some clip on reading glasses in several powers at an optical store and I have seen them in some enlightened computer stores. I selected a +1.00 for a laptop positioned about 1 meter away. They fit over the distance part of my glasses and I don't get a crick or visually tired even after hours at the computer. I think they were about US$20.

If you like the idea and can't find anything useful, let me know and I'll tell you how to have some made.


Bethanne 30 Aug 2005, 10:11


Thank you for your kind remarks, I do intent to continue posting.

School starts tomorrow, so I'll see if anyone notices my new glasses. To me, they seem a lot thicker, plus the segment is noticable. There are 2 others, that I know of, with bifocals in my class, a fairly low myope guy and a girl with significant hyperopia.

Of course in my school is also my sister who is 2 years younger than me.

My only problem is that the computer screen is not real clear unless I sit closer than I did before and use the bifocal.

Bethanne----AA 28 Aug 2005, 12:45

Thats super you are very happy with your new glasses,nice to know your brother and sister like them, so I hope your eyes now stabilise. hope you keep posting. Good Luck from AA

 25 Aug 2005, 20:45

With an add of just 0.5 the bifocal line must be almost invisible. Could you post some pictures of your new glasses someplace?

Bethanne 25 Aug 2005, 17:13

I got my new glasses with the bifocal at 9am this morning. There has really been no big problem with them. I wore them all day and the distance was wonderful, and up close was very good as well.

I tried to read through the top part, and that would have been very difficult without bifocals. The bifocal is very comfortable and I love it. Too bad I didn't get them earlier.

My brother and sister both said I would love them, and they were right.

I guess, all I can say is that bifocals rock!

-00- 25 Aug 2005, 13:57

I did not get the impression that Ruth was particularly having trouble at distance with her current spec, just that they have recently proved to be useful. I would bet almost anything that the full sum of the distance & add in the new prescription will pretty soon be comfortable at distance too.

However, if the old spex are not sufficient for distance, then by all means get the new RX filled in the distance stregnth.

Yes, it does seem to be that once you go bifocal, you pretty much go all the way.

DWV 25 Aug 2005, 13:43

If you really need it, 0.5D has to be better than nothing. But it doesn't sound like you're that desperate for an add, otherwise the doc would've prescribed something stronger. So... you could ignore it for now, and worry about bifocals in a few years when you get a stronger add. Or order single-vision readers online from someplace dirt cheap like and bump the add up to 1.0, which will be more helpful, but still be weak enough to use as computer glasses.

Willy 25 Aug 2005, 11:39

Not to be disagreeable with 00, Ruth, but I don't know that I would fill the prescription as a single vision including the add. In your case, where you have said you need your current prescription for clearer distance vision on occasion, new SV glasses including the add would be too strong for distance, and you would need to use your older (current) ones. Whereas, new SV glasses without the add will/should be correct for distance and sufficient for close up. I would basically ignore the add at this point based on what you have said. But it's up to you!

-00- 25 Aug 2005, 09:04


I'd vote for getting just the reading portion of the new prescription made up rather than bifocals - it is much easier to get used to a smaller add than a larger on, but, and maybe its just me, +.50 seems just to little for the expense.

its just my vote.

Willy 25 Aug 2005, 08:22

That is my understanding as well. Ruth, I think you could ignore the add for now, but understand that before long, it will become necessary...

Hansel 25 Aug 2005, 06:53

How available is an add of +0.5? I didn't think many lens manufacturers had less than +0.75.

Poptician 25 Aug 2005, 05:47


It's probably different for wearers of plus lenses such as yourself, but my recent experience is that even a small add makes an almighty difference. My full time prescription is L4.75 and R4.25. For some time before my last test in June I had been having trouble reading (I'd got to that age!), particularly in light that was less than perfect and when I was tired. The optician promptly prescribed a +1 add for both eyes, but reckoned I might not need it in all circumstances. Nevertheless, he encuraged me to go for varifocals, which I resisted as I have heard they can be a swine to get used to. So I opted for a pair of single vision glasses with the reading prescription, in addition to my existing specs as my distance vision showed no change. In a way, I wish now I had gone the bifocal or varifocal route as I find the reading glasses so useful for most purposes and I wear them a lot of the time now. It's just so much easier and more restful on the eyes, with no sign of the eyestrain I had before.

Ruth 25 Aug 2005, 02:22

What do people think is the smallest worthwhile reading add?

I am 41 and farsighted. I first got glasses about 3 years ago and wear them for near and also more recently for distance if I need very clear vision e.g. driving. I've just got a new prescription which is:

L: +1.5 Add: +0.5

R: +2.75 Add: +0.5

This is a slightly stronger distance prescription and the add is new. The optician said I would find I have clearer reading vision if I get bifocals or progressives rather than single vision lenses and also that it is probably time to start getting used to wearing glasses most or all of the time. However, I think my reading vision is reasonable even with my old, slightly weaker distance glasses, I don't really want to start wearing glasses more than at present and, having read these posts, it seems as if the add isn't much anyway, so I'm doubtful if it's worth succumbing to the dreaded bifocals yet. Is my optician right or is he just trying to sell more expensive glasses and get people more dependent on them? Also do most people wear progressives or bifocals all the time if they get them?

Thank you


Bethanne__AA 24 Aug 2005, 03:55

Hi Bethanne, goodness knows what happened to those 2 blank messages. I have 2 friends who wear very high plus glasses and they are always complaining that its hard to socialise and find boy and girl friends because of their thick glasses. I invited them over to my house to read your post, there excuse was you were much older than them, when I told them you were only 17 they were surprised, we sat down and had a nice long chat and both my friends said you had given them confidence to accept they wear strong glasses, it was now time to do as you have done and not use their glasses as an excuse for lack of confidence.

So Bethanne your post has been an inspiration to others, both my friends have asked me to say thank you to you.

Good luck at the eye doc tomorrow, hope the increase is not to big. AA

Bethanne----AA 24 Aug 2005, 03:44

Bethanne----AA 24 Aug 2005, 03:44

Bethanne 23 Aug 2005, 17:10


I don't see my glasses as a liability. I do have high index but they are still very thick with the BO prism, high myopia, and high astigmatism, particulary in one lens.

I have lots of friends, including guys.

I know my new glasses will be thicker plus I had to get larger frames to accommodate the bifocal. That's just the way things are, they have to accept me the way I am.

Bethanne___AA 21 Aug 2005, 15:55

Thanks for your reply, unfortunately you will have further increases in your RX, maybe 3 to 4 points, I suppose your eye doc will tell your expected increase up till your about 21. How do you cope with a high RX, socially can you enjoy the activities of those without glasses, or are you restricted, do guys accet your glasses and take to you as a personand not see your glasses first. I hope you can get away without bifocals, maybe the eye doc can ajust your prescription that will save you having to buy bifocals, also it must be expensive for you to have your glasses changed in less than a year. Can you afford high index lenses, and designer frames, or do only have ordinary lenses.

Look forward to your post on thursday. Good luck. AA

Bethanne 21 Aug 2005, 12:48


I am 17 and can expect more changes for a while. I hope the bifocals will help, let you know after Thurs when I get them.

Bethanne ____AA 21 Aug 2005, 12:01

Bethhanne, I,m srprised you need an increase in your glasses, I assume your older than 25, usually by this time your RX has settled, it must be a little scary for you to have a constant increase, also needing bifocals, if I were you I would try and do without them as long as possible, many wearers I know say it a bug bare to wear bifocals, they make do by taking off their distance glasses, closing one eye and holding the print close, they tell me its more comfortable. Also Bethanne try putting your didtance glasses down your nose sometimes this works without the need for bifocals. Whatever the outcome of your next visit to the optician I hope your RX settles soon and you don,t have many more increases, from an adirer of ladies who wear glasses, good luck. AA

Bethanne 21 Aug 2005, 11:40

Hi, I am an upcoming HS senior who just had the second 1 dpt prescriotion increase in a year and second prism increase too. Since the last increase, reading has been difficult so I asked about bifocals since both of my siblings, with less prescription, have had them for a couple of years. The doctor agreed that I definitely need them. The new prescription is R, -12.50 -1.75 x170 6.0BO L, -13.75 -4.25 x005 6.0BO add +1.75.

The doctor said to come back at Christmas break for a check and probably stronger glasses again.

DWV 18 Aug 2005, 22:47

Daria fan fiction:

...did someone from ES write it?

Cactus Jack 12 Aug 2005, 22:09

To no name,

It depends on how sharp you need/like your vision and your vanity. I never really cared much what other people thought about my glasses. I wear them for me, not for them.

In my work I need to see very clearly at all ranges. I had to get bifocals at 20 and back then the only choice was the shape of the bifocal lens. I found that I preferred 28 mm Flat Top. The line never bothered me much.

I tried progresives when the bifocals got up to +2.00 because I was having trouble reading the top of large blueprints without leaning way over and thought the progressives, with their gradual power change from distance to reading would let me focus at all distances. I did't like them because they weren't perfectly clear and the area of clearest vison was like an hour-glass, narrow in the middle and wide at the top and bottom.

I had to argue with the OD because the progressives didn't do what I needed done and "I shouldn't need trifocals at 30". He tried several tests and finally decided that I really couldn't read print that was over 20 inches away and prescribed a +1.00 for the intermediate lens. I've worn trifocals ever since and still prefer FT.

I understand that the best progressives today are very good. I have heard from friends that Varilux are the best but, rather expensive. Some opticians will let you try progressives and if you don't like them, make you some regular bifocals.

Hope this helps.


 12 Aug 2005, 20:39

I have worn glasses for years with a relatively mild prescription of -1.00 for both eyes. I am in my mid 40's and have been experiencing differculty reading lately so I have scheduled an eye exam for next week. I know that I'm going to need a prescription for reading so my question is should I get

progressive lenses or lined bifocals.

DWV 26 Jul 2005, 23:01

to No Name:

An add of 0.5 is too weak; 1.0 is about the weakest that's commonly prescribed. 1.50 is a good compromise, and you can use it for intermediate distances too (like the computer), if you get a really high segment.


Just how small are those frames (measured vertically)?

Here's a couple of catalogs of lenses;

Julian 26 Jul 2005, 22:45

Nameless poster: I think Filthy is right. I reckon most of us read all the threads (I usually miss out 'Lots of Links' and 'XXX Links'), and if anyone read a selection of threads those you posted to would naturallly go together. It is irritating to find the same post in thread after thread, and I also think it's a discourtesy not to give a name when you're hping for answers. Surely to goodness you could dream up a username. Finally it's very inefficient from your point of view as replies (if any) will be scattered over all the threads where you've posted your question. As it is the only replies you've got - Filthy isn't the only one - are complaints about your multiple posts!

Brad 26 Jul 2005, 14:49


Hi there, Yeah progressives aren't cheap, especially if you are going for hi index lenses. Your wife has a quite high distance RX and hi index lenses will be a lot thinner and lighter. Progressive lenses can make things "swim" a bit with some peripheral distortion, but I soon got used to it and found them a great improvement over my previous bi-focals, with the"jump" between the lens segments that caused me to trip over things. I went to Boots opticians and my glasses (with a "free??!" second pair) were just under £500, Having said that, both pairs are great and I have great vision with them

 26 Jul 2005, 13:26

has it ever occurred to you that not everyone reads every page, anyway what's it to you, what is this thing for.... to post messages and that's just what I'm doing, but after this kinda of response I won't bother anymore

Filthy McNasty 26 Jul 2005, 11:59

There are still a few forums left to which you have not posted this question. Please ensure that you hit them all to ensure maximum rudeness on your part and maximum inconvenience to our kind host.

 26 Jul 2005, 11:14

Can anyone help, I pleased someone just mentioned having an add on there prescription as this is what my question is about I've always really had a thing for glasses and before needing them I used to wear reading glasses but really wanted a pair of minus distance glasses and I guessed I might be able to see out of them anyway when I was 20 I got the courage to go and get an eye test and blagged the doctor and got a pair -0.25 in both eyes I really didn't need them as my eye sight was near on perfect but she thought they would help me with head aches I said I got, anyhow as time went on I wanted to get stronger lens but my dream started coming a bit too true and five years down the line I now really do need glasses, I have to say now I don't want to need them well not this much buy hey its happened, I don't know if I should blame my self for wearing glasses when I didn't need them or computer use maybe a bit of both it may not sound much but I'm up to -1.25 in both eyes and my distance vision is not good at all now and its affecting my life, problem is I don't wear them out as the glasses thing is too much of a fetish I just can do it, Right OK I'm going to get to the point now, I've now got a thing for + glasses but can't really see at a distance through them, I did find some weak ones on line +0.25 which I wear for the computer at home, but what I really want now is distance glasses with a + add I've found a shop on line where you just put in your prescription but don't have to send the real thing, so can anyone suggest a prescription i.e.: -1.25 add + 0.50 I don't have anything else on my normal prescription its just -1.25 in both eyes and nothing else so how much of an add do you think would be ok? bearing in mind I do want to see out of them clearly for close and near, and you never know I might start wearing them to work!

optifan 25 Jul 2005, 08:21

My wife has just been given an add for the first time.Her prescription is R -7.00 -.25X 50 AND L -6.50 -.5X 180.

Add 1.5

The optician recommended she went for progressives as she said it would be easier to adapt as a new wearer.

The problem is she has choosen some narrow frames which realy suit her but the store said she would need to have "compact varifocals in high index " at a cost of £360 just for the lenses.

Before she spends this amount of money can anyone recommend the best make of lens that gives the best vision with minimum distorsion ect.I have read on these posts that the quality of varifocals vary depending on the manufacturer.

Also any suggestions who has the best prices.We are located in the uk.

JR 17 Jun 2005, 18:09

I do wear progressives. Prescription is +1.25 -.50 add +2.75

Jkarl 17 Jun 2005, 13:18


We are the same age. If you wear progressives like I do, the "add" is typically bumped up beyond what it would be for regular bifocals. My current "add" is 2.5.


Bowser 15 Jun 2005, 05:16


Looks like we may have a similar prescription, however, my add of +1.75 is only about 5 years ahead of my age, but I also have some farsightedness and astigmatism.

What is your prescription ?



-oo- 14 Jun 2005, 19:25

JR: maybe you really are a dioptre or so more hyperopic than your RX suggests, and the power is ending up in the add instead of in the distance part of your RX.

JR 14 Jun 2005, 17:44

I got my first add at age 40. Have a small amount of farsightedness and astigmatism that need a distant correction.

-oo- 13 Jun 2005, 17:21

When did you start getting an add? Do you have something else going on?

JR 13 Jun 2005, 16:23

Yikes! I have 69 year-old eyes. Looks like they are 20 years ahead of schedule.

-oo- 12 Jun 2005, 19:00

it would seem so according to the charts in the previous post as well as this one:

unless you need them for some condition besides simple presbyopia.

JR 12 Jun 2005, 17:08

I'm 49 and wear a +2.75 add. Is that a high amount for my age?

DWV 07 Jun 2005, 23:21

"My last prescription was 2 years ago. When you say the typical increase is between .1 and .125 per year, are you speaking of the add portion?"


"I was a bit surprised to also have the increase in the cylinder and sphere as well. Will there just be a gradual increase in all of these figures over time or will they eventually level off somewhere? I am currently 46."

This article suggests that sphere will head in a hyperopic direction with age, and that cylinder will go up as well.

The "Varilux Fitting Guide" is interesting reading, although some other paper I read said that the fancy techniques for measuring near add don't work as well as just adding plus until the patient can read the card comfortably.

The Varilux table for add according to age is rather grudging; it suggests that 1.75 isn't needed until age 51. This one from Yemen is more generous:

Bowser 07 Jun 2005, 10:17


My last prescription was 2 years ago. When you say the typical increase is between .1 and .125 per year, are you speaking of the add portion? Seems I fall right into that category, but I was a bit surprised to also have the increase in the cylinder and sphere as well. Will there just be a gradual increase in all of these figures over time or will they eventually level off somewhere? I am currently 46.

Thanks for the insights !!



DWV 06 Jun 2005, 22:57

0.25D isn't a lot of increase, but it has to help; when was your last prescription? I've read that a typical increase is 0.1 to 0.125D per year.

Bowser 06 Jun 2005, 12:52

I imagine the astigmatism has been contributing to my troubles as well. Hopefully things will be much better after I get the new glasses.



-oo- 06 Jun 2005, 10:04

don't forget - astigmatism causes problems for near too

Bowser 06 Jun 2005, 09:51

John S;

Does the additional add look too slight?



John S 05 Jun 2005, 21:23


It sure doesn't look like your going to get much relief for close up with that new rx, hope I am wrong.

Bowser 05 Jun 2005, 06:23

Just had my exam yesterday and here is my new prescription:

R: +1.00, -0.75, add +1.75

L: +0.75, -0.75, add +1.75

My old one was:

R: +1.00, -0.75, add +1.50

L: +0.50, add +1.50

Can't recall the exact angles on the cylinder but I think they were somewhere around 90 or so.

I had expected the increase in the add, but the jump in the cylinder in my left eye was a bit surprising.

I also get some new frames as well. My first thought was to just keep my current ones, which I really like, but my vision plan requires that the frames have to go out and have the lenses installed. It takes about a week and I just could not do that. So, my new frames are of a very similar rectangle style, but just a bit larger top-to-bottom, which will give me a bit more reading area and I won't be constanly be looking over the tops of the frames.

I must admit that it was a bit of a rush to have some of the numbers go up. This site continues to be very informative as well as entertaining.

Will check back in after I pick up my new glasses next week..



Bowser 02 Jun 2005, 08:09

I was beginning to get some fairly significant eyestrain from my computer terminal at work so I pushed it back so I could effectively use my mid-range. It seems to be about 30+ inches away but it is really helping cut down the strain. This seems quite far out however. Reading for any period of time has become more of a chore and I am having more difficulties with lower light situations. I went out yesterday and bought a pair of OTC readers at +2.75 to help give me some relief so I can read comfortably. Also my left eye seems to be a bit more asitgmatic.

Gee, I'm glad I have an appointment coming up in two days. Looks like this 2-year old prescription has run it's course.

.. And so the war continues..



Valerie 01 Jun 2005, 06:15

Hi Ree and Bert, I think I mentioned before that the hearing loss is genetic, mostly with the women. Mom is practically deaf, with a profound loss, and my sisters have moderately severe losses, mine is seveere. My brother has a very mild loss and does not wear HAs. Dad's severe loss is from disease in his teens. We all use sign although we are all verbal, except for Mom. My sisters eyesight does not preclude sign as long as they are reasonably close.

Back on topic, I have had my 'final' glasses for a week or so now, and I really like them. The new prescription is R: +1.75 -1.00 x055 L: +2.00 -1.00 x122 add +2.00. Whhen I mentioned computer work, the doctor suggested trifocals with this prescription, so I got them. I still have the 35mm segment.

The doctor suggests that I come back in August before I start grad school.

Ron 26 May 2005, 16:39

Wills, are you going for stronger lenses?

New to ES 24 May 2005, 23:34

I have adjusted to my trifocals and find them quite helpful while doing computer work. I am going back to the optician in a few days to get a second pair of glasses.

I will be getting progressive lenses in my new glasses, which I will wear while out in public.

Willy 24 May 2005, 14:09


Ron 22 May 2005, 05:57

Wills, what strength lenses are you wearing now?

Willy 20 May 2005, 13:05

Since my menu moment the other day I've been more conscious of my transition from having reading glasses for comfort to truly needing them to see up close. Even in good light, I realize that if I read normal size print without them, I'm holding the material two feet away. With them, I still need fine print to be 14-16 inches away. Need that next half dipoter...

New to ES 18 May 2005, 23:47

Thank you for the advice regarding my new glasses. I have elected to get the trifocals and hopefully they will help me see clearly while doing computer work. Will keep you posted as to how they work out.

Curt 18 May 2005, 11:52

Eustace: Let me help if I can:

FT=flat top bifocal, the kind that look like the letter D on its side with a flat top (hence the FT)

35=the width of the bifocal in millimeters. Bifocals come in 28 and 35 mm widths (I've heard of 45s but never seen them. 25mm adds used to be around, and may still be used for smaller frames?)

8x35 trifocal=a 35 mm bifocal section with an 8mm high intermediate section. Trifocals come with either a 7 or 8 mm height (i.e., 7x35, 8x35)

This is just optician nomenclature for some of the measurements in segmented lenses.

Hope this helps!

Bowser 18 May 2005, 10:48

Would an increase in my add also mean a change in my mid-range? I currently wear progressives (and I would not trade them for anything, BTW).



Eustace 18 May 2005, 10:33

Brian - 16: I was a bit confused by your posting on May 15. You mentioned that, at your last exam, you had insisted on "stonger bifocals" but then added "I also have trifocals." I remember that you have been wearing trifocals for a year or so now. Don't you wear your trifocals all the time, or do you switch to bifocals for reading or whatever? Also, I have never understood the meaning of FT 35. And EyeTri mentioned tht he has 35 x 8 trifocals. What does all this mean? By the way, I am very satisfied with trifocals, which I have worn for some time now. For the computer, I use the mid-range lens for the screen and the bottom "reading" lens for the keyboard.

Eye Tri 16 May 2005, 15:12

New To ES:

With an add of 2.25 you probably won't be comfortable looking at a computer screen with either lens of a bifocal. What works best for me are 35 by 8 trifocals.

John S 16 May 2005, 10:34

big ES fan,

There are a lot of doctors that are very stubborn on the reading distance. You may not get him to budge. Tell him, if you don't give me what I want, I will go to someone that will, and you will lose my business. 12" would be a +3.50 add, I think you would be very happy with that. Above that, may be tough to deal with.

As your add goes up, you don't have as much leeway in focusing distance. You will really have to keep things at that working distance.

big ES fan 16 May 2005, 07:00

New to ES,

You are going to get alot of different opinions on this, so I will give you mine first. I have had trifocals and they work pretty good and I have progressives, which do not work that well for computer work, but are ok for general everyday wear. If you do not mind switching glasses, I prefer real computer glasses with a FT35 bifocal. Take the center trifocal precription as the full lens with the bifocal add. You have full field of vision for the screen and the FT35 segment for the keyboard. I find that my distance vision is not that bad if I need to get up and move around or do something else for a while, so I just leave them on unless I am going to be gone from the computer for a long time. You can take advantage of some of the two for the price of one sales that some opticians offer and get trifocals or progressives along with computer glasses.

New to ES 16 May 2005, 00:40

Have been wearing bifocals for a few years now with an add of 2.00. Went for an eye exam yesterday and my add has increased to 2.25. Informed the Dr.

that I do a lot of computer work. He

recommended trifocals. Can anyone advise me if they would be a better choice. Advice welcomed, as I am going

back to the Dr. next week to select frames and need to know if I should continue with bifocals or follow the Drs. advice and begin wearing trifocals

Brian-16 15 May 2005, 08:54

big ES fan

At my last exam I insisted on stronger bi-focals and have the same as you +2.25.I read close and like to see all the fine print.I know at the next exam I will ask for even more as I will be reading heavily entering college in the fall.I also have tri-focals.

big ES fan 15 May 2005, 06:24


I have the same problem. My add is +2.25 and I am having problems up close. My optometrist said the reading add is usually set at 16 to 18 inches. I like to read at 11 or 12 inches, which is what I told him. But he gave me what he wanted to. When I go back for a new precription he is going to give me what I want, whether he likes it or not. I am a electronics technician and have to use a magnifying glass to see details of a circuit board.

Ree 14 May 2005, 08:55

Hi Valerie,

Read your posts, and noted that all your sisters have ophthalmic problems,, with one of them even had congenital cataracts. And you also mentioned you were hearing impaired.

I just wanted to know whether these were all part of a genetic trait, and whether all of you had a genetic analysis done, and whether it was detected much earlier and you parents had genetic counselling. I was interested and think this will shed much more light on such disorders paving ay for their prevention or cure later.

Also i would like to know whats your Rx,, and whether you wear contacts or glasses

Bert 14 May 2005, 08:11

Hi Valerie

do your sisters wear hearing aids too? You mentioned in an earlier post that your siblings were hearing-impaired too. If so I wonder if their eyesight makes lipreading more difficult.

Valerie 14 May 2005, 07:08

Hi Slit, you asked about my sisters. Next below me is Jennie, she is 19, in college and her prescription is -17.5 -3.5 add +2.75. She first got glasses when she was 8, and bifocals at 14, trifocals last year.

My sister Julie is 17 and had congenital cataracts so has worn bifocals for ages. Her prescription is +19.5 +5.00 add +4.00. Her corrected vision is only 20/60 right and 20/150 left.

My mom is a high myope (-14) and got bifocals in college. Dad just wears readers. Older brother, Tim, is 25 and is an Army officer. He was -6 but had laser surgery. Now, though, he needs reading glasses.

Eye Tri 13 May 2005, 17:15


When you go for your eye exam , take the coins that you are having trouble with so the optometrist can see what your visual problem is. I work as a motorcycle mechanic and was having trouble with the very small print on the wiring diagrams in shop manuals. I took the manuals with me to my exam and my optometrist gave me a separate prescription for glasses to use at work with an extra 1/2 diopter add. They work great!

Bowser 13 May 2005, 13:25

Thanks John S. and Willy. I do have an exam coming up next month. The OTC readers are a good idea. I may try these if I am not prescribed additional add. I have progressives as well and am also finding I am needing to go way down into the add on smaller print and my coins and also in lower light. I do not see any real degredation yet at standard reading distances or lighting. I will mention all of this at my exam..



John S 13 May 2005, 12:58


I wear a +3.25 add for close work (electronics). I have a pair of Varilux Panamic progressives, wouldn't trade them. The focal point is 12"-13". I wear them when I am working most of the time. No problem reading the newspaper, I just don't go down completely into the reading area.

I have heard people complain about strong adds, I never figured out why. Always had trouble convincing the doc to give me what I wanted.

If you were going to have a strong add in a lined lens, a tri-focal would be a good choice. Brian-16 would attest to that.

Willy 13 May 2005, 12:01

Bowser -- For the most part I would think a "prescribed" add would be based on standard testing for "normal" reading and close tasks. If you need more for specific detailed work, then stronger OTC readers or, as you say, a typical magnifying glass could do the trick. Taken to the extreme, jewelers have their loupes for ultra, ultra fine detail which very few people could see unaided at any age. So I don't necessarily equate your issue with needing more add, other than to the extent you were able to see the required detail before but cannot now. Of course, you say your prescription is two years old, so time for an exam anyway?

Bowser 13 May 2005, 11:45

What is a general standard for what you should be able to see with an accurate add? Also, what are some common signs that you need additional add? My prescription, containing a +1.50 add is two years old and I am wondering if it is time for an increase. My close visual needs may be a bit more than what most people would require since I am an avid coin collector and some of the smaller details are just getting too hard to see. Without a magnifying glass I can't seem to get close enough anymore. I see no real effects yet in my standard reading but my hobby is strarting to notice that maybe I need more add.

Thanks !!



DWV 10 May 2005, 21:54


An optician should be able to either shape the temples to fit you better, or replace the tips with a more comfortable style.

Changing the nose pads could help too: the rubbery silicone style are supposed to stick to the nose better.

Slit 10 May 2005, 20:49

Hi Valerie,

Its interesting to hear that your sisters also wear bi-focals.

How old are they? What are their prescriptions?

At what age did they start to wear glasses?

Valerie 10 May 2005, 07:33

Was home for Mothers Day, it was the first time my family has seen me in glasses. All of the comments were fery flattering, even from my sisters who are long time glasses and bifocal wearers.

Now a question, can the sides of frames be changed. Mine are sort of like blades and my sisters pointed out that the ones that curve around the ears are better with hearing aids.

Brian-16 05 May 2005, 07:40


Good luck on your graduation and wedding and I hope everything comes together okay so you can enjoy life..Like you I have no idea what my vision is without glasses - 20/?

Geoffrey 05 May 2005, 06:30

Brian, thank you for your kind thoughts. My vision with glasses is 20/300 right and 20/400 left. I have no idea what it is without glasses, but it is pretty bad.

My mom has never accepted the fact that I have to wear the thick glasses, and in fact wants me to not wear them at graduation. I have told her that is not possible.

The next issue will be at my wedding when she does not want anyone in the wedding party to wear glasses. The probles is that my fiancee is also visually impared.

Brian-16 04 May 2005, 06:42


Geoffrey my hat goes off to you and your handicap.Although I am not legally blind I do have a vision problem with -11.50 and -11.25,tri-focals,and prisms.I am wondering if you have worse thatn 20/200 with glasses.Thats considered legally blind in the U.S.I have 20/25 in my right eye and about 20/20 in my left eye.I will be entering college in the fall.

Geoffrey 04 May 2005, 06:19

I'm a college senior, legally blind since age 12. My glasses are lenticular lens, +21.5 sph +3.75 cyl and +5.0 add.

Brian-16 02 May 2005, 13:27


Well the teasing about my specs is not as much as it used to be.I have only a few more weeks of high school and then

off to college in the late summer.There I would expect a different attitude with all the mix of students from around the globe.My brother has bi-focals but it does not bother him very much.He got used to me kidding him when he first got them!

Eustace 02 May 2005, 12:04


You have mentioned more than once that you don't pay any attention to school mates who joke or make fun of your trifocals--because you love your trifocals and you can see! That's a very healthy attitude. ButI'm just wondering what comments they might be making, either to your face or behind your back? Do they call you "four-eyes" or something like that? Or do they just say things like: "You sure do have thick glasses!"; "You must be half-blind!"; "Do you really need trifocals at your age?"; "I've never known anyone so young with trifocals!" Of course, I guess we trifocal wearers could be called "eight-eyes"! I recall that, when I first started wearing glasses (at age 11 or 12), I was self-conscious, but I don't recall anyone making fun of me or even saying much of anything.


DWV 29 Apr 2005, 01:47

You ~could~ get trifocals with the add you have now (1.50) (same as mine), but I can't think of a good reason to do so, other than "because". If you did want help for intermediate distance (like the computer), you'd be better off to get bifocals with the line at trifocal height, since 1.5 is good for vision up to 66 cm away.

Still, next time an optician says I should get progressives because they're better for the computer, maybe I'll ask if there's a way to get that computer zone with a lined lens, and see if they can talk me into trifocals...

Petra 28 Apr 2005, 22:42

Thanks for the comments fellas..!

I dont know about Tri Focals though - that sounds a bit scary...?

What was scary was the jump in strength - I thought I'd be in a light fuzz for a week - but none of that. I must have been hanging on to my old Rx for way too long - although I had only been tested 18 months earlier...??

The optometrist recommended I come and see her again in 12 months - she also advised me I could become quite a bit more longsighted in the coming years..??

I was not sure what to make of that - I though once I went to full time wear that would be it - clearly thats not the case. I cant quiote imagine being any 'blinder' than I already am without spex..!

I guess I'll find out in time....thx for the positive thoughts..!



Brian-16 28 Apr 2005, 10:57


I am pleased you like your lined bi-focals.I have ft-35 tri-focals and would not switch,even if I lost a bet! I see several of my high school teachers (12th) have them,as they are always moving their head up and down and around.They ask me how I like my lined tri-focals and they are surprised I do not care what comments or jokes the students make.I have to see and thats more important!

Jarred 28 Apr 2005, 10:29

Hey Petra,

Its realy interesting to hear about your experiences going from multifocals to a standard bifocal, and the better quality vision.

Untill I started reading the posts here I was begining to think that I was mad or something with every optician telling me that multifocals were the way to go and me not getting on with them.

I'm now up to trifocals which I love! using the computer is so easy now!! No more bad neck and back from bad posture. and with a proper trifocal segment as you said you dont have to hunt around for the clear section, its just "there".

I'm sure that my friends and family have noticed my trifocals but none of them have commented on them so I wouldnt worry about the aesthetics changing from multificals to bifocal. Enjoy the clearer periferal vision and larger reading area.


Valerie 28 Apr 2005, 06:29

Hi Slit, I think I said I rarely wore the otc glasses in public in college. That was true, mostly wore them in the dorm. As far a menus were concerned, eating out was in pizza or hamburger joints, so no real menu looking was involved. Shopping, I just struggled thru it.

Guido 28 Apr 2005, 04:04

Petra: You will know you have arrived when you move to tri-focals in a few years.

Petra 27 Apr 2005, 22:52

I just got my first D Line Bifocals.

Ive been in Multi's for some 3 years and have just had a hefty Rx increase, I am 48 - but after following these threads - have gained the confidence to try the lined variety.

My new Rx is R +3.50 L +3.25 add+1.50

Roughly a +0.75d increase across the board...


With the Multi's I was ALWAYS struggling to find the 'increased power' part for close work. Not any more - bang its there right below the line in an instant - no more multifocals for me....

Thanks for the tip everyone...!!


Slit 27 Apr 2005, 06:53

Hi Valerie,

You mentioned that you didnt use your glasses in public when you were at high school. But did not you have any problems when reading menus at restaurents or reading price tags when you were shopping?

Valerie 27 Apr 2005, 06:19

Hi Curt and Pinkspecs, my first post was primarily venting because I was surprised to get bifocals and be told to wear full time.

Now I'm completely accustomed to them, like them, and ready to go back for a full prescription.

Pinkspecs 25 Apr 2005, 14:49

That was my thoughts

Curt 25 Apr 2005, 07:42

Valerie: I think the reason Pinkspecs mentioned the 28mm bifocals is that in your first post, you said that your 35mm bifocals were "huge" and that you "trip over the stairs" with them. A smaller bifocal may cause less problems. But in your later posts, you say that you love them and have no problems with them???

Valerie 22 Apr 2005, 06:49

Hi Pinkspecs, why should I wear 28mm bifocals? I really like my 35mm ones and love the large reading area. I have become quite accustomed to my glasses and feel lost without them. My next appointment for a final prescription is next week, I am going to ask about computer glasses too.

Yes I do wear hearing aids, and have since I was 4 due to a genetic condition, and a severe loss. My folks and siblings are also hearing impared.

Do you know what your girlfriends prescription is? Has she worn bifocals long?

specs4ever 17 Apr 2005, 06:25

I have only ever known one person with quadrafocals. In all my years of specs watching, I have looked and looked, but I have not spotted another. I am sure they are out there, but where? The man I knew was an older myope, who was an architect. He got the quadrifocals because he couldn't get close enough to the drawing board to see the upper region with his upper trifocal, but his glasses were too strong with their full prescription. He loved his trifocals, and continued doing his work for a few more years.

Brian-16 17 Apr 2005, 06:08


What are quadrafocals? I have often wondered about this and how do they compare to bi/tri focals?

Sol 16 Apr 2005, 21:28

Can anyone here tell me where I can get a nice pair of quadrafocals?

Pinkspecs 15 Apr 2005, 12:47


You would find D28 bifocals better.

Do you wear hearing aids as well i see from your post you sat near the front to hear better

My girl friend now wears trifocals she got them a month ago she also wears hearing aids



Valerie 11 Apr 2005, 07:02


In my final year of high school it was a fad to wear mild reading glasses in class. Through college I got stronger readers but never wore them in public. In class I always sat in front because my hearing is bad.

Now at work I found that I was having a lot of difficulty with reading and computer, I'm a paralegal. So I went to the eye doctor.

Slit 09 Apr 2005, 00:55


When did you decided that you should check your eyes and get glasses?

What made you feel that you should get your eyes checked?

Slir 09 Apr 2005, 00:54

Valerie 08 Apr 2005, 06:29


The doctor said I could not take the full amount either far or near at once. I've worn these for 3 weeks now and really like them.

I depend on them all of the time and am looking forward to full correction in a few more weeks.

Full time wear has become necessary as I really notice the difference when I take them off. I'm only sorry I did not get them earlier.

Willy 05 Apr 2005, 08:14

Valerie -- Interesting situation. Given the amount of cylinder, the eye doctor was probably right that full-time wear would be best, but I am curious as to the bifocal. I would infer from what you have said that your "true" distance plus is higher than what you were prescribed, but that right now you are tolerating less of it, and need it only for close. My concern would be that by adapting to a bifocal now, then later, when your eyes are ready to accept a fuller correction for distance, they will still want more for near because they are not used to focusing the extra amount.

You may want to consider getting a second pair of glasses with your full reading prescription, and wear those as often as possible to see if your eyes will "relax" into seeing well at distance with them. Let us know how it goes.

Valerie 05 Apr 2005, 06:36

I just got my first glasses at 22, and they are bifocals. Last year, I got some otc glasses at CVS but they didn't work too well.

The eye doctor gave me a prescription that said


OD +1.00 -0.75 055 +1.50

OS +1.25 -1.00 122 +1.50

FT 35 Seg

Full Time Wear

He said that I have a stigmatism and should wear them all the time, but the bifocal part is huge and I trip over stairs. He also said to come back in a couple of months and the prescription will probably increase. Is that unusual after only a couple of months?

daisy 04 Apr 2005, 20:11

yes that was a typo.

Hansel 04 Apr 2005, 15:00

Since the distance part is new perhaps you mean -0.50?

eustace 04 Apr 2005, 14:54

Surely Daisy meant -5.0, not -50!

daisy 04 Apr 2005, 12:29

Just got my first bifocal prescription. It is the same for both eyes (previously I have had a slight difference) it is :

-50 add 1.50 same in each eye. Ordered up the specs today. Wonder if they will take some getting used to? I have had readers but the distance part is new. Also is it normal to have a different correction for each eye and then they are suddenly evened out?

big ES fan 03 Apr 2005, 06:59


Enjoy talking to you. To answer some of your questions, I started wearing bifocals at 35. As with you, I needed prism for years and was never prescribed, so they gave me bifocals. I think it was about two years when my eyes got so used to the extra help that presbyopia started to set in. I think the muscles that ajust your near focus get weaker because your not using them. I also had trifocals for a few years and liked them very much. I have a large computer screen and that is why I like the full field that computer glassed give, rather than having to move my head to see through the narrow intermediate segment. I have Flexon frames that are almost indestructable, so I just get the lenses and nose pads changed to save money, and they lay by my pc most of the time.

Bifocals and trifocals are much more forgiving, as far as errors in construction are concerned, except for the axis of the cylinder. With progressives it gets more critical because of the narrow channel. They don't always take the prism into account when measuring the pd and placement of the channel in the frame. Everyone is right about the horizontal field of vision being alot better with trifocals but the vertical field is better with progressives when they are made correctly. It's mainly just what you get used to.

Jarred 02 Apr 2005, 12:45

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your messages. I feel almost proud to be in such an exclusive trifocal club!

I was a little self consious about them plus the fact that the lenses have come out a little on the thick side, but I have just had some friends visit and they said that they don't look too bad, infact one mate said that he had'nt noticed so It's definately all in my head.

I think I will have to get my spare pair upgraded to my new prescription. I think it would be very difficult to go back to my old bifocal glasses with the weaker prism.


Brian-16 02 Apr 2005, 10:23


Sorry,I guess it should have 2 r's..

Brian-16 02 Apr 2005, 10:22


Congratulations on your tri-focals! I have them and love them especially the tri part.Its great for the computer screen.

mattp 02 Apr 2005, 08:45


Great news about the trifocals. When I got them a few years ago after struggling for years with bifocals, I was absolutely amazed at the clear vision at all distances. Your reaction is just like mine was--there's a whole world of things to see out there through that intermediate segment. And there's none of the distortion and lack of peripheral vision that progressives have. Happy seeing--Matt

Edmund 02 Apr 2005, 08:19


I have early onset of presbyopia. Over the last 3 years I have basically lost my ability to accomodate. The trifocals are awesome. I tried the other day to wear my old glasses, and not having the intermediate was certainly a huge problem!

Should post some pictures of our trifocal glasses some time.

Jarred 02 Apr 2005, 08:09

Big ES Fan,

Its interesting to hear that you have almost no acomodation, Im asuming that this has come on gradually? at what age did you first notice the presbyopia comming on? I am 32 and am not presbyiopic as far as I know (with my trifocals it could almost creep up without me knowing!)and am probably not quite at the age where it should be starting ..... but stranger things have happened!

Oddly though my prescription rather than making up for a loss of accomodation it is trying to prevent me from accomodating to control esotropia. I wonder if the fact that the accomodation mechanism is'nt being used will preserve it or whether it means I will lose it earlier?

Its also interesting to hear what you said about getting glasses made correctly. As you I have a reasonable amount of cylinder in my prescription and I find it incredible how many opticians find it so difficult to even get the axis right!

I also used to have a pair of glasses for use on the computer but I was getting a bit tired of all the swapping, and the cost of having multiple pairs is crazy, especaily by the time you have a spare pair, sunglasses and computer glasses. The new trifocals seem to work quite well and its nice having the intermediate all the time, a silly thing I noticed yesterday was how much easier it was to see stuff on the shelves at the shops!


big ES fan 02 Apr 2005, 04:32


I,ve had presbyopia for over ten years. My optometrist told me I have almost no accommodation left, I'm just past fifty. He also told me that eye doctors are reluctant to prescribe prism because once you wear them for any length of time you can't go back. I have computer glasses with what would be the trifocal segment in the main body of the lens and a bifocal add of + 1.25. Believe me, this is the only way to go, if your at the computer alot. I also have progressive glasses that I wear most of the time. When progressive lenses are made right, they work great. The problem I've found is they are rarely made right. With a prescription like mine, so many elements are involved, getting them all properly aligned is difficult. I've taken them back as many as three times before they get them right. I think this is the reason so many people complain about progressives, the stronger and more complex the precription, the harder they are to make. Unfortunately incompetence runs rampant in the eyeglass industry.

Jarred 01 Apr 2005, 13:17

Hi big ES fan,

Im glad Im not the only one who has had problems getting a prescription that works. From what I have read about and been told (and it sounds like you have a similar problem to me) is that, with me anyway. At rest focusing in the distance my eyes are converged as if I am looking at something close up. The upshot is that without the prism to enable my eyes to be converged focusing in the distance, extra mucle effort is needed to prevent double vision and voila! headaches and stuff.

The bifocal or trifocal reduces the focusing efort needed to view things close up thus reducing the extra mucle effort and eventual pain needed for convergence. Bugger knows what happens when presbyopia sets in??? Have you got to that stage yet bigESfan?

You are right when it come to the reading with the prism and bifocal, it is such a relief. I remember when I first got them. I worked right through a morning on the computer without having to have a rest, it was wonderful.

Why is it that these convergence problems seem to be so difficult to detect? And how many people are there that have bad eye strain without any detectable refractive error?? The solution to their problems could be a simple bifocal or as I have recently discovered trifocal!


big ES fan 01 Apr 2005, 12:50


I had the same problem for several years. Every time I complained about not being able to read more than fifteen minutes before my eyes started burning, the optometrist just said he did'nt know why. Finally I told him when my eyes relaxed I saw double. He put some dots on the wall and asked me how many, when I said two, he said I needed prism correction. He came up with, OD.+2.75 -2.25, 95, 2 base in, OS +2.25 -1.25, 80, 2 base in, with an add of +2.25. This prescription is old and I need an increase, which I'm going to get soon. The difference was amazing. I could read without discomfort.

Jarred 01 Apr 2005, 11:27

Hi Edmund,

Thanks for your replay, its great to chat here!

I haven't had any real problem getting used to the trifocals. To be honest its almost like I've been crying out for them for years and finally when you get what you've needed all along its a relief. I have found myself starting to get close to the computer screen to use the lower segment and having to remind myself to site back thats about the only thing I have been having to get used to. But your right its great having the intermediate AND great periferal vision. I suppose that with technological "progresion" the varifocal will win out and trifocals won't be available. Even now I have had to hunt about to find an optician that could make up a trifocal with my prism. I had about four tell me that they could'nt make them up!

Have you got trifocals for a strange convergence thing like me or has the presbyopia demon caught up with you? If its a convergence thing how long did it take before someone actually spotted what was going on and sort it out? In fact if anyone else has had a similar experince where a problem has gone undiagnosed for years it would be interesting to hear from you.


Jarred 01 Apr 2005, 11:11

Hi Eustace,

I was about ten years old when I was first prescribed reading glasses and carried on with wearing my glasses for reading and when I was in class, oddly I could always see the board wearing my "Reading Glasses" so I supose it was no surprise especially when my astigmatism went up that I started full time wear when I was in my late teens. However, I always still had trouble with reading and close work and was prescribed prism on and off but basically started wearing bifocals in my early 20s which is when I was first told to try varifocals and did'nt get on with them. About five years ago the prism crept back with avengence so out went the contact lenses, however it was at that point that a clued up optician diagnosed me with acomodative esotropia which explained all the trouble I have had for years with close work. I am now 32 years old and have only now discovered intermediate vision without headaches!Now I can sit back and see the computer! maybe I won't have so many neck problems by having my nose pressed up to the screen. The prism I have always caused some colour aberations and I found that high index lenses made this worse thus the now quite thick standard lenses. I have a rectangular titanium frame with +1.50 -1.75 105 5.50 Base Out R and +1.50 -1.75 65 5.50 Base Out L the edge thickness is about 10mm. I am a little contious of the lenses but being a technical type I am ultimately more interested in quality of vision, no one has comented on them yet but I have caught people looking. With my glasses on I have 20-15 vision so overall a good setup.


Edmund 01 Apr 2005, 07:37

Congratulations Jarred on getting trifocals. I fully agree with you about the clear vision at all levels, plus the peripheral vision that trifocals give.

I really like mine. I find when I first put them on in the morning that they are hard to adjust to for a few minutes, but I love the clear vision.

Dave 31 Mar 2005, 21:34

On the subject of fraudulent posts I think there are two in the "Post Your Prescription" thread.

There is a link to another forum message where someone with a -1.25, -1.50 Rx asks a question. Immediately following that Leslie posts "I just got glasses -1.25, -1.50". Hell of a coincidence or monkey see, monkey fraudulently post?

Second one, LouLou joins saying she just found this site by randomly searching (why tell us that?). She posts her Rx as R -5.5, L-5.75 I find it interesting that someone just joining in the discussion is using "Rx" instead of "prescription" and converts OS and OD to left and right. That implies this person has some knowledge of glasses speak. She ignores the cylinder. Most newbies don't know what cylinder is and therefore wouldn't leave it out when conveying their prescription. So if this person just found eyescene where did they learn glasses speak.

Anyone agree?

Eustace 31 Mar 2005, 18:55


Don't be even slightly embarrassed! If your 10 mm thick trifocals have improved your vision and your comfort, wear them with pride and gratitude! Congratualtions and good luck! What style frames did you choose? Also, may I ask how old you are now--and how old you were when you first started wearing glasses and how old you were when you first tired varifocals?

Jarred 31 Mar 2005, 13:27

Hi All, I posted earlier back in January after being told during a eye test that I should try varifocal lenses as they would help with my acomodative esotropia. To cut a long story short I tried and didn't get on with the varifocals and ended up having to find an optician who could make up trifocals with my level of prism. Any way I did and picked up the trifocals this morning. They are great! using the computer is so easy! and unlike the varifocals I have periferal vision! With the varifocals I was also talked into getting high index lenses which seemed to double the chromatic aberations that I already get with the prisms so I have gone back to standard lenses. They have ended up a slighty embarassing 10mm thick but I dont care, I have the best vision I've had in years, I should have got trifocals years ago.

Wurm 21 Mar 2005, 20:17

I've begun to see some patterns associated with these fraudulent posters.

A 'diary' approach is a real giveaway. In fact, a main common feature is any obviously ego-driven personality, i.e. someone who is always "me me me" rather than a conversational turn-taker like an ordinary human being. Nancy/Patrick/etc was relatively sophisticated in this regard, as he would get into reasonably sophisticated exchanges with people. However, as his identities multiplied did tend to lead more obviously with his backstory.

Another hint is the individual sounding either too good, or too tragic, to be true -- particularly if you have somehow heard that story before. This is Nancy/Patrick/etc's downfall as he likes to portray a handicapped or even multi-handicapped individual with a dorm room or household full of others in similar situations.

I also have the benefit of the site logs, which provides not only a report of recent activity, but a pretty large historical data set to work with.

Filthy McNasty 21 Mar 2005, 19:40

I personally apply a rebuttable presumption that most such people ARE fake, on this forum. The particular bent here (glasses = sex objects) is unlikely to sit well with most real high Rx individuals, who often (and shut up, all ye who want to jump on this comment with stories of the exception - I said OFTEN, not always) grow up with a different bent (glasses = loathsome things to be teased about but endured for want of another option).

Of course Wurm, being the decent individual he is and always giving people the benefit of the doubt, was going by IP addresses.

tortoise 21 Mar 2005, 18:53

Eustace, I for one did not pick up on it though I didn't follow this particular exchange very closely and I'm not sure what was so obviously fake.

What I don't like is the tendency of some people to assume that any talk of having a very strong prescription must be false. I have personally known a few people and seen many others with genuine Rxs over +/-20D and it doesn't surprise me that some of them would find this site interesting. I just hope that they can always feel welcome here.

I feel sure that Wurm's decision was not based on any such assumption but rather had to do with IP addresses etc.

Maybe IP addresses involved in fake postings such as this and including "pseudoJulian" and others can be blocked

in future.

eustace 21 Mar 2005, 16:48

I must be the most gullible person out here. I tend to believe what people post. Indeed, my heart was going out to 15 year-old Patrick and his twin brother who both have (so Patrick said) very poor vision and hearing loss. While I did wonder at the rapid progression of their myopia, I just assumed that meningitis could have this after effect. Did you other guys think it was all a hoax?

eustace 21 Mar 2005, 16:43

eustace 21 Mar 2005, 16:43

Filthy McNasty 21 Mar 2005, 12:03

Wurm: Thanks for doing it at all. I am sure you are very busy with other things.

Jaydee 21 Mar 2005, 08:45

Thanks Wurm. You have done us all a service by deleting such a load of ****

Wurm 21 Mar 2005, 08:18

I've deleted a bunch of posts.

This rolls the thread back to before Patrick (aka Nancy/Linda & Lisa/Mark S./Susanne) began posting here lately.

This was such transparent crap that I should have followed up earlier. Sorry about that.

matt 28 Dec 2004, 10:35

well, I've seen some people wondering about bifocal prescription age. I'm 25 and have been prescribed bifocals just this summer. I had +0.75 right and left before. in august I went for an eye exam and was prescribed r: +0.75 with +1.00 add and left: +1.00 with +1.5 add. I've been happy ever since, reading is good, seeing far is good, all very comfortable. I decided to have the executive bifocals. nobody seems to notice them too much. first I had some attention of my friends but they soon got used to it. now we're already joking. someone had to be the first and likes....

just wanted to post here since I've been reading this thread long enough. happy new year!

leelee 10 Dec 2004, 09:54

I'll be interested to hear if you like them. When I got the previous pair, the optical shop was boasting about how they were a beta test location for them, but they were charging "a lot" more so I passed and went with the panamics which got good reviews here. (I only replaced the lenses that time and the cost was about $400 for the varilux panamics lenses only.) I lost respect for them when I had trouble and went back to the opthamologist - he decreased the plus for distance a little, but felt that they just weren't fitted right, but when I went back, the dispenser simply copied the numbers from the first form and seemed pissed off that I would want them remade for such a small change - they even accused me of taking the lenses out of the frame (I have no idea why they would think that) and they charged me a fee for having the lenses replaced, and I suspect they did not apply the crizal coating (I was able to find the air mark on the 1st pair but not the 2nd) - sheesh! I guess I've been pissed about that for a whole year!

So this time I went back to the optometry school and the new pair cost less including the frames (which also have a magnetic sun clip) They were quick too.

I have to really turn my head to make the text on my screen go out of focus. That is a big thing - I was ready to get a SV pair for work, but I don't think I'll need to.

Eyeseeit 10 Dec 2004, 09:49

leelee, have you thought about posting your thoughts/opinions on progressives and multifocals on Electra's site:

I think that she is trying to get a discussion about progessives and multifocals going on her "forum":

Eyeseeit 10 Dec 2004, 09:25

For leelee:

Thanks for your interesting posts on your new multifocal eyeglasses:

"I had Varilux Panamics last time and I had quite a time getting used to them, and they were certainly better than anything else I had, and they did feel like SV glasses after a while.

But these new ones, WOW, they are great! These are Johnson & Johnson Definity, and they were instantly so much better!"

It is especially interesting for me to read the post about the Panamics vs the Definity. (I have had problems with both of my last pairs of progressives. The intermediate area always appears to be either too small or too far down in the lense.)

You have certainly given me an idea for my next eye exam which will be coming up in March of 2005. I will try asking for the Definity, too! Thanks again.

leelee 10 Dec 2004, 08:44


I've had glasses of some sort since I was about 30 (ahem, about 15 yrs ago)

I first really started actually noticing near point blur about 3 yrs ago. Before that my problems were more associated with convergence issues: exophoria for which I recieved vision therapy [now doing a refresher course].

My first bifocal prescription was a little less than 2 yrs ago, and the first one I filled was 1 year ago.

Does your wife notice any difference for distance wearing her RX? I really did with the last pair, and I bet I will moreso now. I don't mind - I feel so much less like a fraud! (even tho they did make a difference, the biggest thing they used to help with was the endless stinging.

Anyway, your wife probably has a few years to go, if she needs them sooner, and she wants progressives, have her check out the ones I just got - either the last place did a crappy job fitting my previous pair (varilux), or these (J&J) really are much better. (tho to you they probably won't look any different ;)

Smudgeur 10 Dec 2004, 07:41

Hi Leelee - don't apologise for your post - I found it really interesting! Your rx is similar to my wife's, she is:

OD +0.50 -0.50 080

OS +0.75 -0.25 078

She has worn her glasses full-time for about 2 years now (she is 37) although I suspect it's more for my benefit than necessity (I'm well and truly outed as an OO!)

At what age were you first prescribed a reading addition, and (if it's not a rude question) how old are you now?

I'm desperate for her to be prescribed bifocals!

leelee 10 Dec 2004, 07:02

I have had varifocals for 1 year. Yes, my distance rx is small, what I had before was even less. Before that I was wearing OD: +1.00 OS: +.75 and I needed them for reading and happily wore them for distance. about 10 years ago I had a dialated exam that revealed that I was about +2 hyperopic, so I think I am still undercorrected, especially in the right eye (I can still tilt my head almost all the way back and see pretty sharply.) The examiner (I got to an opt. school) actually blurted out "This can't be right!" I said (a little nervously) "What?" and he replied, I'm getting a WHOLE LOT OF PLUS!" and I told him that I was not surprised. Then he ran out to confer with the attending optometrist. While he was out I noticed he wrote down +1.75 +1.25. They seemed very concerned that I would have a lot of trouble adapting to this RX, and I was prepared to see blurry distanc efor a week or two (my old glasses were getting blurry-ish for most everything anyway) but everything snapped into clarity when I put them on! A strangely satisfying feeling.

My distance vision is not real blurry, more like there are confusing edges to everything, but when I'm tired it can get very blurry, and then I need to tilt my head to get it clearer even for distance, and naturally its just bad for near stuff. It did feel oddly interesting toh, how bad it seemed at my exam - I used to be the person who could practically read the copyright line at the bottom of the chart! So I have a very very low tolerance for blur.

I wonder how my uncorrected vision will change as I get used to these new glasses. I wear them all the time, so I'm not afraid of it anymore. Sorry for the long post. This is so much more interesting than what I'm supposed to be working on!

Phil 10 Dec 2004, 03:54

Leelee How long have you worn varifocals? Your distance correction is quite small. Did you originally have reading glasses? Is your distance vision now blurry without your glasses?

leelee 09 Dec 2004, 21:20

I got my new glasses today, and they are working out really well so far.

I had Varilux Panamics last time and I had quite a time getting used to them, and they were certainly better than anything else I had, and they did feel like SV glasses after a while.

But these new ones, WOW, they are great! These are Johnson & Johnson Definity, and they were instantly so much better! I had no adaptation time at all - the person in the optical shop took them out of the case and I put them on and looked around, all ready to be dissapointed, and it was almost a let down - I had nothing to complain about! The thing that is best about them is that they really do have a fully wide field of vision - even in the intermediate zone. Driving home in super intense rush hour traffic was no problem, and walking around - there is no blur off to the side - which was my biggest complaint about my previous pair.

Also, this was the first time I've ever gotten glasses and actually experienced instantly obvious improvement of my vision. My rx only increased by +.50 sph & -.25 cyl, (the add stayed the same) but for some reason, for me, the impact has been enough to make a real difference - The highway signs were sharp for the first time in a while and I'm not having to tilt my head all the way back to see sharp text on the screen. I can still see sharp in the distance tilting 1/2 way back and now that I'm tired I'm still getting a little bit of double edge on the type, so I'll probably go up again next time too. I won't let it go so long next time.

The only thing that I'll need to get used to are my new frames (which I like very much. Here is a pic: they are just a little smaller than my old pair so I'm a little aware of them, but the useable sharp region in the lens more than makes up for it. Oh, they have magnetic clip-on sunglasses too, so I'm looking forward to a sunny day!

Has anyone else tried these yet?

article 16 Nov 2004, 12:09

article's a bit old, but people here haven't mentioned anything about the new technology it describes (and to be honest, this is the first time i hear anything about it)


here's the link:

Phil 15 Nov 2004, 05:39

Julie, How old r u? how do you get on with bifocals?

Edmund 14 Nov 2004, 21:36

Julie: I have had exactly that problem since I started wearing bifocals. I have a heard time up close and far away without 'em....

julie 14 Nov 2004, 03:17

back after a long absence--

had eye exam last week--weaker minus , stronger add.

L -0.75 R -0.50 add +1.75

now i am even more dependent on the reading add. even without my glasses i have trouble seeing small now my near and far vision is fuzzy without bifocals. strange because neither rx is strong i noticed some other younger folks here also wear lined bifocals with a mild rx

Curt 12 Nov 2004, 05:20

Tracie: I agree with Leelee here. You need to just put your glasses on an wear them for a few days to allow your eyes to relax and get used to them.

Here are some times (from the American Optometric Association I think) on getting used to bifocals:

What are some suggestions for wearing multifocal lenses?

1. Don't look at your feet when walking.

2. Hold reading material closer to your body and lower your eyes so that you are reading out of the lowest part of the lens.

3. Lower your eyes, not your head, when wearing multifocal lenses.

4. Fold the newspaper in half or quarters and move it, rather than your head, to read comfortably.

5. Wear the lenses continuously for the first week or two, until you areaccustomed to them, even though you may not need them for all tasks.

6. Make sure that eyeglass frames are always adjusted for your face so that the lenses are properly positioned.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

leelee 11 Nov 2004, 14:13

First try wearing your glasses all the time for a few days - I think that is expected at least in the beginning. They probably should have told you this.

If you really don't want to wear them all the time, or this doesn't help, then you certainly should go back to the doctor. Find out why the distance vision is not clear, there is no point in wearing (and paying for!) bifocals like that. Don't be too surprised if you are told that you need to wear them all the time.

Also, find out how farsighted you are - which you surely must be to need this much add at your age - you probably really need more distance correction and less add, but right now you are too cramped up to be able to relax into the distance correction.

Tracie 11 Nov 2004, 13:59

Thanks for all the replies to my dilema.

I went to eyeglass place at the mall and decided to get the lined bifocal. I was going out of town to a conference and thought it was a good place to start. On the plane to Denver, I decided to read a magazine so I put on my glasses,the first thing out of my coworkers mouth was "You have bifocals ! at your age" So much for nobody noticing the lines, Oh well The next day at the meeting they I waited for them to dim the lights for the presentation and put them on, But I found out that they made my distance blurry, It was much better taking notes but the screen was blurry.

At lunch my coworker told me she too has contacts and also had some reading glasses to wear over them, But would not get bifocals lines or no lines.She is 37.

So did I get the wrong prescription? Should go back to the doctor and complain. They really help for reading but I dont like the blur in the distance.

Will this get better or go away ?

Whats next?

PS There has been a steady stream of

staff coming in to try my new bifocals


Edmund 10 Nov 2004, 09:32

Phil: No I am in Canada. I now of at least 2 other people around my age that have got bifocals...

Phil 10 Nov 2004, 09:27

Edmund, Are you in the UK? If so you are the exception that proves my rule! Maybe many more young people need bifocals. When I first got glasses at 21 (-2) I could not read comfortably with them: so I took them off for close work. Maybe I needed bifocals from the outset. Only since I got progressive lenses have I been able to read easily with my glasses on.

Edmund 10 Nov 2004, 09:23

Phil: I am a young bifocal wearer, only 30! My prescription is R -2.00 -1.00 L -2.25 1.00 Add +1.25. I have lined bifocals.

I didn't think I needed bifocals, but at my last exam I was telling the doctor how my eyes burned while reading or using the computer, and she did some tests and said I needed bifocals. Now that I have had them for a few months, when I don't wear my glasses I can't seem to see up close or far away without them! If I look through the top while at the computer, the screen is all blurry. It is amazing how fast one adapts.

Bekka 10 Nov 2004, 06:04

Sorry...forget the rest of my prescriptioin for my left eye. It is +0.25(sphere) -.50(cylinder) 75(axis) and add 2.50

John S 10 Nov 2004, 06:03


There is an different type of progressive lens that has large intermediate and reading areas, but has a very small distance area. Think about a progressive lens upside down. One brand is AO - Technica. The lens in fine for reading and computer work. I would not recommend driving use.

Bekka 10 Nov 2004, 06:02

Response to my wearing executive bifocals has been mainly "no-response." A few friends and coworkers have commented and asked about them. There are many more comments about my frames and how I look in glasses than about my bifocal line. My prescription is

R - +.50 -.75 100 add 2.50 and L - +2.50. As I said, I can see distance very well without my glasses, but I can't read anything. I have chosen to wear fulltime because I like to see so clearly and was tired of putting on reading glasses all day. My boyfriend loves glasses, and I have come to like them very much as well. I rarely go without glasses these days. The executive bifocal owrks best for me. i tried flat top and progressives. The flat tops made me look and feel a bi old, and the progressives were too difficult to read with. The eye doctor said that the executive was the best for getting used to bifocals and would offer the biggest reading area. He was right on target. It sometimes seems funny for me to realize that I have had glasses on all day and then out for the evening and then making out with my boyfriend. There are epeople I know that probably have never seen me without glasses. That seems so odd to me. I so much like the idea that I can change my glasses for differetn outfits and differetn moods. I am surprised that more people don't wear them. Great fashion accessory. I have a very red plastic pair that gets me more comments and compliments than a new outfit. Crazy.


Electra 10 Nov 2004, 05:42

Those of you who I haven't caught up with in chat will know I was prescribed progressives this Fall, and everyone wanted me to come and tell you about it. The Rx is +0.50 with a +1.50 add, and I've seen several posts about such "weak" top Rx's being pointless, well it's not. For a start it means I can wear them all the time, which is just easy, I never have to think about it, the reading bit is just always there, available, ta da. I've written a bit about it on my website looking for opening up a discussion on the forum there, if anyone is interested. But there's something else that I wanted to say. This whole thing about progressives being difficult to "get used to", well they are different, no doubt about it and really are not ideal for computer work, especially older monitors which sit so close you are using the bottom, reading section and tilting your head back to an uncomfortable angle. But the only solution to THAT is a full reader anyway. (Or put your progressives on upside down if your Rx is the same in both eyes). What we want, ladies and gentlemigs is for the industry to come up with a new lens, and until that happens this is the best we can get.

Phil 10 Nov 2004, 04:28

Are all of you "young" bifocal wearers in the States? I think it is still unusual to find a non-presbyope in the UK who has been prescribed bifocals, though I did see a 20 something gwg with bifocals a few weeks ago. If I am right how do people with vision like you cope here?

Patti H 10 Nov 2004, 03:41


My first bifocals had executive type lenses and hardly anyone seemed to notice. I was 31 years old.

Edmund 09 Nov 2004, 17:31

What are/were people's reaction to someone young wearing executive bifocals?

curious 09 Nov 2004, 12:55

what is your prescription then and now Bekka?

Bekka 09 Nov 2004, 09:06

Tracie: Good luck with your bifocals. I also wore reading glasses from age 21 to 27. By then, I was wearing them most of the day on my job. A co-worker suggested getting bifocals with no prescription in the upper segment. She said it would make it easier not having to look over the top all day. I asked my eye doctor for the bifocal prescription. I liked them right away. They were much better than just the reading glasses. My boyfriend liked me in glasses so much that he coaxed me to wear them more and mroe often. That was two years ago, and I am now happy switching back and forth every day among my four pairs of executive bifocals, which have the line all the way across. I now have a very slight distance prescription as well, which really sharpens thigns up at a distance. The lined bifocals with the small half-circles made me look a bit old. The reading segment for the executive bifocals is very large and I have come to like my look in glasses fulltime. I could very easily not wear them, but have decided to do so. I have become a real glasses girl. Go for it. You'll be surprised how much you may like them.


Val 08 Nov 2004, 11:42

Tracie, I am farsighted, and like you I was prescribed glasses for reading in college. First prescription was only +0.5D L+R. After some time the prescription jumped to +1.25D. But still I did not need to wear glasses for distance. I could read the bottom line of the chart. At that time I did not know what "latent hyperopia" meant. Only after discovering Eyescene I found out. So I started to wear the +1.25 glasses full time. After three or four days I could see perfectly far away. That's because the eyes started to relax. So I went to a check-up and the doctor said that I needed bifocals. Another +0.75 add for reading. I chose to have only the +2D glasses, prescribed for reading, and since then I don't leave my glasses only when I go to bed.

It means that your real prescription is probably around +2 or +3, but you have very good accomodation so the eyes can compensate.

Edmund 08 Nov 2004, 10:37

I have tried both progressive and lined bifocals. I didn't like the progressive because it was hard to find the spot to see through. I like the lined since there is a very wide reading area.

ALthough, from other people's experiences, I would think it will be a personal preference.

In my circle of friends, the guys didn't notice, but the girls (of course) did. It was a topic of conversation for a couple of days, and no one has said anything since.

 08 Nov 2004, 09:59

i don't agree - i think most people would notice the line, but most people wouldn't say anything

Curt 08 Nov 2004, 06:39

Tracie: Each kind of bifocal has its advantages and disadvantages. Progressives provide a smooth transition from the distance part of the lens to the reading addition, and obviously there is no line for people to see, but they tend to have some distortion on the edges, the reading area is smaller, and they are much, much more expensive.

Lined bifocals have better all-around optics (no distortion), provide a larger reading area than progressives, and are less expensive. But there is the line to deal with, and as you move your eyes down, the image "jumps" when you hit the line.

If your optician suggested lined bifocals, I would give them a try. Very few people will notice the line.

I wear both kinds, and like them both. It just depends on the way I am feeling on a given day...

Good luck!

Anon 07 Nov 2004, 17:46

I always thought that if bi-focals are prescribed they would be for full time wear.

 07 Nov 2004, 08:25

I think some eye doctors just don't like progressives because they don't really know how to dispense them.

If your doctor tells you a treatment won't work, then it probably wont. Also with your prescription you don't need to wear glasses all the time, just for close, but perhaps the eye doc is thinking that you will soon need more in the distance part and the progressives will be so costly that you wont be able to afford them. It might be worth a call to ask just how farsighted you are - what your distance correction is likely to end up at.

Speclover 07 Nov 2004, 08:19

Tracie, Progressives are great. Or go for contacts to correct distance with reading glasses: that would look great. I agree you are way too young for lined bifocals. But enjoy wearing whatever you choose.

Eyeseeit 07 Nov 2004, 07:47

Hi Tracie:

I wear the no-line kind of bi-focals, and would also not be happy wearing the lined kind. Here are a couple of good sites for you to get more info:

Have you considered multi-focal contact lenses? Here is a good site:

I hope that these links help.

Tracie 07 Nov 2004, 06:48

Until this morning I felt as though I was the only unique eyeglass wearer in the world. I am 29 years old and received eyeglasses in college for reading,which I wore sometimes while studying. they were not very strong.Last month while at work I noticed I was having real bad headaches and could not read the the numbers on some MRI's I was viewing. So I went in for an eye exam. The exam seemed to take a long time, first the distance part where he tried different lenses , I didn't know I had a problem in the distance. Then he had a chart on a rod that he slid in front of me to read and I had problems with that part of it. he clicked until it was all clear,. Then the bad news he told me that I was farsighted and needed bifocals to see up close. I was upset about the bifocals, asking if i couls do without them and he told me that if I had the reading part in single vision glasses that I would not be able to see far away.

So I left with a prescription that reads R+.50 L + .75

add for reading R& L + 2.00

My husband told to get the kind without the lines so that no one would know

but the doctor told me to get the kind with the lines they would be best.

So, can I get the no line kind, would the eyeglass place do that? Im not old enough to need bifocals and I don't want any one to know, or must I have the lined bifocal . I need to return to the eyedoc for check up later. Also do I need to wear them all the time, I was so shocked about the needing bifocals at 29 that I did not ask? What should I do?



Val 06 Nov 2004, 13:31

John, I understand that you got new contacts. So, another solution to the problem would be to buy some cheap readers to use over the contacts when you will do intensive close work. That will release the strain. The glasses can be +1D or +1.5D (like the prescription).

--WWW-- 06 Nov 2004, 10:43


One thing you could look into is a 2nd single vision pair for intensive close work - You could have it made up to the sum of the close part of the prescription:

L: -4.00 -0.75 165

R: -4.50 -1.00 162

This would be a much cheaper option than what the bifocals would cost.

Your distance vision wouldn't be that good with them, but intermediate and close pould probably be ok,so you might find yourself wearing them most of the time at work.

Julian 05 Nov 2004, 23:04

John: the main thing is that you are myopic: as you say you can't see a thing without correction. The astigmatism isn't too bad; as for the bifocal add, if you were surprised you need it you can't need it all that badly - but don't be surprised if you find before long that your arms are too short when you try to read the paper or a book. That will be time to have the bifocal Rx made up. What about the boys? How old are they? Are they short sighted like you?

Love and kisses, Jules.

John  05 Nov 2004, 20:59

I just found this site by accident. I just went to the eye doctor this week with my three sons. My oldest already had glasses and the younger two were prescribed glasses for the first time. I also had my eyes checked for the first time in 5 years. To my surprise the doctor told me that I needed bifocals and I am only 35. He told me that it was not uncommon - but still. Because of the expense of buying 3 pairs of glasses for the boys, I put off filling my own prescription. My previous prescription was

L: 5.50 -0.50 016 R: 5.75 -0.75 169

The new script is:

L:-5.50 -0.75 165 add 1.50 R: -6.00 -1.00 162 Add 1.50

I don't really know what the numbers mean except I can see a thing without glasses or contacts. From reading other posts I assume that the 2nd and 3rd numbers mean that I have astingmatism and I don't know what that means. Is it strong or weak? After going over options with the doctor filling - most of them seem rather costly. From those of you who have a bifocal script - does the 1.5 addition make that much of a difference or should I put it off for a few more years and make do with glasses that I currently have. I did get new contacts - but I wear my glasses most of the time except for social occasions.

mattp 05 Nov 2004, 05:46


My distance and astigmatism correction is similar to yours, but my add is significantly higher (+2.50). Anyway, about a year ago, I got prisms for the first time (like yours, 2D, but base in). Based on my experience, whoever told you contacts may be out is right. Once I got used to the prisms, whenever I have my glasses off I see double and my eyes turn out. No more contacts for me--I'm not even comfortable going from the bedrooom to the bathroom without my glasses anymore!

Good luck--Matt

JB 03 Nov 2004, 08:55

Just got a new prescription after my arms were getting too short.

From L -4.25 -.75 R - 4.50 - 1.00 to

L - 4.50 - .75 add + 1.00 2d b/o

R - 4.75 - 1.25 add + 1.25 2d b/o

Have been told now my lenses have prisms i will struggle with my contacts and might not be able to use them.

I went for progressive lenses with an option to switch to executive bi-focals if i dont get on with them

welshonen 26 Oct 2004, 01:37


I have a friend who is a little nearsighted in one eye and longsighted in the other. I have looked through there glasses and they appear to be only -1 & +1

but they do complain that there sight is not very good without them. Does anyone know what effect this could have on someone eyegight etc.

Hansel 24 Oct 2004, 08:04

Someone put a test to this thread the other day. There does seem to be a problem with it.

An old friend 19 Oct 2004, 02:48

a pair of -14's super strong progressive .;act=ST;f=4;t=21

DWV 14 Oct 2004, 00:56


You could get trifocals, but I suspect that the intermediate viewing area will seem pretty small and you won't be able to see the whole screen at once, unless you opt for one of the trifocals with specially wide intermediate segments. A cheap and effective solution is to get bifocals made up with the intermediate prescription in the main (upper) part of the lens, and the reading correction in the lower segment.

Rae Lynn 11 Oct 2004, 22:53

Off topic, but I thought I'd give everyone an update. I've been doing well with my bifocals and having no headaches, etc.

I've been wearing glasses half the time and my contacts the other half. No one really mentions anything.

Eye Tri 09 Oct 2004, 11:44

Julian - I think this is similar to what you are talking about. Because I'm a presbiopic,hyperopic triathlete I have to swim a lot, and I really don't like not being able to see when I'm in the pool. My optician made me up some goggles that have a +3 lens for the left eye and a +4 lens for the right eye. They work great! The left lens gives me good distance vision, and the right lens allows me to read my workout schedule. To put the icing on the cake, they weren't expensive (I can provide details if anyone is interested).

Julian 09 Oct 2004, 07:03

Off topic but not totally unrelated (and I've debated with myself where to post this and am not entirely sure it belongs here): A friend of mine has been mending clocks as a hobby for a while but now, having been hit by redundancy, is setting himself up to do it for profit. The other night in the pub he was showing us the glasses he has had made for the fine work. His Rx is around -4, and these specs have one lens -1.5 and the other +1.5, so can see very close with one eye and arm's length with the other. (If that doesn't make sense I've got the figures wrong.) I've heard of monovision contacts, but always understood it wouldn't work with specs. Anyway, we all tried them on and I could see moderately well with the plus lens and nothing at all with the minus.

Love and kisses, Jules.

D-W-V 09 Oct 2004, 00:44


The most common trifocal lenses (7x28, 8x35) have quite small intermediate segments (7 or 8 mm high). If you're going to be spending much time working at the computer, you'd probably be happier with bifocals that have the intermediate prescription in the upper part of the lens and the reading prescription in the lower segment.

<*> <-> 08 Oct 2004, 20:33

you need to give it at least a week with progressives - sometimes longer

RK 08 Oct 2004, 19:06





mik 08 Oct 2004, 15:04

I just got new pair of bifocals. progressives with an add of 2.0 They

really help with reading. If i get

another pair of F25 bifocals shoulf

I consider a trifocal.

RK 08 Oct 2004, 13:45

my wife just got he first pair of bifocals today. they look great but she is still adjusting to them there progressive lenses with an add of 1.25

Hansel 01 Oct 2004, 15:36

Seems to me to suggest that whilst there are changes hither and thither regarding your longsightedness, the astigmatism and the reading add requirement, the overall effect is more to do with your responses on the day of the test and the optician's interpretation of those responses, with perhaps a bit of an increase in one eye's effective close requirement but nothing dramatic.

As for how that translates to a CL script for the Christmas dance I don't have a clue- sorry I know that's not a lot of help, but reading posts by others it seems that it's not a straightforward conversion!

Anne 30 Sep 2004, 15:28

Just had a eye test


Right sphere+5.50 cyl-2.50 axis172 add+3

Left sphere+5.00 cyl-2.75 axis3 add+3


Right sphere+6.00 cyl-2.00 axis 170 add+2.75

Left sphere+5.00 cyl-2.50 axis 3 add+2.75

Can you help explain this and what the change means?

Also if I want contacts for Christmas dance what power should I

I am 32 and have worn bifocals for 7 years

I tried posting this last week.

Willy 13 Sep 2004, 12:47

Curt -- Sorry if I was unclear; I know it is +1.5 OU, but was wondering whether that represents a single distance prescription, or possibly a lesser distance with near add.

Curt 13 Sep 2004, 12:13

Willie: If you scroll further down the page you will see that Jennifer has an rx of +1.5 ou. She is wearing either half glasses or full frame glasses for computer work. The eye doc probably thought that from a convenience standpoint, Jennifer would want bifocals sometime in the future, rather than wearing half glasses all the time. Or he may have noticed she needed a slight distance correction but didn't give it to her at this point.

Willy 13 Sep 2004, 11:09

Jennifer -- I am curious as to just what your prescription is, which may help us figure out why the doctor said you may need bifocals soon. If your current prescription does not include a near add, then you should be able to adapt to wearing them for distance as well, which might make the transition to a multil-focal easier for you.

lentifan 10 Sep 2004, 15:18

Many years ago (probably more than 20) I used to travel to work by bus. As I would alight from the bus there would often be a chubby girl in her twenties with very strong plus-lensed bi-focal glasses waiting to board. You could clearly see the round-top bi-focal segments. Her brown plastic frames were not especially large for the day, and she gave the impression of having a limted field of vision that I always associate with high-plus lenses. Much moving of the head (especially when she carefully boarded the bus). Unforunately not very pretty, but her glasses always fascinated me. I now realise she was probably aphakic and really needed the bi-focals which then seemed unusual for a relatively young woman.

DWV 10 Sep 2004, 00:54

Greg: I tend to agres with you. I sure don't see that many real people under the age of 50 wearing lined bifocals (sadly). The rarity of "seen on the web" pictures of hotties in lined bifocals backs that up.

Progressive lenses are compromises. Because pupils are not pinholes, you're always looking through an area of the lens, not just a point. If the lens has a varying power over that area, then the image will be affected. It's the same reason theres a blur around the line of a bifocal that is much larger than the negligable thickness of the line itself.

test 09 Sep 2004, 20:25

this thread updating?

Nancy 07 Sep 2004, 12:53


I think that ther are more getting bifocals younger for a couple of reasons.

Anyone over -10 or +7 should have them according to my doc.

Also, the increased work in high school and college makes more people complain of eye strain, and docs have found that bifocals can help myopes because an add around +1.5 can cause less stress even as low as -5.

John S 07 Sep 2004, 07:00

I have a pair of progressives that are +1 with a 3.25 add, due to the close work I do.

They work great for me. As far as the "smoothness", if you had a pair, you would know what Greg was talking about. I would not go off on someone just because you don't understand what he was talking about. As far as a "bifocal fetish" goes, I'm sure there are people here that feel that way. I believe Greg saying that there seems to be more bifocal use, is due to more accommodation problems (computer use), and myopia progression.

I feel, the stronger add makes a progressive lens even more useful.

In my case, I can focus on from 12" to infinity. I would not trade them for a lined bifocal. BTW, I have the same prescription in a bifocal, I don't wear them.

Curt 07 Sep 2004, 06:25

Greg: I sorta agree with Rae Lynn on is definitely NOT a fetish thing. Some folks prefer progressives and others traditional bifocals. Some people can never get used to the peripheral distortion that comes with progressives. As someone once said to me about progressives: "Glasses are supposed to make things clearer, not more blurry!" For some folks, even a small amount of distortion on the edges of the lens is unacceptable. Others can manage it with no problems.

Some people like red, others like blue...

Rae Lynn 06 Sep 2004, 19:44

Greg, I take offense to your comments about people on this site liking bifocals better based on fetish. It makes me feel like you think i'm lying or something. As far as smoothness with progressives, I really don't know what the hell you are talking about.

Sylvie 06 Sep 2004, 18:30


Yes I'm +1.5 in my left eye and +2.5 in the right.I'm basicly wearing them full time.I'm 27 and have been wearing glasses since my early teens.I can't imagine living without them anymore.I feel lucky because my boyfriend loves them.Wear them proudly girl.

Take care

Carrie 06 Sep 2004, 16:32

Jennifer - I'm 20 and got single vision glasses in June this year. Like you I had been having trouble reading. I had my eyes tested where I discovered that my distance vision was better with the lenses that were allowing me to easily read the near vision test card. The optician suggested wearing glasses full-time. My prescription is +2.00 left and +2.25 right. I know it's not terribly strong and probably weaker than some peoples reading glasses (and only a little bit stronger than yours, Jennifer) but I can now see everything much clearer than before.

Does anyone know if someone is prescribed + lenses while young that they are likely to eventually go full-time (if not to start with) by their mid 30s.

Melissa 04 Sep 2004, 15:24

OK, I finally went to the doctor and here is the result:

R: +1.75 -1.00 120deg add +1.50

L: +2.00 -0.75 090deg add +1.50

I had no idea how much things have gone bad. I had +2.25 (both eyes) SV glasses for quite a while and lately was having a hard time at any distance. My doctor said I should have gotten bifocals a long time ago. Anyway, I bought very good quality, very expensive! progressive lenses and have adjusted fast.

leelee 04 Sep 2004, 14:45

Greg, I agree with everything you have said!

Greg 04 Sep 2004, 12:16

I'm thinking leelee that the popularity of lined bifocals on this site is due to the fetish aspect, but I may be wrong. Personally I prefer progressives because of the smoothness, no "jump", BUT I think it is high time a better multifocal lens was invented. I am not technically minded and I don't understand what is so difficult about making something equivalent to a blended trifocal for example?

Greg 04 Sep 2004, 12:10

Is it me or is there a whole new trend of giving bifocals to young people? I am CERTAIN it wasn't done when I was that age.

Jennifer 04 Sep 2004, 11:21


You seem to sound like you're in the ballpark range of my age, I'm 19, how old are you and do you have bifocals or single vision glasses that are for hyperopia?

Jennifer 04 Sep 2004, 11:20


You seem to sound like you're in the ballpark range of my age, I'm 19, how old are you and do you have bifocals or single vision glasses that are for hyperopia?

Carrie 04 Sep 2004, 04:22

Jennifer - If your optician told you to be prepared for bifocals in the near future you are probably on the verge of needing glasses for distances as well as for reading. Try looking at distances through your glasses (probably easier with the larger frames) and you will find that things are a bit blurry at first but will get clearer after a while. Being prescribed bifocals usually means the optician is recommending full-time wear. Getting used to seeing distances with your glasses now will mean you will adjust to bifocals easier.

Mark S 02 Sep 2004, 05:33


The wrist is doing well, thank you. With the pins and also the brace it works ok, even if limited.

About the suite-mates. Jack has the lowest script at -8, says he was getting headaches in high school and was prescribed bifocals +1.50. Karen has -17 and trifocals +2.25. She wears contacts sometimes with plano glasses and the add. Martha is legally blind, and had one eye removed as a baby due to a tumor. Other tumor treatments affected her vision. Her glasses are +22 with a +4 executive bifocal. She and I have the same class schedule so I provide her eyes around campus.

Slit 01 Sep 2004, 19:40


you have done a good thing in the GLASSES FASHION point of view.

Try wearing them when Clubbing, going out for dinner at night etc.. Tell us what the responses of others.

Jennifer 01 Sep 2004, 00:30

I decided to go with two different glasses frames. I got the +1.50 prescription filled in black plastic halfeye frames and and the prescription filled in turquoise blue plastic oversized frames, which i'll use at home or at my computer.

Slit 31 Aug 2004, 18:35

Jennifer, nice to hear from you. Its good that you think broadly about half glasses and bifocals. I think you also should read the story i posted for new bifocal wearers on 29th august. Please update with your encounters with glasses such as comments from the boys, funny things associated with them, how you deal on days which you forget to take them to school etc.

Slit 31 Aug 2004, 18:34

Jennifer, nice to hear from you. Its good that you think broadly about half glasses and bifocals. I think you also should read the story i posted for new bifocal wearers on 29th august. Please update with your encounters with glasses such as comments from the boys, funny things associated with them, how you deal on days which you forget to take them to school etc.

Jennifer 31 Aug 2004, 08:02

I went to the optometrist yesterday and although I can still see pretty good, she prescribed +1.50 reading glasses and told me if I'm comfortable and not self-conscious I can keep using the half-glasses, but she told me to be prepared for bifocals in the near future.

mattp 31 Aug 2004, 05:34

Good luck to you, Mark. How has the wrist healed?

As you get to know your roomates better, keep us posted with good glasses information! Bifocals and trifocals are unusual enough in young people, I'd be interested to know the history behind four roomates all wearing them.


Rae Lynn 30 Aug 2004, 16:08

Wow that was quite the story Slit. I still haven't seen anyone else my age with bifocals, they must all have progressives. I finally got a pair of reading glasses for with my contacts. They're really small frames, but not like half frames. They are completely rimless so they can easily be looked over.

Mark S 30 Aug 2004, 12:24

Started college last week with frosh orientation. I'm in an accessible 4 single room, 2 bath suite (2 girls, 2 guys).

Everyone in this suite wears bi or trifocals, including a girl, Martha, who is legally blind and wears some of the thickest + glasses I have ever seen.

Slit 29 Aug 2004, 09:31

This is one of the best GWG story I ever found.

I recommend that all the girls who are going to wear bi focals should read this.

Slit 29 Aug 2004, 08:32

Hi Jennifer,

Well, something I personnally believe is that girls look more sexy with "HALF GLASSES"

Got any pics of you?

if you wont mind please e mail me to

Carrie 29 Aug 2004, 01:59

Jennifer I thought I only needed reading glasses because I could read easier when i tried on glasses that were +1 to +2. When I eventually got my eyes tested the optician recommended wearing glasses full time as the prescription improved my distance vision as well as my close vision. I think you would be better off with full frames rather than half frames as even if you don't need them full-time just yet you might do in the future so it might be a good idea to get used to looking through the full size lenses. Obviously you will need a full frame if you get a prescription for distance vision.

Julian 28 Aug 2004, 21:51

Jennifer: best of luck with your test. Half eye glasses are fine if you need to look over them to see distances, but it sounds as if you might need to look through them...

Love and kisses, Jules.

leelee 28 Aug 2004, 19:38

Callum, I am the same way with my glasses. But now I think I need more correction. Soon.

Callum 28 Aug 2004, 17:19


My current prescription is the same as I got back in the early summer from the works appointed optician.However I now wear regular(not safety) glasses with my current 'script, and enjoy the crystal clear and glare free vision they give me (the're reactolite). O.K I dont need them all the time, but now I'm used to them I tend to wear them all the time!. No one has made any negative comments about me wearing glasses, and I don't get the headaches I used to. Glasses? The're great!!

Jennifer 28 Aug 2004, 09:44

Karen X,

I am going to the optometrist on Monday for an eye exam. I will let everyone know how it goes. Even if I need real glasses, I'm still thinking about getting halfeye frames.

Karen X 28 Aug 2004, 02:15

JENNIFER You sound like you are a bit far/long sighted if the ready made glasses help. But you should really have a proper eye test to determine the exact prescription for you. You might find the power of the ready made glasses is actually higher than you need and you also might be able to see further with prescription glasses which will probably be easier (and look better) than looking over the top of the ready made glasses on the end of your nose. You won't necessarily need to wear prescription glasses full-time (ask the optician) but very likely just for reading & close work.

Let us know how you get on.

leelee 27 Aug 2004, 21:11

Hi Callum, Interesting description. The swim thing went away for me after a month or so, the only thing I still notice once in a while is that sometimes it can be a little hard to "nail" super cript focus on something low as I walk by. Today I actually forgot I was wearing them. I also never had any trouble with stairs - I think the very bottom edge gets a little weaker. I also do make use of all parts of the lens.

Was your add +2.50 with the bifocals? or was that the total close (with an add of +1.75)? What is your prescription now?

Callum 27 Aug 2004, 17:16

Hi everyone

This is my first post here, although I have "lurked"for some time.Anyway, I work in a petrochemical plant, where wearing safety glasses is mandatory.If anyone requires prescription glasses, they are provided F.O.C by the works safety dept in conjunction with the works appointed optician, who, prescribed my first(and last) bi-focals. Up until then, I used a S.V pair of reading glasses,(+1.75) for computer use, and nothing else. When I got the new glasses, I was horrified at the Jump between the minimal(+0.75) distance prescription, to the new +2.5

reading segment. The glasses were, quite frankly dangerous, the dividing line on the lenses played havoc with my distance perception,especially when working on high steelwork, and because of the side shields,which were like blinkers on a racehorse, and played havoc with my peripheral vision. When I was due for another eye test this summer,I asked the optician about progressives, and he prescribed them without hesitation, the result? the best vision I've had in years, yes they can make things "swim" a little, but once you are used to them, the're great, and without the sudden "jump" when looking downwards, I would recommend anyone to go for progressive lenses in the future


leelee 27 Aug 2004, 15:29

Optix, In your opinion, what is the best progressive lens in terms of having wide intermediate and close areas. This is not an area where I would strive to pay bottom dollar. How do you find Varilux & Zeiss stacking up (or are they actually the same beast?)

In terms of the "progressives are bad" climate here on ES lately, I sort of stopped giving my opinion, because I felt about as popular as a Democrat criticizing George Jr. at a millionaires luncheon when I did so. but here goes anyway: from my experience, I doubt I will ever want to switch to lined lenses. My progressives were a little hard to get used to, but I hardly notice them anymore (tho I certainly do when I don't have then on!) If I need a bigger reading area for intensive work, I'll just get a pair of SV for that.

I do worry tho, that some new users might not be giving them a chance because of the current voice here. For some of the posters, I suspect that they would really make a better choice and I understand that is much easier to adapt to whatever lens you use first.

It is too bad that progressives are so expensive. One can only hope that prices will come down as companies try to capture a larger share of the huge late baby boomer cohort (including me) that is now "coming of age".

On the other hand us hyperopes have never been so popular!

Optix 27 Aug 2004, 13:58

Hi just want to send an input to the subject bifocals vs progressives as you know bifocals are mostly 28 or 35 mm wide segment, but progressive lenses are a jungle with different qualitys from real cheap lenses with small add corridor up to finest zeiss lenses with very wide corridor also there is special compact lenses for small frames. I think many of thewm that have tried progressives and are not satisfied has

1. Got them many years ago when they not was so very good yet or

2. Got to cheap lenses without knowing about it, or being familiar of whats aviable in the market.

Also most opticians are infact real bastards and steal the money from their patients/costumers if you had any idea about how cheap a lens is you had gone real mad....

So conclusion is that there are much money to earn by selling cheap progressive lenses instead of the good one that costs 3 times more, this is not happening with ordinary bifocals or trifocals. Because there are simply no differences noticeable by comparing a cheap or expensive ordinary bifocal lens probably only remark maybe the cheap one is not possible to tint or making sunglasses off and maybe vision quality and thats real hard to judge for a normal person.

Thanx for me for this time ;-)

Hansel 27 Aug 2004, 11:07

Whilst I am conscious of some of the Eyescene "bifocals are far better than progressives" contingent, nonetheless I would note that my wife was instantly comfortable with her progressives. Where I think she was sensible initially was in listening to the optician's advice regarding frame size. She has just ordered a smaller frame size, 6 months after the first pair, to regain the "look" she likes for herself. I will be interested in how she makes out with Gradal Short lenses. There will always be those who champion one rather than another system. At the end of the day that's where personal choice comes in. Rae Lynn would seem to be moving towards the bifocal approach. Fine, but many others like the progressive idea.

As for my friend, she works mainly with young kids in a school where reading forms a large part of the day, but much of this is "over a youngster's shoulder", so isn't really "close work".

Slit 27 Aug 2004, 06:50

Hansel Well, my first advice for her is to participate in EYESCENE threads. If she reads RAE LYNNE's posting about how she started bifocals without being noticed, she'll understand that its better to go for them rather than suffering with progresives. Scrolling down LOW VISION thread, you may find CATHY's postings which may help her a lot. How old is she? What kind of a job she's engaged in?(lot of close work?) they are important things to be considered.

Hansel 27 Aug 2004, 02:59

A friend is having a torrid time with a new first pair of progressives. She's shortsighted, possibly around -2.50.

The add is +1.75. This seems a lot for a first reading add, both my wife and I are on +1.00.

Is +1.75 unusual for a first add?

Any suggestions for her?

Rae Lynn 26 Aug 2004, 16:54

Bespectled Prof: People noticed when I started wearing the progressives, but they were mainly commenting on the "nice frames", so I think they grew into it with the bifocals, and so some haven't really noticed.

Bespectacled Professor 25 Aug 2004, 21:43

Oops -- that question was posed to Rae Lynn.

Bespectacled Professor 25 Aug 2004, 21:43

Since you were wearing contact lenses before, are people commenting about your wearing glasses fulltime? I would think people would notice that change more than if you were wearing bifocals.

 25 Aug 2004, 02:27

I dunno about the clip-on idea - you've still got to carry around a case with the clip-on, right? So, you might as well get another pair of glasses as readers, or just suck it up and get those executive bifocals that you secretly desire. C'mon, flaunt that fetish!

D-W-V 24 Aug 2004, 20:53


about round-tops; there's 2 type of lenses that this term could be applied to:

if you mean "curved-tops", which are like flat-tops except the top line of the segment is (wait for it...) curved, the benefit is that there's much less reflection from the line. (only a small part of the line can catch the light at any time) That style of lens may be most common in Germany, judging by Zeiss's web site. It looks like quite a good compromise.

If you mean round segments, (where the segment is completely circular) they're almost invisible, becuase there's no ledge to catch the light. The disadvantage is that because the optical center of the segment is displaced by the radius of the segment, "image jump" when moving from the distance to near segment is more than any other type of bifocal. I get the impression that this lens style is more common in the UK. offers this style of lens in two sizes.

 24 Aug 2004, 20:38

How about putting the add segment onto the clip on? Say putting a +1.5 or someting on the clip on. That way you don't need a bifocal or extra glasses. just slip them on and presto...nice readers!

Jennifer 24 Aug 2004, 08:05

I can't see clearly distantly through my glasses, hence the reason i got half-glasses. I keep them perched on my nose almost the whole day though.

Eustace 24 Aug 2004, 07:46

Thanks to several of you for the helpful informtion on magnetic clip-on sunglasses and the feasibility of trifocls in smaller rectangular frames. I am digesting all of this before my next trip to the optician.

Julian 24 Aug 2004, 00:24

Daffy: round tops have been around longer, and at one time were a lot cheaper. Don't think I've seen a pair in ages. I tried them once and they worked fine.

Jennifer: this could mean that you are a bit hyperopic; at your age pesbyopia is not likely, though there is a condition (can't remember the name) that is similar. Can you see distances clearly through your specs? It would make sense to have your eyes examined by an optometrist.

Love and kisses, Jules.

Jennifer 23 Aug 2004, 22:31

Hi, I'm a 19 year old college student, and I recently purchased reading half-glasses from target, because my eyes were getting jumpy and tired when reading. The glasses are +1.25 and they make my eyes relax totally when I am doing school work. Could this be an onset of farsightedness or presbyopia?

daffy 23 Aug 2004, 17:49

Why do some people have round-top bifocals opposed to flat-top? I always wondered that.

Brian-16 23 Aug 2004, 16:25

Rae Lynn-

Keep up the good work with the new bi-focals.You'll get to like 'em !

Rae Lynn 23 Aug 2004, 16:14

Hello everyone. I've been doing good with the lined bifocals. Today was my first day back in class and they worked fine. No one said anything. I still haven't bothered to get any reading glasses for w/contacts, but still plan on it.

mattp 23 Aug 2004, 04:42

To ignorant (in the old-fashioned sense of the word, meaning not-knowing):

These terms refer to "the line". In executive style, the line goes all the way across the lens; the whole bottom is the add while the top is for distance. FT means flat top--28 means the line is 28mm across while 35 means the line is 35mm wide. FT isdistinguishable from the not very common roound top.

Ignorant 22 Aug 2004, 19:39

When you talk about FT35 or FT 28 bigocals/trifocals, what does this mean (what does the number mean) and what is the difference between these and the "executive" style referred to.


Mark S 22 Aug 2004, 05:33


Thanks for the kind words. Did you wear HAs when you were in school? How old are you now?

I found that the HAs were more of an attention getter in middle school than later. My brother says that in college no one seems to even notice even when he uses an fm system in class.

you can mail me at mark_spencer_1 at hotmail dot com.

Brian-16 21 Aug 2004, 14:55

Geoff-Wait a little while to see how you like the ft 35's.You are pretty close to where you may need tri-focals.I have a +2.25 add.The ft 35's give me a wide area to read which is very enjoyable.

Geoff 21 Aug 2004, 11:12

Thanks for asking! Went for my eye test the other day. No real surprises, got about a -1 increase for distance in both eyes since last August but the add got bumped up by +.50. New rx is R: -8.25 -2.25 85 L: -8.50 -1.00 91 add +2.00.

Brian-16, I decided to go for FT35s this time and just picked up my new glasses today. Its going to take a couple of days to get used to the bigger read area when Im not reading (like walking around) but I think theyre going to be real good for studying, guess Ill find that out for sure in a couple of weeks. Stayed with bifocals this time but might want to try tri’s sometime so wouldnt mind talking to you about them if you want to email me at hotmail dot com with the userid part gbtspex.

 20 Aug 2004, 14:25


You posted a day or two that you were about to have your new exam. How'd it go, was there any increase in RX or the bifocal rx?

Ant 20 Aug 2004, 06:38

Mark S

You certainly have a lot to cope with and you sound as though you do very well. I find it hard enough - I am myopic -11.0 with 10 prisms base out, and I have a moderate to severe hearing loss. It's difficult sometimes - but there is always someone out there worse off than you are - that's how I look at it. It doesn't bother me now, but looking back it was often difficult in my childhood/ teens. Hope you are OK

Mark S 20 Aug 2004, 05:53

Sorry, I had to stop my previous post early.


Please don't be concerned about my vision, etc., I'm doing ok and am just a product of the genes. My entire family is hyperopic and hearing impaired. Mom & Dad are +7 & +8 and have severee hearing loss. Sister Jenn (26) is about +8, got bifocals as a teen, and has a moderate hearing loss. Brother Matt (22) is +7, got bifocals last year and a severe hearing loss. I have the worst vision and only prisms and have worn hearing aids for a moderately severe loss since I was 3.

Mark S 20 Aug 2004, 05:22

Eustace & others:

Thanks for yoour kind words. I was into wheelchair racing. I am paralyzed as a result of a motorcycle accident 3 1/2 years ago. My brother had picked me up from school & we were hit by a drunk running a red light at 3PM. My brother lost his right arm & leg.

Brian-16 19 Aug 2004, 05:51

geoff-Yes go for the ft-35 bi-focals.I have them (trifocals).

Mattp 19 Aug 2004, 05:22

Eustace and Geoff--

I have 35 FT trifocals in a small oval frame, and I also had the bifocal line placed lower than usual. Both the optician and optometrist tried to talk me out of this small frame and the lowered add segment, but I love it. I see well and the proper segment falls naturally where I need it.

I really wanted executive style, but I was talked into the 35 FT because they said the optics weren't as good in executive style. With my 28 FT bifocals I had before the trifocals, I found the vertical line annoying. With the small frame and wide segment in the trifocals, the top line goes practically all the way across the lens and the bottom line does--no more vertical line when I look to the side.

Here's my Rx and measurements. Hope it helps in your decision:

RX is like -4.75 with a +3.50 add.

Lens height is 30mm; top is 16mm, middle is 8mm, bottom is 6mm.

Lens width is 40mm; top line is 28mm across; bottom line is 30 mm across (it goes all the way across--frame is only 30mm wide there.


Ant 19 Aug 2004, 03:10

Hi Eustace-

I have a pair of Addidas glasses that came with a sun glasses clip and which was magnetic. I found them extremely good - easy to put on and take off - but you have to be careful not to scratch or damage the plastic when you are handling them. Would certainly recommend them.

D-W-V 19 Aug 2004, 03:04


About putting trifocals into a narrow frame... how narrow is narrow? My frames are about 25 mm high. I don't see why a 7x28 couldn't work in this size frame - 9 mm each for reading and distance, or 8x35, split 3 ways. If you already have trifocals, why not try covering up parts of the lens with opaque tape to match the lens size of the frame you're interested in, and see what you can see.

Ree 18 Aug 2004, 22:18


Those magnetic clip on sunglasses are gaining popularity, and are being widely advertised. The sunglasses come along with the set of frames and are not available alone. I have a seen people who have been using them for nearly 6 months and the megnetic effect hasnt worn off. I dont know about ,, how they last while swimming,, as my friend hasnt tried that,, byt they are quite expensive and wearing such expensive glasses while is not sensible I feel, instead prescription lenses in swimming goggles or sturdy plastic frames with a head band would be a better option while swimming.

Eustace read that you are very much dependent on your glasses, i am curious to know as to what is your Rx.

Eustace 18 Aug 2004, 20:23


I guess I don't know just what you mean by a "glasses geek." I don't think wearing one's glasses while swimming is all that obsessive. I don't know what your Rx is. But some of us are very nearsighted and, for one reason or another cannot (or do not choose to) wear contact lenses. I, for one, feel very disoriented and vulnerable if I am without my glasses for even a minute. I cannot imagine going into a swimming pool or the ocean--or even a shower, for that matter--bear eyed. I don't even take my glasses off at night until after I have turned off the bedside light. I have heard of some people who actually sleep with their glasses on. That maybe is a bit obsessive. While I don't go that far, I would just feel so uncomfortable and compromised without my glasses at every waking minute.

geoff 18 Aug 2004, 20:16

I'm going for my regular eye checkup tomorrow and expect Im probably going to get another increase. Been reading some posts about the difference between FT-28 and FT-35 bifocals. Ive always had 28s but now thinking maybe I should try 35's for studying etc....any advice?

geoff 18 Aug 2004, 19:21

Eustace/Brian - I saw those magnetic clipons when I was looking at frames a while back and the thing is, they wont just attach to any metal frame - you have to get a frame that has two little magnetic "spots" in the right places where the clipons attach. In other words you have to buy frames that come with the clipons, you cant buy them separately and wear them with any frame.

Hector 18 Aug 2004, 15:51

It is definitely nerdy. But going back and reading Brian -16's posts, I can tell that he is a glasses geek, and I guess that's OK. Wearing glasses while swimming goes with the image. I, for one, would wear contacts (which I do) or take my glasses off while swimming. But to wear trifocals while swimming is a bit obsessive. Oh well....

Brian-16 18 Aug 2004, 14:12

Eustace-I have heard of the magnetic clip on type but not really seen any on anyone.They do require a metallic frame so it will hold on..I always carry of lot of tissues with me to clean off the salt spray..

Tammy 18 Aug 2004, 12:04

Sorry that last post was directed to Hector, not Hansel.

Tammy 18 Aug 2004, 12:03

Hansel, it's not nerdy at all...some people have such bad vision that they wouldn't be able to see if they didn't have their glasses on while they were swimming.

Hector 18 Aug 2004, 11:46

Isn't kind of nerdy to swim with your glasses on? Come on .....

Eustace 18 Aug 2004, 09:51

Brian 16:

I have a couple of other questions for you: I am due for an exam and possibly a new Rx soon. You mentioned that you wear clip-on sunglasses when swimming. Have you seen--or have you heard any reports on--that new type of clip-on that sticks to your frames with magnets? I think they are manufactured by one of the big desinger eyewear guys--Armani, maybe. They look neat; and, what with the cost of trifocals, this would be a welcome savings, eliminating prescription sunglasses. But I am wondering if they reallly stay on--or if the magnet wears out after a while. In any event, I'm not sure that I would trust them while swimming --at least not in the ocean! Also, for swimming, do you use a "sports band" around your head--as a precaution? I usually do, even though I have cable-style ear pieces that keep my glasses very snugly on my face. Finally, my current lenses (and always in the past) have been essentially round. The new horizontal rectangular lenses are so "in" now and they are quite attractive. But my optician tells me that it would be difficult to put trifocals in this style of frame. Do you have any input advice on this? Just how much height is need in a lense to adequately accommodate trifocals?

Eustace 17 Aug 2004, 10:27

Mark S: So sorry to hear of your accident, and best wishes for a speedy recover. I could not quite understand what kind of racing you've been doing--motorcycle, bicycle, or maybe wheelchair. (You mentioned being pinned under "the chair.") Anyway, best of luck to you! Let is know how you are coming along. Eustace

Mattp 17 Aug 2004, 07:39

Mark S--

What horrible news. I hope, at the least, that there isn't a lot of pain, that you will still be able to use a chair (when you heal), and that you will be able to start college and use your wrist for notes and keyboarding.

You've been dealt some bad cards physically--the chair, the wrist, the strong trifocals--at a young age. Be greatful for good emotional and mental health!!

The best to you--Matt

Tammy 17 Aug 2004, 07:16

Mark S. Sorry to hear about your accident. Also wish you good luck in the healing progress!

Mark S 17 Aug 2004, 07:11


I ordered the new lenses for the goggles, and then cancelled it as my racing days are over. Had an accident friday, caught the front wheel in some rr tracks at a crossing. Then did a tumble and landed under the chair with shattered glasses, very scratched face and arms, and a compound fracture of the right wrist. Saturday they put pins in the wrist. I'll probably never be able to bend it and have a brace on it, but it's still useable.

Mattp 13 Aug 2004, 10:53

Mark S--

So you're getting the trifocals in the goggles, too. I hope they work out better than the single vision lenses. I decided to get a new watch--digital, with large numbers. Now I have no trouble reading it when I have my contacts in. I just wish they could figure out a way to do prism, astigmatism, and reading add in a contact lens.

Good luck going off to college. That is a big step in your life.


Mattp 13 Aug 2004, 10:48

Plus Crazy 13 Aug 2004, 06:52


Cool to hear you're getting on well with your bi focals!

Did you ever imagined that now you have a FASHION OPTION with glasses?

Just think this way, can wear your contacts and take a pair of cool looking drugstore glasses with you when you go to library, reading room etc,

2.You can wear bifocals for other events,

so you can make a series of combinations when you add these two with other clothing combinations you have.

ISNT IT FASHIONABLE? Of course a more creative friend of yours will find more fashionable activities. Just explore availabe options in order to make GLASSES A FASHION!

Please keep on posting about your progression.

Good Luck!

Eustace 13 Aug 2004, 06:17

Brian 16: Thanks for your prompt reply. This morning I was quickly reviewing some old postings from "Guys in Glasses" and noted that somewhere you mentioned that you were from New Jersey. For some reason,I had thought you lived in England. Anyway, interesing things going on with your Governor! Most of the people I saw interviewed on TV felt that he should not resign just because he is gay. But, of course, there are all the other accusations of scandal and fraud in his administration; and who knows what else may emerge. Nevertheless, I think it would be great--and would advance the cause of gay rights--if there were a huge public outcry or petition for him to rescind his resignation. (By the way, I'm a neighbor--I live on Long Island.) Oh, well, this is not the proper venue for socio-political exchanges. And I do have a eyescene question for you--or anyone else: There are many aspects of optics and Rx's that I still do not understand. One is myodiscs. Can someone explain (in simple terms)what they are--and when someone is a candidate for them, what the advantages are, etc.

Mark S 13 Aug 2004, 05:26


Well, I broke down. Getting new lenses for the goggles with trifocals and gradient tint.

I head for college indoctrination in about 10 days. It will be interesting to meet new friends and room-mates.

Bespectacled Professor 13 Aug 2004, 05:23

Rae Lynn,

Until a few weeks ago, didn't you wear contacts? So, wouldn't your co-workers/friends noticed when you started wearing glasses (your progressives) a lot more than your wearing bifocals now?

BTW, you said a couple friends of yours made comments when they noticed you were wearing bifocals. What comments did they make? What was it about the comments that made you feel uncomfortable?

Sounds like you are adjusting to them well.

Rae Lynn 12 Aug 2004, 23:14

Well, I've made it through my first full day with bifocals. Work went well. No one mentioned anything. The glasses worked great for focusing on different things. After work, I put on contacts for a few hours and went jogging and over a friends house. Then I came home and wanted to read and get on the net, so I put the glasses on. They seem to work good and I haven't had any problems yet.

daffy 12 Aug 2004, 16:58

Edmund and Rae Lyn...I think the difference in opinions lies in gender. Males will not be as observant (in the case of non-OO) with many things like hair colou