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Cactus Jack 07 Feb 2016, 10:07

Sorry for the double post. Slow response from the computer.


Cactus Jack 07 Feb 2016, 10:06


I strongly suggest that you get another eye exam before ordering glasses. Don't bother looking for -0.28 Cylinder correction. It does not exist in the real world. I am wondering if you may have been given a fake prescription so you CAN NOT order satisfactory glasses from another source. It is more common than you think with some Optical Chains. DO NOT go back to the same Eye Care Professional or the same Optical Chain for a second exam. If you order online, you will need your PD, which is not hard to measure, if you don't know it. Bifocals will have 2 PDs written as a fraction (64/61) or as two PDs, one for Near and one for Far.

It is faintly possible that you have some Pseudo Myopia, but it typically does not go away suddenly and IF it went away it would not yield the same prescription in each eye.

The lined bifocals you described are the shape of the Reading Segment.

Round - is just a circular area about 25 to 30 mm in diameter with more PLUS or less MINUS in the lower part of the lens. It is not very common these days.

D28 also known as FT28 is a "D" shaped segment that has a Flat Top that is 28 mm across. This is the most common type of Lined Bifocal.

D35 or FT35 is a "D" shaped segment that is 35 mm across. It gives a wider field of view in the reading segment. It is much less common than FT28.

Executive - is a reading segment that goes all the way across the lens. It is like the original bifocal lens created by Benjamin Franklin in the late 1700s. Executive Bifocals are often used as "work" glasses by Accountants or others who do a lot of close reading work. Typically, they also have a pair of FT28s or Progressives that they wear when not doing actual close work. Executive bifocals are not very attractive glasses.

My suggestion for Lined Bifocals for everyday wear is D28 or FT28 (same thing). Then, if you find that you need a wider field of view for close focusing help, explore other options. We can help you with that.

It is helpful to know your occupation when suggesting what style of bifocals you might find most useful. Also, it is helpful to know where you live. (country)


Cactus Jack 07 Feb 2016, 10:05


I strongly suggest that you get another eye exam before ordering glasses. Don't bother looking for -0.28 Cylinder correction. It does not exist in the real world. I am wondering if you may have been given a fake prescription so you CAN NOT order satisfactory glasses from another source. It is more common than you think with some Optical Chains. DO NOT go back to the same Eye Care Professional or the same Optical Chain for a second exam. If you order online, you will need your PD, which is not hard to measure, if you don't know it. Bifocals will have 2 PDs written as a fraction (64/61) or as two PDs, one for Near and one for Far.

It is faintly possible that you have some Pseudo Myopia, but it typically does not go away suddenly and IF it went away it would not yield the same prescription in each eye.

The lined bifocals you described are the shape of the Reading Segment.

Round - is just a circular area about 25 to 30 mm in diameter with more PLUS or less MINUS in the lower part of the lens. It is not very common these days.

D28 also known as FT28 is a "D" shaped segment that has a Flat Top that is 28 mm across. This is the most common type of Lined Bifocal.

D35 or FT35 is a "D" shaped segment that is 35 mm across. It gives a wider field of view in the reading segment. It is much less common than FT28.

Executive - is a reading segment that goes all the way across the lens. It is like the original bifocal lens created by Benjamin Franklin in the late 1700s. Executive Bifocals are often used as "work" glasses by Accountants or others who do a lot of close reading work. Typically, they also have a pair of FT28s or Progressives that they wear when not doing actual close work. Executive bifocals are not very attractive glasses.

My suggestion for Lined Bifocals for everyday wear is D28 or FT28 (same thing). Then, if you find that you need a wider field of view for close focusing help, explore other options. We can help you with that.

It is helpful to know your occupation when suggesting what style of bifocals you might find most useful. Also, it is helpful to know where you live. (country)


Jillian 07 Feb 2016, 01:57

I have been looking on the internet there seems to be 4 different types of bifocals round,D28 D35 and executive i'm not sure which to order after my retest

Jillian 07 Feb 2016, 01:43

Yes i not want to spend money on glasses and find they useless

Weirdeyes 07 Feb 2016, 01:38

I actually think it's a good idea to go to a different eye doctor when you have a weird prescription change.

Jillian 07 Feb 2016, 01:27


I have not ordered my glasses yet.

I am happy to wear bifocals,my boyfriend said i will look sexy wearing them i will get lined bifocals but not sure yet which type i will order there seems to be many types of lined bifocals but it seems strange that my right eye has gone from -5.75 to -3.75 in 6 months also -28 seems strange as i have looked on the internet and cant see -28 on any of the sites my distance vision in my glasses i have now is fine i only went for a test because of reading cell phone.

Likelenses 07 Feb 2016, 00:57


I would wait on making a second appointment until you have tried the new glasses.

I am sure you need the bifocals,and if your myopia has gotten to the point that you need a balanced Rx,that is a good thing.

Besides bifocals are quite sexy!

Jillian 07 Feb 2016, 00:44

I don't have my new glasses yet i think i will go to another eye dr for a second test,There was no cylinder correction in my old prescription.

Likelenses 06 Feb 2016, 23:46


Do you have the new glasses.

I can understand your need for the bifocal part of your Rx,as you are having trouble seeing your phone,but it is strange that your distance part changed that much.

Was there any cylinder in your old prescription?

Jillian 04 Feb 2016, 22:28

Hi Cactus Jack

my last prescription was OD -4.00 OS -5.75

Cactus Jack 04 Feb 2016, 18:12


Maybe. It is rare to have the same exact prescription in each eye, I would interpret the prescription as

OD Sphere -3.75, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 95 Add +1.00

OS Sphere -3.75, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 95 Add +1.00

No tint

However, I am not 100% certain. The -0.28 cylinder is probably the result of a scribble. Cylinder is only typically offered in 0.25 diopter increments.

What your previous prescription?


Jillian  04 Feb 2016, 10:58

Hi Can you please explain my new prescription.i told the eye dr i was have problem reading my cell phone im 24 years old.

It seems strange both my eyes are exactly the same now .this prescription i was given was hand written.i just wonder if it written wrong

OD -3-75 DSPH -0.28 CYL 95

OS -3-75 DSPH -0.28 CYL 95

AD 100 /clear

many thanks

PleaseGuide 04 Feb 2016, 03:32

@Cactus Jack

I like to do GOC also,i will post on GOC thread..kindly reply me there

PleaseGuide 04 Feb 2016, 03:30

@Cactus Jack

Sorry for the late reply. Was busy for few days.

thanks for the quick response

These are the prescription values in the card

sphere - cylinder - axis


Right -no value - -1.25 - 90

-written here


Left -no value written - -1.0 - 90

I wish to get a myopia of -2 along with my current cylinder value, can u suggest a proper prescription on this?

Cactus Jack 31 Jan 2016, 12:10


It may be to late for this suggestion, but here it is anyway.

I would suggest that you consider and Anti-Reflective coating on your glasses. Glasses that have mostly Prism with very little Sphere or Cylinder can have funny reflection characteristics, it depends on how the glasses are made. A pure optical prism has flat surfaces that can reflect light like a mirror or the fake (window glass) glasses you used to see on TV or in the Movies. Most glasses, even those with Minus lenses, have Plus curve in front surface (called the Base Curve) so light source reflections will appear much smaller than actual size.

The actual power of the lens depends on the difference between the curvature of the front surface and the back surface plus a few other factors, such as the Index of Refraction of the lens material. Lens Makers try to avoid either flat or concave front surfaces even in Minus lenses, until the prescription gets very high.

The wearer rarely sees these reflections, but other people do and it can be very distracting.

I don't think AR coatings would be worth the extra cost in you children's glasses. Many places that sell glasses get premium prices for AR coatings and other "up sell" items. Anti-Scratch and UV protective coatings are worth the money unless the lens material itself is scratch resistant and does not transmit UV very well.

The exception to the AR comment is Zenni, they offer a good AR coating for only about $5.00.


Roy 30 Jan 2016, 13:14


Sorry but I tend to find frames I like and recycle them with new lenses when required. (I always keep a spare pair with my current prescription to use when lenses are being changes or if the frame gets damaged.) This means I don't really have any spare frames to sell to you.

Roy 30 Jan 2016, 13:08

Thanks for your reply Cactus. As it happens I have a scientific/engineering background so I do understand your reference to open and closed loop systems.

I think I will delay the eye test for a little while as my vision seems OK, and try some more tests at different times of the day, and perhaps purchase a set of prism bars to make testing easier. I also have a few stick-on fresnel prisms so I may try them for a day or two at a time and try and find the most comfortable amount of prism to suggest to the optician.

Cactus Jack 30 Jan 2016, 06:04


The amount of prism correction you need is not like the amount of Sphere or Cylinder correction you need. Eye motility is highly variable and what you are experiencing is typical.

I need t talk a bit technical here, so if I use unfamiliar terms, please bear with me. Servo system are the name of control system that typically move or position things. There are two basic types of Servo Systems. One is called Closed Loop Servos and Open Loop Servos. CNC Lathe and Milling Machines are examples of Closed Loop systems. Modern precision Machine Tool Control Systems KNOW the exact position of the cutting tool to within 0.0001 inch or mm.. Open Loop systems are not as precise and their control systems use the RESULTS of a movement to judge the adjustments needed in position.

The body is full of Open Loop servo systems that often use inputs from the eyes to refine hand, finger, and occasionally foot positions. The Open Loop Eye Positioning System (EPS) uses the images from the two eyes to decide the control inputs to the 6 muscles (in 3 opposing pairs) on each eyeball. The primary goal of the EPS is to fuse the two images into one, however the system actually has limited fusion range. If the images are widely separated as with "muscle imbalance" the EPS may not be able to recognize things to try to match up in the images. In general, Horizontal fusion uses Vertical Edges of objects and Vertical fusion uses Horizontal Edges as clues to what movement is necessary to fuse the images. If the EPS clues are close enough and easily discerned, the EPS will command necessary movement to fuse the images. If the clues are out of range or not sharp and clear, the EPS can't use them properly. Therefore, prisms correction only has to get the images close enough for the EPS to take over and fuse the images.

The amount of fusion effort can vary throughout the day, mostly related to fatigue. The eye positioning muscles are like any other muscles, they can get tired. It often takes effort and energy to overcome any tendency for the eyes to turn inward, outward, upward or downward. Often, it requires less apparent effort to keep images fused when you are fresh. However, when you get tired, the eye positioning muscles may tend to assume their "relaxed" position and more external prism will be required to move the images close enough to fuse. Horizontal position errors are easier to correct because the EPS does that rather frequently. Vertical position errors are harder to correct internally because there is rarely a need to move the eyes in different directions vertically.

My suggestion, when it comes to prism, is go for comfort, but be aware that significant prism in glasses can affect Visual Acuity. This is particularly true, if the ECPs do not get the location of the Optical Center of the lens so that it is co-incident with the Central Axis of Vision from each eye.

I hope this helps.


Cactus Jack 30 Jan 2016, 05:20


Many people with mild Myopia and little or no Astigmatism, often do not use their glasses for reading or using a computer. Myopia is like having built in reading glasses and the power of those reading glasses is the reverse of their Sphere prescription. If a person needs -2.00 for distance, their built in reading glasses are +2.00 and if you use Sir Isaac Newton's most fundamental formula for focus distance:

Focus Distance = 1 meter or 100 cm or 39.37 inches / Lens Power

you can calculate their natural focal distance. Astigmatism, which has a different cause, reduces their natural focal distance.

Occasionally, you will see people, in their late 30s to early 40s, who are mildly Myopic and need bifocals, wearing glasses with the bottom part of the lenses cut off. That gives them the effect of bifocals without the extra cost.


Cactus Jack 30 Jan 2016, 05:09


You did a Great job of estimating the prism. Sir Isaac's definitions still work. Your convergence is typically what you have to do to fuse images at normal reading distances. We have never discussed your occupation or your age, but I suspect you do a lot of close work.

Often, Myopia is inherited. Most often from the mother's side, but also from the father. Genetics is funny, it is likely that your 12 YO will skip having significant Myopia, but may develop some as his reading load increases in High School and University.

You need to keep a close watch on the 7 YO and 5 YO, their prescriptions will likely increase as they grow and they will probably break a few pairs of glasses. You might want to consider some inexpensive spares from someone like Zenni. We can teach you how to order some surprisingly high quality, single vision kids glasses for less than $15 without an Anti-Reflective coating or less than $20 with and AR coating. Yours may cost a little more because of the prism.

Kylee may get lucky. Almost all children are born with Hyperopia, but it is one of the amazing things about how vision develops as a child grows. We are not sure EXACTLY how it works, genetically. As the child grows, the eyeballs grow and again Sir Isaac's laws come into play. If the eyeball does not grow enough, Hyperopia is the result. If they grow too much, Myopia is the result. If everything works just right, no sphere correction is required until Presbyopia finally reduces their close focusing ability and PLUS help is needed to focus close.

One suggestion, I suggest you keep files of your children's prescriptions so you can track the changes over time. The changes are not important right now, but their visual history may become important in the future.

I think your 7 YO and 5 YO will be pleasantly surprised at what the world looks like with their glasses. For your 7 YO, everything beyond about 15 inches is increasingly fuzzy. You can get an idea of his vision by just putting on a pair of +2.75 readers. For the 5 YO, the distance is about 23 inches.

BTW, what did your 7 YO think about the eye exam?


Rick 29 Jan 2016, 22:42

Cactus Jack

My five year old's prescriptiom

Right eye- -1.75

Left eye- - 1.25, -0.5, 085

My 7 year old

Right eye -2.50, -0.75, 110

Left eye -2.75, -0.75, 015


Right eye -0.25, 5 base out 2 base up

Left eye -0.25, 5 base out 2 base down

For me the doctor said I could handle up to 7 base out in each eye, but he did not want to go that high especially for a first prescription.

Ellie 29 Jan 2016, 22:08

I've been noticing that a lot of myopic people who are college-aged, myself included, tend to look at things close up without glasses. For example, when looking at text or images on a small phone screen, my friend will often look above the lenses of his glasses. I have a similar tendency, and I have a friend who does the same thing when programming code on his computer. I wonder if more people need help close up than what is actually prescribed. In my case, it's not that I can't read the text, but it's often very small and I feel that getting a bigger image by looking over the top of my glasses gives me a better view.

Cactus Jack 29 Jan 2016, 14:43


Thanks for letting me know. It is good to get first glasses professionally fitted, but you may want to consider learning how to order high quality glasses on line. It is not hard and it can be a lot less expensive.

I would be interested in the prescriptions, particularly yours as "QA" feedback.


Rick 29 Jan 2016, 12:38

Well, today was the big day. We went in as a family of 5 with no glasses, and now we have three glasses wearers. My seven year old, my five year old, and I were prescribed glasses. The doctor also said that Kylee has some hyperopia, but he thinks it will go away, and did not prescribe her glasses. The seven year old has myopia, and astigmatism. The 5 year old also has myopia and astigmatism in one eye. As for me I have been precribed prism glasses for my double vision. The docotor also found a slight bit of astigmatism.

paul 29 Jan 2016, 05:29

roy,do you have any old prism glasses you would like to sell

Roy 29 Jan 2016, 04:39

Cactus Jack,

I know you area busy man but I would appreciate your thoughts on my prism correction if you have time.

I am currently wearing 22 BO shared prisms (plus 2 up left and 3 down right). I also have myopia of -2.25 right and -4.75 left, and an add of 3. I am due an eye test but, based on previous experience, am not confident that the optician will be able to get good measurements of the prism requirement.

I bought some prisms to do some checking myself but got inconsistent results.

Doing your prism test (repeated several times) I measured 31 base out (with no glasses). (My base up/down has been stable for many years and I did not investigate this.) I then did a bare-eyed double-vision check, holding prisms in front of my eyes, and was surprised to find that I was just able to stop the double vision with only 12 dioptres base-out (shared).

I then tried wearing my glasses and holding the prisms base-in, in front of them to see how much I could reduce the net prism and maintain fusion. I found I could hold fusion with 2 base-in, but lost it with 3, meaning I could not manage with less than 20 dioptres. I also found an old pair of glasses with 18 dioptres (shared) but had double-vision with them. I then tried using the prisms as base-out to increase the net prism and found I was comfortable with at least an extra 12 dioptres. In fact an extra 2 to 4 dioptres seemed to make my eyes more relaxed.

I have no reason to think my glasses were made incorrectly, with lees prism than they should have. The outer edge thickness off the lenses is about 13mm, which is consistent with 11 base out plus the myopia correction (with 1.6 index lens material).

I know the optician will ask for my thoughts on the current prism correction. (They always do this.) If I say it's OK (which it is basically) I expect they will leave it the same. Or should I try a bit less, as the bare-eyed test indicated, or perhaps a bit more to make my eyes more comfortable. Previous attempts by opticians to reduce the prism have been unsuccessful and I have had to go back to get glasses re-made with the lost prism restored. However I am not sure of the significance of the bare-eyed test which indicated that 12 dioptres may be enough.

I look forward to your thoughts.

 28 Jan 2016, 08:33


You really should post on the Induced Myopia thread.


Cactus Jack 28 Jan 2016, 08:22


You did not provide enough information to provide guidance. We need your Complete prescription that includes Sphere, Cylinder and Axis. and any other elements for each eye. Cylinder and Axis ALWAYS go together. One without the other is meaningless.

As a general rule for Inducing Myopia you ONLY increase the Sphere number by the SAME amount in each eye and you copy the Cylinder and Axis EXACTLY. If you change the Cylinder and Axis, it is very likely that you will not be able to wear the glasses without discomfort.

Your age is important. That usually affects how much additional MINUS you can tolerate in Sphere.


PleaseGuidee 28 Jan 2016, 02:01


Inducing myopia


I am a person who have glasses wih cylinder power -1.25left and 1 right

Can anyone give me a proper prescription table with all values for me to start inducing myopia ?

I mean i want like LE -1.5 cyl -1.75 RE -1.5 cyl 1.75.

Can you please tell me what should be the values for axis on both eyes?

Or any proper values of somebody with both astigmagtism and short sight under 2 will be fine?

I request everybody not to ask why i want to add more power.Please acknowledge my wish and help me by giveing a full prescription table to order a new glass online

Cactus Jack 27 Jan 2016, 19:12


Don't be too surprised if some Hyperopia shows up during the exam. Sometimes Double Vision is related to the presence of Hyperopia. If you think Double Vision is hard to explain, the interaction between Hyperopia, Latent or Hidden Hyperopia, Presbyopia, and Double Vision is even more "interesting", in the Chinese sense.

The Chinese have a saying "May you live in interesting times". It is a curse!


Cactus Jack 27 Jan 2016, 10:35


I am looking forward to hearing the results. All of what we discussed is based on Sir Isaac Newton's discoveries about how lenses work. I got into this because I wanted to understand problems with my own vision and the only tools I had to work with were the laws of Optics and my brain. Both positive and negative feedback really helps me refine my understanding and improve the my explanations.

I have done a lot of industrial teaching and get pleasure in helping "the light bulb come on". The big disadvantage in trying to do this on the web, is that I don't get to see the look on a person's face at the dawn of understanding. Their face literally lights up, usually with a 1000 watt smile and my grin is not very far behind. I hope you have experienced that moment when something similar happens with one of your children.

I sincerely hope all this helps you and I hope the "light came on" for you and together we opened some mental doors for you that you probably did not know existed. There are lots more "doors" out there that need opening.

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


Rick 27 Jan 2016, 09:27

Cactus Jack

Thank you for all your help. I will tell you how our exams go.

Cactus Jack 26 Jan 2016, 09:09


It appears that you did a very good job. I have no way to tell exactly, but if the distance from your target object was approximately 10 feet or 3 meters and your calibration of about 3 cm (a little over an inch) per prism diopter, your numbers should be in the ball park.

Using your approximate average numbers (rounded for simplicity) the two images you see should appear to be about 45 cm or 18 inches apart, horizontally and 10 cm or 4 inches, vertically.

Should you get glasses with some prism correction? Probably, but fundamentally, it is up to you. You seem to be able to function with out vision correction, but I think you could function better, more comfortably, and with less stress, if you didn't have double vision problems. Also, there could be some other vision issues that are not as obvious to you right now that, if corrected, would make your life more pleasant. You won't know that until after the exam.

You actually don't have a lot of Strabismus, but I am sure it seems like a lot to you. There is no way to predict what the examiner will recommend, but if he/she agrees with your findings, The prism prescription might be something like this

Right Eye Prism 4 Base Out 2 Base Up

Left Eye Prism 4 Base Out 2 Base Down

There might be other numbers such as Sphere, Cylinder, and Axis, but we have no way to estimate that. Also, because this is a first prescription with prism, the numbers might be less than that. Notice that I only used 1/2 of what we measured and I split the total amount and put 1/2 in each eye.

The effect on the glasses lenses would be that the outer edge of the lenses would be about 3 mm thicker than the inside edge and the upper edge of lens for the Right Eye would be a bit thicker than the lower edge and the Left Eye Lenses would be thicker on the bottom and slightly thinner on the top. All of these numbers are affected by the width and height of the lens and the Index of Refraction of the lens. The fact that your eyes are displaced slightly would likely not be noticeable to anyone but an ECP who is trained to notice that from a very close distance. However, it is likely that YOU would notice that you were not seeing double.

When you translate all these numbers back to horizontal or vertical displacement of the pupil. it is about 0.15 mm per prism diopter. For 4 prism diopters that would be 0.6 mm. If they are NOT an ECP and they get close enough to see that, they have something else in mind

What does it mean? Visual Comfort and getting on with the important things in your life. If you are concerned about what other people will think, don't be. Except for driving, you don't wear vision correction for other people's benefit.

BTW, it would probably be best to not mention our measurements to the ECPs. They have better tools and probably won't understand how what we did, works. However, you should mention your double vision problems so they will pay extra attention in that phase of the exam.


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 22:22

Cactus Jack

I read all your post on the prism thread of vision and spex, and I conducted the test, and I believe I did it correctly. I conducted the test 5 different times. The range of the results for the horizontal was from 13 to 16 and the range of the vertical was from 2.5 to 5.

1st. Horizontal- 13

Vertical- 2

2nd. Horizontal- 14

Vertical- about 2.5

3rd. Horizontal- 16

Vertical- 4

4th. Horizontal- 15

Vertical 5

5th. Horizontal- 16

Vertical- 4

I did averages of the results, and the Horizontal is 14.8 and the vertical is 3.5. So, what exactly does this mean glasses wise? Do I need glasses? What do you think the prescription would be? what does it mean?

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 16:52


Thanks, I look forward your results

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 16:41

Cactus Jack

I understand now, I have the materials needed, I will do this test later tonight, and will tell you whst results I get

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 16:14


Sorry to be slow responding, I've got a couple of business related balls in the air with now.

If we can get a pretty good number on the amount of displacement you are seeing, It will give us a clue as to how much Prism you may need in glasses, IF it was fully corrected. Typically, you do not fully correct with Prism. All you really need to do is use enough TOTAL prism to get the images close enough for the eye positioning system to take over and finish the job. Lets say that you measure 12 Prism Diopters of Displacement. It is very likely that you would be prescribed 6 Total Diopters of Base Out Prism with it split, 3 Base Out in each eye.

On the Vision and Spex site, go to the last thread listed Vision/ Special etc > Prisms > on the 2nd page there is an article entitled "Simple Prism Test" I posted Nov 16, 2013.


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 15:21

Okay, I get the numbering system thing, but am still confused on what I will be looking at it for. Can you give an example, I find they work best in explaining. I got to vision and spex, but where is what you want me to look for?

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 14:43


I found it if you want to read it. Do you know how to log on to the Vision & Spex website?

Cactus Jacl 25 Jan 2016, 14:34


The 5, 10, 15 diopter marks would be a 15 cm intervals because our calibration is 3 cm per diopter. I like to put a big mark every 5 diopters and number them. Usually the small 1 diopter marks are not worth individual numbers and the big marks help me count the small marks. The adding machine tape is just a very specialized ruler, marked in Prism Diopters, to be read from a distance of 10 feet.

I try to align the beginning of the markings "0" with the object or if not convenient I create a reference mark with a vertical arrow pointing at the "0".

You read the tape with both eyes open and you should be able to get a direct read of the separation of the two images in Prism Diopters.

I know it is not easy to get your mind around. Imaging what I went through the first time trying to figure out how to do it.

I think i posted the detailed instructions on the Vision and Spex site. Would you like for me to see if I can find it.?


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 14:08

You totally lost me with the arrow part. Anyways, how does this set up help calculate the amount of convergence?

Sorry for all the questions.

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 14:05

Cactus Jack

I understood everything until you said 5 diopters. Did you mean 5 cm? Also, what 0?

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 14:04

Did I loose you guys?


Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 13:49


We need to talk a little easy Trig and introduce the definition of a Prism Diopter as established by Sir Isaac Newton, of gravity fame. He defined 1 Prism Diopter as that amount of prism that will deflect a ray of light 1 cm at distance of 1 meter. If you think of a right triangle, with the eye at the apex, the Opposite Side (1 cm) divided by the Adjacent Side 1 meter or 100 cm) = a Tangent Function. All we have to do is use ratio and proportion to determine the effective displacement at 10 feet or about 3 meters. 1 Prism Diopter would displace a ray of light 3 cm or a little over an inch at a distance of 3 meters.

Now all that is necessary is to estimate the apparent displacement at 3 meters to get a pretty good idea of the amount of Esophoria you have.

One of the tricks I have used is to get a strip of adding machine tape and a Marker to make a strip calibrated in Prism Diopters for the distance from your eyes to the wall. In this instance, I would put a small mark every 3 cm and a big one every 5 diopters. I calibrate the tape on something that won't be damaged if the marker bleeds through. I then use easily removable tape and tape the strip to the wall very close to the target object and read the displacement of the images in diopters. Sometimes I make a short strip of tape with an Arrow and mount it vertically to point at 0 as a reference.

Does any of that make sense?


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 13:36

Cactus Jack

I am confused, how do I find out how much convergence there is? I was 10 feet away from the object I was looking at.

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 13:30


I am glad you corrected that. it is very important. If you see the image from the left eye on the left, that means that your eyes are trying to converge or turn inward. There are two medical terms for that, Esophoria and Esotropia. The difference is subtile and not important right now. "Eso" means that your eyes try to converge.

The next step is to try to figure out how much converges you have and my previous post applies.


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 13:25

Cactus Jack,

So, does this mean my eyes are converging (goin inwards)?

To answer the questions in yout last post I do have some knowledge of trig, and geometry. Also, in the previous test I was about 10 feet away from the object.

Hope my mistake does not mess up what you were planning on posting. I was typing that while talking on the phone with a manager in one of my shops.

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 13:22


I think you need some focusing help for close work, but may need only a little or possibly none for distance. That is why Benjamin Franklin invented Bifocals about 250 years ago. Of course there have been a few improvements since then.

However, we are not going to start there. We need to figure out why the readers didn't work of close up.

I am guessing that Over-the-Counter readers are available in South Africa as they are in most of the rest of the world. Unless they are familiar with optics and how the eyes work, most people initially choose Readers that are too strong. Readers are usually available in +1.00, +1.25, etc up to about +3.50 in +0.25 increments. Do you recall the + power of the readers you tried?


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 13:19

Cactus Jack

I am so sorry I misstyped in my last post. To clarify the image from my LEFT EYE is to the LEFT of the image Right EYE.

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 13:11


It sounds like your eyes may be trying to diverge or turn outward. If the image was on the left with your left eye, it would mean that your eyes are trying to converge or turn inward.

The next test is a little harder, but we can use it to get an estimate of how much your eyes are trying to turn outward. I am going to have to get a little technical here. Are you at all familiar with geometry and trigonometry? It is not absolutely essential, but I think it helps a little.

When you did the previous tests, how far was it from your eyes to the object you were using for the test. The more accurate the better, but we can start with a good guess


Jim 25 Jan 2016, 12:45

Cactus Jack

Retail Manager,south africa,yes frequently between close and distance,pc for six hours per day,yes on phone and tablet

What would you think the best prognosis be to correct this as readers don't seem any good.

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 12:29

Cactus Jack,

I did what you asked, and if I understood your question correctly the image in my left eye is to the right of the image in my right eye.

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 12:15


Welcome to the mysterious world of Presbyopia. It happens to almost everyone, eventually. The first thing you need to understand is that the idea that Presbyopia does not become a problem until you are 40 is a Myth. It can become a problem at almost any age, depending on your visual environment.

I would like to ask a few more questions, if I may. The answers will affect my suggestions.

1. What is your occupation?

2. Where do you live?

3. Do you need to switch frequently from distant to close and back to distant,

4. If you use a computer, do you use it for a long time?

5. Do you need to read small text on your Phone or Tablet and then switch to distance?

I may have a few more questions to help me understand your situation better.


Jim 25 Jan 2016, 11:41

Cacts Jack

Distant objects appear totally clear

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 11:26


Let me see if I understand your symptoms.

You are able to see distant objects and signs clearly, without any glasses.

However, if you shift your focus to something close, the close objects are blurry, even if they are at arms length. If you try very hard to focus, you get a headache.

Question: If you look at the distant object after your try to focus on the close object, is the distant object still clear?

Please tell me if I have the symptoms right or if I don't.


Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 11:06


I suspect that what you are seeing is mostly Horizontal and if that were corrected the vertical component would not be a problem. However, by combining Horizontal and Vertical prism you can correct almost any combination.

The next step is figuring out if your eyes are trying to turn inward (converge) or turn outward (diverge). This test uses the same technique as the prior test. Except it is in the form of a question.

When you are seeing two images, is the image you see with the Left Eye to the LEFT or RIGHT of the image you see with the Right Eye?


jim 25 Jan 2016, 11:04

Cactus Jack

Please could you help with a question because I am really not sure what causes this maybe you could give some advice.I am 36 year man, I have recently been noticing the following.when focusing on distant objects which are totally clearly viewed,once I shift focus to a computer or mobile phone or closer object it becomes totally blurred no matter if I move further or closer it remains the same.then takes great effort and a headache comes about.tried a paid of reading glasses in a pharmacy thinking this is presbyopia age related but they didn't help in any way.Would you have a suggestions on what this that is coming about..thanks again

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 08:48

Cactus Jack

Thabk you for your tine involved in helping me. It is truely appreciated.

I tried the test. At the beginning the image seemed to jump horizontally, but as I went on I noticed it was mostly horizontal, but there was some vertical movement too, but it was not as apparent. In conclusion I would have to say it moved diagonally.

What does this mean?

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 07:08

Oops, Slow response to my first "Submit"

Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 07:06


I have occasionally done multiple posts when the system is slow to respond and I am not sure I actually sent the post and click on the submit again.

I am pretty tied up today. Here is the first test.

1. Look at something across the room.

2. Hold your hand a few inches in front of your right eye so that you block the image.

3. Move your hand back and forth so that you alternately block the image for 2 or 3 seconds each.

4. Does the image seem to jump as you change eyes?

5. If so, does it jump horizontally, vertically, or diagonally? The jump may not be very much.

Let me know what you find.

The jump may be more obvious when you are tired and it may help if you close your eyes for 15 to 30 seconds before doing the test and starting the test as soon as you open your eyes, so your eye positioning system does not have time to try to fuse the images.


Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 07:06


I have occasionally done multiple posts when the system is slow to respond and I am not sure I actually sent the post and click on the submit again.

I am pretty tied up today. Here is the first test.

1. Look at something across the room.

2. Hold your hand a few inches in front of your right eye so that you block the image.

3. Move your hand back and forth so that you alternately block the image for 2 or 3 seconds each.

4. Does the image seem to jump as you change eyes?

5. If so, does it jump horizontally, vertically, or diagonally? The jump may not be very much.

Let me know what you find.

The jump may be more obvious when you are tired and it may help if you close your eyes for 15 to 30 seconds before doing the test and starting the test as soon as you open your eyes, so your eye positioning system does not have time to try to fuse the images.


Cactus Jack 25 Jan 2016, 07:06


I have occasionally done multiple posts when the system is slow to respond and I am not sure I actually sent the post and click on the submit again.

I am pretty tied up today. Here is the first test.

1. Look at something across the room.

2. Hold your hand a few inches in front of your right eye so that you block the image.

3. Move your hand back and forth so that you alternately block the image for 2 or 3 seconds each.

4. Does the image seem to jump as you change eyes?

5. If so, does it jump horizontally, vertically, or diagonally? The jump may not be very much.

Let me know what you find.

The jump may be more obvious when you are tired and it may help if you close your eyes for 15 to 30 seconds before doing the test and starting the test as soon as you open your eyes, so your eye positioning system does not have time to try to fuse the images.


Rick 25 Jan 2016, 00:11

Sorry about that last post posting multiple times. I have no idea how it happened, and it was not my intention.

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 00:09

Cactus Jack

Thabk you for the offer. I would really appreciate it if you shared your home test.

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 00:09

Cactus Jack

Thabk you for the offer. I would really appreciate it if you shared your home test.

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 00:09

Cactus Jack

Thabk you for the offer. I would really appreciate it if you shared your home test.

Rick 25 Jan 2016, 00:09

Cactus Jack

Thabk you for the offer. I would really appreciate it if you shared your home test.

Cactus Jack 24 Jan 2016, 21:42


No, the prisms would NOT affect your actual eye alignment, just a glasses do not fix your refractive error. Prism in your glasses just correct the misalignment optically. When I wear my glasses, my eyes are still slightly crossed, but the glasses do the work of fusing the images for me without any effort on my part.

You seem to be very concerned about this. I doubt if you need much prism because if you did, you would have had an exam for it, long before now. I think I can suggest some simple tests you can do to estimate the amount prism you might need. It would be a starting to get an idea of what to expect. Let me know if you are interested and If you would prefer to discuss this privately.


Rick 24 Jan 2016, 21:01

Cactus Jack

Thank you, for your response. I think I was too vague in my question. I know glasses would not fix a misalignment, what I meant is putting them on. Would wearing prisms align my eyes while I wear them? Or would it somehow fix the double vision without fixing the alignment? To answer your questions we live in America, and none of my kids have glasses yet. Other than the eldest this will be all of their first eye doctors appointment. My wife and I used to take our oldest to get his eyes checked when she would get hers, but then we just stopped.

Cactus Jack 24 Jan 2016, 19:50


Misalignment is generally NOT fixed by prism, they only help you fuse the images optically, but there are exceptions. The double vision is caused either by the Central Axes of vision from both eyes NOT being parallel for distance (IOW, converge at infinity) or they mis-converge (over or under) for close vision. All prism can do is bend the light rays a bit to get the images close enough that your Eye Positioning System can take over and fuse the images.

The big problem with eye misalignment is that there can be several different causes. There are 6 muscles attached to each eye. The 3 muscle pairs are arranged to move the eyes left and right, up and down, and obliquely. They function in opposing pairs because muscles can't push, they can only pull. When you move your eyes, one muscle pulls while the other relaxes and lets it pull. Muscle Imbalance occurs when one muscle in the pair is stronger than the other. As I mentioned earlier, there can also be problems with the Cranial Nerves that control the eye muscles or problems in the Eye Position Control System in the Brain. Diagnosing and repair problems in the last two is close to impossible and VERY risky. That only leaves doing something with the muscles, even if the actual problem is elsewhere. There are only 3 things that can be done with the muscles.

1. Vision Therapy which is an attempt to strengthen weak muscles through exercises.

2. Another way is Botox injections or other drugs to weaken the strong muscle, temporarily.

3. Muscle surgery such as relocating the attach point of the muscle on the eyeball (Recession) or altering the length of the muscle (Resection). but that does not always work, in a small percentage of the cases

I was talked into Muscle Recession several years ago, but I was warned that it might not work. The attach point of the Inside Muscle (Medial Rectus Muscle) on each eye was moved back 5 mm. It eliminated the need for prism for 3 months and then the double vision returned. In the over all scheme of things, it probably reduced the amount of prism I need today, My ECPs are trying to talk me into another Muscle Surgery. After all, it is only "Minor" Surgery. Ha! My definition of Minor Surgery is Surgery on somebody else.

While prisms don't really fix anything, they may be a decent solution and if you need a change, it does not involve sharp objects around the eyes.

We need to find out what the ECP discovers during your exam. If he/she recommends something. We should talk before you commit to anything.

One of the problems with prism is that it is rapidly booming a lost art. Years ago, when prism was the only available solution to Strabismus, ECPs were very skilled and prescribing Prism, making the lenses and fitting them. Today with early detection of Strabismus and early surgical intervention, the need for significant Prism in glasses is pretty rare and more people than you realize have a small amount of prism in their glasses, to make their vision more comfortable.

To change the subject slightly:

May I ask where you live?

I also want to say that you are really doing your children a favor with eye exams for everyone. This is one of those instances where you are trying to help your 7 year old get through a potentially traumatic ordeal and at the same time doing good for your children in ways that build family relationships and ultimately teamwork. They are at the ages where vision problems tend to develop and there is a strong genetic factor in their heritage. Vision problems can significantly affect learning ability, because a very high percentage of knowledge comes from what you see and read. Do any of your children need Vision Correction at this time?

By the way, if you have anything you would prefer to discuss privately, you may contact me at


Rick 24 Jan 2016, 16:28

Cactus Jack

Thank you for your condolences regarding my wife. Also, thank for getting back to me and your explanation. So there is a misalignment of some sort in my eyes that causes the double vision? Would the prism fix the misalignment and double vision? Or would it just fix the double vision and my eye will be misaligned behind the glasses?

Cactus Jack 24 Jan 2016, 15:46


My heart goes out to you about the loss of your wife. It must be very hard on you and your children. The whole burden of raising your children is now on your shoulders. Hopefully, the older children can help with the younger ones.

You need to mention that you have mild double vision when you are tired, before the actual exam. It sounds like you may have a bit of what is called Fatigue Strabismus (eye misalignment). it is more common than most people think, but unless it is a real functional impediment, it may not be worth correcting.

There are 4 basic types Esophoria where the eyes try to turn inward, Exophoria where the eyes try to turn outward, Hyperphoria where one eye tries to turn upward, and Hypophoria where one eye tries to turn downward. Fatigue Esophoria is the most common, followed by Fatigue Exophoria. Vertical misalignment is less common. Part of the exam, I think i mentioned it in How to Study, is to determine misalignment and its direction.

You haven't mentioned your occupation so I will try not to get too technical. From an engineering point of view, the amazing eye positioning system is what is called an Open Loop Servo system. An Open Loop System DOES NOT KNOW where the eyes are actually pointing. It commands movement and responds to the RESULTS of that movement by comparing the relationship of the two images. A Closed Loop Servo system, like is used on Computer Controlled Machines KNOWS EXACTLY where the tool is, often to a tiny fraction of a mm or an inch and commands motion in tiny increments for accurate positioning from the known position.

The body is actually full of Open Loop systems that use visual results to correct errors. Feelings and balance inputs play a general role for movement of the Arms, Legs and Fingers, but precision movements use visual inputs for accuracy.

It requires a surprising amount of energy and effort to keep images fused if there are misalignment problems. I can keep the images fused without my glasses, but generally not for long and I can tell that my eye position muscles are getting tired.

For example, if there is a muscle imbalance that causes your eyes to want to turn inward, because your inside muscles are stronger than your outside muscles, your Eye Positioning System can send signals to the outside muscles on your eyes to oppose the deviation inward. However, like any muscles, after a while, they get tired and the stronger inside muscles start pulling the eyes inward and the result is double vision.

There are some double vision problems that can be solved by simply correcting a underlying Refractive Error. This is particularly true with Hyperopia. There is an interconnection in the brain between the Focus Control System and the Eye Position System. When you focus close, your eyes have to converge or turn inward to keep you from seeing double. The interconnection allows the Eye Positioning System to know that you are trying to focus close and it will automatically cause your eyes to converge so the the Open Loop part can get a head start on keeping the images fused.

People with uncorrected Hyperopia have to use their Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses to see distance clearly, even though they may not be aware that they are doing it. The act of correcting their vision for distance causes the convergence signal to be sent and their eyes try to converge or cross when they should not. If you correct the Hyperopia, the problem goes away.

Incidentally, the actual misalignment is very hard to see by looking at the eyes. 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. As a trigonometric function, the Angular deflection is 0.57 degrees. If you translate that back to the Pupil of the eye it is about 0.15 mm per diopter. Even with the 13 Prism Diopters Base Out, few people notice that I am slightly cross eyed. However, some notice the extra thickness of the outer edges of my glasses.

Enough of that. If you had asked me the time, I would have told you how to build a watch.


Rick 24 Jan 2016, 14:28

Cactus Jack

Thank you, for sharing. So prism correct double vision? I ask this because I never really knew that it is a real problem. In the past like two years I have always felt like I see double when I am tierd. I have never given it much thought because I thought it just has to do with being tierd. Is it likely that I need glasses for this? The last time I had my eyes checked was with my late wife, and it was just before Kylee was born, and a bit after I started to notice the double vision. I did bot mention it because I did not think of it as anything. The result was I did not need glasses. What I am getting at is do you think this is something to mention to the doctor next week? If I do need glasses for this, how is it that the appointment I had about 2 years ago did not catch anything?

Cactus Jack 24 Jan 2016, 07:46


It is not too personal, but my visual history and my vision issues are a bit hard to explain without being very long winded and boring.

My prescription is pretty low, after Cataract Surgery and installation of IOLs with one exception. It is:

OD Sphere -0.50, Cylinder -0.75, Axis 95, Prism 13 Base Out

OS Sphere +0.75, Cylinder -1.00, Axis 80, Prism 13 Base Out

Add +3.00 Trifocal with 50% Intermediate (IOW +1.50)

The exception is the Prism correction for the Adult Strabismus I developed in my 40s. The prism really complicates things. When I am tired, my eyes try to turn inward and I see double. Sometimes at very awkward times.

As I have said many times, I am NOT and Eye Care Professional. My background is Electronic Engineering and Computers. I am 78 and have been dealing with vision issues since I was about 10 when I inadvertently discovered that I could see very well with one eye, but the other eye was blurry. However, I didn't get glasses until I was 14.

In the Vision area, I would be called an Amateur, in the original French sense as one who studies a subject out of love of that subject and in my case, intense curiosity.

My fundamental nature is a Problem Solver and I want to KNOW why something works or does not work. I have been that way as long as I can remember. I also love to teach with an emphasis on UNDERSTANDING how something works. Almost all of my teaching experience has been in the industrial world, rather than the academic world. Over the years I have gained the reputation of being a pretty good explainer. Which often causes me to be long winded in an attempt to foster understanding, rather than just rote learning. If you understand how something works, you can solve almost any problem that occurs. If you just memorize and are able regurgitate the "correct" answer, you can only deal with that problem and everything else is a mystery.


Rick 23 Jan 2016, 21:58

Cactus Jack,

Okay, thank you for the information! If you do not mind me asking what are your vision issues? What is your glasses prescription? It's just I have read your posts on helping others, and it hot me curious. You do not have to answer if it is too personal.

Cactus Jack 23 Jan 2016, 21:36


Not necessary. There is a hand held Auto-Refractor that can be used for objectively checking the vision of a small child, or even an adult. All that is necessary is to attract the child's attention and get them to look at the picture inside the device, sort of like the old Stereopticons, and press a trigger. The device is very fast and does both eyes at the same time. It may only give a close approximation of the child's prescription, but it is so quick and non-threatening that several readings are easy to get and they can be averaged for a more accurate approximation. It is not like trying to look in the child's eyes with an ophthalmoscope which shines a bright light into the eye. Usually the picture is of a colorful balloon or some animal that will tend to hold the child's attention.

I saw one of these devices several years ago in the office of a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. They specialize in eye misalignment in children (and adults). It was used on me almost before I realized what the doctor's assistant was doing. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to examine the device.

It is the Examiner's problem to estimate the prescription of your 22 month old. When you get right down to it, the exact prescription is not really important. What you want to find out is if there is any significant refractive error that needs immediate attention or just something to be aware of and monitor periodically. I doubt there is any serious problem. Most very young children are Hyperopic (farsighted), but they have the built in ability to compensate for it, without much effort. If the 22 month old was having trouble compensating for Hyperopia, the typical clue is a wandering eye or one or both eyes trying to turn inward. The really important thing to look for in children is Amblyopia where, if there is enough difference between the images from each eye, the brain will ignore or try to ignore that image. That may not be obvious, but it needs to be caught and treated at the earliest possible age. If treatment is delayed too long, the brain will permanently ignore the images from that eye and there is no known way to restore vision in that eye, even if the cause is corrected.

I think you will find the methods used by the Examiner for young children, very interesting. We look forward to hearing the details.


Rick 23 Jan 2016, 20:46

Cactus Jack

I have been reading through some of the yout old posts on this sit, and you seem like a guy who knows what he is talking about. I have a question, the doctor's office said that even Kylee should get her eyes checked. How does a doctor check a baby who foes not know her letters vision. Do I need to teach them to her and rescheduel?

Cactus Jack 23 Jan 2016, 19:40


At this point we don't know what your son's vision problem may be. Typically it is Myopia and the fact that his Mother had Myopia would point in that direction, but you can't be certain, without an exam.

Please let us know the results of the Eye Exams. Also, if he does need glasses, his response and hopefully acceptance of them. I am certain other parents in a similar situation would be interested in any problems and solutions.


Rick 23 Jan 2016, 17:25

Cactus Jack

I read you how to prepare for an eye exam posts. They were very helpful.


I just hope he will be happy with whatever the outcome is.

Rick 23 Jan 2016, 17:25

Cactus Jack

I read you how to prepare for an eye exam posts. They were very helpful.


I just hope he will be happy with whatever the outcome is.

Maurice  23 Jan 2016, 15:11

Rick, my guess is that all will be cool with your 7-year old if both you and he come home wearing glasses.

Rick 23 Jan 2016, 10:46

Cactus Jack

Thank you for your response and suggestion. I willdefinitely do what you suggested. As far as the rest of my kids. My oldest son is 12, then it is my my 7 year old (the one I was talking about), then it is my youngest son who is 5 years old, lastly it is my daughter who is 22 months.

Cactus Jack 23 Jan 2016, 10:07


Your son's reaction is pretty common. At 7, I suspect he is in what we would call, in the US, 2nd Grade. Very few 7 year olds wear glasses. He is probably concerned about being "different".

Almost every child thinks they have excellent vision because they have no way to compare the quality of what they "see" with really good vision. Also, he may think getting an eye exam is like going to a medical doctor where there is a risk of getting a shot, getting blood drawn, or experiencing other painful, traumatic procedures. Nothing could be farther from the truth about an eye exam. The only slightly uncomfortable part of a modern eye exam, is the puff of air used to measure internal eye pressure.

I think you have the right idea by scheduling exams for yourself and the other children. May I ask their ages?

You might just have a very casual private chat with your son, to find out his con concerns, but do not dismiss them. Tell him that you understand his concerns, but you think he is in for a very pleasant surprise, both about the exam and about wearing glasses, if he needs them.

If possible, you might get your exam first and ask if it it possible for your son can watch your exam if he promises to be very quiet and just pay attention to the exam. I suspect this will not be first time the examiner has dealt with an apprehensive child. Ideally, the examiner will take the time to explain the instruments.

I hope this helps. If you are interested, I will re-post the piece I wrote "How to Study for an Eye Exam". You might find something useful there.


Rick 23 Jan 2016, 00:00

I just got a letter saying he should get his eyes examined sent home. His teacher noticed him squinting a lot, so she sent home a leeter saying she is worried he may need glasses. When he found out he sounded devestated. He does not want to go to the eye doctor and insists he does not need glasses. He is 7 years old. His mother was nearsighted, and his aunt (her sister is too). I made him an appointment for next week on Friday. Is there anything I vould say or do to get him excited for this? Is ther anything we should say or do to prepare for the appointment? I got myself and the other kids appointments as well to not make hime feel alone.

Likelenses 21 Jan 2016, 02:08


That last post was from me.

l 21 Jan 2016, 02:04


This online company used to make special order thick flat front glasses.

Likelenses 21 Jan 2016, 01:59


You already have a pretty strong prescription,but it sounds as though you need more.Additionally it sounds as though you also now need bifocals.

As far as the flat front lenses,they are called plano base curve,and you could get them in your prescription,but it would cost extra. I am not sure if Zenni would make them up for you,but you could email them about it.

They are my favorites also.

Anna 19 Jan 2016, 14:17

I am 23 years old, I come from Asia. My parents were very poor so they could not afford to buy me glasses so I used to borrow my friends old glasses they helped a little About 6 months ago I meet a very nice boy who paid for me to get an eye test and bought me my own glasses R -5.75 L-4.00 I’m not sure if there were any other number .I now notice thing in the distance are not as sharp as when I first got my own glasses and when I read my cell phone I get double vision. Is this normal to need a new test so soon and would reading glasses help you think.

A co-worker of mine has glasses that look as if the front of the lens are very flat I like this look could I get that type of lens I don’t know what they are called. Also I have read here that lots of people order from zenni on line could I get this type of lens from them

Likelenses 16 Jan 2016, 22:07

new myope

You may enjoy reading my post to the New Glasses thread on 27 Dec, 2015 21:36

This lady's condition is similar to yours.Even with glasses on she reads very close,about 8 inches from her eyes.

Your comment about fluctuating astigmatism could be caused by slightly unbalanced muscles that control the focus of your internal lenses.I at one time knew a girl that had that condition,and her optometrist gave her a slightly stronger sphere and that solved the problem,and after a year the astigmatism disappeared,but the sphere increased another -1.00

new myope 16 Jan 2016, 11:29

Sorry, should have said the amount of cylinder required in the bad eye has steadily increased.

new myope 16 Jan 2016, 11:26

Thanks, Cactus Jack.

I'd assumed that my mld myopia was caused by the computer – I've reached a stage where my eyes focus uncorrected naturally at the distance of the screen. This has been progressive over a period of about six years but the Rx now seems pretty stable. It may be 'false' myopia but it certainly wouldn't be a good idea for me to drive at night without glasses – can't read even quite big road signs in bad light.

I'd be curious to see what the dilation showed, but I'm in the UK where it's not a routine part of exe exams and my eye doctor doesn't think it's necessary. She is excellent, by the way – happy to let me play with different angles until I get exactly the right result. She says there's no indication of cataract or problem with the retina – 'very healthy', she says.

The axis of my astigmatism in my 'bad' eye genuinely changes a bit from day to day – my eye doctor measured it a few days apart and said it had shifted a bit. It's always been like that. But the amount of sphere required in that eye has steadily increased.

I'm just hoping that I won't lost the spherical minus correction as I get older. Do you think that's likely, Jack? I certainly can't imagine any more away from the screen...

Cactus Jack 15 Jan 2016, 18:45

new myope,

I suspect that you have developed some Pseudo or False Myopia. False Myopia is a phenomenon that develops in your Auto-Focus mechanism in your eyes. It is actually the same thing as Latent Hyperopia but just on the other side of 0.00. It affects only your Sphere Correction. It is caused in older people by the Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses having difficulty fully relaxing after a lot of close focusing. Myopia of any type will help you focus close at the expense of your distance vision.

Myopia and something called 2nd sight can also be caused by some types of Cataracts, which also affects the Crystalline Lenses.

Astigmatism is usually caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the Cornea. The Cornea has a lot of PLUS power and the uneven curvature causes it to have more PLUS power in one Axis and less PLUS in the Axis that is 90 degrees from the first Axis. The ideal Corneal shape is a section of a perfect Sphere, but stresses can cause it to assume the shape of a section from the side of an American Football.

Actual Astigmatism usually changes very slowly, but that part of the Eye Exam where Astigmatism is the MOST subjective part of the exam and it can change a lot because of the lack of skill on the patients part. What makes it hard is that when the Examiner is trying to determine the Axis of the Astigmatism, you will be asked to judge relative blurriness of two images as the Examiner Brackets the selected Asix. It is very hard to do. Judging relative shapes is much easier. I have published my technique for working with the Examiner to "fine tune" the Cylinder and Axis numbers.

Another thing that can affect your vision is poor Blood Glucose control (diabetes) because it can change the Index of Refraction of the Aqueous and Vitreous Humors in the eye. We don't think of them much, but they are part of the eye's lens system.

If you have not had one, you might want to consider a dilated eye exam. The dilating agent will do two things. Open up you Pupils which will allow a good examination of the condition of your Retina and temporarily paralyze your Ciliary (Focusing) Muscles. Modern Dilating agents are not aggressive or long lasting enough to fully relax your Ciliary Muscles, but it might give you a clue to the source of your myopia. I seriously doubt you have developed any significant Axial or True Myopia at your age.


new myope 15 Jan 2016, 17:51

I'm a newish myope and I'm middle-aged. One for Cactus Jack maybe.

In my 20s I had -0.75 astigmatism in one eye, maybe a tiny bit in the other eye but glasses didn't make any difference because my good eye was excellent.

Wasn't until my 40s, when I already needed reading glasses for close up, that O started work in an office where I was on screen all day long and I noticed that the distance could be a tiny bit blurry. I got glasses that were -.025 and -1 both cyl with no spherical but then the astigmatism crept up and and they added -.25 spherical.

So now at 53 I'm -0.5/-0.5 in my 'good eye' and -0.25/-1.75 in my bad one. And its been stable for a year or two though there's a bit of variation – sometimes my distance vision is a bit better or a bit worse.

I like the nearsightedness! I hope it will stay... and at the same time my need for reading glasses is less than people the same age as me. I have +1 readers for small print or late at night but often don't take them out of the house with me because I'm wearing distance specs that I have to take off to read anything at all.

Any thoughts? The eye doctor said I wasn't unique. I'm happy because I assumed by now I'd be completely dependent on +2 readers.

Weirdeyes 15 Jan 2016, 17:21


Some eye doctors just suck. When I was nine I went to get my eyes tested for the first time. I never remember seeing him use an autorefractor(the machine that guesses your prescription.) Since I didn't know what I was supposed to do I "tried my best" during the test and I ended up not needing glasses. Even though I noticed slightly blurry vision. When I was eleven I ended up getting my eyes tested again. It turned out I was farsighted and I had a huge difference between my eyes and needed glasses right away. I don't think my eyes changed that much over two years. Even if they did change it means that I was moderately farsighted.

Erica 15 Jan 2016, 15:20

Sorry Soundmanpt. I got glasses when i was 19 and yes my prescription changes every year. People always ask to try my glasses on when i get new ones. My friends that wear glasses just laugh but when people try them and don't need glasses they always make a comment how can you see in these. People with good vision don't understand what it's like to need glasses all the time. I can't believe people don't need glasses, if you go to the opticians for a test I'm sure they would tell you need glasses.

Erica 15 Jan 2016, 15:19

Sorry Soundmanpt. I got glasses when i was 19 and yes my prescription changes every year. People always ask to try my glasses on when i get new ones. My friends that wear glasses just laugh but when people try them and don't need glasses they always make a comment how can you see in these. People with good vision don't understand what it's like to need glasses all the time. I can't believe people don't need glasses, if you go to the opticians for a test I'm sure they would tell you need glasses.

Soundmanpt or Soundproof 09 Jan 2016, 13:45


I guess your being funny by now calling me "Soundproof"? I thought that "Soundmanpt" was already pretty funny? So have you managed to visit any of our others friends houses that wear glasses so you can maybe find and try on their glasses? Do you let your friends try on your glasses? I'm sure the ones that don't wear glasses or have weak prescriptions must complain about how strong your glasses are? Does that ever bother you? At what age did you get your first glasses and do you remember how you felt about getting glasses? Are you still getting small increases every year or has your vision become stable?

Ellen 03 Jan 2016, 15:37

Too right I can do whatever I want Guest1.

I intend 2016 to be a very good year!

Guest1 03 Jan 2016, 11:39

Hi Ellen,

You can do whatever you want !


By the way, my old g/f who was -19 and astig with biconcaves, tried special contacts too after she got her masters - when she traveled as an international guide and then again for a short while after she divorced her first husband. She then went back to glasses. Very comfortably too. As she got older, had some retina/macula issues and didn't want to bother her stretched eyes with contacts.

Sooooo, its your choice.

Happy New Year

Erica 03 Jan 2016, 10:41

Soundpoint, I was at my friends house yesterday and i seen she had -6.00 contacts on the side. there was a pair of glasses on the side and i tried them on I couldn't see in them i could the lenses were different. I though hoe can she see in these but they were her mums glasses. talking to her mum and she had -6.00 -2.00. It must be strange if you can see in one eye still? Think is better to have same prescription in each eye even if I can't see at all?

Likelenses 03 Jan 2016, 04:23


Ha,I got a kick out of your comments regarding " coming out",and mortal sins here.Your humor is charming!

Anyhow it is nice that you now have options other than your spex,for social occasions,and such.

Happy New Year.

Ellen 03 Jan 2016, 02:29

I should have known not to "come out" as a contact wearer. It's a mortal sin on here, second only to admitting to laser surgery. Have no fear however, I shall still be wearing my glasses a lot of the time. I never had any intention of becoming an American-style 24/7 contact lens wearer. I'm used to glasses, I quite like wearing them in most instances and even see them as part of my identity in a strange way. Glasses are still the first thing I grab in the morning before venturing out of bed and more often than not they stay on my face all day. As I said, I need reading glasses with the contacts and so for the most part I will be using my glasses for work. Contacts are great for physical activity and for some social engagements though.

Likelenses 03 Jan 2016, 00:40


I am glad that the contacts are working well for you,but does this mean that the world is losing a great GWG?

Oscar 02 Jan 2016, 11:33

Good luck with the contacts, Ellen. It very good to hear that they're going well so far.

I was actually watching Come Dine With Me when I saw your post - Shoba seems a very clever and attractive woman and her strong glasses are a definite enhancement! So it's back to the final episode to watch some more of her :)

Ellen 02 Jan 2016, 10:38

Well for anyone interested I did get contact lenses. I had to get custom made soft lenses which allow the base curve, diameter and cyl and to be finely tuned. They're about £100 per lens but I'm very happy with them, they're comfortable and give me very good vision. There are a few side effects I wasn't expecting. First I seem to need reading glasses when I'm wearing them. I think decades behind thick myopic lenses have made my ciliary muscles lazy and I have essentially been staring at infinity for years and using minute adjustments of my glasses for near and far vision. Secondly, everything looks huge. I found it very hard to adjust at first and kept missing things like door handles as I thought the door was closer than it actually was. Thirdly I spend all day pushing phantom glasses up my nose. I must have been doing this hundreds of times a day and it's hard wired into my brain.

I went to a party in contacts over the Christmas period and got quite a few (mostly positive) reactions, ranging from "hi Ellen I didn't recognise you at first but I'd know that cleavage anywhere", through "I assume you got contacts or LASIK or you would be covered in bruises from bumping into things" to "you look lovely" so I'm happy I finally decided to try them again.

Oh and as I type this, for those of you in the UK, if you tune into "Come Dine With Me" on E4 there's an Indian lady contestant with very strong glasses, probably at least as strong as mine.

Guido 31 Dec 2015, 17:09

Thanks for the input.

specs4ever 31 Dec 2015, 09:16

Guido, I think you are right on with your idea for your right eye. For your left eye I would suggest lowering the distance prescription by about a diopter. Keep the astigmatism the same.

I am sure some of the others will give you some input as well, but that is just my suggestion. Trifocals would take 50% of the reading vision for the mid point, but in your case the eye doctor would likely increase your add to +2.50 and then your mid point would become +1.25. However I don't think you want to rush into any stronger reading add than you really need.

Guido 31 Dec 2015, 08:44

Probably a Cactus Jack question. Current Prescription, OD -4.75,-0.75 31, Add 2.25; OS -4.75, -1.00, 48, Add 2.25. PD 66, Date of script 22Oct2015. I work for a CPA during the tax season commencing Jan. 15. I went to the optometric office that did my refraction to see if the optician could do what I wanted. He said not without seeing the Dr. Time prohibits. What I would like to do is to have a mono-vision pair of glasses to be able to read source documents close up, and then enter said info into a computer program. As my right eye is dominant, I would guess that something close to a single vision reading script would be appropriate to my right eye i.e. -2.50, -0.75, 31. What would seem to be an appropriate script for my left eye at arms length? Is an adjustment of the PD indicated? I had a pair of specs that I used like this in the past, but the script became so outdated that they have become pretty unusable. If someone knowledgeable about such things could give me some guidance, I could do one of the mail order glasses places on the cheap. I understand the inherent risk, and am willing to absorb. has some pretty cheap frame choices. If further information is required, please ask, as I pretty much check the board regularly

Steven 31 Dec 2015, 04:33

Yes I am liking the clarity I can see now with them, and yes lights are much clearer with them in especially at night but also during the day.

I am off to watch football again this Saturday with friends and am driving as it's an away game. This will mean I will need my glasses especially when it gets dark, as my vision is so much clearer. I guess the best way is to turn up with them in when I pick them up, then I can also wear them gwen watching football if I need to.

Dave 30 Dec 2015, 10:30

Hi Steven -- Well, it looks like you appreciate the extra clarity of your new low minus glasses. I have a nearly identical prescription and am not a full time wearer. That said, I do enjoy them for nighttime driving and sometimes for television viewing when I am sitting quite a distance from the screen. I also like to be able to read the pedestrian countdown lights sooner when I'm driving at night. I see a lot of young people wearing glasses with very low minus prescriptions and sometimes attribute it to their desire to be fashionable. Wear your glasses whenever you want to. It's up to you -- at least at this point, although I doubt you will ever have any significant increases. Let us know how you are getting on and Happy New Year!

Crystal Veil 30 Dec 2015, 07:38


it can be worse. My prescription is L +2.75 / R: 0; c-1.50. This difference is when opticians start advising contact lenses but I always kept at wearing glasses.

EyeTri 30 Dec 2015, 07:10


My youngest sister has glasses that are about -1.0 for her right eye and about +1.50 for the left. She told me that when she orders glasses via the internet they always call her to make sure that she didin't make a mistake filling in the order.

Melyssa 30 Dec 2015, 05:52


My prescription is exactly twice the strength of yours, at -9.00 in both eyes, but I have that major mess of astigmatism (+3.00). Before my vision stabilized at age 36, I always had a difference in diopters between my beautiful baby browns of up to 1.00. My very first RX at age 8 was -1.75/-1.50. My mother had a big difference in her RX.

Soundmanpt 29 Dec 2015, 17:35


So you kind of messed up my name a bit? Soundproof? Really? Anyway at -4.50 in the optical world your considered to be "moderately myopic" I would think you should come across others with a similar prescription as you. In fact your friend that let you try her glasses on isn't all that much different. At least one eye anyway. If you would have held your hand over the lens in her glasses that has the -2.50 lens and looked only through her -4.00 lens you should have been able to see nearly perfect with her glasses. Just a tiny bit weaker than your own glasses. So since you didn't know that it is not only possible but really very common to have different prescriptions for each eye I assume that you have somehow always had the same prescription for both of your eyes whenever you needed new glasses? Actually that is kind of rare. Usually you might have the same prescription for both eyes for a while but then need a slightly stronger lens for one eye or the other from then on. So if you were trying her glasses on I assume she was trying your glasses on as well? Now in her case i'm sure she found that her -2.50 eye couldn't focus very well with your glasses but in her case if she were to hold her hand over her -2.50 eye and only use her -4.00 eye looking through your -4.50 lens she would have really liked that because she would have been seeing even better than she can with her own glasses. she has what is called "unbalanced" eyes meaning that the difference between her eyes is -1.50. With her glasses she is able to see perfectly well just like you with your glasses on. But when she takes her glasses off the blur is much more noticeable to her in her -4.00 than her -2.50 eye. The longer she has her glasses off the more her brain will start to ignore her -4.00 eye if she is looking at something a short distance away. Of course when you take your glasses off the blur is very equal for you. Your not able to see much but what your able to see you see the same way. If you happen across someone that has just a little stronger glasses than yours and you try them on I bet you will really enjoy that. The eyes naturally like some over correction so if you were to try on glasses that were -5.25 in both eyes everything would look very intense and super clear and sharp. Yes your right anytime you try on someone's glasses that have astigmatism correction your not going to like them very much because like you say they only mess things up if you don't have astigmatisms.

Erica 29 Dec 2015, 15:15

Soundproof, Im shortsighted -4.50 in both eyes and have to wear my glasses all the time. I thought I would be able to see with her glasses but didn't know you can have one eye different prescription. Is it better to have the same prescription eyes or dosnt it matter so what you need glasses anyway? Yes it is intresting when you try other people's glasses on I know my eyes are bad but some are a real mess when they also have astigmatism, am I lucky just to be shortsighted -4.50?

Cactus Jack 29 Dec 2015, 09:11


I still think you need to just get the commentary over with. One of the best ways to deal with that is to poke fun at yourself if you can. Being able to publicly laugh at yourself can effectively take all the fun out of making you the butt of a joke. A little joke on yourself is also a good ice breaker for public speaking.

A pitch is pretty big and I doubt you can recognize a specific player on your team if they are more than 10 to 15 meters away. Of course you can probably identify them as a member of your team by the color of their shirt.

I don't know if this would work, but you might try showing up wearing your glasses and going up to the person most likely to make some snide comment and say something like "So that is what you guys really look like. Without these, I probably could not have recognized you across the street."

Actually, you probably should NOT wear regular glasses. playing football (soccer) because of the risk of damage or getting them knocked off and broken. You have managed to play without vision correction and you should be able to continue. If you find you need to see better, Contacts are a possibility and Sports glasses are also a possibility. I would have to believe that there are other football players who need vision correction, you need to ask around.

Another thought to consider. You don't wear vision correction for the benefit or with the approval of others (except for driving). You wear vision correction for YOUR benefit. You don't need anyone's permission to see well and wearing glasses or not wearing glasses is your choice. Glasses are just tools to help you see better. You can drive a nail with your hand, but it is a lot more comfortable and less body to use a hammer.

I wish you the best. Please let us know how you are doing.


Steven 29 Dec 2015, 05:15

I think it was because I had no choice really with my family, and as they all have glasses it wasn't so bad. Most of my friends don't need glasses so sure they will joke about them more, and I can still get by without them!

I play football so do need to see distances of the pitch so should be okay, I guess if I'm struggling contacts would be the option for just playing sport!

Cactus Jack 28 Dec 2015, 18:11


With your prescription, your vision starts to get fuzzy beyond 1 meter. Do you think that would be a factor in your preferred sport?

I don't think I have asked if you have any Astigmatism as evidenced by Cylinder and Axis in your prescription. Astigmatism can mess up your vision at all distances and make even mild myopia, worse.


Cactus Jack 28 Dec 2015, 17:56


I am disappointed. You are over the biggest hump with your relatives. I would almost be willing to bet that your friends know you need glasses and will be relieved to know that you finally got them. Try wearing your glasses at lunch with a friend, preferably one who wears glasses, an observe his/her reaction. I'll bet they will think it is no big deal. You are still Steven, who just happens to wear glasses now, thank goodness, it is about time.

I am always amazed that New Glasses wearers think that no one noticed their vision problems. You telegraph the symptoms constantly when you strain to read scoreboards, menu boards, and White boards. If any of your friends have vision correction, they will spot the symptoms in a flash..

Wearing vision correction for sports depends on the game. Some people wear contact lenses or sports glasses or just go without.

If you are a Lineman playing American football, you could probably would not need glasses to see that hulk opposing you. If you are a Quarterback or Receiver, you need to be able to see your target and the ball from some distance away.

If you play Basketball. you need to be able to see the basket from a long way away.

If you play Soccer, it helps to see the ball from a distance, but if you are the Goalie the ball is coming at you. I have a young friend who was born without lenses in his eyes and is severely cross eyed. His corrected vision is 20/60 and 20/100. He wears very high PLUS glasses and cannot fuse the two images even with prism correction in his sports glasses. He uses the left eye to see to the right and the right eye to see to the left. He can see the ball coming at him and he WILL NOT let it get into the net, period. His attitude makes up for his poor vision. He also has a teammate who is cross eyed, but has 20/20 vision. He is a deadly shot and he can put the ball exactly where he wants it. The opposing teams hate to play them because they cannot read what they are going to do by watching their eyes.

Some people wear contact lenses for sports or just go without

What sports do you like to play?


Steven 28 Dec 2015, 15:04

I have been wearing my glasses still, but did chicken out of wearing them in front of my friends. I went to watch a football match and could see it ok without, but did have trouble seeing the scoreboard on the other side of the ground. I didn't have my glasses with me as was still bit nervous to wear them with my friends and the jokes that I'm sure would be made!

I am finding that my eyes are now feeling less strained after wearing them and not as tired at night, I assume this is my eyes being more relaxed with wearing them?

I was also wondering what sort of prescription people would start to need glasses or lenses playing sport?

Soundmanpt 28 Dec 2015, 10:27


Based on your comments it seems like you must have the exact same prescription in both eyes? Like you notice for your friends glasses many people need a different prescription for each eye to correct their vision. Now it is also possible that when you need new glasses that you may need a different prescription for each of your eyes as well. I looked back trying to find where you posted your own prescription but wasn't able to find it. I was curious how close your friend's -2.50 / -4.00 is to your prescription? If your glasses are weaker than -2.50 than her -4.00 lenses was probably much too strong for you. But if closer to her -4.00 lens then her -2.50 lens was too weak for you. But it is always interesting trying on someone elses glasses and comparing them to your own. Your right that someone that only has a prescription for one eye and the other eye is still perfect can either wear glasses with correction only being in the one eye and the other a plano lens. Of course only needing correction in one eye would save on the price of contacts since only one would be needed.

Erica 27 Dec 2015, 14:42

I'm shortsighted in both eyes so is blurry when not wearing glasses. I know some one that's shortsighted but has different power lenses she said her good eye she can make things outs when closes her bad eye but when both eyes open can't see. She was with -2.50 -4.00 i tried her glasses on it felt strange. I seen people wearing glasses to corect just one eye but is better to wear 1 contact lens is this common?

Cactus Jack 27 Dec 2015, 08:34


Typically the Subjective part of the exam starts with the Right Eye shutter open and the Left Eye shutter closed.

Step 1 is typically determining the cylinder and axis of any Astigmatism correction you need. This is actually the hardest part of the exam because you will be asked to judge relative blurriness of two images rather than the sharpness of an image.

You will be shown a line of text and a supplemental lens will be rotated into place. This lens is a cylinder lens that is mounted on a 45 degree pivot and can be flopped back an forth to bracket a trial axis or orientation of the long axis of the cylinder lens. The thing that is confusing about this test is that the straight lines (strokes) of the letters will alternate in clarity as the lens is flipped back and forth depending on their direction. I suggest concentrating on an “O” if possible. Depending on your answers, the examiner will adjust the axis knob unit the image you see is equally blurry with the supplemental lens 45 degrees each side of the selected axis.

At this point the Examiner will probably swing the supplemental lens out of the way and may change the cylinder power while asking you which lens in clearer.

You may be uncomfortable, for your first exam, asking the Examiner to let you fine tune the axis, but I have found that most will appreciate your wanting to actively participate. The way that works is that he will place your hand on the Axis control knob and you move it back and forth a few degrees of the sharpest image, this time.

The next step is determining the Sphere correction. This is an easy part of the exam because all you have to do is pick the sharpest image, but there is a tricky part. Your auto-focus mechanism will try to help, if it gets a chance. The Examiner has a couple of ways to minimize the action of your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses.

The Examiner can in effect sneak up on your Sphere prescription or he can use drops to Dilate your eyes. Lets talk about sneaking up on your prescription first. There are actually 4 lenses in your eye’s lens system. All of them are PLUS lenses and the total power is about +56 diopters. The only variable focus lens is the crystalline lens whose PLUS power is controlled by your ciliary muscles. For distance, your Crystalline lens is fully relaxed and has somewhere around +15 diopters. When you focus to read, your Ciliary Muscles squeeze the Crystalline lens to increase its PLUS power by the amount necessary to focus which depends on the distance to the object.

This will take a little thought to get your mind around, but if you are nearsighted, your lens system has too much PLUS for the distance from the lens system to your retina and you need MINUS lenses to neutralize some of that excess PLUS power. You ONLY have the ability to increase the PLUS power of your lens system. You have NO ability to reduce the PLUS power of your Crystalline lenses more that fully relaxed.

To try to keep your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses from getting in the act, the examiner will start with NOT ENOUGH MINUS or TOO MUCH PLUS (same thing) and gradually increase the MINUS one or two steps at a time, while reducing the size of the line you are asked to read. He will not tell you what power lens or what line you are looking at. Eventually, he will reach the 20/20 line and a lens power that lets you read it with no mistakes.

He will then follow the same procedure with your Left Eye.

When he has completed both eyes, he will open the shutters and you may see two images. This part of the test is to check your muscle balance using some prisms. He will probably ask you to tell him when the two images are aligned horizontally and then vertically. While the images are separated, you have an important check to make. Compare the sharpness of the two images. If they are not equally sharp, be sure and tell the Examiner which image is clearer. If there is a difference, he will likely reduce the sharpness of the clearest image until they match. The important thing at this point is that they match. That lack of sharpness will be corrected in the next phase with both eyes working together.

Next he will fuse the images so both eyes are working together and repeat the Sphere procedure by gradually increasing the MINUS or decreasing the PLUS until you see the smallest line of letters very clearly.

That pretty much completes the exam except for checking your near vision with a small chart about 14 to 16 inches from you.

Cactus Jack 27 Dec 2015, 08:30


An eye exam is not like an exam that you might take in school and there is really no way to study for it. However, you can prepare for it and learn about your role in the exam. The best eye exams are a team effort between you and the Examiner. Part of the preparation is to learn what to expect, particularly if this is your first eye exam.

One important thing you need to keep in mind is that the Examiner has no way to experience what you are seeing. He/she has to depend on your answers to questions.

There are two parts to an eye exam. The first part is the Objective part. This part consists of:

1. Taking a Visual History where you describe your vision and the kinds of problems you are having.

2. Checking the internal pressure in your eyes for symptoms of Glaucoma. This is one of the very few parts of an eye exam that is even mildly uncomfortable and the discomfort only lasts for a few seconds. There are two basic ways to do the pressure test.

A. Using a special instrument to lightly touch your Cornea. Not to worry here. Before doing this type of test a drop of mild anesthetic will make sure you don’t even feel it.

B. There is a new type instrument that uses a puff of air directed against your cornea. No anesthetic is required, but the puff will startle you. The puff of air is harmless and there are huge benefits of detecting Glaucoma early before it can do damage.

3. Obtaining a preliminary estimate of your refractive error using an Auto-Refractor, or manually by using a small hand held instrument called an Ophthalmoscope or Retinoscope.

The Auto-Refractor is a relatively new instrument that was developed in conjunction with NASA to check Astronauts vision in space. You look into the machine with each eye individually at a scene or a pattern and the machine will adjust its internal lenses to focus the image you see on your retina. The Auto-Refractor only takes a few seconds for each eye and it then prints out your estimated prescription.

Some Examiners prefer to use manual methods that have been used for many years. Using an Ophthalmoscope or Retinoscope and a Trial Lens set or a Phoropter (a fancy machine with a built in lens set), the Examiner will look into your eyes and select the lenses that allow him to see your retina, most clearly.

The object of this part of the exam is to get a starting place for the Subjective part of the exam where you have to describe what you see.

To be continued

antonio 27 Dec 2015, 04:16


it depends on the difference between your both eyes

and how much it is, normally it is worth,

although the difference is very small,

what´s it in your case ?

best regards,


Erica 27 Dec 2015, 04:02

I know what's it like being shortsighted I have a prescription. Is it worse to have different prescription each eye?

Cactus Jack 27 Dec 2015, 00:06


Congratulations, you are over the toughest hurdle. Now all you have to do is let your brain get used to working with high quality images while you enjoy seeing well. I think you will discover that being able to see clearly without effort is worth it.

Welcome to the world of good vision. Let us know if we can answer any more questions.


Steven 26 Dec 2015, 11:03

Yes cactus jack that makes sense.

I ended up wearing my glasses more than I had planned to over Christmas with the family. I hadn't told them about them so wasn't planning on wearing them, as I was still getting used to them myself. My parents have a fairly small television which I had never had any issues with before, but I noticed this time I was struggling a bit to see words on on on credits and things. I think my mum noticed this so I had to say I had recently got glasses so I ended up putting them on and wearing most of the day. My brothers and sisters obviously made some jokes, but not too many as I was the last person in the family to need glasses. I guess now having my fily know and seen me in them I should be more confident in wearing them.

cactus Jack 24 Dec 2015, 17:40


Yes. Check item 2 or my post on 22 Dec. Vision occurs in the brain and it is used to correcting the blurry images from your eyes, without glasses. With your glasses the correction process was not necessary and your brain stopped doing it for the time you were wearing your glasses. When you took off your glasses, you got a glimpse of what your brain has been working with. It did not take long for the old "image processing program" in your brain to go back to work correcting your vision.

Remember though, your brain can only correct things that it knows. It cannot correct new images with unfamiliar content. Your glasses can correct everything with no additional effort on your part.


Steven 24 Dec 2015, 10:55

Hi I got my glasses yesterday and wore them today as I was going on a long drive. They defiantly made things clearer and my eyes felt more relaxed and less strained with them on. I did notice that when I took them off things appeared more blurry than before without them, but this cleared up after a few minutes. Is this normal?

Cactus Jack 22 Dec 2015, 10:36


It is common to be apprehensive about wearing glasses in public or among family and friends. I suggested wearing them full time for 2 weeks, before deciding when to wear them for 3 reasons.

1. The best way to get over the apprehension is to "bite the bullet" and wear them. There will be maybe two days when you will have some comments, but it is really no different that getting a hair cut or a new hair style. You just have to discover that wearing glasses makes no real difference. Often, people who know you are relieved that you finally got glasses. Other people really do notice that you are having difficulty seeing even mildly distant things such as Menu Boards, Faces, or small signs, clearly.

2. Vision actually occurs in the brain, your eyes are merely biological cameras. Your brain is used to correcting the blurred images (if it knows what something is supposed to look like). Wearing glasses will relieve your brain of that extra work, but it will take a few days for your brain to become accustomed to working with high quality images. Many people believe that wearing glasses has made their vision worse, but that is not actually true. What has happened is that your brain has reprogrammed itself and is no longer trying to correct the blurry images of objects beyond about 1.5 meters or about 5 feet.

3. Because having low myopia is like having built in reading glasses, it is very tempting to not wear your glasses for close work, but that is a two edged sword.

It is likely that at 30, two things are occurring. Presbyopia is creeping up on you and by not wearing glasses, your Ciliary Muscles (focusing muscles) are getting out of condition and becoming weaker. Wearing your glasses for closer work may initially seem uncomfortable until your Ciliary Muscles get stronger, but not wearing your glasses may effectively speed the need for needing focusing help for closer work.

In the final analysis it is up to you when you wear your glasses. The only exception is those situations where you need really good distance vision, such as driving.

I hope this has been more helpful than confusing.


antonio 20 Dec 2015, 08:19

Hi Steven,

If they are only for far, that means you haven't any astigmatism, good idea to take them off for long computer work and extensive book reading, if you feel comfortable doing that without

Best regards , antonio

Steven 20 Dec 2015, 00:08

Hi thanks for the replies. I am a bit apprehensive about going out in public wearing glasses, I did go on Saturday and found a pair I think I suited so just have to wait for these to be ready.

When you say wear them fulltime to get used to them, does this mean also while on the computer at work? Will this not affect my sight more as I was told they were for distance?

Cactus Jack 18 Dec 2015, 21:30

Astigmaphile and Steven,

Yes, I thought I typed Macrae's Story. In fact, I am pretty sure I typed Macrae's Story. I am not immune to typos that have one or two wrong letters or maybe two letters in a word reversed in order, but not that much. The only culprit I can thing of is an errant spell checker.

Thanks for allowing me to clarify the name of the story.


astigmaphile 18 Dec 2015, 19:29

Cactus Jack,

Did you mean Macrae's story, or am I mistaken?

cactus Jack 18 Dec 2015, 18:59


Maybe I can help with the meaning of your prescription and that will help you decide if you want to get glasses or when to wear them. This may get a little technical so bear with me.

Glasses or Contacts correct for refractive errors. The glasses prescription is the opposite of the refractive error. In your case, the prescription of -0.75 in one eye and -1.00 in the other means that your refractive error is +0.75 in one eye and +1.00 in the other. If you wear glasses or contacts your refractive error is 0.00.

In some respects being a little Myopic or short sighted it is like having built in weak reading glasses.

The formulas for optics were codified a bit over 300 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton. In practical terms, without correction everything you see with the -0.75 eye that is beyond 1.3 meters or about 52 inches is increasingly blurry. Everything you see with the -1.00 eye starts getting fuzzy beyond 1 meter or 39.37 inches.

I think you would benefit from wearing glasses, particularly at night, but as has been said by others, the choice is pretty much yours.

Have you decided to order glasses?

If you have or have not, we can help you order inexpensive, high quality glasses online.

If you decide to get glasses, I would suggest that you plan on wearing them full time for 10 days to 2 weeks and then decide when to wear them. You will be apprehensive about wearing them for about 2 or 3 days until everyone gets used to your wearing glasses and that will be the end of that.

If you want to read a very funny series of posts about the experiences of one of our members, please check out

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Marcie's Story

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. Welcome to the club!


Soundmanpt 18 Dec 2015, 15:55


With your optometrist telling you that "you should wear them for driving especially at night" she is saying that you likely can't pass the vision test for driving now without glasses. Even though your driver's license won't show a restriction the fact that you have been told to wear your glasses or driving still means that you need to be wearing them day and night for driving. If you were to get involved in any kind of accident where an injury may occure and they found out that you prescribed glasses and weren't wearing after being told that you needed to wear them it could be a very serious problem for you. I think once you get your glasses you should notice that your eyesight is better with with your glasses anyway. I'm not sure if where you live if you have to renew your driver's license every few years or not, but if you do I your most likely not going to be able to pass the vision test and then it will be on your license at that time.

Dave 18 Dec 2015, 13:17

Hi Steven:

You have a very mild prescription and probably could pass a California vision test required for a driver's license. That said, you will notice a bit of extra clarity during the day and more at night when your myopia becomes a bit more acute. I'd use them for driving at night or whenever you feel a need. There are no rules. Your work has probably created this minor myopia. You might want to take regular eye breaks from your computer and look into the distance which may prevent your eyesight from worsening. Let us know your response to your new glasses.

Steven 18 Dec 2015, 12:01

I had my eye exam this lunchtime, and I was told I would benefit from a pair of glasses. The optician gave me a prescription on -0.75 and -1.00. She said that should wear them when driving especially at night.

Should I be wearing when driving in day time, and also when else should I wear them?

Steven 15 Dec 2015, 08:24

Hi Cactus Jack,

Thanks for your comments. I have booked in for an eyetest for this Friday lunchtime. I thought it would be best to get my vision checked and see what correction I may need.

Melyssa 15 Dec 2015, 05:44

Getting back to the "Blue Light Special" with Christmas lights, I noticed something interesting over the weekend. When blue lights are the only color, such as on an entire house or an evergreen tree, they are a lighter shade and easy to see. But the regular blue lights that are mixed in with the green, red, and orange ones seem small in comparison to the other colors, with red and orange looking the biggest.

One exception was the menorah with eight long blue-and-white lights plus a small white night light on top -- those were very easy to see Sunday evening through my tortoise shell drop-temples -- as the menorah was on my kitchen windowsill. :)

Cactus Jack 14 Dec 2015, 18:25


The fact that you recognize that you are having vision issues is important. At the very least, you need to find out what is going on. The odds are that it is simply a mild refraction problem that is easily corrected with glasses.

After thinking about the symptoms you described, it is very likely that you have some mild Myopia or shortsightedness and possibly a bit of Astigmatism. The only way to tell much about any refractive error you have, is by getting an eye exam.

If you are like most adults who have made it this far without glasses, you are a bit apprehensive about wearing them. A few things to remember.

1, Glasses are simply tools to help you see better, comfortably and effortlessly.

2. People typically do not notice the lenses themselves, only the frames.

3. Carefully chosen frames can enhance your appearance.

4. You do not wear glasses for the benefit of others unless your vision is such that you cannot legally drive without your glasses.

5. People you know may comment about your glasses and want to try them. That will only last a day or two. After that, they may comment if you don't wear them.

If you decide that you would like to get an eye exam, let me know. We can chat some more and I have a few tips that you might find interesting.


Steven 14 Dec 2015, 13:07

I live in England.

I actually tried on a colleagues glasses at work, which she had recently got for driving and distance. I could tell a difference with them things looked sharper and colours a bit brighter. I guess this means I will be fit from getting my eyes checked.

I'm not sure how I feel about needing glasses as haven't had to think about needing them till now, I not sure if I will suit then or not.

Cactus Jack 14 Dec 2015, 11:22


I forgot to ask you where you live. The answer could affect my suggestions.

I suspect that you need some vision correction. Particularly at night.

If it turns out that glasses would be helpful, what do you think about wearing them?


Steven 14 Dec 2015, 00:26

Hi I'm 30 and work in an office, so spending of the day on a computer.

Cactus Jack 13 Dec 2015, 16:51


You really did not offer enough information to offer any suggestions. Information that would be helpful include:

Your age?

Your occupation?

I suspect you are viewing the Christmas lights in low ambient lighting conditions, such as after dark. Many vision issues become noticeable in low light that are not a problem in bright ambient light. The reason for this phenomenon is that in low light conditions your pupils open up to let in more light - think of the iris on a professional camera. When the iris or pupil is wide open, the depth of field or range of useful focus distance gets narrow. In bright light, your pupils contract which increases the range of useful focus.

I suspect you have developed some mild vision problems and should probably schedule an Eye Exam. Be sure and tell the examiner what you are experiencing. If you want to do a simple test, try looking at the Christmas lights through one of the holes in a button with each eye individually. If the lights are sharper looking through the button hole, it is likely that you have a correctable vision problem.

Please let us know what you decide to do and the results.


Steven  13 Dec 2015, 10:15

Hi I'm a new poster here. I don't wear glasses or thought I had any vision problems until the last couple of weeks. I have noticed that with Christmas lights seem to be blurry and I don't really seem to see them as individual lights. Is this normal or could it be a sign I may need glasses, as a part from that I haven't noticed any problem with my vision. I last had my eyes tested about 2 years ago and had no issues.

Likelenses 05 Dec 2015, 18:30

I have never seen so many high myopic cases discussed as here.

glassesforeveryone 25 Nov 2015, 02:38

Very interesting video on measuring prism...

glassesforeveryone 24 Nov 2015, 12:23

I've realised that I think I've always had the deviation, but it's only been diagnosed/dealt with recently.

When I was younger and had been drinking my vision would split. I figured that's what everyone felt like with a few drinks in them. Now I realise that this was my squint manifesting itself.

I do tilt my head a little to the same side in photos... Another sign I guess.

I am interested as to how far it will go eventually, especially the idea of having thick lenses on the outside if I end up with 10 dioptres each eye.

glassesforeveryone 24 Nov 2015, 11:59

Thanks Cactus Jack, that's reassuring.

Cactus Jack 24 Nov 2015, 11:45


Don't worry about anyone noticing the slight displacement caused by the Base Out prism. The actual pupil displacement, which is what people notice about at the eyes is about 0.1 mm per Prism Diopter. With a low plus prescription you would have to wear over about 10 to 15 BO for anyone to notice.

What people tend to notice is the increased outer edge thickness with BO prism, but with most lenses and low index it only amounts to about 1 mm per Prism Diopter increase at the outer edge of the lens, Edge thickness is more noticeable in MINUS lenses than PLUS lenses.

The important thing is to have comfortable vision with both eyes working together at all distances. Difficulty in keeping the two images from your eyes fused is extremely annoying and distracting. If your eye positioning system is having to work extra hard to keep the images fused, particularly when tired, you need to let your ECP know and ask for an increase in your prism correction. You actually have a pretty long way to go before anyone but and ECP or an OO would notice.


glassesforeveryone 24 Nov 2015, 07:06

I have got prism in my glasses. I started at 1 base out in the left eye only.

This progressed to 1 base out each lens and then 2 base out each lens.

I had a test today and have been prescribed 3 base out both eyes.

R +.75, -.25, 21 +1 3 Out

L +1.25, -.5, 165 +1 3 Out

I am a little concerned that people will see that my eyes cross a little. What I did notice is that the machine the optician was using was dialled in at 5 base out in each eye when we had finished that part of the test and I could feel that she was reducing it when asking me to read from the chart, so I wonder what my eyes were saying they wanted? I would imagine they were up at about 8 base out each eye.

I know all the reasons why opticians don't give the full requirement and this time I am happy to be under-prescribed because I don't want to end up obviously cross-eyed.

I am 40. Does anyone have any advice on whether my prism will increase with each visit in the future?

Thanks (also posted on Vision and Spex)

MisterMild 21 Nov 2015, 17:53

An epidemic of myopia:

Melyssa 21 Nov 2015, 09:15


I am rather nearsighted, to say the least, at -9.00. When I was a lot of many decades younger, I read a lot, but I never held the books close. I also played outside a lot, but that did not make my vision better. Even so, I can derisively thank my parents and grandparents for being nearsighted and passing those ancestral aberrations to me. Of course, having about 50 pairs of big, bold, and beautiful glasses, along with a husband who absolutely adores me in them, helps me cope quite a bit. :)

Likelenses 20 Nov 2015, 21:36


Minus six is pretty strong,and without correction you do not see much.

There are different thoughts as to why people become myopic. It is most likely genetic,but there is strong evidence that excessive close work can bring it on,or worsen it.

There is one thing that many believe can help,and that is to pay close attention to close work,and reading habits.You should try to read at no closer than twelve inches,and no closer than twenty inches for computer work,and that would be with glasses on.Many myopes find this difficult to do because they are used to large images without glasses,and they hold the work very close,and then when they get glasses the lenses make the images smaller,so they tend to want to hold the work close,when they should be pushing it farther away from their eyes.With glasses on they think that the images are too small,even though they are perfectly clear.

Claire 20 Nov 2015, 18:03

Yes is it bad -6.00?? Why are some people shortsighted and others have perfect vision? Is it how we look after our eyes or is it inherited?

Soundmanpt 19 Nov 2015, 11:57

Very LTLurker

Thank you for the kind words and no offense was taken. Actually I even began to doubt myself when I looked through this tread and didn't find anything. But I was pretty sure the -6.00 came from somewhere. So I was determined to find it and hoped that it somehow wasn't deleted maybe.

Very LTLurker 19 Nov 2015, 10:40

Thank you Soundman for clarifying this.

I would add that as the name suggests, I have oft dropped in on the site, so I was not doubting your integrity, but as I couldn't see anything on the thread that gace the detil, I wondered if a post had got lost in the ether or as you helped with to point me to the starting point.

Was not trying to offend.

Best wishes and thanks

Soundmanpt 18 Nov 2015, 17:37

Very LTLurker

I knew I didn't make that up and I was right. Look back at the "Post your Prescription" thread (Claire) 08 Nov 2015 11:34.

Very LTLurker 18 Nov 2015, 15:44

Forgive me if I am missing something, but I read

Soundmanpt 08 Nov 2015, 18:18


At -6.00 your well in range where lasik should easily bring your eyesight back to normal

Claire 08 Nov 2015, 11:49

When you first find out your shortsighted and need to wear glasses that's it you will be stuck wearing them. Eyes just kept getting more shortsighted so just happy to wear glasses in the end. Is sad when you can't see without glasses right??

Now for the life of me, I can't see where in Claire's first post, there is mention of her being -6.00. Is there a thread somewhere else where Claire provides this information?

Likelenses 14 Nov 2015, 21:46


Minus six is a great prescription,although I do prefer minus nine or greater.

My girlfriend is north of minus nine,and I am minus ten and a half.

Is your prescription still increasing?

Claire 14 Nov 2015, 14:31

I'm shortsighted -6.00 is really bad have to wear contacts or glasses all the time. When i first found out i needed glasses i said i wouldn't wear them but that didn't last long. I don't know how i so bad shortsighted every time i had my eyetest would get worse and need new glasses. I read that if you parents are shortsighted then you will be too so i guess it was going to happen.

Likelenses 08 Nov 2015, 20:49


What is your prescription?

Most of us here love girls in glasses,especially strong ones.

Soundmanpt 08 Nov 2015, 18:18


Yes it's true that once you become nearsighted (shortsighted) your eyes won't even change back to perfect vision again on their own. Of course if you dislike having to wear glasses and don't like contacts getting lasik is always an option. At -6.00 your well in range where lasik should easily bring your eyesight back to normal if you don't object to spending the money. You just have to wait until your eyes become stable for at least 18 months which will happen at some point. Most often somewhere in your early to mid twenties. But for some people they don't have any problem with wearing glasses and are even happy that they need to wear glasses. Melyssa the woman that posted just before you did has wore glasses for many years now and yes at first she didn't like wearing glasses but now she has made wearing glasses a fun thing for her by having around 50 different pairs in her prescription which she enjoys wearing several different pairs every day.

Claire 08 Nov 2015, 11:49

When you first find out your shortsighted and need to wear glasses that's it you will be stuck wearing them. Eyes just kept getting more shortsighted so just happy to wear glasses in the end. Is sad when you can't see without glasses right??

Melyssa 04 Nov 2015, 13:45


I also had a lot of astigmatism to deal with (still do). If your daughter has that, then contacts might not be easy to get, even though she probably is too young at this point for them. I was never able to handle them, so I have worn glasses for 51.5 years. My friend Kate started wearing glasses at age 10 (cat's-eyes like most of us girls), switched over to contacts in her mid-teens, and got Lasik (BOO!) early this century.

I was none too thrilled having to wear glasses for the first twenty years of my referee-like vision, but then I bought my first pair of drop-temples and I really liked how they looked on me, and I still have most of the oldest pairs in my current collection.

For sunglasses, I used a huge pair that fits over (just about) any regular pair of my glasses, needing them only for driving. As for makeup, even with the add, I can see what I'm doing in the mirror if I am just about up against it. :)

NJ 04 Nov 2015, 11:41

Tracey, just wanted to mention that, to my knowledge, no one here is professionally qualified to give you or your daughter medical advice. We're just a bunch of optical geeks who sometimes pretend to know more than we do. If you have specific concerns you should talk to your daughter's eye doc.

Regarding the claim that your daughter's ciliary muscles--those control the variable focus of the eyes--will be weakened if she reads without her glasses, there's not much evidence to suggest that's true. For one thing, even reading without glasses she's likely to hold the material at varying distances from her eyes, so that in itself will exercise her muscles.

There is some evidence that wearing bifocals at a young age will slow the progression of myopia, but the effect is not large. Again, that is something that you should discuss with your daughter's eye doc.

...just my $0.02's worth (as a medical professional but not an eye doc).

Soundmanpt 04 Nov 2015, 08:05


It would seem clear that since both you and your husband are quite nearsighted that like you say she didn't have much of a chance of avoiding glasses. Since your eyes seem to a bit less nearsighted than your husband's eyes you probably want her to have your genes of course for her eyes. Taking care of contacts properly is so important to good eye health that I really think she is better off for now anyway wearing her glasses and once you see how well she is able to take care of her glasses, which need for less care, then maybe when she about the same age as you were when you got contacts she should be more prepared to take care of contacts. Not to mention at 14 she will probably be quite interested in boys and much happier if she wasn't wearing glasses everyday. Of course even then I would not push her if she is okay with wearing glasses and doesn't care to wear contacts. But at 8 years old probably too young for contacts to even be considered. Keep us informed as to how she likes her glasses and how well she adjusts to wearing glasses.

Tracey 04 Nov 2015, 05:53


My husband comes from quite a nearsighted family. He is around a -13, his sister I think is a -9 and the in-laws wear pretty thick glasses as well. My father in law takes off his glasses and shoves whatever he is trying to read right into his face! Having said that, I'm also quite nearsighted, so I guess she has no chance does she?


It looks like she will end up with a prescription similar to yours (especially taking into account my vision and that of my husbands).

I just hate the thought of her not being able to see without the crutch of glasses or contacts from now. I hated mine growing up, it was annoying. Patting my nightstand for them in the morning, not being able to wear sunglasses, kissing was super awkward and putting on make up was near impossible.

Like I said before, she is a very active little girl. Would contacts be a good option at her age? I only got them when I was 14, I think she might be a bit young. She is getting her glasses tomorrow, will see how we go.

bracesfan 04 Nov 2015, 01:08


Sorry, but the calculator is pretty inaccurate. It´s just a toy. It can´t be accurate sourcing from only one small word trying to find edge of blur and focal length. It´s just a formula calculating "ideal" prescription from estimated focal length. For correct determination you just need to examine each eye separately and follow medical and optical needs. So you can´t také the "overcorrection" or "undercorrection" seriously.

Cactus Jack 03 Nov 2015, 22:19


You did not mention if your daughter's -1.75 was her complete prescription in both eyes. There can be other factors that full time wear more comfortable and more desirable. Most particularly Cylinder and Axis correction for Astigmatism. Astigmatism can make text hard to read at all distances and dictate full time wear.

If your daughter's complete prescription is -1.75 in both eyes, you can think of her myopia as having "built in" +1.75 reading glasses. That would make reading closer than 60 cm or 22.5 inches, very comfortable without glasses, but it has the downside of not exercising her Ciliary Muscles (focusing muscles). Normally, the Ciliary Muscles are the strongest muscles in the body for their size, but like all muscles they need exercising to keep them strong and in condition. It is likely that her Ciliary Muscles are out of condition and initially, she may have some headaches with her glasses while reading.

Sometimes, ECPs will under correct children for their first glasses to minimize discomfort while focusing close with their glasses. On rare occasions, it is necessary to temporarily fit bifocals until the Ciliary Muscles get used to doing their job.

Many years ago we had a 16 year old from Greece who got his first glasses with a bit over -3.00 for distance (have no idea how he managed that long without glasses). When he got his glasses, he discovered that he could not focus to read or use the computer. He went back to his ECP and was prescribed bifocals, but he still could not use the computer. At our suggestion, he went back again and was prescribed trifocals because his Ciliary Muscles were so weak. That solved the immediate problems, but I have no idea if he was ultimately able to condition his Ciliary Muscles and no longer need the trifocals because we never heard from him again.


Julie 03 Nov 2015, 20:49


Thank you for posting the calculator. You said that your prescription was accurate and your girlfriend was underprescribed. I have tried it at different times during the day as recommended. According to the calculator, I am overprescribed.

Were you able to get results e-mailed from your second posting?

Melyssa 03 Nov 2015, 12:39


I got my first glasses about age 8, and my prescription was -1.75/-1.50. Whether or not I should have worn them full-time, I only wore them to see the blackboard in school, to watch movies at Ye Olde Cinema, or to watch TV at home. At age 16 I went full-time, and my prescription continued to rise until reaching -9.00 in each eye by age 36, and not acquiring an add (now at +2.50) until I was 48. There is no way to know how your daughter's vision will go (and if I knew, I would be winning lotteries). Soundmanpt makes a good point in letting your daughter go sans glasses for close-up activities, but it is really up to her to figure out what would be best for her vision and comfort.

Soundmanpt 03 Nov 2015, 10:23


Your correct in thinking that a -1.75 prescription is a bit on the high side for being her first prescription. But it is what it is and there isn't anything you can do about it. To be honest her glasses are already at about the point where most people would be considering wearing their glasses full time. I think once she gets her glasses she is very quickly going to find that she wants to keep her glasses on all the time. You won't be doing her nay good by trying to restrict how much she wears her glasses. Truth is anything more than just a few feet away is going to be blurry for her if she doesn't have her glasses on. She isn't doing any harm to her eyes by wearing her glasses full time if she feels more comfortable having them on. Her eyes aren't going to get any worse wearing them than they will if she didn't wear them at all. The only thing you may want to try and have her take her glasses off when sh is doing a lot of close work such as studying or reading. That may be of some benefit to her. At this point there is no way to predict how much change her eyes are likely to experience through the coming years. You might be better able to make a bit of a guess after she has had a few increases to get an idea of the rate of increases and carry those numbers out until she is around 22 years old. But even that would only be a guess. Also you can use your husbands and your prescriptions as a basis as well. But you seem to to feel like she may have her dad's genes for her eyes so I assume if you wear glasses yours must be much weaker than his? I'm afraid you can only let nature take its' course with her. But remember she is only 8 by the time she is a young woman who knows what may be available to her that could bring her vision back to 20/20 if she doesn't want to wear glasses or contacts.

Tracey 03 Nov 2015, 09:08

My 8 year old daughter has just been to the eye doctor and we found out that she is nearsighted and need -1.75 lenses. I guess this is to be expected with my husband's eyes but still can't help but feel disappointed.

I have read that limiting her to only use her glasses when she really needs it can help slow the progression of her nearsightedness down. I'm worried for her eyes as I've been told that -1.75 is a pretty high prescription to start off with especially at her age but at the same time I want her to be able to see clearly to do the things she likes (she is a very sporty person!).

I know that it is going to get worse as she gets older but is there anything I can do to help prevent her eyes from getting worse? What prescription do someone who starts off wearing -1.75 end up with? I just don't want her to be dependent on corrective lenses for vision like her parents.

Julie 31 Oct 2015, 22:08


I was hoping for scores with my glasses and without my glasses on the second site that was sent but never received any score. I did get a result from the calculator.

Did you and your girlfriend receive a scores from the second site?

Likelenses 31 Oct 2015, 21:20


What were your results,and what is your present prescription?

Mine tested out to my exact Rx,and my girlfriend tested at a -1.00 undercorrection.

Julie 31 Oct 2015, 20:00

Interesting calculator. Interesting result.

Likelenses 31 Oct 2015, 19:39

About the most accurate online vision test I have found.

Likelenses 31 Oct 2015, 19:14

Pretty accurate calculator/

KL 26 Oct 2015, 14:13

Not sure if this is the best place to post this, but here goes. Blog entry speaking up about the lack of social acceptance for glasses.

Puffin 19 Oct 2015, 03:41

I was in the Post office just now: whilst standing in the queue, I noticed a strange flashing or fluttering at the top of my vision. Uh-ho, retina problem? I thought.

No, it was a reflection on a bit of metal on the ceiling of the guy behind the counter counting out money.

I suppose that's to expect when you know about these things!

Slit 15 Oct 2015, 12:31

Vanity---try the multi-focal contacts. They work well for me.

Vanity 12 Oct 2015, 13:21

I was told a bit over a year ago that I should wear glasses for close. Vanity got the best of me, so I got a contact lens prescription, and wore a +1.25 in one eye only, and that worked great. I could easily see distance and close, and without the contact in could still see close. Now I am having difficulty without the contact in. I can see close with difficulty with the "contactless" eye, but can't focus at all with the eye that wore the contact. I went for an exam, and now he tells me I should wear -0.50 in each eye for distance, with an add of +2.00. I am curious to know why he carefully checked the acuity of each eye for distance, but only did the close for both eyes together, and although my close vision is very different between my eyes the prescription is the same? Can anyone explain that? Meanwhile I think the vanity will have to go!! into bifocals!!

Frank 07 Oct 2015, 21:29

Hi CJ and Kris,

Thank for the explanation, CJ. It allows me to calculate the deviation myself. 1ish mm should indeed not be visible, so it appears I could still receive an increase without it being too obvious. I am tempted to do that (but not full correction) for bad days or after sports (double vision) or after moderate alcohol consumption (eye muscle pain). But before going ahead with this I will try in how far plus lenses can make a difference in reading.

So far my first ECP generally used the XOX test at near to measure the deviation (probably because I mostly had problems at near), and the second one used a cross test at distance (two lines that he brought in alignment using prisms). I found the latter test much easier to perform and it provided better results.

Unfortunately, I recently moved and am reluctant to find a new ECP, which involves starting from scratch and only allowing situational measures. I will eventually need to go there again, but I would like to try to improve my visual comfort by ordering secondary glasses with varying prism prescriptions depending on need and hopefully gain back more muscle control.

Wearing prisms for a longer time have given me a stronger ability to consciously 'let go' (which is helpful for measuring the deviation). I think that is somewhat what you (Kris) are experiencing. Your eye muscles seem to have relaxed over time and make it harder to fuse images. Another aspect I only realised when doing CJ's prism test was that I have constant double vision when looking left and right without glasses. I didn't know that before. I have some control of the distance between the imags, but not fuse them. I don't notice that when wearing glasses, obviously because of the correction but probably also because my relatively large frames block vision in one eye beyond a certain angle. Anyway, that was a surprise: I thought this should be the same at all angles....

Thank you again for your help. Any suggestions or experiences are welcome. I will continue to report about mine.

Kris 06 Oct 2015, 23:42


Let us know how the testing goes as per CJ's suggestion. I agree that the vision issues are variable and sometimes hard to replicate in an ECPs office. I was prescribed prism based on the symptoms I reported (double vision and a lot of eye fatigue). In fact, I think my near add is as high as it is because my my strabismus issues weren't addressed earlier. Kind of like your increase in sphere prescription. The testing involved my ECP trialling different lenses to see what I found most comfortable. On a previous exam, he used a prism bar to see what my eye turn did, but I had denied any major issues with double vision (definitely played down the issue for him). When I finally went in to complain about the double vision He explained that he was going to give me the minimum prism to keep me comfortable, but definitely let it be known that this was only a starting off point and that my need would go up.

I'm concerned because I've noticed a recent increase in double vision after only a few months with my current prescription. I've been travelling for work, have been attending a lot of presentations (which is when I've traditionally had the most issues with my vision), and am over tired. I'm hoping that this settles once I get back into my normal routine. I don't want to have a noticeable prism prescription (as cactus has alluded to) and am not prepared to get new lenses (again) this year. I would like to have some stability in my prescription.

Let us know how retesting goes and what your ECP says when you see him again. I may try some vision exercises when I have a chance and am interested in how you find different interventions work for you.

Cactus Jack 06 Oct 2015, 16:47


Splitting the prism between the two eyes is LESS noticeable because each eye is turned inward the same amount. Even with 8 BO in each eye the angular displacement is only about 4.5 degrees each.

If we apply the definition of a Prism Diopter the displacement at 1000 mm (1 meter) the displacement would be 80 mm (8 cm). At 100 mm, the displacement would be 8 mm. At 10 mm, the displacement would be 0.8 mm. It is all proportional.

The center of rotation of the eyeball is the center of the sphere of the orb. A typical eyeball is about 25 mm in diameter with the cornea protruding slightly from the circumference. If we used 15 mm as the radius of the eyeball, and the proportional numbers above, the lateral displacement of the cornea would be approximately 1.2 mm when wearing 8 BO. Few people would notice that.

I the smallest amount of Prism that I wear is 7/7 BO, but sometimes have to wear substantially more to keep from seeing double. Even with 13/13 BO the only thing most people notice is the edge thickness of my glasses. I wear metal frames so there is no attempt to hide the thickness.


Cactus Jack 06 Oct 2015, 16:47


Splitting the prism between the two eyes is LESS noticeable because each eye is turned inward the same amount. Even with 8 BO in each eye the angular displacement is only about 4.5 degrees each.

If we apply the definition of a Prism Diopter the displacement at 1000 mm (1 meter) the displacement would be 80 mm (8 cm). At 100 mm, the displacement would be 8 mm. At 10 mm, the displacement would be 0.8 mm. It is all proportional.

The center of rotation of the eyeball is the center of the sphere of the orb. A typical eyeball is about 25 mm in diameter with the cornea protruding slightly from the circumference. If we used 15 mm as the radius of the eyeball, and the proportional numbers above, the lateral displacement of the cornea would be approximately 1.2 mm when wearing 8 BO. Few people would notice that.

I the smallest amount of Prism that I wear is 7/7 BO, but sometimes have to wear substantially more to keep from seeing double. Even with 13/13 BO the only thing most people notice is the edge thickness of my glasses. I wear metal frames so there is no attempt to hide the thickness.


Cactus Jack 06 Oct 2015, 16:47


Splitting the prism between the two eyes is LESS noticeable because each eye is turned inward the same amount. Even with 8 BO in each eye the angular displacement is only about 4.5 degrees each.

If we apply the definition of a Prism Diopter the displacement at 1000 mm (1 meter) the displacement would be 80 mm (8 cm). At 100 mm, the displacement would be 8 mm. At 10 mm, the displacement would be 0.8 mm. It is all proportional.

The center of rotation of the eyeball is the center of the sphere of the orb. A typical eyeball is about 25 mm in diameter with the cornea protruding slightly from the circumference. If we used 15 mm as the radius of the eyeball, and the proportional numbers above, the lateral displacement of the cornea would be approximately 1.2 mm when wearing 8 BO. Few people would notice that.

I the smallest amount of Prism that I wear is 7/7 BO, but sometimes have to wear substantially more to keep from seeing double. Even with 13/13 BO the only thing most people notice is the edge thickness of my glasses. I wear metal frames so there is no attempt to hide the thickness.


Frank 06 Oct 2015, 16:14


you are right. It should have been 16 (6 that I wear + 10 that I measured). You are suggesting that 8 pdptr on either side is hardly noticable. I must note that I suspect that my left eye is the one drifting in. If think about correction, should one still split that or wear it on the side of the deviating eye?

You are writing that prescriptions up to 10 pdptr are hardly noticable. From observation I find that even lower prescriptions become noticable when seen from an angle since the eyes will not turn to an equal degree.

I will try the +lens approach to prevent accommodation, and share my results.

Thank you for your comments.

Cactus Jack 06 Oct 2015, 09:18


I am not clear on how you arrived at 26 prism diopters if the displacement range you measured was 8 to 11 cm at 1 meter. I am wondering if you were confused by the fact that I asked Kris to divide his measurement in cm by 3. That was because his target was at 3 meters rather than 1 meter.

The definition of 1 prism diopter is 1 cm displacement at 1 meter. The reason I usually suggest doing the test at a distance farther than 1 meter is to try to avoid the convergence effects of trying to focus on something close.

You might get more accurate results at 1 meter by wearing your glasses and adjusting the results for the prism in your glasses. Ideally, you could assure ciliary muscle relaxation by wearing +1.00 reading glasses over your regular glasses. +1.00 reading glasses may be hard to find but +1.25 might be OK if you can read the displacement with them.

The reason that it is hard to fuse the images after the test is that your Rectus muscles are under constant stress to maintain fusion, without full correction and like any other muscles, they like to be relaxed. However, full relaxation and correction may not be a good thing because you do a lot of close work with computers. If you are fully corrected, your Rectus muscles will have to converge even more to fuse the close images. Also, In some ways, maintaining excessive convergence may have a similar effect as happens to your Ciliary Muscles where Latent Hyperopia is involved. Over convergence may make it difficult for your Rectus muscles to relax for distance vision and fuse the images. This can lead to more prism for distance and even more convergence to fuse close images, in a vicious spiral.

BTW, If you do the trigonometry related to the definition of a prism diopter, it turns out that it is a tangent function of 1cm/100cm = 0.01. The Arctangent (angle whose tangent is?) of 0.01 is about 0.57 angular degrees per diopter. Some people worry about wearing prism because of their concern that whey will appear cross eyed. My experience has been that up to about 10 prism diopters in each eye is very hard to detect unless you really know what to look for. BO Prism is easier to spot in Minus lenses because of the increased edge thickness, but not as noticeable in Plus lenses.

I hope this helps. If there is anything that you don't understand, please feel free to ask for a better explanation.


Frank 06 Oct 2015, 04:25

Hi Kris and CJ,

pardon for the late response. I don't always have the opportunity to respond immediately.

I followed CJ's advice performed the strabismus test. For practical reasons I performed it from a distance of about 1m. But since my major concerns are in reading distance, that may perhaps be an option. But I was surprised by the results: the observations (of two days) vary between 8 and 11 prism diopters depending on fatigue level and time of day. I must say that performing those tests was quite relaxing and my eyes felt very comfortable, but handling this double vision is obviously impractical. That means the prism range will be around 26 pdptr in total. (When observing my eyes I must say they were noticably crossed in this position.) I could not determine any vertical deviation.

I would prefer avoid this amount of correction, but what would be the easiest (and affordable) way of testing it, other than fresnel prisms? I think online shops do not offer such prescriptions.


I agree, training your muscles may not have an impact on your ultimate need, but it will make you comfortable with different prescriptions. Recall the relaxation when you got your first prism correction, but also how quickly it vanished after a few days, and instead made operating without correction hard or impossible. I would just hope that a reduced correction would lead to more overall comfort. This matches my experience with the tests. After relaxing my eyes for those few minutes I found it hard to maintain fusion for the rest of the evening (despite wearing my 6 pdptr correction).

By the way, my ECP did not suggest and ophtalmologist or any other specialist, but I should think about that next time I perform a test. I haven't done so in roughly two years, but I am admittedly not particularly comfortable performing those tests, since they depend on the situational performance. Everyday vision is more variable in my view, especially when it comes to eye alignment.

Which tools or tests did your ECP use to diagnose and determine your strabismus?

Soundmanpt 05 Oct 2015, 10:25


It probably just means that her eyes have changed a bit and she needs a new prescription in her glasses. It could even be that she may need bifocals? Hard to say for sure until she gets her eyes examined.

OnLooker 05 Oct 2015, 07:49

My wife has been a +1 hyperope for a few tears now with a light astigmatism . She had to do a lot of close up work on the pc screen for 7hrs percent dqy. Recently she staft d complaining that her glasses are bothering her. I wonder what that implies or means... Anyone to explain please

Kris 04 Oct 2015, 19:28

Have you asked you ECP about seeing an ophthalmologist. I had inquired about seeing one and my ECP was dismissive. He didn't provide a great explanation and I'm wondering what other ECP's think about it.

I also put glasses on as soon as I get up in the morning and I can't really say how my vision compares at that time compares to later in the day. Before wearing prism I would wait until I'd had my shower to put my glasses on, but now don't even want to go without for that short a period of time.

You commented that you feel that it's your fault you are having more problems lately, but in the limited time I've been wearing prisms I feel like the choice is wearing full time or being very uncomfortable. I agree that it may be worth trying a lower prism prescription, where possible, to keep the muscles trained. I do wonder how much difference this will really make in my ultimate prism need, but you never know.

Are you having an eye exam soon? It would be interesting to find out what your ECP's opinion is on your issues.

Cactus Jack 03 Oct 2015, 23:53


I posted this Simple Prism Test on the Vision and Spex site a while back. You may find it useful to check out that site under the last topic in the list under Prisms.

I have had several requests for the following test for prism correction.

It is not hard to measure the amount of prism it would take for full correction. All it takes is some adding machine or cash register tape, a marking pen, some painters or masking tape (ideally with very weak "stick-um" for easy removal) and something to measure distances.

It is a little easier to work with metric measurements, but you can do it also with inches and feet. You just have to do a little more math for conversions between the two.

This test is based on the definition of 1 prism diopter as: "That amount of prism that will deflect a ray of light 1 cm at a distance of 1 meter (100 cm)".

Ideally, this test is done without any prism correction in your glasses, but you need to be able to see some calibration marks on the adding machine tape with reasonable clarity. If you can't see the marks without glasses, you can still do the test, but you must account for the prism in the glasses.

1. Select a fairly blank wall that you can attach the calibrated adding machine tape to, using the painters or masking tape.

2. Decide where you will stand or sit while doing the test. Between 3 and 4 meters or 10 and 14 feet works best. Measure the distance from that location to the wall selected in Step 1.

3. Calculate how much displacement 1 prism diopter represents at the distance measured in Step 2.

4. Using the marker, mark the adding machine tape with major divisions 5x the distance calculated in Step 3 and optional minor tick marks at 1 prism diopter intervals. The marks need to be big enough to see easily from the distance in Step 2. You might want to identify the major divisions as 0, 5, 10 etc. Note: Some large bold markers will bleed through the adding machine tape and permanently mark the surface you are using as temporary backing for the adding machine tape. Test and take appropriate precautions to prevent damage by the marker ink.

5. Attach the adding machine tape, stretched out horizontally, to the wall selected in Step 1.

6. On another short piece of adding machine tape mark an arrow lengthwise and attach that piece of tape to the wall, vertically, so the arrow is pointing at 0.

You are ready to do the test.

7 Place yourself at the location selected in Step 2, let your eyes relax so you see double and note where the "0" arrow appears to point in the displaced image. Try this test several times during the day and at varying degrees of fatigue. Make a note of your results.

8. If you are wearing glasses with prism, adjust the readings in Step 7 for the total prism in the glasses.

This test will work with horizontal prism (Base Out or Base In) or vertical prism (Base Up or Base Down) by the placement of the long tape and short tape. Often both horizontal and vertical prism exist at the same time.

Note: It is sometimes difficult, if small amounts of prism are involved, to tell if the prism correction needs to be Base Out or In, Up or Down. You may be able to tell by noticing which way the images are displaced when you block the eyes alternately. For example, if you cover the right eye and the image from the left eye is on the left, you probably need more Base Out.

Please Let me know if you have any questions and if this works for you.


Frank 03 Oct 2015, 22:43

Hi Kris and Cactus Jack,

thank you for your responses.

I didn't have any eye problems as a child, but started wearing glasses for reading in late school years. But I pretty much immediately went full time. Around 10 years ago an optometrist proposed I should try wearing prism correction (2 BO) since he suggested they weren't fully aligned. But I didn't really have problems, so did not follow that advice.

However, in the last few years I got problems with reading again (I work as developer in the IT industry). The ECP did not want to increase my sphere and instead prescribed me 2 BO prism, which somewhat helped. A year later I went to a different ECP and he increased my sphere by 0.75 and the prism to the current value. I must admit I had never seen as good in my life. But he warned me that the deviation would be likely to increase but suggested that I would be able to maintain fusion. However, now, after a few years, my eyes have gotten adjusted to the prism correction and I started to see double more and more. But that was probably in part my own fault, since I wear glasses all the time. I wouldn't imagine not wearing them even at home other than showering.

Looking back I would have preferred to first ECP to try increasing the sphere first (to eliminate that component - similar to what CJ suggested now), before moving on to prism, which I was very used to already before actually getting a plus sphere increase.

Cactus Jack:

Both ECPs used subjective refraction, but had different lighting conditions. ECP 1 had a dark room, ECP 2 had a dimly lit room. My suspicion is that I show lower plus sphere values at night (i.e. are a bit less far-sighted) than at day time. Could that be part of the solution? I still notice that I have worse vision at night (probably too strong at night), but very comfortable vision at day time.


I am also very interested to see how far the prism correction would go. When I first open my eyes in the morning, the images are way off - way stronger than I have throughout the day (my estimate is around 25cm/meter). So that seems to be the fully relaxed position, but I have no way of accurately measuring this. But that would possibly be part of the answer.

I generally put on glasses immediately before even bringing the images together - if I try to fuse the images without glasses I get a strong muscle pain that will accompany me for large parts of the day. But this is the point where I think training might help by simply using weaker prism corrections when permissible. I will just need to find out the prism steps. Or are there any alternative stick-on prisms other than the fresnel prisms (which cannot be used for reading anyway)?

cactus jack 03 Oct 2015, 19:31


The definition of a prism diopter is 1 cm deflection at a distance of 1 meter. Alloy need to do is divide the displacement you got at 3 meters by 3 to arrive at the prism required to fully correct. However, if the amount of separation is too much, your eye position control system will have trouble deciding how to position your eyes to help fuse the images and will often drift farther inward than you actually need. The numbers you got without prism indicate between 36 and 39 diopters at 1 meter, With your 4/4 BO glasses you should have measured about 28 to 31 diopters, but you got 23 to 25. That is because the 8 diopters of BO prism brought the images closes to fusion and your Eye Position Control System started helping. You probably not need Full correction, but you may find that wearing a bit more prism would help.

With your low PLUS prescription, you can probably wear up to about 10 BO in each eye without it being very noticeable, but you may have trouble getting progressives with that much prism.


Kris 03 Oct 2015, 12:26


I started with 2 BO prisms in a pair of reading glasses in the spring, but found I was getting a lot of motion sickness moving from prism for reading to no prism in my progressives. I still use those reading glasses at night, but went full-time with prism within a month or so of getting the readers. I started with 2 BO in my progressives and although I found improvement, I still had issues with double vision and went up to 4BO in my progressives in July. The readers with 2 BO are fine, but I suspect I would be better off with more prism in them as I sometimes find that the print starts to get a little fuzzy if I'm reading for awhile. I never really noticed double vision at near before wearing prism, but do know that I had a lot of issues with eyestrain. Since getting prism glasses, I've been reading a lot more.

I'm not really sure using less prism in my readers is helping to keep my prism needs stable, but I like to think it will help. I don't have lower prism lenses for my progressives, but suspect I would be uncomfortable wearing them for any length of time.

Like you Frank, I cannot maintain fusion at all with my glasses off and my eye instantly drifts in without glasses. This is a lot worse since wearing prism and I now dislike having to take my glasses off around others. I notice that when I look in the mirror through the distance part of my lenses my eye turns in, but through the add it does not. Frank, I think you may find an add helpful and it will make close work more comfortable. It was recommended that I needed an add when I first started wearing glasses at 38, but pride did not allow me to accept the recommendation for a year. Using progressives definitely made my vision more comfortable and reduced my issues with eyestrain.

I. too. find that I cover my eye when tired to avoid double vision. I accept that I need prism but would like to avoid going up too much on my script. I suspect that I will need more at some point, but if exercises help, I will consider trying them. I have tried going without prism when doing things around the house, but find my right eye watering and my eyes straining to maintain fusion.

I won't have another eye exam until next year when my insurance will pay for new lenses and frames. My plan is to get new glasses so that I will have a backup pair with prism. If I end up going up on prism, then I will try wearing the lower prism ones to see if that helps with stabilizing my prescription.

Do you know what the cause of your strabismus is, Frank? I had childhood strabismus, had corrective surgery and wore glasses as a young child but went years without seeing an optometrist (my current OCP tells me I should have been wearing glasses for years). I can always remember being able to see double, but the ability to re-fuse the images has worsened as I've gotten older (I'm now 44).

I would love to know what my true prism need is, but it's a lot trickier than the hyperopia prescription need. I struggle with understanding what sorts of issues with double vision I accept and when I need to consider more prism. I think I became so used to my vision issues, that I never really appreciated what comfortable vision should feel like.

Let me know how the exercises work for you. I'm considering trying them as well.

Cactus Jack 03 Oct 2015, 09:05


I need to think about your situation a bit, but I have a couple of thoughts and ideas to try.

I suspect your Hyperopia is probably fully corrected with little or no Latent Hyperopia.

Your Astigmatism may be a factor because it affects vision at all distances and your focusing system may try to correct the problem using your ciliary muscles and crystalline lens, which simply won't work for Astigmatism. Usually, Astigmatism is caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the Cornea and the only way to correct it is with glasses (best solution) or Toric Contacts (only works for some people, very hard to fit properly), or refractive surgery of some type

It seems to be common, that people who have Hyperopia to need close focusing help before the mythical age of 40. Presbyopia actually starts in childhood, but does not become a problem until you get older. If you are straining (maybe without your being aware of it) to focus to read or use the computer, that action could be making the inward turning worse. You can check this out pretty easily by simply trying a pair of inexpensive Over-the-Counter reading glasses, over your regular glasses. I would start with say +1.50 and see if that makes any difference. If it helps, we can offer some relatively low cost suggestions.

Having glasses with different amounts of Prism is reasonable because you need to do whatever allows you to maintain fusion to comfortably function. In general you should use the least prism possible, but comfortable functionality is the most important consideration.

There are 6 external muscles on each eye in 3 opposing pairs. They move the eyes left and right, up and down, and obliquely. The general term for what You, Kris and I have is Strabismus or more specifically Esophoria or Esotropia where the eyes turn inward. Often, it is referred to as Muscle Imbalance, but there can be other causes. Muscle Imbalance means that one of the muscles in the muscle pair is stronger than the other. The idea of the training, where the eyes have a tendency to turn inward, is to strengthen the outside (Lateral Rectus) muscles so they can better oppose the inside (Medial Rectus) muscles, but it is a slow process. The training won't help if the problem is in the control nerves or the Eye Motion Control Center in the brain.

I have a few more questions:

1. What is your occupation?

2. Have you consulted a Pediatric Ophthalmologist about this?


Frank 03 Oct 2015, 07:05

Hi guys,

thank you for your response.

I am 35 and live in Austria. I have been wearing + prescriptions for the last 20 years, with the most recent adjustments two years ago. Since I had problems reading, the script was intentionally slightly overcorrected. At the same time I got the current prism script.

Trying the exercises is a good idea. But I will indeed need prescription glasses for this as I can't maintain fusion if I focus on close objects or without glasses (I believe the astigmatism could be the issue here).

How about having a selection of prism prescriptions, so I could wear a weaker one for whole day (or at least as long as possible) instead or in addition to exercises? Kris, can you still wear weaker prescriptions than your 4 BO?

At least for me just leaving the prisms out is not an option anymore - I can only fuse the images with constant effort and as soon as I focus my left eye drifts off. In fact on bad days I have trouble maintain fusion in the first place, so I actually thought about getting stronger prisms for those occasions (when I need to concentrate but the eyes don't fuse properly -- in this case I tend to cover or close one eye to get things done). Did anyone try this variation of prisms to train the eye muscles, or is that pointless?

Kris, I don't have near add yet, but I am wondering if that could relieve the double vision when reading. Do you notice any difference in eyeturn when reading with or without add?


Kris 02 Oct 2015, 20:51


I have done the prism test procedure a few times. I checked today and without prism using an old pair of glasses the images are about 110-118 cm apart at 3 meters. With the current prism lenses the image is about 70-75 cm apart, but I can bring it back together. This is at the end of a tiring work week and a beer tonight. This is not far off the last time I checked. Before prisms images were 75-90cm apart with my old lenses.

I've followed the hyperopia thread for awhile (started wearing glasses about the same time Macrae posted, and started lurking on the site then) and have read your explanations on hyperopia. I believe that I've got my full hyperopia prescription as it has only had minor tweaks in the last few years. My presbyopia has drastically worsened in the last year (I seem to have the biggest decline in fall for reasons I don't really understand). I've gone from being able to read without glasses for short periods of time a year ago (with good light and a little arm stretching) to not really knowing which bottle is conditioner and which is shampoo in the shower and really struggling to make out words.

I also have a question about astigmatism. I had an eye exam by a student a few years ago. She started by taking a bunch of measurements of my eyes and shining a light into them and coming up with an objective measure of my prescription this way. She then did subjective measures with the typical "which is better" question. There was some comment about me not accepting my full astigmatism correction, but I'm not sure if this is a common occurrence. From what I could make out her calculation of my right eye script was 2.5 -1 or -1.25. I think I was using a +1.5 lens without astigmatism correction at that time. I can't remember what the left eye correction was although she had detected some astigmatism in that eye as well. Does this indicate that I may need more astigmatism correction at some point or do people often not need this fully corrected?

I am interested in trying the exercise you described but may not be able to do it for a bit as I am travelling for work all next week. Will see how it goes.

Cactus Jack 02 Oct 2015, 19:12


I apologize for not remembering your previous posts. I used to try to keep track of everyone, but it became too much of a burden.

Have you ever tried to do the prism test procedure I outlined on the Vision and Spex site? It uses the definition of a prism diopter to allow you to measure the actual amount of over convergence your have and therefore what you would need for full correction. However, full correction is often not desirable or necessary.

Have you read my explanation about how the focus control system and convergence are interrelated? Often, if a person with Hyperopia is under corrected, they will use their ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to supply the additional PLUS they require to see clearly. This focusing effort will trigger a convergence response and cause the eyes to turn inward.

The Vision training exercise that may be helpful, is to use a long piece of light rope (very light nylon works nicely) or heavy twine with a target object on it, perhaps a large bead. The idea is to loop the rope around a object perhaps 10 feet or 3 meters away and use the ends of the rope to move the "target object" away from you while tracking it with your eyes, Ideally without any prism correction in your glasses. You start with the target close enough so that you DO NOT see double and then slowly move the target away while maintaining fusion. If you break fusion, bring the target close enough to re-fuse the two images and do the exercise again trying each time to maintain fusion as the target moves farther away.

Please let me know if any of this sounds interesting or familiar.


Kris 02 Oct 2015, 17:24

Hi Cactus,

I've posted several times on the Hyperopia/Presbyopia thread about my need for prism. Things have been going well, but have recently noticed some signs that maybe my prism script isn't as stable as I'd hoped. I've had a busy, tiring month so hope some of the issues are related to that. I know I still work to maintain single vision, but find it easier to slip into double vision than when I first started with my current script. It's not troublesome and I can quickly re-fuse to single vision. I can't help but wonder if I can do something to stop my eyes from slipping into double vision and to help keep my prism script stable.

Cactus Jack 02 Oct 2015, 07:58


Welcome to the mysterious and confusing world of Hyperopia and Prism. Sounds like you and Frank have some of the same issues. While I don't have Hyperopia, sssI have been dealing with Prism issues for about 30 years. Will try to find time over the weekend to explain more about Prism and the exercises.

Have an eye exam in a few hours that will probably require dilation, so I probably will not be seeing well until tomorrow.

It would be helpful if you could also answer the appropriate questions I asked Frank.


Kris 01 Oct 2015, 19:06


I've been considering posting this question as well. I've only been wearing prisms full time since June and currently have 4BO in each lens (Prescription is L +1, R +1.75-0.5 and have a 2.5 add). Earlier this month I attended a number of presentations where I noticed that, when tired, I'd slip into double vision while watching although I could easily correct it. Then I spent a long weekend with friends, with too little sleep and too much alcohol. I found that by the end of the evenings I was straining to maintain fusion.

That made me realize that although I am much more comfortable since wearing prism, it doesn't take much to destabilize fusion and to start to see double. It seems like if I relax my eyes too much or focus too hard I start to see double. I'm afraid of tipping the balance I've had in my vision and having more and more problems with double vision.

I, too, have wondered if there are exercises or other things I can do to avoid going up on my prescription. I've tried wearing my old glasses that don't have prism, but find it uncomfortable and difficult to maintain fusion. I would be interested in others' experience in trying to avoid further increases in their prism.

Cactus Jack 01 Oct 2015, 08:01


You did not mention your age, which might be helpful. Also, it would be helpful to know how long you have been wearing glasses for Hyperopia (+ sphere). Your Astigmatism is a complicating factor, but usually not a big factor in your situation.

It is not uncommon for people who have uncorrected Hyperopia to also have some double vision problems, a form of Strabismus known as Esophoria and sometimes Esotropia. A somewhat inexact definition of Esophoria is where they eyes try to turn inward or cross, but you can fuse the images with effort.

In some instances, you may be able to do some visual training with a simple training aid you can build yourself using just a string and a brightly colored bead on the string, but you will probably need some glasses without any prism.

The problems you are describing can be very complex and depending on the cause, the training may be completely ineffective or will work, at least for the short term. If the training is ineffective, the only solutions are increased plus in your glasses, increased prism or possibly muscle surgery.

If you have your complete prescription, you can order some very inexpensive glasses from an online retailer such as Zenni Optical. We can help you with all of this if you are interested.

Here are the questions mentioned above and a few more.

1. Your age?

2. How lone have you been wearing glasses with + sphere correction?

3. What is your Occupation?

4. Where do you live? (country)


Frank 01 Oct 2015, 05:40

I have a question for prism wearers. Did anyone have success reducing the amount of prism over time?

My prescription is +2.5, cyl -2.00 in both eyes, along with 3 prisms BO on each side. Recently, I have noticed that when I get tired or drink alcohol I have strong muscle pain in my eyes and need to relax them by closing them. Then I see double without glasses and am generally unable to bring the images together (normally I see double as well, but I can fuse them with effort and for short times).

My question: Will it be possible to retrain the eye muscles to some extent by changing prescriptions in order to avoid increases (or at least have better control about my eyes)? My partner frequently accused me of looking through her, although I didn't, so I presume my eye alignment becomes visible.

Rather than increasing the prism right now, I am thinking about training the eyes by varying it? Right now I don't have any glasses with lower or without prisms anymore, so I can't test it, but I am thinking about ordering some. Without glasses I have a very fuzzy vision, close or far, so that is not an option.

Do you guys have any experience with varying prism prescriptions or how improve my eye control?

If you think I am wasting money by trying it, let me know. I guess I am already very used to prisms (wearing them for 3 years), and reading from the other stories there may already be no way back, but on the other hand, my values are quite low ...

Cactus Jack 29 Sep 2015, 13:28


I would suggest that you consider some bifocal computer glasses with the following prescription for the 32 inch distance for the display:

R +3.50 -1.75 102

L+3.75 -1.00 100

You need and additional +1.25 in the sphere for focusing at 32 inches.

You will likely need an ADD of +1.50 for a reading distance of 14 inches (an ADD of +2.75. However, you probably don't have much accommodation left, so I would suggest measuring the distance from your eyes to the Keyboard and the location of any reference material you might need to read while using the computer an let me recalculate the ADD to focus at that distance with the revised computer prescription.


Brian 29 Sep 2015, 13:06

Anneke, What is your prescription?

Anneke 29 Sep 2015, 12:21

My eyes have got worse again and now I need even thicker glasses. When will it stop? I am seventeen.

Stingray 29 Sep 2015, 09:32

I just got a new prescription and found out my computer glasses just don't do the trick any longer. Perhaps someone can come up with a new prescription for me based on the information below. I sit 32 inches away from the computer monitor. My new prescription is:

R +2.25 -1.75 102

L+2.50 -1.00 100

Add +2.75

Thank you.

Puffin 29 Sep 2015, 07:09

OK lets start again.

Say you're 10-12 years old. You have quite a bit of hyperopia which is undiagnosed. At the moment you're using your accommodation to avoid the problem at all distances. Everything seems ok.

You then get to your early teens and your accommodation has gone down a little, although overall your vision is good enough for distance, reading is becoming a problem - you get headaches, etc.

So you go to the Optician and he finds you've got a lot of hyperopia, which up until now you've got around by using your accommodation. You're prescribed a low plus RX with the expectation that this will increase as your cilary muscles relax. You wear these full time: they are not readers or for close work only.

I was just wondering if there was a way to predict the adult RX from this initial one.

Julian 29 Sep 2015, 05:06

>The scenario is that you've just run out of accommodation for use in helping you read closeup.

OK, but that Rx was for full time use. Is that likely?

Puffin 29 Sep 2015, 03:12


The scenario is that you've just run out of accommodation for use in helping you read closeup. So you get a low plus RX to start you on your way to your full RX. I just wonder if there's a strong correlation between that starting RX and the full RX? Enough to make predictions?

Julian 29 Sep 2015, 03:08

Puffin: I imagine a lot depends on whether +2.5 is the full extent of your hyperopia, or just the maximum Rx you're able to tolerate as an early teen. Couldn't it just be a starter while your eyes learn to relax into it, with a lot more to come before you're an adult?

Puffin 29 Sep 2015, 01:39

I don't know if it's possible to estimate this, but I've been wondering about the following scenario: lets say you're an early teen about 13yo with typical accommodation. You're diagnosed with hyperopia, and given say +2.5 lenses to look through full time.

It is possible to estimate roughly how much hyperopia RX you will have by the time you are a young adult, lets say 8-10 years later? Or does eyeball shape changes complicate things too much?

Cactus Jack 18 Sep 2015, 11:46


Yes, you can choose your prescription, within reason. It would be helpful to know:

1. Your complete prescription?

2. Where you live?

3. Your age?

It is very likely that if your present Sphere is around -5.00, your Sphere could be around -1.50 after the surgery. All that is necessary is to implant an IOL that has less PLUS power than your existing Crystalline Lens. Unfortunately, it is not possible to know the actual power of your Crystalline Lenses without the Ultrasound measurements I mentioned in a previous post.

It is important to choose the Prescription you want to live with from here on. Modern Cataract Surgery to replace your Crystalline Lenses with IOLs is very fast and very safe. It is possible to remove the IOLs after they are immolated, but that is a VERY serious surgery similar to the Cataract Surgery that was done many years age, before IOLs were invented. I think we need to talk about this some more. If you feel uncomfortable discussing this here, please feel free to contact me privately at


REd 18 Sep 2015, 10:46


My wife had cataract surgery a month ago. She had very high astigmatism ~ 5.

A toric lens cost $1200 more. We selected it; she has zero astigmatism. She needs glasses for reading only.

I had cataract surgery ~ 3 years; I did not choose to eliminate my myopia. Bad decision by me.

I hope this helps you

Corrine 18 Sep 2015, 10:27

Thank you Cactus Jack.

Do you mean I can actually choose my correction? I am reluctant to do monovision as I have sensitive eyes and think that might put me off balance. I am now about -5 or so, and can't function at all without my glasses. I also have astigmatism. The Dr I consulted with says that for an additional $1000 they can put in a lens that will correct that. Is he right or is that a hustle? Are you saying that a moderate distance prescription might leave me being able to read without glasses? How moderate? like -1.50?


Cactus Jack 16 Sep 2015, 22:43

Farsighted Boy,

Hyperopia and its causes and effects are confusing because the Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses get into the act.

Interpreting the results of this test are also confusing, even for me, and I have interpreted many. The problem is that corrective lenses are the reverse of the actual refractive error. Lets see if we can fumble our way through it.

The +1.50 readers did three things, they allowed your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses to relax as much as possible, (but we don't know if they were fully relaxed), they made you effectively nearsighted, and lastly brought your focal distance into a range you could easily measure.

The important thing is the 96 cm you measured. 96 cm is pretty close to 100 cm or the focal distance of a +1.00 lens. However, you were wearing +1.50 lenses. The effective total was +0.50 less than it should have been. If your glasses prescription is accurate the total optical sphere power of every element in the system is:

Your eyes -1.25, corrected by +1.25 glasses, and the +1.50 readers = +1.50

But the result you got was +1.00. That means that your eyes are probably about -1.75 and you should be wearing +1.75 sphere in your glasses to let your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses relax as much as they can, at this time. Hopefully, you are getting close to the end point where your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses are fully relaxed for distance and you have lots of effortless accommodation for close work.

Welcome to the joys of Latent Hyperopia.

I don't know what kind of arrangement you have with your ECPs, some will remake glasses at no charge if your prescription changes within a certain time period. If you are having to pay for each new prescription, I would like to suggest a low cost experiment.

Order some very low cost glasses from Zenni or other online retailer with the following prescription.

R :+1.75, -0.50 174

L:+1.75, -0.75 24

Notice that I only adjusted the Sphere portion of the prescription.

I asked where you live, but you said Suburbs, but did not say what country.

I live in Houston, TX and I just ordered a spare pair of glasses from Zenni for a neighbor. He is much more Farsighted than you are, +2.75 and +5.00. He is in serious trouble if something happens to his glasses. We picked a US$6.95 frame with standard lenses and the cheapest anti-reflective coating. The total with shipping was US$16.85.

He is accustomed to paying around $200 for glasses and he was skeptical about the quality of the glasses. This was a trial order to check his vision with the glasses. If he likes the optical results, he plans to order a pair with higher index lenses and a nicer frame.

Your prescription is low enough that you probably don't need very high index lenses, but an AR coating would be useful.

Please let me know what you decide to do and I will be happy to help you with the order. The only other things you need to order is your PD and a Credit Card. If you decide to get glasses with increased + Sphere, it may take a few days for your distance vision to clear up as it did with your previous prescriptions.

I hope all this makes sense. If you have any problems understanding it, please let me know.


Cactus Jack 16 Sep 2015, 21:36


Modern Cataract surgery involves removal of your clouded Crystalline Lens and replacement with an Intra Ocular Lens (IOL). I had Cataract surgery in 2001 and several of my friends have had the surgery more recently. My experience and theirs has been that it is about the nearest thing to a non-event type of surgery that you can imagine and recovery in all instances is almost immediate. That being said, it is still surgery and there is an element of risk, but you can minimize the risk and reduce it to near ZERO by carefully following your surgeon's instructions.

One of the really neat things about Cataract surgery is that you can almost choose what you want your prescription to be, after the surgery. However, you can't choose your EXACT prescription for two reasons. The first is that IOLs are only available in a range of +10 to +30 in steps of 0.50. The second reason is that your Eye Surgeon will use a painless ultra sound device to measure your eyeball and calculate the approximate power of your Cornea and what power IOL will give you the final prescription you want, but it may not be exact because the of the tiny dimensions involved. For example, refractive errors are about 0.3 mm per diopter, If you presently need -6.00 diopter glasses, your eyeball is about 1.8 mm too long.

It is even possible, in some instances, to fine tune your prescription after Cataract surgery using Lasik.

You will probalby need glasses after surgery for either distance vision or for reading. Many people who are nearsighted, as you are, choose to have their nearsightedness corrected so their distance vision without glasses is good. Others decide to only partially correct their nearsightedness so they can read without glasses, but still need relatively low prescription MINUS glasses for distance.

I chose what is called Mono-Vision where one eye is corrected to near 20/20 for distance and the other eye is about -1.50 for closer work. I can function pretty well without my glasses. If I need to get up at night, I can find and read a prescription bottle without my glasses, but if I want my vision to be really sharp at all distances, I put on my tri-focals. If I want to read a while, I have a pair of prescription single vision reading glasses.

I needed Cataract surgery on both eyes and I have to admit that I was very apprehensive (scared) about the first surgery. I had been told by other who had had the surgery that it was really Minor Surgery. Wrong! Minor Surgery is surgery on somebody else. But it turned out that they were right. The prep took longer than the surgery and there was no pain involved. The first eye was the one that was to be corrected for distance. The next day, I took that lens out of my glasses and drove myself to the doctors office so he could check for problems. There were none and I was absolutely delighted with the results. I could not wait to ask the doctor when he could do the other eye. The answer, two weeks, to make sure there are no problems. When the day came, I breezed into the Outpatient Surgery department and was not in the least apprehensive.

It has been 14 years and I have never regretted having the surgery for 1 second.

My friends were very apprehensive and wanted to wait as long as possible. I suggested that would be a mistake and told them of my experiences. They went ahead and are glad they did.

I hope your surgery is as "pleasant" as ours was and the outcome is what you want. Please keep us advised of your experiences. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.

May I ask where you live?


Farsighted Boy 16 Sep 2015, 20:54


Cactus Jack 16 Sep 2015, 20:37

Farsighted Boy,

What was the power of the OTC readers and confirm you were wearing them OVER your regular glasses with +1.25 Sphere in each eye.


Farsighted Boy 16 Sep 2015, 18:04

**sorry, i meant 96

Farsighted Boy 16 Sep 2015, 18:02

Alright so i'm a little confused about how to interpret my results. I got around 66 cm in my test. how much add could I assume I need with that result?

Soundmanpt 16 Sep 2015, 15:59


Interesting that you even have to choose one or the the other. My mother, may she rest in peace had cataract surgery as I recall about 25 years ago or more and at the time she wore bifocals even and they fitted her with permanent contact lenses that corrected her vision completely for distance as well as close up. Her vision was perfect and she was told that she didn't need glasses anymore. But because she had wore glasses nearly all her life she didn't want to be glasses free so they prescribed her a very weak prescription for distance which I would guess was maybe -.50.

But I think if you need to decide then I think you would be much happier with something for distance since your already used to that anyway and your glasses will look nicer than farsighted glasses will look.

But I would be very interested to know why they can't correct your eyes 100%.

Slit 16 Sep 2015, 15:20

Let us know how your cataract surgery goes.

Corrine 16 Sep 2015, 13:30

I am scheduled for cataract surgery next month. My current glasses are -4.5L an -5.00R. They have asked me if I want to wear glasses for close or far. How do I decide. How strong would such glasses be, for either close or far? What would the prescription be?

Likelenses 16 Sep 2015, 01:15


Some people have a low tolerance for blur produced by myopia,and it sounds like you are one of them.

It is probably best to wear glasses,or contacts all the time.

By next year your Rx will most likely be at -3.00 or so,and you will then find it very difficult to be without correction.

I don't think that your Rx will ever get stronger than -5.00,but there is a condition known as adult onset myopia that often begins in the twenty year range,and can continue to increase into later years.

Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2015, 20:46

Farsighted Boy,

This is a simple test that uses the most basic law of optical physics.

Focal Distance = 1 meter or 100 cm or 1000 mm or 39.37 inches, divided by lens power in diopters.

1. In a well lighted room, put on the reading glasses over your regular glasses. This will have the effect of making you optically myopic. The reason I suggest +1.50 or +1.75 is that will cause the focal distance to be convenient to measure accurately.

2. Hold the book (or newspaper) close enough so the normal fairly small text is clear.

3. Gradually move the text away from you until it just begins to become fuzzy around the edges of the letters.

4. Measure the distance from your eyes to the text.

5. Repeat 3 times and average the distance.

Using an inversion of the formula above, divide the distance into 1 meter or the appropriate unit for the measuring tool you used. To determine the effective power of the glasses you were wearing. For example, lets say that the text began to get fuzzy at a distance of 50 cm. That would mean that the effective power of all the elements in your artificial lens system was

100/50 = +2.00 diopters.

Ideally your glasses corrected your vision to 0.00, but if you were wearing +1.50 reading glasses over your regular glasses, the effective power of the combination was +2.00. That meant that your glasses were +0.50 stronger than you needed. If the distance was more than 66.6 cm it would mean that your glasses were not as strong as you need.

You should do the test early in the morning just after you wake up and late in the evening when you are tired and compare the numbers.

Please let me know how this works for you, have any questions, need help with the calculations, or interpreting the results.


Farsighted boy 15 Sep 2015, 20:14

Cactus jack,

Already have access to all of the above. Let me know. Im intrigued.

Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2015, 15:58

Farsighted Boy,

There is a simple test you can do to get a better idea which direction your Sphere prescription needs to go before you get an eye exam.

To do the test at home, you will need: +1.50 or +1.75 OTC Readers. A rule to measure about 20 to 30 inches or 50 to 70 cm. and a book or newspaper with regular sized print.

Let me know if you are interested and can get the above items.


Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2015, 15:46

Farsighted Boy,

Astigmatism is typically caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the Cornea. Hyperopia is caused by a mismatch between the total PLUS power of your eye's lens system and the distance from the back of the Crystalline Lens to the Retina. The typical total Power is around +58 diopters and the distance is about 17 mm. Hyperopia is typically caused by the failure of the eyeball to grow quite as much as it should have when you were growing from childhood. The distance error is about 0.3 diopters per mm. Hyperopia means the image is focused behind the Retina and you need additional PLUS to move the image up to the Retina.

The Cornea is the strongest lens in the eye's lens system and the uneven curvature causes it to have more PLUS power in one direction (short axis) than it does in the other (long axis). Instead of being shaped like a section of a perfect sphere, the Cornea is shaped like a section from an American Football. The difference in optical power causes the Astigmatic eye to have two focal points. This effect causes distortion that is particularly noticeable when reading text. The lines that make up the letters (strokes) can be either in focus or blurry depending on the direction of the stroke and the direction of the long axis of the cylinder.

Astigmatism is actually independent of Hyperopia or Myopia, but it can cause the actual focus distance to change, depending on the lens power for strokes projected on the Retina and their direction. This focus distance/power uncertainty causes your focus control system to work extra hard trying to do something that is impossible. Focus at two different distances at the same time.

BTW, Astigmatism changes very slowly. Unfortunately, the Astigmatism part of an Eye Exam is the most subjective part. Most prescription changes in Cylinder and Axis occur because of limited skills and experience on the part of the patient, but it is not the fault of the patient. It is the fault of the Examiner who does not explain the purpose of that part of the exam. I suggest that you check out the Astigmatism thread on the Vision an Spex website. I wrote and posted a procedure for improving the accuracy of Cylinder and Axis part of the eye exam.


Farsighted Boy 15 Sep 2015, 10:47

1) Its decent

2)It felt like it for a few days but I adjusted.

3) it is a bit blurry now but thats why I'm going back in. I think I may actually need yet another increase


Any comments on the astigmatism post I had just before I answered your questions?

Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2015, 09:42

Farsighted Boy,

Thank you. That relaxation rate is pretty much what I expected for relatively low Latent Hyperopia. I would say that you are pretty close now to your actual Hyperopia. Maybe another +0.25 or +0.50, but not much more.

The reason I asked you where you live is to get an idea of how difficult or expensive it would be to order glasses on line. You can get some very high quality glasses from Zenni Optical for a little as US$6.95 depending on the frame and lens, plus shipping, but some countries nick you pretty badly with customs charges.

More questions:

1. How is your distance vision with your current glasses?

2. Was it a bit blurry when you got your current glasses?

3. Still a bit blurry?

I may suggest ordering an experimental pair of glasses from Zenni with a bit higher Sphere and the least expensive frame and lens you like. It is very easy. You have your prescription and all you need is your PD. It is very easy to measure yourself with a bathroom mirror and a ruler calibrated in mm or by asking a friend to help you. We can help you with your order.

You might also consider some prescription reading / computer glasses to help with the close work and speed the relaxation process. We can tell you how to do that also.

4. May I ask your major?


Farsighted Bou 15 Sep 2015, 09:02

1. 21


r :1.25 -.5 174

L:1.25 -.75 24

3. student, so basically endless close work

4. 2 years

5. Starting prescription from 3 tests ago:

10 months ago:

R: .5 -.25 (about the same axis)

L: .5 -.25

7months ago:

R: 1.00 -.5

L: 1.00 -.5

3 months ago :


6: suburbs

Farsighted Boy 15 Sep 2015, 08:44

Ill answer your questions when i get around to it later, but while we wait, can latent hyperopia effect the amount of astigmatism one perceives or would that still be rather steady? Right now im mildly astigmatic as well but im wondering if my ciliary muscle were to fully relax, if that would go up or down.

Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2015, 08:11

Farsighted Boy,

Latent Hyperopia can be very frustrating. It is caused by self correcting actual Hyperopia, internally, over a long period of time. Of the 3 common types of refractive errors, Myopia, Hyperopia, and Astigmatism, Hyperopia is the ONLY one you can correct internally using your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses, often without your being aware that you are doing it.

If you don;t have any Astigmatism, the only real problem with internally correcting your Hyperopia is that is uses up some of your Accommodation Range, which is a measure of your ability to focus close for reading or using a computer. If you correct your Hyperopia using external Contact Lenses or Glasses, that frees your internal Auto-Focus system (your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses) so that it can do its intended job, rather than correcting your Hyperopia.

Latent Hyperopia is usually caused by the Ciliary Muscles inability to fully relax because they have been contracted for so long. Imagine holding a weight at arms length for days or weeks. When you could finally drop the weight, your arm muscles would have trouble relaxing so you could lower your arm. That is what has happened to your Ciliary Muscles. Dilation can help them relax, but most Dilating agents used today are designed to wear off very rapidly (in hours). There are some very long acting dilating agents that take days to wear off. Most Eye Care Professionals (ECP) are reluctant to use them because patients will not tolerate being unable to focus close for that period of time.

I would like to ask a few questions that may help estimate how long it will take for your Ciliary Muscles to fully relax.

1. Your Age?

2. Your Current Full Prescription?

3. Your Occupation?

4. How long have you worn glasses?

5. Your last 3 prescriptions with approximate dates. Don't worry if the prescription is not exact.

6. Where do you live?



Farsighted Boy 14 Sep 2015, 22:00

You guys have any tips on relaxing you eyes for an eye exam? Im slightly farsighted and my precription goes up basically every 3 months. My doctor says its due to my eyes continuely relaxing throughout the months basically due to what you all call "latent hyperopia." Dilating drops are supposed to do the trick but they dont work, at least not fast enough or something. Id like to be able to get a prescription that will last an actual year or so to save some money. Its getting ridiculous.

Andrew 14 Sep 2015, 09:49

George, it probably depends on your chosen sport(s). Football should be fine, running likewise, although if you prefer sports which involve a smaller ball and / or greater distances, such as cricket, the contact lenses would be a very good idea.

Andrew 14 Sep 2015, 09:49

George, it probably depends on your chosen sport(s). Football should be fine, running likewise, although if you prefer sports which involve a smaller ball and / or greater distances, such as cricket, the contact lenses would be a very good idea.

Soundmanpt 13 Sep 2015, 16:49


Your prescription is such that it can actually be different form one person to another with the very same prescription as you. So you may may feel like you really do need your glasses in order to play to your best ability and someone else may feel like they don't need their glasses at all and are able to play with their normal ability.

You need vision correction so yes of course you would be able to see better with contacts than if your not wearing anything. Only you will be able to judge that. I don't want to tell you to go out and spend another hundred dollars or more so you can get contacts and then have you come back and tell me that you that you wished you hadn't spent the money because you are just fine without any correction for playing football. Here's what I suggest, try playing a game first just to see how well it goes. Most optical shops will give you about 3 - 6 months with your glasses and if you decide to get contacts they wave the eye exam cost and only vharge the fitting of the contacts. So if you paid say $50.00 fro your glasses eye exam you probably will only need to pay about $35.00 $40.00 for the fitting plus the cost of some contacts. So you may want to call where you got your eyes examined and find out how much time you have before you would need to pay for an eye exam again as well. So what I am saying should have some grace time to decide if you need to get contacts or not. Maybe that will help you?

Dave 13 Sep 2015, 12:22


You can legally drive with that prescription so you might want to see how much better your vision is with correction before you attempt contact lenses. That said, you will notice an increase in clarity, especially at night which might be useful if you are playing sport in the evening. It's up to you.

George 13 Sep 2015, 11:03

Ok thanks for that. Do you think I would benefit with contacts for sport with my prescription, or do you think I would be able to cope with out?

Soundmanpt 13 Sep 2015, 10:37


What you heard is somewhat correct. The more you wear your glasses the more your going to notice when your not wearing them.

George 13 Sep 2015, 08:23

Thanks for the response. I was told I only really needed them for driving and distances like seeing writing on a tv screen, the prescription in -0.75 right and left -1.00.

I've heard that if you wear glasses yours eyes become accustomed to them and notice your vision being worse, so not sure if this would happen.

Soundmanpt 13 Sep 2015, 08:17


Look at it this way, You didn't just overnight become shortsighted so I assume you have managed playing football so far without glasses so I would think you should still be able to see well enough to continue playing without glasses. Without knowing your prescription it is hard to say for sure of course. But if you are going to be wearing your glasses full time your eyes will adjust to seeing with your glasses and you may find seeing without them on the blurry or fuzzy side. Your the only one that can determine if you need them or not. If you begin to feel like you need them I would suggest going for a fitting and maybe buying some throw away dailies just for playing sports.

Soundmanpt 13 Sep 2015, 08:08


Honestly I really don't think wearing contacts instead of just upgrading your glasses is the reason you now feel that you need full time correction. Your eyes changed from when you got your first glasses. That's why when you went back a year later you needed a stronger prescription. Your eyes change quite a bit in that years time. By the time you went in to get your eyes examined after that first year even with your glasses on your vision had to be rather blurry. So even if you had only gotten new glasses you may have tried to only wear them like you were wearing your first glasses but I think you would have yourself wearing your glasses more and more each day and rather quickly decided that without your glasses everything would be to blurry for you. In other words at -1.25 you can still pretty much get away with only wearing your glasses when you want to. But at -2.25 your eyesight is considerably worse and seeing more than a few feet is about as good as you can hope for without glasses or contacts.

If you had come in here last year when you first got your -1.25 glasses and asked if your vision would get worse or not I would have told you then that in 12 months you would need an increase in your glasses. My best guess would have been that your 2nd glasses would probably be in the area of -1.75 or -2.00 so I would have been close, just slightly off. And just as I said before, I really doubt that your going to need more than maybe a small increase over the next year or two and then your eyes should be stable from ten on. If you decide that you don't like wearing glasses or contacts and want to be able to see perfect again without correction you can always get lasik and you will be back just like you were before you started wearing glasses. But with a prescription like you have glasses can really be attractive and many young ladies now are even wearing fake glasses just because glasses have become so popular and now as mucha fashion accessory as being functional to see with.

George 13 Sep 2015, 07:39

Hi I just got prescribed my first glasses yesterday, I'm slightly shortsighted. I play abit of sport and was seeing if I would need them for playing football and other sports. Or would I be able to cope ok without.

Puffin 12 Sep 2015, 13:43

Or it's a question of how much annoying fuzzyness and squinting can the prospective adult wearer endure? Do you want to spend time and effort getting closer to things in order to read them? Or - wear the glasses and spend the time thus regained doing something else?

It kind of depends on what you want to do with your vision.

But it's usually recommended that about -2 dioptres is enough for full time wear. Some people hold out somewhat longer than that to -3 and beyond. Their choice.

Puffin 12 Sep 2015, 13:34


When you are a child and you need vision correction, it's more important that you get such correction and wear it when necessary in order to prevent or control problems later in life. It's basically because the aim is to prevent problems in later life. During growth, the visual system does tend to react to uncorrected vision in not entirely predictable ways.

Broadly speaking once you're an adult the chances of problems arising (apart from not being able to see very well) from not wearing glasses are quite small in comparison. The advice you will get at 22 years old will only be advice, not firm recommendations enforced by concerned parents.

So - wear them if you think it helps. The visual threshold is not one of concern for the future, it's more one of useful vision. What you want to see determines that.

Rachel  12 Sep 2015, 12:37

When i first got glasses i was surprised how much clearer it was with them but wasn't wearing them all time. I got contacts -2.00 and when I take them out i need glasses all the time now. If i didn't get contacts I don't think I would be wearing glasses all the time? There must be a prescription when you have no choice to wear glasses all the time and I'm over it?

Soundmanpt 11 Sep 2015, 15:53


You have done nothing wrong. You got glasses for driving and probably wore them mainly fro driving and maybe even for other things that you felt like you could see better with your glasses on. That is perfectly normal. And even only wearing your glasses when you needed them your eyes have gotten slightly worse, not by anything you did or didn't do. Your glasses aren't going to make or stop your vision from getting worse but only help you to see when you have them on. When you went to wearing contacts your prescription had reached the point where you pretty much needed to be wearing your glasses (or contacts) full time anyway. Everyone is different but most people start keeping their glasses on when they reach -1.75. Consider yourself lucky that you didn't need glasses much sooner in life. If you had started wearing glasses say about when you started high school, by now your prescription would be considerably stronger. So made it through high school without ever wearing glasses which you should be quite happy about. And even better because even though you have had an increase which would be expected once you start wearing glasses being 22 chances are your eyes aren't likely to change much more. So your glasses won't ever be even close to strong and they should look very nice as well. Or of course you can continue wearing contacts if you prefer them to glasses. Just remember to not over wear them and give your eyes a break from them as often as possible.

Rachel  11 Sep 2015, 14:08

My first glasses are -1.25 and new glasses are -2.25. In a year has got a lot worse. Do you think i shouldn't be wearing glasses all the time? Is a low prescription but I can't see without them now. Oh great i was told -3.00 is common and aways need glases or contacts all the time. Is strange that I'm always going to have to wear them now.

Soundmanpt 11 Sep 2015, 10:23


When your wife wasn't able to read the small print on the medicine bottle and you could read it without any problem your suggestion that she may need glasses really hit home with her. It had to make sense that if you could read it without any problem and she couldn't then she probably figured that she in fact needed glasses. So she didn't put it off and must have called right away for an eye appointment. I'm sure she wasn't at all surprised to find that she needed glasses. Her prescription is a pretty weak one but still enough to sharpen small print up for her. You didn't mention either one of your ages but it is very common when we start to approach the 40's small print starts to get harder to read. But it can happen even to teenagers as well. Now just because when you tried her glasses on it made small print bigger and easier to read doesn't mean that you need glasses. Her glasses are really just 2 pieces of magnifying glass in a frame. And nearly everyone can see things better with a magnifying glass. But that being said doesn't mean that you don't maybe need glasses either. It sounds like it may have been a long while since you last had an eye exam so your probably well over due. Everyone should have an eye exam every 2 years or so.

Seymour 11 Sep 2015, 07:25

My wife couldn't the read fine print on a medicine bottle and asked me to help her. I could read it with no problem, which surprised her. I joked that maybe she needs glasses. Neither one of us wears glasses. She surprised me tonight when she came home wearing glasses...she went for an exam, and while her distance vision is ok, she was prescribed +1.25 glasses for close. She went for the medicine bottle, and was amazed that she could read it easily. Although I could read the tiny print on the bottle without, she had me try on her new glasses. They nicely magnified the small print and made the print much bolder. When I told her that she said it did the same for her, and suggested I go for an exam. I don't think I need glasses..I can see ok. Is there an easy way without the expense of an exam to convince her my vision is ok?

Soundmanpt 09 Sep 2015, 09:47


So last year when you got your first glasses I would assume that your prescription was around -1.25 ( it could have been -1.00 or -1.50) Not very strong but enough that you would need them for driving. But I think during the year you also found that thye helped you with seeing other things such as maybe at the movies, or sporting events and concerts. But you probably only wore your glasses when you felt like you needed them? This year you decided to get contacts and not surprising your prescription had changed to -2.00 ( at least in one eye) The thing is contacts are most often put on first thing in the morning and not removed until bedtime. So really it is exactly the same as wearing glasses full time. So just like if you were wearing your glasses full time your eyes are going to adjust to seeing everything through correction either with glasses or contacts. Just like "Cactus Jack" said wearing the contacts (or glasses) didn't make your eyesight get worse, your eyes have just gotten used to seeing with correction. But also remember your prescription went up from when you got your first glasses which is to be expected after you get your first glasses. it has to do with your eyes adjusting to seeing with a prescription for the first time. And like CJ said your 22 now so its possible that your eyes will change slightly over the next couple of years but not very much and sometime before you reach your mid twenties your eyes should stop changing. I would not expect that your eyes would get over -3.00 if even that much.

But "Likelenses" is correct in suggesting that now that you know your not able to see very well without correction anymore you really need to be more prepared. Like he said you never know what might happen to a contact or your glasses. So here are a few things to do. Carry an extra pair of contacts with you even if your wearing your glasses. Or if your wearing contacts have your glasses in your glove box of your car just in case. but if your -2.00 you really can't see well enough to drive even a couple blocks without either your glasses or contacts.

Cactus Jack 08 Sep 2015, 21:17


At 22 your prescription may increase a little bit from here, but not by very much. There are two factors that seem to control myopia. The most important and powerful one is your Genes, which you can't really control. The next most important factor is your visual environment. Typically, University students visual environment typically involves lots of reading and close work which is also difficult to control. The important thing to know is that most people's vision stabilizes by their mid 20s. However, there is another phenomenon, you will likely experience, that makes you think your glasses or contacts made your vision worse.

Vision actually occurs in the brain. Your eyes are merely biological cameras. Your brain is capable of some incredible image processing. It can clarify blurry images if it knows what something is supposed to look like and the image is not so blurry that your brain can't identify what it is. Your brain can also generate images with your eyes closed. Ever had a dream?

When you wear glasses or contacts, they correct the blurry images, optically and that relieves the brain of the energy intensive task of clarifying what you "see". Think of glasses like a labor saving tools for your brain. It does not take long for your brain to discover that the extra work is not necessary, when you wear your glasses or contacts. It stops trying to correct the images your eyes provide, because no correction is needed. That causes you to think that your glasses have made your vision worse when you take off your glasses. You can force your brain to go back to work by not wearing correction for a few days or weeks, but you probably won't like the experience. Once your brain has discovered the benefits of having really good images to work with, it will usually complain mightily if you give it blurry images again. That typically isn't pleasant. Aspirin, anyone?


Rachel 08 Sep 2015, 16:37

I'm 22 I don't know but i though I was going to need glasses for driving. Should I expect my eyes to get a lot worse? Once you start becoming shortsighted it carries on getting worse? I thought glasses were to stop you getting blinder.

Likelenses 08 Sep 2015, 15:42


You need to always carry a back up pair of glasses,when your in contacts.

Also not a bad idea to have two pair of glasses at all times.You never know when they may get broken,or a lense pop out.

What was the first prescription a year ago,and what is your present age?

Rachel  08 Sep 2015, 15:14

I only got glasses last year for the first time for driving then I got contact lenses this year -2.00 rx that I wear all the time now. I was out the other night and I lost a lens i couldn't see for the rest of the night. I cant believe how fast my eyes have gone shortsighted. I tried wearing the one lens but got a headache so took the other lens out then couldn't see after only 1 meter i really need my glasses and contacts all the time in this low prescription?

TAILGUNNER 01 Sep 2015, 09:39

Not sure whether this is the correct thread - please advise if I'm off course.

I have a particular vision issue and would appreciate comments from any you guys with similar experience or general thoughts.

I have long term Hyperopia/astigmatism and a small amount of Nystagmus that does not affect vision. My glasses are c. +4 and I have clear vision with them but often a certain amount of strain and recently problems with double vision at times.

My optometrist advised a trial of Prisms for this, but after a few months I don't feel confident this is helping.

As I have +6 glasses for close work I decided to try wearing these on an everyday basis in situations where the resultant blurring was not a problem and felt this was helping the double vision, but not quite there. For some reason I ordered a +8 pair on the internet and immediately I tried them my eyes felt really comfortable and the double vision seemed to disappear. Snag is, of course, the blurring is just too much of a handicap on any practical long term basis. I decided to see the Optometrist about this. She conceded that I looked comfortable in a stronger prescription, nystagmus included, but quite reasonably said she could not prescribe glasses that worsened my vision where there was no likelihood of my eyes adjusting to them. So is sort of stale mate.

Odd coincidence - when I was at school my parents took me for a sight test with a rather eccentric practitioner who used a piece of equipment I don't recall seeing since.

From this he reckoned that my eyes would accept, and maybe be happy in a prescription about twice as strong as the conventional test indicated, but if so I would be dependent on it indefinitely. This did not seem particularly good news to me at the time and my Mother was totally specs averse so the bare minimum to achieve clear vision was prescribed.

Tom1 20 Aug 2015, 14:21

As you may remember I'm -3 and -5 with slight astigmatism in the "good" eye, too. I'm 44 and despite some troubles sometime when I sudden move from far to close to focus, the eye doctor recently told me I don't need reading glasses, yet.

Despite this I tried a +1.5 pair on top of my needed minus glasses and noticed writing was sharper and larger, much easier to read with less struggle. Not completely unexpected since I know I'm close to presbyopia. However, I was astonished when I looked around and out of the window! Objects were crystal clear all around the room even several metres away from me and also very distant things were only slightly blurred. I tried to focus on distant details and put reading glasses on and off several times to notice the difference was very small and my vision remained very clear even with the plus glasses on. I'm sure the blurriness was much less than that of a nearsighted person with -1.5. I was really shocked and I'm still wondering how this is possible. Do nearsighted people need lower correction even for distant vision (and not just for close) with the onset of presbyopia?

Puffin 19 Aug 2015, 08:13

I reckon I'll leave him to sort the problem out himself, being as he's not there every day.

Perhaps he's doing some arm-elongating exercises at home and they're not working yet?

Cactus Jack 18 Aug 2015, 07:57


Presbyopia is very loosely related to age. There can be other factors such as Myopia or Hyperopia and if a person wears distance vision correction.

Curiously, Minus glasses tend to act like Wide Angle Photographic Lenses which characteristically have a very broad Depth of Field (range of useful focus). I have worn trifocals for many years, before and after cataract surgery, When I did GOC with -14 glasses, I discovered that I could function quite well with single vision glasses at all distances. Not quite as well in mid and close distances as with the trifocals, but acceptably well.

Plus glasses tend to act like telephoto lenses and have a narrow Depth of Field.

Your associate could also be Hyperopic. Many people are, without realizing our understanding it. They use up a lot of their available accommodation range compensating for their far-sightedness which leaves very little available to focusing close. Astigmatism could also play a role in messing up the ability to read small text, but those are not the only potential causes of vision problems. Some are much more serious and harder to correct than simple refractive errors.

It is very hard to broach the subject of vision problems even with people you know very well, much less with casual acquaintances. You might be able to approach the subject obliquely with a question like, "How long have you been having trouble reading very small text?" then work toward the suggestion that an eye exam might be worth investigating to make sure it is not a really serious problem. Vanity and the fear of growing older can often be an issue with women, but it can also be an issue with men.

It amazes me that so many people think that other people don't notice that they are having vision problems, but would notice glasses. It is tough, but in the long run, they will thank you for helping them solve the problem.


Puffin 18 Aug 2015, 06:10

There's been an irritating (and awkward) situation developing at work wherein one of my co-workers is asking me to read small print nearly every day.

Now you might think that to be nothing much out of the ordinary with advancing age - but he's 6-8 years younger than me, I can read small print close up, he can't. I'm late 40's and I know I have a lot of accommodation for my age, but this is getting silly, for the both of us. Perhaps I need to broach the subject?

Also I keep seeing people my age and younger reaching for reading glasses and sit wondering "where's my presbyopia?" It's not that I want it, I just don't want to look out of place. Perhaps it's coming, like Christmas. The Optician just shrugged and told me to enjoy it while it lasts.

I can read text messages on my phone 15cm away, not as good as Nadine on the "new glasses" thread, but then I'm twice as old as her.

Soundmanpt 15 Aug 2015, 08:26


Most people never really know when there is changes in their vision because the change is often very slight over time and they have have nothing to compare their vision to. That is until that person tries on a friends glasses or in your case a co workers and suddenly find that their vision isn't quite as good as as maybe should be. This is exactly what you found, the one co workers glasses were much too strong for your eyes because your eyes didn't need or want that much correction, but the other co workers glasses as it turned out were much closer to a prescription that fits your eyes nearly perfectly if not perfect. I'm pretty sure you must have health insurance where you work and that should also include vision as well. With insurance you can get your eyes examined for anywhere from zero cost to maybe a $15.00 co pay. Everyone even if they feel like their eyesight is still fine should get their eyes examined at least every 2 -3 years not just to see if they need glasses but for other reasons such as glaucoma which can lead to blindness.

If the co worker with the glasses that you were able to see so well with has her previous glasses which she likely still has somewhere in drawer at home I am sure she wouldn't have any problem letting you borrow them for a while. Like most, once she got her current glasses her previous ones soon become too weak to of much good except in an emergence maybe. Wearing her glasses in case your wondering won't do any harm to your eyesight, but I think you would be very surprised at how well you will be able to see with them on. I know your only wanting to try them for the fun of it around your house. but you should probably drive a few miles away from your area where no one knows you and where them out at dinner or to a club. You clearly seem to be intrigued by glasses. You never know after borrowing your co workers you very well might decide that you want to start wearing glasses yourself.

You clearly seem to be intrigued by glasses

Eline 14 Aug 2015, 14:23

Thank you all for your unexpected but most welcome replies to my post.

I know better understand the differences I noticed when trying on different pairs of glasses.

I don't think I will have my eyes checked any time soon as I can still see anything I need to see really well. Still, I liked the idea of asking my coworker if I could borrow some older pair of hers, just for the fun of walking around in them when at home, but not sure what she would think of it....

Likelenses 12 Aug 2015, 20:45


Here is an online vision test that you want to try.

Likelenses 12 Aug 2015, 14:16


Talking about Cokebottles,and headlights,reminded me of something I had not thought about for years.

At one point,when my Rx was about -7 or so,with CR-39 lenses,I was cleaning them when the thought occurred to me,washing these lenses feels exactly like washing a thick spoon.

Likelenses 12 Aug 2015, 14:05


I agree with Soundmanpt,that you perhaps now need glasses.

Seeing that you work in an office,I assume that you spend a fair amount of time doing close work,and on a computer.

Close work can cause the beginning of nearsightedness.

If you had been doing a lot of close work in the morning prior to lunch time,when you put those -1.50 glasses on your eyes were very grateful.

Many people discover that they are nearsighted when they try on someone elses glasses.

When was your last eye exam. and what is your age? Also how long have you been at this job,and what kind of close work is involved?And lastly,would you be upset to have to wear glasses?

Soundmanpt 12 Aug 2015, 12:51


By the way I forgot to ask and you didn't say but did you manage to get a look at yourself wearing your co workers glasses. If you didn't have a mirror something even better to do these days is snap a picture with your phone. Did you like how you looked wearing either of their glasses?

Soundmanpt 12 Aug 2015, 12:15


Really! Well for what she is asking the +3.50 should be close enough and with them being rare she could spend a way more time looking for them. I have never seen them anywhere around where I live.

But I am going to start just for the fun of it more closely.

Weirdeyes 12 Aug 2015, 12:08


I have seen +4.00 reading glasses. They're just rare.

Soundmanpt 12 Aug 2015, 11:58


Well you had an interesting lunch to say the least. When you said that your co workers were insisting that you try on the co worker with the new glasses which the other co worker had already tried on and found them too strong for her and she also wears glasses I had a pretty good idea that since you don't wear glasses they would feel extremely strong for your eyes, which they were. I was pretty sure when you said that the the other co worker would then offer you her glasses knowing that her glasses were quite a bit weaker. I think you were somewhat surprised by how well you were able to see with her glasses on. That little swirl effect you noticed is very common when you first put on glasses even ones prescribed to you. If you had kept them on for a while that would have gone away. But of course your co worker needed her glasses back.

What you found by trying your co workers glasses on is that -4.00 glasses is much too strong for your eyes to tolerate as I am sure everything was quite blurry with them on. But when you tried on your co workers glasses that are only -1.50 your eyes were far more able to tolerate them and actually see pretty well with them on. My guess is that those glasses are probably the 2nd prescription that your co worker got. But being able to tolerate her glasses is one thing but they really should have been on the strong side for your eyes as well. If your own vision is still perfect anything more than -.75 should have felt too strong for your eyes. My point is that if you could see that good with her glasses chances are you probably need to get your eyes examined pretty soon because you probably need glasses. If her -1.50 glasses seemed that good you probably need glasses in the -1.00 to -1.25 range. If your really curious and that co worker is a good friend you should ask her if she happens to have a previous pair of glasses at home that you could try and maybe borrow. If she has a previous pair they should be slightly weaker than the ones shes wearing now and maybe about perfect for your eyes. If she does and you find that after a week of wearing them they seem really good then you know you need an eye exam for sure.

Oh and yes the other co worker that wasn't with you that has -7.00 glasses would be so strong I doubt you could see even a few inches in front of you with them. So yes the stronger the prescription the more difference they make on your eyes. And yes your co worker with the -4.00 glasses sees a good bit like you did when you had her glasses on when she doesn't have her glasses on. To get a pretty good idea of exactly how either of them see without their glasses you only need to go to where they sell over the counter readers and first find the ones marked +3.50 (they don't have +4.00 in over the counter glasses) and try them on and try looking at things both close up and in the distance and remember her glasses are slightly stronger than those readers are. Then find the ones marked +1.50 and try them on. that is exactly what your co worker sees without her glasses. Now since they are weaker you should be able to see close pretty well with them but distance should be somewhat blurry for you.

Hope that helped.

GreginColo 12 Aug 2015, 11:47

There are likely others who can explain it better, but in general, the higher the minus number the more correction the glasses provide to the user, most especially for distance vision in the case of a minus Rx. You could see better with the lower powered correction because you don't normally wear glasses, and hence the lower power provided you the least amount of over-correction. Your -1.5 friend could pretty much function without her glasses for many things, even though the distance would have some blur. The -7 co-worker would likely be totally dependent upon vision correction, and likewise also the -4, just to a little lesser degree. The - 7 coworker could wear both the -4 and the -1.5 glasses on top of one another and still not be fully corrected, but would see about like the -1.5 gal does without her glasses. As I said, others can probably explain better, but hope this helps a bit anyway.

Eline 12 Aug 2015, 11:05

I found this website while searching for more information about eyesight.

Today I had lunch with two friends from work, and a one of them was complimented by the other for her new glasses. i must say she has nice looking spectacles. She offered my other friend, who is also a glasses wearer, to try them on, which she did. She kept them on for about 30 seconds, but said they were a bit too strong for her, took them off and put on her own glasses again. They then both said that I would look extremely well with glasses also, as they thought my colleague's new pair would fit my face and hair really well.

The insisted that I also try them, which I first politely refused, but as they insisted I obliged. I was very surprised with how little I could see through them, whih I used as a reason to quickly take them off again and hand them back. Upon which my other colleague said I should try hers and would notice the difference as her glasses were weaker. I could not really say no, but as a surprise With her glasses I could actually see extremely well and sharp, though I felt somewhat like standing on a ship also as the things around "moved" a little when I turned my head. They explained my that the first glasses were minus 4 while the second only minus 1,5.

I now wonder, how is this that the difference for me between both pairs is so big? And does my friend with the stronger glasses see without glasses as poorly as I did when I had her glasses on? Also, my friends both mentioned that anothr girl at our company is minus 7, so would I see anything at all if trying on her glasses?

fav guest 12 Aug 2015, 05:06

Hi Ellen

Well we were all Ms or Ms cokebottles...except when I was in school, they mandated "safetyglass" for kids... Well with my rx in elementary almost approaching double digits-imagine how thick lol !

Gave you address on lenschat a while ago when you were thinking of crossing the pond.

have a great day

fav guest 12 Aug 2015, 05:06

Hi Ellen

Well we were all Ms or Ms cokebottles...except when I was in school, they mandated "safetyglass" for kids... Well with my rx in elementary almost approaching double digits-imagine how thick lol !

Gave you address on lenschat a while ago when you were thinking of crossing the pond.

have a great day

Likelenses 11 Aug 2015, 21:40


My friends called mine headlights.

Ellen 11 Aug 2015, 14:33

I'm not romantically involved with anyone, least of all my happily married friend. And no she doesn't wear glasses, she always had infuriatingly perfect eyesight all through university, while I rejoiced in the nickname of Ms Cokebottles among my group of friends.

I don't have anyone's email address off this site either.

fav guest 10 Aug 2015, 17:14

Hi Ellen,

I'm glad you have someone to take care of you! Romantically too lol. Is she rx in your neighborhood?

I just tore an Achilles tendon and am in a boot for a few weeks anyway. What is your recovery time like?? Without disclosing it you still have my email??

Well have to wash it out now, phew.



NJ 10 Aug 2015, 16:19

Not doubting any myope's experience on this, just saying that given the optics of the cornea, it's surprising. The cornea has a refractive index of about 1.38 and the aqueous humor, which it borders internally, is about 1.34. Such a small difference, combined with the shape of the cornea border with the aqueous humor, gives it a small but slightly negative lens power.

Some years ago I developed a simple technology to measure changes in the refractive index of the aqueous humor. The original intent was to look at small changes as a result of differing glucose concentrations (think glucose measurement for diabetics). Well, it turns out that the correlation between glucose concentrations in the aqueous humor and in blood plasma is not so great, so this particular application did not work. However, I managed to license a variation of the technology to a big player in the refractive surgery field. It was a fun project for an OO to work on!

Ellen 10 Aug 2015, 14:18

I'd have to be certifiable to go diving! I'm terrified of deep water.

I'm feeling a lot better now thanks, I've had a friend staying with me for the last couple of weeks helping me out with stuff. She's been wonderful, especially as I'm a terrible patient.

fav guest 10 Aug 2015, 07:14

Hi Ellen,

Well, I'd be with uou and I;m certified..OR..we just ride around the Keys in the boat lol. (relax, I always have extra glasses incase of a loss incident !

Doesn't have to be Lobster season for that.

I actually liked swimming because I didn't have to see :)

How are you feeling?

Ellen 10 Aug 2015, 01:50

The below should of course have read "swimming lessons". Have no idea what happened there.

Ellen 10 Aug 2015, 01:48

Haha, I'm not good with water I'm afraid Likelenses. Scarred by school swimming lenses when I was the blind kid who hadn't a clue what was going on, I think.

Likelenses 09 Aug 2015, 21:06


Let's go diving with out our glasses on.

Beachin' 09 Aug 2015, 18:34

A friend of mine posted this on facebook and I thought it would share. It's about a bionic lens that gives people 60/20 vision that may be available in the next few years.

"Science Just Invented a Simple, Painless Way to Get Superhuman Vision."

Crystal Veil 09 Aug 2015, 14:45


my life partner Nel wears glasses with a prescription of minus twelve and she has exactly the same experience you described. Nel has no 20/20 vision under water but somewhere halfway or even a bit better.

Ellen 09 Aug 2015, 13:01

A lens's power is derived from two surfaces, it's front and rear. The front provides some of the power, the rear the rest. When an eye is open and viewing things in water, only the front surface's ability to refract is altered. The rear surface is as it was with its boundary onto the aqueous humour.

Anyway I could go into the science of it all day, the fact is as someone who is severely short-sighted, I know from experience that I see better when I open my eyes under water than I can ever see without my glasses in air.

 06 Aug 2015, 20:59

Interesting discussion on underwater vision.

There is a study about people in Southeast Asia who adjusted from childhood to see little bit better than other in water by using accommodation to compensate change of refraction.

NJ 06 Aug 2015, 18:01

Hmmm...Assuming that the corneal refractive power is about 40D in air, then you'd have to have myopia greater than half of that in order for your vision to be better underwater than in air. For example, with a -11.50D Rx, your refractive error underwater is about 28.5D, but with -25D your refractive error is ~15D, so in the latter case your vision would be better underwater than above water.

fav guest 06 Aug 2015, 14:14

sorry for triple copy

fav guest 06 Aug 2015, 14:13

Hi Ellen,

You are absolutely right... I experienced that many times with only -11.50, Now, after cataract surg and I'm -4.75,I don't see well underwater.

SO, it's Lobster season in the Fla Keys, want to come and go diving :)


fav guest 06 Aug 2015, 14:13

Hi Ellen,

You are absolutely right... I experienced that many times with only -11.50, Now, after cataract surg and I'm -4.75,I don't see well underwater.

SO, it's Lobster season in the Fla Keys, want to come and go diving :)


fav guest 06 Aug 2015, 14:13

Hi Ellen,

You are absolutely right... I experienced that many times with only -11.50, Now, after cataract surg and I'm -4.75,I don't see well underwater.

SO, it's Lobster season in the Fla Keys, want to come and go diving :)


Ellen 06 Aug 2015, 12:02

Refraction occurs when light passes through the boundary between one medium and another according to Snell's Law. In the case of the eye the boundary is between air and the stuff that the cornea is made from. The greater the difference in refractive index of the two materials the greater the refraction (bending) of the light. Air has a much lower refractive index than the cornea and so the refraction is quite pronounced, giving the cornea a high power in lens terms. Water, being a much denser material than air has a higher refractive index, very similar to that of the cornea (which has a high water content) and so if the eye is immersed in water the cornea's effective power is much diminished as the refraction is much less. This essentially results in a highly long sighted eye. The human eye evolved in air and is hence designed to focus perfectly in air. If we had evolved in water our corneas would be much less curved to account for the similarity in the refractive indices of the water and the cornea. I have often wandered how the eyes of semi-aquatic creatures such as seals, which need to have sharp vision in both air and water, work. Presumably there is some compromise at work there.

As an interesting observation, my severely myopic eyes see far more clearly underwater than they do above it.

NJ 06 Aug 2015, 08:55

Motard, CLs under water don't do anything for the same reason the cornea loses it's focusing power. The indices of refraction are the same (or very close) for water, the contact lens and the cornea. Because of this there is virtually no refraction in any case. A -40 myope would actually see reasonably well under water, because he'd be more or less fully corrected.

Some years ago I was teaching a myopic friend how to kayak, starting with the eskimo roll. When it took him a while to learn, he argued that his bad eyesight was hindering him. He was probably -5 or so. I told him that, actually, he saw better underwater than someone with perfect eyesight. He didn't like the argument, though. And in any case, learning the eskimo roll is more feel than visual.

glassesforeveryone 06 Aug 2015, 06:09

Hi Motard, that's amazing. I wrote a story 'Mermaid Eyes' (it's on Vision-and-Spex) which was basically about that, but I didn't know that it was an actual thing! I just made it up.

I'd love to hear more.

motard 06 Aug 2015, 00:34

OK interesting thought here. So the different parts of the eye have different powers and somewhere along they way I read the cornea has some +42 of power . And when eyes open under water (without goggles) you be come hyperope as you lose that 42 d of power. Experiment time: given a perfect 0.00 eye under water would there be a + power contact lens that would allow you to see under water granted with it in you wouldn't see anything above water.


specsialist 03 Aug 2015, 15:01

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ric 30 Jul 2015, 01:03

It thats happened to me many times. Since i ve got contact lenses first time, i wore them full time for years, just wearing glasses at home. Having to change my prescription often, most of the times i just change my contact lenses, having glasses totally out of date.

Beachin' 29 Jul 2015, 11:38

Nina - Maybe your friend has really gawky and out of date frames. I have a few friends who wear contacts every day and never wear glasses out of the house that have had the same frames for 6 - 8 years. One even has tape on hers right now which is perfectly fine around the house but not ideal for going in public.

I remember one of the guys I dated in college always wore contacts and got pink eye and has to wear his really out of date glasses to class. Poor guy, not only was his eye irritated and red he was obviously uncomfortable wearing his middle-schoolesk glasses in public.

ric 29 Jul 2015, 01:11

Nina, is pretty usual, for me was the reason to get contact lenses.

ric 29 Jul 2015, 01:11

Nina, is pretty usual, for me was the reason to get contact lenses.

ric 29 Jul 2015, 01:11

Nina, is pretty usual, for me was the reason to get contact lenses.

ric 29 Jul 2015, 01:11

Nina, is pretty usual, for me was the reason to get contact lenses.

Nina 25 Jul 2015, 10:47

I arranged to meet my friend in town before her eye exam but she canceled seeing me because she was wearing her glasses to the opticians. Can't believe people are still shy to wear there glasses out in public. We talk about about are vision as we area both shortsighted. I'm with -5.00 she's about -4.00 but won't wear glasses out it doesn't bother me. There must be a lot of people who try to hide being shortsighted?

John S 24 Jul 2015, 19:03

Your hearing loss is a slightly less than mine, but follows the same curve. Mine is 90 to 100 db down at 8000.

Open fit domes are great for high frequency losses, but do not do well with low frequency losses. The low frequency sounds tend to bounce off the eardrum and back out of your ear. At 30db, you are on the edge of that occurring.

The good thing about open domes are, they do not give you a feeling of occlusion. (A stopped up sensation)

If you would like to continue this discussion, please go to the Hearing Aid section on


Cactus Jack 24 Jul 2015, 18:48

New Problem,

I am 77 now. My strabismus started developing in my mid to late 40s. My hearing loss is not quite as severe as yours. I got tried in the canal hearing aids about 15 years ago, but they did not transmit the low frequencies and over emphasized the highs. I got BTE open fit hearing aids about 10 years ago because I could not understand people who talked very softly and often misunderstood what people were saying. I don't know where you live, but we have a TV program in the US called "Wheel of Fortune" and Vanna White kept turing the different letters than the contestants called. Hearing aids can't replace natural hearing. Open fit is pretty good, but far from perfect. Expect to have some problems figuring out where sounds are coming from.


New Problem 24 Jul 2015, 09:20

Well this seems to make sense. My loss is 30 db at 250 hz and 500 hz, 40 db at 1000 hz, 50 db at 2000 hz, 80 at 4000 and 70 at 8000. It is a bit worse in the left ear.

I did get exposed to a lot of noise in the past. I actually still do. I am getting open fit hearing aids. When did your strabismus and hearing loss develop?

Cactus Jack 23 Jul 2015, 19:14

New Problem,

I would tend to consider the two problems as unrelated, until proven otherwise. Often, strabismus, deafness and other sensory issues are the result of development issues during gestation. Issues that develop later in life have other causes.

Hearing loss these days is often related to exposure to very loud music or loud noise. Disease can often cause hearing loss. I am a bit over twice your age and I quite a bit of loss above 2000 Hz. My loss was likely caused by flying airplanes before we fully understood the importance of wearing hearing protection.

I don't know if you are familiar with how your hearing works, but you have a structure inside each ear called the Cochlea. Inside the Cochlea are thousands of very small hairs that are individually sensitive to a particular frequency of sound. Loud sounds can damage or break these hairs causing the inability to detect the frequency associated with that hair. Unfortunately, the hairs will never grow back after they are damaged.

My experience with hearing aids has been that two aids are better than one and that Behind the ear hearing aids, with what is called Open Fit, is better than in-the-ear aids. The reason is that Open Fit allows the sounds that you CAN hear to go around the earpiece and in my case, the hearing aids are programmed to do nothing below about 2000 Hz. and then amplify the sounds above 2000 Hz to about 6000 Hz. Not as good as natural hearing, but much better than having to run all the audio through a hearing aid that has little or no response below about 200 to 250 Hz. There is a lot of good things to hear in that region. If you are musically inclined, Middle C on a piano is 256 Hz. and you want to hear as much as possible below that as naturally as possible.

Does any of this seem to be related to your hearing loss?


Likelenses 23 Jul 2015, 18:48

New Problem

You are in the age group,that when you were younger,and perhaps even now,listened to loud music blasting in the car,and through headsets.

Many people your age are now paying the price for that with severe hearing loss.

New Problem 23 Jul 2015, 16:29

I am 35. worn prisms for about 15 years now.

I had extensive tests with neurologist before and everything seems to be in order.

Do you find this situation common?

Cactus Jack 23 Jul 2015, 16:21

New Problem,

The sensory system is extremely complex and the different senses reside in different areas of the brain. Many times, different sensory impairments occur together, but one does not necessarily cause the other, though one brain injury can cause multiple problems. In fact, sometimes severe visual impairment causes the auditory system to develop much more extensively than normal.

There has been ground breaking work in understanding how the brain adapts to varying conditions, even in a person's advancing years. That is why injuries can be overcome after a stroke or traumatic injury.

You might consider seeing a Neurological specialist to help track down the causes.

High frequency loses are fairly common with age, particularly if a person has been exposed to very loud noise.

May I ask your age?


New Problem 23 Jul 2015, 15:52

Does anyone know, could there be a link between strabismus and hearing loss. For me it seems that the two would have no connection at all but I found a lot of people with strabismus posting about their hearing loss.

Anyway I have severe strabismus (esotropia) and had it for a while. Prism prescription never seems to stop to increase. However, few days ago, after probably too long time procrastinating, I had a hearing exam and was diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. Actually mild in low frequencies and severe in high. I could probably post how the entire audiogram looks like. I am being fitted with two aids.

So again back to the question, do you think those two things are unrelated or could there be some connection?

hey 19 Jul 2015, 22:51

I'm looking to get new glasses. I'd like to know how accurate this is if someone wants to test it out.

Soundmanpt 19 Jul 2015, 11:16


No! That's the first I saw of this site. I really wouldn't want to buy glasses and certainly never contacts based on their testing. If you call around I think you will find actual optical offices that you can get a real accurate eye exam for about that same price. I have several in my area that I have set up to do eye exams for patients I send. The price for a glasses rx is $35.00 and for glasses and contacts is $70.00. And many places even advertise their eye exam price as being $50.00.

Are you thinking that you may need glasses or jsut curious about that site?

hey 19 Jul 2015, 10:05

does anyone know anything about this and how it works?

Michael 19 Jul 2015, 08:10

Hi everyone,

My name is Michael and I am new here. Just wanted to introduce myself first.

I'm looking forward to chatting with you guys

Weirdeyes 18 Jul 2015, 17:50

I guess there generally is a perception that wearing glasses makes you look smarter. I did hear some people on urban dictionary saying that high plus glasses make you look like a retard.

I knew this guy who was farsighted in one eye and nearsighted in the other. He was pretty odd and didn't seem that smart. He also had a hearing aid, so he must have had some kind of disorder.

I do a lot of close-up work and I still ended up farsighted. I don't think I'm that smart because of my low IQ. I wonder if my lack of nearsightedness made my IQ low.

Soundmanpt 18 Jul 2015, 15:26

Weirdeyes and Man

I think there is a perception that anyone wearing glasses is somehow smarter. It has been proven that your more likely to be hired for a job if your wearing glasses then someone with the same attributes as yourself. That seems to work much the same way in colleges and universities as well.

Several years ago a young lady was referred to me by her friend that had gotten glasses from me. She also wanted glasses, she said was about to graduate as a paralegal. Her instructor called her aside and had several things he thought she needed to do when she started applying for a job in that field. Everything from a change in hair style and clothes to wearing glasses to give her as he called it a more sophisticated look. It must have worked because her friend told me that she got hired the first week after she was out of school. Of course there is no way to say that she wouldn't have gotten hired even if she didn't change her looks at all.

Man 18 Jul 2015, 14:50


I think intelligent people gets myopic because of a lot of reading, and the myopic children read a lot because they can't see far and this makes them intelligent.

So what about hyperopes?

They do tend to be better at outdoor activities but that does NOT mean at all, that hyperopes are fools. If fact you can see a lot of myopic fools and a lot of hyperope smart people. Of course, it's undeniable that people who do a lot of reading tend to be myopic but that's no a general rule

Weirdeyes 17 Jul 2015, 17:09

Do you think it's true that myopes have higher IQs? If they do have higher IQs do you think that hyperopes have lower IQs?

Iristotle  11 Jul 2015, 18:08

I got my glasses yesterday, I'm really happy with the way I see, and my depth perception improved moderately, so I'm quite happy with that. I haven't gotten any headaches from the left lens so that's what I like most. They're a little big, so I have to get them tightened when I go back in a week.

Cactus Jack 11 Jul 2015, 14:55


What happened, could you not get your glasses?


Cactus Jack 10 Jul 2015, 04:48


Looking forward to hearing your first impressions. I was amazed that I could "count the bricks" in the building across the street from the Optometrist's Office. Way back then, 1951 or 52, the thing to do to test your new glasses, was go to a movie. I was pretty used to sitting fairly close to the screen, but I what got my attention was that I could see the grain structure or the 35 mm film projected on the screen and the tiny holes in the screen to pass the sound from the speakers behind the screen.

Depending on how much light pollution you have, go outside after dark and notice how many stars there are, after your eyes get accustomed to the darkness. If you are far enough north, you might even be able to see the Aurora very clearly and observe its structure.

You might be pleasantly surprised at what you have been missing even with your low prescription.


Iristotle  09 Jul 2015, 23:45

I get my glasses today! I wonder what the difference will be with such a low prescription, their will probably be some suprised when I wear them for a few days.

Tactful Delivery 09 Jul 2015, 14:30


I will definitely remind her to make an appointment. She has another unrelated doctors appointment tomorrow and said the eye doctor was was next on the list.

I thought about letting her try my glasses on, is nothing else for the style aspect and to get her comfortable with the idea of wearing glasses. I don't think she shape/coloring would be flattering on her. She's blond with blue eyes, i'm brunette with a dark hazel and our faces are different shapes.

Regarding near vs farsighted: I'm curious to see what they doctor says. I thought that as a simplistic level, that being farsighted meant small print/objects is hard to see when you are close and nearsighted print/objects are hard to see far away. I understand magnifying her computer screen/hunching seems contradictory but I assumed she wasn't able to see if well and didn't know how else to compensate. Wouldn't larger print up close help a farsighted person too?

In terms of wearing my glasses to driving during the day/seeing worse then 20/40, last time I was at the eye doctor, well two visits ago but my script only changed by -.25 ax on my right eye, my doctor told me I was seeing about 20/30.

I'd buy that it's closer to 20/40 now which is still legal. I know the thought probably makes you cringe. I have worn glasses while i'm driving during the day and I sincerely can't tell much of a difference with and without them. Let me rephrase, the objects in the distance are a little crisper but I can still read signs, judge depth perceptions, etc.

I'm due for another visit to the eye doctor this fall, maybe i'll reassess. I don't have to renew my license for another three years but i'd change my behavior on my own before I went back to the DMV unnecessarily - yuck.

Soundmanpt 09 Jul 2015, 10:09

Tactful Delivery

Based on what you have described about your co worker I think she maybe nearsighted. If she was farsighted she would be trying to hold or keep reading material as far away as possible. But if she is needing to hunch over so she can get here eyes as close as possible to the screen that is s better indicator of being nearsighted. Also if she is frequently doing close work that generally leads to be nearsighted as well. And yes she very well might have some astigmatisms as well. The fact that your a female should have made talking with her much easier than if you were a male where she very well might have been uncomfortable being caught straining. but now you still have to make her keep her word about getting her eyes examined and not be putting it off. It's too bad your glasses have astigmatisms because otherwise you could have let her try your glasses to see if they helped. But your astigmatism correction would probably give her a headache after a while wearing them.

And as for your prescription you are correct that it is on the weak side. But even though it isn't very strong your vision is almost certainly worse than 20/40, meaning you really should be wearing your glasses not just for night driving but driving day or night. Most vision tests for driving requires that your vision be at least 20/40 with or without correction. You would not pass. Aside from driving it is completely up to you when you chooses to wear your glasses.

Tactful Delivery 09 Jul 2015, 01:06

I'm mildly nearsighted with a slight astigmatism.

-.50 cyl -.50 ax

-.75 cyl -.25 ax

I really only wear my glasses for driving at night and end up putting them on when i'm watching tv for extended periods of time once in a while. The few times times few i've gotten eye strain from watching tv were probably accompanied by muscle atrophy and back pain from being a lazy bum. I'm kidding about the atrophy and back pain. course.

In my case I could get by without glasses, though not ideal for the night driving, so it's hard for me to consider them life changing for me or the girl at work who will probably wear them while she sitting at her computer at work.

I was trying to make her feel better about it I guess and not make her feel like it was a big deal since she seemed disappointed.

Likelenses 09 Jul 2015, 00:04

Tactful Delivery

Do you wear glasses,and if so for near,or farsightedness?

Tactful Delivery 08 Jul 2015, 19:57

Thanks for your responses - i'm a lady by the way, so the gwg thing is kind of a wash on me.

The topic ended up coming up organically at the office today. She was trying to look at something on her screen and got irritated at the small print and asked me if I could read it. I confirmed it was really small but I could read it and the convo went from there. After she brought it up I mentioned the hunching and squinting I noticed.

She said she was a bit disappointed she'd have to deal with glasses but agreed that she needed to go to the eye doctor. She even referred to the discovery as life changing to which I replied, i'm not sure how wearing glasses a few hours a day at work (she confirmed she's only having problems up close/at a computer) will change your life but it might help your back :). I don't know if she meant it would change things in a good way or be one more hassle to deal with.

We agreed to both remind each other to make doctors appointments (mine is a dentist apt) tomorrow to hold ourselves accountable.

I'll let you know when we find out what the results are for those of you who were trying to diagnose nearsighted vs. farsighted. My bet is farsighted with a very small astigmatism (Just because I assume everyone has a small astigmatism, I really have no idea).

Weirdeyes 08 Jul 2015, 09:22


I don't have prism in my glasses at the moment. It was only 1.5, so I didn't bother.

Brian 08 Jul 2015, 05:56

WeirdEyes, How have you been making out since you started with the prism in your glasses?

Weirdeyes 08 Jul 2015, 00:17


It might not be nearsightedness. I'm not nearsighted, but I did the same thing before I got glasses.

Likelenses 07 Jul 2015, 23:34

Tactful Delivery

It sounds as though she may becoming nearsighted from the close work.

You may want to engage her in conversation,and mention that you have noticed her hunching in when on the computer.Then tell her that she should try to sit farther away to be more comfortable. She may then admit that she needs to be close to see clearly. If you are nearsighted then you can say that this is how you would sit if working without your glasses on.

If you get her to admit that she is having problems seeing,then you could ask her how well she sees an object in the distance.

Sounds as though you have a potential girl with glasses in that office.

Tactful Delivery 07 Jul 2015, 20:47

I want to get your opinion about something. I work with a woman who is about my age (early 30s) and i'm fairly certain she needs glasses for reading/looking at a computer screen all day. I'm trying to think of a nice way to tell her that I’ve noticing squinting and hunching over the screen.

Her work quality is fine so this is not a performance issue in any way, I just feel back because she’s always hunching over the computer screen/looks uncomfortable. Should I keep this information to myself and let her figure it out on her own?

She's very nice and wonderful to work with I just don't want to make her feel uncomfortable.

NJ 07 Jul 2015, 10:40

CJ, at first I thought that I was getting some corneal flattening just by wearing soft lenses, but since it only happened once over a period of many years that I wore essentially the same soft lenses, I doubt this was the case.

I suspect it was just latent hyperopia that I was bringing out, though still not sure why it only happened once, to this degree anyway. And when I got to my 40's and really needed bifocals, my distance Rx didn't change much. Of course, some people do have a small myopic shift as their lenses harden, not common but it does happen, so this could have compensated for the axial hyperopia. But it is consistent with the correction I needed after having my lenses removed, so perhaps latent hyperopia was the cause.

Cactus Jack 07 Jul 2015, 07:14


That is a puzzle. I need to think about it a bit. Something similar used to happen with rigid contacts because they would often reshape an astigmatic cornea to become more spherical, but it would typically recover it usual shape in a few hours. It even had a name, Spectacle Blur. Until the cornea recovered its normal cylinder, the cylinder correction in the glasses was not necessary.

One of the most puzzling parts is that glasses or contacts neutralize refractive errors in the eye's lens system. For you to need higher external PLUS, your internal PLUS had to be reduced. The laws of optical physics have to be obeyed. I can only think of two ways that can happen.


NJ 07 Jul 2015, 06:28

CJ, I have a puzzle for you. The following happened to me just once, but never again despite trying to induce it.

When I was in my late 30's I had been doing GOC with high plus glasses for about 15 years. I wore the combo at least 6-8 hours a day, and often for the full day. People just thought this was my actual Rx. I had a couple of diopters of natural hyperopia, with about 1D of cyl in both eyes.

Anyway, at the end of one day I took out my CLs and noticed that I couldn't see well, that I was more farsighted than usual. This happened sometimes, so I didn't think much about it. But the next morning I still had trouble seeing with my real Rx, and had to look through the bifocal segment (probably +2 or thereabouts) even to see distances, and it will still blurry. This transient hyperopia continued through the morning, with no change. I made an appointment to see an ECP at Lenscrafters, just for shits and giggles. When I got there, my hyperopia was still in full force. The autorefractor gave me an Rx that as almost +2D greater than my usual one, and when the eye doc did the refraction I managed to get the Rx to almost +3D greater in both eyes. She commented on how significantly farsighted I was and that my current pair of glasses was insufficient. I made up some story that the glasses were just an old pair, long out of date.

So with an Rx somewhere near +5D (cyl and add remained the same/similar as before) I went to Lenscrafters to get a pair made. By late afternoon I had them and could see really well with them. But over the next week or so the effect gradually wore off and I went back to my old Rx of about +2D.

This has never happened before or again, despite trying. Other relevant facts include: no change in CLs. Same diameter and BC. No use of any drugs, legal or otherwise, and ethanol was not in the picture. No other medical issues, no diabetes or endocrine dysfunction.

It was a very bizarre experience

Lv2c4i 07 Jul 2015, 03:51

CJ, I enjoyed your little sidetrip into jocularity. As far as I'm concerned no apology nor rationalization required. On the other hand, kudos and gratefulness for your ongoing attending to the queries from so many frequenting and/or finding this site. Giggle on--whether ethanol induced or otherwise.

Cactus jack 06 Jul 2015, 13:16

Guilty as charged. You caught me. I don't do it very often, but I guess "the devil made me do it" and I can resist almost anything, but temptation. My tongue was so deeply in my cheek, it hurt.

Ethanol or Grain, Drinking Alcohol in sufficient quantity can act as an anesthetic and mess up a lot of higher brain functions. Also, In sufficient quantity, it is a pretty good muscle relaxant. In the old days, before the discovery of the array of currently available medical pain killers, Whiskey, in it various forms was used as a surgical pain killer. Thus the descriptive expression about drunkenness that "He was feeling no pain".

Honestly, I am not an expert on the subject, by a long shot. I don't drink much by choice and some medical reasons, because it interferes with some prescription meds I take, to manage my Diabetes. I understand its use as a social lubricant and the original quote from Ogden Nash, "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker" and as amplified by Willy Wonka in the 1971 version of "The Chocolate Factory".

I must admit that my first reaction to Tobias' question was that it was a clever, trick question and that is why it took me so long to answer. I wanted to think up an equally clever answer as a "Thank You" for a nice chuckle.

I apologize for my answer. I'll try to do better next time - maybe. I am pretty good at keeping my inner "devil" under control, but unfortunately, not always. Maybe I need a little nip to ease the pain in my tongue, but that might loosen the inhibitions of my inner "devil", which is not always a good thing.


NJ 06 Jul 2015, 11:40

Oh, sorry...Upon rereading I see that CJ was writing tongue-in-cheek.

Still, I have noticed this effect in the past and have wondered about it.

til 06 Jul 2015, 11:35

I don't think Cactus Jack replied in his usual way;-)

NJ 06 Jul 2015, 11:27

CJ, I don't think the effect is paralysis of the ciliary muscles, either by ethanol or (especially) water. It could be an osmotic shift, as ethanol is an ADH inhibitor (which is why beer makes you pee at lot) and there are known shifts in osmolarity that occur with ethanol consumption. Perhaps it's something similar to focus changes in diabetics, which is an osmotic shift in the crystalline lens.

There may be a CNS component as well.

Revolver 06 Jul 2015, 11:23

Tobias: there is one other unwanted side effect of too much alcohol, at least the day after, it's called BGS short for Beer Goggle Syndrome. Makes even the ugliest woman look good until the next morning. LOL.

NJ 06 Jul 2015, 06:26

Tobias, I used to wear very high plus glasses in a GOC combo, and I noticed something similar when I'd been drinking. Specifically, I had to place my glasses lower on my nose, which effectively increases the plus, after a few drinks. It could be that alcohol relaxes the ciliary muscles and make one more hyperopic. It did for me at least, and by a diopter or two it seems.

Cactus Jack 06 Jul 2015, 04:59


Paralysis of the Ciliary Muscles from either Ethanol or perhaps water. It has been reported that Bourbon and water, Scotch and water, Gin and water, and Vodka and water will all cause drunkenness. The only thing that is common there is the WATER so that must be the culprit.

Try them straight, without the water, and see if that has any effect on the results. It has been reported that enough of any of the above will cause "Blind" Drunkenness. You might consider some research in that area, purely for scientific and educational purposes. Be sure you have a non-drinking, Designated Driver to pour you into a vehicle to get you home. Also, a report on hangover effects would also be useful. Water has been reported as a culprit in hangovers, also.


Tobias 05 Jul 2015, 22:26

Hi, I have a question for Cactus Jack. My real prescription is -2.25 (both eyes) but for the last 6 months I've been wearing glasses with -3.25 (both eyes). I wear the -3.25 pair every day with no problem. But whenever I'm drunk, I find things are too blurry with this pair and I can't tolerate them, so I switch back to the -2.25 pair. Why do you think this is? Thank you!

Likelenses 05 Jul 2015, 21:12

Mister Mild

Since you in your post said her,you must be thinking of your,an MINE favorite Russian high myope.

She is still fairly young,so bearing in mind my previous post,if she got her first glasses as a very young child,and by the time she reached school age was a high myope,she would be reading through lenses that would be centered for distance.

Likelenses 05 Jul 2015, 21:03

Mister Mild,

Perhaps if the myopic progression is slow,or over a long period of the persons life.As the prescription becomes higher,vision through the optical center,of each lens becomes more important.

So I am thinking that as the persons Rx gets stronger,in order to read,and converge properly, one would not be looking through the optical. This then may lead to the eye wanting the best focus to take up a new position in order to read.

cactus Jack 05 Jul 2015, 08:27

Mister Mild,

No connection that I know of, but that does not mean anything. There is often a connection between Hyperopia and Strabismus because of the interconnection between the focus mechanism and the convergence response, but not Myopia because the focus mechanism is typically relaxed.

VA may be affected by the minification effects of high minus glasses because the image elements cover fewer Rods and Cones in the retina. Having a good, but not necessarily perfect image from each eye can improve apparent VA with both eyes iIF the two images can be fused in the brain, perhaps with a little help from some prism. The two images will be fused into one composite image in the brain. If one image has a tiny detail that is missing in the other, the brain will fill in the missing detail. A good example of this is that each eye has a blind spot where the optic nerve enters the eyeball, but it is typically not in the same location on the left and right retina and is not "visible" unless you know how to detect it.

To badly mix a metaphor, "Vision is in the brain of the beholder"


MisterMild 04 Jul 2015, 21:58

I have a question that perhaps Cactus Jack can answer... I've noticed that sometimes a high-myope woman - typically someone wearing myodisks - will have one eye turned (strabismus?) Is there an identifiable syndrome linking this abnormality with very high myopia? How is her vision affected?

Cactus Jack 03 Jul 2015, 08:09


The cylinder correction in your Left eye will take a little getting used to, but it probably will not cause any headaches or eyestrain. Your brain is used to correcting the slightly distorted image from your Left eye and you may notice that things look a little funny for a day or two while your brain reprograms itself to not do the correction. One thing I noticed when I got my first glasses was that ceiling corners no longer seemed to meet at 90 degree angles. Remember, vision occurs in the brain. The eyes are merely biological cameras.

In many cases these days, Smartphones and Tablets are the culprit in headaches for new glasses wearers. Particularly, if they need lenses in the -1 to -3 range. The tiny text makes for close reading. The explanation is pretty easy. A person who is mildly nearsighted actually has built in reading glasses and their eyes are not used to focusing to read close. When they get glasses so they can see distant things clearly, they either have to learn how to use their Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses to focus close or sometimes have to temporarily wear bifocals or wear a reduced minus prescription until their Ciliary Muscles get strong enough to focus effortlessly. Many times the new wearer knew they needed glasses, but were in serious denial for what ever reasons. Imagine getting the double whammy of getting the dreaded glasses AND bifocals at the same time and having to explain THAT to your friends.

Some years ago there was a 17 YO poster whose first prescription was -3.50. I have no idea how he managed without glasses until then. When he got his glasses, he discovered that he could no longer read or use his computer with his glasses on. He wound up having to wear trifocals until his totally unused Ciliary Muscles and Focusing system learned how to perform their intended functions. Use it or loose it applies to a lot of things.


Iristotle  03 Jul 2015, 07:35

I've got a couple questions about wearing glasses if you guys and gals could help me. A lot of my friends who wear glasses, often get terrible strain and headaches because their eyes are adjusting to the prescription. Will this happen to me? Or does it vary based on the strength of the prescription?



KL 03 Jul 2015, 03:15


Thank you so much! That explains a lot.

Weirdeyes 02 Jul 2015, 21:02

I got that near vision test as well. I ended up with an optional +1.00 add even though I'm only 19.

Cactus Jack 02 Jul 2015, 20:59


Thanks, that makes sense. I remember now that it was part of a near vision check quite a while ago. I hope KL reads your reply.


DS 02 Jul 2015, 20:07

The crossed lines test is one of several methods to test near vision.

The lines are presented with full distance correction and a cross cylinder lens that creates an artificial astigmatism. Customarily, the minus axis is placed vertical so that when under-accomodating the horizontal lines appear clearer. More plus is added until both vertical and horizontal are equal.

The principal is somewhat similar to a red/green version where the color rather than the cross cylinder causes the images to straddle the retina. More plus is required if green is clearer in the red/green test.

Cactus Jack 01 Jul 2015, 14:48


Could be. It is likely that Pearle has a central lab the serves a large number of local offices. The biggest part of the estimated week may be taken up by shipping to and from the lab and the workload of the lab. If the lab stocks the frame you selected, there may be no need to ship the actual frame you selected to the lab, which will save time. At this point, you don't have any choice but to wait.

Designer frames are typically very expensive and they are not stocked in depth because of the cost. It is even possible that the lab had to get the frame from the manufacturers warehouse. Many of the large optical companies and labs are owned by one Italian company, Luxottica, that operates under several brand names and they price their products accordingly. They generally offer good quality and good overall service, which are helpful until you learn to navigate the optical field on your own.


Iristotle 01 Jul 2015, 13:53

Cactus Jack,

After my exam, I ordered my frames through Pearle Vision, but rather than getting generic frames I got a pair made by Burberry, could that be why it might take longer than normal?


Cactus Jack 01 Jul 2015, 13:04


It depends on where you live and were you ordered your glasses. It is pretty common for first time glasses wearers to order the glasses where you had the exam. Generally, they will order the glasses from a low cost source. Some even order glasses from an online retailer like Zenni Optical, which you can do also, once you learn how.

In most states, you are not required to order glasses from the ECP who did the exam and the Examiner is required by law to give you your prescription.

There are many places that offer One or Two hour service on common prescriptions and yours probably qualifies as a common prescription. Many high volume optical centers in larger cities stock "uncut" lenses in the common prescriptions. Mass produced uncut lenses are really not very expensive and are of high quality/ You need to call around and ask ask how long it would take to get glasses with your prescription and the cost. If they stock the lenses, all that is necessary is to select the frame, cut the lens to fit the frame with the correct cylinder angle and pupillary distance, and mount it in the frame. It does not take long.

If you have a complex prescription it can take longer. A really complex prescription may have to be made by a specialty lab and can take as long as a month because they have to be individually made, sometimes from optical glass rather than optical plastic.

They said a week, but they may call you sooner and say they are ready. It is frustrating to have to wait. Most of us have been there, done that, and lived through the frustration.

Learning how to order glasses is similar to learning about eye exams. We can help you learn the low cost tricks when ordering glasses, as we did with "How to Study . . . ". Let me know when you are ready to learn about ordering low cost glasses.


Iristotle 01 Jul 2015, 11:14

How long does it take for glasses to be made and come in? They said about a week or so? So is it possible to com in earlier or later?



Likelenses 30 Jun 2015, 20:45

I at first thought that the cross lines test may be for detecting macular degeneration,but when KL said that the lines became equal after apparently changing a lense then I now agree it is most likely an astigmatism test. Perhaps it is a new method,as I have not heard of it.

Cactus Jack 30 Jun 2015, 16:08


I am not certain about the purpose of the crossed lines test. I have had it and had similar experience with it. It could be a test to make sure the cylinder and axis are close to accurate or it could be a substitute for the Red/Green fields test. Perhaps one of our ECPs could explain the test.

The Red/Green fields test is often used as a final check on the Sphere correction. The clarity of the letters in Red or Green field indicate if the Sphere is over or under corrected. It is particularly useful in younger patients that have instant and easy accommodation. It will usually detect those situations where the patient is using their Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses to compensate (intentionally or not) for more MINUS than they actually need. Curiously, the test will work even if the patient cannot tell the difference between Red and Green. Different wavelengths of light focus at different distances and if the letters are equally clear, the prescription is right for most other wavelengths (colors). As we get older, presbyopia makes sure that we can't accommodate very well and the Red/Green test is not as useful.


Cactus Jack 30 Jun 2015, 15:46


I am very glad you found "How to Study for an Eye Exam" helpful. I have been meaning to write that for quite a while. I have tried to assure and help many people on ES that were very apprehensive about an eye exam. Once you understand how it works and that it is not unpleasant, you may get to the point where you look forward to getting an exam, a new prescription, and new glasses.

It took me about 2 hours to write "How . . . " and it needs a lot of work. Any suggestions would be appreciated while it is still fresh in your mind.

I can almost assure you that this will not be the only eye exam you will ever have. Unfortunately, few ECPs have the time to really explain what what your role needs to be, to get the very best results and many have little or no interest in doing it. The more you learn about the function of the tests, the more accurate the results and the better patient you will be.

It is very likely that your prescription will change as you get older. It can change pretty fast in your teens and in your early 20s, as your visual workload increases, particularly in University. Also, as you discover the benefits of really good vision and what it is like to see really well, you may become more sensitive to changes that affect your VA. Some people think that if the Examiner said to come back at a certain time in the future, it is an order and they must suffer the annoyance of vision problems until the magic date. It is only a suggestion. If you notice a difference in your vision, it needs to be investigated.

Let us know when you get your glasses and what you think about wearing them. Also, if you have more questions, please ask.


KL 30 Jun 2015, 15:42

On the topic of eye exams, I had one a few months ago for the first time in more than a decade. (I know, I know. I should go regularly... but I haven't.) Since it's been forever since the last time, and also since I've only had probably four previous eye exams in nearly 25 years, I didn't remember in any detail what to expect. Well, at least not everything.

One of the first times, years ago, they did the red and green fields, and also split the image to check for prism.

Neither of those happened this time, but there was something I can't remember from other times: towards the end there was a thing with a bunch of parallel lines going vertically, with another number of lines crossing them at right angles. The examiner asked if they were all the same, but one direction was clearer than the other - can't remember which. Also, it was ridiculously close and hard to focus on at all. What was that for? She changed something, and then both directions were equally in focus, although just barely so. I'm curious to know what that tested.

For the record, I'm 37 and have worn glasses for myopia since I was 13. The reason I went for the test was discomfort at work where I'm on the computer pretty much all day every day. Current prescription is:

O.D. -3.00 cyl -0.50 ax 50

O.S. -2.50 cyl -1.00 ax 160

ADD 0.50

I don't remember my previous prescription exactly, but I know the sphere was around the same, and there was 0.5 D difference then too. I always had astigmatism, but don't know how much or the axis. The add is new, though.

Iristotle 30 Jun 2015, 15:07

Cactus Jack,

I really appreciate the list you gave me in what to expect, you were very thorough and it examined just about everything my doctor did to examine my eyes. The list helped ease the nervousness and minute amount of stress I had during he exam, and I truelt appreciate what you did. The exams was almost a carbon copy of what you said it would be, but not in that specific order.


Iristotle 30 Jun 2015, 14:26

Cactus Jack,

My optometrist said that I could choose to have them or not. But she recommended that I got them, they'll be used to see the board at school, TV and general tasks that involve some sort of long term focusing. I'll probably wear them full time, after all they ARE meant to help me, who's to say I can't have help all the time? It will only make my life easier.


Cactus Jack 30 Jun 2015, 14:10


That is reasonable considering what you described. The only small surprise here is the amount of astigmatism in your Left eye. Astigmatism can mess up your vision at all distances. It is generally caused by an uneven curvature of the front surface of your cornea. The exact cause is unknown. One of the big problems with astigmatism is that there is nothing you can do about it except wear corrective lenses or have refractive surgery. As a practical matter, it causes your vision system to have to work extra hard to perform the impossible task of trying to focus the image on your retina.

From a technical point of view, the Sphere of -0.25 in your right eye means that everything beyond about 13 feet is not as sharp and clear as it can be without correction. The astigmatism is a little harder to explain.

Ideally, the front surface of the cornea is shaped like a section of a perfect sphere. With astigmatism it is shaped somewhat like a section of an American Football, where it has a steeper curve in one direction than in the other. In your case, the long axis of the football is at 118 degrees. By convention, a horizontal axis is 0 degrees the numbers increase in a counter clockwise direction (looking at the patient) to 90 degrees vertical and on around to 179 degrees. 0 and 180 degrees would be the same axis so numbers greater than 179 are not used.

In your prescription, the -0.75 is the cylinder power in the direction that is actually at right angles to the 118 degrees or 28 degrees. Remember that corrective lenses neutralize the refractive error so your cornea actually has +0.75 more power in the 28 degree direction and is just right in the 118 direction. What that means is that your Left eye actually had two focus distances. The result is that lines in the image that eye sees are in focus in some directions and blurry in others, depending on the distance to the object. It can make text hard to read at almost any distance.

Did the examiner suggest full time wear?

There will be some people who say that your prescription is too weak to wear glasses. However, remember that a person wears vision correction for THEIR OWN benefit and comfort, not for the satisfaction of others. Do what feels the most comfortable for you.

Did you find the exam to be pretty much as I described and was not an unpleasant experience?


Iristotle 30 Jun 2015, 13:04

Ok, so I need glasses (no surprise here), this is my prescription


Iristotle 30 Jun 2015, 10:30

Thank you very much! Presuming I'll need glasses, I'll post whatever happens in this same thread as well as my prescription.


Cactus Jack 29 Jun 2015, 20:59


It turned out longer than I thought and it needs some editing, but I wanted to get it to you ASAP. There is some variation in the techniques various ECPs use. I guess, over the years, I have had more than 70 eye exams and I tried to relate the most common elements of a typical exam.

I didn't cover the difference between a regular exam and a Dilated exam. There really isn't much except special drops are used to paralyze your Ciliary Muscles and also cause your pupils to open up fully. Dilation is used primarily for people who have Hyperopia or people who cannot keep their Ciliary Muscles from trying to help. Dilation is also used to facilitate examination of the Retina and interior of the eye. Dilation is painless, but it takes about 4 to 5 hours to wear off. Until the agent wears off, you can't focus close or deal with bright light. If you get a Dilated exam, they should give you some very dense, disposable sunglasses to wear outside.

I have been managing my Type 2 Diabetes since I was about 30. I get a Dilated exam about every 6 months to check my Retinas for damage. So far, it appears that I have been doing a pretty good job of managing my Diabetes and I don't have any Retinal damage.

During the exam, try to let the lenses do the work, that is what they are for.

Hope this and How to Study, helps.

Be sure and tell us the results of your exam.


Cactus Jack 29 Jun 2015, 20:40


An eye exam is not like an exam that you might take in school and there is really no way to study for it. However, you can prepare for it and learn about your role in the exam. The best eye exams are a team effort between you and the Examiner. Part of the preparation is to learn what to expect, particularly if this is your first eye exam.

One important thing you need to keep in mind is that the Examiner has no way to experience what you are seeing. He/she has to depend on your answers to questions.

There are two parts to an eye exam. The first part is the Objective part. This part consists of:

1. Taking a Visual History where you describe your vision and the kinds of problems you are having.

2. Checking the internal pressure in your eyes for symptoms of Glaucoma. This is one of the very few parts of an eye exam that is even mildly uncomfortable and the discomfort only lasts for a few seconds. There are two basic ways to do the pressure test.

A. Using a special instrument to lightly touch your Cornea. Not to worry here. Before doing this type of test a drop of mild anesthetic will make sure you don’t even feel it.

B. There is a new type instrument that uses a puff of air directed against your cornea. No anesthetic is required, but the puff will startle you.

3. Obtaining a preliminary estimate of your refractive error using an Auto-Refractor, or manually using a small hand held instrument called an Ophthalmoscope or Retinoscope.

The Auto-Refractor is a relatively new instrument that was developed in conjunction with NASA to check Astronauts vision in space. You look into the machine with each eye individually at a scene or a pattern and the machine will adjust its internal lenses to focus the image you see on your retina. The Auto-Refractor only takes a few seconds for each eye and it then prints out your estimated prescription.

Some Examiners prefer to use manual methods that have been used for many years. Using an Ophthalmoscope or Retinoscope and a Trial Lens set or a Phroptor (a fancy machine with effectively a built in lens set), the Examiner will look into your eyes and select the lenses that allow him to see your retina, most clearly.

The object of this part of the exam is to get a starting place for the Subjective part of the exam where you have to describe what you see.

Typically the Subjective part of the exam starts with the Right Eye shutter open and the Left Eye shutter closed.

Step 1 is typically determining the cylinder and axis of any Astigmatism correction you need. This is actually the hardest part of the exam because you will be asked to judge relative blurriness of two images rather than the sharpness of an image.

You will be shown a line of text and a supplemental lens will be rotated into place. This lens is a cylinder lens that is mounted on a 45 degree pivot and can be flopped back an forth to bracket a trial axis or orientation of the long axis of the cylinder lens. The thing that is confusing about this test is that the straight lines (strokes) of the letters will alternate in clarity as the lens is flipped back and forth depending on their direction. I suggest concentrating on an “O” if possible. Depending on your answers, the examiner will adjust the axis knob unit the image you see is equally blurry with the supplemental lens 45 degrees each side of the selected axis.

At this point the Examiner will probably swing the supplemental lens out of the way and may change the cylinder power while asking you which lens in clearer.

You may be uncomfortable, for your first exam, asking the Examiner to let you fine tune the axis, but I have found that most will appreciate your wanting to actively participate. The way that works is that he will place your hand on the Axis control knob and you move it back and forth a few degrees of the sharpest image, this time.

The next step is determining the Sphere correction. This is an easy part of the exam because all you have to do is pick the sharpest image, but there is a tricky part. Your auto-focus mechanism will try to help, if it gets a chance. The Examiner has a couple of ways to minimize the action of your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses.

The Examiner can in effect sneak up on your Sphere prescription or he can use drops to Dilate your eyes. Lets talk about sneaking up on your prescription first. There are actually 4 lenses in your eye’s lens system. All of them are PLUS lenses and the total power is about +56 diopters. The only variable focus lens is the crystalline lens whose PLUS power is controlled by your ciliary muscles. For distance, your Crystalline lens is fully relaxed and has somewhere around +15 diopters. When you focus to read, your Ciliary Muscles squeeze the Crystalline lens to increase its PLUS power by the amount necessary to focus which depends on the distance to the object.

This will take a little thought to get your mind around, but if you are nearsighted, your lens system has too much PLUS for the distance from the lens system to your retina and you need MINUS lenses to neutralize some of that excess PLUS power. You ONLY have the ability to increase the PLUS power of your lens system. You have NO ability to reduce the PLUS power of your Crystalline lenses more that fully relaxed.

To try to keep your Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses from getting in the act, the examiner will start with NOT ENOUGH MINUS or TOO MUCH PLUS (same thing) and gradually increase the MINUS one or two steps at a time, while reducing the size of the line you are asked to read. He will not tell you what power lens or what line you are looking at. Eventually, he will reach the 20/20 line and a lens power that lets you read it with no mistakes.

He will then follow the same procedure with your Left Eye.

When he has completed both eyes, he will open the shutters and you may see two images. This part of the test is to check your muscle balance using some prisms. He will probably ask you to tell him when the two images are aligned horizontally and then vertically. While the images are separated, you have an important check to make. Compare the sharpness of the two images. If they are not equally sharp, be sure and tell the Examiner which image is clearer. If there is a difference, he will likely reduce the sharpness of the clearest image until they match. The important thing at this point is that they match. That lack of sharpness will be corrected in the next phase with both eyes working together.

Next he will fuse the images so both eyes are working together and repeat the Sphere procedure by gradually increasing the MINUS or decreasing the PLUS until you see the smallest line of letters very clearly.

That pretty much completes the exam except for checking your near vision with a small chart about 14 to 16 inches from you.

Iristotle 29 Jun 2015, 19:52

Cactus Jack,

My eye appointment is at 2:00 tommarow, please if you can have the list by then.



Iristotle 29 Jun 2015, 13:51

Cactus Jack,

Please post the Eye Exam tips when you are finished with the list. :D



Cactus Jack 29 Jun 2015, 12:18


I thought it might be something like that. I did not find that reference, so I did not mention it as a possibility.


Iristotle 29 Jun 2015, 10:15

Cactus Jack,

I did a Google search, and it said that it was used sometimes for color perception, but it's mostly used as a mark regarding the threshold of your sight to your ability to drive.

Cactus Jack 29 Jun 2015, 03:59


I really don't know for sure. Some charts have them and others do not. I suspect both colored lines are there to help the screener identify the lines for the subject. The green line is below the 20/30 line. If a subject cannot read the "line above the red bar" they may be asked to "try the line above the green bar". If the subject cannot identify the colored bars, there may be other problems with color perception, but I doubt many screeners look for that.


John S 28 Jun 2015, 21:21


You are not the only one that did that... I went through a lot more trouble.

I figured out I needed glasses after I tried wearing my Dad's reading glasses. When I took them off, I couldn't see anything close, and faraway was a little blurry. I thought I ruined my eyes. I was scared shi*less. But after about 30-60 seconds I could see again. Wow, what a relief.

My distance vision was blurry with his reading glasses, but close stuff was really clear. I always saw my Dad look over the top of them to see distance, so I thought that was just a normal thing.

But I knew something was different about me. The other kids at school could wear their glasses all the time. I figured out most of them were nearsighted, and I was farsighted. I thought that must have been the difference.

When I was 13, I "permanently borrowed" my Dad's extra glasses. I started wearing them for homework and building projects. My bedroom was in the basement, so when I heard someone coming down the stairs, I took them off and hid them. I did that until I was 16. By then I knew I needed stronger glasses. It was getting harder to read without them, and I had to hold stuff further away to focus.

My Dad got bifocals. I could see a lot better with them. The reading lenses were stronger, and the distance lenses made my distance vision perfect. They were really cool. I got to wear them for a week while my parents were gone. I was so used to them, my eyes screamed when I took them off. I was so close to telling my parents, but I just couldn't do it. Stupid 16 year old...

When I was 17, I couldn't deal with it anymore. I still had not said anything to my parents. One day after school I went to get glasses. Long story short, the first doctor wouldn't give me reading glasses.

I was really frustrated, so I tried another doctor. I knew not to strain this time, so I let my eyes relax. He checked my distance prescription. Then he showed me the reading chart, it was really blurry. I told him there was no way I could see those small letters. That didn't seem to surprise him at all. He made the lenses stronger, and said I needed to wear bifocals.

When I got my glasses, they didn't have as much power as my Dad's glasses did. So I went back and told him I worked at a stereo shop, and I couldn't see close enough to solder. He said my lenses were set for 16-24 inches. I had long arms, so I guess he figured that was good distance. He said he would make them stronger. He went from a +1.50 to a +2.00 add. So that made the distance 13-17 inches. My close vision was a lot sharper.

I had my bifocals for about a month. I was fixing a TV in the garage. I got my nerve up and put my glasses on knowing my parents would eventually come out there. Now that was awkward. The look I got from my parents could have killed. Then all the questions started. My Mom asked me if I really needed bifocals, maybe the doctor made a mistake. No mistake. I was so glad it was over, and I could wear glasses whenever I wanted to.

I found out my Dad had worn reading glasses when he was a teenager, so he wasn't surprised that I needed glasses too. I couldn't believe I was so stupid to wait 5 years to get my own glasses.

A couple months later I found my Dad's prescription card. His prescription was the exactly the same as mine was.

R +1.00 L +1.00 add +2.00

Iristotle 28 Jun 2015, 21:00

Cactus Jack,

What is the purpose of the Green Line under the 20/30 point on the chart?


Cactus Jack 28 Jun 2015, 19:10


Look up Snellen Chart on Google. There are a row of images shown. The most common chart is the one on the left. If you click on it, you will see an enlarged image with the lines identified by the Snellen Fraction. The 20/20 line has a red line under it.


Cactus Jack 28 Jun 2015, 19:05


The primary function of an eye chart is vision screening. Don't let the Snellen Fraction confuse you too much. The Snellen Chart (or something similar) It is used in most eye exams to measure the effectiveness of a particular lens combination in correcting a refractive error.

The most common eye chart is the Snellen Chart. The letters are carefully selected and are of a particular size and shape to reveal difficulty in identifying them at various distances. The letter sizes were determined empirically by Snellen, many years ago.

You can look up the specifications but the idea was to find a letter size that could be read my most people who did not need vision correction at a distance of 20 feet or 6 meters. That became the 20/20 line. Today, the size of the letters on the 20/20 line are defined by the angle subtended at a distance of 20 feet or a specified size.

A persons VA is often specified as being a Snellen Fraction. For example, 20/20 means that the person can see at 20 feet what a person with "normal" vision sees at 20 feet. 20/50 would mean that they see at 20 feet what person with "normal" vision sees at 50 feet. Incidentally, "normal" vision is not the best possible vision, just the average. There are some people who have 20/15 vision and a few with even better at 20/10.

20/15 is actually closer to "perfect" vision than 20/20, but few ECPs will try for that, for fear of encouraging an increase in myopia.

VA can actually vary through the day and with some changes in health and it has only a very loose relationship to a glasses prescription to give the Best Corrected VA or BCVA. It is no substitute for a refraction.

I am very fortunate to have pretty good vision at my age. I was a bit myopic before I had cataract surgery about 14 years ago. I have Intra Ocular Lenses (IOLs) that mostly corrected that and curiously are a bit more efficient than the natural crystalline lenses they replace. When I am fresh, I can read the 20/15 line with my glasses and only miss a couple of letters. The way they write that is 20/15 -2. When I am tired or not feeling well it is not that good, but mostly adequate.

The more I learn about how the eye, vision, and the brain works, from an engineering perspective, the more amazed I am at how beautiful it is. It is brilliant, clever, and elegant. We have only begun to learn how to crudely duplicate it, with electronics and computers, in the past 20-30 years.

I will try to write up something on "How to Study for an Eye Exam" and post it by tomorrow. maybe it will help.


Iristotle 28 Jun 2015, 18:16

Yes I'm interested, however considering I just told them today, I don't think we've arranged an appointment yet. If you or anyone else knows, how exactly do they measure VA on an eye chart? Is their a select amount of letters that deem your strength, or is it based on multiple factors. If you know please do tell.


Cactus Jack 28 Jun 2015, 18:06


I knew you could do it. I know it took courage and I am glad you found it. Many of us have been through the experience.

I thought about your comment that they don't do eye tests after the 8th grade. Maybe it is because by then you should be able to know when something is not right with your vision and take action to do something about it. No one knows more about your body than you do. Part of growing up is to learn to manage your health. Ultimately, YOU have to do it, but for a few years yet, your parents will have to help.

You did good.

I agree that you will likely need glasses, but I also suspect that the prescription will be pretty low and in the common range for young teens. Many optical centers stock lens "blanks" in "popular" powers and can cut and mount the lenses in the frames of your choice, in a matter of a few hours or less. You don't have to get glasses at the same place you get the exam, but they have to give you your prescription. I have had good luck with the Optometrists at Wal-Mart Vision Centers and have been pleased with glasses from there and the reasonable prices for single vision glasses. Frankly, I doubt if you will need any fancy options with your prescription and they can delay getting your glasses. These days, there is no difference in the quality of glasses from boutique dispensing opticians and Vision Centers like you find an Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, or Costco, but there can be a big difference in cost. Many of the Optometrists associated with the Vision Centers just mentioned offer Walk In service, without an appointment, if they are not booked up.

When you gain some experience and have some time to wait for your glasses, we can teach you how to order very inexpensive, very good quality glasses from on line retailers such as Zenni Optical. Many of our members use Zenni and are very pleased with the quality of the glasses and the price.

Because this is your first eye exam, I may be able to offer you some tips on what to expect and how you can help the examiner give you the most accurate prescription. Let me know if you are interested and have time before your exam.


Iristotle 28 Jun 2015, 15:50

Well that was really painful to do, but it doesn't seem so now. I'm getting my eyes checked in a couple of days (hopefully) and I'll probably need glasses. Still amazed I summed up the courage to do that. :D

Nervous and excited are two emotions that do not mix.


Soundmanpt 28 Jun 2015, 10:19


You might find going without your glasses for a day a fun experiment to try. Just be sure you pick a day where you won't be needing to drive anywhere because of course that would be impossible. You would want to stat by getting a good nights sleep so your eyes are well rested. And whatever you don't put your glasses on when you get up. Chances of going all day without your glasses will be better if your able to stay in your house because your familiar with your surroundings. Also the longer you leave your glasses off the more your eyes will start to accommodate and you will slowly begin to feel like your more able to see things. So you might be surprised at how well you would do for your day with glasses, but I think by the next morning your eyes would be happy to have them back on again. If you look into the thread "Going without Glasses" in here you will find where several have tested their eyes by going without glasses with various results. if you decide to give it a try be sure to let us know your results.

This is really just my opinion but I think most of the people you see wearing glasses full time are probably wearing glasses that are between -3.00 and -5.00. Of course some much weaker and some much stronger.

 28 Jun 2015, 05:49

Would over the counter meds that cause increased pressurw in the eye help trigger real myopia?

Likelenses 28 Jun 2015, 02:44


You have a great prescription.

A lot of us here like girls with glasses.

Your lenses are powerful enough to not look like you don't need them.

Would you like to wear stronger glasses?

Iristotle 27 Jun 2015, 18:10

I'm going to tell/ask them tommarow for an eye exam. Hopefully we can fit it in and get glasses before vacation, but most of all I hope they won't go "why do you think you need them? What are they called? Hipsters?" ir think I'm doing it to "fit in" or "be cool"

Iristotle 27 Jun 2015, 13:22

Cactus Jack,

They might, but in my state the don't require school eye exams past the 8th grade


Iristotle 27 Jun 2015, 13:14

Cactus Jack,

Yeah, me and my 12 year old mind thought it was both embarrassing and unneeded because it wasn't interfering with my binocular vision.

Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 13:06


Considering your visual ancestry, I would expect your parents to ask you why you did not tell them you were having some vision problems, when you first noticed them. They will probably feel bad about not noticing that you were having problems.


Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 12:38


I have often wished that I pursued Optometry, but I got interested in electronics (back in the Vacuum Tube days) when I was about 10. One of the most important things you can learn, is how to learn. The books and tools I had back then, while very limited by todays standards, enabled me to learn enough about electricity and electronics, to be fixing TVs for friends and neighbors at 14 to 15 to earn spending money. It was "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King", in action. Most people thought TV was pretty close to Magic. It was a lot easier back then because most problems were tube failures, but I knew enough to be able to deal with other problems as well. The important point is that I did not have to wait to learn about it in school. By the time I got to high school, it was pretty well known that I knew why electricity took two wires, even if you could not see one of them. In fact, when I took Physics in high school, I was asked by the teacher to help with the electricity part of the course. It was his first year teaching and electricity was not his forte. I became his teaching assistant for electricity. I think all of us learned a lot. I learned the most, particularly about explaining things in terms that people understand.

When I graduated from high school in 1954, computers were laboratory curiosities. Thomas Watson, head of IBM, predicted there might be a market for 12 computers in the world. He was off by several orders of magnitude. I got interested in computers in 1975 and had to teach myself about them. Fortunately, I knew how to do that. Wound up in the Industrial Computer Design business and have a couple of patents.

If you are interested in Vision and Optics, I suggest you get better acquainted with your friend's Grandfather. He might become a Mentor and guide you in pursuing a career in Optometry or even Ophthalmology.

As you probably noticed, I am not an ECP. I got interested in Vision and Optics when I was unable to get satisfactory answers to my own vision problems. I developed some Strabismus problems and needed glasses with prism, but could not get satisfactory answers about why prism seemed to reduce my VA. I don't have all the answers yet, but I have been able to make some improvements that actually amazed my OD. I studied a lot and have become something of an Amateur in the original French sense. I still have lots to learn.

Many of the things we take for granted today, were discovered by Amateurs in the 1700s and 1800s. Look up the discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton and read about him. He did a lot more than explore and explain the laws of motion and gravity. He codified the laws of optics that we use every day and developed Calculus to mathematically describe what he observed happening to objects accelerated by the force of gravity, when ordinary Math would not do the job.

If you ever want to share thoughts or ideas privately, please feel free to use so we don't bore these folks.


Iristotle 27 Jun 2015, 12:36

Cactus Jack,

To add to my previous post, I believe my mother was nearsighted, but I don't know for sure. On my moms side of the family every boy needed glasses in order to see, and it was not specified whether they had Astigmatism or if they were Nearsighted or Farsighted. My older brother is Farsighted, although his lenses from my recollection don't look farsighted. We studied genetics in biology and apparently Farsightedness was Dominant while Nearsightedness was vice recessive, knowing how alleles work in genetics, my uncle on my fathers side is nearsighted, so I suppose that gene is present in both parents, but never affected my fathers vision, and I therefore could've gotten a double reccesive causing me to become nearsighted, but don't quote me on that.


Iristotle 27 Jun 2015, 11:19

Cactus Jack,

I appreciate the depth of your answer, only one of my parents had glasses as a kid so that probably will sympathies more contrary to the other. My depth perception actually isnt that great as I've had some trouble for about 2-3 years with that. I live in Michigan, and sports are extremely popular, but I don't play them all the time so that shouldn't hurt me that much. I'm actually thinking about becoming an Optometrist because I'm facinated with the anatomy of the eye and how we all perceive things differently, because I've always considered it my job to help others. I read a lot of books, and I've been scrutinized because of the books that I've read (Dr. Zhivago, Republic, Nineteen Eighty Four and Atlas Shrugged) but I really like philosophy, so I figured I should come up with a name that blends both my aspirations and interests, my name is a pun on Aristotole, except fitting in Eye Anatomy.

Nina 27 Jun 2015, 11:10

Glad you agree. I'm not blind with glasses but always need them. My opticians say is very normal to be shortsighted and have astigmatism. Is there something we can do to stop this happening? Or just let it happen and live with it

Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 10:54


You could, I doubt you would enjoy it. Your world would get blurry about 22 cm or 8 inches from you eyes or even less. Your astigmatism would mess up your vision at all distances.

It might be OK or even be beneficial, if you planned to chill out for a day and mostly sleep. I don't think it would be much fun to read if the text was small.


Nina 27 Jun 2015, 10:45

I'm 29 and wear glasses and contacts. -4.50 -1.25 160 what do you think of my prescription? Normal? Could I go without wearing glasses for a day?

Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 10:42


Hi Matt,

I think you meant Aristotle, but we are not here to discuss spelling and we don't do tests or grades. We mostly talk about Vision and I would like to welcome you to that fascinating world.

Based on what you wrote, I am guessing you are in your mid-teens now and you have finally been able to quantify your discovery of 4 years ago that you don't see equally well with each of your two eyes. Many of us here made similar discoveries when we were about your age, but had no idea what to do about it. You are very fortunate to have a friend whose Grandfather is an Eye Care Professional and you were able to do a crude test with the trial lens and later augment that test with a crude Astigmatism test. I would like to congratulate you on some excellent problem solving research and analysis. I am wondering if you might have some interest in the sciences.

I made a similar discovery that explained a lot of other things, when I was about your age, except my left eye was worse than yours and I needed -1.50 in my left eye when I finally got glasses at 14. I'm 77 now, but way back then, where I grew up in South Texas, the need for vision correction meant that you had "weak" eyes and were somehow less than "perfect". Fortunately, that time has past and the need for vision correction is no longer a stigma, but an important tool in helping you develop your full potential. You gain a huge portion of your knowledge base through your eyes and your vision needs to be comfortable and effortless, with both eyes working together, to help your vision develop properly.

As I have said in other posts, vision occurs in the brain, the eyes are merely biological cameras. If one eye delivers a better image than the other in a given situation, your brain will use the clearest image and may ignore the other or use what it can of the blurry image to try to build a 3D image in your brain. In my case, I needed -1.50 to correct my left eye and 0.00 for my right. It turned out that I was using my left eye to read and my right eye for distance. I had no idea what was happening and I thought I had good vision, because I did not know what really good vision was. One important thing was that I did not have very good depth perception.

You did not mention where you live, but when and where I grew up, ball sports were very popular, particularly Baseball. No team would have me. The problem was that I could not hit the ball or catch it very well. If I did either, it was almost an accident. Because of my limited depth perception, I had no idea what the ball actually was until it was in the catchers mitt, on the ground, or hit me. After I got glasses, I was very pleasantly surprised by 3D vision, but my eyes had not learned to work together very well and because my brain used one eye to read and one for distance, my focusing system did not work very well and I had to get bifocals in college to help me with the reading workload.

Back to your situation. You really need an Eye Exam and will probably need glasses. You might be able to get by with the difference in your eyes, but there is nothing you can do about astigmatism, except external correction with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery - frankly glasses work better at your age and for mild astigmatism. I suspect that, depending on the rules where you live, you may not be able to drive without vision correction in another year or two.

It is highly likely that at your age and in your visual environment you will become slowly more nearsighted (myopic) in both eyes until your early to mid 20s when you stop growing. It is unlikely that your prescription will ever get very high, that depends more on your genetics than your visual environment. Again, I am guessing, but I doubt you would ever need more than about -4.00 in your worst eye, but everyone is different. Are any of your parents, grandparents, Aunts or Uncles nearsighted?

You really need to tell your parents, which might take some courage, unless they need glasses themselves. If so, they will understand immediately. It will also take some courage when you start wearing glasses around your friends and classmates, but those questions and comments only last for a few days. Don't sweat the small stuff. Wearing glasses is not much different than wearing shoes or clothes. When you think about it, they are just tools to protect your feet from rocks, keep you warm or help you see better.

If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Welcome again!


Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 09:27

Oops, sorry. Slow responding computer today.


Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 09:25


It could easily be more than -1.00, but probably not as high as -2.00. So much depends on the image processing power of an individual's brain.

As I have mentioned many times before, Vision occurs in the brain. The eyes are merely biological cameras. The brain is perfectly capable of improving apparent Visual Acuity (VA) IF it knows what something is supposed to look like. Also, there is no way to know if person easily read the 20/50 line or struggled with some of the letters or perhaps even squinted a little to achieve a pin-hole like effect.

A Snellen Chart is primarily a screening tool until you get to the lines just above and below the 20/20 line. Incidentally, the 20/20 line is really the "normal" line that could be read by most people with "good" vision when Snellen was working out the chart.

VA depends on many factors such as the number of Rods and Cone in the central area of the Retina (Fovea) and even the biochemistry and image processing capability of the Retina at the time of the test. In many ways the Retina works a lot like the image sensor in a digital camera. The Retina is estimated to have about 120 million Rods and Cones, but only about 1 million individual nerve fibers in the Optic Nerve that goes to the Visual Cortex. There is a fair amount of processing within the Retina itself to combine the signals from all the Rods and Cones and transmit them on the 1 million Optic Nerve fibers.

Some people have VA around 20/15 and a few around 20/10 as their "Normal"

About the only thing the screening part of the Snellen Chart tells you is if you ought to see an ECP. Around the 20/20 line it only tell you how close you are to your Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA). nothing more.


Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 09:25


It could easily be more than -1.00, but probably not as high as -2.00. So much depends on the image processing power of an individual's brain.

As I have mentioned many times before, Vision occurs in the brain. The eyes are merely biological cameras. The brain is perfectly capable of improving apparent Visual Acuity (VA) IF it knows what something is supposed to look like. Also, there is no way to know if person easily read the 20/50 line or struggled with some of the letters or perhaps even squinted a little to achieve a pin-hole like effect.

A Snellen Chart is primarily a screening tool until you get to the lines just above and below the 20/20 line. Incidentally, the 20/20 line is really the "normal" line that could be read by most people with "good" vision when Snellen was working out the chart.

VA depends on many factors such as the number of Rods and Cone in the central area of the Retina (Fovea) and even the biochemistry and image processing capability of the Retina at the time of the test. In many ways the Retina works a lot like the image sensor in a digital camera. The Retina is estimated to have about 120 million Rods and Cones, but only about 1 million individual nerve fibers in the Optic Nerve that goes to the Visual Cortex. There is a fair amount of processing within the Retina itself to combine the signals from all the Rods and Cones and transmit them on the 1 million Optic Nerve fibers.

Some people have VA around 20/15 and a few around 20/10 as their "Normal"

About the only thing the screening part of the Snellen Chart tells you is if you ought to see an ECP. Around the 20/20 line it only tell you how close you are to your Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA). nothing more.


Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 09:25


It could easily be more than -1.00, but probably not as high as -2.00. So much depends on the image processing power of an individual's brain.

As I have mentioned many times before, Vision occurs in the brain. The eyes are merely biological cameras. The brain is perfectly capable of improving apparent Visual Acuity (VA) IF it knows what something is supposed to look like. Also, there is no way to know if person easily read the 20/50 line or struggled with some of the letters or perhaps even squinted a little to achieve a pin-hole like effect.

A Snellen Chart is primarily a screening tool until you get to the lines just above and below the 20/20 line. Incidentally, the 20/20 line is really the "normal" line that could be read by most people with "good" vision when Snellen was working out the chart.

VA depends on many factors such as the number of Rods and Cone in the central area of the Retina (Fovea) and even the biochemistry and image processing capability of the Retina at the time of the test. In many ways the Retina works a lot like the image sensor in a digital camera. The Retina is estimated to have about 120 million Rods and Cones, but only about 1 million individual nerve fibers in the Optic Nerve that goes to the Visual Cortex. There is a fair amount of processing within the Retina itself to combine the signals from all the Rods and Cones and transmit them on the 1 million Optic Nerve fibers.

Some people have VA around 20/15 and a few around 20/10 as their "Normal"

About the only thing the screening part of the Snellen Chart tells you is if you ought to see an ECP. Around the 20/20 line it only tell you how close you are to your Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA). nothing more.


Cactus Jack 27 Jun 2015, 09:25


It could easily be more than -1.00, but probably not as high as -2.00. So much depends on the image processing power of an individual's brain.

As I have mentioned many times before, Vision occurs in the brain. The eyes are merely biological cameras. The brain is perfectly capable of improving apparent Visual Acuity (VA) IF it knows what something is supposed to look like. Also, there is no way to know if person easily read the 20/50 line or struggled with some of the letters or perhaps even squinted a little to achieve a pin-hole like effect.

A Snellen Chart is primarily a screening tool until you get to the lines just above and below the 20/20 line. Incidentally, the 20/20 line is really the "normal" line that could be read by most people with "good" vision when Snellen was working out the chart.

VA depends on many factors such as the number of Rods and Cone in the central area of the Retina (Fovea) and even the biochemistry and image processing capability of the Retina at the time of the test. In many ways the Retina works a lot like the image sensor in a digital camera. The Retina is estimated to have about 120 million Rods and Cones, but only about 1 million individual nerve fibers in the Optic Nerve that goes to the Visual Cortex. There is a fair amount of processing within the Retina itself to combine the signals from all the Rods and Cones and transmit them on the 1 million Optic Nerve fibers.

Some people have VA around 20/15 and a few around 20/10 as their "Normal"

About the only thing the screening part of the Snellen Chart tells you is if you ought to see an ECP. Around the 20/20 line it only tell you how close you are to your Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA). nothing more.


Iristotle 27 Jun 2015, 09:15

Yeah i also tested positive for astigmatism in the left eye too.

I used one of these cbarts on my phone to test myself

miku 27 Jun 2015, 01:26

Thank you Cactus Jack!

It does make sense and I am aware that my question sounded a little stupid. I only wanted a rough idea of how strong someone's sphere-only prescription would be if they failed reading the 20/50 line.

And it does make sense that there is a very loose connection between prescription and acuity but I got to the point where I didn't know how to estimate that. Personally, I was expecting something like -1.50 or -2.00.

Cheers Cactus Jack

Iristotle 26 Jun 2015, 21:43

Hello i was wondering if anybody could help me with some recent vision changes, so i would like opiniom.

Anywah, My name is Matt, and for the past couple of years ive neglected to address the health of my eyes, and I think now should be the time. I discovered in the sixth grade that my left eye was exceptionally blurry compared to the right, whenever we did eye tests at school, ot never got to the point where it was bad enough to merit a note home, so I just shrugged it off as a harmless problem, but looking now, 4 years later, I think it might’ve gotten to the point where it will make me need glasses. My friends grandfather is an Ophthalmologist, so he has a bunch of cool equipment lying around as well as an eye chart or too tacked up on the wall. It was hung at the end of the hall, so we tried and measured out 20 ft. as well as we could and gave ourselves a rudimentary test for fun, my right eye was perfect, but my left eye failed at the 20/30 line (that’s where I missed the first letter, I don’t know if there is a limit, basically its where everything became fuzzy, but it would require some focusing for me to figure some of them out). We called my friends grandpa over and we asked him what this means, I told him ive experienced this for a couple of years, and he thinks I need glasses. My friends grandpa than opened a case full of lenses, and told me to try them until my vision was completely clear. I selected a lens labeled “-0.50” and that for the most part made my vision clear. I have a friend who wears glasses who started out with the same problem as me, but over the course of a year or so, his other eye eventually needed glasses, and one didn’t just need a clear lens. On my way home, I stopped on the sidewalk and downloaded an astigmatism test off the internet to my phone, and my right eye tested positive for astigmatism, and autonomously opened a tab in maps to an optical shop, which is why I guess the lens never corrected my eye to the extent of perfect. I also found the board a little nit fuzzy to tale notes, but it only rarely required me to squint in order to do so. Before I tell my parents, id like to know even if I should because its not that major, whether you think ill need glasses or not and what you think will happen to the eye that is currently not experiencing any problems.


Cactus Jack 26 Jun 2015, 15:11


There is a VERY loose relationship between Visual Acuity as expressed by a Snellen Fraction and an actual prescription. A Snellen Fraction of 20/50 means that a person can see at 20 feet what a person with "normal" vision sees at 50 feet.

On a Snellen Chart, the 20/50 line is 4 steps above the 20.20 line. Typically the lines as you go up the chart are 20/20, 20/25, 20/30, 20/40, and 20/50. A very inaccurate rule of thumb for sphere only myopia is, each line above the 20/20 line requires a -0.25 step so 20/50 would be about -1.00. However, you should notice that there is a difference of 5 feet between the 20/20, 20/25, and 20/30 lines and 10 feet between 20/30, 20/40, and 20/50.

It is not a good idea to use the Snellen Fraction to determine prescriptions. If it was, we would not need Trial Lens Sets, Phroptors, or Auto-Refractors.


miku 26 Jun 2015, 12:24

Hi Cactus Jack,

I was hoping you might be able to help me. First of all, I am aware of the fact that the answer to my question depends a lot on many subjective factors.

Considering a healthy but myopic eye with no astigmatism, what would be the approximate prescription if the visual acuity was 20/50?

Thank you


Adam 25 Jun 2015, 17:43

Thanks for that information, was interesting.

Well I bitten the bullet and uploaded some photo's on Facebook some of which I have my glasses on in. I still think I look strange with them on. At least now my friends can see me in them, I will wait to see the comments!

Cactus Jack 25 Jun 2015, 06:00


I don't know if you are familiar with the laws of optics, discovered and codified by Sir Isaac Newton, of gravity fame, about 300 years ago. Using those laws, you can calculate the focusing effects of various power lenses.

Glasses correct focusing errors by neutralizing them with the lens power that is opposite of the error. In other words, if you need -0.75 corrective lenses, it is because your eyes actually have +0.75 refractive error. That is the same as having built in reading glasses of +0.75 power.

In practical terms that means that without your glasses, everything beyond 1.3 meters or about 4.4 feet is blurry without your glasses.

One of the great things about visiting new places on holiday is seeing new things. Consider how much more you will see with your glasses than without. Then, forget you are wearing them and enjoy. It is a beautiful world. Don't miss any of it.

I won't bore you with any more details, but if you have more questions, don't be shy about asking them.


Adam 25 Jun 2015, 00:41

Hi thanks for that I'm 30 and work in an office so am at the computer most of the day.

Where I'm on holiday is very little lights and have noticed the difference in seeing them and also the leaves on the trees. I have also found neon lighting to be a lot clearer with them on, before it looked so fuzzy I couldn't read it from too far away.

Cactus Jack 24 Jun 2015, 19:25


The thing that is doing the adjusting is your brain. Vision actually occurs in the brain. Your eyes are merely biological cameras. Your brain has amazing image processing power and can correct blurry images if it knows what something is supposed to look like. In fact, your brain can create images with your eyes closed. Ever had a dream?

The problem is that it takes a lot of work and energy to correct blurry images. With your glasses, the images are being corrected optically and very little extra work is required and your brain likes the reduced work load. Think of your glasses as labor saving tools.

As far as wearing them in front of friends and family. Everyone who wears glasses has had to go through that process. The good news is that it will only last a day or two. After that, no one will notice your glasses unless you change the frame style or go without them. Most people do not notice even significant changes in lens power. The biggest thing that will happen is people asking to try them on. Some will comment on how strong they are, some will say they are weak, and some will comment how much better they see with your glasses or say nothing. The people who say nothing just had bit of a shock. Usually it means that they also need glasses.

The most important thing is to remember that you wear glasses for YOUR benefit and you do not need the permission of any other person on this planet to see clearly and comfortably.

You mentioned that you noticed the biggest difference at night. That is a very common observation. The thing that causes a difference between day and night vision is your pupil size. In bright light, your Iris closes down to protect your eyes from the light. That increases your "depth of field" or range of useful focus. In dim light your Iris opens up and the blur becomes more noticeable. The same effect occurs with the f stop adjustment on a professional camera lens.

If you can, try to get away from bright city lights some night an observe stars in a clear sky. With and without your glasses. Notice what you have been missing.

Welcome to the group!

May I ask your age, occupation and where you live?


Adam 24 Jun 2015, 17:04

Sorry meant 3 week holiday, wish it was 3 months!!!

Adam 24 Jun 2015, 17:03

Hi I got glasses a few months ago -0.75 I each eye, but had been a bit shy about wearing them in public and in front of my friends and family. So much so not many of them know I had them.

I have been away on a 3 month holiday and decided this could be a good chance to get used to them around people who didn't know me. So I wouldn't be so aware of people asking about them.

I have been wearing them the majority of time especially in the evenings and am surprised at how my vision now seems so much clearer with them on, I hadn't really noticed this before when I wore them.

Would this just be my eyes adjusting to having lenses in front of my eyes? The difference is so much I think I will have no choice but to start wearing them more often when I get home, as reading signs in the distance is noticeably worse.

Soundmanpt 23 Jun 2015, 09:52


It does seem strange doesn't it? It really makes me wonder if they were somehow prescribed wrong. The same thing happened with me. Someone i know quite well ordered glasses from me just a year ago but to be honest the prescription slip she gave me was actually a year and some months old. Like your friend it was written for a weak minus prescription and also some minor astigmatisms. She got her glasses and loved them. about 6 months ago she went and got her eyes examined and now had a current prescription slip. But when i looked at it this time she was prescribed a weak plus prescription with about the same astigmatisms. I didn't question her and just placed her order for 2 pairs of glasses. I was sure when she got them that she was going to complain that they weren't right and I would be sending them back to Zenni to replace. I was prepared because I still had both of her prescription slips in my hand ready to show her when she complained. But when her glasses came in and I she put them on she seemed totally fine with them and I even asked her if she could see well with them and she said they were perfect. So there you go and this young lady is only 20 I know because I just saw her 2 days ago and she is all excited that she will be 21 in now 7 days. Oh and she was examined by the same doctor both times so the doctor had to see her chart from her past eye exam. I wonder if he was at all surprised in the change.

bcs 23 Jun 2015, 05:41

A friend of mine who is in her late 20s has been wearing low plus glasses with a touch of astigmatism. She wanted to try contact lenses for work and went to see an optician over the weekend.

Before they started the process of fitting, they double checked her prescription with an autorefractor which printed out a low minus sphere rx.

How does one go from being mildly hyperopic to mildly myopic over a few years? Is this a cause for concern?

Cactus Jack 22 Jun 2015, 20:54


Hopefully, it won't be too long. If the -2 over glasses are too strong or too weak, I can help you with a simple procedure to measure how much her has changed. All you need is a measuring tape, a book or newspaper, and maybe some OTC reading glasses, but you may not need them. It depends on her prescription. Let me know if I can help.

May I ask how far along she is, her complete prescription and where you live?


Eddy 22 Jun 2015, 16:24

Kris thanks for your response

Eddy 22 Jun 2015, 16:23

Kris thanks for your response

Kris  22 Jun 2015, 13:43


This has happened to a couple of friends of mine who were myopic. One friend had a really significant change in her eyesight with her pregnancy, but it improved again once she had her baby. Apparently it has something to do with the release of hormones which prepare the woman's body for childbirth. The hormones help loosen the ligaments in the woman's pelvis to make childbirth easier. The side effect is that women's feet often get wider too and their eyesight changes. One of the joys of pregnancy that isn't mentioned very often. It is always worth ensuring that nothing insidious is going on, but probably nothing to worry about and it should improve after your baby is born.

Eddy 22 Jun 2015, 11:45

Cactus Jack,

We plan to mention it to th Dr. On the next visit. We also ordered 2 pairs of glasses on zenni on with the last prescription and on with -2 more.


Cactus Jack 21 Jun 2015, 01:16


Vision changes during pregnancy need to be investigated. Your wife and your developing baby are very fortunate that your wife is very healthy. However, that does not exclude the possibility that the vision changes are symptoms of temporary Gestational Diabetes (GD). It is common enough in even healthy mothers, to have a name and a web site. Even though GD is temporary, it is not harmless to either your wife or the baby. If present, it needs to be managed. Fortunately, it is not very hard to do with the modern tools we have.

All your wife needs to do is mention the symptoms to her Obstetrician and ask if it is possible that she is developing Gestational Diabetes. A simple test will give the answer.


Eddy 20 Jun 2015, 18:30

Thanks Cactus,

But she's very healthy besides her eyesight changes there has been no other problems.

Cactus Jack 19 Jun 2015, 16:14

Concerned Mama,

Sorry to be so slow in responding. I have been thinking about your son's situation and I think the advise and suggestions about the school and the administration are good.

In some ways, bullies are really insecure people who are reacting to the same animal instincts that cause well fed predators to kill a crippled animal even if they are not hungry. You mentioned that your son had been promoted ahead of his age group. I have some personal experience with that when I was about your son's age. Advancement to a higher grade has both good and bad elements. The good side is that it recognizes that his mental advancement is ahead of most his age. The bad side is that unless factors other than mental advancement are considered, it can be physically traumatic.

The biggest problem is that it is likely that your son's physical size is smaller than most of the other boys in the school. A secondary problem is that he is very myopic and it is likely that very few children at his grade level understand how vision works and are prone to attack him simply because he is different. Few of them probably realize that they will also need glasses in the nears future, perhaps not as strong, initially, but they will need them.

One of our young members was born without one of the lenses in his eyes and he had to wear very think PLUS glasses like cataract patients used to wear. On top of that he is very cross eyed for several reasons including missing eye muscles. We believe the cause was his mother having Rubella or German Measles during gestation. In other words, nothing he did caused his vision problems. Other than those vision limitations, he is very smart and he had big troubles with bullies in school. One of the problems with wearing very high PLUS glasses is that there is no peripheral vision with them and you can only see things that are directly in front of you.

There were a couple of occasions where a bully sneaked up behind him and removed his glasses and intentionally crushed them. Naturally, action was taken against the bully, but he was essentially blind without his glasses. Surprisingly, not completely, and with the help of other sudents he was able to make arrangement to get a spare pair from home. BTW, his glasses are special and have to be made in Germany at great expense.

The point of relating this story, is that your son may be refusing to wear his glasses to school for fear of having them broken or stolen. He knows he is VERY dependent on his glasses. Hopefully, he has a spare pair and or has a slightly weaker pair that he could wear to school. If that pair got broken or stolen, hopefully, the perpetrator could be found and his parents be required to pay for a new pair of glasses.

One other consideration is that your son should probably not be in that school. If he is exceptional bright, you need to investigate a school for exceptional bright children. That way he would be in a healthier and more challenging environment, possibly with children who are also bright.

Frankly, right now, school is punishment for something he did not do. He may be living in fear of being attacked which is not a healthy place for him.

I hope this helps some. There are solutions. Please keep us informed. If you wish to contact me privately it is


cactus Jack 19 Jun 2015, 15:03


Lots of hormonal changes occur during pregnancy that can cause other changes in the body. If a woman has myopia or is genetically disposed to it, she may experience an increase in Axial Myopia during pregnancy that will not reverse after term. This is believed to be caused by the eyeball growth hormones affecting her, in addition to promoting the growth and development of the fetus' eyes and vision.

In addition, there is a condition called Gestational Diabetes that can, according to the American Diabetes Association, begin to occur around the 24th week of pregnancy. A diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes DOES NOT mean that a person had Diabetes before pregnancy or if they will have it after the pregnancy. Often, Diabetes in any form, will cause increases in Blood Glucose (BG) levels, which will, in turn, cause the Index of Refraction (IR) to increase in the Aqueous Humor and Vitreous Humor in the eye. Axial Myopia is actually caused by a mismatch between the TOTAL PLUS power of the Eye's lens system and the distance from the Crystalline Lens to the Retina. If the IR of the Humors increases, the PLUS power of the Eye's lens system increases and the person become more Myopic. When the BG drops back closer to normal, Myopia also goes back to normal. If Gestational Diabetes is present, it is important to know the BG level during an eye exam. If BG is varying, it may be desirable to have several different powers of glasses to be able to see clearly throughout the day. Don't overlook getting several pair of low cost glasses from Zenni, to use until the the pregnancy has reached term.

I suggest mentioning the problem to her Obstetrician. I don't know where you live, but it is easy and inexpensive to get an BG meter and test strips. Walk-mart offers a ReliOn meter that is fast (5 seconds) and accurate for US$9.00. 50 Test Strips are also US$9.00 or US$0.18 each. The Manufacturer also offers an inexpensive kit for downloading the results to their confidential website for maintaining a log you can print out and take to your doctor to assure good management.

Let us know if we can help. There is a crude test that she can do to get an pretty good idea of her prescription at any time she wants to just using, her glasses, a pair of OTC reading glasses, a book or newspaper and a measuring rule. Let me know if you are interested.

I also suggest checking Gestational Diabetes on Google or other browser.


Andrew 19 Jun 2015, 13:56


They used to do routine eye tests in schools, although they stopped a long time ago. Maybe the parents still thought they did?

Eddy 19 Jun 2015, 12:55

Hello everyone!

My wife continues to have vision problems even after her new prescription, yesterday she was at home watching t.v. and couldn't read the news reel. Her best friend was there and she loaned her glasses witch are -2's and together with her contacts she was able to see clearly. At this point she's worried she'll be over -20 after her pregnancy.

Soundmanpt 17 Jun 2015, 15:06


I'm not sure why you keep saying that you don't want to wear plus glasses? The actual prescription you got is not a plus prescription but is a minus one for distance. Now the distance part is the weakest possible (-.25 / -.25) but better than nothing at least. You also have astigmatism in both eyes which is probably the bigger issue at this time. Now astigmatisms are not pluses either, however they do effect your eyes both for distance as well as close up.

So "svensont" is dead on in suggesting that you should order glasses as R -1.25 -.50 90 / L -1.25 -.50 90.

I am a little bit surprised that they didn't recommend you get glasses where you got your eyes examined. Even though your prescription is quite weak you would notice some difference in your vision if you had got them. But i'm sure your eyes are more than capable of wearing somewhat stronger glasses then you were prescribed. The prescription that svensont and myself are recommending will make a big difference in your vision right away.

yogi 17 Jun 2015, 13:27

do any of you check the specsavers web site

there is a section on it called ask the optician

go to the home page

go to eye health

go to ask the optician

personaly I avoid their optical stores bad inaccurate exams rushed tests and they don't seem to except any mistakes they make

but back to the subject

a new question just posted needs checking out

kid sits to close to the tv and keeps bumping in to things but it still takes a letter from the school to get the mother to take the kid to an optician surprise surprise the kid needs glasses

R -2.75 c-0.75 L -3.50 c-1.25

mother wants to know why as both her and husband 20/20

what I want to know is how she missed it how it got so bad this is not the third world this is the uk we have the NHS glasses are free for kids

she has 20/20 or does she just think she does a recommend she get an eye test

svensont 17 Jun 2015, 08:40


Order something like:

L: -1.25 -0.50 90

R: -1.25 -0.50 90

You should be able to see perfectly, or even better because you have some astigmatism

Ni 17 Jun 2015, 07:29

The card they gave me at the optician -0.25 -0.50 90 -0.25 -0.50 90. I don't want to wear plus glases for distance. How would the best prescription look? I have tried someone's driving glasses on and they didn't do much would they be like -1.00. If you are a little shortsighted will you ever need reading glasses?

Soundmanpt 17 Jun 2015, 05:58


It's very possible that you may be too late in wanting to become truly shortsighted. Generally speaking you have a much better chance if your 18 to 23. But there have been a few that have managed to induce some myopia at your age and even older. But the good news is that it doesn't hurt anything to try. If your really fasinated at the idea of wearing glasses you can easily order glasses on line. Even with your perfect eyesight your eyes shouldn't have any problem tolerating a weak prescription right away. Everyone with perfect vision can see perfect with -.50 glasses and actually see slightly better. So with your desire to wear glasses your eyes should do well with -.75 for sure and probably even -1.00. These prescriptions are not very strong but if any of your friends were to try them they would see that your glasses are very real. By wearing your glasses full time from the time you open your eyes each day until you close them at bedtime should tell you after a few weeks if your eyes becoming shortsighted or not if things are starting to remain slightly blurry after you take your glasses off. Most people think it is the strength of the glasses that will make you shortsighted when in fact it is the constant wearing that will make the difference. Now even if your vision remains perfect when you remove your glasses and you unable to become shortsighted you will still be able to wear your glasses and no one except you will know that you don't really need them.

The best way to start is to go on line to my favorite place, and pick out glasses you want to be seen in and place your order. If you need any help in placing your order, ask and we can guide you. It will take between 10 days and 2 weeks for your glasses to arrive. During that time I suggest that you let your co workers, friends and family know that your getting glasses. This will make it so much easier once your glasses arrive to wear them if they expect to soon be seeing you wearing them. Your name doesn't give any indication if your male or female but Zenni has well over 800 pairs of mens or womens glasses to choose from for under $22.00.

If you can see that after wearing your glasses for a short while that your glasses are having a real effect on your eyesight then of course you want to order another pair and increase the prescription a bit more, that is if you want to wear stronger glasses.

Ni 17 Jun 2015, 04:55

I've had my eyes tested and don't need glasses. what is the best prescription you can have? I don't mind if I was shortsighted because I don't want to wear plus glasses all the time when I'm older. I know people who had perfect eyesight when they were younger then needed plus glasses for reading then all the time. I'm 27 so could I become shortsighted?

TreeTrunk 17 Jun 2015, 01:03

I've gotta ask, I've been thinking a lot about my fascination with glasses, and I think the root of it all is specifically the fact that I'm turned on by people squinting. Does anybody else find this to be the case with themselves or am I alone in the venture?

Soundmanpt 14 Jun 2015, 07:44

Concerned Mama

What is happening to your son is a real shame and that teacher and principle really don't get it. They must not wear glasses themselves or if they do they must be very weak so they are comparing your son's vision to their own. Crystal Veil has point but maybe you should take a spare pair of your sons glasses and go have a nice chat with the teacher and have her try on your sons glasses and ask her how well she can see with them? Maybe even throw her ball and see how well she can see that with his glasses on. Bullying is very serious and need to be stopped or it will continue to get worse.

Without any doubt it is time to call a meeting with both the teacher and the principle and make your point very clear that you want it stopped now.

Crystal Veil 14 Jun 2015, 03:04

Concerned Mama,

if you decide to speak again to the teacher (or even better, to the principle as suggested by astigmaphile), I may have a useful tip for pricipal and / or teacher. Just talking to the bullies is not enough. None of them has a clue what the world looks like (bare eyed) if one has a prescription of minus nine. If each of the bullies was handed a pair of glasses with lenses of +7 and being ordered to walk the playground or the gym, the simple confrontation would be more effective than half an hour's preaching. I work with photo models posing in glasses with high prescriptions. Many models have perfect eyesight and they often comment "I did not know that people with strong prescriptions have such poor eyesight without glasses".

Liv 13 Jun 2015, 18:16

Concerned Mama,

I had a lot of trouble getting my youngest daughter to wear her glasses as well. What me and my husband did was to have a 'glasses positive' attitude- let them know that wearing glasses is normal or cool. Point out sports stars or entertainers who wear glasses. Do you wear glasses yourself? You can point out that he can be like mum/dad.

Another thing I found good was when i signed her up for soccer. She's not very athletic nor was she keen to join but it does make her realise how much glasses help her. She eventually started enjoying it, made some new friends plus going outside to play is never a bad idea!

In the end, I think her eyes ended up being so bad that she hated not being able to see more than the glasses so she started wearing them full-time by herself.

Puffin 13 Jun 2015, 16:05

Carrie, I agree completely with everything you just said.

Carrie 13 Jun 2015, 16:03


I can't imagine the stress and worry you must be going through with your children's eyesight and the bullying of your son clearly makes it worse. All I can offer is my sympathy and to let you know that I am thinking of you, hoping and hoping that everything will turn out right. I'm sure I'm not the only Eyescene reader who wishes you and your children the very best.

concernedmama 13 Jun 2015, 15:28

Thank you for the links - I will discuss them with the team at Moorfields at his next appointment.

My son is 9, going on 10 and is in his last year at primary school (he skipped a year). The bullies are in his same year but are obviously a year older.

His prescription is around -9 but I'll find the exact figures tomorrow.

Any ideas would help - should I insist on seeing the teacher again to explain how poorly he sees without his glasses? Also that they shouldn't be allowing any bullying at all. They call him baby eyes, alien eyes etc - nothing too cruel but at his age it still hurts. They also throw balls at him which his teacher says is trying to get him to join in but they know he can't see what's going on. It's getting worse in that he refused to wear them out to the supermarket earlier and we ended up having a row over it.

I'm at the end of my tether...

Chino 13 Jun 2015, 07:10


I forgot to mention one more thing. These are the glasses I purchased for my experiment:

I went with these because I think the wraparound goggle design will do a better job of preventing regular light from entering my eyes through the edges. This way, my eyes only get exposed to the colored light coming in through the lenses.

Chino 13 Jun 2015, 07:06

Hi ConcernedMama,

I've never had children and am, unfortunately, at a loss as far as helping with advice on bullying.

I have taken the time to read over your previous posts. I may be able to help in another way, with respect to your childrens' myopia.

I recently learned of some research in which it appears to be possible to induce and reverse myopia with colored light. I don't know if this will work on humans, but I plan on starting an experiment early next week to see if I can induce myopia on myself by using red light.

If you're interested in trying this out, it would be a very good idea to share these research papers with Moorfields first.

To reverse myopia, you need to use blue light. Here are the research papers.

I should point out that I am an older adult whose eyes have stopped changing. Even if it does not work for me, there is still the possibility that it may work for children whose eyes are still changing/growing.

My experiment is a little different in that I'm not using colored light. I'm using colored prescription glasses instead. You can get blue tinted prescription glasses from online retailers like zennioptical or optical4less. If you go that route, stick to the solid lens tint and avoid the photochromic and gradient tint lenses.

One other thing to keep in mind is that, if this works, it will probably reverse your childrens' myopia VERY quickly. To avoid overshooting your goal, I highly recommend that you test your childrens' vision (both near and far) daily.

I wish you the best, ConcernedMama. I really hope you're able to find a solution to that bully problem.

astigmaphile 12 Jun 2015, 18:43

Concerned Mama,

Bullying is inexcusable. You need to have a conference with the teacher and the principal. Your son could be seriously by not wearing his glasses. The bullies parents need talking to, as well.

Cactus Jack 12 Jun 2015, 17:30

Hi Concerned Mama,

Nice to hear from you again, but wish it was something easier to deal with than Bullies. Maybe we can help, because many of our members who needed strong glasses at an early age can offer some suggestions.

Kids can be very cruel, but Bullying is not acceptable under any circumstances. One would almost think that the teacher is afraid of the Bullies, also.

Could you refresh our memories a bit about your son. His current age, Grade level in school, and his current prescription.

Also, the age and grade level of the Bullies.


ConcernedMmama 12 Jun 2015, 14:55

Hi everyone

I need some advice again... my son has what has been described as 'galloping myopia' although his sight with his glasses is good (20/30) and much better than his sister's who is visually impaired.

Anyway, there has been some bullying and he is once again refusing to wear glasses at break times at school as well as lunch. This results in a fair few bruised knees and today he came home with a cut forehead from falling over. He gets very upset by the name calling and by the remarks about how bad he is at sport. His teacher seems not to realize how poor his uncorrected vision is so lets him get away with leaving his glasses inside and puts the bullying down to normal boy teasing. She doesn't have to deal with the tears every night...

Any advice would be appreciated.


Puffin 11 Jun 2015, 04:15


I think it was yesterday I saw a young woman, wearing mildish minus glasses, holding their mobile phone very close (6-8 inches).

Although I did think for a moment that she was peeking over the top (mainly due to the angle I was watching her) but that seemed unlikely: she'd be trying to look through her black plastic frames (huh?)

Exactly what to make of that, I'm not sure. Those letters on phones aren't that small really.

Likelenses 10 Jun 2015, 23:56


Cheryl was wearing her regular prescription that day,and she was looking, as she always does, through the lower segment of her bifocals.

I have in the past commented on her reading so close ,and she say that when she hold things farther away that they are just small enough to make it seem not right.She says the images are clear,but not large enough for her liking.

She did admit that she remembers that when she got her first glasses,if she tried to read with them on,that she had a strong urge to push the reading material farther away,but then the letters seemed too small, so she just continued to read at the distance that she did before the glasses. She admits that it is a habit.

She now wonders though if she had worn her first pairs full time,and held close work farther,if her prescription would be much less.

I actually find her charming when she peers at close work as she does.

Likelenses 10 Jun 2015, 23:41


The point that the doctor was making is that the myopic eye has too much plus power,so before a person gets their first glasses,they usually hold reading material too close,and are seeing a larger than actual image. Then when the first pair of glasses are worn,the reading material looks much smaller to their eyes,so they compensate by bringing the reading material closer,and that is what causes the near point stress.

He said that the old school method of having the patient wear the glasses full time from day one,and discipline to hold close work at no closer than twelve inches,resulted in most myopes having weaker glasses in their later years.

He did acknowledge that genes have some do do with final prescriptions,but in his life of practice he saw much lower prescriptions for those patients that followed the old school ways.

Soundmanpt 10 Jun 2015, 16:03


What this retired doctor had to say is clearly correct. Now I seem to recall you saying that you ordered your girlfriend Cheryl's glasses slightly stronger than her prescription called for and that with her glasses her she is able to see 20/15. Now after this gentleman pointed out about her holding her phone so close to her eyes did Cheryl then drop in down to where it was closer to 12" away from her eyes? It makes me wonder if she was actually reading her phone through the upper segment of her glasses instead of the reading add. Otherwise could it be that she needs a stronger reading add already? Did you ask Cheryl why she holds her phone so close when she has glasses that should make seeing her phone rather easy?

I'm sure that like me you have noticed how many young people, mostly females hold their phones very close to their eyes. Much closer than they should need to. I can't help but think that it won't be long before they will be wearing glasses and maybe they have glasses already and just don't want to wear them?

??? 10 Jun 2015, 15:38

Has anyone tried those new online eye exams? I hear they are surprisingly accurate but I just would like to know what exactly the procedure is.

Puffin 10 Jun 2015, 02:07


Interesting conversation, but "near point stress" does not vanish because the wearer isn't myopic any more. The near point where the stress occurs just goes further away.

And also, is it not the case that for some progressive myopia, bifocals are suggested in order to slow down the myopia? These would tend to bring the near point back closer.

Perhaps it is just as well there is the internet these days to check advice. I don't think there's a blanket instruction that will prevent higher myopia - especially where the cause is genetic.

Likelenses 09 Jun 2015, 20:28

Over the weekend my high myopic girlfriend Cheryl,and myself attended an outing.

After the dinner portion we were talking to various people.As other people left our table a new couple sat down next to Cheryl.They were in their late seventies,and both wore low minus bifocals.

When Cheryl reads ,she holds the material quite close to her eyes,even with her new bifocals. The elderly couple were talking about their family,and proceeded to show Cheryl some photos.. When the man saw her holding them so close he commented that," holding near things so close is part of the reason that, you are quite myopic ".

He went on to tell us that he is a retired optometrist,and was in practice from 1960,until 2010.He said that when he was in optometry school,and through the early days of practice,that whenever anyone was found to be myopic that the standard procedure was to prescribe glasses,and tell the patient that they needed to wear them all the time,and that the optometrist would tell the patient to pay close attention to their reading distance.He said that a new myope can adapt quickly,and the new glasses will help,as the new myope will be uncomfortable holding the work,at the distance that they are used to.

He went on to say that in the late seventies the new thought was to let the patient decide what uses they wanted to use the new glasses for,and the doctors began to emphasize use more for distance,for new wearers.

When this began he started to see more rapid progression,and higher prescription,and patients that could not read unless they held things close.He said that almost all of his patients that were given their first glasses,and wore them constantly,and abided by his reading instructions never had a prescription much higher than -5.00,but patients that came to him during that period that were prescribed glasses by other doctors,and had only worn the first few prescription for distance,were locked in to and unable to read at the proper reading distance,and he found that these patients eventually wound up with higher prescriptions,often into double digits.

He ask both of us whether we were told to wear our first glasses all of the time,and if we were instructed to hold our reading material at no closer than twelve inches.Neither Cheryl,or I were given any such instructions.

He said that the optometrist industry has done a huge disservice to its patients from the 1970's to the present.

Being myopic by its very nature makes the person habitually hold near work too close,and when given a first prescription if it is worn for reading will relieve near point stress,if the work is held at the proper distance. If not tHen this near point stress will help to drive toward higher prescriptions.

Cheryl was a bit taken back by this whole conversation,but the optometrist,and I hit it off quite well.

I ask him if a prescription of as small as -.5 should be worn full time,and he said absolutely yes.

I tend to agree with what he had to say

Chino 09 Jun 2015, 19:18

Hi KL,

I was able to read the entire article, and now have a better understanding of what's going on here.

It may seem counter to what you've seen, but in this case the eyeball does indeed 'ungrow.' Overall axial length doesn't change very much. What changes significantly is the vitreous chamber depth (the part of the eye between the lens and retina). When under blue light, vitreous chamber length decreased dramatically.

Yes, I do think other approaches might work. Actually, my goggles experiment is the wildcard. The experiments in those studies didn't use goggles. The experiments themselves were done with colored light sources. Flashing lights seem to be even more effective, at least for inducing myopia. They didn't use flashing blue lights in that experiment.

I think covering lamps with red/blue plastic could work, and I think colored bulbs would work as well. The only reason I opted for the goggles is because I don't live alone. The goggles make it easier for me to control the color of light that makes it to my eyes without having to alter my surroundings. It would also work when I leave the house.

I do plan on buying a red light strobe that I can use when I'm by myself.

I'm an older adult, and my eyes haven't changed in years. If the red lenses work on me, I'm pretty sure blue light would work for you.

If this works for us at all, then I think the only thing that treatment duration will affect is the rate at which changes occur. In that case, five hours would still give you results. It would just take longer to achieve your goal. This may not be the case, but if we assume that refraction changes at the same rate for humans as it did for the chicks, 5 hours of treatment per day would still give you about +2.05D of hyperopia per month.

If this works, I'll give the same suggestion I gave to Nicola. If you're goal is to eliminate your spherical refractive error, make sure to check your vision daily or you could easily overshoot your goal.

I'm in Puerto Rico right now, but am returning to Florida tomorrow. I'll order that red strobe light as soon as I get back home.

Man, I really hope this works. If it doesn't, I'll have to get an IOL if I want to induce more myopia. I don't like wearing contacts, so GOC isn't an option for me.

KL 09 Jun 2015, 16:37

Chino, Cactus Jack, and anyone else who feels like chiming in…

I've been thinking about the red or blue light inducing myopia or hyperopia in animal studies. I've read the abstracts of the linked articles, and didn't see this part explained: just how does the hyperopia develop? Related to that, how can they reverse induced myopia? This seems to be counter to everything I've seen so far - i.e. the eyeball can't 'ungrow'. I did see something about the lens composition in one article - is that it? But then, another one talked about how the myopia at least was axial in nature. So now I'm both confused and intrigued.

Chino - I'm looking forward to following your experiment.

I wonder if there are other approaches than goggles that might work, like covering lamps in translucent red/blue plastic (heat from bulbs aside - wouldn't want a fire, just pondering). Or colored bulbs, obviously - easier if you live alone, I imagine.

Personally I'd want to try the opposite of what Chino is planning. I've been nearsighted for 25 years, and I'm sick of it. I still *like* glasses, but I'm sick of *needing* them. Does that even make any sense? Also I've become generally disenchanted with minus lenses. (I know that's like anathema around here, but some of us like plus more than minus.)

Whatever approach I might try, I'd only have five hours a day available at the most to devote to it. I wonder if 1) I'm too old to make any change in either direction, and 2) if less time spent pr day means it'll take longer to see a difference, or if it just won't work at all.

Any input, speculation or ruminations are most appreciated.

SC 09 Jun 2015, 11:49


I should add that I work in IT and have spent most of the day in front of screen since 1986. Small print went first - I didn't wear glasses for screen until I'd been wearing for some months for reading so that won't be the trigger for getting glasses (I guess)

SC 09 Jun 2015, 11:47


How do you know your prescription? I would have expected your eyes to accommodate automatically.

I didn't know I had hyperopia - I needed reading glasses @42 and now my Rx is +1.5. My mother needed reading glasses @40 and is now +2.25.

So if you remain best eye +1.5 then I guess you will survive until about 41/42 and then you'll need readers and I guess that bi-focals/progressives would follow - I went full-time @46

Of course I had no idea, even when I got eyes tested @44 it showed no hyperopia so I'd imagine that you could be +1.5 or +3.5 and so your need for readers could come much sooner

Soundmanpt 09 Jun 2015, 06:45


There is no one answer to when you may start to feel the need for glasses. The reason is simple, a lot has to do with how you use your eyes on a daily basis. The more you strain your eyes doing more and more close work the sooner your eyes will start to give out and you will be need glasses. But if you don't do very much close work and only read as for your own enjoyment chances are it may be several years at least before you might need them. Also your younger age comes into play as well.

I have told this before. The young lady that cuts what hair I still have told me that when she had her last eye exam she was told that like you she actually had a prescription not much different than yours. I believe she was +1.00 / +1.25. She was really surprised to be told that because she had no problems with reading the smallest lines on the card. Her doctor told her to enjoy it while it lasts because even though she doesn't need glasses yet, at some point she will. She did admit that since she was told that notices that she can no longer read for long periods anymore before her eyes start to bother her. She said that if her job was working in an office where she was doing a lot of close work she would have to start wearing glasses.

Chino 09 Jun 2015, 05:59

Oh Nicola, here are the goggles I was talking about:

Chino 09 Jun 2015, 05:58

Hi Nicola,

How old are you? Since your eyes are still changing, I'm guessing you're younger than 25.

The reason I ask is because there may be a way to reverse your shortsightedness. I've been reading some research on a way to induce myopia and hyperopia in chicks and guinea pigs. I don't know if it works on humans but, if you want to get rid of your glasses, I think it's worth a shot. Since your eyes are still changing, I think it has a better chance of working on you than on an older adult like me.

To reverse your shortsightedness, you need to use blue-tinted eyeglasses and wear them about 12 hours per day (that's what they did in the experiment). Don't get the blue photochromic or gradient lenses. Stick to the solid blue lens tint. You can get these at either or I recommend optical4less because they have some goggles that would do a good job of keeping normal light from entering your eyes through the sides of your glasses.

If you do this, make sure to check your eyesight VERY frequently. This technique induced +4.21D of farsightedness in only 21 days. If it works that fast in humans, it would be very easy to overdo it and make yourself farsighted. It might be a good idea to get an eye chart and set it up at the correct distance with good lighting. To be safe, check your vision with the eye chart DAILY.

From what I've read, this should work even if you wear your normal prescription. Lenses did not suppress the effects of the colored light.

Here is the research behind this technique.

I'm actually going to be trying the technique myself, but I want to induce more shortsightedness. For that, I need to use red tinted lenses. Here are the goggles I was talking about:

Best of luck to you, Nicola. I really hope this works for you.

All the best,


P.S. To answer your question, yes, I did think that I would always have to wear glasses after getting them. I actually hoped that I would. I love being shortsighted :)

miku 09 Jun 2015, 05:28

Hi all,

I've shared part of this information before before. I am hyperopic and have a rough Rx of +1.50 (R) and +2 (L). Being in my early 20s I don't find it hard to manage without corrective eyewear and don't really notice eye strain. That is why I don't wear glasses.

What is of interest to me is when should I expect to notice presbyopia kicking in, given my eyes' natural tendency of being longsighted? (I do realise the presbyopia starts evolving since childhood).

Thanks guys!

Likelenses 09 Jun 2015, 01:05


What was your prescription a few years ago,when you got your first pair,and what is it now?

My lenses are -10.5 for each eye.

Nicola 08 Jun 2015, 16:06

Why do I bother going to the opticians all the time i find out I'm more shorsighted. I always thought it was a good thing to go to the opticians for a yearly eyetest but now I'm not sure. My eyes are messed up without glasses and contacts a few years ago I could see normal. Did you think you would always have to wear glasses after getting them I didnt..

Soundmanpt 07 Jun 2015, 17:53

Very progressive

Since your eyes are already adjusted to the stronger distance prescription anyway and the change is only -.25 your vision is still going to be very good with being very slightly over corrected. So really the only change was your astigmatism and again it so small I doubt that you would even be able to tell any difference. Also astigmatisms can fluctuate so your next eye exam it could go back at -.50. Hardly worth the cot of new bifocals from a local shop. It certainly doesn't seem enough of a change to warrant spending several hundred dollars for new glasses. Have you considered ever ordering your glasses on line? If not this time but in the future you should take a good look into getting your glasses from Zenni. ( for lined bifocals you can find several hundred for less than $45.00 and progressives for less than $55.00. It certainly is a better deal than your local optical shop.

Very progressive 07 Jun 2015, 15:02

I just had a prescription change from -1.50 in my distance to -1.25 in my right eye. The add remained the same at 2.50. My astigmatism in my left eye went from -50 to -.75. Is it worth getting new lenses?

Very progressive 07 Jun 2015, 15:02

I just had a prescription change from -1.50 in my distance to -1.25 in my right eye. The add remained the same at 2.50. My astigmatism in my left eye went from -50 to -.75. Is it worth getting new lenses?

Michael 22 May 2015, 08:10

Good question Joseph because for me the reading add is always the same for both eyes even though the distance and astigmatism scripts for each eye might be different. Not sure why so I will have to leave it to the experts here to answer my question.But come to think of it for me too they check my close up vision with both eyes together instead of each one individually.

Joseph 22 May 2015, 07:12

I went for an eye exam because my arms have been getting shorter. The dr put the machine with the lenses in front of me and then blocked one eye and flipped lenses many times until the right one was found. Then did this procedure again for my other eye. Then he put a card on a stick in front of me and flipped the lenses (together)until the smallest lines were clear. Now that I think about it, I am curious to know why each eye was checked so carefully for distance, but for the close part it seemed like a 15 second check with both eyes together?

Likelenses 21 May 2015, 21:25


You are in a very small segment of the world population of women that get to wear such sexy glasses.

Wear um with pride !

guest 21 May 2015, 07:53

she was from the 80's lol

ellen has my address if she wants

 21 May 2015, 07:43

And since you seem to have a girlfriend already, ask her about crossing the pond!

 21 May 2015, 06:43


You only need to hit the submit tab once!

guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


guest 21 May 2015, 05:46

Morning Ellen....

Well, you realize that...and it is special. Many years ago, my -19 g/f was afraid to admit it-even though she did admit that when she first saw me - what attracted her to me was the reflection, power rings and lenses sticking out the backs of the frames (it was 1979). (I admit I felt the same) Of course, after that she fell in love with the rest of me lol... Her mom (-10)always joked that kids would come out with telescopes on lol.

When are you crossing the pond??


Ellen 21 May 2015, 02:11

Oh absolutely Likelenses! That's why you see so many models and film stars wearing them these days!

Likelenses 20 May 2015, 21:12


Bet you look sexy in those bio's

Ellen 20 May 2015, 08:54

Hi guest

The biconcaves are fine, they give me pretty good vision. I forgot they were biconcave to be honest. To me they are just vision providing lenses. I don't think anyone else notices that they look different on me in any way.

Funny you should mention your -17 friend. My ex had a -10 prescription and I found that being together without our glasses fostered a heightened level of intimacy as we had to get so close and the rest of the world was all but invisible to us. See, there are advantages to be gained from severe myopia!

Soundmanpt 17 May 2015, 15:33


First of all the 3 prescriptions she has been given are all really close with only a very slight increase in the last one. clearly the biggest problem seems to be that she just doesn't want to be seen wearing glasses. Her eyesight isn't all that bad but it is enough that glasses will make a difference in how she is able to see things. She is not hurting her eyes by not wearing her glasses because her eyes are probably going to change a few more times before they get stable. By that time she probably will be at the point where she will need to wear her glasses full time or be very limited at what she will be able to see without them. If she is that much against wearing glasses her only other option is contacts lenses. But she needs to remember that she will still need glasses so she can rest her eyes from them every so often or in case there might be some days where her eyes refuse to wear contacts. Wearing contacts is really the same as wearing glasses full time so she will soon find that her eyes will be somewhat dependent on either her contacts or glasses to see.

You should be more supportive of her if she does decide to wear her glasses in the evening. She is still the same attractive young lady you care about except now she needs to wear glasses. I'm sure there will still be times when you will get the chance to see her without her glasses.

jason 17 May 2015, 11:44

Hi. My gf is 22 years old. Last year she told me she is having difficulties in precieving words of the class room white board even from the middle. And every day she is having headaches in the afternoon.

First when we check doctr gave

L -1.00 -0.50 60

R -1.00 -0.50 170 didnt use glasses much

After 6 mnths we went as per doctr.It was

L -0.75 -0.75 60

R -1.00 -0.50 160

Again after 6 mnths she is teling blur is more than previous and couldnt read any thng in the fast f00d resturants as s00n as she put her glasses though.After few mnts she can

then we went again to sheduled eye exam after 6 mnths.

without glasses she couldn't read the 3rd line of eye chart. Secnd was also dificult. With glases last 2 lines was fuzzy.

Doctrs prescriptin was

L -0.75 -1.00 60

R -1.25 -0.50 180

She is cute girl who doesnt like to wear glasses. Bt nw she put them as s00n as you get out the bed and at night she fell sleep with glases on. When going out she dsnt like to where in the morning bt when she is cming back galases in the face.

Bt the thng is i have some night parties cming up and also some wddings. I dnt want to see her with glasses. Please let me knw how her eye sight without glases and why it is increasing like this. Even her family doesnt wear glassen. I need advices guys and girls.

Thank u

guest 14 May 2015, 15:41

Hi Ellen

Stay with us more often!

How are the biconcave's working out...

I have a ladyfriend (-17) who would love to be your next partner !

guest 14 May 2015, 15:39

Hi Ellen

Stay with us for a while... How are the biconcave's doing????

Ellen 14 May 2015, 14:46

Hi And

My last prescription was right eye -19.25 -4.75 170, left eye -18.75 -4.25 150.

And 14 May 2015, 13:44

Ellen, remind us of your prescription pls. My gf has a pair of glasses in the bedside drawer and carries a pair with her in her handbag even though she always wears contacts. She shares your fear of being without correction.

Ellen 14 May 2015, 07:53

I've been running for a couple of weeks now. I had my eyes checked, they're pretty healthy and I shouldn't have any problems doing strenuous exercise. Impacts are still very much to be avoided though, although I guess this is the case for everyone so I'm not looking to take up any contact sports. The guy who checked my eyes said with a smile on his face that they're perfect in every way apart from the fact that they're about 6mm too long!

Running is hard, I'm really not built for it. I've been six times so far, only very short distances but it has got a little easier the last two or three times. I've lost around 5lbs in the last few weeks too. My glasses aren't a problem really (in fact I've found my boobs are the main issue, they don't want to stay put as I jog along which can be quite uncomfortable). I've been wearing an old small metal frame which clings to my face satisfactorily when I run. My prescription hasn't changed a great deal over the last ten years so I see fine with them.

guest 4u 14 May 2015, 04:03

Hi Ellen

We have all been in your situation...or most of us.

When are you crossing the pond....and bring extra glasses lol. Are you going to start running...I advise against but have treadmill in house-that's better.


guest 4u 14 May 2015, 04:03

Hi Ellen

We have all been in your situation...or most of us.

When are you crossing the pond....and bring extra glasses lol. Are you going to start running...I advise against but have treadmill in house-that's better.


Ellen 14 May 2015, 03:09

I lost my glasses this morning. Not for long, I have them back now but now that I live alone I don't have anyone around to call to come and find them for me so it took me a while to locate them. It wasn't a frightening experience, more frustrating. I mean I knew roughly where they were and I have spares in very defined places that even I can find my way to in an emergency but as I say it was frustrating that something so simple should be denied to me because my eyes just won't do what I ask of them. It brought back those fears that have always lurked in the back of my mind over what I would do in a situation where my glasses aren't retrievable or spares available. Fortunately this has never happened but that nagging feeling is always there that it will someday. Of course I appreciate that I'm lucky in that my vision is correctable and I just can't possibly conceive what it must be like to be blind and permanently in the situation I was briefly in this morning. I'm very thankful that I have glasses and they're so freely available.

Likelenses 12 May 2015, 20:18


Minus 4. would be close to average.

As for what point are you unable to find your glasses,I Would say minus 6 for me ,and at 10.5 now it is a fact of life.

A number of years ago,a girl that I was dating had just gotten her third prescription ,and was talking to a friend of mines wife,who wore probably minus sevens. She told my GF that when you can not see your own feet without glasses,is when you have a strong Rx.

A number of years later,I ran into the old GF,and she was wearing thick lenses,that were about minus 8,and I thought now you can not see your feet without glasses.

Puffin 06 May 2015, 16:59


I see most things have been said here already but it's obvious your "visual system" - ie not just the eyes - are very used to seeing clearly and everything looks very strange without.

About people who go without correction with various strengths, it does depend on what they are doing with their eyes: generally seeing close up is not normally a big problem unless the myopia is very high, but seeing in the distance, when you can't easily get closer, well as you can no doubt guess that's not so easy.

Regarding other people's comments - I would think they would get used to seeing you in glasses pretty quickly. If they don't, well that's their problem.

Keep on truckin'

Soundmanpt 06 May 2015, 10:23


You've been wearing your glasses now for over 2 weeks because of running out of contacts. By now I would think you would have gotten a fresh supply of contacts in. You were quite reluctant to wear glasses when you ran out and even seemed to have some trouble with your eyes adjusting to the difference between contacts and glasses. Because you had most people you know thinking that your vision was perfect they of course probably were a little bit surprised to see you wearing glasses for the first time. If you think about it when any of your friends have popped up wearing glasses for the first time weren't you a bit surprised. But the nice thing is that the surprise lasts such a short time and hardly anyone pays any attention that your now wearing glasses. You have to admit that wearing glasses is a lot easier than dealing with contacts. It almost seems like your finding that wearing glasses isn't really so bad. I'm sure you must have appreciated all the the complements you got when everyone started seeing you wearing glasses, what woman doesn't like getting a complement? By now you should be getting more used to seeing yourself wearing glasses and they should be pretty comfortable as well.

There is no absolute as to at what point you start to feel blind without your glasses. Every one's eyes are different and their ability to tolerate blur is very different as well. So there are some that claim they can go without glasses that are -5.00 or more. Others may feel they can't function at -2.00. I think it really comes down to your own ability to see without your glasses. Wearing glasses is no longer a flaw and your glasses should look very nice on you because your prescription isn't so strong to cause your lenses to be very thick or to even change how your eyes look behind your lenses.

Naomi 06 May 2015, 09:49

It's a terrible thing getting shortsighted and having to wear glasses to see. Yes I was straining and could feel a constant headace I was also caught squinting and got told to get my eyes tested which was not nice. Once I was wearing glasses and contacts it was great I could see and no more straining. I got use to wearing glasses and contacts all the time so now I can't go back to be without wearing them. Once you get glasses you will always have to wear them everyday is a big change. It must be bad for people that are shortsighted and don't have glasses I was worried because at which prescription are you blind without glasses like when you have to feel to find your glasses? Yes I was told -4.00 was the average prescription so I still have a bit to go

Crystal Veil 03 May 2015, 11:27

Eddy & Soundmanpt,

at least two of my models developed irreversible myopia during pregnancy. Jolien has a mild minus prescription and she got -0.50 extra after the baby was born. Farishta had a prescription of minus six when she first posed for me. Her daughter was born two years ago. Two weeks ago, Farishta did another photo shoot for me and she told me that she had a couple of increases in her contact lens prescription after becoming a mother. When she posed in many Zenni glasses with -8.00 lenses, she commented that these glasses gave her perfect eyesight. She will get her prescription for glasses soon so that I can order her a couple of free pairs. My guess is that she is now at least minus seven. I hope to post the new photo shoot with Farishta soon.

Soundmanpt 03 May 2015, 10:38

I am currently going to therapy 3 days a week for a bad knee. One of the young therapist is very pregnant and is due within the month. There is a TV on the wall and I happened to notice her squinting to see it as she was working on my knee. I asked her if she was having trouble seeing the TV and she smiled at me and said "you noticed me squinting didn't you?" I said I did, She said she thought she might need glasses. I asked her if see was having any vision problems before she got pregnant? She said her vision has always been perfect until very recently. I told her that becoming pregnant has most likely made her nearsighted. She said but after she has the baby she thinks her vision should go back to normal. I told her that wasn't likely to happen and that she will continue to be nearsighted. She seemed a bit surprised. I told her she should get her eyes examined after she has the baby so she can get some glasses. Her co worker was listening and told her that I was right. She said her eyes changed when she had her baby. I will be doing several follow ups in the coming months so I expect when she returns from from maternity leave she will be wearing glasses.

Soundmanpt 03 May 2015, 10:18


For her vision to change so much in just 5 months I would have to say that her being pregnant was in fact the reason. Usually optometrists are reluctant to do an eye exam on a pregnant woman, but in extreme cases such as your wife's they have no choice. Sadly her glasses were only 5 months old and if she had gone after 3 months of having her glasses most optical stores will replace the lenses at no charge. She still has 5 months left during her pregnancy so I would not be at all surprised for her vision to change again. So she probably should get her eyes checked again in just less then 3 months so her lenses won't cost you.

Eddy 03 May 2015, 08:45

My 4month pregnant wife had her last eye exam 5 months ago and her contacts prescription was -11L and -12.5R last week we where watching a movie with subtitles and she couldn't read them. On Friday she went to the eye doctor and received an almost -2 increase in both eyes. Can the increase in less than 6 months be attributed to her pregnancy? Her new contanct lens prescription is:-13L and -14R. Her insurance only covers contacts or glasses so its an additional expense.


And 03 May 2015, 03:59

Naomi, my gf has -7.50 contacts so can't see a lot without them, however she sleep and showers without them and once they are in she sees 20/20 all day so don't worry too much.

Soundmanpt 01 May 2015, 11:46


First of all welcome. It's always nice to see someone new come on board. I assume you mean the SPH was -.50 in both eyes but you also have a -.50 for astigmatism in your left eye?

It's a very weak prescription so it isn't going to make a huge difference in your vision. Actually about the same as a TV with HDV and one without. typically finding that they seem to make a bit more of a difference driving at night is about what you should notice. Because it has only been 6 months since you got your eye exam and glasses it is possible that your eyes have changed somewhat. But I think your eyes are mostly just getting more used to the glasses.

Newcommer 01 May 2015, 10:58

I was searching on line for an answer to my question and found this site. I am looking for info about the following...

About 6 months ago I got first time glasses. The dr said I could use some help with distance and prescribed -0.50 with .50 astigmatism in my left eye. I didn't use them much because they didn't make much of a difference. I started using them a bit at night, as I found they helped, and a bit more during the day, although the difference was minor. Now I find the more I wear them, the more difficult it is to see print in the distance without them. Is there a way to know if that is because I am getting more used to them or because my eyesight is actually worse? Do I need another exam now..could there be such a noticeable deterioration in just a few months. They used to be very optional, but I've come to rely on them more and that reversible? As someone new to glasses I don't know what to make of this. I am 26. Thanks.

Soundmanpt 01 May 2015, 09:21


Because you never even started wearing glasses until you were 22 years old makes a lot of difference then say you were in your mid teen years. But you didn't even start wearing glasses until most are close to the age where their vision is becoming stable. For that reason I really don't think your eyes are going to change all that much. When you got your first glasses your eyes were strained and not at all relaxed so this usually causes your eyes to be under corrected. So even though you probably weren't wearing your glasses as much as you should have it was still enough to relax your eyes so that your next eye exam was more accurate. So not surprising at all that you needed a fairly decent increase in your prescription. You might need some small increases over the next couple of years and that will be it. So I really don''t think you will reach -4.50. But if you think about it now that your wearing glasses and contacts full time anyway what difference does it make if they are -2.50 or -4.50? I assume you mean how well you would be able to see without your glasses? Without your -2.50 glasses things probably start to get pretty blurry at around 5 or 6 feet away. Without -4.50 glasses you probably couldn't see more than 2 - 3 feet away. In the optical world -4.50 glasses is still considered to be moderate and -7.00 is considered to be strong.

Even though you weren't exactly happy about having to wear your glasses when you were out of contacts don't you enjoy how easy it is to just put your glasses on an go compared to the time it takes inserting contacts. Also when your wearing glasses you can even get away with using less eye makeup.

Naomi 30 Apr 2015, 13:36

Oh no hope it dosnt get as bad as -4.50 I have been told -.5.00 is really bad. Yes people did talk about glasses and was surprised to find out who is also shortsighted. it's not that bad wearing glasses out in public it's easier than wearing contacts so I might wear them more now. But it's strange from not wearing glasses to needing glasses all the time Guess it's a sign of getting older.

Likelenses 26 Apr 2015, 17:55


Minus 2.50 glasses are moderately strong.

Your vision with out them would give you about 20/200 vision,which would mean that you would only be able to see the big E on most eye charts.

Since your myopia came on later in life your prescription will most likely get nu worse than minus 4.50.

Soundmanpt 26 Apr 2015, 12:26


You really didn't do anything wrong and you didn't do anything to make yourself more nearsighted. Like I said your first prescription was weak enough that you didn't really need to wear glasses full time so wearing them only when you wanted to was okay. But your eyes were still changing and with an increase in your prescription you needed to start wearing your glasses more often or get contacts. When you started wearing contacts on a daily basis your eyes were bound to get much more reliant on either contacts or glasses to see clearly. Your vision without your glasses isn't really that bad but it isn't real good either. Your certainly at a point where you should be wearing either contacts or your glasses full time.

Of course you were going to get comments when you started wearing your glasses in public and most had never seen you wearing glasses before. But even though you didn't say I bet it was only complements that you heard? Now that nearly everyone has seen you wearing glasses nothing more will be made about you wearing glasses. So you should start to feel much more comfortable about having your glasses on, not to mention that your eyes could probably use the rest from them as well. Now that everyone knows you don't have perfect vision and wear glasses you really should make a habit of wearing your glasses a little more often anyway.

Naomi 26 Apr 2015, 06:03

Yes when I first got glasses I didn't wear them much but I could see the difference. I didn't want to wear glasses but the opticians said I should and I knew I needed to when my eyes changed so that when I got contacts. Wearing contacts for the first time was great could see so clear and I just felt better. I was worrying last week when I couldnt see, what have I done to my eyes? I should never of started wearing contact lenses. Now I'm shortsighted and have to wear glasses is -2.50 that bad? Haha yes people did notice me with glasses why is it a big thing

Soundmanpt 23 Apr 2015, 07:06


So you didn't start becoming nearsighted until a bit later in life. So you didn't say what your first glasses prescription was, but if your first contacts were -1.75 I would think they were probably around -1.00. That was enough that you probably needed them for driving and seeing things at a distance. But not to where you needed them full time yet. But once the eyes change it usually does take several changes in prescription before the eyes get stable. So it would be expected that by the end of the first year of wearing glasses that you would need an increase. This was I assume when you decided to start wearing contacts because you finding that you were needing your glasses much more than before. Generally speaking, not everyone, but many will start wearing their glasses full time once their prescription reaches -1.50. So if you hadn't gotten contacts you would have still likely been wearing your glasses full time. Once you start wearing glasses / contacts full time you usually aren't as able to go without correction anymore. Many call this being dependent, but really your eyes have just gotten used to seeing through corrective lenses all the time and now without those lenses in front of them things are going to be blurry.

Running out of contacts really wasn't that bad really. Your eyes probably needed a break for the contacts anyway. Now that you have been forced to wear glasses the past few days and you found out it really wasn't so bad once your eyes got used to the glasses you should plan on wearing your glasses more often now. I'm sure all those that were surprised to see you wearing glasses had nothing but complements for you.

Naomi 22 Apr 2015, 18:44

Hello, Im 24 and I got first glasses 2 years ago. Been wearing contacts for 1 year full time. My contact lens prescription changed from -1.75 and now -2.50. Had to wear my glasses all day the last 2 days which surprising was ok. I noticed how bad my vision was so had no choice but to wear glasses out, was nervous because not many people have seen me wearing glasses. I did think about trying to go without but couldn't. Felt dizzy the first night wearing them out

Likelenses 20 Apr 2015, 22:12


While -2.50 is not a terribly strong prescription,if you have been wearing it full time ,to be without can be challenging.

How long have you had glasses,or contacts,and what is your present age? Also when did you begin full time wear,what kind of work do you do?

Naomi 20 Apr 2015, 15:46

They have no glasses how can they can they go if they are shortsighted? I was thinking of not wearing glasses tomorrow but I can't be without. I've been getting use to them tonight. just hope the next few days go ok.. Amazing how ive got use to putting contact lenses in and not thinking. I'm surprised how bad my eyes have got now at -2.50 such a blur when I take the glasses off.

Naomi 20 Apr 2015, 15:46

They have no glasses how can they can they go if they are shortsighted? I was thinking of not wearing glasses tomorrow but I can't be without. I've been getting use to them tonight. just hope the next few days go ok.. Amazing how ive got use to putting contact lenses in and not thinking. I'm surprised how bad my eyes have got now at -2.50 such a blur when I take the glasses off.

Soundmanpt 20 Apr 2015, 15:28


You will be just fine. Your eyes just need to adjust to wearing glasses. So clearly you must never wear your glasses? You really need to be giving your eyes a break from contacts, and the only way you can do that is to take them out and wear glasses in the evening and weekends. Also if you start doing that your eyes will function much better when you really need to wear your glasses. But I am at least happy that you have glasses to wear, many don't even have that and when they get an eye infection they are really in a big mess.

Naomi 20 Apr 2015, 14:39

I just noticed I've ran out of contact lenses they are -2.50. I know it's not that bad shortsighted but everything is a blur. I've just been wearing my glasses the last few hours and I felt dizzy when wearing them I know they are the right prescription so why would I feel strange wearing them, I never wear glasses so not sure what to do until I get new contacts. Im going to have to wear the glasses I guess so is not a blur. How did my eyes get like this feel so blind?

Soundmanpt 18 Apr 2015, 08:54


I took note that you said you are slightly longsighted, that is the reason I was suggesting such a weak minus prescription to try. If you see close fine then wearing a weak minus shouldn't be a big problem for you.

It seems the much bigger problem is your fear of being seen wearing glasses and I can't do much to help you with that. You just need to understand that if you want something bad enough you will manage to work through the fear factor. Take notice of how many people you know and see that wears glasses and they all had to go though that first day of wearing glasses at some point too. Trust me your wearing glasses will only be a hot topic around your office for maybe half a day and then you will be old news.

Your other option would be to order a pair of +.50 glasses if you don't want to try the minus glasses.

Confused 18 Apr 2015, 08:13

Cheers Soundmanpt,

That is quite a sensible argument you made there. However, is there any point in attempting to wear a minus prescription when I know that despite my very clear vision, I am in fact hyperopic?

And then it all makes sense when having the conversation, but overcoming my self-consciousness is a totally different story. I'm a bit of a hypocrite that way, as I advise others to wear their glasses (mostly due to my own fetish), but wouldn't do it myself.

Thanks again

Soundmanpt 18 Apr 2015, 08:01


Chances are your probably right in saying that you are likely a few years too old to really induce any myopia. But everyone is different and so are their eyes so for many or most becoming myopic in their mid 20's may be too late, but there are others that might still be able induce some myopia with enough effort. But the only way you will ever know for sure is to try. I would suggest that you go on line to and pick out a nice pair of glasses that suits you. They have a handy little thing where you can post your picture and try on the glasses to see how they look on you. Now you don't want to start out too aggressive so with your natural vision being 20/15 you should start with either -.50 or -.75 lenses. Even with your better than perfect vision your eyes should be very able to tolerate either of these prescriptions. The main thing isn't seeing how strong you can make the glasses but it is critical that you wear your glasses from the time you open your eyes each morning until you close them at night. Part time wear won't do anything to induce myopia. Now after a month or 2 of constant wear you should be able to tell if your glasses are having any real effect on your vision. But if you find that your vision is still perfect without glasses don't be too disappointed because even if your natural vision hasn't been changed you can still continue wearing your glasses. Remember you would be the only one that would know that you don't really glasses. But you first have to get over being shy about wearing glasses. So when your glasses arrive you should probably take a short road trip somewhere far enough that no one will know you and then wear your glasses all weekend so you get used to them and so your eyes can start adjusting to them. Then on Monday wear them to work. Trust me you will only get tons of complements on how good you look wearing glasses.

Confused 18 Apr 2015, 00:44

Hello Eyescene community!

This is a rather unusual post, so I hope I've chosen the right thread.

It's the first time I'm admitting this but it seems as good a place like any other. For a while now, I've been glasses-obsessed to the point of fetishism. I enjoy conversations about glasses, squinting, the contrast between blurry and crisp vision, prescription numbers... The whole lot. On the other hand, I have some sort of an irrational 'fear' of wearing glasses (looking different and having all my mates say they didn't know I needed spex).

Maybe if I got to the point of not being able to see without them, I would actually start wearing them. I've got no chance of inducing myopia as I am in my mid 20s and have 20/15 vision. However, i am a little longsighted (just mildly, but obviously I see just fine). What if I deconditioned my eye muscles (relaxed them to the point of no return)?

Any piece of thought for someone like me?

Eyestein 17 Apr 2015, 19:01

Yep. That's about right. However I know a lady with -3.5 who wears her glasses only for driving. She manages without them everywhere else.

Anita 17 Apr 2015, 18:14

Ok so there is nothing you can do to stop becoming nearsighted once you get it thats it you won't see without wearing glasses again. When you start wearing glasses you can't go without them I found. It doesn't take much before you are -2.00 -3.00 then you are blind without them right?

Soundmanpt 17 Apr 2015, 17:19


Actually the percentage of nearsighted people maybe even a bit more than 50%. I think your right that women are much more prone to be nearsighted, however the numbers of farsighted has increased by quite a bit in the past few years. Very difficult to say what the most common prescription is. But I would suggest that the bigger percentage is less than -4.00. Even though there are many that come in this forum with much higher prescriptions the number of those wearing a prescription of over -7.00 is not that large.

Anita 17 Apr 2015, 16:52

1 in 2 people are nearsighted and its higher in women. If you are nearsighted you can't go without glasses. Even at -1.00 you would need to wear them. What's the most common prescription -4.00? I dont feel so bad knowing this but how lucky are people with normal eyes.

Andrew 15 Apr 2015, 22:40

Entries for Brighton Marathon 2016 are now open, Ellen. The cost goes up the later you leave entering...

Likelenses 15 Apr 2015, 20:53


What is a doppelganger?

Ellen 15 Apr 2015, 12:47

Wow that lady is over 200lbs and seriously puts me to shame fitness wise (I'm about 160lbs). She must be about as myopic as me too and her face is similar. I didn't realise I had an American doppelganger.

Seems running and high myopia might be compatible after all. I don't suppose in any of her videos she mentions getting the go ahead from a doctor or ophthalmic practitioner?

Centurion 15 Apr 2015, 08:47


This lady is very myopic and runs marathons:

Stingray 15 Apr 2015, 05:57

Many years ago my wife and I were avid snorkelers. She is myopic with a -3.50 rx. Obviously, she could not see a thing underwater with a mask on. We were going to Jamaica for a vacation and I took a pair of her old eyeglasses and took off the arms. They had a plastic frame. I took a file and filed down the frame so it would fit snugly into the mask without movement. It looked strange, but it worked fine. That may be a solution for Ellie.

Galileo 15 Apr 2015, 00:24

I have not seen Rx goggles over -8 however I have seen prescription diving masks as high as -15. Obviously they are a bit bigger than goggles but if vision is the priority then check it out - find a diving shop either in your local or on the net. They usually can link you to someone who makes Rx masks.

Crystal Veil 14 Apr 2015, 21:43


you can find the goggles on the Zenni site as follows: go to "women's glasses", then click "refine your search", then click "frame" and choose the option "goggles". However, they don't seem to make these for prescriptions above minus eight. This may have to do with the very thin rims that hold the lenses. But it's worth a try to check with Zenni. Perhaps they can do a special job for you. Good luck!

Ellie 14 Apr 2015, 17:24

I have tried looking on Zenni for rx goggles and can't find any. Could someone direct me to a link with zenni's rx swim goggles?

I have generally found that most websites do not sell rx goggles in high prescriptions like mine (-15).


guest 14 Apr 2015, 13:11


Don't forget about the rx goggles!!!

even if you made them in -15 that would be sufficient to navigate around...

I did pool and ocean at -8 bareyed

not when I went into double digits...

Melyssa 14 Apr 2015, 08:21


What the guys said below about straps is abso-100%-lutely correct. I have used the Croakies brand for several decades now when exercising -- it is a big help in warm weather. My glasses have never bounced around with the strap in place, even at the blinding speed of 3 mph on the treadmill or during bowling practice of 3 games in less than an hour in the preseason. :)

Cactus Jack 14 Apr 2015, 08:06


Combining Contact Lenses and Glasses is something that many ECPs are reluctant to suggest trying. I don't know exactly why. I have my suspicions, but those are not important. Maybe it is because it requires a bit more imagination for correcting significant refractive errors than the typical solution.

Contact lenses are very good at correcting Myopia that is uncomplicated by Astigmatism, but lousy for correcting Astigmatism because it is difficult to get Toric CLs to remain correctly oriented on the cornea. Glasses can do a decent job of correcting Astigmatism, but can get very heavy if high Myopia or Hyperopia is involved. If you can comfortably wear contact lenses, you may be able to find a GOC combination that gives you good vision and relatively light weight glasses.

With your ECP's help, you may be able to find a good sphere only contact power that gets your spherical refractive error into a range where the glasses cylinder correction does not result in glasses that are very thick and heavy. You and your ECP need to think outside the box and it may result in a small MINUS or PLUS sphere correction in the glasses for the best overall results. One nice benefit that results from correcting most of your sphere refractive error with contacts is that Vertex Distance effects of strong glasses can disappear. The procedure is to wear the contact lenses during normal refractions.

One of our local Ophthalmologists uses contact lenses during his examinations of cataract patients with very high prescriptions. This helps him accurately determine the refractive power of the IOLs he will install during surgery for the most accurate final results by eliminating Vertex Distance errors.


Soundmanpt 14 Apr 2015, 08:04


Likelenses is right that by making the strap tight enough so your glasses don't move or bounce will probably leave red marks on both sides of your nose for while after you finish you run. But your going to have your glasses on anyway so no one will see the red marks. My guess is that you probably already carry a spare of glasses with you just in case something were ever to happen to your glasses. But I think what Likelenses is suggesting is that you even have them with you while your running just in case. I wouldn't think you would make the strap so tight as to cause your glasses to beak across the nose. But a lot of that depends on the type of frame you wear and the age of the frame because as you know plastic does tend to get brittle with age, but if your glasses are less than a years old you shouldn't have that concern.

Likelenses 14 Apr 2015, 07:55


I agree with Soundmanpt,regarding using a strap. The only adverse thing about it is that it will cause a dent in your nose for a few hours afterward.

Also be sure to have a spare pair of glasses with you. Can you imagine if the tautness of the strap caused the glasses to break in two at the nose bridge area,or if a lense popped out in the middle of a marathon.

Soundmanpt 14 Apr 2015, 07:32


Checking with your ECP is without any doubt the best thing to do before jumping into a running program.

Your best option if your okayed for running is wearing your glasses. I think your vision with contacts without astigmatism correction would leave you in too much of a blur. They make some fun looking eyeglass straps called "Croakies" that will keep your glasses in place. Of course they also have other types of straps that goes under your hair so unseen. If their adjusted tight enough they should even keep your glasses from bouncing up and down on your nose and more importantly keep your glasses from falling off.

Hope your ECP finds that the risks of detaching of your retinas is not too risky.

Ellen 14 Apr 2015, 06:53

Thanks for your replies although they are a bit conflicting and hey I'm not that overweight! I'm quite tall and so carry it well. At least that's what I tell myself! I think I became a bit complacent over the last year and didn't really notice the pounds piling on. Too many nights in all loved up with takeaways watching films.

OK so guest, I'm surprised that running is so bad for someone with very high myopia. How do you come to the conclusion that I'm four times more likely to have a retinal issue than someone with -12 eyes? Is it really that bad?

The other issue regarding running in glasses has crossed my mind. My glasses are heavy and bounce up and down as I run which is both uncomfortable and disorientating. It makes me feel kind of sea sick as my vision jumps around. I don't have contacts because of my very high astigmatism but I've thought of asking my optician friend if she can prescribe some spherical lenses that will give me good enough vision to see where I'm going while running. I'll see what happens there.

As for swimming. NO way. It's way too boring going up and down a pool for any length of time. Even with eyes there's no change of scenery but when you're as blind as me it's mind numbing. Besides I'm not that great at it, in fact I have to admit that I haven't been to a pool since I was forced to as a kid. I couldn't bring myself to swim in glasses and I have no idea how to negotiate the changing room to pool journey without my glasses so it's just easier to stay away.

Think I'll chat to my optician and get her to check my retinas and then take it from there.

guest 14 Apr 2015, 05:45

Hi Ellen !

From your favorite Guest Admirer....

Sorry for your loss, come to Florida there are many potential replacements !

But on an exercise note..even though I don't think you need tolose weight, exercise is good. Please remember, I had a -19 / -21 gf sooo these issues are relevant.

First of all, running is OUT, no no no, not at your numbers, so is weight training. Crytal's Nell at -12 is 4 times less likely to damage retina as you. As the eye stretches so does the retina thin. (think rubberband) Even though you seem to be 50% worse than Nell, the risk is 4x higher.


SWIMMING IS #1 !!! PERFECT. And even with your vision, you can still see a blur as you approach poolend. Also you will soon know how many strokes to cross pool. AND, you can get swim goggles! Zenni makes them and if you can get close to your rx, you will functionally see in pool OR get non rx pool goggles and just glue in an old pair of your lenses to the inside; that will work fine.

WALKING IS ALSO A GREAT EXERCISE, with minimal eye issues.

Hope this helps, write me !

Crystal Veil 14 Apr 2015, 03:54


my life partner (and first model ever) Nel is 60 and she has a prescription of minus twelve. In recent years she ran the half marathon a few times (2.17 hours) and always in glasses. She had to give up contact lenses in her mid forties because of dry eyes. She is in a higher risk group for retina detachment but her ECP saw no risk in her running "career". It's wise to ask professional advice but my guess is that overweight is more risky than high myopia. So you will need a good schedule for that. It's probably best to get some regular advice. It takes about a year to run a safe half marathon. Btw, sorry for your loss.

Andrew 14 Apr 2015, 03:43


As a runner who has completed a few marathons, the advice is usually to check with your GP before embarking on a new exercise regime. I cannot remember what your Rx is, but I usually find it easier to run in CLs rather than glasses, as the time taken to do marathon training is such that the weather can change dramatically while you are out, and glasses+ rain for several hours at a time is not much fun, although I know a few people who do put themselves through it. I suspect that any and all sports involve a slightly increase risk of eye problems, but the general benefits to health and well-being probably far outweigh those risks. Where are you based, if you don't mind my asking?

Ellen 14 Apr 2015, 01:19

Not sure where to post this but "Vision" seemed as good a place as any.

My significant other is no longer. She's taken up a post overseas for a year and while we haven't officially split it does seem that that is what she wants. Anyway I've been rather down about it for the last few weeks, so much so that I've been on medication. I need to pull myself together and move on and someone suggested exercise as a good mood enhancer and perhaps even having a target like running a (half) marathon. Now, I've never been very sporty, largely as a result of my eyesight. I was always warned away from contact or ball sports as a child due to fears that I may get hit in the eye and damage a retina. I've never developed the hand eye coordination for such things either. Swimming was also something I steered clear of too for the simple reason that I just couldn't see. I do cycle sometimes but that's about it and I'm carrying too much extra weight (20lbs or so) and feel very unfit. So to cut a long story short are there any dangers involved for very myopic people in taking up exercise such as gym training or running? Does intense exercise affect the pressure in the eyes at all? I'll probably go and check with my optician before embarking on my marathon running career but just wondered if anyone had any experience or knowledge surrounding this. Thank you.

 12 Apr 2015, 06:41

Depends on too many factors to discuss here.

 11 Apr 2015, 18:33

Just wondering how bad can your eyesight be to still be able to join the military?

Eyescene 10 Apr 2015, 16:24

the opticians have got you really because you need to get the updated prescription glasses straight away. Now I'm in contacts and old glasses waiting for the new glasses to arrive. I wear them a lot so there worth it. But £180 to upgrade the lenses is crazy. If I went for standard lenses would they be that bad? Does anyone do that.

Eyescene 10 Apr 2015, 16:23

the opticians have got you really because you need to get the updated prescription glasses straight away. Now I'm in contacts and old glasses waiting for the new glasses to arrive. I wear them a lot so there worth it. But £180 to upgrade the lenses is crazy. If I went for standard lenses would they be that bad? Does anyone do that.

Soundmanpt 09 Apr 2015, 16:21


The site is (

Soundmanpt 09 Apr 2015, 16:20


If you already placed an order for glasses I also suggest that you cancel it and get a copy of your prescription as well as your PD measurement from where you got your eyes examined at. Now of course they won't be very happy with you but that is too bad. You don't owe them anything and you paid for your eye exam so they have to provide that to you even if don't really want to. Now they very well maay refuse to provide you with your PD if you cancel your order and they do have a right to do that. But you can easily do that yourself anyway. Crystal Veil is correct and also highly recommend Zenni for your glasses. You have over 700 pairs to choose from for under $21.00 and that even includes the AR coating which most optical stores charge about $50.00 for. If you want your lenses a bit thinner I suggest you select the optional high index lenses that sell for $19.00 extra and your glasses should look very nice. So the total price of your glasses would only be $40.00.

Crystal Veil 09 Apr 2015, 15:50


there is no need to spend heaps of money. You could have kept most of the money in your pocket by getting your prescription at the optician and then order the glasses online. My favorite is Zenni Optical. Check them out!

Anita 09 Apr 2015, 15:43

Shouldn't we get free lenses for are glasses? Being shortsighted is bad enough and I just had to pay £180 for a new prescription. At -6.00 you can't have standard lenses? How did they do it years ago?

Cactus Jack 09 Apr 2015, 11:06

Prismatic& Murky,

Everyone responds differently to excess alcohol consumption. Some people get belligerent and others get happy. It is a mistake to assume that other people respond as you do and have the same results as you do. One of the reasons that Strabismus, in any of its forms is so difficult to manage is that the Eye Positioning System is so complex and can involve so many factors.

Many years ago, I had the privilege of experiencing the effects of loss of pressurization in high altitude flight in a pressure chamber. It was excellent training and one of the points they made was that that everyone experiences different symptoms of oxygen deprivation and at different rates. The main purpose of the training was to let you experience your unique symptoms so you could recognize them and do something about the problem before it became a safety issue. One of the things they pointed out during the classroom session before the actual chamber session was that the symptoms of oxygen deprivation were very similar in each individual to the symptoms they would experience from excessive alcohol consumption.


murky  09 Apr 2015, 00:45

Prism is fun to play with, CJ explains it well. I wonder of you, Prismatic, are base out, and I am base in.

I try putting on 2 pairs of glasses, getting 20d of prism( 5l 5r X 2 ). Looking at the screen, or reading is a real pleasure, and distance vision is doubled for a short while, then I can fuse,and it becomes so easy to see.

Prismatic 07 Apr 2015, 18:22


I find the opposite to be true - when I have had a "bit too much" to drink. My vision will go double after a few drinks and prism is the only thing that seems to bring the world back together. :) I seem to be lucky and can get away wit not having double vision bareyed, but as Cactus pointed out the relaxation seems to work too well on my stronger eye and all is lost.

Cactus Jack 07 Apr 2015, 10:51


Sorry, I almost missed your questions.

That is pretty much correct, but mostly it is because your Eye Positioning System (EPS) is trainable or programmable. The Eye Positioning System is much more complex than the Focusing System, but it is what an engineer would call an Open Loop Servo System. That means that the EPS does not know exactly were your eyes are pointing, but is quite satisfied with any position where the images from your two eyes are fused. To do this, tt must control and coordinate 12 muscles, 3 opposing pairs on each eyeball. Inducing Esophoria or Exophoria is much easier than Inducing Myopia.

I suspect that you have successfully induced some Exophoria and your EPS has become accustomed to maintaining the divergence caused by wearing the BI glasses.

It is not uncommon for some of the sophisticated control systems in your brain to be affected by excess alcohol consumption including speech, cognitive thought, balance and your EPS. In some instances, excess consumption causes double vision, but I suspect in your case, your EPS relaxes and your eyes revert to their "natural" position which involves less divergence and your EPS has enough response to fuse the images. When you sober up, the "training" takes over and your BI glasses are needed again.


murky 05 Apr 2015, 22:48

Prism is interesting stuff, I started with 2 Base in , because I told the eye doc i occasionally had image split when reading. It made almost no difference, 10 years later, I demanded the full correction from the EPC, he was astonished, and told me that he would not prescribe more than half the exaphoria (20D for me), so I got 10D (5 each side), wow what a difference, reading became a pleasure at last, and soon I could not manage without my glasses, taking them off when driving is SO Scary initially, till I get fusion with effort, soon lost. They put a real oomph into my vision, and are profoundly helpful to my general ambience. ( am +1.5 L & R )

I ordered a pair of +18 ( 8 a side) online to see the effect, and WOW it takes a few seconds to adjust, but the world has such magnificent depth of field.

I am inclined to think that the dog will chase its tail, wear more prism, and the eyes will relax from fusing, so the ECP is correct in fixing only half, to keep the eyes working together, correct CJ?

One very strange thing, if I have a few ( >4) drinks, I get diplopia with the glasses on, and take them off to correct it Why?

Cactus Jack 02 Apr 2015, 09:24

Thanks Bracesfan for taking the time to do the calculations. After doing the experiment it became pretty obvious that beyond a certain level, the actual values didn't matter much as it relates to VA. Even very large things disappear in the blur and only light, dark, and colors of large objects are perceived. Most people, who need VERY strong prescriptions or have low or no vision, seem to develop extremely good spatial memory. Once they know where they are EXACTLY, in a familiar environment, they can function surprisingly well, but they are in serious trouble if they become disoriented.

Vertex Distance effects can be VERY significant in the "apparent" power of high prescription glasses. One of our local Eye Surgeons uses high power contact lenses when refracting surgical candidates with high glasses prescriptions to determine their actual refractive error. He uses the contacts to correct the patients refractive error to within a range where Vertex Distance effects are negligible (i.e. less then +/- 4)and then does the refraction. With the two numbers, he can select the appropriate IOL power to achieve the desired final prescription much more accurately.


bracesfan 01 Apr 2015, 23:21


The total of two lenses is highly dependent on vertex and even on the sequence of lenses. For +20 at 12 mm and +16 at 15 mm the total is +36,75 (if the sequence is reversed then +37,25). At 14 and 17 mm the total is +39,75 (+40,25).

GreginColo 01 Apr 2015, 20:34

Thanks CJ for your informative experiment and discussion of the visual challenges of those with very high Rx's, either plus or minus. I think many of us have wondered what those degrees of visual challenges would be like, so thanks for sharing your experiment with us and providing us a verbal visualization of such.

Cactus Jack 01 Apr 2015, 17:30


I think they would be close to helpless if misplaced their -36 glasses. If a person needs -36 glasses it means that their refractive error is around +20. The difference is caused by very significant Vertex Distance effects of about 1.3 diopters per mm.

I have a trial lens set and did a crude experiment with a +20 lens stacked with a +16 lens. The total of the two lenses is really unknown because of compound lens effects and distances between the two lenses, but I suspect it was between +36 and +40.

Looking through them revealed a world of colored blobs and light and dark areas. I tried looking at a pair of glasses on a table and the blur was so great that you could not perceive that there were even glasses there. All I saw was a very blurry area that was the color of the table finish. The glasses were invisible.

I tried the experiment again with only the +20 lens and the glasses were still invisible unless I got within 4 or 5 cm of them and at that distance, I could only see a small part of the glasses at any one time. If I backed off so I theoretically could have seen the full width of the glasses and the frames, they disappeared in the blur. I could tell there was something on the white table surface if the glasses had a dark frame from about 15 to 20 cm. It helped that I knew what I was looking for and knew where I had put them.

I tried the experiment with a -20 lens to duplicate approximately what a person with very high Hyperopia would see without glasses. While the glasses were blurry, the images was minified and I could see the whole area around the glasses, but the metal frame wires were only barely visible because of their apparent thinness.

If you really want to know how a person, who needs very high correction, sees without his glasses, find a friendly ECP and explain that you would like to experience what it would be like to have very high myopia and high hyperopia. The initial experience may not be very pleasant and be sure there is a trashcan at hand to catch any results of extreme nausea.


P.S. No more answers without identifying yourself. No name won't cut it.

 01 Apr 2015, 12:53

A person with -36 glasses will be able to "see" it if it is few feet away or misplaced on table?

can anyone tell?

Soundmanpt 31 Mar 2015, 06:03


That was very interesting and not at all surprising. The numbers he mentions is just about what I have noticed with so many young people. It is to the point now of being rare to find anyone around the age of 20 that doesn't wear glasses / contacts.

Trent 30 Mar 2015, 17:48

Short audio segment on myopia, very interesting. click on "Listen" to hear the broadcast.

Soundmanpt 30 Mar 2015, 15:45


One piece of advice I give is when someone finds out the will be getting glasses is for that person to make a point of telling everyone they know that they will soon be seen wearing glasses. Doing that won't allow you to as you say "chicken out" because then people will soon be asking about your glasses if you don't soon show up wearing them. It sounds silly but it really does make it easier. Now, yes of course when you do work up the nerve to wear them it is going to be a surprise to everyone. But just as Cactus Jack has told you already your fear is actually much worse than it will ever be. You only need to look around at how many of your co-workers and friends wear glasses so they had to go through the very same thing as your about to go through. Your going to get nothing but complements about how good your glasses look and some will even want to try them on. Because your prescription is pretty weak I would expect that more than one that tries them on will admit to seeing better with your glasses on. For any of them that have perfect vision they will be the first ones claiming to see better. That is because everyone's eyes like being slightly over corrected and that is what your glasses will provide for them.

Cactus Jack 30 Mar 2015, 14:59


As we say in Texas, "Bite the Bullet" and wear your glasses to work. Delays will not accomplish anything and just make the decision harder. The comments and wanting to try on your glasses will only last for a day or two at the most and that will be it. You will get some comments about their strength (low), but no one can judge or experience how you see with them, except you. Your judgement and decisions are all that counts. The judgments and opinions of others are less than meaningless. Your visual comfort is what is important.

Glasses are just tools to help you see better, nothing more, nothing less. Wearing glasses is no more significant than getting some new clothes or deciding to get a different style hair cut.

After a few days, people will not even notice that you are wearing glasses, they will just be part of the way you look. However, if you change frame styles, they will notice, briefly. I have worn glasses since I was 14. 77 now. Many years ago, I worked at a small company and had for several years. One day, I guess I was in my mid 30s, I got some new glasses and I was stopped by one of the Vice Presidents of the company that I knew, but did not work for. He ask me when I started wearing glasses. I told him about 20 years ago when I was 14. He said, "You have worn glasses as long as I have known you, but they were so much a part of you, that I never really noticed. By the way, I like your new frame style. They look good on you."

Enough said!


David 30 Mar 2015, 14:20

Hi Adam -

Yes, nighttime is when even a small prescription can provide a noticeable difference. My optometrist suggested that I look away from my computer screen every twenty minutes or so which seems to have helped in my case. He said so much of adult-onset myopia is a result of all of the close work we do that it's important to spend a small bit of time focusing on far objects each day.

In any event, your prescription is still so small that you have the option of wearing glasses only when you feel the need. Some people are quite blur tolerant, and I have several friends who are part-time wearers even thought they are -2.

Let us know how things go.

David 30 Mar 2015, 14:20

Hi Adam -

Yes, nighttime is when even a small prescription can provide a noticeable difference. My optometrist suggested that I look away from my computer screen every twenty minutes or so which seems to have helped in my case. He said so much of adult-onset myopia is a result of all of the close work we do that it's important to spend a small bit of time focusing on far objects each day.

In any event, your prescription is still so small that you have the option of wearing glasses only when you feel the need. Some people are quite blur tolerant, and I have several friends who are part-time wearers even thought they are -2.

Let us know how things go.

Adam 30 Mar 2015, 13:03

Hi I'm afraid to say I chickened out of wearing my glasses at work, guess I need to get more comfortable with wearing them. I did wear them tonight while driving and did notice a big difference with traffic lights and other car light now no longer having a halo effect around them. Due to this I think I will wear them for definite while driving at night, I did also notice my eyes did a he during the day but this did stop when I put my glasses on.

Cactus Jack 29 Mar 2015, 16:51


You will probably notice the most improvement at night, when driving. I don't know if you are familiar with how the iris (f stop) setting affects the depth of field or range of useful focus, but the pupils in your eyes perform the same service. In bright light, your pupils close down and that helps you focus clearly over a broader range of distances. At night and in low light, your pupils open up and and the focus range decreases.

I hope you decide to wear them full time for the next few weeks before making the decision about when to wear them. You may get some reaction from your friends and family, but that will only last for a day or two. You need to get past that stage so your future choice of when to wear your glasses will be YOUR choice. Remember, you do not wear vision correction for anyone's benefit, but yours. You many get some comments about how low the prescription is. Just tell them that they make distant things (beyond about 2 meters or 7 feet) clearer and really help at night.


David 29 Mar 2015, 10:01

Hi Adam -- Yes, that is pretty much what I experienced. A slight improvement but not much more. -.50 is about the lowest prescription available and doesn't mean that you can't continue to drive uncorrected.

Let us know how you continue to get on with them.

Adam 29 Mar 2015, 08:17

I was able to collects glasses yesterday, I have spent most of today wearing them. Although there isn't a huge change I have noticed that the television is slightly clearer I guess slightly more HD. I have also noticedy eyes do feel slightly more relaxed while wearing them.

Soundmanpt 29 Mar 2015, 08:04


Even though as far as your concerned your glasses are already very strong you may be surprised to know that your glasses are actually considered to be in the moderate/strong range. Glasses are considered to be in the strong range at -7.00 or more. At -7.00, or more, the blur is about the same from that point on without your glasses. But even at -6.00 or more your glasses should still provide you with 20/20 vision as long as you don't have other issues such as a high amount of astigmatisms. Just as "Likelenses" has said more information is needed to help determine some answers to your questions. The biggest one being your age. If your over 21 then you should expect that your vision (increases) will soon be slowing down.

Likelenses 28 Mar 2015, 19:34


It all depends,some people can not see 20/20 even with glasses on when the myopia gets higher.

You are correct,that without glasses your vision is very poor,and if it should get worse, bad blur is still bad blur.

If you tell us your present age,when you got your first glasses,and the prescription at that time if known,we can possibly predict how high your myopia may get. It would also be helpful to know if you are presently in school,or what kind of work you do.

Are you asking because you are concerned about your vision,or is it that you would enjoy wearing much stronger glasses?

As far as the glasses themselves,you already have a hefty prescription. Should it get to about minus 9.00, the look of your lenses will change drastically.The lenses will obviously be much thicker,but the front surfaces will be totally flat,with all of the power ground into the back sides.

The next major look of lenses comes when the prescription gets to the mid teens, at which time both front,and back surfaces are concave,called bioconcave lenses. And then in the minus 20's range myodisc lenses are needed.

Antonio 28 Mar 2015, 15:21

Dear Jill

I think if these glasses give you back the ability to read signs - as my glasses give to me too - then just wear them for driving and ever when you feel they help you. I guess for now they are alright for your eyes

as long as you can read far ok in them and you feel safe driving in them.

Keep us informed and best regards, Antonio

Anita 28 Mar 2015, 14:33

Ok so what would happen if my shortsight -6.00 got worse? I always have to wear glasses so how bad could it get? I know the lenses for glasses cost more but would I see any worse when havent got glasses on its bad now.

Adam 28 Mar 2015, 06:51

I got a phonecall from the opticians today and turns out my glasses are already ready, which I am pretty impressed with was expecting them the end of next week. Hopefully I should be able to pick them up this afternoon, which will give me the rest of the weekend to try and get used to wearing them.

Likelenses 27 Mar 2015, 19:40


It is possible that the optometrist made an error at your exam.Often times a first Rx in your age group is misdiagnosed,and plus glasses,or far too weak minus prescribed.

Did he,or she put drops in your eyes that caused blurring for a time after the exam was over.

If they did not use the drops,it is possible that you have more myopia than -.50.

My guess is that you have what is becoming more prevalent,adult onset myopia. It is brought on by the increased use of computers,cell phones,and other close work tasks.

You most likely need glasses in the range of-1.50,and will really need to wear them for most activities. Your glasses will probably top out at no higher than -3.00,but you will be wearing them full time.

My guess when you get the proper glasses,which may also have an astigmatism correction,that you will be wearing them also for near work.

Best to go to another doctor,and request a wet refraction.

Cactus Jack 27 Mar 2015, 15:38


A couple of suggestions. Get a copy of your prescription for your records, In most countries, you are entitled to it by law. Also, try to get your PD (pupillary distance). They don't have to give you that, but you might be able to spot it on some of the paperwork. It will be a two digit number around 60 +/- 7 mm. Pupillary Distance is the distance between the center of your pupils while looking straight ahead. Sometimes PD is listed as the distance from the center of your nose to each pupil and the PD is calculated by adding the two numbers together. In that case the numbers will be about 1/2 the actual PD.

With your prescription and PD, you can order any prescription you want On Line. If you can't get the PD, it is easy to measure using a bathroom mirror and a ruler calibrated in mm.

Please let us know when you get your glasses. You will probably have some more questions and we will be happy to answer them.


Adam 27 Mar 2015, 13:30

I managed to find time to try on some frames today, and actually managed to find a couple of frames I thought I looked ok in! Do think I look a bit strange with frames on my face. Luckily they had a buy 1 get 1 free offer so could get both of the frames I prefered. Now waiting for them to be ready, they did say it could take a week for them to be ready.

Adam 27 Mar 2015, 13:30

I managed to find time to try on some frames today, and actually managed to find a couple of frames I thought I looked ok in! Do think I look a bit strange with frames on my face. Luckily they had a buy 1 get 1 free offer so could get both of the frames I prefered. Now waiting for them to be ready, they did say it could take a week for them to be ready.

Cactus jack 25 Mar 2015, 12:50


Dry eyes can cause a lot of problems, in addition to astigmatism. As I mentioned, your Corneas depend on tears to provide moisture, lubrication, oxygen, and nutrients. The Corneas are living tissue that happens to be transparent.

There are a number of causes of dry eyes and there are a number of treatments that depend on the cause. The cause should be investigated. I urge you see an ophthalmologist ASAP so you can start working on improving the situation. If possible one that specializes in Dry Eye problems.

One of the symptoms of astigmatism, caused by dry eyes, is that it can vary during the day. For example, you may have very little astigmatism when you wake in the morning and your tears were able to moisturize and lubricate your corneas. Then it gets worse as the day wears on and your corneas are exposed to the air. Also if you do a lot of reading or use a computer a lot, you typically don't blink enough to to keep your corneas moist.

However, I know of another mysterious dry cornea problem where the individual's eyes did not close completely when he slept and the part of his cornea that was exposed to air dried out when he slept.

Generally, true astigmatism is not reversible but it can be corrected by refractive surgery, but typically it i corrected with glasses.

Step one would be to identify and control the dry eye problem.


David 25 Mar 2015, 12:29

Hi Jill --

Your story is a lot like mine. I started with -.50 and within a year was up to -1.00. With your glasses on you probably are seeing at the level you had a year ago which was minor enough that you didn't think you had a visual problem. If you're at -1.00 you can still get away without full-time wear but probably will need them for driving and anything that requires clear distance vision. You might want to see how you do with text on the tv and other visual tasks.

I'd get a check-up at some point. Many optometric offices do visual check-ups for free if you buy your glasses there.

Keep us posted.


David 25 Mar 2015, 12:29

Hi Jill --

Your story is a lot like mine. I started with -.50 and within a year was up to -1.00. With your glasses on you probably are seeing at the level you had a year ago which was minor enough that you didn't think you had a visual problem. If you're at -1.00 you can still get away without full-time wear but probably will need them for driving and anything that requires clear distance vision. You might want to see how you do with text on the tv and other visual tasks.

I'd get a check-up at some point. Many optometric offices do visual check-ups for free if you buy your glasses there.

Keep us posted.


Soundmanpt 25 Mar 2015, 11:18


No I doubt that your vision has gotten any worse if your able to see perfect with your glasses. It just means that your eyes have adjusted more to seeing with glasses as opposed to not having them on. I would expect your vision to be more blurry now when you don't have your glasses on. You probably should start wearing your glasses for any sporting events or concerts you attend as well as at the movies and even while watching TV as they should help with anything more than a few feet away from your eyes. In fact if they are comfortable enough it really won't hurt to wear them most all the time except when you need to switch to your readers. I think your very soon going to realize that bifocals (progressives if you don't want the dreaded bifocal line to show) maybe the better way to go. As you have probably already found out by now with your readers on anytime you look across the room everything is blurry. That's because your eyes don't need that type of prescription to see distance with. Getting just one pair of glasses that will allow you to be able to see distance perfect as well reading a book would be easier I think.

I'm sure you must be thinking that before you got your glasses things didn't seem as blurry? Well that is because you were straining for the most part and not realizing it also your eyes tend to accommodate which also helps you to see better than you really can. You would probably have trouble in about a month if you were to get your eyes examined seeing even the 20/40 line without your glasses. That is because by then your eyes should be much more relaxed by then. Seeing the 20/30 they were straining i'm sure. Just remember wearing your glasses isn't going to make your eyes any worse.

Jill 25 Mar 2015, 10:21

So I did a test this morning figuring best time would be in daylight. I wore the glasses part way down my nose while driving. I was easily able to look through them, and then over them. The difference was startling. For example a speed limit sign a block away was clear through the glasses, but when looking over them the number 30 was a complete blur..not fuzzy, but worse! I take this to mean that my eyesight has gotten worse over the last few months. If I can see ok using the glasses does that mean they are right for me, or does the worse blur without them mean my eyes really got worse and I need a new exam? I'd rather not part with the fee for the exam. I am afraid that if I only made out part of the 30/20 line before, as was mentioned, that now I won't even be able to make out that much.

question 25 Mar 2015, 09:20

Actually I do have very dry eyes. Would this cause a rise in astigmatism over time? and I'm guessing I couldnt reverse the damage already done

Cactus jack 25 Mar 2015, 06:34


No. However, I think you should consider a second opinion about what, if anything, is going on.

Something that I just thought about. Are you having any trouble with dry eyes or insufficient tears? Sometimes that can cause changes in the cornea, generally on a short term basis. The cornea depends on Oxygen in the air and nutrients and moisture from tears. It has no blood supply.


Question 24 Mar 2015, 23:08

Cactus Jack,

reviewed it. Do you have any theories on why my doctor thinks I will have more astigmatism next checkup? Is it something I could be doing or what? thanks

Cactus Jack 24 Mar 2015, 19:59


The problem with astigmatism is that it messes up your vision at all distances. The most obvious effect is that it makes text fuzzy in a strange way. Letters are made up of straight lines that run in several directions, called "strokes" and curved lines. A simple example of Astigmatism effects might be the vertical and horizontal strokes that form the letter "H". Astigmatism actually causes your eyes to focus at two different distances and, depending on the Axis the vertical strokes might be sharp at one distance while the horizontal stroke is fuzzy and you might be able to move the "H" a few cm away and the vertical strokes would appear fuzzy and the horizontal stroke sharp and clear.

This difference in the focus distance causes your focus control system to work extra hard to try to focus clearly, but it is an impossible task that cannot be done with the available tools. External lenses with Cylinder and Axis (direction of the long axis of the cylinder) are required to correct Astigmatism.

I suggest you review the posts on the Astigmatism thread. In particular, read my post:

Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2014, 06:48

to Alice,

about how to fine tune the cylinder axis in an eye exam.

You really gain nothing by not correcting any astigmatism you may have.


antonio 24 Mar 2015, 17:07

Dear Jill,

yes, honestly seems to me, as you said you needed them a bit more urgent even on day-time on Monday that your eyes might have worsened a little.

But maybe it´s not every day like that that you need them even to read speed limits even on day time ? If it´s get better again it would be enough if you use them by night i think. But might be, it remains and you´ll need them to drive more often now. I think that you were willing to keep them on the whole day on Sunday for the road trip might tell the same, that your subconsciousness has found out they also help you during the day.

According to my experiences first glasses only are used full time or in day light in your case if they already have gone a bit too weak, but that was only my case :-), hope yours is not the same, keep us informed,

best regards, Antonio

question 24 Mar 2015, 16:33

I have been told that my astigmatism is getting worse but have no correction. I am 26 and don't do much of anything requiring strain on eyes so I'm trying to figure out what is causing it. its gone from 0 to -.75 in a two year period and my doctor said it would likely get worse with no explanation as to why. no keratoconus or anything either.

Soundmanpt 24 Mar 2015, 09:21


Your not the first one that ever got surprised when they went for an eye exam. The fact that you were starting to have difficulties reading messages on your cellphone I assume you did expect that you would be prescribed glasses for seeing your phone and reading in general? But besides that you must not have been able to see the 20/20 line on the eye chart either. My best guess based on the prescription you got is that you were barely able to see much of the 20/30. So the lenses he / she put into the refractor that allowed you to see the 20/20 line was -.50 lenses. To be honest that is about the weakest prescription you would ever get. I'm sure they didn't seem to make any or much of a difference to you at first. For one thing your eyes need to adjust to glasses to notice a difference and only putting them on for a short time doesn't allow your eyes to really adjust. Driving during the day is always much easier to see pretty well. But driving after dark is much different as you found out. That alone should be worth whatever the glasses cost you. Having good vision when your driving at night is really very important. So even though you didn't say it I bet you now wear your glasses when your driving at night? But I think the road trip you took where you wore your glasses nearly all day also made a difference for you. I'm sure after wearing them all day when you took them off at the end of the day then you noticed the difference didn't you? That was because your eyes finally were relaxed wearing them and adjusted to them. My guess is they also must have gotten pretty comfortable for you to keep them on all day. Most become nearsighted at a much younger age but like anything there are exceptions. I really don't expect that your distance vision will get much different, but you may need a couple increases. If you work in an office and do a lot of close work causing you to wear your readers quite a bit the I really suggest that you get bifocals which is what I am sure your doctor was recommending when you went.

gwgs 24 Mar 2015, 08:48

Jill, welcome to the community. Interesting to hear that someone from your office referred you here. There are some experts on eyesight here who will give you a pretty well informed opinion, but I would say with my 2 cents worth that your eyes have got used to your new glasses and are wanting you to wear them more than you are.

Have you been getting headaches? Your optician was obviously right that you do require a distance prescription as well as for reading/close up work and therefore bifocals would probably be the best option for you.

Jill 24 Mar 2015, 07:49

I had question about my eyesight, and a friend here in my office showed me this site. Here is my situation...About a year ago I was beginning to have some trouble reading my cellphone messages. Never ever wore glasses before. So I went for an exam and looked through all the lenses, and was told not only that I should have reading glasses, but also distance glasses for driving. I didn't think I needed the distance glasses and decided to get drugstore readers (+1.25) and ordered the distance glasses (-0.50). When I picked them up, they really made no difference in my distance vision. I wore them out of the store and driving home. I thought they were a waste. THEN a few days later I tried them when driving at night, and really saw a big diffence in sharpness. I don't think I needed them, but they sharpened signs etc.

After a few months I saw that they helped a bit during the day too, but not a big difference. Last Sunday, we went on a road trip and I wore them almost all day.

This morning, while driving to the train I noticed most of the signs were a blur. The glasses were needed in order to even see speed limit signs. I don't remember my vision ever being so bad that I really needed the glasses to drive.

Here is my question: Have I adapted to these glasses to the degree that I need them, or did my eyes likely get worse because I need stronger glasses already. I thought it already strange that I am 35 and needed correction for distance. Can my nearsightedness be getting worse?

Cactus Jack 24 Mar 2015, 07:49


Posture has no known effect on vision.

Astigmatism is typically caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the Cornea. The cause of the uneven curvature appears to be caused by uneven stress on the cornea, but the actual cause of that is unknown. Astigmatism, itself, changes very slowly, but the portion of the eye exam that determines the Axis is very subjective. The accuracy of the Axis angle depends greatly on the skill of the patient in detecting relative blurriness rather than comparing image sharpness. That can show up as large Axis changes between exams.

There is a simple way to improve Axis angle accuracy, if you are interested.

It is not known and it is very doubtful that looking out of the corner of you eyes has any effect on Astigmatism or Vision.

Do you wear or need vision correction?


question 24 Mar 2015, 00:14

While we are at it, does looking out the corner of your eye for long periods of time induce astigmatism?

Tom1 24 Mar 2015, 00:11

I have a question, too. How does a person with a lazy eye see? Which is her eyesight if she covers the "good" eye? Is something similar to nearsighted blur, but it can't be corrected with lenses? Very curious about this. Thanks for explaining (and even better if someone with a lazy eye could post his experience).

question 24 Mar 2015, 00:05

How does bad posture make vision permanently worse?

Kris 23 Mar 2015, 16:59


I'm surprised your ECP was concerned about how quickly you adapted to prism. I don't know enough about it, but I thought the dependence was a given and something you just accept if you wear prisms. What are others experiences here? It's interesting that he wants you to take breaks from the prisms and i would be interested in the theory for this. Are you going to try to go without prisms again?

I'm thinking more and more that I need to seriously consider prisms for my vision. I tried Cactus Jack's test to see how much prism diopter deviation I have and I'm consistently coming up with 24-25 pd at distance with my glasses on. I can't really fuse the images again after I try the test and think that I just start ignoring the image from my right eye to get single vision back. I'm not going to try the test again for awhile as I'm still having issues with double vision after trying the test earlier tonight. It's like I've given my eyes permission to stop trying to fuse and now am working harder to see. I am going to monitor symptoms for the next few weeks and then may ask for more info from my ECP.

Adam 23 Mar 2015, 10:31

Yeah thank you both for the advice. I will be looking at trying on some frames as soon as I can, I guess the next thing is trying to find a pair that I like and suit me!

Julian 23 Mar 2015, 09:28

Adam: Cactus Jack's advice is sound, as always: get the glasses you need, and try wearing them full time for a couple of weeks or so. That way you'll know better how much you need them and how much of the time.

Cactus Jack 23 Mar 2015, 09:11


Your visual environment is probably an important factor, but maybe not the most important factor. Your constant requirement to focus close may have revealed some mild axial or true myopia or actually caused some Pseudo or False Myopia. You are a bit too old for your visual environment to have caused or exacerbated Axial Myopia. Both types of myopia cause exactly the same symptoms and require the same correction.

Let me think about your situation and I may have a suggestion or two.


Adam 23 Mar 2015, 06:10

Hi I am 30 years old and work for a financial company, so do spend most of my day at a computer screen. I do also use a tablet at home as well, could this be why my eyesight has got worse?

Cactus Jack 22 Mar 2015, 19:58


There are many factors that affect visual comfort.

May I ask your age and occupation? Do you use a computer, tablet, or smartphone very much?


Jan 22 Mar 2015, 18:44


A few days ago you wondered about the progression in my prescription. My ECP didn't give me any indication orginally, so I went back and he was surprised to hear about the progression and the quick adaptation, which he considered too fast. Upon brief retest, he arrived at a correction of now 8 dptr BO in total (currently: 6 BO). However, he is reluctant to adjust the prescription too quickly. The key problem seems to be that I wasn't able to fuse the cross (vertical and horizontal bars) without prismatic correction at all.

He saw this as an indication for reduced muscle control and asked me to try using my old non-prism glasses at off-days and weekends to train my muscle control system. I tried it for one day, but my eyes constantly drifted into their off-position, especially as soon as I stopped concentrating on something specific. Eventually I gave in and fell back to the prism glasses, which were a great relief. After that I had muscle tensions for another day, so I didn't revisit that exercise since.

Instead of using non-prism glasses to train the eye muscles, couldn't I use glasses with slightly reduced correction, or is that a recipe for disaster? Has anyone had experience with losing the ability to fuse entirely after being prescribed prisms?

Any thoughts are welcome.



Adam  22 Mar 2015, 15:08

Hi thanks for your reply no it only stated -0.50 for each eye with the rest blank.

Even though I only thought I would need them got driving at night, I might find some benefit of wearing them at other times? The optician wasn't to clear on this. I have noticed my eyes feeling tired in the evenings, would they help with this? Yes these would be my first glasses when I get them.

Cactus Jack 22 Mar 2015, 14:01



Visual comfort is the key. I suggest, if you get them and you probably should, you should wear them full time for about 2 weeks and then decide when you want to wear them. The 2 weeks of full time wear does 2 important things. One, It gives you a chance to become comfortable wearing glasses and lets your friends and family get used to seeing you wearing glasses. Two, it allows your brain to get used to working with higher quality images. Vision actually occurs in the brain and the brain has amazing image processing capabilities. If the brain knows what something is supposed to look like, it can correct what you see, within limits of time and available energy. Your brain uses a lot of energy anyway, but has to use a lot more to correct fuzzy images. Glasses do the correction optically and allow your eyes to deliver high quality images to your brain, where little further processing is required.

You did not list your complete prescription. If there is any Cylinder and Axis listed, in addition to the Sphere correction of -0.50. That is a very important comfort factor.

If these are your first glasses, I usually suggest getting them from a local optical retailer so they can be fitted properly. Many of us order inexpensive glasses from an online retailer such as Zenni Optical. When you decide you would like to try ordering online, we can help you save a lot of money.

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


Adam 22 Mar 2015, 10:36

I had my first eyetest in around 4 years the other day. I had been noticing difficulty while driving at night with car headlights and also with reading signs. I was given a prescription on -0.50 both eyes, if I got glasses when should I wear them, would it just be for driving at night?

Cactus Jack 22 Mar 2015, 10:32


It appears that the dominant factor in your BF's prescription is Astigmatism (Cylinder and Axis), but he has enough Myopia (Sphere correction) to make it interesting. If you add in some Exophoria (Base In Prism correction), lenses for that prescription would be hard to make and fit right to provide reasonable Acuity, but it depends on the amount of prism needed.

You did't mention his age or if he as commented on his hear vision. Depending on a number of factors, Exophoria should affect close vision more than it affects distance vision because it takes extra effort to converge and fuse images from close objects or text.

It would be helpful if he could do the Simple Prism Test I posted under the thread

It is a little harder to do the test with Exophoria than it is with Esophoria, but it should give us a number that would be useful. His visual history could also be useful.

I am not a big fan of muscle surgery because of personal experience with surgery to correct Esophoria, but sometimes that is the only viable choice. In my case, I was made aware that the type of muscle surgery I needed might not be successful and the correction might not last. It didn't. My double vision problems returned with just a few months. Apparently, the younger you are when you have the surgery, the better and more durable it is.

Having experienced the anxiety of someone using sharp objects around my eyes, I understand the reluctance for any type of eye surgery. However, most eye surgeries today are very safe and are nearly "non-events", provided the eye surgeon is very experienced in the type of surgery needed.


spectacular 21 Mar 2015, 15:15

My boyfriends prescription is L-1.75x-3.50x56 R-3.00x-3.00x130 as of 2013. His right eye turns outward and says it affects his distance vision. At his last exam we asked about prisms and the doctor suggested surgery. Thats not going to happen. We are going to a different doctor and wonder what we could say that would encourage his prescription to include prisms? He does not even drive because of this.

Thank you eyescene readers for any suggestions.

Kris 19 Mar 2015, 19:27


I would suggest trying to wear them full time for a couple of weeks and see how it works for you. When I was prescribed glasses at 38 I would take them on and off and found that I never felt like I had comfortable vision. I finally decided to wear them full-time for a couple of weeks to adapt to the prescription and I ended up a full-time wearer. It took me a couple of weeks to get completely used to the prescription (my initial prescription was R +1.25 L +0.75, so similar to yours). I felt sea sick for the first few days, but got over that. Even though your astigmatism correction is fairly low, wearing your glasses will probably lessen any eye strain you are feeling.

As to whether or not to go up on the prescription, it's hard to say. I notice small changes in my prescription so would probably go up but others are much less sensitive to that small a change (or so my ECP tells me).

Frank 19 Mar 2015, 19:07

Just went to the Eye Doctor and the Sphere of my prescription increased by +.25 in my right eye. I have had glasses for a few years, but only wear them sporadically. In some cases when I put them on late in the day it can be challenging to adjust to them. When I first got my last pair, I tried to wear them all the time and my eyes were worn out after two days. I am guessing that I never got used to them.

My new prescription is:

OD Sphere +1.00 Cylinder -0.50 30

OS Sphere +0.75 Cyinlder -.50 160

The Eye Doctor said at 35 the muscles in my eye may still resist the prescription whereas I will be more reliant on it as I get older. I had two questions. 1. Is it worth getting new glasses for just a 0.25 sphere increase and 2. Should I attempt to wear them full time and allow myself time to adjust to them.


Kris 18 Mar 2015, 16:20


My right eye turned in as a child so I wore glasses from 3-7 years of age and had eye surgery on my right eye when I was 4. I didn't wear glasses again until I was 38 (I'm now 44). My current prescription is Right eye +1.75 cyl -0.5, left eye +1, Add 2.25. My add has gone up annually because I complain of eyestrain, although I could still read the lowest line of the near vision test with my old prescription. I use a computer as part of my work, but most of my day involves interacting with others. Most weeks I only spend a couple of hours a day on the computer at work.

Cactus Jack 18 Mar 2015, 16:13


I read your post on the Hyperopia thread. Not need to repeat anything you said there, but please post your complete prescription. I have written quite a bit about prism and posted it on the Vision and Spex website. Hyperopia and Strabismus often go together and it seems to be relatively common for people who had muscle surgery in childhood for strabismus to re-develop Strabismus in adulthood.

May I ask where you live?


Cactus Jack 18 Mar 2015, 16:03


Am I to understand that you have had strabismus surgery when you were younger? It would help a great deal if you could provide a bit more about your visual history and your current prescription..


Kris 18 Mar 2015, 13:44

Thanks Cactus Jack,

My issues with double vision seem to be more at mid distance. I've had issues with conference room presentations as well as small auditorium presentations. This includes occasional issues with double vision when watching TV (anywhere from 5 feet to 30 feet away). My near issues are more with eye fatigue, to the point that I haven't been able to read my computer screen anymore (I've been putting long hours in recently for a work project). Double vision is more likely to occur if I've turned my head to look at something vs looking at it straight on.

I'm trying to understand what to expect, since most online information speaks more to the childhood issues of strabismus. I do wonder if having had eye surgery is going to come back to cause problems as I age. Since the experts don't really describe what to expect, I thought I'd see what people's personal experiences are with needing prism vs managing without (understanding that this may be different than my experience). I don't really understand whether prism is inevitable for me or if I can manage without.

Cactus Jack 18 Mar 2015, 06:50


Base Out prism makes the outer edges thicker and the inner edges thinner. It depends on many factors, mostly lens width, but BO prism will increase the outer edge thickness by about 1 mm per prism diopter. I believe Zenni can go up to 5 BO in each eye, but i am not sure. You prescription may limit what they can do.


Cactus Jack 18 Mar 2015, 06:45


Double vision, where the eyes try to turn inward, falls into two categories. They are Esophoria and Esotropia. The medical definition of the two is more complex than this one, but maybe this will help. Esophoria is a condition where the eyes try to turn inward, but with concentration and effort, you can fuse the images. Esotropia is a condition where you cannot fuse the images no mater how hard you try. Often, Esotropia is caused by a brain injury, stroke, or other brain trauma. Esophoria can be caused by Eye Positioning Muscle Imbalance where one muscle in the pair is stronger than the other, Trauma to the Cranial Nerves that control the muscles, or difficulties in the Eye Positioning Muscle Control Center in the brain.

You appear to have what is called Fatigue Esophoria because most to the time, you can fuse the images, unless you are tired and / or are not concentrating on what you are looking at. Without a definite control signal from your brain, if your inside muscles are stronger than your outside muscles, your eyes will drift inward or converge causing double vision. Curiously, my experience had been if I concentrate too hard on fusing the images, the double vision often gets worse. Also, if I have nothing to look at or the images are blurry, my eyes will try to cross. Image quality helps your Eye Muscle Positioning System work better because the brain actually has no idea where your eyes are pointing. Instead, it needs to have two good images to match up. The better the image quality, apparently, the stronger the muscle control signals and the easier it is to keep the images fused.

You specifically mentioned that you have double vision during some Power Point presentations, but you did not indicate if you are watching the presentation on your computer (close) or projected on a screen (distant). Power Point presentations are notorious for causing mind numbing boredom, though the cause is often the narration that accompanies the images rather than the images themselves. Often, if you have no choice but to attend the presentation, there is nothing you can do about a boring presentation except try to stay awake and tough it out. Hopefully, if you drift off to sleep, you won't snore and wake the other bored members of the audience.

I hope this helps.


motard 18 Mar 2015, 00:06

While prisms are currently on topic. How much of and what direction can be addedto beef up outer lens edges and be tolerated? I'm at -8 right and -6.75 right in 1.57 index. The 1.5 index (cr39) isn't a selectable option at zenni to increase lense thickness at rx previous said

Kris 17 Mar 2015, 23:42

Thanks Cactus Jack,

I'm most likely to see double when I watching presentations (power point, slide presentations). Why would this be the case? Does it have something to do with prolonged focus on a fixed point? I can usually re-fuse the images, but last week was at a presentation where I couldn't re-fuse and had to rest my eyes or cover one eye for much of the presentation (I was tired that day).


Cactus Jack 17 Mar 2015, 20:47

Kris and Jan,

A while back I posted a Simple Prism Test on the Vision and Spex site under Special Lenses for Eye Conditions > Prisms. It is down near the bottom of the list. The test works quite well to help you get an idea of how much prism you really need. The test appears crude, but it uses Sir Isaac Newton's definition of a Prism Diopter.

I have worn Base Out prism for many years and have had muscle surgery (that didn't work). In general, until you get near 10 BO in each eye, prism is barely noticeable other than increased thickness in the outer edges of the lenses. It is customary when prescribing prism to give the minimum that that solves the problem, most of the time. The reason for this is that it is very easy to adapt to Base Out (BO) prism because it allows your eyes to converge as if you were looking at something closer than say 20 feet or 6 meters away and once you get used to a certain level of BO prism, you may discover that you actually need more prism. Some people think prism is almost addictive, but my experience has been that what appears to be addiction is actually caused by under correction.

Incidentally, the amount of angular deflection of your eyes is only 0.57 angular degrees per Prism Diopter.


Kris 17 Mar 2015, 20:26


From what my ECP explained to me it sounds like the least amount of prism needed for comfortable vision is prescribed and is only a portion of what would fully correct the deviation. He made it sound like the prescription would inevitably go up, but really depends on the individual.

I have debated whether I should explore having prism with my ECP, but am not ready to give up wearing contacts yet. It would also add to the expense of my lenses and I'm willing to tolerate the symptoms for the time being. The last couple of weeks have been worse because I've been tired and am trying to finish a project, so have spent a lot more time than usual on the computer. I expect things will settle again once the project is gone, so will wait it out.

It sounds like things are much better for you with the new lenses, but would be interested in what your ECP told you to expect about your prism prescription.

Soundmanpt 17 Mar 2015, 10:57


No I personally don't have prisms but I am very aware of the effect that prisms have on the eyes. So I am sure these glasses are much different than any of your previous glasses.

May I ask when you were told to come back to get your eyes examined again? The prisms you received are really not very much. It's possible that is all you really need and their won't be any change coming, but it also could be that your ECP just wants to slowly take your eyes to their full prescription. So if you were told to return in say 6 months it very well could be because they will be increasing your prisms a bit more. If your past experience has shown very little change in your eyes then I don't think your eyes will change any different in that way.

It would really be a good idea to get a spare or backup pair of glasses since being without your glasses isn't an option anymore. You may want to look into ordering your glasses from Zenni. ( They are make and sell good quality glasses at a very reasonable price. They of course offer prisms as well. You shouldn't have any problem finding at least 700 pairs of glasses in your full prescription and including AR coating (anti-reflective) for under $30.00. They also do rx sunglasses as well for the exact same price. Now that your wearing your glasses full time having rx sunglasses might be nice for driving or just being out in the sun.

Cactus Jack 17 Mar 2015, 09:07


It is likely that she has what is called Amblyopia or something similar. Remember, vision occurs in the brain and the eyes are simply biological cameras. If there is a difference in image quality between the two eyes, your brain will always choose the clearer of the two images as use that as the basis for what you see. If the difference is substantial, the brain will ignore the image from the bad eye and eventually, completely ignore the image from that eye, permanently.

If Amblyopia is detected early enough, usually before age 6 or 7, it can sometimes be corrected by temporarily patching or fogging the image from good eye so the brain has no choice but to use the image from the bad eye.

The reason the timing is critical is that, with very rare exception, once the brain has "turned off" the vision from the bad eye, it will never turn it back on again, even if the vision from the bad eye is optically corrected. I know of only one reported instance where a woman who had Amblyopia in child hood and had vision in only one eye for many years, was suddenly able to see again with both eyes. She described the event as being a shock. She was getting ready to drive somewhere and as she said, the steering wheel "lept at me". I was seeing in 3D after years of 2D vision.

It is likely that the girl had no vision in one eye or had become adept at switching vision from one eye to the other.

One of our ES members was born without some of the lenses in his eyes. He is very Hyperopic and is severely cross eyed. He has vision in both eyes with glasses and he amazes doctors because he sees things on the left using his right eye and things on the right using his left eye. His brain switches from one to the other as needed, but only rarely does he see double. It usually scares him when it happens. Interestingly, he can play Goalie on his Soccer team because the ball comes to him and he can track it using one eye or the other. The fact that he is cross eyed and wears VERY strong PLUS glasses really confuses the opposing players. You can tell a lot about what a person is going to do by watching their eyes. Doesn't work with him, they can't tell where he is looking or which direction he will move.

Another member of the team is also cross eyed, but he apparently has normal stereoscopic vision without glasses because his eyes did not form correctly before he was born. He is a deadly shot and can kick the Soccer ball exactly where he wants it. Between the two of them, they drive the opposing team crazy and win most of their games.

The point is that human being are incredibly adaptive and can learn to deal with almost any vision handicap with a little help from glasses or contacts it caught and corrected early enough.


Jan 17 Mar 2015, 03:42


you summed it up very nicely - in fact very precisely. Can I assume you have similar experience? The disturbing part is that my eyes simply don't appear to work together properly anymore, at least not without glasses. They somehow seem to operate in an uncoordinated fashion if uncorrected.

You write 'Once your prescription becomes more stable ...'. Do you think the prism prescription will change further. I wouldn't expect my eyes to change much based on past experience. Do prism corrections change more frequently, or are you refering to my overall prescription in general?

I am asking because I am planning to get some spare glasses, because the perspective of breaking my pair sounds daunting.


Dude 16 Mar 2015, 18:07

Recently I saw a girl who was at the school till the past year, when she left,in that moment I reminded an old doubt I had always have abupout her eyes.

She's a girl about 11-12 yo, her eye turns in about 20 or 30 degrees and she doesn't complain of double vision at all, I just remember about 2 years ago she wore glasses for reading, but now she doesn't wear them at all, is that normal that such a crossed-eyed girl don't need glasses?

How can she have binocular vision if her eyes have such as great misalignement?

Kris 16 Mar 2015, 12:09

Thanks Jan and Soundmanpt,

I have not had a follow-up conversation with my ECP about prisms because of the issues you have described. I enjoy being able to wear contacts for sports (I play field sports including ultimate frisbee) but my ability to wear them day to day has been impacted by my need for an add. I get annual eye exams because getting my prescription right has been a bit tricky, but am not due for another exam until the fall. I've been in progressives for a little over 4.5 years and the near prescription has been increased with every exam because of eye fatigue. It wasn't that I couldn't read the near text it was that it was more comfortable with the add. Other than getting a little astigmatism correction (which really helped clarity in my right eye) my distance prescription has been fairly stable.

Up until about six months ago I could get by to read for short periods of time without glasses, but that is firmly a thing of the past now and I'm really noticing the deterioration of my near vision. I suspect that some of my eye fatigue is from my strabismus issues. I do feel that I work a bit to maintain single vision, but it's usually not too taxing. My double vision is most likely to occur when I'm tired or if I've been reading/using a computer for extended periods of time.

When I first mentioned double vision to my ECP he spoke at length about the pros and cons of prism. I suspect there will be a time when I no longer need contacts and I may revisit with him at that time. My ECP did try prism in front of my right eye to see if it helped. I recall it feeling a little more relaxed and think he said something about 10 prism diopters looking like what I may need, but I could be wrong on the number. He didn't do a full prism exam as I wasn't interested.

Without glasses my right eye turns in and I often see double. When I swim I wear my glasses onto the pool deck because I am self conscious about my eye turning in. I hate when people have me take my glasses of for appointments (i.e. dentist, hair, brow waxing) for that reason. I've definitely seen people whose eyes turn in worse than mine, but it is still noticeable especially if I'm trying to focus.

Will keep you posted if I end up getting prisms.

Soundmanpt 16 Mar 2015, 09:46


From what you describe it at least seems like your getting very close to needing prisms included in your glasses. Double vision and eye fatigue are certainly indications of it anyway.

And if your doctor has even mentioned it to you of course tells you that your going to be needing them before very long. The fact that you were bifocals and contacts even though your prescription isn't very strong probably means you wear your glasses full time except for sports. So if you do get prescribed prisms at your next eye exam your already used to wearing glasses so the only real difference for you will be much like Jan in that you will be that without your glasses your going to very quickly get double vision and a quickly developing headache.

You didn't say what types of sports you enjoy doing when you wear contacts. If the sports mainly require good distance vision then I assume you may only wear single vision contacts to correct your distance? Like I suggested to Jan, you will need to learn to wear glasses for these sports if you wish to continue to do them.

Are you planning on getting your eyes examined anytime soon?

Soundmanpt 16 Mar 2015, 09:23


So when you decided to get your eyes examined you probably were just thinking that you just needed an small increases in your glasses and everything would be fine. Prior to this I would assume you never heard of "prisms" before so you had no idea just how much they were about to impact your eyesight? Your prescription isn't all that strong and I imagine that it was even a little weaker before you got your new glasses?

As your doctor was adding in the prisms and the lines on the cross were slowly coming together your eyes were converging and once at 3 BO in each eyes everything became one and your eyes were very quickly comfortable. Once you got your glasses and started wearing them you had to be surprised at how quick they adjusted to them. But unlike your previous glasses that you had been able to take off and still see reasonably well without the now when you take off your glasses you get double vision and a quickly developing headache as well. Now when you wake up the first thing you reach for is your glasses, something new to you now.

I don't know know if your doctor mentioned it or not but they don't make contacts to correct prisms. So that won't be an option for you with sports anymore. I think you will find that your able to run and do many of the sports you enjoy while wearing your glasses. They make some decent sport straps that easily can be attached to your glasses to keep them in place so they aren't slipping down. Once your prescription becomes more stable then you may want to invest in a nice pair of sport goggles in your prescription.

You said it best when in describing the impact these glasses have made when you said "there is no going back"

It seems like you probably were wearing your previous glasses quite often anyway but you liked the option of not wearing them or wearing contacts now you can't do either of them.

Jan 15 Mar 2015, 22:11


sorry for not responding earlier. I got interrupted. My visit to the ECP was prompted by problems when reading, especially for longer duration and in the evenings. Apart from this it was time for the regular eye checkup.

Frankly, your problems sound kind of similar to mine, so that may be a solution, but I would hope that it doesn't have such impact on you as it does for me, since you have some experience with strabismus - that was new to me.

Apart from the regular tests, the ECP had me perform a test (not sure about its name) in which I should have supposedly seen a cross, but instead I saw two separate bars far apart. After trying out a lot of lenses, I saw a cross and my ECP said I should have come earlier. The vision with the lenses was incredibly comfortable and when taking them off I had a moment of double vision, but didn't really think about this as a long-term problem. That's why I jumped on it and had my lenses updated. And yes, the comfort is still brilliant but at the price of not being able to 'go back'.

I am still thinking about solutions for cases where I would want to go without glasses. Although this is rarely the case (since contacts never corrected my astigmatism fully), for longer, more extreme runs as well as swimming it would be preferable.

Yesterday I tried running with my old contacts, but as soon as I get exhausted, the images drift apart and they don't want to come together. So I ended up squinting part of the way.

I am wondering if there are 'blind' contact lenses that would allow me to only to use one lens and prevent the other eye from participating in the vision process. That would mean that I only use one eye during that time, but I think that is easier to handle than double vision. For shorter time frames that might be an option without damaging the eyes and without being visible to others?!

Still looking for solutions. Let me know how you go, but be cautious along the way.


Jan 15 Mar 2015, 01:16

Hi Cactus Jack,

thank you for your detailed response. I understand your technical explanations and I agree, it is possibly a combination of many different components, hyperopia, age and astigmatism. That definitely gives me a better understanding of how things are tied together.

However, never has the impact of switching lenses been so intense as with the addition of prisms, although they seem to be quite low compared to what I have seen on eyescene. Getting hold of my glasses is literally the first thing I do when opening my eyes nowadays, since my eyes seemed to have gotten comfortable in their misalignment. Luckily, as you write, my eyes appear to be straight through the glasses - and yes, the frames do look good. That is definitely a great relief, but the realisation of being crosseyed (although I am the only one to 'see' it) comes as a surprise - and the fact that I cannot just take the glasses off anymore and still operate (other than reading anything).

Again, thank you for your explanation. To some extent it is a relief that most prism wearers have this kind of experience. I guess I will see how things develop. I hope the prisms will not increase over time...


Kris 14 Mar 2015, 14:26


Can I ask what prompted the need for the prism? I'm farsighted as well, and have occasional issues with double vision. I had surgery and wore glasses as a child for strabismus. My optometrist has mentioned that I may need prisms at some point, but I have avoided it because of the issues you mention. I use contacts for sports and don't want to have to use glasses. My prescription currently is Right eye 1.75, cyl -0.5, Left eye 1.0; with a 2.25 add. I have some issues with headaches and eye fatigue and am not sure if prisms are part of the solution or not.

Cactus Jack 13 Mar 2015, 23:46


We probably should be discussing this on the Hyperopia and Presbyopia Progression Thread.

You are experiencing some of the many and confusing symptoms of Hyperopia, combined with Astigmatism, Presbyopia, and one of the types of Strabismus known as Esophoria. Now that I have scared you with a bunch of medical terms, let me ease your mind a little, you are not alone. several million others have experienced similar symptoms and survived comfortably. I forgot a couple of other questions that would help, but they are only of minor importance. They are How long have you worn glasses? What was your previous prescription? and What was the time interval between this prescription and your previous one?

Lets start with the basic problem, Hyperopia or Far or Long Sightedness because it affects almost everything else. Hyperopia, the 1st number (Sphere) in your prescription, is the only Refractive Error that affects the eye that can be corrected internally, using the Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses, often without your being aware of it. Hyperopia is caused by a mismatch between the Total Power of your Eye’s lens system (around +58) and the distance between the back of the lens system and your retina. Typically around 17 mm. If your eyeball is too short, you have Hyperopia, and distant images focus behind the retina and close images focus even farther back. BTW the actual distances are very short, about 0.3 mm per Sphere diopter. Attritional PLUS is needed to move the focus point forward to the retina. This PLUS can be supplied by the Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses unless Presbyopia complicates that by making it difficult for the Ciliary Muscles to squeeze the Crystalline Lenses to produce the extra PLUS. In those instances, external PLUS is required using Glasses or Contact Lenses.

A complicating factor is Astigmatism, as indicated by the 2nd (Cylinder) and 3rd (Axis) numbers in your prescription. Astigmatism is caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the Cornea. Astigmatism actually causes the eye to have two different focus distances which thoroughly confuse your focus control system, because it produces blurry images at all distances. The only tools the Focus Control System has are the Ciliary Muscles, but they cannot correct the refractive errors caused by Astigmatism, but it tries anyway causing fatigue.

A further complication is the gradual onset of Presbyopia. The idea that Presbyopia does not begin until 40 is a myth. Presbyopia actually begins in childhood, but typically does not become a problem until later. Most babies are born with quite a bit of Hyperopia because their eyeballs are small to fit in their small heads. Fortunately, most babies also have VERY flexible Crystalline Lenses that have about the stiffness of gelatin dessert which the Ciliary Muscles can squeeze to deliver exceptional Accommodation Range. That is why you often see young children reading or coloring effortlessly with the page very close to their eyes. As we get older, the eyeballs grow AND the Crystalline Lenses gradually get stiffer. This typically does not cause a problem until the late 30s or early 40s unless the individual winds up with Hyperopia or they need to focus very close as they do with the tiny text on cell phones or tablets. At some point Presbyopia reduces the Accommodation Range and some of the remaining Accommodation Range is used up to compensate for Hyperopia and the need to focus close, collide and the result is headaches and fatigue. Often, all that is needed to initially solve the problem is PLUS glasses with Astigmatism Correction (if needed). However, that does not stop or mitigate the gradual onset of Presbyopia, but it may allow your eyes to recover the Accommodation that was being used to correct the Hyperopia and delay the need for bifocals or progressives for a few years.

There is, potentially, another complicating factor that can enter the picture, if Hyperopia is NOT externally corrected. There is an interconnection in the brain between the Focus Control System and the Eye Positioning System. In most instances this interconnection is beneficial. When you focus close, your eyes have to converge to keep the two images fused. If they did not, you would see double. The strength of this interconnection varies with individuals and is, to some extent, “programable”. When the Focus Control Systems uses the Ciliary Muscles to add PLUS internally, the interconnection causes the eyes to converge (or cross a little bit) to keep the images fused. If the PLUS is being added to correct distance vision the interconnection will cause your eyes to turn inward or converge and you will see double if the interconnection is strong, because the Eye Positioning System does not know why the PLUS is being added. Often if the interconnection is strong, or there is some muscle imbalance, Base Out (BO) prism is used to fuse the images even when the Hyperopia is corrected with glasses.

It takes a lot of effort and energy to maintain fusion when the Eye Positioning System is trying to respond to the convergence signal from the Focus Control System.

Your glasses allow your Ciliary Muscles to relax and the Prism helps your Eye Positioning System to relax. It does not take long for your brain and these systems to get used to the reduced workload, which is why you feel more relaxed and less fatigued with your glasses. Without your glasses, the focus effort from your Hyperopia and the uncorrectable blur from your Astigmatism, just add to your eyes convergence tendency and blurry, double vision results.

Remember, vision actually occurs in the brain and the eyes are merely biological cameras. Your brain has amazing image correction capability if it knows what something is supposed to look like, but it takes a lot of effort and engergy. If you quit wearing your glasses, your brain will go back to work correcting the images, but it will take longer to go back to where it was and there will be some complaints.

In another context, how long does it take to get used to a really comfortable pair of shoes and what happens when you have to go back to wearing shoes that are much less comfortable, but fit the social situation better. If you are like me, I can hardly wait to get comfortable again, once I know what it feels like. Same way with glasses, you are really not helping anything by not wearing your glasses. You really need them full time and in all situations. BTW, no one really notices the lenses with your prescription, only the frames. Make sure they look good on you.


Jan 13 Mar 2015, 20:06

If forgot: My age is 32.

Jan 13 Mar 2015, 20:05

Hi Cactus Jack,

thank you for your response.

My prescription is

OD +2, -1.5 cyl., 3 prisms BO

OS +1.5, -1 cyl., 3 prisms BO

I don't doubt that the prescription is right. In fact it feels spot on. It just makes working 'without' glasses quite hard despite the fact that it is so low.


Cactus Jack 13 Mar 2015, 06:39


Please post your complete prescription and your age. All elements are necessary to understand and explain the symptoms you have described.


Jan 13 Mar 2015, 04:36

Hi guys,

Recently I got a new prescription with prism lenses 3 BO on each side. I wasn't quite sure about the consequences until experiencing it. I have worn them for a few weeks now and I must say that Good and Bad seem come in pairs. My vision is amazingly relaxed (although the clarity is slightly worse) with the new lenses and I am much less fatigued after work.

BUT the vision without glasses is undescribably bad - way worse than before (am farsighted with astigmatism). My eyes constantly drift into double vision. I can bring the images together, but they are very fuzzy and it causes immediate headache. To see something I need to 'let go' and concentrate on one image, because the individual images are sharper than the combined one. It feels as if my eyes simply don't seem to work together anymore which had never been a problem before (other than my regular prescription). I am wearing glasses most of the time, but there are times one would want to do 'without', such as swimming.

Don't get me wrong, the vision WITH glasses is very comfortable, but is there a way of 'going back', especially since I have worn prisms only for a few weeks. Or is my experience typical in the beginning and will become easier?

Cactus Jack 11 Mar 2015, 20:52

Brain Trauma cannot cause eyeball growth that I know of, but it could damage the Focus Control Center or the Eye Positioning Control System in the brain. Vision actually occurs in the brain. The Visual Cortex where vision occurs is located near the back of the brain and that could be damaged. The Optic Nerves and the Retinas are actually part of the brain and those could be damaged. Vision and how it works is a complex system, the optics of the eye are a minor component to the process.

Head Trauma is never a good thing. If the focus control system is damaged, a person may lose their ability to focus close and have to use multifocal glasses to see with reasonable clarity at all distances. If the Eye Positioning Conrol System or the Cranial Nerves that control the 12 eye positioning muscles get damaged, Prism Glasses may be necessary to prevent double vision. Those are just two of the possible outcomes of serious head trauma.

Physical damage to the eyes is another possibility with retinal detachment or lens damage.


question 11 Mar 2015, 20:33

To those who are aware, sometimes head injuries like a concussion can bring about permanent changes in vision and glasses prescription. Does anyone understand why that is? Do head injuries induce growth of the eyeball or what?

Cactus Jack 11 Mar 2015, 05:52

The obvious thing is that it would be uncomfortable and if cold enough, damaging. I don't know of any eye condition that is treated with cold packs, but that does not mean that they don't exist. Ice packs, whose surface temperature is greater than 32 F or 0 C, may be helpful for some types of headaches.


 10 Mar 2015, 23:48

what do you think applying ice to the eye for extended periods of time would do?

Cactus Jack 10 Mar 2015, 12:10


Is the -3.25, with cylinder -1 your actual prescription? 1.5 BO is so small it should be almost un-noticeable. It could be that the PD is off, but I don't have enough information to make a judgement. 1.5 BO in each eye is nothing compared to the amount of convergence you do anytime you look at something close.

I have a few more questions, but I need to know about your educational background and occupation before getting into a technical discussion of how the eye positioning system works.


Joe 10 Mar 2015, 09:04


Sorry - it's not like much of an headache ,

But it feel strange - when I put the glasses on !

For 10-15 minutes.

Joe 10 Mar 2015, 09:04


Sorry - it's not like much of an headache ,

But it feel strange - when I put the glasses on !

For 10-15 minutes.

Cactus Jack 10 Mar 2015, 08:32

Oops, The last post was from me.


 10 Mar 2015, 08:27


You left a word out. Do you get the headache when you put the glasses on or off?


Joe 10 Mar 2015, 08:16

Hi cactus jack,

It is 1.5BO Per eye.

Don't seem to have problems with double vision at all.

When I put the glasses I get headache for 15 minutes, but then everything is fine.

I'm 23 BTW.


John S 09 Mar 2015, 23:41

A friend of mine that I work with is 32. He had been complaining about his vision for the last few months. He said he had trouble reading signs at night, but his laptop screen wasn't real clear either. We use our laptops at work quite a bit for troubleshooting. He had said a few times that he thought he needed glasses. It finally bothered him enough that a week ago he asked me if he could try my glasses.

I suspected that he was probably myopic and had astigmatism, so I had never volunteered my glasses. I thought they would just make his vision worse. I kind of wondered when he tried them, why he didn't rip them off his face right away. I got the answer to that.

The next day I checked his vision with my trial lens set and I was really surprised. His distance rx was +0.75 -0.75 X 180, +1.00 -0.75 X 40.

I also had some handheld flipper lenses. I gave him +1.00 lenses to put on top of his distance rx, and asked him to look at his computer. He said it wasn't as clear. It turned out that he had the lenses upside down so he was actually using the -1.00 lenses. Now that he was using the plus side, he said the screen looked bigger and clearer with the +1.00 add, so then I tried a +1.50. I was pretty sure he was going to say they were too strong. But instead, he didn't say anything and just stared at the screen for a minute. Then he said the +1.50 lenses made the screen bigger than the +1.00 lenses did, and it was really clear. He couldn't believe how clear the screen was.

Cactus Jack 09 Mar 2015, 17:39


Not much chance. You did not mention if it was 1.5 BO in each eye, but I will assume that it is. 1.5 BO will cause or allow each eye to turn inward (converge) less than 1 angular degree when viewing distant objects, Convergence is a natural function when looking at objects closer than about 20 feet or 6 meters.

If you are mathematically inclined and are familiar with Trigonometric Functions you can use the Definition of a Prism Diopter, stated by Sir Isaac Newton, as that amount of prism that will displace a ray of light 1 cm at a distance of 1 meter, to calculate the amount of convergence necessary to fuse images at various distances from your eyes.

Are you experiencing any double vision problems either with or without your glasses?


Joe 09 Mar 2015, 15:37

Hi all,

My name is joe from Israel.

I have about -3.25 with -1 cyl in both eyes prescription.

Recently I got a pair that I order from zenni that had 1.5 BO prism.

It is extremely nice to have them - but I want to ask you, if there is any chance of harming my eyes with that amount of prisms.


Cactus Jack 09 Mar 2015, 13:13


Hyperopia is much more common than most people think. Hyperopia is the ONLY refractive error that a person can correct internally using their Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses, often without even being aware that they are doing it. The thing that is different today is the extensive use of Smartphones and Tablets, often with very small text on the displays.

That causes a user to hold the display closer to read the small text and frequently, the discovery that they cannot focus that close, sometimes even in the teens. The solution is PLUS glasses or even bifocals and the further discovery of Latent Hyperopia after a few months of wear.

I saw the 16 year old son of a friend at a luncheon last summer, wearing low plus (+1.00 or less) glasses. I asked him about them and he said he was a little farsighted and was getting headaches when he read or used his phone very much. He also said that he had some astigmatism and the glasses really helped him comfortably do his school work. I explained that the astigmatism was causing most of the discomfort.

I saw him again at Christmas time and he was wearing very similar frames, but the increased plus (+2.00?) was obvious to an OO. I didn't get a chance to ask him about about his new glasses, but I noticed that he had absolutely no inclination to take them off for any reason and he effortlessly read the screen on his phone at a distance of about 7 inches or about 18 cm and had no problems with his distance vision.

The world has really changed since I was 16. Needing glasses was almost a disability back then. Today, glasses are so common that the question is almost "Why aren't you wearing glasses. Is there something wrong with you?"


SC 09 Mar 2015, 12:11

BBC carried this article which is similar to one that was covered in Singapore a few years ago.

Mostly blames lack of sunlight for myopia - as we live more inside/screen based lives then we become short-sighted. Singapore study said that most children sleep at lunchtime and so miss out on the sun.

I've felt for some time that the key 'genetic' factor was that if your parents wear glasses they are more likely to take you to the eye doctor to get your eyes tested and hence you end up with glasses!

No word on hyperopia causes although wearing plus lenses is booming

Soundmanpt 09 Mar 2015, 09:50

Olivia and Antonio

The reason they take your glasses away from you is so they can read the prescription off the lenses of your glasses. That gives the doctor a good starting point for examining your eyes instead of starting from scratch.

Just as the two of you are comparing notes about your visits to get your eyes examined as you can see that not only you 2 had the same experience but nearly everyone else before you and after you. So there is no need to feel embarrised. Anyone that has more than a very weak prescription is going to find things blurry without their glasses.

Soundmanpt 09 Mar 2015, 09:34


That optician is very rude and out of line for making a such a comment about your eyes having gotten worse. First of all if you started wearing glasses as a kid and your still even under -6.00 and your 29 now means that your increases over those years all must have been rather small or your prescription would be far worse than it is. The fact that your still able to go for 2 years between prescription changes is really good and most likely your increases are just to sharpen your vision up some.

You really shouldn't be so shy about wearing your glasses in public. If you look around i'm sure you will notice how many are now wearing glasses. Glasses have really become for many women a fashion staple these days. Now is the best time ever to start wearing your glasses outside of your house.

Antonio 09 Mar 2015, 09:02

Hi Olivia.

Yes. Last time I felt similar as you did. They asked for my glasses to measure them, took them to another table to measure them and after that I didn.t know where they put them because of the blur surounding my eyes. Probably not really far from me, but I didn.t get it.I felt embarrassed and had to wait until the eyedoc put a lens in front of one of my eyes finally to start the measurements. Fortunately after all they handed them back to me, so I hadn.t to ask for them.

Antonio 09 Mar 2015, 08:47

Hi Meg. Yes I feel the same. Definitely it.s nerve wracking to go to the optician.

I always hated to try to read the eyechart unaided first as I knew I was in a bad Position there. If your optician makes nasty comments on top you should think about a change. How strong are your lenses now ?

My eyes have gone that bad over years I only can read the big E of the eyechart now I think. But i still know the Problems to decide which lense is better in the end. Sometimes nearly undecidable.

Best regards Antonio

Olivia 09 Mar 2015, 08:32

I also hate getting my eyes tested, especially as a kid, mainly because my prescription gets worse every time.

Nowadays, I feel really uncomfortable without my glasses. Sitting there while they check my glasses makes me feel really vulnerable and its pretty embarrassing when the optometrist finds out how blind I am. Then there is the eye puff thing, gosh, I hate it.

Maggie 09 Mar 2015, 03:20

My doctor is actually really nice. I hated the eye doc I had as a kid, but I like the one I've been seeing for the past several years. The guy in her office who does the autorefraction before I see her makes comments though. "Oh wow you're eyes have gotten worse! Almost minus 6!"

I'm 29 and still get increases at least every couple years. I know my eyes could be much worse, and at least I can see well in contacts or glasses, but I have a hard time wearing my glasses in public, and I am pretty useless without correction even at home.

Soundmanpt 08 Mar 2015, 10:25


For both you and Meg to complain about your optometrist making any comment about your eyes getting worse seems somewhat unprofessional. I can only assume he / she is just commenting based on what was read off your lenses of your current glasses and the prescription your eyes need now? But I am sure if your under 20 years of age even before he / she starts to examine your eyes they he / she already knows your going to need an increase. Probably 97% of his / her patients under 20 need some increase.

Soundmanpt 08 Mar 2015, 10:14


I think it is very common for most everyone to be a bit nervous going to see any doctor, be it the dentist or your MD.

So being nervous getting your eye examined makes sense as well. I know that the which is better test can drive most crazy and can be very hard to tell much difference, just remember if your having that much trouble telling the difference then whichever you choose is going to be okay. Also your paying for the exam and if you have to repeat it 10 times so be it. And if you still can't tell any difference don't be afraid to tell the doctor that.

Melyssa 08 Mar 2015, 08:23

I am not nervous at my annual eye exam. Perhaps it's because I have been at -9.00 for over 20 years now. Then again, it could be that having a handsome optometrist doesn't hurt. :) Actually, the only thing that bothers me is that with the eye drops dilating my eyes, I have difficulty seeing with all that bright light, even on cloudy days, for several hours afterwards, which is why my husband drives me to and from the place.

Eyestein 08 Mar 2015, 03:42

@Maggie, Meg, and Anita

Think about all those other people out there with -9 and stronger. Even -12 is not that uncommon apparently because contact lenses for up to -12 are available 'off the shelf'.

Maggie 07 Mar 2015, 22:28

I feel self conscious too Meg! Especially since my eyes are bad at -5.75 and I almost always have a little increase. It's like, why are you telling my how bad my eyes are, I know they are and I can't help it, LOL.

meg 07 Mar 2015, 15:58

Is it just me or does anyone else find eye tests quite nerve wracking. I seem to get a really dry mouth during the test and feel very self conscious. I think this then affects my ability tomake the right choice between the lenses as I don't think that I'm.paying enough attention and don't know how many times its acceptable to ask them to repeat the choices - which I I usually do on a few occasions. I don't think KT helped this time when I had my eyes tested when the optician blurted out Gosh your eyesight isn't good when I finished reading off the chart unaided.

Soundmanpt 06 Mar 2015, 10:42


If it seems to you that more people are wearing glasses now than say 5 years ago the reason it seems that way is because there is more people now wearing glasses then 5 years ago. The number of people that has perfect or 20/20 vision is constantly being reduced each day. On top of that your only sighting the people you see wearing glasses now consider how many others might be wearing contacts instead of glasses and you might even be more shocked. So like I tell others that wear glasses, your in the majority now. Do you feel like wearing glasses has had an adverse effect on your social life? I really doubt that there are many guys out there that object to their girlfriend wearing glasses and if they do, well then you shouldn't be interested on that guy anyway. Back in my dating days, i'm 66 now, it was rather hard to find a girl that wore glasses. Today it would be even harder to find one that doesn't wear glasses. Like one of the others said because your 25 your glasses shouldn't get much stronger than they are now. Your vision should be close to becoming stable by now.

Aubrac 06 Mar 2015, 10:05

Sorry but don't know why this came through twice

Aubrac 06 Mar 2015, 10:03


Pleae don't beat yourself up about your level of myopia.

It is purely a physical thing, namely during body growth some parts growth at different rates and so we have longer or shorter arms, different size hands,etc, and our eyes are just one part of that process. And this can reult in differing degrees of short or long sight.

There have been for years many people who do not acknowledge their need for glasses and only now when there is no stigma attached to wearing glasses, are they quite happy to wear glasses and actually see clearly what is going on around them.

There should be no implied weakness about needing glasses because physically your eyeball shape results in long or short sight, just as if you have small or big feet, this is just how you have grown.

I live near an English school in the UK and today saw the new influx of students, mostly from South America, and about 70% are wearing glasses.

Possibly 80% of the UK population need some form of visual correction, but only now are people accepting this, and even high levels of myopia have been tolerated by many people.

No fun going around in a fog and missing everything going on around you, just put your glasses on and enjoy. There will always be someone with stronger glasses than yours.

Aubrac 06 Mar 2015, 10:03


Pleae don't beat yourself up about your level of myopia.

It is purely a physical thing, namely during body growth some parts growth at different rates and so we have longer or shorter arms, different size hands,etc, and our eyes are just one part of that process. And this can reult in differing degrees of short or long sight.

There have been for years many people who do not acknowledge their need for glasses and only now when there is no stigma attached to wearing glasses, are they quite happy to wear glasses and actually see clearly what is going on around them.

There should be no implied weakness about needing glasses because physically your eyeball shape results in long or short sight, just as if you have small or big feet, this is just how you have grown.

I live near an English school in the UK and today saw the new influx of students, mostly from South America, and about 70% are wearing glasses.

Possibly 80% of the UK population need some form of visual correction, but only now are people accepting this, and even high levels of myopia have been tolerated by many people.

No fun going around in a fog and missing everything going on around you, just put your glasses on and enjoy. There will always be someone with stronger glasses than yours.

Melyssa 06 Mar 2015, 06:04


First off, I have a pair of drop-temples, brown plastic frames with silver metal connectors, with the name of the frame being Anita. If the link works, these are those:

Getting back to your comment, when I was your age (back in the 1980s) my prescription was pretty close to yours, on the way to an eventual -9.00 by age 36. And as Crystal Veil said, back then we women wore mainly big and bold plastic frames, although it seemed clear frames were the most popular. I would say that about half of my college classmates wore glasses, either full-time or part-time, all of whom were nearsighted.

In my part of the universe now, the so-called "hipster" frames have not made much of an appearance, as little metal, rimless, and occasionally black plastic frames are still in the majority, boring as they are. While I do not recall what percentage of people I know or see wear glasses, there are a lot of farsighted individuals (in the 50-and-over crowd) who need glasses for up-close activities.

Crystal Veil 04 Mar 2015, 16:37


you are right about the spread of short sight but there are other factors at work as well. The taboo on glasses has gone since the sudden wave of the hipster style, about four years ago. During the two decades before that, all glasses frames were tiny and discrete. In fact, rather dull, as if glasses are something to hide. It was different during the 1970's and 1980's (the heyday of large, adventurous frames) when glasses were a way of expression for those who felt the need. Contact lenses were available for those who hated glasses but they were more primitive than they are nowadays so many ladies chose for glasses, even if the lenses were quite thick. You have minus six and in those days, your lenses would have been twice as thick. But everyone was in the same boat so it really did not matter. There were many shortsighted people in those days but their options were different than they are now. Your minus six was considered acceptable in the 1970's and 1980's. It's good that it's acceptable now again. By the way, there is little chance that you will need much stronger glasses in the future. At 25, things tend to stabilize.

Anita 04 Mar 2015, 13:31

I can't believe how many people are now wearing glasses and they have a shortsighted prescription. My eyes are disgusting for a 25 year old -6.00 so I'm use to wearing glasses. Only 5 years ago there wasn't that many shortsighted people. We have accepted glasses so shortsightednes is normal right? Who would have thought its ore fashionable to wear glasses now

SC 26 Feb 2015, 15:07


You make an interesting point. I feel dependent on glasses but relatively my distance vision is good. I have a +1 Rx, and so equates with -1, the sort of prescription that teenagers would start with at school, perhaps even slightly better with a bit of accommodation.

I would imagine if my vision had gone slightly blurry over a long period of time, and I could see up to 2 metres well, then I wouldn't wear glasses much either.

But it doesn't feel like that. The day I was prescribed a distance Rx, I could read some letters on the 6/5 line, so my distance vision had been good, although I was suffering when tired. Within a couple of weeks I was forced to wear glasses because of headaches and my distance vision only became blurry after a few months. So I've never had a period of tolerating the blur - good vision without glasses, good vision with glasses (headaches without), so keep the glasses on and feel dependent. Four years on, I've lost the bottom 4 lines on Snellen now, although I guess with hard concentration or 10 minutes blinking and squinting, I'd get two back - this what your relatives are experiencing, the ability to see pretty well for a short period of time, because in the scheme of things their distance Rx isn't much. I just find it annoying that when I concentrate and get a degree of focus, I turn and look at something else, turn back and I'm back at square one and have to focus all over again - dependency mean that auto-focus is broken.

Of course, close up is a different matter, just a blur space up to 2 metres so for most hyperopes with presbyopia that is the real driver. Would have to on/off them so often that keeping them on is a convenience.

Dude 25 Feb 2015, 14:29

Cactus Jack,

yes I am the same guy. Thanks for your explanations

Cactus Jack 24 Feb 2015, 22:54

Hi Dude,

Are you the same Dude that asked some questions last May and June?

Hyperopia is the most difficult of the 4 common types of refractive errors to explain when asked about symptoms, because they are so variable. People with similar or even identical glasses prescriptions can have widely varying symptoms. Hyperopia is often confused with Presbyopia because they have the same correction, Plus lenses, even though they have completely different causes.

The 4 common types of refractive errors are Hyperopia, Myopia, Astigmatism and Presbyopia. Hyperopia and Myopia are caused by a mismatch between the total PLUS power of the eye's lens system and the distance from the back of the Crystalline Lens and the Retina. Astigmatism is caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the Cornea. Presbyopia is caused by either the Crystalline Lens becoming stiff with age or the Ciliary Muscles becoming so weak that they can no longer increase the PLUS power of the Crystalline Lenses to focus close or both. Hyperopia and Myopia are always corrected by the Sphere part of a prescription. Presbyopia is corrected with either Sphere or an Add depending on the situation. Astigmatism is corrected by Cylinder with a direction called the Axis. A glasses prescription can correct 3 of the 4 refractive errors in one lens, but you never find correction for Hyperopia and Myopia in one lens. Some people have Hyperopia in one eye and Myopia in the other and sometimes considerable difference in the prescription for each eye.

A couple of things to remember.

1. Vision occurs in the brain. The eyes are merely biological cameras.

2. If there is a difference between the quality of the two images from the eyes, the brain will choose the clearest image as a starting point to construct what you see.

3. The brain can correct blurry images if it know what something is supposed to look like, but it takes a lot of effort and energy.

4. The brain can create an image without any input from your eyes. Ever had a dream?

5. Hyperopia is the ONLY refractive error that a person can correct internally using their Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline Lenses, provided Presbyopia has not made their Crystalline Lenses so stiff that the Ciliary Muscles cannot squeeze the lens and increase its PLUS power. Often, people with Hyperopia are not ever aware that they are having to do extra work to see distance clearly and even more work to focus close. They think they have perfect vision.

What you described in your first paragraph are all reasonable situations and solutions. I often refer to what you described as the Mysteries of Hyperopia.

Your 15 YO friend has mild Hyperopia complicated by Astigmatism. He could probably correct his mild Hyperopia internally, but Astigmatism messes up your vision at all distances. Astigmatism particularly affects the sharpness of small text. The problem is that without external correction you brain will try to focus and clarify the image and the text using the Ciliary Muscles and Crystalline lenses. It is an impossible task and it cannot be done. That often causes severe headaches and extreme fatigue. The simple solution for effortless, comfortable vision is to wear glasses all the time.


Dude 24 Feb 2015, 18:09

Hi all, I'm just curious, what prescription does a plus glasses wearer become dependent on them? Does age matter? My curiosity was aroused by some of my middle-aged family members most o them had perfect eyesight during his young adulthood but when they reached 40 or so, they started to struggle with their near vision and started to wear reading glasses but nowadays most of them wear bifocals because of a new hyperopia. One of them is my aunt, she is 48yo and wear +2.00 Add +1.25 I think she would wear her glasses to watch tv or to go to the movi but she says she can see quite well at far, another case is my 71yo grandmother who is OD+1.50 c-1.00 OS +4.00 c -1.50 Add +3.00 and she says she can see almost perfectly without her glasses, is that reasonable? Regular people with my grandma's prescrption wouldn't wear them full time??

Also, I have a 15yo friend who is +1.00 c-0.50 and he says he is completely dependent on his glasses he says he can't see a thing without his glasses at far and get strong headaches at near? Is this normal?

Cactus Jack 23 Feb 2015, 23:45

Concerned Mama,

Thank you for remembering to let us know how your daughter and son are getting along. I am sorry to hear that your daughters vision has continued to deteriorate, but it sounds like you, your husband, and Moorfieldo are doing the best that can be done for her.

Unfortunately, genetics will sometimes trump every effort at slowing the progress of some forms of Myopia. The use of a reduced prescription for reading should help, but there is no good way to prove that it actually helps very much. It is like trying to prove a negative. At least it can't hurt.

There is some amazing research in genetics these days. As we have discussed before, the development of useful Myopia to counteract the Hyperopia that most babies are born with is important for the development of Normal Vision, as a child grows, but sometimes it gets out of hand and the eyeballs grow too much. Sometimes growth stops too soon and very strong Plus glasses are required for good vision. We don't know why - yet.

Unfortunately, genetic research is very slow, but there is progress on all fronts. There is considerable vision research going on in China. Many young Chinese children are very myopic and the percentage of the population who need very strong minus glasses at an early age seems to be increasing. Hopefully, there will be some positive results, soon.


ConcernedMama 23 Feb 2015, 11:23

Hi everyone

Well I have to admit that I forgot about this place for a while but just wanted to pop back to say hello and how much I appreciated your help before.

My daughter has unfortunately lost much of her remaining vision in her left eye due to a retinal detachment and is now attending a specialist class for visually impaired children within a normal school. Her vision is pretty severely limited although she does still wear her glasses. Moorfields have continued to be amazing and very helpful. She's happy and has lots of friends - both with and without sight problems - and is reading with help from magnifiers.

My son (who is now nine and a total beanpole!) is carrying on his merry march up the staircase of myopia! His glasses continue to get stronger and whilst we continue to use "reading glasses" that are 2 weaker than his "normal glasses", I'm not sure they make much difference. He seems to be destined to be a nearsighted young man. He is still corrected to 6/12 and could probably get to 6/6 if the glasses didn't make the letters smaller (I can't read them either!). He's pretty bright and has skipped a class this year (boasting proud mum moment!) and is still reading as much as ever... and is still as bad at sport!

Thank you for all your support over the years,

CM x

Sonya_ru 23 Feb 2015, 05:24


Thank you for your detailed reply. You're right, I can only see OK with left eye. I haven't planned on wearing glasses, my family would surely make such a big deal out of it.

If what you say is true, then my ECP wasn't honest enough with me. She never told me that I'd have difficulties with getting used to that prescription. She said it was for driving only, maybe opera and things like that. I still could make my point on that ground.


Soundmanpt 18 Feb 2015, 12:59


First of all welcome to Eyescene. It's always nice to have new people join in. I hope to be able to help you somewhat.

First of all you have what is considered and unbalanced prescription, meaning your right eye is considerably worse than your left eye. If you hold your hand over your left eye covering it so your unable to see out of it and try reading anything more than a few feet away with your right eye without your glasses I think you will find everything is pretty blurry. But now doing the same thing only with your glasses everything should be very clear and sharp. What has been happening even without you paying any attention or noticing it is that more and more you have only been seeing things in the distance with your left eye. Now your left eye vision isn't perfect either but it is much better that your right eye. On top of that you have a very small amount of astigmatism in your left eye which seems like nothing, but surprisingly it can take more adjusting to than you might think it would. Even that small amount can cause the room to feel like it is spinning and even make you feel sick to your stomach until your eyes adjust. I am sure going back now to complain that you don't think your glasses are right is only going to result in being told that you have to wear them at least a couple weeks full time for you eye to adjust properly. At this point i am sure you feel that is completely wrong, but I think you will be surprised by first making a point to wear them and not be taking them off and on all the time that you see that things are going to start looking better and better with your glasses. Now to be honest after your eyes adjust I think because of the unbalance in your prescription you probably won't like your vision anymore without glasses.

 18 Feb 2015, 10:40

Hi Sonya,

I understand you. I once got a bad made lens for one eye too. Only out of this new glasses one of my eyes couldn.t see sharp. So I knew it was a bad made lens. I think your optician could measure the lens and your left eye and help you out of that. That you can.t focus to near objects in them could mean you need bifocals that are more expensive. But let.s wait what the experts tell you in here. Best regards Antonio

Sonya_ru 18 Feb 2015, 08:22

Dear all,

I'm a regular visitor, but I've never contributed to the discussion before.

I'm 28 years old and I got my first glasses last March, weeks after I started driving and ralised I couldn't see much at night.

The idea of having something made especially for me, to my own measure, has fascinated me forever. I had secretly tried other people's glasses and knew that my vision wasn't perfect, but never really hoped I could have my own pair.

My prescription is:

OD -1.50

OS -0.50 cyl - 0.25

Unfortunately, it's been difficult to get used to these glasses. Is it because I don't wear them every day?

I know they give me the fullest possible correction and are not suited for near, but I have to make conscious effort to focus on relatively near objects with my both eyes, which isn't good. On top of that, my left eye feels kind of funny: things look less high-contrast, probably due to a wrong cyl axis. This certainly doesn't help at night; for example it's difficult to recognise green arrows when I look at traffick lights from distance.

I am planning to get prescription sunglasses later this year, although I'm not sure whether I really need them. (I'm too vain to wear glasses for anything but driving or theatre). If I go, should I mention my problems to the optometrist? Can they change the prescription to make it more wearable?



DS 13 Feb 2015, 21:44

If it's only refractive error and can be corrected to 20/20, then it's good vision.

High Myopic 13 Feb 2015, 21:29

Is having a -4.50 diopter right eye and a -5.50 diopter left eye considered bad vision? I think my left eye needs to now have a -6 diopter lens and my right needs to have a -5 diopter lens.

I can see very well in a, I guess -7 diopter pair of glasses that I got from a thrift store.

deer gogs 11 Feb 2015, 22:11

Cactus Jack,

I'll get back to you in a few weeks once i figure out whats up. From my experience, having the extra minus that i don't need strains my eyes too much to work correctly. as of right now I'm thinking I need to somehow set up GOC with my eye doctor in order to get the anti fatigue and the extra minus for looks purposes only. another question: how much extra minus and you get an eye doctor to prescribe for night blindness at its worst?

Cactus Jack 11 Feb 2015, 21:35

Deer gogs,

One of your options is GOC. Another is wearing low minus glasses, but we need your actual prescription to start any meaningful discussions about anything. Anti Fatigue Glasses appear to be a special type of varifocal or progressive lens with a very weak add of around +0.60 and a very good anti-reflective coating. Variable focus lenses come in all prices and quality. The very best are brands like Varilux, Rodenstock and Zeiss. You probably won't find them online because super high quality lenses deserve the best possible fitting.

However, you can experiment with various methods of either over correction to Induce some Myopia or GOC online, at low cost, to find a solution that works for you. Once you find a prescription you like, you can look for an Eye Care Professional who will assist you in getting Anti Fatigue glasses if that is what you want. Where you live can be a big factor in how hard it is to find an open minded, friendly ECP.

At 22, you should still have plenty or be able to develop plenty of accommodation. That being the case, you could probably wear low minus sphere correction with your actual cylinder and axis, even if you have a moderate Plus Sphere prescribed, but again, we need to know where to start and most importantly, what you want to do.

Another thing that would help is to know a little more about your education and occupation.


deer gogs 11 Feb 2015, 18:29

Cactus Jack,

I'l get back to you on the prescription. What exactly would our options be in order to avoid the plus if I get prescribed it? My lenses right now are really expensive and great. I've had cheap online (zenni etc) ones before and they don't even begin to compare to these in terms of their anti glare and anti fatigue. Would I be able to convince a doctor to let me do GOC under their supervision? Like maybe just between -1 to -3 glasses with the astigmatism and +1 to +3 (depending on the new prescription) to make sure I never have a problem reading.


Cactus Jack 11 Feb 2015, 08:57

Deer gogs,

Welcome to one the "mysteries" of optics. The pupils in your eyes are like the iris in professional camera lenses. The brighter the light, the smaller lens opening required to take the picture. An important side benefit of a small lens opening is that the "depth of field" or "range of useful focus" increases significantly.

The fact that you see much better in bright light than in dim light is a very strong clue that you need an eye exam, but as Julian suggested, you need to wear your glasses more, particularly at night for a week or so before seeing your Eye Care Professional (ECP).

If I may venture a guess, I suspect that you may also have a bit of hyperopia (or long or far sightedness). Unlike myopia (or short or near sightedness), you have the internal ability to correct mild hyperopia without your even being aware of it. The important thing in an eye exam is to find out the full extent of your vision problems. In that regard, I would strongly urge you to get a dilated or "wet" eye exam. The drops that temporarily paralyze your ciliary muscles and minimize your ability to focus, also cause your pupils to open fully. This results in the most accurate measure of your refractive error. Once you know the full extent of your refractive error, then you can decide what to do about it.

We can help you by explaining your options, but we really need your complete prescription - Sphere, Cylinder and Axis. You mentioned that you hated the idea of wearing plus glasses. If you really need some plus correction and REALLY don't want to wear PLUS glasses, we can show you several ways to solve the problem. I suggest that you DO NOT order glasses immediately after your eye exam, but wait until we can chat and review your options. You may be surprised at the possibilities.


astigmaphile 11 Feb 2015, 07:37

Deer gogs,

Your vision gets worse at night because your pupils are bigger.I am =1,25 cyl, right and +2.50, left. My bare eyed vision in bright sunlight isn't that bad. In dim light, , it is noticibly worse.

Julian 11 Feb 2015, 01:01

deer gogs: Why not try wearing them more, or even full time, before going back to the ECP? The cylinder will help at all distances.

deer gogs 10 Feb 2015, 21:51

Another thing I forgot to mention was that It gets like a bajillion times worse at night.

deer gogs 10 Feb 2015, 21:49

My vision feels like it has deteriorated a ton this past year. I wear my glasses for astigmatism/reading a total of about an hour or less a day. But even as I'm typing this i feel like a desperately need to put them on. I'm a 20s college student who rarely goes anywhere off campus and for the most part keeps to himself.

My prescription as of november was:

R: 0.00 x -.75 diagonal

L: 0.00 x -.50 diagonal

(i get the axis confused but its basically opposite on the other eye).

Also, my lenses are anti fatigue.

the only change in 2013's prescription was a slight right eye astigmatism increase by -.25. I seem to see clearly with them on but not at all without anymore.

Should I go back to the eye doctor?

should I consider full time wear? they were prescribed with anti fatigue lenses which are made for really taking notes and having to look up and down constantly.

Could my eyes be relaxing with the anti fatigue lenses in just two months and therefore uncovering more farsightedness? I would absolutely hate for this to be happening as I can't stand the look of plus lenses on my face.( personally I'm praying to god that its more astigmatism rather than +. the little plus they have on the anti fatigue is already annoying looking enough)

I get the power tools analogy so you don't need to explain it. I just don't think I'm wearing them enough to be getting used to them or for the anti fatigue to be doing anything. Anyone have any other hypotheses?

Xy 10 Feb 2015, 13:56

I have severe myopia -22 diopters,pretty much progression over the years till now.seems like no change.stay indoors much,don't really go out much,or nightclubs with friends.guess huge fear of losing my glasses,having too many drinks and losing them.anyway,looking for similar chat friends,thanks.

Cactus Jack 06 Feb 2015, 16:23


Not usually at 22. I am not sure what you mean by "dimmer". If you mean less sensitive to light, a couple of things come to mind. Reduced oxygen or some other retinal issue. You could be developing cataracts, which can occur at any age, but one would think that the eye doctor would have noticed.

You should consider seeing an ophthalmologist that specializes in retinal problems with the specific complaint of dimming vision. He may suggest a visual fields test which measures light sensitivity all over the retina. A visual fields test does not take long, is painless, and does not require dilation, though the ophthalmologist may dilate your eyes to more closely check your retinas.

Like other health problems, early detection is a very important factor in being able to ideally cure or at least stop further disease development. I suggest that you do not delay in seeking resolution. You will feel better with a second opinion.

Please let us know what is found, if anything.

May I ask where you live?


pujol 06 Feb 2015, 13:02

And that I have a dry eyes

pujol 06 Feb 2015, 12:58

Forgot to mention I'm a 22 year old college student with just slight vision correct for class and no history of other problems.

pujol 06 Feb 2015, 12:57

My vision is getting noticeably dimmer the past few years. I went to the eye doctor a few days ago and he said it was okay but didn't really give a good explanation or anything. I do not show any signs of glaucoma. Could anyone please explain this to me? does vision get dimmer as you age or what?

val 06 Feb 2015, 11:57

andy thanks for the post I will email you

AndyDalton 06 Feb 2015, 10:00


I am in the same position as you.

Please email me :

I would be very interested to know how you are getting on with your glasses.

Cactus Jack 06 Feb 2015, 08:36


You really did not provide enough information to answer your question. In addition to your sphere prescription (plus or minus), many factors affect edge thickness. If the new lenses have the same index, the same base curve, the same sphere and cylinder, the same lens style, and are of the same width, you can expect them to be between 1 and 2 mm thicker at the outside edge. Sometimes, the prescription in higher prism lenses does not extend to the edge of the lens. Sort of like myodiscs in a carrier. In that case, none of the above factors apply.

Please let us know your complete prescription and how the new glasses differ from your old ones when you get them.


val 06 Feb 2015, 08:05

hi I have been priscribed glasses with some more prisms 14 base out each lens,i pisk them up in about two weeks,how thick will they be compared to my others which are 12 base out

Soundmanpt 06 Feb 2015, 07:23


If you only wear your glasses for such a limited amount of time then spending several hundred dollars on new glasses or even to change the lenses might not be that important. You should be still able to see well enough to drive with your current glasses just not as good at night but still legal.

But for under $21.00 you can choose from nearly 700 pairs of glasses with your new prescription and $5.00 more will even get you the AR coating (anti-reflective) Then you have the correct prescription for glasses as well.

Check out "" The glasses are good quality, same as any optical store sells, and they look great as well.

Likelenses 05 Feb 2015, 23:46


Your old prescription would give you about 20/30, and the new would bring you up to 20/20,or there about.

SoCal 05 Feb 2015, 21:51

You guys thing it would be worth it to change the lenses in my glasses from -2.50 to -3.00? Just got a new rx and to me, it seems negligible considering I wear contacts 90% of the time.

Cactus Jack 01 Feb 2015, 21:12


Normally, dilation does 2 things that are you.

The most obvious thing is that he pupils open up full. This permits the examiner to get a really good view of the retina and the inside of your eyeball. You notice this because lights seem almost or actually painfully bright. I get a retinal exam about ever 6 months where they shine a very bright light in my eyes and I have no defense.

The other thing that you usually notice is the your ciliary muscles are paralyzed and you cannot focus close. I don't notice that much because I have had cataract surgery and can;t focus anyway, plus I wear trifocals.

Your situation is probably different because you are hyperopic. Your distance vision with your left eye should have been pretty blurry with our your glasses because you could not correct your hyperopia using your ciliary muscles. Unless there was a large prescription change, you should have been able to see fairly well with your glasses.

Your prescription is less in your right eye but it does not seem like it would made much noticeable difference in blurriness without your glasses. Again with your glasses, distance vision should have been pretty normal.

You did not mention an ADD so it is unlikely that you could focus close even with your glasses, until the dilating agent wore off.

Interestingly, eye color can make a difference in the effectiveness of dilating agents. Brown eyes are harder to dilate than Blue eyes.

One thing you can be sure of, with your eyes dilated, you did not get any increase in the range of useful focus by your pupils closing down with bright light.

Generally, dilating agents do not affect the eye positioning muscles. Did you have any double vision problems after dilation with your glasses on.

Can you offer any additional clues that could affect you ability to focus?


AndyDalton 01 Feb 2015, 12:59


As requested...

Right eye: +1.75,-1.50, axis 55, 12.5BO, 6BD

Left Eye: +2.50,-1.75,axis 110, 12.5BO, 6BU

With Thanks,

Cactus Jack 01 Feb 2015, 12:39


What is your complete prescription?.


AndyDalton 01 Feb 2015, 11:50

I have just had an eye exam where they have dilated the pupils with drops. During this time I noticed my left eye was super blurred, but my right eye seemed unaffected. I asked the nurse about this and she assured me the pupils were super dilated in both eyes.

Can any one explain this?

Edward 13 Jan 2015, 10:33

I'm a lurker to this sight, but I very much enjoy seeing attractive women wearing glasses. Two months ago my gf went for her annual eye exam so she could get a fresh supply of contacts. She came home very upset at how much her contacts were going to cost for the year so she only got a 3 month supply. I was very excited when she said she has decided to start wearing glasses instead. I always get my glasses off line and I suggested that she do the same. She picked out a nice pair that we both think will look very nice on her. Anyway she didn't a prescription for glasses when she got her eye exam. But looking at it I am sure about everything except the axis numbers. My question is the axis the same for glasses as it is for her contacts?

Here is her contact rx:

R -1.00 -0.75 165

L -1.00 -0.75 104

So would glasses be exactly the same?

NJ 04 Jan 2015, 08:36


You could be right, but keep in mind that there are other changes that occur around the age of presbyopia that might also cause the shift in refraction. For one thing, the crystalline lens can change shape as it gets hard. Second, the inability to accommodate means that the attendant changes in the eye that are known to increase myopia in younger people are no longer present. Third, compensated hyperopia in the first 3-4 decades of life is not exactly the same thing as pseudomyopia, at least if the latter is a semi-permanent involuntary effect.

I was hyperopic as a kid but seldom wore glasses because I had the accommodative power to make up for it. But I could just relax my eyes and have everything go into a blur so the accommodation was voluntary and not permanent. I also experienced a slight myopic shift as I got into the age of presbyopia, about 1.5-2D.

Crystal Veil 03 Jan 2015, 14:47

SC, my own myopia reduced from my forties the way you describe it.

SC 03 Jan 2015, 13:25

Sorry meant pseudo myopia...

SC 03 Jan 2015, 13:24


I see your earlier post that you consider pseudo hyperopia as a rare thing. I think it is very common. I know several people whose minus Rx reduces when they get to their 40s. I have an uncle who switched from minus to plus and a friend who was told she no longer needed glasses. I remember a poster here (Phil) who went from -4 to -2.75 and it seems sensible to me that if many hyperopes manage to mask +1 to +1.5 until their 40s then a reasonable number of mopes are over corrected to a similar degree.

NJ 02 Jan 2015, 18:08

Sally, if your daughter has a sudden change in vision you should take her to the doctor immediately. It could be any number of things, many of which require an immediate response.

Sally 02 Jan 2015, 12:09

Dear Cactus Jack

Yes, she has bifocal glasses. We live in London.

You made sense until you started to mention numbers for eyes, but that is down to my ignorance.

Thank you so m uch for your really quick rep,ly.


Sally 02 Jan 2015, 12:09

Dear Cactus Jack

Yes, she has bifocal glasses. We live in London.

You made sense until you started to mention numbers for eyes, but that is down to my ignorance.

Thank you so m uch for your really quick rep,ly.


Cactus Jack 02 Jan 2015, 10:48


What your daughter is describing and using are the Vertex Distance effects of her glasses. Vertex Distance is the distance from the front surface of her corneas to the back surface of her glasses lenses. Vertex Distance effects involve the mathematical square of the lens power. There is a formula to calculate the Vertex Distance effect, but for a +22 lens is very close to 0.50 diopters per millimeter and for a +26 lens it is very close to 0.67 diopters per millimeter. Notice that I did not specify a PLUS or MINUS on the Vertex Distance effect. I will explain.

Typical Vertex Distance for glasses is about 12 to 13 millimeters and the effect of Vertex Distance on the apparent power of the glasses depends on if the glasses lenses are PLUS or MINUS. If you move PLUS glasses closer to your face, their apparent power DECREASES. If you move MINUS glasses closer to your face, their apparent power INCREASES. Vertex Distance must be considered when determining the final prescription in very strong glasses.

Often, the tendency to move glasses closer or farther from the face indicates a need for a prescription change. It is possible that your daughter needs her prescription DECREASED. There can be several reasons for this, but at 15, it is possible that she is experiencing some eyeball growth. You typically see this in teenagers who already wear or need to wear MINUS glasses, but there is no reason why it cannot occur in someone who needs PLUS glasses.

You did not mention the cause of your daughters hyperopia, but generally it is caused by a mismatch between the total power of the eye’s lens system and the length of the eyeball which determines the distance from the back of the lens system in the eye to the retina. In a normal adult eye, the total power of the eye’s lens system is around +58 diopters and the distance to the retina is about 17 millimeters. If the total power is LESS than it needs to be or the distance is LESS than it needs to be for the power, external PLUS lenses are required to focus images on the retina. Most babies are born with hyperopia because their eyeballs need to be small because the babies head size is small. Fortunately, most babies are also born with the ability to correct their hyperopia by using the focusing system in their eyes. As the child grows, their eyeballs also grow and their hyperopia becomes less. Sometimes the eyeballs grow too much and and myopia results. If the eyeballs don't grow enough, hyperopia results.

Most young people experience a spurt of growth in their teens and when they approach puberty. The eyeballs can also experience a spurt of growth which can increase myopia or decrease hyperopia. It is possible that your daughter is experiencing this. Normally, eyeball growth does not occur very fast, but it can seem to occur suddenly when you wake up one morning and your glasses are not working as well as they seemed to the day before. Incidentally, if eyeball growth is a factor in your daughters apparent prescription change, the distances involved are very small. About 0.3 millimeters per diopter of change.

May I ask a couple of questions?

Does your daughter need to wear bifocals or different glasses for reading?

Where do you live?

I hope this very long winded explanation is helpful. Please feel free to ask any questions you wish.


Sally 02 Jan 2015, 08:56


My 15 year old daughter has suddenly started complaining about her vision

Her latest glasses are +22 and plus 26.

But in the last 24 hours she has suddenly stated to complain that she is struggling to see "stuff"

She says that things are easier if she moves her glasses "way nearer to my. Face "

Both my husband and I are totally blind. Does this sound like a prescription issue or an emergency?



Justin 31 Dec 2014, 20:12

Hi Cactus Jack,

Thanks for the detailed response to my question and comments.

Haven't really had a chance to experiment much but plan on being online a lot on new year's day and gonna try the 1.00s in front while doing it and see how things are during and afterwards.

Look forward to updating you!

Likelenses 31 Dec 2014, 19:32

An interesting web site on aniseikonia

Cactus Jack 30 Dec 2014, 18:12


Your corneas have no source of oxygen, lubrication, or moisture other than that the get from the air or your tears. Without enough tears, your corneas can dry out some and that can change their optical power and even their shape. This is one instance where a little bit goes a long way and even a tiny change in the shape of the cornea can make a big difference in your eye's refractive power. You can confirm this my observing the thinness of a contact lens or how little pressure it takes if you place your finger at the outer edge of your eyelid and pull gently outward. It does not take much to change your prescription pretty significantly.

You optician is very wise to suggest that you wait until your tear production is restored and your vision stabilizes before the recheck. I suggest that you try to schedule your appointment early after a good nights sleep and do not read or do any significant close work before the exam. That will assure that your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses are as relaxed as possible before the exam. If you would like to be prescribed glasses with more minus, schedule the exam for late in the day and read or do as much close work as possible, including reading in the waiting room, before the exam.


Cactus Jack 30 Dec 2014, 17:59


Very true. Steep corneas result in corneas with excessive PLUS power. True or Axial Myopia is caused by a mismatch between the total PLUS power of the eye's lens system and the distance from the back of the lens system to the retina. Too much total PLUS in the lens system or excessive distance to the retina can cause myopia, but excessive growth of the eyeball as a child grows to adulthood is the most common.

Many people with myopia learn to really like the ultra sharp vision that a step or two of minus over correction and often achieve 20/15 or even 20/10 vision. Without realizing it, they then use their ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to compensate. After 6 months or a year, the ciliary muscles get used to maintaining this level of compensating PLUS and it becomes the new norm. Almost any muscle can be "trained" to maintain a particular position and have difficulty changing. People with hyperopia that is uncomplicated by astigmatism often brag about their superior vision because they are using their ciliary muscles to add the PLUS they need to focus. Over time, their ciliary muscles have trouble relaxing. When they finally get glasses, it may take weeks or months for their ciliary muscles to relax and as that occurs, they need PLUS sphere increases in glasses or contacts to correct their vision. This goes on until their ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses relax to their natural relaxed power.

As I have said many times, Pseudo Myopia and Latent Hyperopia are exactly the same phenomenon. What name is used depends on the basic sphere refractive error of the individual.

In case of Latent Hyperopia, internal correction is using up some of the accommodation range of the eye's focusing system and is often the reason that presbyopia becomes a nuisance at an earlier age. Something similar can happen if a person with myopia is over corrected with too much MINUS. The eye's focusing system can compensate, but some of the accommodation range is used up doing it.


RickB 30 Dec 2014, 11:01

Cactus Jack,

In that case I have had a dilated exam as never had anything put in to my eyes before an exam. Not aware of any of my friends ever mentioning anything like that either.

I was told to use a warm damp cloth and hold it over my eye 3-4 times a day for 5 minutes at a time and was given some artificial tears to put in my eye to keep it moist. Apparently it will take 2 weeks (maybe more) to clear up but have got to go back for a follow up on the 10th Jan. Optician also advised me not to get my prescription filled until after I'd been back as she wanted to re-check my vision. once my eye had healed, although I'm not really sure why having my glands blocked would make any difference to my prescription.

I am finding that now I've started to use the drops my vision seems a lot more comfortable.

NJ 30 Dec 2014, 10:37

Cactus Jack, myopia can also be caused by steep corneas without axial lengthening. The two numbers of interest to an ophthalmologist evaluating a patient are the axial lengths and the corneal curvatures. Increased axial length is associated with retinal detachment, whereas myopia due to steep corneas is not.

I think pseudomyopia is fairly rare as anything more than a transient event. I know I occasionally experienced it in school after hours of reading, even though I was a bifocal-wearing hyperope. However, it never lasted more than an hour or two.

Cactus Jack 30 Dec 2014, 09:58


That is good news. Did the optician suggest anything you should do about the dry eye problem? Tears are very important to eye health and vision. They are also very important to contact lens comfort.

There are two types of myopia. True or Axial Myopia and False or Pseudo Myopia. True Myopia is caused by a mismatch between the length of your eyeball and the total power of your eye's lens system. It is considered a permanent type of myopia. True myopia is believed to have a genetic and environmental foundation. The eyes have to grow as you grow from childhood, but typically increases is true myopia slow and stop when you stop growing in your late teems and early 20s.

False Myopia is considered temporary and is caused by the failure of the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to fully relax after close focusing. It is actually the same thing as Latent Hyperopia, just on the other side of 0.00. Whiny focus close, your ciliary muscles squeeze your crystalline lenses. If you do this long enough, your ciliary muscles have trouble relaxing and your eyes tend to stay focused for close work and distance vision takes a while to clear up. One element in False Myopia seems to be the flexibility of the crystalline lenses (presbyopia). Depending on the age and genetic makeup of the individual, False Myopia is often the result of intentional or inadvertent over correction, particularly in adults. How long it takes for the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to relax depends on three factors, age, how long the condition has existed, how much it is reinforced. Long term False Myopia or Latent Hyperopia can take weeks or months for the ciliary muscles to fully relax and is often the reason Myopia seems to decrease in later life and the reason people with Hyperopia need prescription increases after they start wearing PLUS glasses.

A dilated or "wet" eye exam is often used to get a more accurate measurement of your refractive error or to permit better observation of the condition of your retina. A few drops of dilating agent in your eyes will paralyze your ciliary muscles and open your pupils and you will temporarily loose your ability to focus or inadvertently affect your refractive error during an eye exam. Typically, the agents that are used wear off within a few hours and only affect your accommodation ability during the exam and for a few hours afterward. Because your pupils are also open wide, your eyes cannot defend themselves against bright lights and often disposable sun glasses are offered after the exam. Usually, the dilating agents do not last long enough to have much effect on significant long term Pseudo Myopia or Latent Hyperopia. There are some dilating agents that take days to wear off, atropine for instance, but these are rarely used for typical eye exams because the ECPs want the patient to recover normal vision as soon as possible after the exam.

Again, I am glad to hear that the source of your discomfort has been found. Please stay in touch and participate in the discussions if you wish.


RickB 30 Dec 2014, 04:22

Hi Cactus Jack

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I managed to get a cancellation with an optician yesterday.

Apparently the glands at the bottom of my left eye are blocked which is causing the eye to become try and leading to the irritability I've been suffering from. The optician also did a full eye test to and my prescription had changed to:

L: -5.75, -1.50

R: -6.00, -0.75

They did check my near vision but that was all okay.

I don't know if I've ever had a dilated exam and I'm not sure what the difference is between the two different types of myopia.

I used to wear Contact Lenses but haven't worn them for about a year.

Cactus Jack 29 Dec 2014, 22:42


Welcome, thank you for the post.

At 38, it is likely that presbyopia is slowly creeping up on you. Ideally, the way the optics of vision work is that your glasses (or contacts) neutralize your myopia, resulting in a 0.00 refractive error with your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses fully relaxed for distance. The laws of optical physics discovered by Sir Isaac Newton over 300 years ago require that to focus closer than infinity (20 feet or 6 meters to be practical), some additional PLUS power is required. Before presbyopia sets in, your crystalline lenses have the consistency of gelatin dessert and your ciliary muscles can easily squeeze the crystalline lens and increase its PLUS power by what ever is required to focus on the closer object. We call this Accommodation.

The amount of extra PLUS required is easily calculated by dividing the distance to the object into 100 cm or 39.37 inches depending on your preferred measurement system. To focus at a typical reading distance of 40 cm or 16 inches requires +2.50 diopters of additional PLUS. If your crystalline lenses are flexible, you can easily supply the +2.50 using your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses. As your crystalline lenses become stiffer with presbyopia, you gradually loose the ability to supply the full amount of PLUS you need internally and you need external lenses to supply what your crystalline lenses cannot. You can easily calculate the amount of PLUS required to focus on your computer display by measuring the distance from your eyes to the display and dividing it a stated above.

Even though you probably have the ability, with effort, to focus at any reasonable distance, the +1 OTC glasses do some of the work that your ciliary muscles usually do which increases your comfort when using the computer or even reading for a long time.

Wearing even +1.00 is a two edged sword. The ciliary muscles are, for their size, the strongest muscles in the body because they get plenty of exercise. When you reduce their work load, you encourage their de-conditinoing and loss of some of their strength. This can cause presbyopia to SEEM to develop faster than it ordinarily would. The bottom line is that almost everyone ultimately needs help focusing close and it is important that you be able to function comfortably and efficiently in your visual environment and glasses in any form are simply tools to help you do that.

Before computers, tablets and smartphones it was rare for people to need focusing help until their late 30s or early 40s. There were exceptions of course, I had to get bifocals in college to avoid splitting headaches and trifocals at 30 to help in my job. I had to try several ECPs to find one that would listen to my problems and help me. Today, our "up close" visual environment is revealing hyperopia, often in teenagers causing presbyopia to become a nuisance earlier that ever before. Don't be hesitant to do whatever you need to do to have comfortable vision at all distances. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Again, welcome.


Cactus Jack 29 Dec 2014, 10:38


Read your post. Need to leave for an appointment. More later.


Cactus Jack 29 Dec 2014, 10:36


You are correct that astigmatism typically changes very slowly. Because the discomfort in your left eye is recent, I tend to agree with you that it is unlikely that astigmatism is culprit, but don't entirely discount the idea. Astigmatism is one of the refractive errors that you have no internal ability to correct, the other major one is myopia. The problem with uncorrected astigmatism combined with CORRECTED myopia, is that uncorrected astigmatism affects vision at all distances and the out of focus images cause your focus control system to overwork your ciliary muscles trying to do an impossible task and that can result in the symptoms you described.

The astigmatism axis part of the eye exam is probably the most subjective part of the exam. The ECP has no way to see what you are seeing and must depend on your answers to questions about clarity of the images you see. Unlike the other elements of the exam where you are comparing the clarity of small letters, comparing the relative blurriness of images as the axis is bracketed is very difficult, even for experienced eye exam clients.

After struggling through many astigmatism axis tests trying to decide equal blurriness between two images, I finally asked the ECP if I could "fine tune" the axis at the appropriate point in the exam. After he had the axis close, he flipped the supplementary cylinder lens out of the way and placed my hand on the axis adjustment knob. I rotated it back and forth a few degrees seeking the sharpest and least distorted image, like fine tuning an old analog TV.. This was done for each eye individually. Since then, I make a deal with the ECP before the exam and ask if they will let me fine tune the axis after he/she has it close. My experience has been that most experienced ECPs understand the limitations of the eye exam and are very happy to have your active participation.

There is another situation that can cause individual eye discomfort. Unbalanced correction where the eyes are not equally corrected to an actual refractive error of 0.00. There is one place where you can easily comparing the individual corrections for each eye. After each eye is refracted individually, the shutters will be opened for both eyes, but using prism, you are shown two images and asked to compare their relative positions. This is to test for muscle imbalance. Before you worry about that, compare the relative blurriness of the two images. If they are not equally clear, tell the examiner that there is a difference in clarity and which one is the sharpest. The examiner will likely decrease the sharpness of that images. Don't worry about that because at this point what you are looking for is for the images to be equally sharp. You will get a chance to make both eyes sharp and clear, together after the muscle imbalance test. If you don't have equally clear images from both eyes, when the test continues with both eyes together, your brain will select the clearest of the two images and use that as the primary source of what you see. Remember, the eyes are merely biological cameras. Vision occurs in the brain.

Another thing to consider is that the eyes are really two different entities that work together. They develop independently and just as you different amounts of astigmatism you could have presbyopia developing in your left eye at a different rate than your right. At this point you really don't have enough information to make a judgement.

I have a few more questions:

1. Have you had a dilated eye exam in the past few years?

2. I am wondering if your myopia may have a pseudo myopia component in addition to an axial or true myopia component? They have two different causes, but they add together for your final prescription. It happens more often than most people think. More about Pseudo Myopia later.

3. Do you wear contacts, ever?


Justin 29 Dec 2014, 10:25

Hi guys,

Been following this site but never posted before.

I have been reading RickB's post with interest. I am a guy, 38 here, and wear -6 glasses. I haven't really been having any big issues other than some occasional eyestrain.

Was just out doing some errands and thought I'd try the suggestion CactusJack gave a try. I tried both a +1.00 and a +1.25 reader and the 1.25 seemed a bit strong. So bought the +1s. I am now typing with them on top of my regular glasses and do notice a bit easier with them but can still read through my others.


RickB 29 Dec 2014, 02:27

Hi Cactus Jack

Thanks for your response. With regards to the astigmatism, I've had these lenses for about 18 months and never had any issues with them up until now. Can astigmatism change that much as my astigmatism prescription has been the same for as long as I can remember?

I did purchase a pair of OTC readers with a +1.25 power. They did help to make text seem clearer, particularly on my iPhone but haven't helped the discomfort to go away, although maybe that doesn't happen straight away? Also if it is presbyopia wouldn't I have the issue with both eyes?

I live in England and work in sales so spend a lot of time driving. I do also work from a tablet when I'm not at home so do spend quite a lot of time looking at computer/phone screens. I live in England

Cactus Jack 28 Dec 2014, 06:16


I was in a bit of a hurry when I asked your age. I should have also asked your occupation and how much close work you do with computers, tablets, and smartphones.

I think you may have several things going on that you can investigate even before your eye exam and a couple to things you can do during the exam to improve the accuracy of your prescription and improve the comfort of your vision. Vision should be comfortable and effortless.

The really interesting item you reported is that you are having some discomfort in your left eye after doing a lot of close work. Your left eye has the most cylinder correction for astigmatism. I suspect either the cylinder power or most likely the axis of the cylinder is not correct. I will offer some tips later to improve the accuracy of your cylinder and axis correction.

i also suspect that you may be experiencing some early effects of presbyopia. The clue is the struggle to focus you mentioned, but part of that could be related to astigmatism. Your first reaction at the mention of presbyopia was “But I am only 33. I am too young to have presbyopia.” The answer to that is, not necessarily. The idea that presbyopia does not become a nuisance until around 40 or so, is a myth. Presbyopia is the gradual stiffening of the crystalline lenses (the variable focus lenses in your eyes) as you get older. It actually starts in childhood, but typically does not become a problem until the late 30s or early 40s. When it becomes a nuisance depends on your genetics and visual environment. If presbyopia is becoming a nuisance, the solution is optically simple. For close work, you just need less MINUS or more PLUS (same thing) in your glasses.

Many Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) are very reluctant to prescribe reading help before age 40, but that is changing. The primary cause of the change is the tiny text on smartphones and tablets. Even teenagers are experiencing focusing difficulties are finding glasses; reading, bifocals or progressives, very helpful. You can do a easy experiment to find out if you need some close focusing help. Get a pair of low power Over-the-Counter (OTC) reading glasses and try wearing them over your glasses when you are doing close work and see if they make a difference. Something in the +1.00 or +1.25 range would be best, but don’t go higher than +1.50 until we chat some more. There is no real problem with going higher, but the power of the lenses determines the focus distance. You still have plenty of focus range and your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses can still provide any extra focusing help you need. The purpose of the low power OTC glasses is to see if the small bit of help they provide increases your comfort. When you are wearing the glasses over your regular glasses, distance objects will be a bit blurry.

Ideally, you don’t want to use more focusing help than you need because it reduces the workload of your ciliary (focusing) muscles in your eyes. For their size, your ciliary muscles are the strongest muscles in the body. Like any muscles, they need to be used to maintain their strength. One of the things that can occur if you wear stronger focusing help than you need is the surprisingly rapid de-conditioning of your ciliary muscles which makes the onset of presbyopia appear to be more rapid than it actually is.

That is enough for now. You need to digest this and think over what I said and try the OTC glasses. The main thing is to not worry, what you are experiencing is not all that unusual and the solution is probably just a more accurate exam and new glasses. Please let me know what you think.

May I ask where you live?


RickB 27 Dec 2014, 15:28

Hi Cactus Jack

Sorry I'm 33

Cactus Jack 27 Dec 2014, 15:10


You did not mention a very important factor, your age.


RickB 27 Dec 2014, 11:15


I'm wondering if someone could give me some advice. I currently wear glasses for myopia -L. 5.25, -1.50 and R. -5.75, -0.25.

For the past few weeks I've noticed that my left eye seems to be aching quite a lot and the area around the eye also seems quite sore particularly towards the end of the day it feels kind of muscular in pain. I've not noticed any issues with my distance vision but am noticing that when I'm reading I'm sometimes struggling to focus particularly if I go from looking close up to looking in the distance and back to close up again.

Also occasionally if i'm looking at text I get like a shadow above it.

I've made an opticians appointment, but due to the christmas period am unable to get in until early January and was just wondering if anyone else has experienced similar issues and may know what the problem is?



GlassesLover 27 Dec 2014, 08:33

anybody know somnething about LauraC? it`s been a while without news from her...

Ellie 26 Dec 2014, 18:36

Likelenses, I don't think that I have been over corrected before, and I'm a bit afraid to try to boost my prescription myself as I'm sure natural progression will run its course. The idea of inducing myopia is kind of exciting, but I don't it's something in going to worry about at the moment.

Soundmanpt, I believe my current contacts are -12.50, the highest rx offered in Acuvue Oasys. The next time I order contacts I will most likely have to switch to a newer brand. Yes, I am well aware that contacts rx are lower than glasses rx, especially as the prescription increases.

Soundmanpt 25 Dec 2014, 09:29


Just a thought. You do know that your contacts prescription should be considerably less than your glasses prescription? So if your past glasses prescription was -14.00 what is the prescription of your contacts that your still wearing?

Likelenses 24 Dec 2014, 22:37


Do you like to be overcorrected?

Have you worn overcorrection in the past?

And of course you do realize that close work will become even smaller with your -15's

Ellie 24 Dec 2014, 21:15

Happy Holidays all! Thank you for everyone's comments to my posts.

I don't plan on seeing an ophthalmologist until the spring time for my annual check up, so I will probably wear my single vision contacts and glasses until any changes are made to my prescription. I have a few pairs of reading glasses from the drugstore that I might try out with my contacts to see if that helps with doing close work.

I'm still currently wearing my -14 glasses prescription so I guess my post earlier wasn't entirely accurate. I've ordered new glasses from Zenni during their sale with my newer -15 rx but haven't gotten them yet. I actually haven't updated my contacts rx in a while, so this will be one of the first times my glasses will be quite a bit stronger than my contacts. I've started wearing my glasses more out in public with my boyfriends encouragement and have started to feel more comfortable in them, so I might decide to wear glasses more often once I get my new ones.

It's exciting because I ordered a few pairs in my new rx since Zenni was having a good deal for Black Friday! I'm eager to receive my package and have a variety of glasses to wear.

To Onlooker: I'm not sure how others cope, although I would imagine that some people might wear reading glasses sometimes over their contacts to see up close better? With myself, contacts do not make everything as small as glasses do (does anyone else experience this?) and so I don't struggle with wanting to for example rip my contacts out of my eyes to see up close. I do hold my phone a bit closer if need be.

Even with glasses, I find that it isn't so much that I can't read or see the smaller details, but that I want to be able to see a bit clearer and have a larger image, which is why I've begun sliding my glasses down my nose and holding my phone inches away from my eyes to be able to get that larger image!

It takes a bit of time for my eyes to readjust after sliding my glasses up to my eyes where they belong for me to be able to see. It's a bit like having everything up close be really blurred like when your eyes get dilated.

To John H: Thank you for your response. I apologize if you've already posted this a while ago, but could you talk a bit about your vision history? What was your age and rx when you first started wearing glasses, what was your rx when you started wearing bifocals, and how is your vision today? If you are willing to share, I'd love to hear your story. I love wearing strong glasses but A part of me is also a bit fearful that my vision might hold me back someday. I'm hoping that I will still have decent acuity as my prescription continues to increase. I don't mind having to wear string glasses or contacts as long as I can still see well enough to go to school, do things that interest me, and be able to work at a job that I like. I'm also really hoping that seeing well enough to drive won't be an issue, but I'm not sure.

Thanks again, everyone!

Onlooker 24 Dec 2014, 08:43

I quite often see myopes looking over the tops of their glasses to see their mobile phones or, less frequently, pushing their glasses up to look under them. If it were me, I'd just get bi-focals or progressives but I suppose young folks still associate these with middle-age.

How do wearers of contact lenses cope? Or do they not have the same problem?

Onlooker 24 Dec 2014, 08:43

I quite often see myopes looking over the tops of their glasses to see their mobile phones or, less frequently, pushing their glasses up to look under them. If it were me, I'd just get bi-focals or progressives but I suppose young folks still associate these with middle-age.

How do wearers of contact lenses cope? Or do they not have the same problem?

Soundmanpt 24 Dec 2014, 08:23


Normal distance for reading and typing on small devices is about 12" from your eyes. So if your unable to see your phone at that distance clearly or if your eyes feel strained trying to see it then you clearly need an add in your glasses.

Here in the states women of all ages seem as if they can't walk without their phone being in their hand. Men not so much so. I am amazed at how many when they are looking at their phone are holding it within 6" of their eyes, some wearing glasses and others not. It makes me wonder if they really need it that close in order to see it or if they have just gotten in bad habits holding it so close? But either way holding it that close will soon lead to them needing glasses if they don't already have glasses and they too may need an add in their glasses.

Owlish 24 Dec 2014, 05:56

Hi Myope

I can't answer your question but here is a relevant anecdote: a friend of mine was -18 in one eye and -22 in the other. She got detached retina in the more myopic eye but never in the better one. She was young at the time and didn't know what was happening so she didn't tell anyone or get treatment for at least a day. That was a big mistake.

I can't tell you anything about the correlation between degree of myopia and statistical risk but I don't think you should worry too much. Maybe it's best to avoid playing rough sports where you're likely to get your head knocked.

I suppose you have seen general info such as:

John H 24 Dec 2014, 05:49

To respond to Ellie and Myope....

I have an extreme amount of myopia: distance lenses are -32 and -30, with -28 and -26 for reading.

I went through bifocals and/or progressive lenses on and off through my teenage years and since my late 20s. I always found that wearing contact lenses gave me problems with small print. Distances were ok, but I needed reading glasses to cope in addition to contacts. My glasses always gave me clear vision for for reading.

The link above gives detailed information regarding retinal detachments. I've been very lucky so far and had only a very few retinal problems, all treated with laser surgery to weld the retina back in place. However, I tend to read the symptoms on a regular basis.

Myope 24 Dec 2014, 03:17


I asked this question a while ago but didn't get a response. Can anyone help?

I'm very highly myopic (-12.25/-12.50), and in the realms of being considered to be potentially at risk from retinal detachment (although all seems fine currently). I've read that people with high myopia over -6 have a 1 in 20 chance of retinal detachment, but how does this risk increase with your prescription beyond -6? I'm double that now, so would it be a 1 in 15, 1 in 10 risk etc? The risk must increase substantially but I've never found anything written about this.


Likelenses 23 Dec 2014, 18:25


You are definitely reading far too close. You should be able to read comfortably at twelve inches.

How do you feel that your distance vision is with correction of course?

And how long have you had your -15 prescription?

With many high myopes it is more of a habit thing to read too close,but doing so can cause increases in myopia.

Beside helping you with close work,you may also benefit from bifocals to possibly slow down your high myopia.

Ellie 23 Dec 2014, 15:47

I am wearing contacts at the moment. I just went on all of my usual apps to see if there is a big difference with glasses versus contacts and how small the image is to me. Usually with glasses, I only have issues with wanting to see something much bigger (and therefore looking over the top) when I browse apps that don't let me zoom in. Just now in contacts, I am noticing that I hold my phone about 5-6 inches away from my eyes for certain apps. As I'm typing right now, I have the phone about 8 inches away and plus I'm a bit zoomed in as well. What's a normal distance to be looking at a phone screen?

Soundmanpt, you are correct. I am a college student and will be 20 years old next month.

Melyssa 23 Dec 2014, 12:39

Their, they're, Soundmanpt, your knot the only won whose bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by grammar (or grampa); its really something for it's time. LOL

Soundmanpt 23 Dec 2014, 11:25


That may explain why I spent so many years in English class. lol Needless to say it didn't help much.

EyeTri 23 Dec 2014, 11:15


Just thought you might want to know that the contraction for "you are" is "you're". "Your" is the possesive form of you.

Soundmanpt 23 Dec 2014, 09:43


When people start to have to remove or look over the tops of their glasses to read small print that is when they need to talk to their eye care professional about bifocals / progressives.

You mentioned something about "class" so I take that to mean your on the younger side? Just because your young doesn't mean your eyes won't benefit from bifocals. Bifocals are no longer for just older people. More and more young people because of many of the same devices you mentioned are starting to need bifocals at an early age.

Likelenses 23 Dec 2014, 02:09


Sounds like you would benefit from bifocals.

Ellie 22 Dec 2014, 21:40

I got a new phone recently and have been using it a lot more than my old one, which I didn't like. Before getting the new phone, I often browsed the Internet and checked social media sites using my iPad mini or my laptop, which both have much bigger screens than the iPhone 5s.

I've gotten into the habit of looking at my phone screen over the top of my glasses. I usually wear contacts out, but I wear glasses when I'm at home and after I come back from classes. It's not that I can't see things on the screen when I'm wearing glasses, but everything looks really small and sometimes I'd like to see a clearer, larger image, which is why I started pulling my glasses down my nose and looking at my phone bareeyeed.

I do not think that I struggle as much while wearing contacts in the same situation.

I was just curious if I should bring this up with my eye doctor and also how much will it affect my near vision? Will I start to lose my accommodation sooner? Should I minimize the frequency of looking at my phone this way? My glasses prescription has gone up since the last time I posted it; im in the range of -15 with little astigmatism.

Thank you!

Soundmanpt 02 Dec 2014, 12:16


You didn't say it but I assume these are your first glasses? And i assume you don't have your glasses yet? But I think you will soon find that your going to enjoy how clear and sharp everything will be as soon as you put your glasses on that as your eyes get more and more adjusted to them you will hardly ever take them off except to clean them. Within the first week your going to be wondering how you were able to even drive before you got glasses because they will make that much difference to your vision.

So how you should feel is "grateful" that you will now be able to so much better and be missing all the things you have been missing.

Better yet after you get your glasses and start wearing them why don't you tell us how you feel about your glasses?

Likelenses 01 Dec 2014, 23:35


Minus 1.50 would place your uncorrected vision at about 20/100.

When you get the glasses you should wear them full time for a week or two in order to get used to them.

They are a bit stronger than many first prescriptions,and you will be required to wear them for driving.You may also find that you will want to wear them full time.

Were you having vision problems. Do you go to school,or work,and if so what type of work?

sara 01 Dec 2014, 23:12

hi, i got my eyes checked. ive got -1.5 in both eyes. not sure how i feel. need them for atleast driving

dingbat 25 Nov 2014, 05:22

Yes they do sell contact lenses

very progressive 24 Nov 2014, 17:26


Does this Optometrist sell contacts? and did you buy glasses there as well?

very progressive 24 Nov 2014, 17:26


Does this Optometrist sell contacts? and did you buy glasses there as well?

very progressive 24 Nov 2014, 17:26


Does this Optometrist sell contacts? and did you buy glasses there as well?

dingbat 24 Nov 2014, 13:12

I think it will be good to go for the assessment for contacts so i can wear them occassions- i just hope the person fitting them doesnt think its pointless having such a low prescription. Just wondered why the optician kept asking me to close my eyes briefly when the lenses were being changed over?!

Soundmanpt 24 Nov 2014, 12:11


Everyone is a little different about their vision. When you first got glasses you wore them some but didn't feel much of a need for them most likely be cause you were more able to compensate. Then you lost even lost them and went without for over a year. Now you went and got very small increase, but now you feel like yo really need them much more now. Your eyes are just more sensitive now. So if you feel like wearing them all the time then wear them all the time. There is no "magic number" where your supposed to start wearing your glasses full time.

Like Andrew said its possible that your optometrists was pushing you to get contacts thinking you might somehow loose your glasses again and not do anything about it for a year or so. Or maybe felt like you have a vanity issue about wearing glasses, who knows? But if your comfortable wearing glasses and really don't care about messing with contacts then simply cancel your appointment for the fitting. By the way you do understand that with contacts it is no different than wearing glasses full time so that should answer what you asked about wearing your glasses full time already. Unless you really want contacts I would forget about getting them.

dingbat 24 Nov 2014, 10:55

Wow I picked up my glasses and I'm really surprised at how well they sharpen everything up. Its crystal clear and my eyes seem less tired. Would it be OK to wear these all the time? I know its a very minor prescription but wow!!!

Andrew 23 Nov 2014, 15:23


No, it's not strong at all. I suspect the reason for the contact lens suggestion is the fact that you have been without glasses for a year or so. The optometrist has surmised that vanity might be a reason for this, so has suggested contact lenses rather than / as well as glasses. The trial won't do you any harm, so give it a go and see what you think.

dingbat 23 Nov 2014, 14:02

Hello all

Just had an eye test the other day as i lost my old glasses about 1 year ago which ive only ever warn for driving at night. I've been given new prescription sph -.75 cyl -.25 axis 16 and right eye -.75.

I did have glasses prescribed 3 years ago for left eye -.50 cyl -.25 axis 10 a d right eye -.50

The optometrist said my eyes have deteriorated and asked me why I haven't been to get glasses replaces sooner. She started saying I should be wearing them more even during the daytime and then started pushing me into having a contact lens trial.

My question is is this a strong prescription as I was quite shocked that she was making such a thing about wearing them more n going for contacts.

I've booked a trial but more so out of pressure.

Likelenses 22 Nov 2014, 01:32


If you were unable to read a few lines above the minimum,which by the way is 20/40 in most states in the US,and most other countries,then your vision is quite a bit less than 20/40.

Glasses for 20/50 are usually -1.00,and 20/70 about -1.25,20/100 about-1.50.I suspect that you will fall in that range.

Everything that Soundmanpt has said is accurate,but you may have to purchase your first pair from the optical store in order to have them in a timely fashion to be able to drive.I am sure that they told you that you can not legally drive until you get glasses,and return to have your vision checked by them.

Online glasses are great,but usually take two or more weeks to receive,after placing the order.

If you live in the US,check to see if there is an Americas Best optical store near you. They offer a package deal of an exam,plus two pair of glasses for $ 69.95,and you can have the glasses in less than a week.

Did you have any idea that you were not seeing well?

What is your age,and what kind of work do you do?

Whether you will need the glasses for other than driving will depend on the outcome of the exam.

sara 21 Nov 2014, 23:40

thanks that is helpful. i guess the scary part is that i couldn't read the minimum line or the ones above it. i thought my eyes might go bad...oh well

Soundmanpt 21 Nov 2014, 23:28


What Tom said is about accurate. The actual eye exam will take about 40 minutes give or take. Of course as you can guess you will be asked to read several lines on the eye chart and which I would you will be unable to anything below the 20/50 line on the chart. So that would be about 4 lines up from the 20/20 line which is considered perfect. Now the more lines above the 20/50 line that your unable to make out will determine how strong your glasses will need to be. The doctor will look into your eyes with bright light to determine the overall health of your eyes and to see the shape of your eyes which may indicate astigmatisms. After a bit the doctor will put a machine in front of your eyes and that is called a refractor and he / she will put various lenses into it until and ask you a series of questions as to which is better until your completely able to read all the letters on the 20/20 without any problem. Then he will write down your prescription so you can pick out glasses. Now everyone here will be asking the results of your test, So in most cases the store won't offer you a copy of your prescription because they of course want you to by not only your glasses from them but you may soon feel the need for prescription sunglasses so they would want you to return to them for those as well. So be sure to ask for a copy of your prescription as well as something called P.D. measurement. The reason I suggest that is because their are ways to really save money on glasses by going on line but you need not only your prescription but your P.D. (pupil distance) as well. For example you will likely pay depending on the location anywhere from $150.00 to $500.00 for your glasses. Going on line you can the same quality glasses for less than $25.00.

Now like Tom said most likely since you didn't even feel the need for glasses your prescription is going to be on the weak side and it will be up to you how much and when you want to wear your glasses with the exception that now you wil be restricted to wearing glasses when driving. Once you get your glasses and pass the DMV eye exam your drivers license will have a letter marked under the word "restrictions" and that letter means you need to be wearing glasses for driving. If you were to get pulled over for any reason and not have your glasses on you would be subject to a big fine. They would ticket you for "careless and reckless driving"

Tom 21 Nov 2014, 21:59

Sara, you shall expect very light glasses for nearsightedness, for sure less than 1 diopter, to be worn just while driving. If you didn't realize your vision is less than perfect, there is no need for you to wear glasses but for driving.

Let us know, I may be wrong...

sara 21 Nov 2014, 21:36

i have a question. i just failed my DMV eye exam. now i need to go to the yedoctor. Ive never worn glasses before. what should i expect at my real eye exam. will i need glasses all the time?

Soundmanpt 21 Nov 2014, 10:33


No barely any at all. Her increase was the least possible when she got new glasses. In fact many wouldn't even bother getting new glasses for such a small increase, even more so considering she must wear contacts most often and her glasses are mainly a backup. Also the -.25 difference would only be noticeable to her at a greater distance like outside, inside her home her vision is probably perfect with her previous glasses.

And 21 Nov 2014, 08:31

My gf has two pairs of glasses, her older pair has a prescription that is -.25 less than her newer pair but she tends to put them on at home at night if she takes her contacts out as her newer pair are kept in her bag - does the .25 not make a big difference ?

Cactus Jack 08 Nov 2014, 14:44


Contact lenses depend on a good tear film between the lens and your cornea to be worn comfortably. It is possible that you are developing dry eye problems. You can try artificial tears with a lubricant and see if they help. Avoid brands that reduce redness etc.

You should also see your ECP for assistance in diagnosing the problem. Dry eye problems can lead to other eye problems and should be evaluated.


SoCal 08 Nov 2014, 13:35

Okay, I don't know if I'm wearing my contacts too much. I've been having problems we wearing them for 8+ hours and then sometimes my eyeball feels bruised. I've never had this sort of problem before. I was always good with wearing them (biofinity) for 16 hours and even overnight. I've switched back to my glasses but I'm just wondering how long this is going to last. Any feedback would be helpful.

Soundmanpt 08 Nov 2014, 08:30


It is best not to wear contacts while showering because the water has chemicals in it that aren't good for contacts. Now if your able to shower without getting water or very little water in your eyes then that is probably why you have never had any problem. But to be safe you really should practice leaving them out until after you shower. Even being -6.00 you should be able to see well enough to shower without correction.

Contacts are never going to be as good for your eyes as wearing glasses. But to be honest a part of that is because so many abuse so many things with wearing contacts. Forgetting or not bothering to take them out when sleeping, wearing them many hours longer each day than they should, improper cleaning of them and of course wearing the same lenses way past the one day or 2 weeks time they should be wore. Of all the contact wearers out there probably only a very small percentage of them wear lens as they should.

Neil 07 Nov 2014, 12:04

Hi Cactus Jack,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I did post, from my phone, but for some reason it failed to post.

I am degree / post-graduate educated and work as a business consultant. I have a rudimentary grasp of maths, I'm being a little harsh on myself... I'm sure I'll follow what you have to say, else I will Google it.

So, don't dumb it down please and thank you so much for taking the time to help, I really appreciate it.

Cactus Jack 05 Nov 2014, 18:14


Maybe, but before we get into the technicalities of double vision, I need to ask two more questions.

What is your occupation?

What is your educational background?

I am not trying to be nosy, I like to understand a bit about your background and experience when I am writing an explanation. In this case, there won't be much math in evolved, but my goal is to try to provide understanding so you will know as much as possible about what is happening.

There can be many causes of double vision. Just to give you an idea of where I am heading. The fact that the additional plus seemed to help with the double vision is interesting. Here is a tidbit to consider. There is an interconnection in your brain between your focus control system and your eye positioning system. The strength of this interconnection varies with individuals. This interconnection is what causes your eyes to try to converge when you expend effort to focus close. It can also work in reverse, but not as strongly. When you look at something close, your eyes have to converge to NOT see double. The convergence can trigger close focusing.action, but it is not as noticeable.

If you have hyperopia and have to expend extra effort to focus, even for distance, it can cause your eyes to try to converge and see double.

You may have noticed that often children who are hyperopic also have problems with their eyes turning inward or crossing (squint). Sometimes, just fitting them with PLUS glasses will minimize the tendency tor their eyes to converge and avoid the need for prism in addition to the PLUS correction.

I am not ready to suggest any changes or additions tests, yet. If the +1.50 helps, don't be hesitant to use them or even try a bit stronger.

Age is very loosely related to the need for focusing help. The idea that focusing help is not needed until around 40 is a myth. It depends on many things, including your visual environment. These days, even teens are needing reading help. The cause? Tiny text on smartphones and tablets. In general the teens have latent hyperopia and the extra focusing effort reveals early onset of presbyopia that probably would not have been noticeable for several more years.


Neil 05 Nov 2014, 15:08

Hi Cactus,

Wearing the readers on top definitely seemed to reduce to double vision.

Doesn't this mean I need varifocals? Presummably the optician thinks I am too young?

Thank you

Cactus Jack 04 Nov 2014, 18:58


It has been my experience that the amount of displacement in the Prism Test will vary some depending on time of day and your fatigue level. Try the test at different times. My eyes tend to turn inward or converge more when I am tired.

When you were wearing the +1.50 glasses over your regular glasses, what effect did it have on the double vision?


Chris 04 Nov 2014, 17:52

I have pretty bad, but not severe vision (around -6) and the first thing I do every morning is fumble around to put in my contacts. I've had the same morning routine for years until someone recently pointed out that I'm not supposed to wear contacts in the shower. I've been wearing contacts in the shower for years and have never heard of not doing so. Do you guys wear glasses in the shower? Are contacts really a bad idea for your vision's sake?

Neil 04 Nov 2014, 13:07

Hi Cactus Jack,

Thanks for all your help so far. I found your test on the site you mentioned. I think I did it correctly, although I struggled a little because the displaced image (from my left eye I think) was quite faint.

I think I averaged out at about 6 dioptres, which is less than the optician measured. I was expecting the opposite if I'm honest, in that I thought the optician may have played down the number a bit.

I have tried readers over the top of my existing glasses (+1.5) and it makes computer work much nicer.

Is that what you'd expect on both scores?

Many thanks


Likelenses 02 Nov 2014, 22:58

High Myopic

Yeah, go for it.

High Myopic 02 Nov 2014, 21:15

Would adding many prisms to a -15 diopter pair of glasses help me easier see clearly in them?

Cactus Jack 02 Nov 2014, 18:35


You might find the Simple Prism Test I wrote on the Vision and Specs site under the Vision/Special Lenses for Eye Conditions> Prisms thread interesting.


Cactus Jack 02 Nov 2014, 07:59


I think the argument could be applied to prescribing ANY vision correction. It isn't long until the patient wants or needs "stronger" correction.

I think sharp, comfortable, effortless vision is addictive. The operative word there is comfort. I am certainly addicted to comfort, it does not matter if it is vision, shoes, chairs, weather, etc. I like comfort and am apparently willing to pay for it, as are millions of others.


Mild double vision is more common that most people think and unlike very mild hyperopia and myopia, even a little bit is a big nuisance. I think I can help you understand what MAY be causing your double vision, but my reply will be a bit lengthy and take a while to write. In the meantime could I suggest an experiment?

If you can get a pair of low power (+1.00 to +1.50) over the counter reading glasses, you might try wearing them over your regular glasses for close work. Sometimes headaches and particularly double vision are caused by focusing effort - I explain why in my reply to your questions.


Julian 02 Nov 2014, 01:01

Cactus Jack says that ECPs are 'trained that prism correction is addictive ... the need for prism typically increases'. Sounds like an argument for not prescribing minus sphere ::)

Neil 02 Nov 2014, 00:09

Thank you Cactus Jack,

That is very clear and makes sense. I live in England. The prism is base out.

May I ask about your experience with prisms, since it sounds like you had similar symptoms? What is your requirement now at 77?

The optician said, you need 8, but I'm not giving you that or else you'll be asking me for 10 when I see you in a year. The double vision is a real nuisance. I guess I'm troubled by the lack of knowledge of a cause.

Many thanks

Cactus Jack 01 Nov 2014, 18:37


I have some experience with prism correction. I started developing double vision problems around your age and have been wearing Base Out prism since then. I am 77 now.

It is very difficult to get Eye Care Professional (ECP) to prescribe full prism correction for two reasons. They are trained to avoid prism correction if possible and are often reluctant to prescribe a patients first prism correction. They are trained that prism correction is addictive, which I think is too strong a word, but the need for prism typically increases, but some of that may be because of not fully correcting the problem.

May I ask where you live? (country)

I did not understand the prism element in your glasses. Do you know if the prism is Base Out? That is what is used to correct over convergence. Base In is used to correct Divergence.

If you have convenient access to Over the Counter Reading glasses, could I suggest trying some +1.25 or slightly stronger reading glasses over your regular glasses and see if that has any effect on your headaches or double vision.

You are concerned about having noticeable squint if you wear prism glasses. The amount of displacement wearing prism produces is about 0.57 angular degrees per prism diopter. It typically has to get up to at least 10 prism diopters in each eye before it will be noticeable to anyone but an ECP. Because you wear a low PLUS prescription the small increase in outside edge thickness for Base Out prism will be barely noticeable. That is the least of your worries. The important thing is visual comfort and even a small amount of double vision can be a real nuisance.

I live in the US and we call the people to prescribe glasses Optometrists. When I started having double vision problems, I had to visit several Optometrists to find one who would listen to my problems and prescribe enough prism to minimize the double vision. At some point, you may need to change ECPs to get satisfaction.


Neil 01 Nov 2014, 17:37

Thanks Helpful,

If my new glasses don't work I may well look into online options.


Helpful 01 Nov 2014, 03:07


I came later to prism than you. Opticians from reading ES have a reluctance to give the full amount of the prism someone needs as shown on the test feeling it will worsen in time if they do. That is not my experience. I ordered glasses with prism from Zenni and they were superb at a fraction of the cost in fact I could have had 3 pairs from what the Optician would have asked me to pay.

You could order from them with the prism you found comfortable but it is your decision as only you know and experience your sight.

Best of luck perhaps those more experienced than me will comment

Neil 31 Oct 2014, 10:53

Hi there,

I went to the optician today because I'd been having really bad eye strain and intermittent double vision.

I wasn't due a test for a year, but these issues prompted me to go.

I already had glasses with 1 prism dioptre base out in each lens. The optician said she was measuring me as 4 in each eye, but she wasn't going to give me that. So, I've been prescribed 2 in each eye.

When she asked me if the lines were lines up in the OXO test I told her I could see two boxes, there was meant to be one - she seemed a bit surprised. It felt good when she added prism to line things up, so much more comfortable. Then she took some out and made me work to line things up, which I could feel my eyes going, no please leave me alone!

Do you think that 2 base out in each eye will be enough to cure the headaches? I don't want to develop a visible squint.

She did say she was concerned because I had no history of a squint. She said my eyes shouldn't be doing this - if it continues to worsen she would be worried about a neurological condition, which has freaked me out a bit.

I am 39 and the prescription is:

R: +.75 -.25 30 Near +.75 Inter +.5

L: +1.25 -.75 165 Near +.75 Inter +.5

Anyone have any experience?

Soundmanpt 31 Oct 2014, 09:37


It is very possible that with her wearing her glasses her eyes will relax even more and she likely will soon need an increase in her reading add. She may or may not need any change in her distance part, but it could be that she might need a very slight increase if they find she can see somewhat better with an increase of maybe another -.25 in each eye. I don't think her distance will change much if at all.

Barts 30 Oct 2014, 10:38

Ok Soundmanpt, I rather understand an increase for the close vision but what do you mean about the distance vision? and for what reasons?

Soundmanpt 30 Oct 2014, 10:09


Most people don't make an eye appointment unless they are starting to suspect that they are are having some type of vision problem. The fact that your gf is 43 means she is at the perfect age where it is very common for reading to become more and more of a challenge to the eyes. And added to that if she recently started a course that runs 6 hours per day and is very intense as well and requires the use of her close vision that would be enough to make even a subtle change in her vision more noticeable to her. The idea of getting progressives was a good idea so that her vision should be very good not only for seeing close but even slightly better for seeing distances now. The fact that she has never wore glasses before may take a little getting used to but since she will most likely be wearing them everyday for those 6 hours should really help her adjust to them rather quickly and if she is planning on wearing them for driving she will probably keep her glasses while she is driving home or where ever she maybe going each day. After a few days of doing this she will hardly even think about having her glasses on and won't bother taking them off very much.

Don't be surprised that withing 6 months she will need and increase in her prescription, mostly for her close vision with a possible tweak for her distance vision.

Barts 30 Oct 2014, 07:54

Thanks Aubrac, actually I had written her full prescription in the post from some days ago:

OD: Sphere -0.25

OS: Sphere -0.25, Cilynder -0.50, axis 45°

Add +1

So latent hyperopia shouldn't be the case.

The optical shop where she got glasses hadn't a great choice for larger frames.. (necessary for progressive), plastic one they suggested to her were quite boring and she waited for me to go with her, then after trying and retrying million times almost every pair of glasses of the shop :) she went for nicer and less noticeable goldish satin metal frames.. but I think that metal is better for smaller sizes... so that they result to be quite too large for her face (she thinks the same) and definitely they don't make her look younger ;) so I don't think she will go for fulltime.. ;)

Aubrac 30 Oct 2014, 05:29


Your gf prescription is similar to the first one my wife had at 39. Depending on whether her glasses are to correct latent hyperopia, i.e. she has always been longsighted but without knowing it because she had sufficient accommodation to correct it, or presbyopia i.e. the crystalline lens cannot be reshaped by the ciliary muscles to focus, will really determine how things go.

If she has latent hyperopia it is quite likely she will need two increases in correction over the next twelve months or so. My wife had an increase after only six months, and then another after 15 months after which things settled down until at 44 she wore varifocals.

Varifocals often take some adjusting to and full time wear will get her used to them more quickly apart from less eyestrain and all round clearer vision.

Barts 30 Oct 2014, 02:41

Thanks SC and Soundmanpt, very helpful as always.

Actually things went on in the meantime, she decided to go for two pairs! the progressive as said and a pair of readings to try while waiting for the progressives, with the cylinder correction too:

OD: +0.75

OS: +0.75, -0.50 x 45°

The very immediate impression was that reading is really much easier! In my opinion more for the astigmatic correction than for the plus add, or the two things combined. Me too actually have a -0,50 astigmatism in left eye and sometimes I have the sensation of a little confusion while reading that brings to some fatigue. Mine is 180° though and for what I learned it should be the least symptomatic, could her 45° be actually more tricky or beeing the amount so small it makes really no difference?

Anyway the progressive arrived then, she tried them on for an afternoon and then for lessons and the only comment was that they worked very good for reading and then to see more far. I suppose they produced no significant difference for distant vision, actually I always noticed that she can easily distinguish every small detail far away perfectly, though talking after the vision test she sounded quite conscious of needeing glasses as she deliberately talked she may wear them at cinema and for driving.

I did not ask directly to not give too much importance to that, but may it be that in the past she already felt the need of some aid and always hid it easily with some squint (her eyes actually show some signs of it). Could it be that the sphere amount was higher in the past and not only the -0.25 prescribed now at 43 y.o. with incipient presbyopia?

SC 28 Oct 2014, 06:39


Your girlfriend's Rx is similar to my first prescription (@44yo -0.25 add +1.25)

For me the need for glasses wasn't borderline - I definitely needed them for reading and had been holding off some time. I too went for progressives although to be honest the distance made no difference - they were just more useful and I didn't feel so old!

Your girlfriend may appreciate the astigmatism correction more than me (mine was only -0.25)

The answer to how useful they'll be is really down to the need for the test - if she is struggling with small print then they will be useful!

I would suggest:

1) if you get progressives then the reading add will be bumped up to +1.5 by the optometrist - that always seems to be the minimum for progressives - ie mine jumped from +1.25 at the test to +1.5 in reality - you can see this etched in the lens when you get them

2) if she wears them frequently, ie all day in front of a computer, or all the time for convenience, then her close up vision will deteriorate quite quickly without glasses - if she just wears them as reading glasses then she will not become dependent as quickly

3) progressive lenses are not so good for reading in bed, if she does this I'd recommend some over the counter readers from a supermarket as an extra pair

4) I wouldn't place too much emphasis on the SPH (-0.25) part of the prescription - 43yo is about the point where hyperopia may become a factor and so the SPH may change - possibly going from minus to plus (mine did) and again is tied into the reason for the test - if she is struggling to read now then it is more likely to be plus in the future (my glasses are +1 add +2)

guest 28 Oct 2014, 04:47

Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables.

Take AREDS 2 vitamins.

Keep pressure below 16, even if redline is considered 25.

Don't participate in a UFC match lol.

Just keep up exams with a retina specialist, preferably in a university hospital setting.

How old are you?

any genetic vision problems.

relax and don't stress it, but be aware of the symptoms

Curious myope 27 Oct 2014, 22:44


I'm very highly myopic (-12.25/-12.50), and in the realms of being considered to be potentially at risk from retinal detachment (although all seems fine currently). I've read that people with high myopia over -6 have a 1 in 20 chance of retinal detachment, but how does this risk increase with your prescription beyond -6? I'm double that now, so would it be a 1 in 15, 1 in 10 risk etc? The risk must increase substantially but I've never found anything written about this.


Soundmanpt 27 Oct 2014, 08:44


The prescription she received is very much on the weak side and she as she was told she is barely on the borderline for glasses. But because of all that she is doing now she is no doubt putting considerable strain on her eyes. So even a weak prescription should at least relax her eyes more than not having them.

Her distance vision is nearly perfect since it is only -.25 in each eye and not really worth getting glasses for, but she does have some astigmatism in her left eye and that doesn't take much to have an effect on her vision. If she didn't have that I would just suggest that she could buy some over the counter readers in +1.00 as that should take care of her reading. But readers can be a pain if she is looking down at say a book and then needs to look up to see something written on the board. With progressives now when she looks up from reading or studying her book she will be able to see the board without any problem.

Once she gets her glasses it will be up to her how much she chooses to wear them, Her vision is without a doubt fine for driving her car without the aid of glasses, but he may find them helpful when she is driving after dark. If she is comfortable wearing them she may want to just wear them all the time so she knows where they are.

Barts 26 Oct 2014, 15:16

Hello everybody,

my girlfriend (43 y.o. and no glasses ever) during a routine check at the eyedoctor talked about new difficulties to switch from up close reading/writing to distant vision for the blackboard, now that she started since a few a weeks a very challenging course, 6 hours per day of intensive lessons, a lot to study etc..

Doing the vision test here was the result:

OD: Sphere -0.25

OS: Sphere -0.25, Cilynder -0.50, axis 45°

add +1

The doctor told she had to decide if getting glasses or not beeing this a borderline rx for prescribing glasses.

After talking with me she decided to give them a try and get progressive lenses.. also to find out if she could get a more restful vision without squinting that much (her own words).

Does it make sense to get glasses with this prescription in your opinion?

Carrie 03 Oct 2014, 15:11

Gemma, my girlfriend, gets her new glasses tomorrow! She won't tell me which ones she's getting other than they were among the many frames we looked at. She ordered them secretly to surprise me. I'm trying not to show how excited I am (like a kid on Christmas eve!) but still trying to seem interested without being over interested.

benn 30 Sep 2014, 11:38

That is what my first wife does, -28 with -3.5 and -3.25.

Torics don't work. she brings it down to about -4.00 and gets good vision. All of the astigmatism in the glasses.

Really works at night.

Cactus Jack 28 Sep 2014, 21:03


Sphere only soft contacts are pretty inexpensive, but specially made toric contacts are very pricey and as you said, don't always work very well. I have wondered if correcting a significant portion of the sphere with soft contacts and the balance of the sphere and cylinder correction with glasses, would be a practical solution to improve the VA of people with very high sphere prescriptions.

Very high minus sphere also usually indicates that the eyeballs are significantly elongated and it is likely that the shape of the retina is distorted. It may be very difficult to prescribe and make a lens that gives sharp focus over the high resolution part of the retina.


Ellen 28 Sep 2014, 14:18

Hey Cactus Jack

I didn't get the full gist of your post earlier but I've just reread it and see your point now. This the very thing I used to do in my late teens and early twenties. My spherical prescription was a bit lower back then, about -15 or so and I used to wear contacts around -10 to -12 (I tried several combinations) and had the rest of the sphere and the astigmatism corrected with glasses. There were two main problems with this; the glasses were still quite strong and cosmetically they didn't offer much as I was still in thick glasses. Also as you mention, my corneas are very steep and oddly shaped and so the contacts never seated well and would move about making the quality of my vision very variable. A third thing was the cost. After a while I just gave up and settled for glasses in my full prescription. My optician has mentioned that I could get contacts tailor made to fit my eyes but they are horrendously expensive so I haven't tried them yet. Maybe I will, just out of curiosity.


Ellen 28 Sep 2014, 14:04


I know you were being complimentary, don't worry, I was only joking. Nice to know there are people out there who appreciate us folk cursed with oversize eyes. Mine are brown I'm afraid though.

Likelenses 27 Sep 2014, 19:43


When I said prominent regarding your eyes,I meant it in a most complimentary manner.

I have always been attracted to women with larger eyes,especially blue,or green.As I said,I find it alluring.Even though your eyes are hiding behind your glasses,people like myself that love larger eyes,just appreciate them.

I certainly did not mean freaky.

You seem like a beautiful woman both outside,and in.

Cactus Jack 27 Sep 2014, 07:52


I have been wondering about the potential effectiveness of GOC for a person with a prescription such as yours. The idea that GOC might be more useful than just for allowing a person to comfortably wear very strong glasses, is not original with me. An Ophthalmologist / Eye Surgeon, here in Houston, regularly uses sphere only contact lenses to correct a persons vision into the range where Vertex Distance is not a factor and then is able to get a very accurate reading of their actual requirements for vision correction. Admittedly, his purpose is to determine the best power for an IOL for cataract surgery, but there could be other applications.

Your excellent relationship with your optician and your very high myopia, coupled with high astigmatism, might be ideal if you want to see if your vision can be improved to nearer 20/20.

The idea is this: Use Sphere ONLY contacts to correct most of the sphere component of your prescription to below -4.00. Then do a refraction with the contacts in place for a glasses prescription to be worn with the contacts. In other words, therapeutic GOC.

It is well known that glasses provide the most accurate correction for astigmatism, but it is possible that even sphere only, soft contacts, could make a small difference in your cylinder and axis correction. Of course, your ability to wear sphere only contacts depends on several factors including tear production. The advantage of soft contacts is their comfort, compared to RGP contacts. Also, with sphere only contacts, you don’t have the problem with lens rotation and instability that make toric contacts difficult to fit and wear for some people.

Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting experiment to get a better idea of your BCVA. Unfortunately, it is likely that your eyeball is elongated to the point where there is retinal stress and possible distortion, which may be impossible to correct with external lenses.

If you and your optician find the idea worth trying, I would appreciate a report on the results. The idea of using contacts for partial sphere correction may be useful to others with high prescription needs.


guest 27 Sep 2014, 07:41

I am glad you have that great attitude!!

Can't wait for you to tell us when you are coming to the west coast....many eyescene friends out there. Have you been to Venice Beach??

I have a friend that always wore a hat to sort of hide her -22, hi astig and some prism lenses. Showed her zenni and she got "almost" her rx for less than 30$ and proceeded to get 10 sets of all different colors and variety. She cant see 20/30 as with her special ones....but they don't cost 800$ either-and she is content with her almost correct vision, in exchange for a different pair for any outfit lol !

stay in touch

Ellen 27 Sep 2014, 05:28

Hi Likelenses

My are eyes are rather large I suppose. People say I have nice eyes and I've even had one or two ask why I "hide" them behind my glasses, which I guess is something of a backhanded compliment. Their size isn't apparent at all with my glasses on and I've not really seen my naked eyes for many years. I can of course see them in a mirror but I have to look from such a short distance that it's impossible to gauge the size in relation to my face. I just took a "selfie" to check how large they appear and also a side view. You got me worried when you said "prominent" but I don't think they're too freaky. Large yes and they do bulge forward slightly more than most people's but I'm happy with the appearance.

Likelenses 25 Sep 2014, 22:12


Welcome back.

Wow,You do have very high astigmatism.

I believe what your optician says about your corneas.It has been my observation also that high astigmatism is quiet visible to others.In your case though,your strong minus lenses would hide it,but it would be visible to others that know what they are seeing,when viewing your naked eyes.

I would guess that your eyes are also quite prominent,due to the high myopia,which I find very alluring.Of course the minification of your lenses does change that somewhat.None the less your eyes sound very sexy with,or without glasses on.

Cactus Jack 23 Sep 2014, 17:57


Sorry about I have done this so much it is like 2nd nature. I try to understand the needs of the propel asking the questions and make the explanations as easy as possible to understand. Now we can work with your actual prescription. I will amplify it a little:

OD (Right Eye): Sphere -0.50, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 180

OS (Left Eye): Sphere -0.25, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 020

Add +2.25

The primary element affecting your vision is pretty significant Presbyopia. You have a little accommodation left for reading and focusing close, but not very much. You did not mention your age, but your Presbyopia is about right for a person who is in the 40 to 50 age range. Many people want to attach a hard and fast rule to the relationship between Presbyopia and Age, but everyone is different. Presbyopia actually starts in childhood, but does not typically become a nuisance until late 30s or early 40s. Unless you like to read really close (such as in bed) you won't need much stronger Add than +2.50 or +3.00.

Normally, PD is not included in an Eye Care Professional's prescription, but is measured by the dispensing optician. You said your Distance PD was 59. I suspect your Reading PD is 55 or 56 mm. It is not very critical in low prescriptions like yours, but it can become very important in high or complex prescriptions. PD stands for Pupillary Distance. It is the distance between the centers of your pupils when looking straight ahead. Ideally, the Optical Centers of the lenses in your glasses will be spaced the same as the PD. When you look at something close, your eyes turn inward or converge. That is the reason the near PD is less than the distance PD and the reading segment is moved inward a few mm.

Lets put together a prescription for Computer Bifocals with distance set for 36 inches and the same absolute power in the reading segment as prescribed by your ECP.

OD (Right Eye): Sphere +0.50, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 180

OS (Left Eye): Sphere +0.75, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 020

Add +1.25

If you recall from my previous post, to focus at 36 inches for distance, rather than for 20 feet away ("far distance" in your original prescription) we need to algebraically add +1.00 to your original Sphere prescription. That had the effect of automatically increasing the power of the Add in the reading segment by +1.00, so we only need a +1.25 Add in the bifocal reading part to give you the same absolute optical power as +2.25 Add in your regular glasses.

I would order the above prescription with a PD of 58 for distance and 55 for near, but don't worry. It is unlikely that it will cause any serious optical problem if it is not exact.

I would suggest ordering online from a low cost retailer such as Zenni. Order the least expensive frame, standard lined bifocal lenses, and no options. I suspect you are talking less than US$20.00. If you like the results, you can order fancier frames and lens options, but there is no need to order high index lenses in a prescription this low.

Another alternative, if you are interested, is to order some +1.00 clip on magnifiers from Rx Safety Glasses, for around US$15.00 and wear them over your regular glasses. If you want to consider this option, we need to talk a bit more.

Here is the prescription to order:

OD (Right Eye): Sphere +0.50, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 180

OS (Left Eye): Sphere +0.75, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 020

Add +1.25

PD 58/55


Robert 23 Sep 2014, 15:30

Thanks for the info, but I find it a bit confusing. Here is from the slip:

OD: -.50 -.25 180

OS: -.25 -.25 020


My previous add was only 2.00 and that was ok.

So using this, what is the pd for "regular bifocal" and for close (reading) and computer (36"). How exact must it be? As I wrote before, the distance PD is 59


Cactus Jack 23 Sep 2014, 08:59


I did not answer your question about the glasses power needed for focusing at 36 inches.

Generally, you start with your distance prescription and only adjust the Sphere part of your prescription. You NEVER adjust the cylinder or axis. They stay the same for any focus distance.

Reading segments in bifocals or trifocals are specified by an ADD for the reading segment. Its power is always specified as PLUS number from about +1.00 to about +3.50 (it can be outside this range, but it is rare). The amount of the ADD is based on two factors, your preferred focus distance and how much of the required focusing power you can supply using your built in ciliary muscles and crystalline lens. If trifocals are specified, the intermediate segment will be 50% of the power of the reading segment, unless specified otherwise.

If you want to order bifocals with the "distance" segment (top part of the glasses) set for a distance of 36 inches, you need to think in terms of absolute sphere power of the "distance" part and then a relatively smaller ADD for the reading segment.

Again, you did not mention your actual prescription, so i'll make one up.

R Sphere +1.00, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 85, Add +2.25

L Sphere +1.25, Cylinder -0.50, Axis 80, Add +2.25

PD 59/56 (the second number in the PD is the near PD

If I wanted to order some bifocals with the "distance" part set for 36" and the reading part set for 14" I would proceed as follows:

Using Sir Isaac Newton's formula for calculating lens powers I would get this:

39.37 (inches in a meter)/ 36" = +1.09. Close enough to +1.00. The absolute power of the "distance" part of the glasses needs to be:

R Sphere +2.00, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 85

L Sphere +2.25, Cylinder -0.50, Axis 80

Notice that I did not change the Cylinder or Axis.

The Add for near needs to be REDUCED by the +1.00 to maintain the same Absolute Power for focusing close.

R Sphere +2.00, Cylinder -0.25, Axis 85, Add +1.25

L Sphere +2.25, Cylinder -0.50, Axis 80, Add +1.25

I would suggest a PD of:

58/56 but the PD offset for near may not come out exactly 56 because of the standard Bifocal blank PD reading reduction.

Hope this helps. Ask if you don't understand why I did to arrive at the new prescription.


Cactus Jack 23 Sep 2014, 08:22


The PD MAY be for distance, but you did not provide enough information about your complete prescription. Generally, a prescription for reading will have a PD of about 3 to 4 mm less than for a distance prescription, depending on the power of the ADD. The criticality of an accurate PD, depends on your complete prescription. The stronger any element of the prescription (except cylinder axis), the more critical the PD.


Robert 23 Sep 2014, 07:50

I found out that my PD is 59. I presume that is a PD for distance. How would I order glasses for reading, or for using my computer whose monitor is 36" from where I sit. I am thinking of a bifocal for distance and reading, and also a bifocal for computer and reading because with my readers I can't read the screen. How critical is it that these numbers are precise? Thanks.

Cactus Jack 22 Sep 2014, 21:06


Advanced Degree programs are famous for their visual work load and subsequent need for stronger prescriptions. It is true that axial myopia generally slows down or stops in the twenties, but that is not an absolute rule. There are actually two types of myopia, two different causes, but only one type of correction, MINUS lenses. The two types can be additive and both can be present in each eye. Axial or True Myopia is caused by a mismatch between the length of the eyeball and the total optical power of the eye's lens system. It is considered permanent because once the eye has grown longer, it will not shrink if the stimulus is removed. Genetics play a big role in Myopia, but close focusing to read is also believed to be a factor.

Pseudo or False Myopia is caused by the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses being unable to rapidly relax after extensive close focusing. This results in the symptoms of blurry distance vision and the need for stronger MINUS glasses. Pseudo Myopia can ultimately relax, but it can take months or years depending on the visual environment. Pseudo Myopia is the same phenomenon as Latent Hyperopia except it is on the other side of 0.00.

People with Hyperopia will often experience headaches when reading extensively because the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses are having to work extra hard to compensate for Hyperopia AND focus close. Often Hyperopes will discover that they need PLUS glasses and sometimes need a reading add in addition to their basic PLUS prescription. It is common for their PLUS prescription to need increases and their reading add to need increases also.

To the outside observer who is unfamiliar with how the eye's optical system and vision work to wonder what is going on, as you have. One interesting thing that is going on with young people these days is that the tiny text on Smartphone and Tablets is revealing Hyperopia and the early onset of Presbyopia at earlier ages than ever before. Notice that I said "revealing", the hyperopia was always there, but the requirement for very close focusing was not and many teens are discovering that they need glasses to help them focus close while still in high school.


 22 Sep 2014, 19:35

Does it seem to you guys like people with decent sight are starting to need stronger and stronger prescriptions well on into their 20s? I've always been told that the progression stops or at least stops during the early 20s but personally everyone around me seems to keep getting worse and worse vision. Any particular reason this is? I'm in graduate school

specs4ever 20 Sep 2014, 05:02

Once upon a time I went on the internet and found a number of different sites that suggested to me that the minification caused by a minus lens was a certain amount per diopter. I forgot where I found that, and I can no longer find it easily. This morning, before writing this post I went and searched again. It took a while before I found a statement that each diopter of minus causes a 2% minification. That sounds about right to what I had found before. Before when I had found the other statement I had discussions whith Jey Ping, a young student who was on here frequently at the time. We decided that, while 2% is likely pretty close up to a minus 10 lens, 40% for a -20D lens was a bit of a stretch. That would mean that a person with a -50D lens would have 100% minification. I know that is impossible, and there are some people in this world with -50D and higher(rare, yes, but indeed out there). In our discussions Jey and I figured that this was likely done exponentially whereas the minification degree dropped to a lower percentge as the minus power got higher. He was the mathmetician - I am not.

But I do know that some people are able to see with 20/20 v/a well into the -20D range, while other people loose the ability to see 20/20 between -10 and -20. Everyone is different.

The website that I found this percentage on was the myopia myth. I have found this website before and find that their statements are fairly correct, but they use the one glove fits all for their statements, and I know personally from experience that this is not the case. I know of classmates who were beginning myopes and ended up with glasses finally after years of squinting. I know one girl who refused to wear her rather strong glasses and her eyes continued to deteriorate rapidly. Myopia is caused by a number of factors.

And Ellen, I have a young lady who is very close to me who had a prescription of OD -10.00 x -4.25 x 28 and OS -10.50 x -5.00 x 152. Her prescription climbs slightly every couple of years and she is in her mid 30's, so it could be worse than yours before it stops.

AFan 20 Sep 2014, 00:57

Great information, Specs4Ever and Ellen! I was completely in the dark. I'm a measly -6.75 myself (although I estimate at least a -1 increase at my next exam) and my myopia is (luckily :) still at a gallop.

A few more questions/observations:

1. At what point does the minification produced by glasses generally preclude someone from seeing the 20/20 line? I reckon its somewhere around -11, but would like confirmation from someone more knowledgeable - as I'm sure eyesceners would understand, I fantasize about that moment when my optometrist tells me I'm not fully correctable :)

2. In high school, I was friends with a girl who was -12D (we talked a fair bit, so our mutually bad eyesight naturally came into the discussion eventually). She usually wore contacts to school, but on the rare days she wore glasses, I noticed that she would constantly squint, seemingly at everything. We sat together in the classes we shared, and it seemed like she was always struggling to read the board, even from the front of the room (by the way, I'm in the eyescene minority in that I'm not attracted to bare-eyed squints; what truly arouses me is girls squinting through their [preferably thick] glasses, clearly in need of a stronger prescription! - but that is beside the point)Interestingly, the high myopes I know seem to all mimic this habit of squinting at everything in the distance. This led me to wonder if they're just in need of an increase or if glasses don't give them full correction.

P.S. I graduated from high school a few years ago (I'm not quite comfortable revealing my exact age, but you can guess the ballpark). It was a small, private school, and more than half (more like 3/4) of the class was myopic. I was there from 6th to 12th grade, so I have quite a few interesting eyesight-related episodes to relate. If people are interested, I will post a few on the When I was at school... thread.

benn 19 Sep 2014, 16:39


Mine is -3.75 and -3.50. I do GOC too from -10 up to -25 and I will notice minifying when I first put them in then I don't notice except with very small print. I also use an add so it not an issue.


guest 19 Sep 2014, 16:30

Hi Ellen

Glad you are back...

No, you are not the highest old g/f had -19, -21 and 4 astig and biconcave lenses, years ago. She wore some toric c/l's occasionally but never comfortable.... The good news is, her vision is still in the 20/40 range at almost 60 years old. And no cataracts yet, they are nervous with her rx to insert, but she will come back to Bascom Miami from where she lives with her dr husband. And, by the way, she met him while wearing her thick glasses, not contacts !! So don't worry about the social crap lol !

Have fun, west coast soon? :0 bye

Ellen 19 Sep 2014, 15:32

Hi Specs4ever. My cyls are a bit on the high side; -4.25 and -3.75. I've never met anyone with a prescription anywhere near mine, although my closest friend has cyls of -2.75 in both eyes. My optician says she can tell my corneas are rugby ball shaped just by looking at them. I think (hope) she's joking.

I believe the minifying effect is caused by the lens being at a distance from the eye which is why contacts don't cause things to look smaller. The stronger the lens and the further away, the more pronounced the effect. I think wearing a positive contact to simulate myopia and then a negative lens to correct it should still give the same minifying effect.

specs4ever 19 Sep 2014, 07:33

I had not thought about mentioning the sweet spot, or the fact that vertex distance also makes a lot of diference Ellen, but I should have. I do not know what your astigmatism range is, but in any of the high myopes I have known who do have around 20/30 vision their astigmatism is less than -0.75D. One girl I knew a few years ago had very close to -25D with no atigmatism and her vision was phenomally good for someone with such a high script.

My experience is limited to discussions I have had with high myopes as well as reading as much as I could over the years.

I don't think my many years of doing GOC gives me quite the same result as being a natural high myope, but it does give me the experience of noticing the sweet spot, the vertex distance and the rather blurry vision when your eyes depart from the sweet spot in the lens. It becomes second nature to just move your head when wearing the strong GOC glasses that I do. With GOC I believe that the minification is not such a problem, because with a -10D glasses lens in order for a GOG'er to wear these glasses they require a +8.50D contact lens. To me this means the minification would be only equivelant to a -1.50D lens. Maybe I am wrong about thsi, but it does not seem to me that I notice any real minification until I get into the really strong GOC glasses.

Ellen 18 Sep 2014, 11:42

From first hand experience I concur with Specs4ever. It is possible for me to focus perfectly with my glasses (or at least it seems perfect to me) despite my high myopia and very high astigmatism. However it's not quite so straightforward as just looking and seeing. For one thing, perfect focus only occurs when my glasses are at a very precise distance from my eyes. Sliding my specs just a few millimetres down my nose effectively weakens the power of the lenses and my vision becomes nearsighted. My optician when testing my eyes is very careful to make sure that the trial lenses sit at the same distance as my finished frames will. The second point is that there is a very definite "sweet spot" in the centre of my lenses when my eyes will focus. Away from this my vision is blurred and quite distorted near the very edges of the lenses. Lastly, as mentioned below, my lenses make everything significantly smaller than they would be with a naked eye. Therefore I haven't a hope of reading the 20/20 line, not because it's out of focus but because it's just too small for me to see. My optician always tries me out with the 20/20 and 20/30 lines but the best she's managed to get me to read is a couple of letters on the 20/30. My best corrected vision therefore is 20/40. This all sounds horrendous to someone not used to wearing glasses but it's all I know and I'm not consciously aware of lacking any vision. I just adjust naturally without thinking, pushing my glasses up instinctively to give the clearest vision and always angling my head so I can see through the "sweet spot".

Specs4ever 17 Sep 2014, 10:00

With regards to your questions AFan, it is possible for someone with a very high minus prescription to be corrected to 20/20, but there are a few caveats. Little or no astigmatism helps. No other problems than the high myopia is a bonus as well. Generally the minifucation caused by the strong minus lens makes the letters on the eye chart so small that it is difficult for a very high minus to see them. actually they can see them, they are jsut too small. A BCVA of 20/30 or so is usually considered very good for a high minus like Kelli_monster.

Actually the myodiscs that she is wearing seem to be the ones she had on when she first came to everyones notice. For a while she was wearing a new pair - a really nice looking white frame also with myodisc lenses, but after writing about being arrested for something and having a run in with the police she appeared back in her black myo's. I wondered if perhaps the white frame was broken.

It si a shame that she has the problems she has. She is a cutter, and she is bi polar. Too bad because she is gorgeous with her strong myodiscs.

AFan 16 Sep 2014, 15:55

I saw that Fox_Trot_Bitch aka Kelli_Monster resurfaced, with some photos of her on the Seen on the Web page - now in massively strong myodiscs. A question I've had for a while now: what is usually the visual acuity of people in the -20s (myodisc-wearers?) I've had the feeling that myodiscs are sort of a last resort, but I'm curious: can somebody like Kelli be corrected to anything close to 20/20? And will her BCVA get even worse as her prescription grows? Thanks.

 13 Sep 2014, 08:11

That minus is Sarah Palin's I.Q., not necessarily her eyewear RX.

yo 12 Sep 2014, 22:48

Do you guys have any ideas on what Sarah Palin's prescription might have been? Its definitely minus something... but I can't tell if that minus would be astigmatism or light myopia

Soundmanpt 12 Sep 2014, 09:17


Yes! In every way you described.

Stew 12 Sep 2014, 08:36

My eyes were tired so I went for an exam and he told me I could use glasses for reading only that are 1.25. I have been reading fine without them. I picked them up yesterday. Was reading the paper this morning, and after a while remembered the glasses and gave them a try. Although I could read just fine without them, they did make the print a bit darker and bolder and maybe made it seem a bit closer. After a while I even forgot I was wearing them...unless I looked up in the distance. When I took them off however, I couldn't focus on the print, the smaller print was all a blur. I this normal for a first time wearer?

Soundmanpt 07 Sep 2014, 09:10


Considering that Gemma last got her eyes tested around 2 years ago she didn't come out too bad by only needing a -.75 increase in both eyes. But it's enough to cause her glasses to be a little weak for her eyes now. I'm sure you don't mind going glasses shopping with her at all. Not to mention i'm sure she wants your help in choosing new frames since your the one that will be seeing her wearing them the most. Just as i am sure she will be with you when you pick out new glasses when it's your turn to get new glasses.

I know you both enjoy trying on glasses at the various shops nearby but Gemma should really consider getting her glasses from Zenni. I'm sure you have seen the name Zenni numerous times in here. But the quality is very good as well as how the glasses look. If your concerned about they might fit just measure Gemma's current glasses across the face from the outside left to the outside right in millimeters and then simply pick glasses that are nearly the same width. Thye give 2 options of lenses that are included in the price at additional price 1.50 and 1.57 lenses. Just be sure to pick the 1.57. Even at her rx the lenses will not be very thick. And don't forget to click on the optional charge for AR coating (anti-reflective) witch is only $4.95 and worth every penny. But with everything she should be able to find several hundred for under $25.00 complete. I believe the shipping charge is about $7.00 to the UK. Her glasses will arrive within 2 weeks of placing her order. What; nice is that once she sees how good her glasses look she will probably want to order several more pairs since they are so inexpensive.

guest 07 Sep 2014, 08:11

TO AJ >>>

Didn't appreciate that comment. I have helped many with their questions here, regardless of gender, race, orientation, whatever.

Everyone is nervous and has questions on the best course of action before an operation.

And we are all against the "business machine" of the world. Sell more expensive lenses, whether they are best for the person or not. Multifocal in cataract op is an "add on".. SO are ultra thin lenses at a optical shop or 2for69 specials-when with high rx, vision will not be as good as plain cheap cr39's. The profit factor is after the sale, just like a car dealer trying to sell special warranty or lifetime finish etc...

Helpful 07 Sep 2014, 04:34


She would look even more inviting in those need I say more

Carrie 07 Sep 2014, 03:14

My girlfriend, Gemma, got her eyes tested yesterday. Only a small increase this time. Her old prescription was Left -3.50 Right -4.00. It's now Left -4.25 Right -4.75. She is planning on getting new glasses but couldn't decide on which frames to get from the choices in the opticians shop. We're going to have a look in a couple of other places and online. She is a little bit fed up that her eyes are still getting worse but relieved that it was a smaller increase than last time. If her eyes continue to get worse it would seem that at least one eye will get to -5.00 or over at her next eye test.

AJ 05 Sep 2014, 04:45

If "Ellen" were "Allen" instead, "Guest the Pest" would not have written anything to her.

guest 05 Sep 2014, 04:19

Hi Ellen!

Yes it is simple...but any operation to the high myopic eye is serious. They are stretched and more prone to trauma. That's why Moorefield's is the best choice there :)

Let us know when you are going to the west coast. Guess you are not crossing the pond on that trip-but the pole lol.

Happy weekend!


Ellen 04 Sep 2014, 14:59

Guest. You've made the operation sound so straightforward that it would seem a waste of Moorfield's talents or indeed those of your favoured Miami based purveyors of optical solutions.

CJ I'm wrestling with your assertion that high myopia comes with an inherent depth of field focusing advantage. My optician mentioned this and I argued with her at length and she admitted she couldn't think of a scientific basis for it (she's a friend, I don't go to my optician to be obtuse and start arguments). From experience she was adamant that people with myopia tend to need a reading correction later than those without. From my experience this is because I only need to move my glasses 2mm down my nose to reduce the effective power by a couple of dioptres making distance vision a bit blurry and reading very comfortable. Contacts afford no such advantage of course. The only way I know of increasing depth of field is by reducing the "f stop" of the eye, I.e. contracting the pupil. I have no idea whether there's any correlation between myopia and reduced pupil size (I would say not) but I would be happy to be proved wrong.

Guest again. What is it with you and this pond of yours? I haven't traversed this body of water since last Christmas and don't have any immediate plans to do so, although work may take me to the West Coast next year.

guest :( 04 Sep 2014, 12:02

First of all to Ellen....Moorfields is great, hope Mom is going there....all will be perfect :)


Bascom Palmer, Univ of Miami - is simply the BEST !!

(just for the record)

Cactus Jack 04 Sep 2014, 11:56


Sorry to be slow replying. You are right, there really is no comparison between natural vision with 15 - 18 diopters of effortless accommodation and vision with limited or no accommodation. As you said, by the time a person has reached their 60s, and accommodation has become minimal or non existent, a fixed single focus IOL is not much of a change, accommodation wise, from a person experiences with a natural crystalline lens and presbyopia.

The obvious benefit of an IOL is that clouded vision from a cataract is now crystal clear and there is another benefit available at no extra cost. If you analyze the eye's lens system, it consists of 4 very strong PLUS lenses. The obvious ones are the Cornea and the Crystalline Lens, but one should not overlook the contribution of the Aqueous Humor and the Vitreous Humor. If a person is Myopic, the PLUS power of the new IOL can be selected to be less than the PlUS power of the existing natural Crystalline lens. If a person is Hyperopic the IOL can have more PLUS power than the existing lens and thereby reduce or eliminate the need for a strong external prescription.

There is a curious phenomenon associated with high myopia. High MINUS glasses tend to act like wide angle camera lenses and the result is a very wide depth of field or range of useful focus. Sometimes, a person with high myopia does not need much close focusing help to read in bright light. If their Myopia is corrected with IOLs, they may find that they now need morel help focusing close than they did prior to the cataract surgery .

You are very fortunate in the UK to have Moorfields Hospital, on of the best eye hospitals in the world.


guest 04 Sep 2014, 04:35

Hi Ellen !

Glad you have a better understanding of all this :)

Remember when I said to you hat you will soon lose the two thick pieces of plastic in front of your eyes? Well, I guess Mom will lol.

You will I did.

When are you crossing the pond?


guest 04 Sep 2014, 04:35

Hi Ellen !

Glad you have a better understanding of all this :)

Remember when I said to you hat you will soon lose the two thick pieces of plastic in front of your eyes? Well, I guess Mom will lol.

You will I did.

When are you crossing the pond?


Ellen 03 Sep 2014, 01:09


It wasn't so much a misunderstanding, rather I was comparing an IOL with a natural lens in a young eye with plenty of accommodation. You're right, someone my mother's age has very little accommodation and so their eyes are essentially a fixed focus system. I guess I was wondering that if someone in their 60's has say 1D of accommodation this is maybe noticeably better than an IOL with none.

I live in the UK by the way.

Guest. 8:30 EDT is 1:30 where I live and unfortunately I still have to work in order to pay the bills so I won't be able to Lenschat at that time.

Cactus Jack 02 Sep 2014, 20:04


I think you may have misunderstood. Single focus IOLs are NOT a compromise. They really are not much different optically than a person who has clear crystalline lenses, but has presbyopia. A person with presbyopia has to wear reading glasses or bifocals or trifocals to focus close. Your Mother wears -8 glasses to correct her distance vision and, within reason, she can choose what prescription she would like to wear after cataract surgery. Single focus IOLs and bifocals air trifocals will give your Mother the best possible vision. Mono Vision is just two different powers of single focus IOLs, one for each eye, where one power is selected for distance and the other power is selected for focus at around 66 cm or 26 inches.

Myopia is usually caused by a mismatch between the total optical power of the eye's lens system and the length of the eyeball. Usually, myopia occurs because the eyeball has grown too much and is a bit longer than it should be for good distance vision. The amount of excess growth is about 0.3 mm per diopter so, if your mother wears minus 8 glasses here eyeball is a bit over 2 mm longer than it should be for 20/20 vision. Because there is no way to correct an eyeball that has grown too long, we can move the focus back to the retina by using minus lenses or in the case of cataract surgery a bit LESS PLUS in the IOL than was in the natural crystalline lens will do the trick.

Very few people these days have taken the time to learn how the optics of the eye work. Just briefly, there are actually 4 lenses in the eye's lens system with a total optical power of around +50 to +60 diopters. The "normal distance from the back of the lens system to the retina is about 17 mm. Sir Isaac Newton, of Gravity fame, discovered and codified the basic laws of optics about 300 years ago and they are still applicable today.

If your Mother's experience is similar to my experience and the experience of several friends, she will wonder why she waited this long for cataract surgery. She will be shocked and pleasantly surprised at how good her vision is. As I said before. there is absolutely nothing to be gained by waiting.

May I ask where you live? (Country)


bilbo 02 Sep 2014, 17:42

my wife has worn glasses all her life. her script is as follows .l -7.50 cyl -1.25 axis 158 add+1.50. r -6.75 cyl_1.50 axis 15 add +1.50 stupid question, but is this considered high or med myopia also she doesent seem to struggle at home without them !I am asuming she cannot see too well? is this standard? cheers

guest 02 Sep 2014, 15:58

Glad all this can be of help !

I went through 2...

Do you want to go on lenschat.... 830 EDT Tomorrow

or post a time that you want to go there on Thursday :)


Ellen 02 Sep 2014, 07:19

Thanks for your replies, particularly CJ for the "long winded discourse". It wasn't long winded at all, just packed with useful information from first hand experience. It's much appreciated.

OK the key things I take from this are that the IOL is compromise and that vision will never return to the level of a 5 year old and glasses will be needed for some activities. I did expect this, it makes sense as the IOL only corrects at two specific distances. It's nice to have it confirmed by someone who has gone through the surgery though and also to hear that the need for glasses isn't too burdensome. The second thing I'm glad to hear is that the surgery itself isn't too harrowing. Mum will be pleased when I tell her that part!

Thanks again

Cactus Jack 01 Sep 2014, 09:17


Guest is correct about multi-focal IOLs. There are several styles, but the idea is that there are at least two areas of the lens that have different PLUS powers. The central part has the PLUS power for distance and an outer ring has increased PLUS for focusing close. To my knowledge there is no presently available flexible IOL that can replace the natural Crystalline Lens and be focused by the Ciliary Muscles. However, I have read that there is some effort to develop such a lens. It is reasonable to assume that bifocal IOLs are compromises an take some effort to learn how to use them.

From a marketing point of view, the available multi-focal lenses seem to be targeted for people with severe VANITY issues and are willing to spend lots of money and deal with reduced Visual Acuity to avoid the dreaded Bifocals or Trifocals.

I’ll be 77 this month. I had cataract surgery 13 years ago. My background is Electronic Engineering and Computers and I had been wearing Trifocals since my late 30s. The surgeon said that he would not fit multi-focal IOLs for a person who really liked the best possible vision.

At the time, my prescription was R -2.75, L -4.50. He said he could easily correct my myopia to near 0.00 in both eyes, but he said that I would most likely need bi or trifocals for the best vision, no matter what I decided to do. The reason he could not guarantee 0.00 is that IOLs were only available in 0.50 increments. He suggested that I consider Mono Vision where he corrected my dominant eye to as near 0.00 as possible for distance and the other eye to about -1.50 for moderately close. He said that the IOLs would not correct my mild astigmatism because that was a separate issue that required additional surgery that is unrelated to the cataracts.

With Mono Vision, I would probably be able to see well enough without my glasses to be able to get up at night and read a prescription bottle and even legally drive without my glasses. He said that for precision vision, I would need glasses, but that was no big deal for me.

The surgery was the nearest thing to a medical non-event I have every been involved with, but it is a serious surgery and should be treated accordingly by following preparation instructions to the letter. I was very nervous about the first surgery (they only do one eye at a time even though it is very low risk surgery). It is typically done on an outpatient basis. The surgery took about 10-15 minutes after prep and when I recovered from the very mild anesthesia administered during final prep (you are actually awake for the surgery, but they give you some “happy” juice, to reduce anxiety). a friend drove me home.

The first surgery corrected my vision in that eye to 0.00. The next day, I took the lens out my glasses for the affected eye and drove myself to the surgeons office. He was pleased with the results, as was I and I asked the BIG question. “How soon can we do the other eye?”. He said, “Two weeks minimum, but it depends on your progress. Just follow the post op instructions and let me see you in a week. I will schedule it for two weeks out and we can decide to proceed when I see you in a week.” The second surgery in two weeks was a breeze. I knew what to expect and I have never looked back.

My vision today with my trifocals is 20/15 and I do anything I want to. One thing to be aware of is that the IOLs I got are actually a bit more efficient (6%) at light transmission than natural lenses. In very bright sunlight, sunglasses are not mandatory, but are certainly more comfortable than without. I use inexpensive clip on sunglasses. My night vision is excellent. I can even use the computer without my glasses. I also have a pair of single vision prescription reading glasses - I like to read in bed and they are more comfortable for extended reading than the trifocals because of the wider visual field.

There has been a lot of progress in lens technology in the 13 years since my cataract surgery, but I think Guest’s thoughts about single focus IOLs still applies. They give the best possible vision.

I hope this long winded discourse is helpful. Please let us know if you have more questions.

A couple of final thoughts.

1. Select the most experienced Eye Surgeon you can find. Cataract surgery today is one of the safest surgical procedures there is, but it is still surgery.

2. DO NOT delay getting surgery until the Cataracts get “ripe”. Years ago, before IOLs, cataract surgery was so risky and recovery was so long that it was avoided until there was no other choice but to be blind in that eye. Today, the incision in the side of the cornea is only about 3 mm long. The old lens is emulsified and sucked out. The new lens is rolled up and inserted through the incision. Your body heat causes the lens to unroll and it is positioned in the lens capsule where the old lens was. The tiny incision closes and heals without any stitches. The problem with waiting too long is that the old lens gets so hard that it is hard to emulsify and remove. While the lens is still soft, the tiny ultrasound “jack hammer” quickly dissolves the old lens and it is extracted in just a few seconds and the capsule is ready for the new IOL.


Galileo 01 Sep 2014, 08:41

Hi Ellen, my father had cataract surgery at the age of 92. He had previously worn glasses for most of his life. He did not need glasses for most activities after the surgery, he just needs "normal" reading glasses. I don't know how the technology works but his distance vision is a lot better than before the surgery and his medium distance vision for working around the house is also OK without glasses. He only uses them when reading or using his mobile phone.

guest :) 01 Sep 2014, 05:00

Hello Ellen !

It was me :) who posted before about implants after high myopia. I was double digits (exact numbers bounced around because different vision on different days and never fully correctable. I absolutely 100% am telling you NOT to get the fancy hi$ lens. There are many problems that could occur due to placement, measurement and issues with her eyes and her rx. Also, does she have astig?? Money was not an object with me as I'm sure it's not an issue with you or mom.

Basically, the procedure is right at 100% success and happy patient rate with regular lens. Guess what, it's not at that with fancy one. Soooooo, in a nutshell, she will be sooo happy to see without glasses that using the reading $1.00 glasses from the dollar store to read is no big deal. Also if she is astig, the fancy lens does not correct that anyway, so she will need glasses anyway-just not coke bottles.

If you want to go on lenschat to discuss at exact 840 EDT, its not 800, I will be there.

Remember, the less you do to the stretched myopic eye the better, we are prone to retina issues.


Ellen 01 Sep 2014, 03:25

Thanks for your replies. It's encouraging that good post op vision is possible. I'm still baffled how this is achieved though. Presumably the implanted lens isn't capable of accommodation? Or is it? I know that it's possible to make a lens with two focal lengths which is the principle behind some bifocal contact lenses. Is this how implanted lenses work, one power focuses the eye at infinity and the other at a reading distance? What about distances in between? The natural lens has continual focusing ability from a few inches to infinity. Surely it's not possible to replicate this with a rigid lens?

Sorry for so many questions, I'm just trying to understand this as well as I can to make an informed decision when the time comes for mum's surgery.

Val 31 Aug 2014, 13:04

Ellen, even today you can find two types of lenses. First type is cheaper, but after the implant the patient will have to use reading glasses and the second type, which is more expensive will eliminate the need for glasses near or far.

So, if their is no money problem, of course, the second type is the best.

Soundmanpt 31 Aug 2014, 11:06

first time poster

It can't hurt to try and see how they work. It should help that your only going to be wearing them for limited times as opposed to full time.

I am curious though you came to have a pair of glasses with with your exact prescription in them except for the added -.50 CYL in one lens? Were these your previous glasses but at your last exam you were maybe not given any correction for astigmatism? Because it is very possible if you were going to renew your contacts that your doctor may have just dropped off the cyl for your contact prescription? Did you get a copy of your prescription for glasses when you went? It's possible that your glasses prescription still includes the cyl.

Also even if your astigmatism has gone away which can happen they should still work fine because the axis would be the same and your cyl could return at your next exam even.

You really should be able to see fine with them and if any headaches were to even develope I think it would be after wearing them for a prolonged period of time.

Soundmanpt 31 Aug 2014, 10:54


My mother has since past away 11 years ago at the age of 93. When she was in her late 70's she had cataract surgery on both eyes. Before her surgery she had been wearing glasses not quite as strong as your mother but around -5.50 and her add was in the +2.50 area too. She had the lens implant much like you mother will be getting and if anything it is probably even better now then it was 30 some years ago when my mother had it done. Her results were no more glasses for distance or close up. The only side effect sh had and I would think that is much better by now was that her eyes were very sensitive to sunlight. She used to wear those "solar glasses" which completely cover the eyes from all sides.

Your mother should do great and probably glasses free.

Ellen 31 Aug 2014, 10:21

I remember a while back on here someone mentioning that they'd had lens implants for cataracts which were also used to correct quite a high degree of myopia. I'm curious as to what the quality of vision is like after such an operation. How is near vision catered for? Is it possible to read and see at a distance without additional correction? The reason I ask is that my mother has recently been diagnosed with cataracts and told she will need them operating on within a year or so. She currently wears glasses for myopia of around -8 dioptres plus a reading addition of 2.5. Any information on cataract surgery would be much appreciated, particularly from someone with first hand experience. Hope this is the correct place for such a post.

first time poster 30 Aug 2014, 17:04

Thank you Soundmapt, I like the frames I have, so I would not want to buy new ones from Zenni. I'll try to see if I can manage with them, I usually wear contacts so they are only back up. The script is L -3.25 0.50 R -3.50

Soundmanpt 29 Aug 2014, 17:20

first time poster

The question is how well are you able to see with them? If your able to see okay without getting a headache then even though it's not a great idea but if the glasses are better than not having glasses then wear them. My thought is that after you have them on for a prolonged period your likely to start getting a headache as a result. If that happens then you have your answer.

Since you seem to know what your prescription is why don't you just order glasses on line from Zenni? ( You can get very nice pair of glasses without that added -.50 CYL (astigmatism) for around $20.00 - $25.00.

first time poster 29 Aug 2014, 17:07

Hello, I have a pair of glasses that have the right prescription for me, apart from an extra 0.50 for astigmatism in one eye which I don't need. How bad will it be for my eyes if I wear them sometimes? Thanks

Soundmanpt 25 Aug 2014, 12:20


Your wife probably doesn't even consider that her eyes are being "over-corrected" whens she is wearing glasses. And your right that she started wearing them because she knew that it would get your attention. But it also helps that she was able to see perfect with glasses (-.75) as soon as she put them on. The results likely would not have been as good if you had tried to get her to wear those -2.00 glasses right away instead. I assumed the -2.00 glasses were your idea and your just hoping she will wear stronger glasses for you. But the glasses are forcing her eyes to work much harder to see things clearly. Even after only wearing them for an hour i'm sure when she first takes them off her vision is considerably blurry until her normal vision returns. She has to be concerned that by wearing those glasses very much her perfect vision maybe ruined. Now even though that is nearly impossible at her age, she isn't likely to believe that.

I'm sure you were at least a little disappointed when you went away with her and you suggested that she wear glasses then and she refused except to wear them at dinner for your anniversary. But you should still suggest that she wear them on a one day get-away. If you ask enough she may finally give in, but I think only with the -.75 glasses which she has at least found comfortable even if she won't admit it to you.

I think it best if you stop pressuring her to wear the -2.00 glasses and if she happens to put them on from time to time just be happy. Other wise be glad she wears the weaker ones.

Eric 24 Aug 2014, 21:41


I don't believe my wife enjoys being over corrected. I think she wears the glasses because she likes the special attention she gets from me.

Last vacation I suggested her to wear the glasses full time, but she didn't wanted. Apart from watching tv, she only wore them when we went out for dinner on our anniversary.

I bought the -2 glasses because I wanted to see her with glasses a little bit stronger. When she saw the glasses she liked the frames but when she first tried them on didn't liked the prescription. She wore them for a few minutes and I had to insist on her to keep them on.

Last night she returned to the -0,75 ones when watching tv.

Likelenses 24 Aug 2014, 18:49


In addition to her minus,perhaps there is also an astigmatism correction.

Most people require full time wear when the astigmatism correction in the better eye is .75 or more.

Also many young myopes read too close,which strains the eyes,and the minus glasses will help them to keep the reading material farther away,until the myopia increases,at which time they will begin to read closer,until new stronger glasses are obtained.Most doctors want a young person to wear minus glasses full time at - 3.00 for this reason,although if a person habitually reads too close,the recommendation would be made with weaker minus prescriptions.

Soundmanpt 24 Aug 2014, 14:27


There is no harm in her wearing her glasses full time even if her prescription was only -1.00. Yes her eyes are going to get trained or accustomed to having them on all the time and when she first takes them off she will of course notice the difference but only what her own eyes are lacking to see. Now if she were to lose her glasses somehow and be without them for say a week. At first she will miss her glasses but her accommodation will soon return and she won't miss her glasses nearly as much then.

Bottom line is if she were to never wear her glasses at all her vision would change exactly the same as if she wears them full time as she is now. When she is 12 years old no matter what she does she is going to need an increase. But even if she never had gotten glasses when she was 11 she was going to be at the same numbers.

Julian 24 Aug 2014, 12:31

Tom, Soundmanpt: in any case, if she has normal accommodation for her age, surely there's harm in wearing her glasses full time.

Soundmanpt 24 Aug 2014, 11:19


If she is comfortable wearing her glasses full time even if her prescription were much weaker then -2.00 she really isn't doing any harm to her eyes because her vision is going to change regardless of how much or how little she wears her glasses. That being said the exception is when she is doing very much close work such as reading a book for an extended period or just doing her homework she shouldn't need her glasses for that and it would be better if she didn't wear them then. Otherwise she probably just prefers having clear vision all the time and chooses to wear her glasses for that reason.

Tom 24 Aug 2014, 09:20

Recently on the seaside I met a family which has a 11 yo daughter. She has been wearing full time a pair of glasses around -2, maybe less, for every activity but for bathing (!). She seems very comfortable with her glasses and always keeps them on whenever she can. I'm wandering if it is really a good idea to have a child wearing such glasses full time. For sure bareeyed vision is good enough for her to do everything without but, maybe, board and TV, since glasses are not that strong (differently is she was say -4 or more). After all, children doesn't have to drive of perform actions that require perfect eyesight. On the oher hand, wearing that glasses for everyting incuding close activities (smartphone, reading, playing cards) she is forcing her eyes to an accomodation effort through the lenses that would be much lower if she could not wear, being stil able to focus perfectly below half a meter from her face.

In summary, I don't think it is a good idea to make children to wear negative glasses full time unless they are so strong that without correction they can't play, recognise people or reading as a normal person would do (i.e. stronger than -3 or even more).

What do you think about this topic?

Soundmanpt 23 Aug 2014, 12:14


It seems that your wife is a "closet glasses wearer" and fears she will be seen wearing glasses by someone she knows. So wearing glasses while in a dark cinema works perfect for her and of course at home in bed is even more safe for her. But she is has to be very comfortable wearing glasses if she even forgot she had them on once when she left the movie house. Also even better that she remembers to get her glasses without any prompting from you. I know she is wearing glasses in part because she knows of your fetish, but being in a dark cinema and both you and her looking forward to watch the movie your barely able to pay much attention to her wearing glasses. I think that even though her vision is perfect she has found that her eyes really like being slightly over corrected. That might also be in part why she likes wearing glasses in bed while watching TV. Watching TV without glasses now isn't as intense as with her glasses. Since she is quite shy about wearing them in public where she might be seen by someone she knows have you ever considered going away either for a weekend or better yet a full weeks vacation and suggesting she wear glasses the whole time your away. The chances of seeing anyone you or her know would be nearly impossible.

Now I am curious as to why you bought her the -2.00 glasses? Did she know you were buying her stronger glasses? Does she want to be able to wear stronger glasses for some reason or is it a part of your fetish for her to be wearing stronger glasses? At any rate she seems intent on trying to get her eyes to adjust to them. She is making progress if she is up about an hour now before her eyes start to give out and lose focus with them. I'm sure her -.75 glasses really feels good when she switches to them.

Eric 23 Aug 2014, 08:32

I know I'm lucky. It's funny, because when we have tickets for the movies, before leaving home I check her drawer, and when I see the glasses are not there, I know that I'm lucky that night. She always put the glasses on when the lights are turned off. She is shy about casually finding someone known and seeing her in glasses. Instantly, when the movie finishes she takes the glasses off. Only once she forgot and she was mad why I hadn't told her. So, I think we are far from becoming a full time wearer.

With the -2 glasses this is the update: yesterday she wore them for about an hour. She hadn't headaches but felt a little dizzy. So after that she switched to the -0.75 glasses and wore them until she went to sleep.

Soundmanpt 22 Aug 2014, 14:40


First of all I think most of the men in here would agree that your a very lucky guy to have a wife that knows about your fetish for seeing her wearing glasses and is completely willing to wear glasses that she has no need for because of her perfect vision. So having her as your glasses wearing wife when you go to the movies or even just in bed watching TV has to make you feel very happy? Her eyes like so many can not only tolerate a small distance prescription like the -.75 glasses she has been wearing for your pleasure, but even with her perfect vision the added minus should provide her just enough over correction that her vision is actually enhanced so that with the glasses she is seeing as if her eyes were HD. So wearing these glasses her eyes should feel completely comfortable and if she wanted she could wear them anytime including driving or even full time if she wished to without doing any harm to her eyes. But switching her to -2.00 glasses is probably a little bit more than her eyes want to accommodate and feel comfortable in. Like she has described to you when she first puts them on her vision is a little bit blurry and after a few minutes her eyes begin to focus with them and she is able to see good with them and like her -.75 glasses her vision is razor sharp and her distance with them couldn't be any better. But sh is really straining her eyes to see with them even if she doesn't realize it. So after about 15 minutes her eyes are working much harder with these glasses they need to with her -.75 glasses. The strain is why she her eyes are aching a bit. Now it could be if she continues to wear the stronger glasses her eyes will start to adjust to them more and her eyes won't ache anymore, or they may cause her to get headaches and that might ruin a beautiful night if you know what I mean?

Because she is 30 there is very little chance her wearing glasses will do anything to change her perfect vision. So if for whatever reason she prefers wearing the stronger glasses she can certainly try wearing them and see how her eyes and head feel. Personally if I were you I would be more happy to let her wear the -.75 glasses that she has no problem with and maybe convince her to wear them full time.

Eric 17 Aug 2014, 19:07

Cactus Jack, thank you for the explanation.

She's not a person who usually reads books. But she stays a lot of time reading from her smartphone and I never heard her complaining about her eyes feeling tired or something.

Cactus Jack 17 Aug 2014, 10:09


A comprehensive eye exam does a lot more than just checking a persons vision. The eyes are windows into the body and often a lurking conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure are first detected in an eye exam, before typical symptoms appear.

Please don't misunderstand me. What your wife is experiencing is not really unusual in developing presbyopia. Your wife is almost certainly developing presbyopia, almost everyone does and as I said before it actually starts in childhood. The most basic law of optics is that lens power required to focus at a particular distance is 100 cm or 39.37 inches (IOW 1 meter) divided by focal distance. If the eye have no refractive error (0.00) for distance, it WILL take +2.50 to focus at a typical reading distance of 40 cm or 16 inches. That +2.50 has to come from somewhere. In a younger person with "prefect" vision, it comes from the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses in the eye without your being aware that it is happening. That is your auto-focus mechanism at work. As you get older, the crystalline lenses become stiff and finally the ciliary muscles just can't squeeze the crystalline lenses enough to be able to produce the extra +2.50. When a person who has "perfect" vision wears -2.00 glasses for distance the ciliary muscles have to supply +2.00 to compensate. If the crystalline lenses are beginning to get stiff, the ciliary muscles have to work extra hard ti focus for distance and even harder to focus close for reading with the -2.00 glasses. Does your wife ever complain that her eyes are "tired" when she reads for a long time, without any glasses?


Eric 17 Aug 2014, 09:41

Cactus Jack, thank you for answering.

She hasn't had an eye exam for some years, only the one to get the drivers license.

Cactus jack 17 Aug 2014, 08:07


Your wife is having the same symptoms with the -2.00 glasses as a person who is farsighted (hyperopic) sometimes does when they are having difficulty focusing to read. Sometimes it indicated that presbyopia is beginning to rear its head.

Both focusing close and compensating for the -2.00 glasses involve the use of the ciliary muscles (her auto=focu mechanism) the ache indicates that se is straining a little to focus. Wearing the -2.00 glasses is not harmful, just uncomfortable. I suggest dropping back to -1.50 or less and see if that helps.

Presbyopia, a stiffening of the crystalline lenses, actually starts in childhood, but does not cause a problem until the late 30s ro early 40s. When presbyopia becomes a problem depends on a persons refractive error (see next paragraph), their genetic makeup, and their visual environment. The idea that presbyopia is never a problem until 40 is a myth. It happens when it happens.

You comment about your wife having "perfect" vision is interesting. Many people who have hyperopia think they have perfect vision because hyperopia is the one vision problem you can correct internally, without external help with glasses or contacts. One clue that a person with "perfect" vision is actually hyperopic is the early onset of near focusing problems. The mild discomfort when wearing the -2.00 glasses for distance is a pretty good clue that presbyopia is right on schedule or your wife is actually a little bit hyperopic. Low hyperopia is extremely difficult to detect with a dilated eye exam.

Has your wife had any type of eye exam in the past 3 or 4 years?


Eric 17 Aug 2014, 05:03

Hi, how are you?

I need your advice. My wife is 30 years old and has perfect vision. She knows about my glasses fetish and likes to play the "myopic girl" when we are at the movies or watching tv at bed. We have some glasses and she likes to wear them on that moments. Usually she wears a -0,75 glasses without having any trouble. I recently bought a new pair with -2 prescription. She says it takes a few seconds to focus when putting those glasses but after that her vision is fine. The thing is that after about 15 minutes of wearing those glasses, her eyes start aching a little bit, not to much, but still a little bit. Is this normal? I don't want her eyes to be damaged. Is it safe to wear those glasses?

Thank you.

Andrew 17 Aug 2014, 03:27

Anyone who cuts hair would need to be wearing glasses in order to be able to see what I have left. I still pay the same amount as anyone with a full head of hair, but in my case, part of the money is a "search fee." The glasses would certainly help with that!

Soundmanpt 16 Aug 2014, 12:45


Where I have been going for the past year or so to get my hair cut, at least what I still have left anyway. The young lady that is cutting my hair doesn't wear glasses, but in a conversation with her she told me that at her most recent eye exam she was told that she will be needing glasses in the near future. Her doctor told her she will be needing glasses to see close and she already farsighted, but because she is still young, mid 20's she is still able to read without any problem. But she did admit that she is starting to notice that if she is doing much reading her eyes do tend to tire out much quicker than they used to. See said she would probably need glasses now if she had a job where she was doing constant close work. This is no doubt the same as your co worker. She also likely indicated that she could have been given a prescription already but because she is still on the young side her eyes are still able to get by without glasses, but if her job involves doing close work then she will likely be getting glasses at her 6 month exam. In fact if she is already complaining about her eyes feeling tired she really should go back and get glasses now.

Andrew 16 Aug 2014, 01:35

It could be that she found a small reading add, such as +0.50, beneficial but it was too little to hurry her into reading glasses at this stage. As the move towards presbyopia is age-related, time would enable him to make such a prediction.

Curious 14 Aug 2014, 10:41

A girl I work with complained out loud late one afternoon that her eyes were tired, so an older woman told her to go get her eyes examined. I am guessing she is mid-30's. She went this morning and just came back. She says the dr told her she will soon need reading glasses and that she should come back in 6 months and likely get a prescription. How did the Dr come to that conclusion? I guess her distance is ok. Just curious!

Soundmanpt 22 Jul 2014, 18:23


You, your friends and family all seem to fall into what seems to be a UK thing for some reason. Only your gf, Gemma, is short sighted. The rest all wear plus glasses. I am really not sure why that would be?

Your own need for glasses you pretty much had a helping hand in. Your first glasses were really only meant to be worn when you were doing an excessive amount of close work to relax your eyes a bit. But wearing them full time was sure to have an effect on your vision. Your first eye exam you had no problem at all seeing the eye chart. But after wearing your glasses full time for more than a year the next eye exam was sure to be more difficult to see the eye chart without your glasses. But not anything you minded since you wanted to wear glasses anyway.

Your friend form college because of trying your glasses found that she also needed glasses and being more shy than you about wearing glasses was more reluctant about wearing them and even got contacts so she could avoid wearing glasses. After a while I assume she just tired of the hassle of fooling with contacts and now was better about just wearing her glasses and be done with it. Your cousin also soon found that she needed plus glasses and she too has now gone to full time. Danielle the friend you made because she had the hots for you after trying your glasses also went and got her own glasses and now her gf is also wearing glasses which she is insisting she doesn't really need. Even wearing wearing them when she goes home to visit her parents. Her reason is because they came to her job and found her wearing glasses there. With her boss being close by she told them that she had recently got them. But if she really doesn't need them why wouldn't she just tell her parents the truth since her boss wouldn't be around her parents house. That sounds much more like someone that needs them but doesn't want let anyone know that she really does need them now. Danielle's glasses probably were just a little too strong for her eyes, but now that she got some on line with a weaker prescription her eyes are probably very comfortable wearing them and she is wearing them even more because she is able to see distances with them very clearly.

Carrie 19 Jul 2014, 09:58

I'm in the uk and as many of you know I am long sighted. I got glasses both because I found I needed them and because I wanted them. Wearing them full time was my choice to start with but with my latent hyperopia "coming out" and needing a stronger prescription I am pretty much dependent on glasses now. I can see without them just much better with them. My eyes get very tired if I don't wear my glasses. When I had my last eye test the optician said if I wasn't already wearing glasses full time they would have recommended I wear them for distances as well as reading. I feel more dependent on my current glasses now than when I got them. Out of my friends that wear glasses more of them have plus prescriptions than minus (most of my friends are very close to my age of 20). One friend at college got reading glasses soon after I first got glasses - she found she could see better with my glasses. She eventually became a full time wearer. Another friend that I first met in a coffee shop also got reading glasses after trying mine on and noticing she could read her phone easier (she only tried them on as way of starting a conversation with me to see if I was single or not). Her now girlfriend is a wannabee glasses wearer. She doesn't need glasses but regularly wears a pair of weak plus glasses bought online. She always wears them at work in the same coffee shop wear I got hit on (I wasn't single but she was and my friend's charms won her over). She sometimes wears them out of work for fun (She has to wear them when she visits her parents as they think she really needs them after making a surprise visit to the coffee shop and seeing her wearing glasses!). My girlfriend is moderately short sighted (Left -3.50 and Right -4.00) and only began wearing her glasses full time when we became a couple and I gave her the confidence to wear her glasses (a weaker prescription then). She thinks she might need new glasses as she said things don't seem quite so clear any more. It's been almost 2 years since her last eye test so she is due for one.

Daffy 18 Jul 2014, 09:32

I have a few theories, some by observation some anecdotal. I believe that most parents these days are more educated regarding vision and get their kids tested earlier and more often to give them the best chance in life and not let vision hinder their abilities. I read a while ago that most kids are naturally longsighted but accommodate well. But if the parents feel concerned they get them glasses. As the children grow the vision will "get better" and not require glasses later on.

The other side of the story is fashion. I have heard many girls wishing they needed glasses just because their friends get them. They go to the optometrist and make a complaint they can't see, or get tired eyes, or get headaches. So the optometrist obliges and gives them a weak rx even if they don't need it. That way everyone is happy.

I also mentioned before that I went along to some optical trade shows and went to some seminars. They train the optometrists to get people into multifocals at every chance they can. Even if they don't need it they are to encourage AF (anti fatigue) lenses - same as multis but weaker with a little prism - just to get them into lenses as contact lenses will not correct this thus more money in their back pocket.

Daffy 18 Jul 2014, 09:32

I have a few theories, some by observation some anecdotal. I believe that most parents these days are more educated regarding vision and get their kids tested earlier and more often to give them the best chance in life and not let vision hinder their abilities. I read a while ago that most kids are naturally longsighted but accommodate well. But if the parents feel concerned they get them glasses. As the children grow the vision will "get better" and not require glasses later on.

The other side of the story is fashion. I have heard many girls wishing they needed glasses just because their friends get them. They go to the optometrist and make a complaint they can't see, or get tired eyes, or get headaches. So the optometrist obliges and gives them a weak rx even if they don't need it. That way everyone is happy.

I also mentioned before that I went along to some optical trade shows and went to some seminars. They train the optometrists to get people into multifocals at every chance they can. Even if they don't need it they are to encourage AF (anti fatigue) lenses - same as multis but weaker with a little prism - just to get them into lenses as contact lenses will not correct this thus more money in their back pocket.

Carlos 18 Jul 2014, 07:27

South Asia---lots of plus lens and early age occurrence of presbyopia. Hyperopia seems to be more prevalent than in other areas.

SC 18 Jul 2014, 05:33

Interesting posts on variations on prevalence of plus lenses in different countries. I have worked in many different countries and I'm always surprised by the differences and can't work out whether it is social acceptance/fashion (eg the Harry Potter effect) or testing rigour and some combination.

In UK, there is more focus on amblyopia detection in infancy and this means more young children wear plus glasses and will either continue to wear or will stop around 10/11 yo and start again later in life - I don't remember any such testing when I was young

In the Balkans glasses are less socially acceptable - generally fewer people wear glasses and almost no-one wears plus glasses. After all plus glasses for the under 30s are mostly optional as they will have in most cases sufficient accommodation to override any hyperopia

With Eastern Europe immigration to UK, there seems to be a lot of Poles, Lithuanians etc in plus glasses so again it is either more acceptable or better testing that causes this - I see more Poles in plus lenses than I would see if I went to Germany or Netherlands.

But the stand-out country for plus lenses is.... France. If you go in a French supermarket then you'll immediately notice that a fair percentage of the glasses wearers are in plus lenses - primarily the 30 somethings. If you go to Disneyland then again you will see lots of French teenagers who are far-sighted - I would guess that one-third of glasses wearing teenagers were perhaps in plus lenses both male & female.

I guess the most likely cause is parental behaviour. You are more likely to get glasses if you go to an optician (obvious) and you are more likely to go to an optician if your parents wear glasses. I got my eyes tested at school but only for distance - nothing that would bring out hyperopia - and I didn't go again until I was 44

Cactus Jack 17 Jul 2014, 22:53

Priam Question,

There are several factors that affect lens thickness at the outside edges and the calculator is pretty good. A couple of things to remember. Base Out prism mass the inside edge thinner and the outside edge thicker. A good estimate I use is 1 mm per prism diopter at the outside edge for CR-39, but that number is very sensitive to two other factors. Lens Width and inside edge thickness. The inside edge needs to be strong enough to not break easily and 1 mm increase in thickness of the inside edge will result in 1 mm increase at the outside edge. Lens width is a more important factor. In a minus lens, the lens is thinnest at the optical center so edge thickness depends on lens power and the distance from the optical center to the edge, usually about half the lens width. Prism has no optical center and the apex or point of the prism will probably exist outside the inside edge of the lens and the base thickness will depend on the full width of the lens.

I have become convinced that making glasses with significant prism is almost a lost art. The big issue I have had is getting the lens maker or dispenser to adjust the PD for the fact that the eyes are not looking straight ahead and the PD needs to be adjusted using Prentice's Rule. If the PD is not correct, it will cause reduced Visual Acuity.


Prism Question 17 Jul 2014, 21:33

I just got 4th prism prescription in 4 years. I got an increase from 5 base out per eye to 10 base out per eye. I am trying to calculate how thick new lenses might be. I found a lens thickness calculator online but it only works for sphere and cylinder prescription.

I was wondering if -10 sphere would be similar in thickness to 10 base out prism or these two would be unrelated? if not what would be the best way to estimate thickness?

Cactus Jack 16 Jul 2014, 21:17


Many Albinos have severe vision problems because of the lack of a substance in the retina called Visual Purple among other things. Visual Purple is necessary for proper functioning of the retina and very likely vision development. I don't know if visual purple is important for eyeball growth, but there are some hormones that are believed to be produced by the retina that regulate eyeball growth through the early 20s.

I have been of the opinion that there were a much larger than usual distribution of hyperopia for many years. Just as Myopia is very common in Asian populations, Hyperopia seems to be common in the population of England. In both instances, it is likely genetic.

There are other genetic conditions that are common in certain populations. People of northern European (Scandinavian) descent are subject to a condition called Dupuytren's Contracture. My ancestors are from England and Ireland and several years ago, I developed Dupuytren's. Turns out the Vikings invaded England around 800 CE and apparently left lots of calling cards in the form of genes.


astigmaphile 16 Jul 2014, 21:12

I am not surprised at the difference. I have seen remarks on here from other British people that hyperopia is common in Britain. I live in Santa Barbara, Ca, and only remember two kids in high school who wore, strong plus glasses. The rest were myopes. Same goes for the current crop of UCSB students.

Apple77 16 Jul 2014, 19:18

Thanks for the interesting replies. Growing up in the northeast USA, I can think of only one person in my high school (out of 400 students) who I remember wearing plus glasses. He was albino, so perhaps his vision was different for other reasons. I'm sure there may have been a few others who had plus glasses, but it seemed like easily 25% of more of students wore minus glasses.

How could it be that diagnosed, glasses-wearing hyperopes are such a minority in the USA (at least in my experience) but, according to Juicebox, are so common in London? Wouldn't it seem like the difference is the rate of diagnosis rather than the actual rate of hyperopia?

Revolver 16 Jul 2014, 13:44

Juicebox's observations are unique and probably very valid. To add one thing, I doubt the numbers of minus wearers have diminished, in fact have probably increased, but the reason they aren't seen very much is that the proliferation and ease of soft contact lenses have made them the dominant force.

Soundmanpt 16 Jul 2014, 09:37

Crystal Veil

My observations here in the US has been much the same as yours in the Netherlands. Most all of the young ladies I come across that are wearing glasses are wearing minus lenses. But in recent years I have noticed an increase in some young ladies now being farsighted and even some that are wearing bifocals. So maybe "Juicebox" is correct that in years past many of the young ladies that were farsighted never bothered getting glasses. But now with glasses being trendy and much more acceptable they are far more willing to get and wear wear glasses. Also I think the need for being able to see so much small print on I-Phones and the such have made glasses more necessary for many as well. You rarely ever see a young lady without an I-Phone in her hand, so if she is on it that much and has any problem seeing it she will likely keep her glasses on so she isn't putting them on and off so much.

Crystal Veil 16 Jul 2014, 06:10

Apple77, Juicebox,

interesting observation. Over the years, I noticed that there are more young people with long sight in the UK and Ireland than on the continent. In the Netherlands, well over 90% of young ladies in glasses have minus prescriptions. It's difficult to find longsighted models for photo shoots. Perhaps I should make a trip to London and try my chances there.

juicebox 16 Jul 2014, 04:45


I've noticed it too. I'm from London and I see a lot more farsighted people than nearsighted. Only recently though, during my childhood I can only really remember those that needed them for the board, but I guess a lot of people who probably wouldn't have discovered they're farsighted are now doing so due to smartphones etc. Not a bad thing I guess as it means people are being more sensible about getting their eyes checked! Or adhering to advice as a few friends at school were told they were farsighted but refused to get/wear glasses. Though the hipster style glasses are well and truly part of our culture now for both fashion and function, I hardly ever see anyone with significant minus lenses. From my friends' experience I think there is still some insecurity there as they've had glasses most of their life and glasses were still dreaded when I was at school. Whereas my friends who are farsighted only found out at uni by which time glasses were a massive fashion item so they proudly wore them from day one.

Another interesting thing is the number of girls who wear fake glasses at the groups I volunteer with (ages 7-13). So many of them have, on occasion, worn them and the others don't bat an eyelid unless the girl tries to pass them off as real. There's only been one girl who has got glasses while I've been there (a few already had them) and the girls didn't make a fuss apart from to say that she looked really pretty. That would have never happened when I was at school! There would have been a big fuss with everyone wanting to try them on and then holding up various amounts of fingers about 2 feet away to see how bad their eyes were. I'm really happy for this generation as it seems a lot of the stigma associated with glasses has gone away and they are no longer only associated with freaks and geeks, but now with fashion.

Can't speak for the rest of England but that's just what I have observed!

Apple77 15 Jul 2014, 19:51

I'm currently visiting in London, and it seems as if everywhere I turn, I see hype ropes wearing significant plus lenses (especially kids but not exclusively so). I feel as though I rarely see plus lenses in my hometown in the northeastern USA.

Granted, I haven't exactly been keeping any kind of count, and my sample probably isn't representative, so my observations may be a fluke. Has anyone else noticed this and, if so, why might it be? Are various eye conditions diagnosed at different rates in different countries?

Maurice 14 Jul 2014, 20:44

Bob, bifocals are your future. Give it a year or two.

Cactus Jack 14 Jul 2014, 13:26


You might be able to delay the onset of Presbyopia a little, but not by very much.

There are two factors in the progression of Presbyopia. The most notable one is the gradual stiffening of the Crystalline Lenses and there is nothing you can do about that. It WILL happen.

The more subtile, but surprisingly most significant factor will be loss of conditioning in your Ciliary Muscles. The tiny Ciliary Muscles that focus your Crystalline Lenses are the strongest muscles in the body for their size, but wearing the reading glasses, reduced their workload. When your Crystalline Lenses get stiff, it takes a lot of work and energy to focus them. Like any labor saving device, glasses to help with the work to focus to read are very easy to get used to. You can try to exercise your Ciliary Muscles to keep them strong, but it won't do a lot of good in the long run. It is an exercise in futility.

Again, what you are experiencing is normal and millions, if not billions of people experience the same thing as they grow older.

You can fight against the inevitable, but frankly the best solution is to just to do what you have to do, to see comfortably and get on with your life.


Bobby 14 Jul 2014, 06:17

I don't know if or when I might need glasses for distance, but I find that if I wear these readers for a while, I can't do without for close vision. This morning I put them on do do some work on the computer, and even forgot I was wearing them. Took them off when I took a break after more than an hour, and just couldn't focus close. Don't know if I should trying wearing them less to avoid becoming totally dependent so soon, or just less them relax away and lose my close focus. Even typing this, if I lift the glasses I can't read the laptop screen. Certainly I could if I hadn't put them on before I started.

Carlos 10 Jul 2014, 20:49

Hi Bobby, my experience with reading glasses was short-lived. Wore +1.50 readers for about 3 years. Went back to eye doc when I began to have trouble seeing up close again. With that exam, ended up wearing progressives with a +2.00 reading add. After that, it was just easier to wear the glasses full-time.

Cactus Jack 10 Jul 2014, 08:27


Thank you for the information. If you had occasional double vision problems while reading, before you started the Pencil Push-ups and you have not had any double vision problems, lately, it sounds like you have had some improvement.

Sorry to keep asking questions, but I am trying to understand your situation better.

1. May I ask what prompted you to see an Eye Care Professional (ECP)"

2. Did you wear glasses before you got your current prescription?

3. May I ask your occupation?

4. If you are a student, my I ask what you are studying?

5. Do you have any problems reading the small text on a smartphone?

Also, if you would prefer to discuss any of this privately my email address is:


Mark 10 Jul 2014, 04:08

I don't experience double vision whilst reading, before i started the exercises i did sometimes struggled to keep single vision at a close distance. I have not had that since.

I've never experienced double vision at a distance and don't have prisms in my glasses.

The pencil push ups are 2 times daily for 10 minutes, keeping the pencil as close to my eyes while being single for 10 seconds, then a 10 second rest.

The distance of fusion point from my nose is about 4cm right now.

Cactus Jack 09 Jul 2014, 21:18


Could you describe the "Pencil Push Up" and the distances involved when you can not keep the images fused?


Cactus Jack 09 Jul 2014, 21:15


Are you having trouble with double vision when you read?

How about distance?

Do you have any prism in your glasses?

May I ask where you live?


Mark 09 Jul 2014, 15:27

Presently, I wear -0,25 left and 0,25 in the right glass.

My age is 21 years old.

cactus Jack 09 Jul 2014, 15:02


Do you presently wear glasses? May I ask your age and prescription?


Mark 09 Jul 2014, 14:06

I've been diagnosed with convergence insuffiency, ive been told to do pencil push ups each day. I have been doing these exercises for 2,5 months without much relief of my symptoms. I'm at a loss what to do now

Cactus Jack 09 Jul 2014, 12:18


The link to Macrae's story did not post correctly.


Cactus Jack 09 Jul 2014, 12:16


What you are experiencing is normal when you first start experiencing the effects of presbyopia. Presbyopia is going to happen and there is nothing you can do about it. On the bright side, it is likely that you (or anyone else) will ever need more than about a +3.00, except in very rare instances where you need to focus really close.

FYI, the amount of PLUS it takes to focus close depends strictly on the focus distance as figured out by Sir Isaac Newton about 300 years ago. The formula is: Lens Power = 1 meter / Focus Distance. The formula works with any measurement system as long as the numbers are in the same units. 1 meter = 100 cm, 1000 mm, or 39.37 inches.

I think you might like reading a series of very well written posts, that one of our members. Macrae wrote about his experiences when he discovered that he really needed glasses after years of thinking he had "perfect" vision. His situation was slightly different than yours, but it is a good read.

Another of our members, Julian, has collected the posts into a "saga" and you can find it here.http:



Bobby 08 Jul 2014, 06:58

So I have been using the reading glasses with an interesting effect. I really don't need them, unless the print is very small. I can easily pick up a newspaper, magazine, letter etc, and there is not much of a difference with or without them. But if I wear them for a while, and take them off, it is much harder to focus close...some of the smaller print I could easily read at first without the glasses, becomes fuzzy. Feels like the more I wear them the more I need them. Should I just hold them in reserve for print too small to read unaided or use them even if I can read without them?

So far, I have just been using them in the house, I haven't been brave enough to use them out, although I have taken them with me. So far only my wife and sec. have seen me wearing them. Sec says she got her readers when she was 43, wore them often and soon needed them for all reading. Two years later got for distance, and now says she is blind without the glasses...not a place I want to rush to.

What to do?

Cactus Jack 07 Jul 2014, 11:02


It is very likely that your distance vision will clear up, but it will not happen suddenly. The key is to wear your glasses whenever you are awake. The more you wear them the faster your distance vision will clear up, but it could take several weeks. You developed some Latent Hyperopia over years so your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses will not relax over night.

I wold ask you to do two things.

1. Decide on a different nickname so we can recognize you more easily. There are many "guest" members and it is easy to get confused as to which "guest" is posting. Even with a unique Nickname, it is hard to remember every prescription so please be patient with us when you post.

2. Please keep up informed. We are happy to have you join in as ask questions about your vision, Welcome.


guest 07 Jul 2014, 07:40

Following on from my previous post and in reply to CJ .

I have had my glasses for a couple of days and worn them full time .

The thing I notice is that my eyes seem more relaxed and they tend not to get as tired late in the day .

Distance vision is slightly blurred compared to without . I was wondering if this will clear as I wear more or is this a compromise I will have to live with.

SC 07 Jul 2014, 07:05


As CJ says the need for glasses for reading is age-related and caused by a gradual degradation. If you are also hyperopic (far-sighted) then you will ultimately need glasses for distance too (not the same as the prescription for reading).

Whilst not always accurate, the best indicator of this need is the age at which you first "needed" glasses for reading - not the same as when you got them! Typically people who get to 45 will not need distance correction, people who really need help with reading at 42 will almost certainly need them for distance some time later.

So have you been struggling for some time? Ask your assistant when she got glasses for reading to see if the theory pans out.

Cactus Jack 06 Jul 2014, 16:49


Ah yes, Shrinking Arms Syndrome, more accurately know as the onset of Presbyopia. It happens to almost everyone at about your age.

Here is the bad news. Unless you can stretch your arms, you are already dependent on having some close focusing help. The good news is, If you have reasonably good distance vision (apparently the eye doc thought you did), you MAY never really need glasses for distance. However, you may need bifocals, trifocals, or progressives for comfort and convenience. Maybe I can explain, briefly, what has happened.

The eyes work like a very sophisticated digital camera. You have a built in auto-focus mechanism with two parts; the crystalline lenses and the ciliary muscles which are controlled by your brain. The crystalline lenses are pretty strong PLUS when relaxed for distance, but the ciliary muscles can squeeze the crystalline lenses and increase their PLUS power to allow you to focus close.

When you were born, your crystalline lenses had the consistency of gelatin dessert and your had incredible focusing range, called "accommodation". As you grew older your crystalline lenses gradually became stiffer and harder to squeeze, but you did not notice this occurring until recently, when your crystalline lenses became so stiff that you started having trouble focusing close.

If you have good distance vision, the amount of PLUS your crystalline lenses need to supply is a strict mathematical function discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, of gravity fame, about 300 years ago. That relationship is pretty easy to deal with. It is: Lens Power = 1 meter / Focal Distance. The 1 meter can be expressed as 100 cm, 1000 mm or 39.37 inches depending the measurement system you like to use. To give you an example. if you want to focus at 40 cm or 16 inches, typical reading distance, you will need a +2.50 lens. In your case, you can still easily supply +1.25 of that +2.50 internally, with your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses, but you need the additional +1.25 to be supplied externally with glasses. To focus at say 80 cm or 32 inches, you need +1.25 which you can probably still supply without help or you can use the +1.25 glasses to do the work for you.

As you get older, that will change and you will need more external help, probably sooner than you would wish. Just don't be frustrated, there is nothing much you can do about it except get readers with more power. One bright spot in all this, unless you need or like to focus VERY close, you will never need more that about +3.00 in your reading glasses.

The downside of increasing power in your reading glasses is that as they get stronger, distant things will get blurrier and you may get tired of chasing down missing reading glasses or having to take them off the see things in the distance. Bifocals, Trifocals, or progressives with 0.00 (or close to it) in the top part for distance and what ever focusing prescription you need in the reading or intermediate segments. There are other solutions, but hat is enough for now.

Just don't let yourself be worried about what others think. Glasses are just vision tools, like hammers are tools to help you drive nails without hurting your hands. If you have some vanity problems, please let us know. We can probably help.


Bobby 06 Jul 2014, 15:10

My assistant saw me struggling to read a box with small print (I had to hold it arms length to read it) and offered me her glasses. They were amazing. Made everything close clear and dark but distance was a blur. She referred me to her eye doc, and I went in. Short story is he prescribed glasses for reading, which is normal for my age (44). They are for +1.25 each eye. I showed them to my assistant, who said they help her but not enough as her eyeglasses are stronger. She says I should enjoy easier reading and better close vision, but says that I will soon be "hooked" on them and like her I will NEED them to read anything. Within two years of her getting her glasses she needed them for distance too.

Two questions:

Any way to know if or when I will become dependent on these glasses? Will it happen with this prescription or a subsequent prescription (I think she said hers were +2.00)

Any way to know if/when I will need bifocals to help with distance too? This is a new is ok, but a nuisance to have the distance blur.


Puffin 05 Jul 2014, 14:35

I remember during the 80's, a certain librarian at the local city library, big black round frames - weak RX. But none of the rest seemed to wear any. Although, more recently there was my favourite bookshop, where most of the women staff wore glasses.

Teachers - I would not say many of them wore glasses, but there were a couple of interesting ones. Again, mid-80's: I haven't been at school for a while.

As for Secretaries, I haven't worked in a situation where they have been noticeable. But there's still time.

Melyssa 05 Jul 2014, 13:17

That's an interesting group, Carrie. From personal experience I can recall the following:

Librarian: The one at the all-girls college where I earned my A.S. degree wore black drop-temples before switching to contacts in my second year there.

Secretary: About 20 years ago, a young woman wore midsized pink frames, and she had them for such a long time that the name of the frame and the company had faded from it entirely. Currently, a senior citizen secretary has huge brown frames in a plus RX that probably cancels out my RX.

Teachers: I dealt with 17 women and 28 men who wore glasses.

Carrie 05 Jul 2014, 10:05

We've all seen the stereotype images in films and tv shows (and maybe in porn movies)and I was just wondering if schoolteachers, librarians and secretaries are more likely to need glasses than someone in another job?

HighMyopic 27 Jun 2014, 16:16

I have been enjoying wearing my -29 diopter glasses that I got yesterday in the mail.

guest 27 Jun 2014, 03:38

Thanks CJ

I will keep you informed next week

Cactus Jack 26 Jun 2014, 12:34


There is no way to tell if your distance vision will change much after you start wearing glasses. The reason younger people, in particular, experience changes in their distance vision when they start wearing + glasses is called Latent Hyperopia.

What that means is that some people who need + glasses have some of their farsightedness (hyperopia) hidden (latent) and it can take weeks or months for their Latent Hyperopia to be revealed. The reason for this, is that a person with hyperopia can use some or all of their accommodation to correct their hyperopia. Sometimes the person with hyperopia is not even aware that they need vision correction.

All that said, it is likely that it will take you a few weeks to get used to wearing glasses, but it is unlikely that you will need very much change at your age.

Please keep us informed and feel free to ask any other questions you may have.


guest 26 Jun 2014, 09:57

I am 61 and have been prescribed my first distance glasses

as follows R +0.75 L +1.00 -0.25 x 72 add +2

They are due in about a week.

I was wondering what to expect.

At my age I guess I have little or no accommodation left.

The question I need to ask is will I need time for my eyes to adjust for distance vision.

I read here many times that younger hyperopes should wear them full time up to 2 weeks before the distance vision becomes clear.

My doc did not mention anything about an adjustment period.

He said he had corrected me to 20/20 or better.

Any advice appriciated

HighMyopic 24 Jun 2014, 23:13

Does biconcave lenses make the glasses have more cut-in if they have a strong strength?

John S 18 Jun 2014, 20:31


(from the Actors thread)

Please understand it was not my intention to come off hard on you. I am not a doctor either. But I have always been a person that had to know why and how things worked. I have to be exact.

At first I only knew what lenses solved my vision problems. When I started wearing my Dad's reading glasses, I knew a little power made distance clear. But it took more power to make close things clear. Basically, the stronger the plus lens, the closer it focused. I had to know why the other kids could just put their glasses on and see at all distances, but I couldn't. It didn't take long for me to put 2+2 together to realize my automatic focus mechanism didn't work properly. 99% of people would just take the rx, get glasses and that was it. If I would have done that, I would not have gotten the reading rx that I needed. It was my nature to investigate, not take something for granted. I knew the doctor was wrong, so I went to another and got the rx I needed with no problem.

Optics are not that complicated. You want the image to focus on the retina, not behind it, or in front of it. If it is only a refractive error, and there is no accommodation problem, the fix is usually the correct power lens to see clearly at a distance of 20 feet. The accommodation muscles usually take care of the power increase needed to see closer than 20 feet.

I was different, my accommodation muscles were hosed up. That is a better term than the four letter word I would like to use. Most kids that have accommodation problems have symptoms in their single digits. I didn't know until I was about 13. A Pediatric Optometrist sees children on a daily basis that have accommodation problems like I did. The first doctor I went to didn't understand anything other than the hardening of the lens could or would cause close vision problems. He could have referred me to a specialist. Instead, he didn't understand it, so he did not treat it. A heck of a way to practice...

There are many other factors that can cause vision problems other than refractive errors, that is where things can become very complicated.

Cactus Jack 17 Jun 2014, 02:30


We can help with the technical details. It isn't hard. After you order your first pair, you will know what to do.


Bob 17 Jun 2014, 02:02

Thank you for your opinion, CJ, and the link to macrae's collection (@Julian). I am currently thinking about how to proceed further with ordering online.


Cactus Jack 17 Jun 2014, 01:05


Thanks for reminding me. I had forgotten it was there. Sometimes I think I am developing Halfzheimer's, probably on the way to Alzheimer's. Maybe Bob will see your post and look it up if he is interested.


julian 16 Jun 2014, 21:01

Hey Cactus, don't forget the Macrae saga is easy to read on Vision-and-Spex:

Cactus Jack 16 Jun 2014, 19:29


No, I said it could change its plus power, but I DID NOT say how or what the result would be. I don't think there is any way to predict that. Most likely it could change the curvature in some way as the cornea dries out and that could cause some astigmatism or distorted images.


Dude 16 Jun 2014, 12:49

So, dry eye causes myopia?

P.D : I've already made an appointment with my ophthalmologist

Cactus Jack 15 Jun 2014, 21:31


Dry Eye causes severe irritation because the cornea needs moisture and lubrication from tears. The cornea has no blood supply so it has to get oxygen mostly from the air and a little more from tears. If the cornea does not get enough moisture, that change its very powerful plus power and its shape which will affect your perfect vision

The reason it hurts is that the cornea has lots of very sensitive nerves that cause you eyelids to close to protect the eye from foreign substances or objects.

You need to do something about dry eye NOW, before your cornea gets permanently damaged.


Cactus Jack 15 Jun 2014, 21:14


My non-ECP opinion is that presbyopia is creeping up on you sooner than is typical and the extra effort you are having to expend to focus close is triggering an over convergence response. I think your ECP is trying to isolate and resolve some latent hyperopia, if you have any. A complicating factor is that this is making your life miserable because your studies require you to do a lot of reading, Now, not sometime in the future.

Your ECP is trying to do you a favor. Latent Hyperopia can be VERY hard to diagnose and very hard to quantify. You may not actually have any. You may just have hyperopia, early onset of presbyopia, and a very strong interconnection in your brain between your focus control system and your eye positioning system.

The diagnosis and resolution of Latent Hyperopia can take much longer than most people expect and IF Latent Hyperopia is being resolved, you will probably need new glasses every few months until your vision stabilizes. Depending on the policy of your ECP and/or your glasses vendor. It can cost them some money or you some money. If the vendor's policy is no charge changes to your prescription, if needed, for a year. Any changes your ECP prescribes will cost little or nothing, If you have to pay for prescription changes in your glasses. You may need to think hard about ordering glasses from an on line retailer. You can save a bundle and most online retailers supply very high quality glasses at very reasonable prices. Several of us have had excellent experiences with Zenni Optical and you might want to check them out. If you want to order glasses on line, we can help you until you learn how. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Based on your experience with the +1 glasses, I think you need to face the fact that you really need to do something. Admittedly, you can't run around in public wearing two pairs of glasses, but flip-up, clip-ons are a possibility. As are bifocals or progressives if vanity is NOT a factor. Vanity can be as powerful as a fundamental force of nature. If vanity is a factor, we might be able to help with that also, if you tell us. Vanity is a BIG issue with women, and a surprisingly big issue with men also. If vanity is a factor, you might find humor and consolation is a collection of posts by one of our members named Macrae as he courageously dealt with the fact that "his better-than-perfect-vision" was not quite as good as he believed and had led his siblings to believe. The posts can be found by a manual search of the archives or Julian has kindly expended the effort to collect and edit them into an 84KB Word file. The file is too big to post here, but it is available to send. If you would like to read it, let me know where to send it privately at


Dude 15 Jun 2014, 20:53

Do people with dry eye squint a lot, and have eyestrains, even when they have perfect eyesight?

Andrew 15 Jun 2014, 11:50


Your distance Rx has increased by 0.75 diopters in both eyes, so yes, your glasses will probably be a bit thicker, depending on the refractive index of the lenses you chose and the size of the frames. If you did not have flat fronts on your lenses before, you may well do so now.

Your reading prescription is 0.75 diopters weaker than what you are currently wearing. They may end up thicker than your varifocals, simply because they tend to use normal index lenses, or they may not.

Either way, the new glasses may take a bit of getting used to, but you'll be able to enjoy clear vision again.

Bob 15 Jun 2014, 10:49


I tried to decondition from use of the add. for some days and did your second test, pushing a readable sheet towards the limit of readability with +1 correction. It still lies around 60 cm (64 max.). I could imagine that longer wear would allow me to extend that distance somewhat. However, currently want to abstain from using the add. over extended periods as I cannot really use that in public. I am bit surprised that after only two days of using the additional plus and further two days of not using them, my eyes still feel very strained even after very short periods of reading or doing close work. I had thought that everything should pretty much go back to normal (apart from the normal symptoms) after a night. I hope that will be the case soon, and despite the temptation of relief. However, my distance still remains overcorrected.

I likewise redid the near point observation as mentioned in my previous post. I previously reached 18.5cm on one occasion. But doing it again I realized that I had not done it binocularly, which invalidates the previous result. When going below 20ish cm I lose fusion and one eye drifts in. The current binocular nearpoint is around 21cm.

Another measure: My normal reading distance generally lies between 45-50cm.

I am not yet sure what to make out of the test results, given that I have already more plus than necessary. Would you have any ideas regarding this?


Cactus Jack 14 Jun 2014, 17:01


You actually need weaker glasses for reading and close focusing. The +1.50 add reduces your distance prescription my that amount.


Zoe 14 Jun 2014, 15:56

Thanks Andrew. I think I'll get some varifocals and as there's a free pair on offer I'll also get some with a reading prescription. A friend has two pairs one distance and one for reading and told me has to change a lot or take off the distance ones. I think I'd prefer a pair that is good for everything. My prescription says RE -10.25 and LE -9.5. There is -1.25 where it says cyl and 115 and 140 axis. The ADD box has +1.5.

I told the optician how I'd had problems with seeing well after work and he told me to read some different size words close up with my glasses on which I could but then he started to put some other lenses in front of my eyes and it got better. I had to do the big chart and couldn't read the lines he told me to until he changed lenses. After that he told me to read the first chart again and I couldn't read the little print so I guess that's why I have the extra +1.5 bit. He put more lenses in front of my eyes so does it mean I need even stronger lenses for reading than to see far away and my glasses will be thicker than before?

Andrew 13 Jun 2014, 15:57


My prescription is not dissimilar to your old one, and I found the best bet was to go for a main pair of varifocals and then a separate pair of reading glasses, for when reading is what I'm doing. I made it more affordable by going for the slightly-lower index lenses than the ones they initially suggested. I based this on asking how thick the lenses would be, and was told that I would be paying an extra £60 for a reduction of 1 millimetre!

What was your full Rx - it might help with others' suggestions?

Bob 13 Jun 2014, 02:59

Hi CJ,

thank you for posting this extensive description. I got a far better understanding of the physics. Your test description reveals a lot about the physics. I will do the test, but as you mentioned, it is fuzzy well before, suggesting that I am already overcorrected, but also challenging the usefulness of results. In any case, I will try it as soon as I can and measure the blurriness with the current additional correction to get a more exact idea when fuzziness sets in.

Your discussion about presbyopia sparked another thought. Some time ago I realized that I cannot see sharp very close up. I had to install a electronic device with very little head room, which forced me to operate in close distance without the ability to back off for reading. After that I made some measurements with respect to my near point - to some extent measuring the opposite end of accommodation, compared to your test. I had near point fixation distances well beyond 20 cm (I forgot the actual values), which appeared somewhat far, given that I had read that I should be able to get well below 15cm. However, I never really bothered with that fact as my reading distance is usually beyond that, rather at 40-45cm. But it could be of relevance in the context of the discussion. I understand that implies a reduced accommodation ability, but given that the reading distance is about double that distance I am not sure if it is helpful. But you might probably be able make more out of it, given your insights.

I just did the test again (five times), using a pen as the object, measuring distance from eye (or should I measure from correction (glasses position) and guiding pen towards the eye until it becomes fuzzy. The average results range around 20cm, with a the closest measure at around 18.5cm. But I cannot say if it was really clear anymore as I was too concentrated on accommodating just to figure out how far I can push it. This value is certainly not representative and neither comfortable. I am not sure if this trainable (i.e. reduced by training).

Anyway, just wanted to share this with you before I forget it. I will do your suggested test as soon as I find the space, and will check how my near point is tomorrow (given that it was just a one-off series of tests just now).

Thank you!


Cactus Jack 12 Jun 2014, 23:42


Thanks, that will help me analyze your results.

Here is a bit of optical physics to hopefully whet your appetite for more. Sir Isaac Newton most basic optical principle is: Lens Power in Dioptres = 1 meter / Focal Distance. I devised a simple test using that principle to get a pretty good idea of a person's refractive error and what kind of prescription they might need. If a person has significant astigmatism, it will give erroneous data, but that is good to know also.

To do the test, you only need a book or newspaper with small print, something to measure distances up about 1 meter or 3 feet, and low cost reading glasses in the range of +1.00 to +2.00. The idea is to use the + glasses to try to make them myopic by a known among. If they already wear glasses for distance, you ask them to wear the reading glasses over their regular glasses, which should ideally give them a refractive error of 0.00 of close to it. In your case, if you wear your regular glasses and wear some +1.00 reading glasses over them, everything (small text) beyond 1 meter (or 100 cm or 1000 mm) should be increasingly blurry and everything 1 meter or closer should be pretty clear.

The test consists of holding the text close enough to be clear and then slowly moving the text away until it just becomes fuzzy and measure the distance where that happened. Do the test 3 times and average the results. With that number, you can get a pretty good idea what their refractive error is with and without their glasses depending on if they were wearing their glasses. The only thing you have to be careful of is having enough + in the reading glasses to have a reasonable measuring range. Results more than a meter are hard to deal with (the text is so small it is hard to read anyway) or less than about 30 cm are hard to deal with.

You mentioned that with the +1.00 readers over your regular glasses, text started getting blurry at 60 cm. Hmm, 100 cm / 60 cm. =1.66 that means that you may actually have a little more plus sphere in your glasses than you need right now for distance. That would be a pretty good prescription in your regular glasses to try to resolve suspected latent hyperopia. Enough to encourage your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to relax, but not enough for distance to be annoyingly blurry. One thing you need to understand, resolving latent hyperopia is a slow process and you really can hurry it much by wearing too much plus for distance. It gives you vision like you were myopic.

Using the +1.00 glasses over your regular glasses is not going to be particularly harmful or cause dependency. I am pretty sure that you have some slightly early onset Presbyopia. The idea that you don't need reading help until you are 40, is just not true. Presbyopia actually starts in early childhood, but typically does not get to be a problem until your mid to late 30s or early 40s. People with hyperopia (like you) tend to start having problems sooner than people with myopia (they already have built in reading glasses).

You really need to get used to the idea that you are going to become dependent on reading and double vision help, but it probably won't happen too fast. Based on what you have experienced with the +1.00 helping with the double vision and making your close vision obviously more comfortable. I think that will be the thing that will make the decision to easier.

I need to analyze your report and we need to chat some more about how all this stuff works, before taking any action. Actually your resultant +1.66 and 60 mm focus distance is just about right for really comfortable computer use and a nice help for reading.

If you get a chance, measure your preferred reading distance. Ultimately you will need more + to focus close, but not right now. If you calculate the amount of PLUS you need to focus at the typical reading distance of 40 cm, you will come up with +2.50. When you read at 40 cm, the combo is supplying +1.66 and your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses are supplying the remaining +0.84 you need to focus. It is just simple math, the +2.50 has to come from somewhere and your crystalline lenses are getting stiff and the ciliary muscles just aren't strong enough to squeeze the stiff lens enough to get it all.

It is late here and I'll try to continue the discussion over the next few days. Please feel free to continue the discussion with your questions or experience.


Bob 12 Jun 2014, 22:05

Hi CJ,

Forgot to mention that. +1. Only found full dioptre steps.


Cactus Jack 12 Jun 2014, 21:17


What was the power of the glasses you used over your regular glasses?


Soundmanpt 12 Jun 2014, 16:28


I am not surprised at all by the results of your eye exam. Needless to say the best way would be to get varifocals so you have your complete prescription in one pair of glasses, but I can see where money could effect your decision. The suggestion i will make may sound scary to you but if you really consider the risk it probably would be well worth it in how much it would save you. Zenni ( sells progressives (varifocals) and if you start off with a basic pair of glasses which would be about $19.00 which would be single vision with mild to moderate prescription lenses and add on for the high index (thinner) lenses, the AR coating (anti-reflective), and progressive lenses, the total cost would be about $85.00 including shipping. I think that is really a pretty cheap price for the glasses you need. I am sure you will have very little trouble finding glasses that are priced under $20.00 (base) Now let's just say for any reason when you get the glasses your not happy with them. You can return them for a 50% refund.

Three days ago I placed an order for an 80 year old senior that are progressives. Her total price is only $50.85. Her prescription was weak enough that she didn't need the thinner lenses. In the for what its worth area, i have ordered a good number of progressives and so far I have never needed to return any.

Zoe 12 Jun 2014, 14:00

Well I went for my test today and I guess I am officially old now. I have an ADD on my prescription and a bit more strength for distance. I need either varifocals or separate glasses for close work but I couldn't decide which to get. I get the thinned lenses and its lots of money so I need to think about it first. Any advice?

Bob 12 Jun 2014, 00:53

Hi CJ,

sorry for my late response. I could not access ES in comfortable privacy.

To get back to outstanding questions:

I am studying in the area of artificial intelligence/robotics. Your servo analogy is well accessible. Let me share an intuition from my area. We generally differentiate between the idea of offering a comprehensive model (symbolic representation) of the environment, which is usually computationally intense and prone to inaccuracies (such as 'eye positioning errors') but considered 'intelligent' as it allows predictions and reasoning. Complementary to this exist models that minimize the assumptions about their environment, thus ground their actions on sensed environmental feedback, which is similar to your closed loop servo concept.

Coming back to the case at hand: I tried the additional plus lenses, and I must say that it was a very comfortable experience for near vision. However, my distance vision is very limited. With correction I cannot see further than 60cm, which is nice for desktop work, but not useful for anything beyond. This remained stable over the last few days and I could not increase this distance (I believe this is typical means of revealing latent hyperopia). However, I originally wanted to pursue this experiment longer to get better results, but I am slowly getting hooked on using those glasses as it relaxes vision considerably, and in the last two days I had the immediate desire to use them for close work. However, I am in fear of inducing a dependency on additional near correction (given that I don't have the incapacity to focus close with my current correction - at least not yet ;)).

Looking at the DV aspects, the additional correction makes it far harder to have my eyes drift off. In fact they quickly and near automatically snap back into alignment after having them drift (possibly the pattern matching mechanism you described in your earlier post). With my normal correction, the DV positioning represents the state of comfort. With addition the deviation at around 40cm is about 1ish cm, compared to 3.5cm without addition. At 1m the deviation with is 2cm, without 7-8cm (Sample of 1). The latter values might be invalid, given that I could not see sharp at that distance with the additional +. However, if I remove the add after reading/working close for some hours, the deviation is bigger (this morning *without* prior reading or use of add: 3cm) and vision more straining, compared to a day of not wearing the add at all. Again, note the limited number of measurement samples, but I still they can still serve as (inaccurate) indicators.

As always, I thank you very much for your help. Again, technicalities are welcome; the engineer in me has the desire to understand details ;)

Best greetings!


Zoe 10 Jun 2014, 17:46

Thanks for the explanations. I booked myself a check for Thursday so I'll let you know how I get on. I found my last prescription which says January 2010 so pretty old I guess. It says RE -9.5 and LE -8.75 and some other numbers for both too.

Cactus Jack 10 Jun 2014, 12:20


I don't think you are really straining your eyes. Anything is possible, but if I were a gambler, I would bet that MOST of what you are experiencing is temporary Pseudo Myopia. Axial and Pseudo Myopia can add together and make you need more MINUS in your glasses.

Temporary Pseudo Myopia can easily be caused by extended periods of close work. This is particularly true if presbyopia is beginning to rear its head. You may also have a small bit of "residual" (my name) Pseudo Myopia. The residual type very closely resembles Latent Hyperopia in that it can take weeks or months to fully resolve itself AFTER a person with Latent Hyperopia starts wearing PLUS glasses.

You may just need some glasses with LESS minus to reduce your need to use your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to accommodate and focus close.

There are many ways to do that. Computer glasses with less minus for the display and maybe a small bifocal ADD for reading. I'm 76 and I wear trifocals. The intermediate segment is great for the computer, but sometimes I get a crick in my neck if I use that very much. If I have to do a lot of work, I have a pair of clip-on magnifiers that I use to let me focus easily on the display, through the distance part of my glasses.

The most important thing right now, is to get a very through eye exam and explain all your symptoms, but frankly that is not the most important part of the exam. At your age, you need to be checked to detect any other eye problems when they are in their early stages and more easily managed. Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration come immediately to mind.

The eyes are windows into the body and often clues that there are other health problems will show up as tiny changes in the eyes before they are manifest elsewhere. For example, I was advised to have my blood pressure checked during an eye exam. Turns out the ECP was right. It was not elevated much and my regular doctor gave me some tips on how get my blood pressure back to normal with minor dietary changes.

I hope this helps some.


Zoe 10 Jun 2014, 04:59

Thank you for your reply Cactus Jack. When I put my glasses on in the morning now I don't feel my vision is as clear as it should be but it seems to deteriorate during the day. I do quite a bit of close work during the day and feel that I can still see that all ok but by the time I drive home i'm not seeing so well.Am I likely to be straining my eyes even though I can read and see the computer ok?

Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2014, 23:59


Be sure and tell the examiner your symptoms in detail.


Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2014, 23:58


For distance vision, your PD should not change. Progressives and bifocals have a second number listed that is about 3-4 mm less than your distance PD. When your eyes converge to read, your PD is reduced and the second number takes care of that.


Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2014, 23:54


I suspect you may be developing a bit of Pseudo Myopia. It is sometimes a symptom of presbyopia. I know it sounds strange, but what is happening is that your crystalline lenses are begging to get stiff enough that your ciliary muscles are having to strain a bit for you to focus close. When you focus close for a long time, your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses have trouble relaxing back to minimum plus power for distance. When until your crystalline lenses relax fully, your distance vision will be a little blurry.

May I ask how your distance vision is when you first wake up in the morning and put on your glasses?


Zoe 09 Jun 2014, 16:43

Thanks and yeah I guess I do need to get tested anyway. I didn't know if my eyes should get more near sighted at my age. After I focus close looking to distance stays blurry a while longer then at best is not so clear as it was

Soundmanpt 09 Jun 2014, 16:31


I would say your due for an eye exam anyway even if everything was still perfect. I totally understand that somewhere in your mid twenties your eyes stopped getting nearsighted and you weren't needing to get new glasses every year anymore. But even with your vision becoming stable every so often you still may need a very slight increase jsut to sharpen things up depending on how much you strain your eyes on a daily basis. Now your about to enter the age where you may soon, if not ready, may need an add included in your glasses.

At the very least you do need to make an appointment to get your eyes checked in the coming days.

Niko 09 Jun 2014, 13:10


For progressive lenses should it change the PD?


Zoe 09 Jun 2014, 12:47

I'm 42, wear glasses, sometimes contacts. I think my prescription is about -9 but I haven't had a test in 4 years+ Generally I'm ok with close work in the day but my vision seems to get a bit blurry by evening. I've noticed that distance isn't so clear too and wondered if it's anything to worry about if my eyes have got worse as I've had a similar prescription for ages?

Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2014, 10:59


Yes, your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses can correct, depending on your age and other factors, hyperopia, latent hyperopia, or add the necessary PLUS to focus close. However, they do that at the expense of effort on the part of the ciliary muscles. The nerve signals, from the focus control center in you brain, that cause the ciliary muscles to contract and squeeze your crystalline lenses to increase their PLUS power, also stimulate the convergence response in your eye position control center. That causes your medial rectus muscles (the inside muscles attached to your eyeballs) to contract and your lateral rectus muscles (outside muscles attached to your eyeball) to relax and your eyes turn inward to converge.

The muscular control systems in the body are incredibly ingenious from an engineering point of view. The eye positioning system is what an engineer would call and Open Loop Servo System. In an open loop system, the servo controller does not know the exact position of what it is controlling, but has to depend on analyzing the RESULTS of its actions to decide what corrections need to be made. In the case of the eye's positioning system, the RESULTS are analyzed by using the two images from your eyes. For horizontal movements, the brain uses vertical edges of objects to try to match up the images and achieve fusion. If there are no edges, the brain often tries to use repeating images such as you might find on wall paper. If you are looking at a blank wall or something with few visual clues, your eyes can do some strange things if they are not inclined to look straight ahead, naturally.

May I ask your educational background and what you are presently studying?

The reason I ask is that sometimes explanations about what is happening can get a little or a lot technical and I want to provide answers in familiar terms to you. I want to help you understand, not try to dazzle you or anyone else with all the technical terms I know. Anytime you have trouble understanding an explanation, please say so. If you want to contact me privately use


Bob 09 Jun 2014, 10:06

Hi CJ,

thank you very much for your pointer and explanations. I will do that test and will let you know the outcome. Wouldn't my eyes release that presumed additional plus already, given that my glasses are possibly already slightly overcorrected for distance view? Shouldn't that clear up if there was further latent hyperopia. In any case, I will try the test and see how it goes.

My current prescription is 5 months old.

The face shield idea sounds very good, it didn't cross my mind. I will bear that in mind!



Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2014, 01:45


One other thought. I think your need to invest in a full face shield to protect your face and glasses if you decide to paint some more. We have two "big box" chains here called Home Depot and Lowe's that sell all kind of building materials, tools, appliances and safety equipment. I bought one years ago when I was doing a project that involved sawing over my head and high risk of getting sawdust in my eyes, nose, and mouth. I found it in the safety section of the tool department. I don't remember it being very expensive considering the benefits. The shield has earned its keep several times over since then. A full face shield would let you wear your current glasses with maximum comfort and minimum risk.


Cactus Jack 09 Jun 2014, 00:18


I am wondering if you may have more hyperopia or latent hyperopia than has been revealed so far. May I as how long you have had this prescription?

There is a two way interconnection in the brain between the focus control system and the eye positioning control system. When you try to focus to read, the interconnection causes you eyes to converge to keep the close images fused and vice versa. It can cause lots of problems if the interconnection is strong.

I would like to suggest another little test. If you can, get some over-the-counter reading glasses (clip ons if you can find them) with +1.25 or +1.50 power. Try wearing them over your regular glasses while you read. It will look funny and you may get some comments, but the idea is to minimize the amount of accommodation that you have to do to read and see if that makes any difference in the double vision problem while reading. You must wear them OVER your regular glasses so your hyperopia and astigmatism is corrected. The OTC readers just reduce your accommodative stress, but do not eliminate it.

The way accommodation normally works is that your glasses should correct your your distance vision while your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses are fully relaxed. To focus closer than infinity (practically speaking 20 feet or 6 meters), Newton's laws say you need some extra plus power. The amount of plus depends on the distance involved. +1.00 focuses at 1 meter, +2.00 at 1/2 meter and typical reading distance of 40 cm or 16 inches takes +2.50. If you want to focus closer, it take more plus, but it rarely goes over +3.50 unless you like to work on watches or have other vision problems. Your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses (your auto focus mechanism) can easily supply the needed plus, until presbyopia makes the crystalline lens too stiff to do its job or the ciliary muscles get too weak to squeeze the crystalline lens.

I have an idea for another test, but it is a little more involved and would like the results of this one, before doing that one.

May I ask what you are studying?


Bob 08 Jun 2014, 09:36

Hello Cactus Jack,

thank you for responding to my question!

I have already spent quite some time with this issue, so I can answer some points ad hoc.

I am very sure it is over convergence, as I can easily increase the distance between the images. In fact if I get this lack of fusion, it is very relaxing (albeit hardly useful) to maintain double vision. I feel that the symptoms are very similar to my first symptoms which led my ECP to prescribe me 2dpt (total) beginning of last year, and for the increase to now 2.5 BO per eye. Especially when doing my self-made test it is very obvious that my eyes certainly cross further in. I always perform the test with correction, as without it, my eyes are way off (probably mostly caused by the lacking spherical).

However, I don't have constant double vision. It mostly occurs when I read for longer times or am tired. (History: Before getting glasses my flatmate tended to tease me, because one of my eyes took a while to fully open up in the morning, which, in retrospect, was probably as unconscious suppression of double vision. At that time I was not aware of any double vision.) Apart from reading, when I follow presentations or TV over a longer time frame, I can easily let my eye drift off.

Another angle I originally thought about was further hidden hyperopia, but I think I can rule this out. During my last visit my ECP found some hidden sph and gave me an increase of around 0.75dpt. With my current sph. prescription I am very comfortable, but in the distance is rather somewhat too strong than too weak (e.g. in lower lighting conditions).

The cylinder was recently checked and I am pretty sure that it is alright and quite stable in the meantime, given that I don't have the associated symptoms I used to have when an increase was due (the uncorrectable fuzziness if I may say). I am aware of the sensitivity of cyl. axis, which is part of the reason I gave up on contacts anyway as they always move a bit, which I immediately notice. I definitely prefer wearing glasses and do not intend to use contacts, at least not for daily wear. I guess given my recent experience without prisms rule temporary wear out anyway - but I didn't try.

With respect to the 'vanity' aspect: I read on ES that only comparatively high values are noticeable, but when standing in a distance of 2-3m my partner repeatedly complained that I was not focusing on her, despite me having steady eye contact. That left me to think that it is already noticeable, at least on intermediate distance. She is quite short-sighted (~ -8) but does not have any knowledge about optics (not even the optic effect of - and + lenses) and certainly not about prisms, and does not know that I wear some (which I would like to keep that way).

I am living in Australia and am currently student.

I hope I didn't leave out any question. If so, please let me know.

Again, thank you for your help on that matter!


Cactus Jack 08 Jun 2014, 07:54


I think the first thing we need to figure out is whether you have near point over convergence or under convergence. It is not always easy, but you can try this. When you get double vision while reading, try converging (crossing) your eyes just a little bit more. If the separation between the two images increases, you probably need a bit more BO prism to fuse the images. If it decreases, you probably need less BO prism to fuse them.

Once we have an idea of the nature of your double vision while reading, we can work on fixing it. BTW, I know from personal experience what a nuisance double vision can be. I have convergence problems also and wear BO prism. Fortunately, I don't have the nausea problems, but I used to have motion sickness problems when I was much younger.

Uncorrected double vision is miserable and the nausea you experienced is similar to any kind of motion sickness. Typically, motion sickness is caused by differences between what your balance system (semi-circular canals in your ears) is sensing and what your eyes are seeing. You might be able to train yourself out of the nausea problem, but the best solution is to correct the double vision problem.

I think your mild hyperopia and significant astigmatism are complicating the double vision problem. -2.00 cylinder correction does not seem like very much and it would not be if it were + or - sphere. A little bit of astigmatism can go a long way in messing up your vision at all distances and there is nothing you can do about it except wear glasses. You could wear toric contacts, but they have their own problems.

See if you need more or less BO prism when reading and let me know what you discover. Once we know that, we can work on that and other issues.

May I ask where you live and your occupation?


Cactus Jack 07 Jun 2014, 11:34


I think I can offer some suggestions, but I am pretty busy today. The prism test I posted on vision and specs is based on Sir Isaac Newton's definition of a Prism Diopter. I works for any distance distance from the eye to the target as long as you adjust the calibration for the distance from your eyes to the target.

You can certainly experiment, but I think part of your problems may be related to your sphere and cylinder correction. We need to talk about that before you spend any money.

I think I can ease your mind about people noticing your prism correction. 2.5 diopters of BO prism corrects or causes your eyes to turn inward 1.425 angular degrees. Typically, it takes about 10 BO in each eye to be noticeable by someone who has an extend period to study your glasses and eye position and understands vision and optics. It looks a lot different from your side. If significant myopia is involved, the outer edges of the glasses may be noticeably thicker, Mild hyperopia makes prism harder to detect.

More later


Bob 07 Jun 2014, 05:38

Hi guys,

I posted on this board some time ago and just wanted ask you guys for some advice with respect to two issues. Reading through the posts, I find a lot of experience in issues related to vision!

I am mildly hyperopic (+2/+2.5) with astigmatism (-2) and 2.5 prism dpt BO each eye.

Last week I had to do some painting work and wore old glasses (lower sphere and no prisms). That was a nightmare. I saw surprising well with each eye, but the coordination was a nightmare. Apart from the constant slip into double vision I felt I needed to throw up and gave up pretty quickly. That was kind of an awakening, because I hadn't been aware of how much I am depending on the prism correction, and how much my eyes have become used to their slight off-positioning. With the perspective of losing/breaking my current glasses, I think it is only wise to get a spare pair soon.

However, lately I experience double vision again (which is usually a symptom for prism increase), particularly when I am reading, and if appearing I can only suppress it for a short time. Usually I tend to close one eye in order to continue my tasks, which is not a long-term solution. But after that my vision is messed up for the rest of the day and keeping it straight is literally a pain (muscle tension, stomach irritation), so I tend to close it when practicable. I don't have this issue every day, but it increased notably during the past few weeks.

Given that I am quite tight at the moment, I wonder if I could measure the increase myself and order a pair online. I saw the prism measurement test in vision-and-spex, but I felt that for my case (double vision at near), it might be better to measure on shorter distance. I created a horizontal bar using a presentation software and marked increments of 0.5cm along a horizontal line and pretty much followed the idea outlined in the original test. So my test is normed for computer screen from a distance of 1m. Depending on fitness, my results range from 3 to around 10cm deviation, with most values around the 5-6 mark. My plan is to continue this test for some time and to get an average estimate.

The benefits I expect from this is a possibly more accurate measurement than by any ECP - who would generally only measure once, and even if doing multiple appointments, would only have very few samples to arrive at value. Secondly, again, I cannot afford fully-blown prism glasses right now (although I would prefer).

So, what is your thought on this?

1.) Will my glasses with lower prisms be useless as soon as a increase it (or could I keep those as useful spare glasses)?

2.) Measurement: Is the 'average idea' a good approach, or should it rather be the 'max' I measure (e.g. as anticipation of future increases)? Any suggestions or experience are welcome.

Personally I would prefer to keep any increase as small as possible (to avoid noticable crossing of eyes).

3.) Do you guys know a cheap service that allows reglazing for existing glasses? I would prefer to use my old frame as I always have trouble finding glasses that suit, but also want to conceal the change.

Quite a lot of detail, but I hope to give you an accurate picture.

Btw, am in my mid-30s, male, living down under.

If you have any more questions (or if I forgot something essential), please let me know!

My thanks and greetings!

 15 May 2014, 18:45


I've asked her today about her squinting, she told me she haven't notice it, so I think that should be just an habit that she doesn't know did it come from? But her eyesight is well.

Soundmanpt 15 May 2014, 15:16


I get where your coming from and I don't really have a great answer for you. But it appears her uncorrected vision is nearly perfect and her glasses should be of very little use to her. As I said most doctors wouldn't even prescribe glasses for such a prescription. So the fact that she is still squinting even with her glasses on comes as no surprise to me. The doctor's logic about her eyes getting tired is one thing but still +.25 is going to do little to relax or rest her eyes.

She seems to be a good friend so since you seem to notice her squinting there would be no harm to ask her if she can see a a sign in the distance that your able to see with relative ease and see how well she can see that with and without her glasses. If she can see it both ways as well as you can then her eyes are fine and the squinting is something she somehow developed. Now of course if she can't see the sign at all then she needs to see a different doctor, but I find it very hard to believe that even a not so good doctor wouldn't be able to do a simple refraction and get at least pretty close.

Dude 15 May 2014, 10:09

But, if she has always had a good eyesight, why did she get that habit, if she was able to see any distance? And if her prescription is only +.25, why did she noticed a bad eyesight and got glasses?

Soundmanpt 14 May 2014, 21:00


It could be her vision isn't nearly as bad as you think and the squinting is just a habit she may have gotten into. Like you say a prescription of only +.25 in both eyes really shouldn't even make any difference in her vision. Most doctors wouldn't even recommend glasses for such a weak prescription.

Dude 14 May 2014, 19:07

No, I examined it all, it just said +0.25 both eyes and visual acuity 60/61, that's reasonable for her prescription but not for her strong(blink) squinting and frequent eyestrain.

Weirdeyes 14 May 2014, 18:57


She probably has astigmatism. Do you see any other numbers?

Dude 14 May 2014, 18:26

I forgot to tell you she had never wear full-time glasses.

Dude 14 May 2014, 18:22

Hello everybody, I don't really have any serious visual issue, I'm just curious about my cousin's eyesight. She's a 25 years old babysitter that has always had a few visual troubles for near and far vision(she squintsa lot to watch T.V and for reading, she only seemed to be comfortable at intermediate vision)but she had always ignored it. Recently, she decided to get new glasses, I didn't ever know her presciption, but I thought it was strong because of her squinting, but when I saw her prescription card it was only +0.25 both eyes, and her optometrist told her that her eyes were just tired. Is it posible? Can she only have +0.25 by the way she squints?

P.D:She still squints while wearing glasses

Weirdeyes 14 May 2014, 14:23

I might be having my problems because these toric contacts have a lower basecurve than the non-torics I used to wear. They were more comfortable and the person fitting me said they were a better fit. I used to wear no contact lens in my right eye and a +3.25 in my left eye. That felt unbalanced and my left eye had blurry distance vision.

Cactus Jack 14 May 2014, 10:24


You indeed have toric contact lenses. Your earlier post indicated that you had blurry distance vision in your right eye when you were wearing your contacts. There is no way to tell for certain, but I suspect that the contact lens for your right eye is not staying in proper rotational alignment with your astigmatism (the axis number for your cylinder correction). Problems like this are fairly common with toric contact lenses. There is nothing you can do about this type of problem except go back to the ECP who prescribed the contacts and tell him/her the problems you are having. It is possible that the makeup problem is also related to contact fitting problems.


Weirdeyes 13 May 2014, 21:17

I also have some problems seeing very close up with when my right contact lens is in. It makes it harder to apply makeup.

Weirdeyes 13 May 2014, 21:13

I just found my exact glasses prescription.

R: sph +1.75 cyl -0.75 axis 174

L: sph +4.25 cyl -1.25 axis 007

Weirdeyes 13 May 2014, 21:03

The right box says: +1.75 -0.75 180

The left box says: +4.00 -0.75 180

Cactus Jack 13 May 2014, 20:26


Are you certain that you are wearing toric contact lenses? Please look on the box(es) and tell us what they say about Sphere, Cylinder, and Axis.


Weirdeyes 13 May 2014, 19:00

I notice that I have blurry distance vision in my right eye when I wear contacts. I don't have that blurry vision when I wear glasses. My glasses prescription is R +1.75, -0.75 L +4.25, -1.25 and my contact prescription is R +1.75, -0.75 L +4.00, -0.75.

Dave 12 May 2014, 14:00

Andrew -- My prescription is nearly identical to yours and I use them primarily for nighttime driving. Here in California you have to have 20/40 to pass the driving test, and I think I'm right on the line with this requirement. Sometimes I will wear them to watch TV if I want to see the "fine print" really well. It's totally up to you with a minor prescription, but Cactus Jack is right that your brain can get used to the best picture in short order.

Let us know what you end up doing.

SC 12 May 2014, 13:42


I would go and see an eye care professional first - it's like using a wheelchair when you don't need to - if you don't walk around then you'll end up needing the wheelchair.

Maybe you do need some correction - the ECP is there to find that. If your husband was like me then he'll have had problems for some time and was fully aware of what was required. I held on for a good 2 years before my sister-in-law gave me hers to try on and I saw what the difference was. You don't sound as though you are in that position (yet)

Shelby 12 May 2014, 13:12

SC - you might be right. Hubby sometimes wears them to read, and sometimes not. But he says that if he does start to wear them he has to continue because after wearing for 10-15 minutes and taking them off he has lots of trouble focusing close. Seems the more he wears them the more he needs them. Maybe I shouldn't wear them so much.

SC 12 May 2014, 06:49


Your ability to focus close-up is controlled by muscles in the eye. If you wear glasses for reading then over time your muscles will relax because they don't have to work so hard. It is almost certain that you will eventually need glasses for reading, most people 'give in' around 45yo but may have struggled with small print for a year or two.

If you start early (37yo) it is possible that you will become dependent on glasses at an earlier age.

There are also other scenarios, hyperopia is where the muscles used to focus at close distance are also required at long distance due to a mismatch in eye length. In this case people with hyperopia will ultimately need to wear glasses for distance as well as for reading. Typically people with hyperopia will have problems with close focus, or headaches caused by straining, at an earlier age. Your husband is a prime candidate for hyperopia and you could expect his need for glasses at all distances within a few years

John 12 May 2014, 04:51


I didnt have problems with double vision, i got prisms prescribed after getting headaches from reading for long periods.

I was wearing the prism glasses all the time though, maybe that wasnt right?

Cactus Jack 12 May 2014, 00:25


You have a bit of myopia also known as shortsightedness or nearsightedness. You may have a little increase, but at your age it is not likely to be significant. Myopia below the age of 20 generally has a genetic factor. Myopia at your age tends to be caused by your visual environment, but don't construe that as being an absolute.

For now, I urge you to wear your glasses full time for at least two weeks and then make the decision about when to wear them. Please let us know your decision and if you want to learn more about vision and its correction.


Andrew 11 May 2014, 18:13

Thanks for that advice. I am 29 and work in an office and am from England. Is it likely my vision may get worse?

Cactus Jack 11 May 2014, 18:10


It is common for people with low prescriptions like yours to first notice problems at night. The reason for this is that in bright light, your pupils contract and act like the iris in an expensive camera lens. When your pupils contract in bright light, they increase what is called depth of field or range of useful focus, just as increasing the "f" stop on a camera lens. The result is about the same effect as squinting to see more clearly.

Your prescription indicates that you have reasonably good vision at all distances up to about 1 meter or 39 inches. beyond that, things get increasingly blurry. The cylinder (2nd number in your left eye) indicates that you have a bit of astigmatism in that eye. Astigmatism messes up vision at all distances. but -0.25 is not very much. Another thing that affects what you perceive is that vision occurs in the brain and the eyes are merely biological cameras. The brain has incredible image processing power to correct blurry images, IF it knows what something is supposed to look like. However, that takes lots of energy and effort. Your glasses, even with a low prescription, reduce the workload of the visual cortex and if given a chance, your brain will become used to being presented with two high quality images to work with and will let you know that it prefers the high quality images over low quality.

It is normal to be apprehensive about wearing glasses, but honestly, if you wear them full time for about 2 weeks, you will wonder why you were apprehensive. You will have to endure about 2 days of comments, like you would if you decided to get a different haircut or grew or shaved a beard, but after that, the only time other people will notice your glasses will be if you change frame styles. They WILL NOT notice prescription changes.

As we say here, "Bit the bullet" and get it over with. There is nothing to be embarrassed about needing vision correction.

May I ask a few questions?

1. Your age?

2. Your occupation? Student? Educational Level?

3. Where you live? Country?

BTW, welcome to the group. Please feel free to ask more questions if you wish.


Andrew 11 May 2014, 17:19

Hi, it says -0.75 -0.25 86 for my left eye and -1.00 for my right eye. Not too sure what these numbers mean.

Dave 11 May 2014, 15:47

Hey Andrew -- So what prescription were you given? Probably not too much but enough to make a difference.

hoffide 11 May 2014, 05:49

@philipp 27 Apr 2014, 02:42

man bekommt bei apollo oder auch fielmann

ohne probleme Gläser mit 14 Prismen je Glas...

als Gleitsicht mit meinen Werten in Europa leider nicht produzierbar. Wir haben alle Sondergläser produzieren Firmen kontaktiert, geht leider nur bis 12 Prismen in Sonderfällen.

Die Firmen lassen selbst im Ausland schleifen, liefern nur das Material dorthin. In Florida bei"Eyeglass Factory Outlet" werden prima Gläser gefertigt, bestens zufrieden. Werden dann hier bei Fielmann eingeschliffen.

Andrew 11 May 2014, 04:48

Hi I posted a couple of weeks ago, as I was having a bit of trouble with my vision mainly at night.

I went to the opticians and I was given a prescription and was told I should wear them while driving especially at night . I have had my glasses a few days now and I do notice a difference while wearing them at night, there is less of a glare from headlights and traffics lights and other neon signs are a lot clearer.

It does feel strange wearing them and I do feel a but self concious wearing them but I guess this will pass!?

astigmaphile 10 May 2014, 18:51


Thank you for your information. I did not know that optical labs used the degrees of a circle for prism direction. I learned something new today.

Roy 10 May 2014, 15:22

New Prism,

I have 10 base out in each eye plus 3 down right and 2 up left. In my experience eyes do tend to get used to prism and then need more. This is probably why your optician is trying to minimise the prism he gives you. My prism is just enough to eliminate my double vision most of the time but I still see double if I look to the left or right more than around 45 degrees and also if I am very tired.

If you are seeing double all the time with the prism prescribed I think you will need to ask for more.

There is usually the option of surgery but I think it is not always successful and often needs repeating. Personally I would not consider it, as I manage fine with my prisms. I don't know how old you are. I am in my mid sixties and my prism has increased steadily from around 4 (shared) in my early forties to 20 now.

John 10 May 2014, 12:37


doing some searching it seems that optical laboratories use the 360 degree system of specifying prism base direction.

this would mean that 0 degrees right and 180 degrees left both mean base in, if viewed from the front.

i'd really appreciate some help since its a pain in the ass having eye strain all day long

astigmaphile 10 May 2014, 11:12

Zero and 180 sound like cylinder axes to me. Prism is base out, base in, base up or base down.

 10 May 2014, 02:31


this is what my prescription says

right left

Prism : 1.25 Bas 000 Prism : 0.75 Bas 180

Soundmanpt 09 May 2014, 17:58


No, there shouldn't be any downside in getting a pair to try out. Your mainly wanting to see how your eyes react to using a slight prescription for reading or other close things such as sewing. It is up to you as to what prescription you want to try. You already know that your eyes had no problem at all wearing +1.50. But since you feel like your close vision is still quite good it might be better to go with something slightly weaker. By going weaker your distance vision shouldn't be as blurry as with your husband's glasses. And of course I would recommend that just as the doctor told your husband about only wearing them for close vision the same would apply to you as well. But of course sometimes if your reading and also trying to watch a TV show you aren't going to be taking your glasses off every time you look up from reading. So any distant blur should be very limited with the weaker glasses.

Any other questions please feel free to ask.

svensont 09 May 2014, 16:10


Have you got your prescription? There should be the amount of prism (in diopters) and the direction (base, I assume you've got BU and BD).

shelby 09 May 2014, 14:45


I don't get overly tired or feel eyestrain when I read. I can try the otc's, they are cheap enough. Is there any downside to that? I think he said they were +1.50. The dr also advised taking them off when not reading..why? He was told to come back in a year, or earlier if he thinks needed.

I am out of town for a couple of weeks, so will have to wait for the exam, but might get the readers to try before I go.

Any other thoughts?

Thanks again

Soundmanpt 09 May 2014, 13:38


Well your husband is right on track when most start to need reading glasses. For many usually around 40 but it can be earlier or a little later. So with you being 37 your not far off if not already at the point where reading glasses may be a benefit to you as well. My guess is that even if the doctor doesn't actually prescribe you reading glasses he will probably tell you if they are relaxing your eyes you may want to invest in a pair of over the counter readers in maybe a +1.00 (the weakest they sell) I do have a question for you. Do you ever feel like when your reading the newspaper or a book for a while do your eyes start to feel tired? If the answer is yes then you probably do need glasses. But clearly the fact that you were so comfortable wearing them means your eyes didn't object to wearing them. Remember wearing over the counter readers won't harm your eyes.

Oh and your distance vision being blurry with them is very normal with readers. By any chance do you happen to know your husbands prescription? Being his first glasses I would assume they are pretty weak which is also why they were so easy for your eyes to adjust to so quickly and easily.

Of course needles to say your doing the right thing by getting your eyes examined anyway, even more so if it has been a while since you last had them checked.

Be sure and let us know the results of you exam.

New Prism 09 May 2014, 13:29

I just got 4 base out prisms per eye. 8 in total. I had 3 base out per eye before but I did not really wear them. My full prescription is -1.5 sph per eye and -0.25 cyl. Same for both eyes.

I had several questions.

My optometrist told me that it would take more than 20 prisms to get me fully fused but he did not want to increase prisms a lot so he gave me only 4. Why is that?

I am worried because with 4 I still get double vision. Does if mean that I will need more prism or in time I would get used to 4 per eye?

Also I was told that after few months of wearing them I should have a new test to see if my eyes are accepting them well and to get an increase. Is it normal for prism to go up after few months of adjustment?

Also is it possible not to wear this glasses full-time (only for computer and reading) or you have to wear prisms in this strength full time?

I was also reading online that people become dependent on prisms. If I do start wearing them most of the time will I need to wear them permanently?

Finally, I understood that my prism prescription will probably go up in time. What would be some expected prescription I might end up with in the future? Is there any way to slow down this or stop the increase?

Shelby 09 May 2014, 12:56

I have always enjoyed good eyesight, and had exams every 4-5 years with no presenting issues. My hubby was complaining about his close vision and went for an exam. He came home with reading glasses, his first. He noticed an immediate improvement when he reads. When he suggested I try them, I hesitated cause I don't have issues or strain when reading, but he insisted. I tried them on and the first thing I noticed was how blurry everything in the distance was. When I looked at the newspaper the print was a tad better than without them, but they really didn't make much of a difference. He went out for a while and I kept reading the paper. When he came back later the first thing he asked how I like the glasses..I forgot I was wearing them. I immediately took them off and gave them back to him, but noticed that while I could still read easily the print wasn't quite as clear as with them. Now I am wondering if I need an exam. If I can easily read without glasses would they be prescribed anyways? I will schedule one, but am curious to know if my experience with his readers is an indicator. He is 43, I am 37.

john 09 May 2014, 12:44


im not sure what you mean with diopters.

the glasses only contained prisms.

right was 0 degrees and left 180 degrees

svensont 09 May 2014, 12:32

What kind of prism have you added (base in, base out) and how many diopters?

john 09 May 2014, 11:04


Ive worn them for about a year. i'm currently 20 years old.


right 1.25

left 0.75

svensont 09 May 2014, 06:45


What prescription are these glasses and how long have you been wearing them? What is your age?

john 09 May 2014, 04:13


i've been wearing prsim glasses for quite a long time everyday and after a while i started to get headaches and my eyes started to become tired all trough the day. i stopped wearing them but my eyes are still permanently tired.

what have these glasses done to my eyes and how do i fix this problem

peter 04 May 2014, 12:50

cactus jack ,i will order some and let you know how i get on,hope they work

Cactus Jack 04 May 2014, 11:45


The absolute power of your reading segment is:

Right (OD) +8.50/cyl -0.50/axis60

Left (OS) +8.50/cyl -0.50/axis 90

That would be the prescription for single vision reading glasses.

Do you know your PD. It is probably what often looks like a fraction like this 66/63. The first or top number is your distance PD and the second or bottom number is your near PD. The focus distance for a +3.50 lens is about 28.5 cm or a bit over 11 inches.

If you order glasses from Zenni, you really don't need fancy frames or any options other than polycarbonate lenses (maybe) to reduce their thickness. My suggestion is to get the cheapest you can and make sure you like the optics of this approach before getting anything more expensive.


peter 04 May 2014, 11:43

hi cactus jack,if you would help me to order some reading glasses that would be great,also how do i go about having vision therepy,what would they say when i tell them what i have done,peter

peter 04 May 2014, 11:24

hi cactus jack,i hav`nt had surgery,what strength reading glasses will i need,i have a +3.50 add at the moment,thanks for your help,peter

Cactus Jack 04 May 2014, 10:56


Not to but into your conversation with svensont, but perhaps I can offer this for your consideration.

Wearing 10 Prism Diopters Base Out prism has about the same convergence effect as reading at about 14 inches or 35 cm, except your eyes are converged for distance and more converged for reading. You have not ruined your eyes. You have induced a bit of Esophoria by changing the place where your eye positioning muscles like to relax. It is easy to do and as svensont said, you can probably undo it with some vision training. However, you have another problem that will make it a bit harder to reset the relaxation point for your eyes, your significant hyperopia.

There is an interconnection in your brain between the focus control system and the eye positioning system. The act of focusing to read something causes your eyes to try to converge. It is a natural function. People with uncorrected hyperopia have to use their focusing system (accommodation) to provide clear vision at all distances. When you do that, your eyes try to converge, generally more than they need to, to fuse the two images. That is why many, whose eyes try to turn inward, are also hyperopic. The interconnection works both ways. With correction or training the inward turning tendency while trying to accommodate can be overcome, but it is not always easy.

You did not mention if you had an add in your glasses to help you focus to read, but at 55 and with hyperopia, it is difficult to imagine that you don’t. Without your glasses, your eyes have a natural tendency to converge and all you have done by wearing the prism is satisfy that need. One thing you might do, is order a pair of low cost, single vision reading glasses with your reading prescription, but WITHOUT prism, from an online retailer such as Zenni. Try reading with them whenever you can. If you still have double vision when you try to read, consider another pair with only 5 BO in each eye to retrain your eyes to not try to over converge too much.

If you need help ordering single vision reading glasses, please let us know.

Also, do you know if you have ever had eye muscle surgery?


peter 03 May 2014, 15:04

svensont,i am 55,my prescription is left +5.00/cyl -0.50/axis 90,right +5.00/cyl -0.50/axis 60 and now 10 base out prisms each lens

svensont 03 May 2014, 13:42


What is your age and prescription?

I think the best you can do is to visit your eye doctor and tell him everything. Maybe a vision therapy will help you.

Can you send us a photo of your glasses?

peter 03 May 2014, 13:22

will my need for prisms increace in time

 03 May 2014, 13:20

Yes, your eyes are ruined. Soon they will be crossed so far you will have to tip your head back to see because you will be seeing out of your nose.

peter 03 May 2014, 11:49

i was just wondering what it would be like to wear glasses with prisms ,so i have ruined my eyes and i will always be crosseyed now and have double vision,how can i make them see normal or cant i

 03 May 2014, 10:28

Why not just stick pins in your eyes, to mess them up, Peter? That would be faster.

peter 03 May 2014, 09:19

hi,i wonder if you guys can give me some advice,i bought some glasses with my prescription and added 10 base out prisms in each lens to try out,i have been wearing them for a month now,at first when i took my glasses off i had double vision for a few seconds but now my eyes dont go back to seeing a single image but double all the time,have i done the wrong thing wearing prisms and will my eyes return to normal if i stop wearing them,please help as i am rather worried, peter

HighMyopic 29 Apr 2014, 12:20

Niko, please show all of us, a pic of your -20 glasses from zenni when you get them. I hope to get mine one day, eventually. I am interested to know how mine will look when I order them.

Niko 29 Apr 2014, 09:43

High myopic

I have bezel -20 in 1.56 coming home Zenni

stacy 29 Apr 2014, 00:36

theres a few of us at work that wear glasses and theres one that jokes about people wearing glasses and has just found out needs to wear reading glasses only. i use to hate it when hearing people joking about glasses wearers. im shortsighted -5.00 so i wear them all the time. i am alot younger but they now use the excuse of getting old funny hey

HighMyopic 27 Apr 2014, 15:56

I really want to order some -20 diopter glasses with 19mm thick 1.56 mid index lenses from I want to wear the -20 glasses when out and about with the girl Crissie that I go out with every Monday. I already have a girlfriend. I have -5.50 and -4.50 eyeglasses that I wear regularly.

Clare 27 Apr 2014, 15:50

Andrew - it's a long time ago so a bit hard to remember specifically! I was in a job that meant I did a lot of driving, and long distances so I wore them quite a lot. At night especially it made a big difference I do remember.

Soundmanpt 27 Apr 2014, 11:45


I can only assume that if the your friend Melli's clear glasses and her prescription sunglasses were the exact same prescription but the sunglasses seemed perfect and her regular glasses didn't seem the same eve though you were able to see with them you noticed the prescription much more. It was probably because wearing the sunglasses you probably didn't notice the prescription near as much and were more happy that they blocked the sun so well. Wearing the clear glasses you noticed the prescription much more and you didn't give your eyes enough time to adjust to them. It would seem your vision was clear and sharp with her glasses and things appearing slightly smaller would go away rather quickly. Wearing her older pair of -.50 glasses would enhance you distant vision slightly, much like HD does for viewing a TV. And they wouldn't make things look smaller. So I am sure they were very comfortable to wear that afternoon and evening. Since Melli loaned them to you have you been wearing them on a regular basis? I am in agreement with Melli that you should go and get your eyes examined to see if you need glasses or if you just enjoy the over correction that her glasses provides you. If your hoping to be prescribed glasses I suggest that while the doctor is examining your eyes that you claim to have difficulty seeing at night to drive and chances are very likely he / she will write you a prescription in that same -.50 for glasses. You seem to enjoy wearing Melli's glasses.

Thea 27 Apr 2014, 07:46

Thank you for your answer,

yesterday I met my friend Melli who borrowed me her sunglasses an told her that I suggest that my eyes get worse after wearing her sunglasses.

She also asked me about trying an old pair of her normal glasses. So she gave me a pair with the same prescription lenses as in the sunglasses and I try them on.

It was not the same vision as in the sunglasses, but all was very sharp and tiny.

She remember that she still have her first glasses, about 12 years old and a little bit old-fashioned but with a very mild prescription in. So I tried this pair with -0,5 diopters and it was very fine.

I wear them for the whole afternoon and evening. My sight was very good in them.

My friend borrowed them to me but told me to go to test my eyes.

philipp 27 Apr 2014, 02:42


man bekommt bei apollo oder auch fielmann

ohne probleme Gläser mit 14 Prismen je Glas. Hab

Ich habe insgesamt 32 Prismen in der Brille und

es war bis jetzt kein Problem, außer die sehr sehr

dicken Gläser die man genau anpassen muss

damit sie nicht ständig die Wangen bzw. Wimpern

berühren. Deshalb stehen die Gläser vorne sehr weit


Andrew 26 Apr 2014, 05:10

Thanks Clare, I think I will go and get my eyes checked to see if I would benefit from a pair of glasses. When you first got yours did you just wear them for driving at night?

Melyssa 24 Apr 2014, 07:47


You may be right about the increase, but now it's only 347 pairs. I'm waiting until after the bowling season to add to my collection.

Let's make a deal for the leaves -- $5 a bushel, or 3 for $25.

I can't vouch for the St. Louis area, but up here we have had a cold winter and spring. The weather forecast for my birthday doesn't look to be all that great either.

Soundmanpt 23 Apr 2014, 16:02


That's odd. It must be your eyes. You probably need an increase in those 350 pairs of glasses you own. lol

Actually I live further south of you and I can afford to have leaves on my trees. Send me a check for $25.00 and I will arrange for you to have leaves on your trees too. Shipping takes about 3 weeks and you will have nice leaves.

Melyssa 23 Apr 2014, 15:43

There are leaves on trees? Not north of 40 degrees latitude.

Clare 23 Apr 2014, 15:11

Andrew - that's what drove me to get an eye test over 20 years ago. Turned out the reason was a little bit of myopia which meant I needed glasses to drive. Worth checking out.

Soundmanpt 23 Apr 2014, 11:48


Of course Melyssa is correct that if your vision is better wearing your friends sunglasses then you should consider getting our eyes checked because as I said it could be that your slightly nearsighted and you may need glasses. And really even if you think your vision is okay without her sunglasses you probably still should get your eyes checked if it has been over 2 years since your last eye exam. Vision changes slowly in most cases. One of the more common statements often made by someone getting their first glasses for nearsightedness is that they suddenly can see the actual leaves on trees. So if your able to see the leaves on the tress with the sunglasses but can't without them that maybe an indication that glasses are needed.

Melyssa 23 Apr 2014, 07:26


It's best to go to an eye doctor to get an exam. That way, you will find out exactly what your prescription would be. Each eye can be different, and there is also the matter of astigmatism, which I have had a lot of since getting my first pair of glasses 50 years ago.

Specs4Me 22 Apr 2014, 15:17


If you are noticing a little bit of blur now after wearing your friends glasses, it may be that Soundmanpt is right that you need a little bit of correction. What may have happened and sometimes does is that you found out how clear your vision was with your friends glasses and now, your small need for correction has become noticeable. I may well be that you have needed a small correction but because nearsightedness normally happens slowly one doesn't realize that they are not seeing as sharply as they once did. This is not an unusual occurrence.

I think you have two options, one is to go to an eye doctor and have an exam, the other is to do as Soundmanpt suggested and order yourself a pair of glasses with a prescription of -1.25. This is a fairly weak prescription which is not going to create a problem for you. Wearing your friends glasses part time for a few days is certainly not going to have caused your eyes to need correction.

If I were a betting man I would bet that you needed a small amount of correction before you ever wore her glasses and just didn't realize it.

Soundmanpt 22 Apr 2014, 11:39


Very little chance that wearing your friends prescription sunglasses will do any harm to your eyes. In order for them to have any effect on your eyes you need to wear them completely full time and not just a few hours each day. Your friend's vision isn't that bad so your eyes are able to adjust to them rather easily and allow you to even see distance better with glasses than you see without glasses. Prescription sunglasses are usually used most often for distance rather than seeing close up which could be harder for you focus if you were reading a book with the sunglasses on.

If the sunglasses are that comfortable to your eyes it could be that you maybe slightly nearsighted and need glasses. Otherwise if your liking your vision with the sunglasses you may want to consider asking your friend if you can borrow her regular glasses for a day or two. Then if you like how you see with them you can always go on-line and order glasses for yourself in the same -1.25 prescription.

Many people only find that they need glasses by trying and then borrowing someone elses glasses.

Andrew 22 Apr 2014, 09:01

Hi new to this site, but just seeing anyone could help out.

I have always had pretty good vision, but in the past few weeks I have had issues with my vision at night. I have noticed a kind of halo effect around lights like on car headlights and in signs with neon writing.

Other than this my vision is still pretty good.

Hoerbie 22 Apr 2014, 04:07


as the normal language in this forum is English, I will answer in English, so that others can understand what we are writing, I hope you Germans understand me too.

@Philipp: Looking at your prescription I think, that you are the one who sold prism glasses at the end of last year on Ebay? Then we can contact each other there (if you are the one: I asked you for the full prescription, because of thinking it was near to mine).

@Hoffide: I heard, that Zeiss is able to do more than 12 prism diopters. And there are some smaller lensmakers like Solira, who are specialised in making special lenses. Or maybe you had problems due to the other lens parameters like the sph/cyl values or an add.

Greetings, Hoerbie

Stefan 22 Apr 2014, 03:58

Hoffide, philipp - versucht mal, ob ihr euch bei treffen könnt, da kann man dann 'flüstern'...

Thea 22 Apr 2014, 02:20

My vision get a little bit worse after wearing some prescription sunglasses borrowed from a friend.

Together we spent the easter holidays and I had forget my sunglasses. So I borrowed the spare-pair of a friend, Unfortunately she is a little shortsighted. She said that that pair have a strengh of abaou -1,25 diopters.

I try it and my sight was very good and sharp with them on. So I decided to wear them.

Is it possible to worse my eyesight by wearing them for a few hours per day?

hoffide 21 Apr 2014, 23:14

Hallo philipp,

wer fertigt denn in Deutschland 14 Prismen BO, bei mir ist technisch bei 12 Prismen leider Schluss. Habe dann noch eine 20er Folie zu tragen.

philipp 21 Apr 2014, 20:35

hey hoerbie,

klar.. können ja mail adressen tauschen.. aber hier öffentlich etwas schwierig. hast du eine idee?


philipp 21 Apr 2014, 20:30


The last post was from me.

 21 Apr 2014, 19:35


sph: +2,5

cyl: -0,25

Prism: 14,0 BO / 2,0 BD


sph: +2,0

cyl: -0,25

Prism: 14,0 BO / 2,0 BU

Slit 21 Apr 2014, 02:54

Hi All,

If someone is having a pain in eye (eyeball/eye socket) when looking away while working on computer or when going out of building in to sunny outside, what does it hint?

No trouble focusing near or far noticed. Just the pain...

What can be the case? Any previous experience of anyone you know? Is it a sign of latent hyperopia or un-discovered myopia?

Hoerbie 20 Apr 2014, 14:39


another lover of strong prism from Germany here. I got my first glasses two year ago due to farsightedness and progressives due to beginning presbyopia, and I managed to get 3 prism diopters base out per eye by faking some tests. Now I'm using full time everyday for some month my second glasses with some plus and astigmatism, 7.5 prism diopters base out per eye and an 1.5 add.

I'm really happy with and now dependant on my prescription, without prism I see double, and reading without the add is no longer possible.

I still hope to get stronger prism at the next visit to my optician, and I'm really interested in getting the full add of 2.5 diopters as fast as possible.

Although we are lucky in Germany about many opticians using low prism for comfortable glasses, I now have problems, because the optician doesn't want to give stronger prism without acknowledge of an eye doctor, and both think, that stronger prism are not usable permanently, and I should think about an eye muscle operation.

Due to this I'm interested in buying stronger glasses Online too, but I want more then 10 prism per eye, where the onliners seem to stop.

Although I want stronger glasses, I'm now noticing the disadvantages of stronger prism. I ordered the best Abbe value with 1.5 index (and thickest lenses, about 9mm outside), but I notice the prism distortion and no longer have the best visual acuity. As I'm in the best ages, have a good job, like car driving, outdoor sports etc., I would like to know, how other strong prism wearers live their live.


Maybe, you are willing to help me answering some questions, or maybe we can have a chat or mails in German language?

How do you get through everydays life with 28 prism? Do you still drive a car? What reactions do you get at work, family etc.?

Anyone else's answer is welcome too.

Bye, Hoerbie

Cactus Jack 20 Apr 2014, 09:59




philipp 19 Apr 2014, 22:55


Cactus Jack 18 Apr 2014, 10:20


Also, may I ask your age?


Cactus Jack 18 Apr 2014, 10:19


The making of high prism glasses is almost a lost art. The typical upper limit of most of the lens generating machines is about 10 prism diopters, which would be a total of 20 prism diopters, in your case, Base Out.

These days, higher prism glasses are typically made by what are called Specialty Labs here in the US. Often, it requires several remakes to get them right. There are many factors that are much more critical in prescribing, making, and fitting glasses with prism correction than there is for glasses without prism. These factors are made even more critical by a complex or high prescription. Very few Specialty Labs will work directly with clients.

You are fortunate that you live in Germany where most of the world's best precision optical companies are based, but I suspect they to not work cheaply.

May I ask your complete prescription. It might help us to offer suggestions.


Aubrac 18 Apr 2014, 03:15


Glasses4eyes is an online UK retailer. They are quite cheap and efficient and I have ordered 3 degree base out each eye prism from them.

This is the highest prism on their online form but when I spoke to them they said higher prism correction is available, suggest you give them a try.

philipp 17 Apr 2014, 23:20

I have my first prism glasses bought 4 years ago with 6 prisms base out. 3 in each eye.

I love thick glasses and have tried as much as possible to go to the optician to get more prisms.

now I have my fifth prism glasses with prisms base 28 outside. I wear the glasses full time every day. the lenses are extremely thick.

I would like to know where I eyeglasses with my prisms can order online. at my optician are the glasses too expensive! I come from Germany. thank you

Cactus Jack 16 Apr 2014, 09:25


I believe Zenni will make glasses with up to 5 BO in each eye for a total of 10 diopters of prism. You might check out Eyeglass Factory Outlet in Florida if you want more than 5 BO to find out what they will make.

Be prepared for a possible reduction in Visual Acuity with prisms, particularly with your +5 sphere correction. The sweet spot in the lenses may not be in the place your eyes are looking.

Theoretically, your distance PD needs to be reduced by about 0.3 mm per prism diopter because your eyes will be turned inward a total of 5.7 angular degrees (2.85 degrees each) with 10 total prism diopters of correction and the optical center of your lenses with +5 correction need to be as near as possible to your central axes of vision. This is one of those cases where too many cooks spoil the broth. That PD adjustment needs to only be made once for best results. You might ask if they will adjust the PD according to Prentice's Rule for the prism.


jack 16 Apr 2014, 07:23

hi cactus jack,i live in the uk,i am willing to order world widefor high prisms and up to $150 for them if i can get 10 base out prisms,any suggestions would be great

Cactus Jack 15 Apr 2014, 10:14


Very few online retailers offer glasses with very significant prism. The lenses are very hard to make and require skill, knowledge and experience that is beyond most young lens makers and beyond the capability of the computer controlled lens generators used for high volume lens making. Typically, high prism lenses are made by specialty labs that will not work directly with patients because successful fitting is more of an art than a science and remakes are big money losers. Be prepared to spend a lot of money and have a lot of frustration.

My only suggestion is to shop around, but don't be surprised if 10/10 is about the limit.

May I ask where you live?


jack 15 Apr 2014, 03:45

hi cactus jack,yes i would like to increase the prisms to double figures in time,is there any online shops that do prisms above 10 or more

Cactus Jack 14 Apr 2014, 23:51


As Svensont said, it is very likely that in a few months you may notice some double vision and you may find that you need or want more prism than 5/5 BO. The need for BO prism is easier to induce than myopia because the eyes naturally need to turn inward or converge when you focus on close objects. Which is one of the reasons ECPs are reluctant to prescribe prism and tend to under-prescribe because some consider it to be addictive.


svensont 14 Apr 2014, 18:44


Highly possible you will. Do you wanna?

jack 14 Apr 2014, 18:10

hi cactus jack,no i dont have problems with double vision without my glasses,will i if i wear my glasses with the 5 base out prisms if i wear them full time,like i hope to do

Cactus Jack 14 Apr 2014, 09:56


Do you have any problems with double vision, without your glasses?


jack 14 Apr 2014, 07:11

hi,my prescription is left +5.00/cyl -0.50 axis 90 right +5.00/cyl -0.50/axis 60,i was wondering i have bought some glasses with my prescription and added 5 base out prisms in each lens,if i wear them full time will i become as they say hooked on them as i have a thing for prisms and will i need them full time,how long will it take for my eyes to get hooked on them,thanks

Cactus Jack 12 Apr 2014, 19:34


Myopia is very prevalent in Asia and double digit myopia is very common in China.

The reason I asked about your parents and grandparents is that both myopia and hyperopia have a strong genetic component and it tends to run in families. Environmental factors can also play a role. If you read a lot or do a lot of close work, you might find that reading glasses with reduced sphere correction might help slow increases.


beth 12 Apr 2014, 15:58

parents have no myopia but they never go to the opticians. some of my cousins are short sighted but not as bad as me. when i go to the opticians i always have to wait for new glasses as they only stock up to -4.00 as this covers most people. my left eye -6.25 is the worst i know.

i live in the UK lots of people have myopia problem here. where is the worst places for myopia?

Cactus Jack 12 Apr 2014, 10:56


Myopia and astigmatism have different causes. Both make vision blurry, but in different ways. Naturally, when you have both types of refractive errors they work together to make your vision worse and the higher the refractive error (prescription numbers) the worse your vision will be without correction.

Myopia, which is corrected by the sphere (first number in your prescription), is caused by a mismatch between the total power of your eye's lens system and the length of your eyeball from the back of the crystalline lens to the retina (about 17 mm). The distances involved, when refractive errors are present are very small (about 0.3 mm per diopter of error) and the total power of your eye's lens system is very large (between +50 and +60 diopters). In your case, the lens system has TOO MUCH + for the distance to your retina and you need - lenses to move the focus back to the retina.

There are actually 2 types of myopia. Axial or true myopia causes by eyeball length and Pseudo or false myopia caused by the crystalline lens and ciliary muscles - the auto-focus mechanism in your eye that enables you to focus close for reading. Pseudo myopia is the same phenomenon that causes Latent Hyperopia, just on the other side of 0.00 refractive error. If both types of myopia are present, they add together to give you your total sphere refractive error.

Axial myopia is permanent because once the eyeball grows too long, it can't "ungrow", Pseudo myopia is caused by the inability of the crystalline lenses and ciliary muscles to relax quickly after focusing close. Like Latent Hyperopia, it can be reduced over time - sometimes weeks or months - by wearing less - or more + than you apparently need or by wearing bifocals or using reduced power - glasses for reading. The snag here is that it is often very difficult to tell if part of your myopia is pseudo myopia, even with a dilated exam.

Astigmatism is generally caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the cornea. Ideally, the cornea is a section of a perfect sphere. When astigmatism is present, the cornea is shaped more like an American Football, where the curvature in one direction is greater than it is in another. The result is that the cornea has more optical power in one direction than it does at 90 degrees to that direction and that causes the images on the retina to focus at two different distances. Astigmatism is corrected by cylinder lenses and the axis number is the angular direction (0 to 180 degrees) of the long axis of the cylinder. By convention. 0 degrees is horizontal and 90 degrees is vertical. The numbers increase in a counter clockwise direction when looking at the patient.

Your prescription indicates that astigmatism is an important, but not the dominant factor in your total refractive error.

You seem concerned that there is a difference between the prescription in your two eyes. That is common, the eyes grow independently and sometimes one eye can require + correction and the other - correction. Vision actually occurs in the brain and when presented with two images, it will choose the clearest image as its primary source of information and use what information it can from the blurrier image to supplement it.

I hope this helps you understand your vision a little better. While it seems like a lot to you, there are lots of people with more myopia than you have. May I ask if either of your parents or any grandparents have myopia? Also, where you live? There is often a very strong genetic component to both myopia and hyperopia.


beth 12 Apr 2014, 03:07

my left eye is worse and i can really notice this when i close my right eye when not wearing glasses. if im not wearing glasses then both eyes is just blur.

is it worse to be short sighted or have astigmatism? i know people that dont have astigmatism and are short sighted im just both

Cactus Jack 12 Apr 2014, 00:33

Brad F.,

I am not 100% sure what did happen, but I am pretty sure about what needs to happen. I need to help you understand what takes place in an eye exam and teach you how to get the best possible exam you can before you consider your next step. There seems to be some difficulty in deciding on the sphere correction you need, but notice that the cylinder is always there. The axis varies, but that is to be expected unless you understand how that part of the exam works and what you need to do to get it as close to right as you can.

An eye exam depends on the skill of the examiner and to a very great extent, the skill of the patient. If you want my help, I need some information about you such as where you live (country and state or province), your occupation, your education, etc. If you would rather not discuss this in public, please feel free to contact me at


Cactus Jack 12 Apr 2014, 00:31

Brad F.,

I am not 100% sure what did happen, but I am pretty sure about what needs to happen. I need to help you understand what takes place in an eye exam and teach you how to get the best possible exam you can before you consider your next step. There seems to be some difficulty in deciding on the sphere correction you need, but notice that the cylinder is always there. The axis varies, but that is to be expected unless you understand how that part of the exam works and what you need to do to get it as close to right as you can.

An eye exam depends on the skill of the examiner and to a very great extent, the skill of the patient. If you want my help, I need some information about you such as where you live (country and state or province), your occupation, your education, etc. If you would rather not discuss this in public, please feel free to contact me at


Brad F 11 Apr 2014, 22:26

Thanks for the reply Cactus Jack. Some very interesting news I just received. On a whim I decided to check out another optometrist since I didnt have a good feeling about the original. So one day later I received a prescription as follows:

OD Plano -0.50 x 025

OS -0.25 -0.50 x 170

What the heck? This prescription is barely a correction but my one eye just shifted a total of 0.75 from the other prescription.

Do you have any idea what just happened? Now I am curious to try another place except that I am sure going through a lot of trouble for what basically amounts to clear glass!

Cactus Jack 11 Apr 2014, 22:04


Your eyes are NOT a mess and your prescription is nothing to get very excited about. At 24 it should be stable or nearly so and as long as your vision can be corrected to 20/20 or 6/6 that is all that really counts.

Admittedly, you can't function very well without your glasses or contacts, but there are millions of people with similar prescriptions that do anything they want to, with correction.

The only thing you probably need to be aware of is that because of your genetic tendency to be myopic, pregnancy may cause your prescription to increase.


beth 11 Apr 2014, 21:22

my eyes are a mess im shortsighted and astigmatism. my prescription -6.25 -1.25 110 -4.50 -1.50 180. how bad is this prescription? or does it not matter? im 24 have to wear both glasses and contacts all the time.

Cactus Jack 11 Apr 2014, 01:09

Brad F.

You really don't have much hyperopia and at 29 you should be able to easily compensate for that and be able to focus close using your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses. You probably have a few years to go before presbyopia starts to become a nuisance.

The thing that is probably causing your the difficulty at night is your astigmatism because it is the dominant factor in your prescription. While it is not a lot, it is enough to cause problems and strain because you have no way to internally correct that. You have to use external corrective lenses.

My suggestion would be to to order some low cost glasses from an on line retailer like Zenni Optical and see if you find them useful. Many of our members have used Zenni and have been pleased with both their quality and price. You have everything you need to order glasses except you PD (Pupillary Distance). That is usually measured by the dispensing optician, but you can easily do it yourself using a ruler marked in mm and a bathroom mirror. Let us know if you are interested and we will help.

There is no good way to relate the lines you can read on an eye chart with prescription numbers In your case, the astigmatism (cylinder) is causing the most blur, In you GF's case, her myopia (sphere) is causing the most blur.

Prescriptions change over time for a lot of reasons. Cylinder and axis changes are primarily because the test is extremely subjective and the results depend on the skill of the patient in judging relative blurriness of two axis angles. There are way to improve the accuracy, but you have to know how to ask the examiner to let you "fine tune" the axis.

May I ask where you live. That can affect our suggestions.


Brad F 10 Apr 2014, 22:22

I just had my eyes checked and it looks like because I have + signs next to my sphere #s I have hyperopia?

OD Sph +0.50 Cyl -0.50 Axis 179

OS Sph +0.25 Cyl -0.75 Axis 177

Reading up on it though it seems like hyperopia is for people who can't see up close. I went to the optometrist because I could tell I wasn't seeing as well from distance as I used to, especially at night. I can see up close just fine. What's up with that? That being said, the optometrist said I had 20/40 vision and with these glasses I was corrected to 20/20. I didn't purchase them yet though the optometrist seemed pretty adamant that I should get them for driving at least.

So I guess I am wondering what this means for me in the future. I am 29 years old.. can I expect these #s to go up soon, or in the distant future? Does that mean I can expect my near sight to get worse? What about my far sight, is that going to keep getting worse too?

On a different note.. I was inspired to get my eyes checked because my girlfriend just got her eyes checked and was prescribed glasses as well (from a different optometrist). I managed to see her prescription a bit, and I noticed it was -1.00 -.50 and -1.25 -.25 or so. That's more along the lines of what I was expecting to get for my own prescription. During a fun little eyesight test my GF's distance vision only seemed a tiny bit worse than mine. (I would guess at worst 1 line of the eye chart worse than mine, or maybe half a line.) Yet her glasses #'s wise are twice as strong! What's up with that?

I was also wondering if I should expect her glasses to get stronger with time too. This is her second pair, she was prescribed -.25 and -.50 (with some minor cyl in there as well but I am not sure how much exactly) glasses about 3-4 years ago when she had her last exam but never wore them. She's 31 years old now, so that seemed out of character too, as everything I've read suggested that myopia stops progressing in your 20s.


Cactus Jack 09 Apr 2014, 10:38


As I have discussed in previous posts, ciliary muscle de-conditioning is a bigger factor in the need for a stronger add or stronger reading glasses, than presbyopia. De-conditioning happens more rapidly, but stiffening of the crystalline lens (presbyopia) cannot be over looked as significant causes of loss of accommodation and increasing accommodative stress as you try to focus. That accommodative stress is probably an important factor in your eyes trying to turn inward.

You are pretty close to the point where your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses can no longer provide much of the additional + power to focus close. At that point, math fundamentally takes over and the amount of add you need or the absolute sphere power of your reading glasses is determined by how much hyperopia you have AND Sir Isaac Newton's formula that relates lens power and your preferred focus distance for reading - usually +2.50 to +3.25. In other words, it is about time to bow to the inevitable, measure the reading distance(s) you prefer, get the needed add or reading glasses, and get on with your life.

About prism. Unfortunately, there is no way to put prism correction in contact lenses. Prism, like cylinder correction, is very sensitive to the angle the prism needs to be to correct the strabismus (general medical term for eye misalignment). Typically, we only talk about Base Out, Base In, Base Up or Base Down, but amounts of horizontal and vertical prism can be combined to provide almost any fixed angle you need to keep images fused. Fundamentally, it has the same effect as axis designation for astigmatism correction.

It is important for contact lenses to float on a film of tears on the cornea. Sometimes contacts even rotate when you blink, which makes toric (contacts with astigmatism correction) hard to fit because the rotation alters the axis angle. The same thing would happen if you tried to put prism in contacts, only that would cause worse visual effects than toric rotation.

If you are interested, I have devised a Simple Prism Test and posted it on the site under Vision / Special lenses for eye conditions > Prisms > Simple Prism Test. Using this test, you may be able to get a pretty good idea of how much prism you actually need to help you keep images fused. Know how much correction you need can really help you make good decision on what to do about it.


Kris 08 Apr 2014, 23:14

Cactus Jack,

Thanks for your response. I'm wondering if this explains some of the eye fatigue I get. My near vision prescription has been bumped up fairly quickly. I've needed the add for about four years and am already at 2.00. I'm wondering if the eye turning in is more of the issue than the presbyopia. I'm reluctant to get prism unless it's really necessary, because I do use contacts occasionally. With lower prism prescriptions is it possible to still use contacts?

I'm trying to decide whether it's worth chatting with my eye doc about this or if I hold off until it is really interfering with things. For now it's tolerable, although my eye does seem to turn in far more than it used to.

Cactus Jack 08 Apr 2014, 15:43


Assuming that you do not need any distance correction, the +1.50 glasses will provide that much of the +2.50 needed to focus at 40 cm or 16 inches which is typical reading distance. The other +1.00 has to be supplied by your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses. The reason you probably need some reading help is that presbyopia is creeping up on you and that while you can still focus to read without help, it is not as easy as it used to be.

Presbyopia is caused by gradual stiffening of the protein that makes up your crystalline lenses. It actually started in childhood, but did not become a problem until now. Your crystalline lenses will continue to get stiffer and harder for your ciliary muscles to focus over the next few years. What will happen much quicker is that your ciliary muscles will get de-conditioned.

For their size, the ciliary muscles are the strongest muscles in the body, but like all muscles they require exercise to stay strong and in condition. Using reading glasses to help you focus close reduces the amount of work your ciliary muscles have to do because, in your case, the +1.50 glasses are doing over half the work required to focus at typical reading distances. They are just about right to allow you to use a computer with the display about 66 cm or 26 inches from your eyes. If you find them useful for the computer, your ciliary muscles don't have any work to do at all to help you focus.

How long will it take for your ciliary muscles to become de-conditioned? It depends on how much you wear the +1.50 glasses and your visual environment. It could be as little as a few weeks or as much as a few months, but it will happen and there is not much you can do about it. You will need stronger reading glasses, but unless you have need to focus on things very close, you will never need more than about +2.75 or +3.00 depending on your preferred reading distance.

If you have no distance refractive error or astigmatism, you may be able to use Over-the-Counter (OTC) reading glasses or better quality reading glasses from an on line retailer such as Zenni.

The clue that you are becoming dependent is that you habitually put on your glasses to focus on any thing close.

The clue that you may need stronger glasses is that you find yourself holding reading material farther away to see clearly.

Long winded, but I hope it helps.


Mark 08 Apr 2014, 14:21

Thanks Julian. For now just presbyopia. Curious to have a "time frame".

Julian 08 Apr 2014, 13:48

Mark: it depends whether your glasses are prescribed for presbyopia or latent hyperopia or, I suppose, a combination of the two. If it's just presbypia distances will go on being blurry; if it's hyperopia they'll clear. Either way, as time goes by you'll need a stronger prescription; and if you are hyperopic bifocals or progressives are somewhere in the future. Enjoy wearing them and seeing better.

Mark 08 Apr 2014, 12:37

Not unexpectedly my trip to the eye dr got me a prescription for readers. I am 36. He said that +1.25 would help but +1.50 would be better. I got them. Although I can read ok without them, they do make print bigger and darker and clearer. The biggest annoyance is everything in the distance is blurry.

A girl at work says they should make reading much more comfortable but as I get used to them and my eyes relax I will become more and more dependent on them. How long does that take? She reads NOTHING without hers now. Is dependency a process of weeks or months. I know everyone is likely different but is there any idea of what to expect if I wear them regularly for close?

Cactus Jack 08 Apr 2014, 07:54


I would say that it is likely that you may find some Base Out prism useful and comfortable at some point. Many people with hyperopia have problems with their eyes trying to turn inward. This is caused by an interconnection in the brain between the focus control and the eye positioning control systems. It is stronger in some people than it is in others and the interconnection works in both directions.

When you try to use your ciliary muscles to focus your crystalline lenses, the interconnection also causes your eyes to turn inward or converge to allow you to keep close objects fused. When your eyes converge to keep close objects fused, your focus control causes your ciliary muscles to squeeze the crystalline lenses and increase their plus power.

This interconnection often rears its head when a young person has hyperopia and the act of internally correcting the hyperopia using the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses triggers the convergence response. Under these conditions, trying to focus close to read just makes the situation worse. Sometimes just wearing plus glasses for distance, sometimes with bifocals, will allow the focus system to relax enough that the convergence response will not over react. Other times muscle surgery is used to help the eyes not cross and break fusion.

Sometimes as we get older and it gets harder to focus the crystalline lenses because of presbyopia, a condition of adult strabismus or fatigue esophoria will cause the eyes to try to turn inward particularly when we are tired. The solution is often either muscle surgery or prisms. Low prism correction is usually a "first" resort because it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make glasses with 5 to 10 prism diopters of correction in each eye. If more correction is required, surgical corrections become more attractive, but have the disadvantages of being difficult to change or reverse and have more risk.


Cactus Jack 08 Apr 2014, 07:22


The spell checker/corrector struck again and I did not immediately notice. The word "reconditioned" near the end of my post should have been "de-conditioned".

Another thought. Presbyopia can be caused by several things. Here are three to consider:

1. The natural age cause is stiffening of the protein of the crystalline lens from its original gelatin dessert consistency to being so stiff that the ciliary muscles just can't squeeze the lens enough to increase its plus power,

2. The ciliary muscles becoming so weak through lack of use that they become unable to squeeze the crystalline lenses that are still very flexible. This can occur inadvertently or intentionally by wearing glasses that help you focus close or by a person who is myopic not wearing glasses. Myopes have built in permanent reading glasses.

3. Focus control problems in the brain or nerves that control the ciliary muscles. In most people, this function is automatic, but you may be able to train your focus control system to not respond to the reading convergence response, but it is hard to do.

I urge you to contact John S as he requested. He may have some ideas about ways to limit your natural focus response or suggest complaints to indicate a need. He may have some professional qualifications that I don't have.

Because of your age, if you go to a new Eye Care Professional wearing bifocals that are comfortable, you may get a question or two about why you are wearing them, but if have a reasonable answer. The ECP will probably just check your near vision and prescribe at least the add you are wearing or maybe a step or two increase. Remember that after a certain point where you have little or no accommodation, add power is strictly related to Sir Isaac Newton's primary optical formula for calculating Focal Distance. In typical situations, that is +2.50 to +3.25 depending on your preferred reading distance and the absolute power of the reading segment is your distance sphere correction and the add power, algebraically summed together.

BTW, many university students wear bifocals to allow quick focus shifts from distance to notes in lectures or for extended hours of study. These are often called "functional bifocals" because they reduce fatigue and help you function.


John S 08 Apr 2014, 00:18


I have some ideas that would probably help you out. Send me an email when you get a chance, js7818 at


Kris 08 Apr 2014, 00:11

I have a question about whether I should expect to need prism or not. I'm mid forties and had an eye that turned in when I was a kid. I wore glasses until I was seven and had eye surgery. It didn't cause problems until I hit my late thirties. At that point I was losing depth perception and havng issues with eye fatigue and I started wearing glasses again. My current prescription is right eye +2.00 -.5, left eye +1.25, add 2.00. My right eye turns in with my glasses off and I notice it turning in, even with glasses on, if I am tired. I sometimes see double, but it isn't usually problematic but seems to happen more than it used to.

Should I expect this to get worse as I age, and am I likely to need prism? My eye doctor has mentioned it but I'm not clear if this is something to expect.

BOBBY 07 Apr 2014, 20:10

Thank you Cactus Jack for the elaborate answer and you are absolutely right.

I already have loads of pairs of glasses with various prescriptions, including minus ones and I can always order more. However, I am doing this for experiencing the actual eye exam first. It is hard to explain, but every once in a while I enjoy is something about having my eyes checked out.

And I live in the UK. Thing is, as you said, I have quite a good accommodation power in my eyes and do not struggle with my vision. That is why I thought that the optometrist might deduce that I don't really need bifocals. Any tips on how I could trick them?

Thank you.

Cactus Jack 07 Apr 2014, 19:48


These days, it is not necessary to pretend that you are becoming presbyopic to get bifocals. It is very easy and inexpensive to order either lined bifocals or progressives from an on line retailer such as Zenni Optical. Essentially, all you need is your complete prescription and your PD (Pupillary Distance). You are entitled to a copy of your prescription, but it probably will not have your PD listed. However, it is easy to measure with a ruler marked in mm and a bathroom mirror. We will tell you how.

Presbyopia actually starts in childhood, but it does not usually become a problem until around the late 30s or early 40s. However, the notion that you do not need reading help until your 40s is a myth. It can actually become a problem at a much earlier age depending on genetics and your visual environment. Presbyopia tends to become a problem at an earlier age for people with hyperopia, such as you have. than for people with myopia.

It is not unusual for younger people to be experiencing problems with close focusing when trying to read the tiny text on smartphones. If you want an official eye exam for bifocals, all you have to do it tell the examiner that you need some help reading the text on your smartphone or tablet, but all you really have to do is just order what you want from Zenni. You don't need a prescription.

You can get an idea of what a reading add is like by getting some low or medium power over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses in the +1.00 to + 1.75 range and wear them over your regular glasses while you use your computer, smartphone, or when you read. When you decide the power you would like, we can help you order bifocals or progressives.

One of the problems with hyperopia is that, unlike myopia, you have the internal ability to correct moderate levels of hyperopia and it is possible that you may have some Latent Hyperopia that the exam did not reveal. It may take a few weeks or even more for your prescription to stabilize and wearing your glasses full time will help. If you get some low power OTC glasses, the clue that you have some uncorrected hyperopia is that distant objects with the OTC glasses over your regular glasses are initially blurry, but clear up over time. That is a pretty good clue that you need some stronger glasses.

One thing you need to be aware of is that for their size, your ciliary muscles (focusing muscles) are the strongest muscles in your body. Wearing reading glasses will reduce their workload. Like all muscles, the ciliary muscles can become reconditioned and you can get to where you have difficulty focusing without the reading glasses or an add in your glasses.

Please let us know what you would like to do and we can help you.

May I ask where you live. That can affect our answers.


Cork 07 Apr 2014, 15:07

Thank you! Will let you know how it works out!

Cactus Jack 07 Apr 2014, 14:22


Any lens maker, including Zenni, can work with either + cylinder or - cylinder. What they do is use the procedure below to change from one cylinder notation to the other.

1. Algebraically add the cylinder to the sphere number (that means pay attention to the signs on the numbers. A + cylinder correction added to a - sphere number will reduce the - sphere value.)

2. Change the sign on the cylinder

3. Add or subtract 90 degrees to the axis number to keep the number between 0 degrees and 180 degrees.

The above procedure is what Val did to make the conversion in his previous post and what a lens maker does when they receive a prescription with + cylinder notation. The resulting glasses will be optically identical.


 07 Apr 2014, 13:39


I think I didn't ask the question correctly.

How do I order the ophthalmologist's script?

Do I use the -6.75 & -5.25 or -5.50/-4.25?

How does Zenni know to change what he wrote?


cactus Jack 07 Apr 2014, 12:21


I think you identified the cause of the significant increase. The cataracts. Many times, cataracts cause the crystalline lenses to swell some, which increases their already high plus power. If a person is hyperopic and normally needs to wear plus glasses for distance, this increase in plus power results in what is often called "second sight". The increase in plus power in the crystalline lens reduces their distance plus prescription and sometimes also improves their ability to read without glasses.

For a person who is myopic, the increased plus in the crystalline lens increases their myopia and results in the need for a stronger minus prescription. I suggest that you order the stronger glasses and consider cataract surgery.

In the past, cataract surgery was so serious that the standard practice was to wait until the cataracts got "ripe". In my opinion what that meant was that the doctor hoped the patient would die before the cataracts got so bad that the alternative was effectively, blindness.

Today, that is all changed. Cataract surgery is the nearest thing to a painless surgical non-event that you can imagine and the implanted Intra-Ocular Lenses (IOLs) can provide almost any final prescription you would like. I had cataract surgery on both eyes about 12 years ago and I have never regretted the decision for a minute.

Within the past month, I drove a friend to his two cataract surgeries (2 to 3 week wait between surgeries) and the whole procedure prep, surgery, and recovery from the mild sedation took an hour and a half. The actual surgeries took about 10 minutes for my surgeries and his. In his case the doctor did not even bandage the eye and he drove himself to the next day follow up with near 20/20 vision without glasses.

If you need cataract surgery, it is best not to wait. The longer you wait, the harder the crystalline lens will get and the harder it is to emulsify and remove.

Was I nervous for my surgery, absolutely for the first one. When I went for my next day follow-up, my first question after the surgeon said it looked great was, "How soon can we do the other eye.?" He said 2 weeks if all continues to go well.

The only problem I have had is that the IOLs are so much more efficient than natural crystalline lenses that sunglasses are almost a necessity on bright days. Driving at night is no longer a problem for me.


BOBBY 07 Apr 2014, 12:04

John S,

Thank you for your reply. I went to check my eyes just for the sake of it. Just like many people on this site, I like glasses and wanted to feel what others felt while getting their eyes tested. It turned out I had a prescription: OD +1.25 and OS: 1.75. I think I have a -.25 cylinder in my right eye as well, but I'm not certain, as it is subjective and different eye exams I had, said different things.

Thing is, I never felt eye strain or experienced headaches, however, I can read slightly easier with my glasses on. Distances become awesome if I wear them for longer periods as well.

Soundmanpt 07 Apr 2014, 10:09


Zenni does not require you to send a prescription slip from your doctor. You have the numbers you need to order your glasses. The only other thing you need to have is your P.D. number. The P.D. number is the distance between the pupils of your eyes. You can get that several ways. You can have a friend do it. You need a ruler that has "millimeters" on it. With you looking straight off in the distance or just as if you were looking right through your friend have your friend measure from the center of one pupil to the center of the other pupil. In most cases it should be between 56 and 63mm.

Have you been into the "Zenni" site yet? When you go in the first thing is to click on womens or mens glasses near the top. Then hit "Refine your Search" then hit on "prescription" this will ask you to pick single vision, progressives, or bifocals. I'm sure you probably know that progressives don't have the line and bifocals has the line.

John S 07 Apr 2014, 09:59


Please post your current rx, and if you are having any problems seeing close or getting headaches.

What symptoms led you to get glasses, and how long have you worn glasses?

BOBBY 07 Apr 2014, 09:19

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that I am only 22 and that may look suspicious tot the doctor.


BOBBY 07 Apr 2014, 09:17

Hi everyone,

Do you know if there are any effective ways to pretend during an eye test that you are presbyopic? I mean, without making the doctor realizing that nothing is wrong. I already am mildly hyperopic, but I was wondering how I could push the doctor towards recommending me bifocals.


Cork 07 Apr 2014, 06:43


If I order from Zenni how do I order the prescription from the ophthalmologist? Does this prescription warrant "high index? Thanks!

Cork 06 Apr 2014, 20:08

Thank you Cactus for your response.

1. 60

2. Chicago

3. Optometrist dilated..ophthalmologist didn't because he was too far away and I didn't want to drive.

4. -3.75 -1.25 30 +2.25

-2.00 -1.50 165

with a "growing" cataract

I was first referred to the ophthalmologist, as being a very good Dr, but was afraid to fill it thinking it was a very big jump (unless I was reading it wrong-I was) so went back to my old Dr.

Cactus Jack 06 Apr 2014, 15:26


Here are some questions:

1. What is your age?

2. Where do you live?

3. Did the ophthalmologist or optometrist dilate your eyes?

4. What was your prescription before these?

The most subjective part of a glasses prescription is the cylinder and axis because it usually depends, more than any other part, on your ability to judge relative blurriness rather than sharpness. It appears that the ophthalmologist reduced your left eye cylinder power and added some of it to the sphere. Sometimes compromises are made with cylinder power, but that is usually to avoid prescribing toric contacts rather than glasses.

Here is something to consider. Order a very low cost pair in each prescription from Zenni Optical and try them both. Zenni has amazingly good quality glasses of as low as US$6.95 with no options, plus shipping.

Cork 06 Apr 2014, 13:30

Thank you Val. That seems like a huge difference (with s time difference of 1 week.) I have no way to compare the prescriptions side by side, so not sure what to do. According to you there is a difference of over -1.00 per eye. What do do?

Hollie 06 Apr 2014, 03:42

I got mine from Glasses Direct Clare, they were about 40 quid. I'd not had any for years either but was advised contacts don't mix with a safari holiday!

Val 04 Apr 2014, 11:20

Cork, the prescription from the ophtalmologist is stronger.

You can write it also like that:

R: -5.5 -1.25 10

L: -4.25 -1 170

So, compared to the one from the optometrist, the sphere is stronger in both eyes. The astigmatism is the same in the right eye and lower in the left eye, both with a slightly different axis.

The important thing is which one gives you the better vision.

And this is up to you.

I would go with the stronger prescription...

Clare 03 Apr 2014, 16:50

I took a look at Zenni but didn't see anything I liked. Initially I liked the look of some cat's eyes but the reviews put me off! Any other good sites anyone can recommend for sunglasses please? (That's assuming we have a summer in England of course!)

Cork 01 Apr 2014, 11:15

I went to an ophthalmologist and got the following prescription:

R: -6.75 +1.25 110

L: -5.25 +1.00 80 +2.50

I wasn't happy with him so went back to my old optometrist who wrote:

-4.25 -1.25 15

-3.00 -1.75 165 +2.50

Is there a difference, and if so how big. Do I need hi index lenses if I order from Zenni? What should I order?


Likelenses 31 Mar 2014, 22:48


If you do order from Zenni,why not bump up your Rx by -.50, or order a cheap pair and do it.

You will be amazed at how you will see with that small amount more. For someone OO you must have a pair of fun glasses.

Soundmanpt 31 Mar 2014, 15:58


If you don't have any sunglasses in your current prescription then I agree that should be at the top of the list. They are almost necessary now that your going to be wearing glasses much more often. And as you say Zenni is a great place to get them from. If it helps any the one I get most orders for is #220431 which is a tortoiseshell frame, it also comes in a black frame and that is #220421. Another one that is newer and I have had an order for and looks nice is #274015 in a brown color. The first two i mentioned is $12.95 plus the $5.00 for the sunglasses tinting. The last one is $15.95 and the same $5.00 for the tinting. By the way if you like your sunglasses to be nice and dark the best tint is the 80% gray tint.

Now of course not knowing your style you may have something much different in mind and they have thousands to choose from, Remember any of the glasses shown can be rx sunglasses.

Clare 31 Mar 2014, 15:22

Soundmanpt, Likelenses - made me smile! And thanks Likelenses for your description, I hope some would agree.

I haven't tried the new disposable lenses yet, not sure I see the point of upping my spend by 33% for no real benefit other than not having to use solutions. I'll stick with these for the time being and carry in with limited social wear.

As for the glasses wardrobe my next propiority is to get some prescription sunglasses which I haven't had for years. I suppose Zenni Optical is the best place to start?

George1968 - thanks for the welcome but I'm not *quite* a member, though I wonder how close I am with about 1 day's CL wear a week! Depends on the social need at the moment I think and then I,out up with the discomfort for the next day. Dumb eh?

Clare 31 Mar 2014, 15:22

Soundmanpt, Likelenses - mad me smile! And thanks Likelenses for your description, I hope some would agree.

I haven't tried the new disposable lenses yet, not sure I see the point of upping my spend by 33% for no real benefit other than not having to use solutions. I'll stick with these for the time being and carry in with limited social wear.

As for the glasses wardrobe my next propiority is to get some prescription sunglasses which I haven't had for years. I suppose Zenni Optical is the best place to start?

George1968 - thanks for the welcome but I'm not *quite* a member, though I wonder how close I am with about 1 day's CL wear a week! Depends on the social need at the moment I think and then I,out up with the discomfort for the next day. Dumb eh?

Likelenses 28 Mar 2014, 22:26

Clare I would not refer to you as bespectacled, but perhaps as the pretty blonde with glasses.

Soundmanpt 28 Mar 2014, 19:39

No name

I sure wish I could argue with you, but your completely right. Pretty bad of me. I hope Clare has as much of a sense of humor as you have.

 28 Mar 2014, 14:39

"bespeckled Clare"? You make her sound like a trout. The word is "bespectacled."

Soundmanpt 28 Mar 2014, 11:59


I was going to give you a few days before checking with you as to how well the new lenses were working. From what you said right off it seemed clear your doctor must feel that your eyes no longer can tolerate contacts very well at all.

Well one way to look at it is what you will be saving on contacts you can now spend on either getting several new pairs of glasses that you like or something else that you want. You made it very clear in your early posts how unhappy you were to be prescribed your first glasses for driving back when you were in your mid 20's. And as your eyes got more nearsighted and you found you needed glasses for more than just driving you quickly went to contacts. For years hardly anyone even knew you wore contacts let alone glasses. But not that your still very happy about wearing glasses you have finally began to except yourself wearing glasses these days, and so has everyone else around you. So now only a very few hasn't seen the "bespeckled Clare"

It's really good that there wasn't any change in your prescription, that means you don't have to buy new glasses which is always a nice saving. But still since it seems your eyes are now stable it could be fun to start at least a small "glasses wardrobe" so you can have different glasses to go with different outfits. Maybe even get a fun pair, like something in bright red to go with your blond hair could be fun. Or the current trend of a "hipster" style could be fun as well. Art least your eyes have stopped changing and your prescription isn't bad at all so your lenses are not thick and would look great in any frame style big or small.

George1968 28 Mar 2014, 07:32


Well welcome to the society of fulltime wearers. It's not so bad. Plus, I am sure the comments you get are very positive.


Clare 27 Mar 2014, 17:42

Likelenses - no, no change in prescription. It wasn't a surprise to me.

George1968 - to be honest I'm not expecting any improvement, looks like this is it. It's just a question of comfort. As an indication I've worn contacts for about 6 hours in total in the last two weeks. Having avoided glasses for 20 years I've overcome my vanity now. Just a few family and distant friends who've not seen the bespectacled me. What I hate most is when people comment"

George1968 24 Mar 2014, 20:41


So, if these new contacts don't work out like your doctor thinks, what are you going to do? It sounds like from your observation that you are not forward to wearing contact lenses that you will be wearing glasses most of the time.

Sorry you didn't the improvement you wanted in terms of your dry eyes.

Likelenses 24 Mar 2014, 18:26


Any change in your prescription?

Clare 24 Mar 2014, 17:27

Soundmanpt - I have some test pairs of those Total 1 dailies that you recommended. I had my CL check up last week and said I don't wear contacts much because I can only get 4 hours' comfortable wear on average, sometimes less. She said if I'm not wearing them much it could be worth trying these, I think she was reluctant to recommend them as they'd be very expensive for someone wearing them all the time. She didn't think they'd make a huge difference as my eyes are still as dry as last year despite my dramatically scaling back my contacts wear which is really disappointing. I'd hoped I'd see some improvement although I'm not surprised, I don't look forward to wearing contacts now but will give the new ones a try.

Clare 09 Mar 2014, 12:50

George 1968 - I think had I not been forced to reduce my contacts wearing time due to discomfort from dry eyes nothing would have changed. In the last 18 months or so the situation has become noticeably worse, its been building I now recognize for a number of years, to the extent where my optician first recommended reducing the number of hours I wear contacts and I then realized that they were actually more comfortable than contacts a lot of the time. I still like to wear contacts, and feel more attractive when I do, but I'm no longer hiding my glasses! Although there are still remote friends and some family members who'd be surprised if I turned up wearing glasses. My Rx topped out at -2.75 and -3, it didn't increase dramatically but I got very used to seeing well with contacts which is why I prefer to wear glasses if not contacts.

Niko 08 Mar 2014, 02:57


I'm nearsighted and astigmatism, I have a correction -2.75 (-1.00 to 90 °).

I wear all the time and for years a significant overcorrection in order to be more myopic. Currently -6.75 (+1.00 at 0 ° and -7.00 (+1.00 to 0 °).

In 2008 my new ophthalmologist to suspect an open angle glaucoma, and since I have to have regular exams and put drops in the eye every day.

I want to know if that little be due to overcorrection I wear for almost 10 years.

George1968 04 Mar 2014, 13:41


You have really come a long way in terms of your relationship to glasses. I remember when you had "pink eye" and couldn't wear your contacts. You were forced to wear your glasses, but did so only when you absolutely had to. Now you go days with them on and are comfortable with them (plus, it sounds as though you have great frames for your blonde hair).

What do you think made the difference?


Clare 03 Mar 2014, 15:12

George1968 - hello, welcome back. How are you?

I'm not expecting to be told no more contacts, more 'be careful' as my eyes haven't been tolerating contacts well for the last 18 months. That's been a revelation for me as there were people I'd known for years who'd only ever seen me wear contacts. In the very early stages it wasn't that evident though as I only limited contacts wear a bit to conform with my optician's instructions. Now though my eyes get agitated sometimes after just 4 hours so it sometimes happens that I go days without wearing contacts and so I've grown more comfortable with glasses - and I mean that literally too, they don't cause any discomfort at all. I'm happy with my frames which are a brown plastic at the front with a tortoiseshell effect on the arms. They've earned me compliments!

I work with lots of sassy, attractive females who wear glasses which is great. It's a style thing maybe in the city but its great for people like me.

George1968 03 Mar 2014, 08:22

Kim, I stabilized at -3.50, but now have a +1.25 add. After a couple of weeks of feeling awkward in glasses, I got over it. If I had to go back in time, I would have worn my glasses a lot earlier.

Kim 03 Mar 2014, 01:45

George1968! I remember your stories about going full-time from around 10 years ago. How is life as a decade-long FT-wearer? And what prescription are you now?

Curious 02 Mar 2014, 03:49

Well she's certainly not camera shy, there are hundreds of pictures of her. The thing I find curious though is that in the few pictures where she has her glasses off she hides her right eye, either with her hair or by use of shadow. It's as though she thinks her deviating eye is more obvious without glasses and she needs to hide it.

Stefan 01 Mar 2014, 14:29

Nadezhda would most like only see out of one eye at a time, her brain 'supressing' the image from the other eye. One eye would be the dominant eye. Her other eye might give her almost as good eyesight as that dominant eye - or it might give her vision that is considerably worse. She would not have a 'conventional' three-dimensional view of the world and might not be very good at catching balls and other 'spatial tasks'. Also, she might (or might not) be self-conscious about having eye contact with other people.

Stefan 01 Mar 2014, 14:23

Curious 01 Mar 2014, 11:35

Curious 01 Mar 2014, 11:33

Does anyone have an idea of how the woman in this link would see? Her right eye is very turned in and slightly upward and in most pictures she seems to be looking at the camera with her left eye. However in a few pictures her right eye seems to be the one aiming at the camera. Would she double? I can't imagine how irritating that would be. I've read that when people have severely crossed eyes the brain picks the image from the dominant eye and zones the other out. Does this mean she can't see with her right eye? She has a strong prescription in both eyes so presumably she has some vision in her right. Or is the prescription just cosmetic to make both lenses match? Would she have any depth perception? What about with her glasses off, would her brain just register the blurred image from her dominant eye and ignore the other? I have to say I find this so fascinating and would love to experience her vision, for a short while anyway.

George1968 26 Feb 2014, 20:26

Clare, it sounds from your post that you are expecting that you are going to come out of it a fulltime glasses wearer. If that happens, are you going to be OK with that. Seems as though you now wear glasses more often than contacts.

BTW, what kind of frames do you have now?

Good luck.


Clare 26 Feb 2014, 17:15

Likelenses - it was a figure of speech more than and expectation - my prescription has generally gone up but stopped a few years ago but I've known people who've had prescriptions go down too.

And - well not really, at my last exam I don't think I managed the top line but wearing contacts of course I can get it all!

And 26 Feb 2014, 10:11


how many different prescriptions have you had ? Has it changed every time you've been tested ? At least you'll be able to see much of the chart unaided, won't you ?

Likelenses 25 Feb 2014, 21:48


You said that at your appointment next month that your prescription could go up or down.

Have you been having any trouble seeing?I am curious as to why you think that it could go down.

Crystal Veil 25 Feb 2014, 15:56

Soundmanpt, yes I have the same feeling about daughter Esther. There is a real interest in glasses in her family. E.g. her brother is shortsighted and he asked my advice when he was looking for a very specific pair of new glasses in the style of the early 1960's. He would have been delighted to pose for me as well but my collection only hosts ladies glasses :). I have not seen Esther since the photo shoot but I did see her mother Miriam and she told me that Esther still wears the glasses when she is in the mood. Great!

Soundmanpt 25 Feb 2014, 15:18

Crystal Veil

I too am looking forward to seeing the mother / daughter photo shoot. I still very well recall the last mother / daughter shoot you did. It sure seemed as if the daughter was very interested in glasses considering she didn't actually need glasses. Unlike all the young people now that seem to enjoy the oversize fake "hipster" style glasses. Her taste in glasses seemed more classic than trendy. So I got the impression that she isn't like those types that is looking at that as a fashion item but more that she enjoy wearing glasses in a more casual style. So it was not at all surprising that she was more than happy to accept your offer for a free pair of Zenni glasses at the end of the shoot. Did you also feel that way as well?

astigmaphile 25 Feb 2014, 12:41

Crystal Veil,

I looked at your photoshoot with Simona last night. It is wonderful. Simona is very beautiful and talented.

Thank you for the info you gave me in your last posting. I am looking forward to seeing the Canadian model and her mother.

Cactus Jack 25 Feb 2014, 10:55

Curious George,

To add to Puffin's explanation, one big difference in how vertical prism and horizontal prism are prescribed is that while it is very rare for a person to need one eye BO and the other eye BI, it is common to split the total vertical prism in a prescription into one eye BU and the other BD unless the total amount of prism is very small and then it will all be in one eye.


Puffin 25 Feb 2014, 07:45

Like horizontal prisms - you get two images, except that they're one above the other instead of side by side.

Curious George 25 Feb 2014, 04:11

Hi all

I have a question. I know and understand when prisms are prescribed. I also know the symptoms for the need for horizontal prims.

But I don't seem to find any indications as to when vertical prisms are prescribed. What are the symptoms there? How can an optician tell that he has to check the client's eyes for a possible need for vertical prisms?

Thank you and best regards,

Curious George

Crystal Veil 25 Feb 2014, 01:55


the model in question is called Marleen. She did two photo shoots for me, both were posted on my first weblog. Her first photo shoot was posted in June, 2010. During the first part of that shoot, Marleen was posing in glasses near her own prescription

[L: -3.00; cyl -2.75 h / R: -1.50; cyl -4.00].

Just click the year 2010 on the opening page and then June on the next page that appears on your screen.

By the way, I am in the process of editing the final portraits of a mother / daughter photo shoot. The daughter is an experienced freelance model from Canada and she has almost perfect eyesight. Her mother had little experience with photo shoots but she may be of more interest to you as she has a prescription with substantial astigmatism (around -3.00, with a "vertical" axis, around 0 or 180). You will clearly notice the difference between her prescription and that of Marleen who has a horizontal axis (around 90). I expect to start posting the new mother / daughter shoot next week.

astigmaphile 24 Feb 2014, 19:34

Crystal Veil,

What model that you have photgraphed has a -4.00 cylinder prescription?

Crystal Veil 24 Feb 2014, 17:39


some people with an astigmatim as yours (-1.75) can use contact lenses without cylinders but it depends on the axis of both cylinders (left and right). I discovered this when preparing for a photo shoot with a model who had -4.00 astigmatism. In her case, the axis of the cylinders was almost identical. Translated into your situation: one contact lens with -6.00 and the other with -7.50 might work fine, depending on the axis of both cylinders. You would get an over correction for one eye and an under correction for the other eye but somehow, the brain puts the pieces of information together and the result can be surprisingly good. Mind you, the model in question did not wear contact lenses, just glasses - but it might work with contacts as well. It does not work if the difference in axis is around 45 degrees. And surprisingly, some glasses did the trick and others did not. So this is not a receipt with guaranteed success, just an approach that might work for you.

Clare 24 Feb 2014, 16:58

It will be a over a month late but I've bitten the bullet and booked my contact lens check up next month. I'm apprehensive as a number of things could happen - my prescription could go up/down, I could be told contact lenses are not good for my eyes, none of which I'll like. So I'm not looking forward to the last weekend in March and, meanwhile, I'll run out of contacts completely so won't have the option of wearing them - they're pretty uncomfortable anyway so it will probably be a good thing in the run up to my appointment. Funny how things work out like that ...

Likelenses 06 Feb 2014, 02:33


And yes,the only solution for your degree of astigmatism would be toric,and most likely rigid gas perm contacts.

Likelenses 06 Feb 2014, 02:30


Most eye doctors want you to wear glasses full if the astigmatism in the better eye is .75 or more.

Astigmatism is not like myopia.A small amount of it affects vision much worse.I would estimate that if you had only your myopia corrected,that your vision would be about 20/200.

DS 05 Feb 2014, 22:45


You might pass the vision test with spherical contact lenses, but you are getting close to the limit. You have to read the 20/40 line in most states.

Go to and enter "OD 0.75 CYL -1.75 X 45" for your query. If you know the axis for your astigmatism, you can fill in the correct value. This will show you an eye chart approximating your vision corrected with "best spherical equivalent".

Everyone else on the road would appreciate full correction, though, either with toric lenses or perhaps wearing a weaker pair of glasses with the astigmatism correction along with the contact lenses.

minus5wholuvsgwgs 05 Feb 2014, 15:50

With that level of astigmatism I certainly would not drive without correction for your short sight and the astigmatism Why not stick to glasses these days with nice frames glasses only add to a ladys beauty personally every girl i have ever dated has worn glasses and all look much lovelier with them

andrea 05 Feb 2014, 15:45

i wear glasses all the time. 24 and bad shortsighted -6.00 and i have astigmatism -1.75. could i wear normal contact lenses or do i need to get toric lenses? would i see good enough without correcting my astigmatism? what is the limet astigmatism for driving?

Stingray 05 Feb 2014, 14:29

I think with the prolific use of Iphones, Ipads, Kindles, lap top computers and the like, a new generation of high myopes has emerged. This generation has little use of distance vision because of dependence on these devices.

Eventually this and subsequent generations will develop high myopia for lack of using distance vision and relying so much on close vision to use these devices. Your thoughts?

Soundmanpt 19 Jan 2014, 20:03

Cactus Jack

Looking back I see that "g" was in here back on Dec 31st and did say he / she was 25 years old.

Cactus Jack 19 Jan 2014, 19:38


Wearing glasses or contacts will not appreciably affect your prescription. Genetics, visual environment, and age are the big factors. However, you may think your vision is worse without your glasses after a while.

Vision actually occurs in the brain and the eyes are merely biological cameras. The brain has amazing image processing powers if it knows what something is supposed to look like, but it takes lots of work and effort to clear up fuzzy images. When you wear glasses or contacts, they do the work necessary so your eyes can deliver sharp, clear images to the brain that require little or no extra processing or effort. Once the brain gets used to working with clear images, it will complain if it has to process blurry ones. As proof that vision occurs in the brain, ever had a dream? The brain produced the images in your dream while your eyes were shut.

About astigmatism. -1.25 is not a very high number, but the determination of the amount of astigmatism and the axis is a very subjective process. The accuracy of the cylinder and particularly the axis depends to a great extent on your skill in judging relative blurriness of two images as the examiner flips a supplemental lens back and forth. It is very hard for an inexperienced person to do.

Astigmatism actually changes very slowly, if at all. Most changes in astigmatism are caused by the inexperience of the patient. There are ways to improve the accuracy which have been described on the Astigmatism thread.

May I ask:

1. Your age

2. Occupation

3. Where you live? (country)


g 19 Jan 2014, 16:45

ive been wearing glasses for two weeks now and eyes feel great. i think my vision is bad but opticians says im just shortsighted which is common. im always going to have to wear glasses/contacts with my prescription -3.25 -3.75 i have -1.25 astigmastism in one eye and wearing glasses will stop it getting worse. is this bad astigmatism?

Julian 15 Jan 2014, 19:11

Hey, ConcernedMama, that's really good news!

Soundmanpt 15 Jan 2014, 15:45

Concerned Mom

That's great to hear! I'm sure you feel relieved.

ConcernedMama 15 Jan 2014, 14:53

Hello all!

I just wanted to share some fantastic news with you all because you've supported me so much through the tough times.

Yesterday we were at Moorfields with both the little ones and NEITHER OF THEM NEEDED AN INCREASE! In fact, they reduced my son's prescription a little as they think this will stop it reducing.

I was so happy - it is the first time since my daughter M got her glasses that she hasn't had to have an increase. She's due for an exam under anaesthetic at the end of March but everybody seemed to breathe a sigh of relief to see that things hadn't progressed.

So - my son is going back in June and M in March - lots of time to enjoy being a family and not worrying about eyes!

Thank you all so much!

CM x

Dave 15 Jan 2014, 13:22

Hi Adam --

My prescription is pretty much like yours and I only use my glasses when I feel a need to like driving at night or watching tv if it's pretty far off and I want to see anything that might be on display at the bottom of the screen. I think my visual acuity puts me just on the edge of legal driving here in California without correction. I know a couple of guys who have even a lesser prescription than mine and they wear their glasses all the time. Frankly, I think it's more of a fashion statement on their part, since they couldn't possibly need correction to go from their gym lockers to the showers with at most a -75! I do believe that a lot of minor myopia today is caused by the visual environment in which we work so taking regular eye breaks from the computer and concentrating on a distant object is a good idea.

BOBBY 13 Jan 2014, 04:10

Cactus Jack,

I understand what you mean. I will just have to decide what I really want to do.


I have never had my pupils dilated. The reason why I had my eyes checked is because I had this urge to try on different lenses and to talk face to face about vision.

svensont 12 Jan 2014, 15:47


What was the reason to make an eye test? Was the eye doctor dilating your eyes?

The more you will wear your glasses, the more difference you will notice. I guess that after few weeks full time you should start having difficulties without glasses (ie tired eyes, maybe headache).

Cactus Jack 12 Jan 2014, 12:32


Latent or hidden hyperopia occurs when you use your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to internally correct your hyperopia. Many people do this for years and the ciliary muscles, in effect, take a "set" without your being aware of it. It can take weeks or months for the ciliary muscles to fully relax AFTER you start wearing glasses full time and your actual hyperopia is fully revealed and corrected.

You are not doing yourself any favors by NOT wearing your glasses for three reasons. One, you are using your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses for focusing on distant objects, which is limiting your accommodation available for close work. Two, you are not using your ciliary muscles over their full range which sometimes leads to early onset of presbyopia. Three, because of the difference in the prescription for your two eyes, your eye muscle control system is having to work harder than it does if your vision is balanced by your glasses, where the same amount of accommodation is required in each eye for focusing close.

If you wear your glasses full time, AND if there is any Latent Hyperopia, it will gradually be revealed by a need for more plus for distance vision. At 21, it is unlikely that you have very much latent hyperopia. A dilated exam would help reveal it, but it usually takes time AND dilated exams to find out the true extent of latent hyperopia.


BOBBY 12 Jan 2014, 12:14

Cactus Jack

Thanks for your fast reply.

Well, I already know I am mildly longsighted (latent hyperopia as I've noticed you guys call it). My left eye is somewhere around +1.75 whereas my right eye is +1.25. I've never had issues seeing anything, but at the eye exam this prescription has sharpened a bit the bottom line of the eye chart. I terms of close work, I've never experienced any blurred vision, eye strain or headaches, but that's probably because I am only 21.

Anyway, when I wear the glasses for longer periods of time, I do notice that my eyes become more relaxed, but as I said, I'm not finding them a necessity for now. More like an entertainment.

What do you guys think of all this?

CactusJ jack 12 Jan 2014, 10:44


You need to get an eye exam to find out for sure. Before you do that, may I ask what kind of problems you are having and your age. Maybe we can tell you what to say to the examiner when you are asked what kind of problems you are having in words that will get the results you hope for.


I will be off line for a few days, but there are others who can help.

BOBBY 12 Jan 2014, 07:29

Hi everyone. I've been looking at this website for a while due to my fascination for glasses and vision, but it's only been recently that I actually found out that I may need glasses.

Adam 12 Jan 2014, 05:58

Hi Dave

All of my brothers and sister wear contact lenses so are full time, and wear glasses when they have no lenses in.

I am getting more used to my glasses, I don't wear them at work but do end up wearing them most evenings. This is due to the fact my eyes feel more relaxed wearing them. The reason I don't wear them at more often is I do t want to become reliant on them, and like the fact I can still get by without them.

Soundmanpt 07 Jan 2014, 13:39


Really what your talking about is not that new, but interesting enough it has been on and off the market several times. It is called Orthokeratology Corneal Reshaping In short "Ortho-K"

I think what your curious about is what the results would be for say someone with perfect vision to wear these lenses over time?

Now for what it's worth the last I recall this process only had results for people with very low prescriptions, so not really for everyone. I knew an optician at a Sears optical and she was trying them herself. She said you first have to wear them a good while before they start to correct your daytime vision. But she said they do work but she did say that one thing she found is that she was amazed at how quick her eyes returned to her real prescription. She said she quickly found out that as soon as she noticed her vision becoming even slightly blurred she was going to need her glasses pretty quickly. Now i don't since i haven't seen her for a good while if her eyes held longer the more she slept in them or not. but at that time she said she was fine without correction for about 7 hours or so, certainly not all day.

Daffy 07 Jan 2014, 06:08

Chich- some time ago I read about some contact lenses one would wear over night. The exact name escapes me now. The contact lens was/is a hard lens and the concept of this lens was to press/shape/mold a myopic eye overnight. In the morning the lens is popped out and the vision would be perfect. Over the course of the day the eyeball would revert back and the wearer wears the lens again overnight. I can't remember if this ever became available or it was a research/trial thing. So I guess what you are referring to is this but you want to induce the myopia. Maybe someone here also read about this.

Daffy 07 Jan 2014, 06:02

Brian- the add came about a year and half ago. I probably didn't need it yet, but I asked for it as I'm in electronics and need to see very up close and my eyes felt tired.

Brian 06 Jan 2014, 19:20

Daffy, Your lucky you stayed stable. I started at 2BI in 2010 and am up to 5BI in each eye now. I have an eye exam next month so I'm hoping it stays steady. How long have you had a bi-focal add? I'm 35 and so far no need for bifocals yet..

Cactus Jack 05 Jan 2014, 14:38


I don't believe it would have much effect. There is some evidence that there are special hormones produced by the retina and affect eyeball growth and genetics plays a very big controlling role in their production. If internal eye pressures had much effect on myopia, people with glaucoma would probably be very myopic.

True, the major cause of myopia is excessive distance from the eye's lens system to the retina. The distances involved are very small and the total optical power of the 4 lenses in the eye's lens system is very strong, between 50 and 60 diopters. Myopia results when the distance is too long by about 0.3 mm per diopter.

In general both myopia and hyperopia are caused by a mismatch between the total optical power of the eye's lens system and the distance to the retina. Myopia is caused by too much PLUS and hyperopia is caused by too little PLUS. Pressing gently on the cornea could temporarily reduce its considerable PLUS power and cause slightly LESS myopia. That is the principle behind the use of special contact lenses to reshape the cornea to reduce myopia.


chich 05 Jan 2014, 11:12

From what I understand, pressing on the eyes causes a slight spike in eye pressure. Technically speaking, the reason for myopia is that the eyeball is too long. Which brings me to my question:

Does anyone think that pushing on them lightly for an extended period of time (say over night) could cause an increase in nearsightedness? like maybe stimulate eye growth in order to compensate for the increase in pressure?

pauld 05 Jan 2014, 07:37

cactus jack,thanks for that

Cactus Jack 05 Jan 2014, 07:03


Base In (BI) prism will correct or cause the eyes to turn outward which is NOT a normal function of the eye's positioning control system. There is never a natural NEED for both eyes to turn outward at the same time, so from a practical point of view, BI glasses primarily CORRECT the situation where the eyes turn outward (DIVERGE) because of muscle imbalance, nerve, control system problems, or congenital malformation problems.

For distance vision, the central axes of vision of both eyes are parallel. To focus closer, the eyes must CONVERGE (plus change focus) or double vision will result. The eye muscle control system is essentially programed to look straight ahead, left, right, up, down and oblique in a coordinated fashion. However, the control system can be re-programed and in effect, strabismus (general term for misalignment of the eyes) can be induced much more easily than inducing myopia. Exophoria (medical term for the eyes turning outward or diverging) is harder to induce than esophoria (medical term for the eyes turning inward, crossing, or converging) because it is not a normal function of the eye's position system, but it is possible. Esophoria IS a normal function when ever you focus close so it is much easier to tolerate or induce.

I don't know your background so I will try to no get too technical. The eye's positioning system is what is called, in engineering terms, an open loop servo system, where the system does not know the ACTUAL position of the eyes, but tries to match the two images together to see 3-D. This is different than a closed loop system, such as is used in precision machining or robotics where the position of the tool is known to a very tiny fraction of an inch or mm.

If you wear glasses with BI or BO prism your eye muscle control system will try to match the images from your eyes so you do not see double, it is just harder with BI prism. The risk is that some people already have an eye position problem, but over time, the control system has been trained to overcome it without the use of prisms. In some ways it is a bit like Latent Hyperopia where wearing plus glasses will allow the ciliary muscles to gradually relax and reveal the true correction needed. The same thing can occur with the eye position system. I believe this is what occurs in some instances, when wearing prism causes "dependence". The need was already there, but masked. I think it is also a cause of adult strabismus, where esophoria or other phorias develop in adulthood, but were not manifest in childhood.

Please remember that I am not an Eye Care Professional, but an amateur in the original French sense. My knowledge and opinions come from self study and desire to understand my own adult strabismus problems with esophoria.


Daffy 05 Jan 2014, 06:13

Brian- I tried 6BI but after I found out I "needed" correction I experimented no further. My Rx is R -6/-.75/21 4 BI & L -6/-.75/2 4BI add +1.75. I'm 37.

pauld 05 Jan 2014, 05:26

helpful,ok,thanks for your help,as i was just wondering if the prisms would affect my eyes

helpful I hope 05 Jan 2014, 05:19

Excuse saying above when the layout of ES means messages come out BELOW


I think I gave my view if you wear them long but others more qualified will no doubt explain better

helpful I hope 05 Jan 2014, 05:15

Hasten to add that each person is individual and if you have a genuine need for either be careful if you are thinking of increasing. The above comments relate to wearing for GOC when the person has a longing for that aspect and is prepared to 'experiment'. I think the advice there would be like I said above with Base IN as there is no toleration

pauld 05 Jan 2014, 05:11

helpful,so if i wear them for goc full time i will need them always when i get used to them

Helpful I hope 05 Jan 2014, 05:07

I think there is a difference in wearing base in prism which can become a real need if wore for long and base out prism which can be tolerated to a certain level without becoming 'hooked'. No expert just what I read here from time to time from contributors who regular help with ?s.

pauld 05 Jan 2014, 05:00

hi,i have been given a pair of glasses with -12 lenses in and with 5 base in prisms,i was wondering if i wear them for goc will the prisms pull my eyes inwards and will it affect my vision when i remove them,thanks

hoffide 05 Jan 2014, 04:00

I have to wear glasses with prisms, is not always fun. Currently there are a total of 24 to 44 prisms, depending on the distance. Here are a few examples:

chich 04 Jan 2014, 22:45

From what I understand, pressing on the eyes causes a slight spike in eye pressure. Technically speaking, the reason for myopia is that the eyeball is too long. Which brings me to my question:

Does anyone think that pushing on them lightly for an extended period of time (say over night) could cause an increase in nearsightedness? like maybe stimulate eye growth in order to compensate for the increase in pressure?

Brian 04 Jan 2014, 22:00

Daffy, Are you still at 4BI or has your prism increased? What is your age and full prescription now? Thanks..

Dave 04 Jan 2014, 13:31

Hi Adam --

How are you getting on with your new glasses? Interesting that you and your siblings are all myopic. Funny how that can work out although your prescription isn't strong at all. A friend of mine and his wife have flawless vision and all of their four children are myopic -- one a -6. I'll bet that your -4 brother and sister are full time, even for reading.



Daffy 04 Jan 2014, 09:07

I experimented with prisms a few years ago. Started with 3BI. To cut the long story short I couldn't wear contacts for 3 months and the only glasses I had was the prismed glasses. I had to wear them because I naturally have -6. After the three months I went back to contacts and could not tolerate the absence of the prism. I went to see the eye doc and he then prescribed me 4BI and a good lecture. So in a way I became dependant on them.

Just beware. They are a thrill at the beginning, but the feeling wears off quickly.

Brian 03 Jan 2014, 19:51

Dan, I'm not an expert by any means on prisms, but prisms essentially move the image as your eye sees them, so no, a base in prism does not act like a plus lenses, it will essential move the image as you see it but not magnify it like a plus lense would. I think ones eyes becomes dependant on them because it gets used to sitting in a certain position as the prism repositions the eye behind the lense. I would think anything more than 3 in each eye would make it tough to go w/o them if you wore them for a while. I'm sure others hear on the board could add more with additional technical insight.

Dan 03 Jan 2014, 19:12

A few questions on prisms...

If you don't need prisms, but wear glasses with them anyway, do you become dependent and if so, how long would it take? Do you need a certain strength of prism to make you dependent?

Does a base in prism just act as more plus? Supposed you had +1.5 glasses with a +1 BI in each eye. Is that similar to just a +2.5 prescription or am I totally wrong here?

Thanks in advance.

Soundmanpt 01 Jan 2014, 17:42


You did nothing wrong. I don't have any idea what your first prescription was or how much you wore your glasses or when you switched to contacts, but it was pretty likely that even though you were at an age where many have their vision become stable that you were going to be needing an increase after your first year with glasses. That is very normal as your eyes become more adjusted to them. So it is possible that you became more dependent on full time correction sooner maybe, but your eyes were going to continue to change even if you tried to wear your glasses less often.

No your prescription is considered in the moderate range even though i'm sure you feel a definate need for them. For what it is worth I doubt that your eyes will change much over the coming years if that makes you feel any better. And now that your being told that you need to stop wearing contacts your glasses should look quite nice and you don't need to pay extra for hi index lenses (thinner). Once your eeys do get stable you may want to make wearing glasses be like a jewelery item and have several different ones that you can wear with different outfits. In other words make it fun and enjoy the complements you get.

g 01 Jan 2014, 15:52

i only started wearing contacts and glasses because i could see clearer. now i cant see without them. i never use to go to the opticians ever and now i wear glasses all the time. is my nearsighted prescription that bad? is there something i could of done to not be dependant on correction? or does nearsighteness catch up with you in the end.

Soundmanpt 31 Dec 2013, 12:52


No! Your vision isn't going to get better by not wearing correction. You may or may not still be able to read close up without your glasses if you choose, but if you were told not to wear contacts I think you will be wearing glasses full time. Of course you are doing no harm to try going without glasses but I doubt you will be able to since your eyes are now so used to seeing regularly all the time with contacts. Your often what is referred to as "dependent" now.

g 31 Dec 2013, 12:44

i found out i was nearsighted 2 years ago. had my eyes tested and got first glasses, i have been wearing contact lenses nearly all of the time and now ive been told to give them a rest by the optician. my glasses are -3.25. when im not wearing glasses or lenses i cant see anymore, i couldnt go a day with not wearing them now. is this because nearsightedness affects you when you get older? im 25 now. if i stopped wearing them all the time could my eyes get better?

Adam 30 Dec 2013, 11:07

Hi, I guess they are fairly low as the highest is my brother and sister who are around -4 but have worn them from around the age of 12.

My other brother started wearing glasses at around the age of 24 and i think is around -1.75 and he his now 32, he got glasses after starting a journalism course which I guess involved a lot of close work.

Dave 30 Dec 2013, 06:22

Hi Adam --

Sounds like myopia runs in your family but still suspect that yours is the pseudo myopia that Cactus Jack was talking about. Are your siblings highly myopic or pretty much low myopes?

Keep us posted and let us know if you begin to wear your new glasses more often. Happy New Year!

Adam 28 Dec 2013, 10:43

I was actually the last person out of my 2 brothers and sister who needed glasses. They all wear contacts more than glasses. I guess with this it was a high chance I would need some, but they all got them at a much younger age than I did.

Cactus jack 27 Dec 2013, 15:16


Making your glasses debut in front of your siblings is the worst depute of all. Siblings are notoriously "hard" cases. If they tried them on, the ones that did not make much of a comment are the ones that discovered that their "perfect" vision was better with the glasses.


Adam 27 Dec 2013, 13:23

Yes that is try I hadn't really noticed it before, I guess I had just got used to the slight blur without glasses.

I'm still not used to them and find it strange seeing my reflection wearing them. I haven't worn them too much as do like still having the choice of wearing them.

Dave 27 Dec 2013, 11:52

Adam --

Well I guess you have discovered that your new glasses will be more useful than just for driving at night. Nevertheless, you've got a pretty minor prescription so how much you wear them is entirely up to you. Let us know how you continue to get on with them and Happy New Year.


Adam 26 Dec 2013, 13:19

Hi hope everyone had a good Christmas!?

I spent it with my family so was a chance to wear my glasses in front of them. I didn't have much choice as we have a small tv at my parents home, and I was struggling to see it with out my glasses. The reaction was ok, a few comments from my brothers and sister, which was to be expected I guess!

Dave 23 Dec 2013, 11:53

Adam --

The same thing happened to my nephew who was told by his eye doctor that his myopia (mild) was a result of too much computer work and that he should look away from the computer screen on a regular basis so that his eyes wouldn't worsen.

At this point I suspect you'll probably wear glasses at least for driving at night but let us know how your experience with them goes. They should make a difference.

Adam 22 Dec 2013, 13:41

Thanks for the information and I have looked at the other site.

I guess it is the same as getting a new haircut, it is just waiting to hear peoples reaction.

I work on a computer all day at the pension company, which I guess why my sight has got worse, as before I started working their my vision had always seemed pretty good.

Adam 22 Dec 2013, 13:41

Thanks for the information and I have looked at the other site.

I guess it is the same as getting a new haircut, it is just waiting to hear peoples reaction.

I work on a computer all day at the pension company, which I guess why my sight has got worse, as before I started working their my vision had always seemed pretty good.

Cactus Jack 22 Dec 2013, 10:30


Your prescription means that your vision is a little fuzzy at all distances because of astigmatism and a lot more fuzzy beyond about 1 meter or 40 inches. I think you will ultimately decide to wear the glasses full time because of the comfort. Part of the fatigue you mentioned is caused by your brain having to work overtime to try correct what you see.

Vision actually occurs in the brain and the eyes are merely biological cameras. One of the reasons people with vision problems think they have perfect vision is that if the brain knows what something is supposed to look like, that is what you will see. By the way, this works even with your eyes closed. Ever had a dream? Your brain is creating those images while you sleep. The problem with the brain having to correct images is that it takes lots of work and energy which does not have to be expended if the eyes are delivering very sharp images.

I think almost everyone on this site had experienced concern about what other people will think about the fact that they are wearing glasses or that they have new glasses. I would urge you to read the very funny series of posts by Macrae and others. It is posted on the Vision and Spex web site under "Fantasy and True Stories about vision/glasses" titled "Macrae's true story". Admittedly, Macrae needed plus glasses rather than minus glasses, but the reason you need glasses does not really affect the psychology involved.

I often urge people, who formerly thought they had perfect vision and have had their world shattered, to "bite the bullet" and wear their glasses full time for two weeks and then make a decision about when to wear them. This will do three things. One, It will let your friends, family, and co-workers get used to your wearing glasses. Two, It will let you get used to wearing them and hopefully get over your apprehension. Three, most importantly, it will let your brain relax and get used to working with high quality images.

I need to warn you about item three. Once your brain gets used to effortlessly processing the high quality images and you quit wearing your glasses full time, your brain will likely complain mightily and you will think your glasses have made your vision suddenly worse when it really has not. If you quit wearing your glasses, you can make your brain resume the extra effort after a few days, because it really did not forget how, it just knows that there is a better way to see "clearly" and glasses are simply tools to make that possible.

I don't think you have mentioned your occupation, but I think I can give you an example, in a different context, of what happens to your brain after it gets used to your glasses doing the work. I am semi-retired and have a small business where I need to fasten parts down with small screws. For years I did it with a hand screwdriver and thought nothing of it. A friend gave me a small hand-held battery powered screwdriver that was amazingly powerful. Initially, I thought it was a toy, but I started using it. I discovered that my wrist was no longer sore after a day of work and I could get much more done (productivity anyone?). Now, even if I have only one screw to drive, I reach for the electric screw driver and dread the day this little marvel has to be replaced. Every time I go to an adult men's toy store (in the US, Home Depot or Lowe's), I browse the tool department to check out the latest offerings in small, powerful, electric screwdrivers. It is now the most essential tool I have.

You use other "tools" for your comfort every day and probably thing noting of it. Ever think of clothes and shoes as tools to keep you warm and the rocks from hurting your feet?

Please let us know how you get on and what you think of Macrae's true story.


Adam 22 Dec 2013, 08:27

I have actually got some glasses yesterday as they were able to be made in an hour, as I was going to be doing a bit of driving over Christmas thought I should get them now and see how much I benefit from them.

I have worn them a bit inside but not in front of others yet, am not used to having them on my face yet! I'm not sure about contacts as I'm not sure if I need correction all of the time, or if I should just wear them for driving at night!?

Cactus Jack 21 Dec 2013, 21:45


I believe you could benefit from vision correction. Glasses would offer the most accurate correction for your myopia (1st number) and your astigmatism (2nd and 3rd numbers). However, your astigmatism is low enough that you could probably have satisfactory correction with sphere only contact lenses.

Have you had any thought about what you would like to do?

Have you made any arrangements for glasses or contact lenses?


Dave 21 Dec 2013, 10:46

Hi Adam

If you decide to get glasses please let us know what you think of them. I suspect you will find they are useful for nighttime driving. Merry Christmas

Adam 19 Dec 2013, 12:37

I had been noticing a slight difficultly with driving at night, a kind of halo effect around lights then not being able to read signs till I was fairly close!!

I had also noticed my eyes feeling a bit strained when I got home after being at work all day.

Thought it would be best to get it checked out.

Cactus Jack 18 Dec 2013, 18:45


The prescription indicates that you are mildly nearsighted (Myopia) with a bit of astigmatism. There are two kinds of Myopia. True or Axial Myopia which is caused by the eyeball growing a little bit too long for the total power of your eye's lens system and False or Pseudo Myopia which is caused by your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses (the auto focus part of your eyes) taking a "set" from too much close work like using a computer or reading a lot. Pseudo Myopia is actually the same phenomenon at Latent Hyperopia, just on the other side of 0.00

A person can have both types of Myopia. If both are present, they add together and it is very difficult to tell which is which on an eye exam because the symptoms and correction is identical for both. The BIG difference is that True Myopia is permanent, but False Myopia can resolve itself over time, under the right conditions. It is unfortunate that you went so long without an eye exam because comparing prescription changes over time can provide a good clue as to what is happening.

Because of your age, I suspect that you have very little, if any, True or Axial Myopia or it would have caused you problems when you got your original driver's license or on a previous eye exam. I suspect that you may have some False or Pseudo Myopia. It is very common when a person does a lot of close work.

You also have some astigmatism as indicated by the 2nd and 3rd numbers in your prescription. Astigmatism is caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the cornea and is completely unrelated to Myopia. Unfortunately, astigmatism messes up vision at all distances and makes small text harder to read.

I believe you would certainly benefit by wearing vision correction, particularly for distance, but it may also make close work more comfortable by correcting your astigmatism. With out correction, you prescription means that things begin to get fuzzy beyond about 80 cm or 32 inches and text is not as sharp and clear as it should be.

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


Adam 18 Dec 2013, 15:47

I'm 28 and I did get given a prescription I think it said -0.75 -50 86 and -1.00 -0.25 85.

Cactus Jack 17 Dec 2013, 17:28


We need a little more information to be able to answer your question.

1. Your age?

2. Did you get a prescription after the exam?

#. What does it say?

Without more information, my answer would be it is possible that doing a lot of close work is a factor, but there can be other factors involved also. Most important thing is the sign on the 1st number in the prescription, the Sphere correction.


Adam 17 Dec 2013, 13:39

Hi I had my first eye test in a good few years, and have been told that I would benefit from a pair my distance vision.

I had always had perfect vision until recently when I noticed problems with driving at night. I was wondering if this change in vision might've happened due to my new job of a few years, which involves using a computer most of the day?

Cactus Jack 09 Dec 2013, 21:42


I Received your email and am analyzing it. I will reply in a day or so.


T 09 Dec 2013, 18:30

Cactus Jack,

I sent my email again a minute ago, please check it!

Cactus Jack 07 Dec 2013, 18:12

T, is correct. I have received several email at that address of the last two weeks. The last two were 12/03 and 12/04.

Please try again and confirm here.


REd 07 Dec 2013, 18:02


This video may be of interest and relevant to you. The woman's prescription is similar to yours. Any comment?

You may need to copy and paste this link into your browser

T 07 Dec 2013, 15:04

Cactus Jack,

I wrote an email with some question about prism to some days ago.

Is it your valid address?

Soundmanpt 27 Nov 2013, 13:50

Jersey Girl

Thanks for your update. I was sure that after you started wearing your aunt's glasses when you were staying with her that it wouldn't be much longer until you took them and had her prescription made up for new glasses for yourself. I am surprised since you seemed to even like the fact that they were bifocals that you didn't get that put into your glasses as well. It could be when you found out how expensive bifocals / progressives are that you decided to just continue wearing single vision glasses. Interesting that you also got fitted for contacts, but no surprise that they weren't intense enough for you without wearing your first glasses over them for the sharpness you want. Now I guess I can assume you must have gone on line to order your current glasses since you didn't have any glasses to copy from? You don't seem to happy with the thickness of the lenses though so you must not have gotten hi index lenses for them? Next time you get new glasses since your prescription is getting pretty strong if you want your glasses to not look so thick try getting the thinner lenses.

Just a thought, if you had never come across your ex-boyfriends mother's glasses on your way to a play and tried them on just for out of curiosity and found out that you could see so well with them just how much longer you have gone before you noticed that you were becoming nearsighted? Because even then when you went for your exam you were only prescribed with a weak pair of -.75 glasses which were about -1.00 less than your bfs mother's glasses which you felt you could see much better with and from then on you have always managed to increase from what your real prescription has been. If you hadn't had her glasses to compare to when you would have finally gotten your eyes examined you probably would have been fine with your actual rx and never even had any idea about making your glasses stronger each time. but you have never complained about wearing glasses and i'm sure you must like how you look wearing glasses

REd 27 Nov 2013, 11:39


As always I agree with Cactus Jack that retinal detachment is the largest risk. My boss has twin daughters with prescriptions similar to yours. His advice "If you notice a sudden change of vision get immediate help. Not next week, not tomorrow, not later today, but now". If the retina begins to detach, you may lose vision in one of four directions-up, down, left or right.

You and your parents need a good understanding of your overall vision situation with emphasis on retinal detachment. The 3 of you should make a written list of questions, visit your doctor and insist on answers. Most likely he is not expert for your situation and may refer you to a doctor in the Twin Cities.

Again, I am not an ECP and I absolutely do not wish to alarm you. However it is in the best interest of you and your parents to understand your situation and the symptoms of retinal detachment.

Cactus Jack 26 Nov 2013, 13:08


Sorry I didn't answer your very important question about the rate of increase in your prescription. The reason I did not answer was that I did not think the increase was unusually large for a 15 YO, probably going through puberty, with fairly high myopia. It is not an unusual increase for anyone with even moderate myopia in their mid-teens. As REd said, it will likely slow down quite a bit over the next few years, but that does NOT mean it should be ignored. Lets get a bit technical.

The two prescriptions were 15 months apart. The important numbers are the rate of increase in the Sphere. -1.25 in the Right Eye and -1.50 in the Left Eye in 15 months. The changes in the Cylinder and Axis are relatively unimportant because they have a really different cause than your myopia. Also, they are very subjective numbers that depend on your ability to judge relative blurriness. You could have had another exam the next day, and it is likely that the Cylinder and Axis would be a bit different.

Myopia is generally caused by the eyeball being too long for the total PLUS power of your Cornea, Aqueous Humor, Crystalline Lens, and Vitreous Humor. We typically ignore the Humors, but they contribute a little PLUS also. The Cornea and the Crystalline Lens make the biggest contribution to the approximate +58 diopters in the eye's lens system. The extra length is not very much, only about 0.3 mm per diopter, but a little bit goes a long way in your situation. Your left eye with the -10.00 correction is only about 3.3 mm too long for the considerable PLUS power of your eye's lenses. What makes very high myopia dangerous is the fact that too much eyeball growth strains the attachment of the retina to the back of the eyeball and sometimes it tears loose and that can cause loss of sight. Fortunately, if action is taken quickly to tack it back in place with a laser, sight will be restored.

A couple of points to remember. Glasses or Contact lenses neutralize or cancel out refractive errors. MINUS lenses neutralize TOO MUCH PLUS for people with myopia and PLUS lenses supplement TOO LITTLE PLUS for people with hyperopia. Often, when discussing the optics of the eye, we use what is called the "simplified" eye to teach how the optics work. We consider the eye to be a 25 mm sphere with a +40 lens on the front and the retina at the back.

The math is so easy that you can almost do it in your head. Reality is a little more complex, but not much, but also not hard, once you understand the basics.

If you would like to know more about how all this works, I can offer some suggestions to help you get started learning about it on your own. Even with the above, you know more than probably 99% of the students and 50% of he teachers in your school.


Ellie 26 Nov 2013, 11:08

Cactus Jack and REd,

Thanks again for all your information. I think you accidentally overlooked a question that I had asked, which is, was the increase that I just had in my prescription normal or abnormal? I know that it's normal for kids my age to get stronger glasses, but how much stronger is normal? And what about my prescription in general? Lots of kids in my school are nearsighted, but as far as I know, I have the strongest prescription -- not something to be proud of.

REd 26 Nov 2013, 10:59


First of all, I love your sense of humor about the weather in Fargo.

Not to try to one up Cactus Jack, but I've driven through Fargo and actually landed at the airport. In the bad old days a flight Minneapolis to Winnipeg made stops in Fargo and Grand Forks. Now there are non stops.

Like CJ I am not an ECP; however I believe CJ's advice is sound.

Best wishes to you

Cactus Jack 25 Nov 2013, 23:51


Thank you for your answers. Believe it or not, I have been to Fargo, but never landed there.

About 35-40 years ago, I worked for a company that made automatic pilots for small airplanes. One of our customers was Bellanca Aircraft in Alexandria, MN. We often made test flights to Fargo to test the ability of the autopilot to follow the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Fargo Airport. We would get down to about 200 feet above the ground and execute what is called a Missed Approach and return to Alexandria, so we never landed. The next nearest ILS was in Minneapolis with lots of traffic.

I was not surprised by your answers about your close focusing habits. You need to understand that I am not an Eye Care Professional (ECP). My background is Electronic Engineering and Computers. I have studied vision and optics to learn more about my own vision problems and some think I am a pretty good explainer. I'm 76 now and live in Houston.

There may not be an Ophthalmologist in Fargo that specializes in Progressive Myopia, I suspect the nearest may be in Minneapolis-St. Paul, but you really ought to try to consult with one for the very best advice on limiting the progression.

I would suggest trying to minimize focusing stress. There are several ways to do that. A simple way to do that is by wearing "reading glasses" when you are doing a lot of close focusing. You may already have some "reading glasses" that will work. These are some of your older glasses with 1.50 to 2.00 LESS sphere correction (e.g. -7.50 to -8.50) with cylinder and axis as close as possible to your current prescription. Another possible solution is to get some +1.50 to +2.00 Over-the-Counter (OTC) readers and wear them over your glasses when you are reading or studying, Wal-Mart sells them. Probably the best solution would be bifocals with a +1.50 to +2.00 ADD in the reading segment, because they are always handy. However, it is likely that your present ECP might be reluctant to fit a 15 YO with bifocals and you might be reluctant to wear them. One thing to consider, because to the number of teen agers that are using smartphone and tablets with very tiny text, more and more teens are experiencing headaches and other problems associated with close focusing and are wearing bifocals to make the displays easier to read. If you got bifocals, you might start a trend.

If you have any more questions or need us to interpret an older prescription, let us know.


Ellie 25 Nov 2013, 21:07

To REd and to Cactus Jack, lots of thanks for writing long answers that explained lots of things to me. Most of my relatives have glasses or contacts. I asked my mom and she said she has -8 glasses and my dad has -5. So I have past both of them. She said 3 of my grandparents are nearsighted and one has reading glasses.

Answers to other questions:

Do I read a lot? Y.

Use cellphone a lot? Y (texting).

Tablet? Y but not as much.

Where do I live? Fargo ND USA. (btw I'm not a farm girl. If you don't know it, Fargo is a city with over 100,000 people and the metro area is over 200,000.) Come visit someday. If you like winter, come from October to May. If you like summer, come on July 18 through July 22, or something like that. Right now it's 12 degrees and snowing.

REd 25 Nov 2013, 11:42


Cactus Jack always provides excellent answers. I will add to his comments.

Firstly it is your right to have a copy of your prescription. Just ask for it.

The first number in a prescription is always sphere. It can be positive or negative and is measured in diopters. Visualize a flat piece of glass. For a positive prescription glass will be added so the middle of the lens will be thicker than the edges. This type of lens helps people who are farsighted (not you).

For a negative prescription (such as yours) glass will be removed (subtracted) so the middle of the lens will be thinner than the edges. In your case (-9 and -10 sphere) the edge of the lens will be much thicker than the middle. For a person with mild myopia (say -1)the edge of the lens will be slightly thicker than the middle.

The 2 paragraphs above does not describe how lens are made; it is only to illustrate.

The next 2 numbers of any prescription pertain to astigmatism. You have a minor/moderate level of astigmatism.

At age 15 you have been or may presently be going through puberty. Often myopia progresses more rapidly during puberty and slows down after puberty and finally stabilizes (stops increasing). While there is no guarantee, it is most likely you will experience this over the next few years.

Sappho 25 Nov 2013, 06:16

Thanks Jersey Girl. I too was wondering how your myopia was progressing. The 1.75s over contacts sounds a good idea to give you really clear vision.

You used to write about a friend who wore your old glasses, are you still passing on?

Cactus Jack 24 Nov 2013, 23:55


You have what is called progressive myopia and it is very good that you have become interested in your vision and want to know more about it. Knowing as much as you can about medical conditions are the key to managing them.

It is normal, for vision to change from being hyperopic or farsighted in early childhood, though the teen years, and into adulthood when it stops. You had an early start on myopia. These changes occur because the head and eye socket grow and ideally the eyeballs grow along with head growth. The growth is affected by several factors, but the most important one is genetics, followed by your visual environment. If a person's eyeballs don't grow enough they wind up being hyperopic or farsighted and need PLUS lenses to enable them to see clearly, particularly close up. If the eyeball grows too much or too fast, they become myopic or nearsighted and need MINUS lenses to allow them to see distant things clearly. I suspect some of your parents, grandparents or aunts or uncles are also myopic or nearsighted an you have inherited the genes that are causing your excessive eyeball growth.

Frankly, there is not much you can do about your genetic make-up, but you may be able to help slow your myopia by control of your visual environment. Before we talk about that, lets talk about what your prescription means by disassembling your new prescription.

OD -9.00 sph -1.50 cyl 10 axis

OS -10.00 sph -1.00 cyl 165 axis

OD = Right Eye, OS = Left Eye (OD and OS are abbreviations for the Latin names.

-9.00 and -10.00 sphere corrects your myopia caused by a mismatch between the total PLUS power of your eye's lens system and the length of your eyeball from the back of the crystalline lens to the retina.

-1.50 and -1.00 cylinder corrects your astigmatism caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of the cornea.

10 and 165 axis is the direction of the long axis of the cylinder. By convention, 0 degrees is horizontal and the numbers increase counter-clockwise (looking at the patient) to 90 degrees vertical and on to 180 degrees, horizontal again. The numbers are always between 0 and 180 degrees.

A PLUS spherical lens is shaped like a slice from the side of a glass ball. A cylindrical lens is shaped like a slice from the side of a glass can. A MINUS spherical lens is shaped like the inside surface of a glass sphere.

Your visual environment is important for normal vision development. It is believed that when you focus close to read, the stress of focusing contributes to the production of a hormone that causes your eyeballs to grow. You are at an age where you do a lot of close work, reading, using a computer, a cell phone or a tablet. You can reduce the amount of focusing stress by wearing an older pair of glasses with less minus when you do close work or wear bifocals in your glasses or wear reading glasses over your regular glasses. Unfortunately, reducing your close focusing stress is NOT guaranteed to slow your myopia, but it can't hurt.

You asked about going blind. That is very unlikely, but people with high myopia are at higher risk of retinal detachment at the sphere prescription increases above -10.00. A high minus prescription does not, by itself, mean that retinal detachment will happen, because other factors may be involved. However, retinal detachment is a very serious event that needs to be addressed immediately. Most of the time, retinal detachment can be repaired using a laser to tack it back into place. Sometimes retinal detachment is caused by a blow to the head even in people without myopia.

I would also suggest seeing an Ophthalmologist who specialized in Progressive Myopia and always follow the instructions of your Eye Care Professionals.

May I ask a few questions?

1. Do you read a lot?

2. Do you use a cell phone or tablet a lot?

3. Where do you live (country and state or province)


Ellie 24 Nov 2013, 19:42

typo alert -- the new prescription is 11/22/13, not 11/22/12.

Ellie 24 Nov 2013, 19:40

I’m a 15 year old girl with pretty crummy eyesight. I got my first glasses in kindergarten and I’m pretty sure they get stronger every time I have an exam. I know they’re pretty strong now. I never saw my prescription until a few days ago. Something happened that made me curious. I had my exam, the dr wrote my new prescription, and my mom and I went to the optical shop we always use. The clerk got out my file. My mom handed him the new prescription, and he looked at the file and said something like “uh-oh, lots more minus.” It sounded bad. I asked what it meant. The optician said, “oh it’s nothing. It’s normal.” I’m not sure I trust him. So, when the file was on the counter with no one guarding it, I opened it and peeked and my old and new prescriptions and, sure enough, the new one was more negative. Since I never saw a prescription before, I’m not sure what to make of it.

The old prescription (8/28/12) said: OD -7.75 sph -1.25 cyl 180 axis OS -8.50 sph -1.00 cyl 175 axis.

The new prescription (11/22/12) said: OD -9.00 sph -1.50 cyl 10 axis OS -10.00 sph -1.00 cyl 165 axis

Can someone tell me what all these numbers mean? Are my eyes as bad as I think? Am I at risk of getting blind? What can I do about it? Thanks guys.

Curt 24 Nov 2013, 13:50

Put the bifocals back in!

Jersey Girl 24 Nov 2013, 11:26


Since you asked, this is my optical update.

At my last exam in late summer 2013, my actual Rx is right eye: -4.25 and left eye: -4.00. At the time I was wearing my aunt's Rx r: -4.75 and l: -4.50. I adjusted so well that I left off her bifocal in the other pairs I made up.

I was refit with new contact lenses of -4.00 and -3.75 powers. With the contacts I found to get the intensity of focus I like I put on old -1.75 glasses with the contacts.

I also ordered new glasses which were -1.75 higher. r: -6.00 and l: -5.75. I love the vision but the lenses now look very thick with the new large frames, so I usually wear the contacts with new larger -1.75 glasses in the same style frame which looks less thick and nicer.

Unfortunately I cannot read closee comfortably without correction now. I can only see about 8 inches from my face now!

Jersey Girl 24 Nov 2013, 11:26


Since you asked, this is my optical update.

At my last exam in late summer 2013, my actual Rx is right eye: -4.25 and left eye: -4.00. At the time I was wearing my aunt's Rx r: -4.75 and l: -4.50. I adjusted so well that I left off her bifocal in the other pairs I made up.

I was refit with new contact lenses of -4.00 and -3.75 powers. With the contacts I found to get the intensity of focus I like I put on old -1.75 glasses with the contacts.

I also ordered new glasses which were -1.75 higher. r: -6.00 and l: -5.75. I love the vision but the lenses now look very thick with the new large frames, so I usually wear the contacts with new larger -1.75 glasses in the same style frame which looks less thick and nicer.

Unfortunately I cannot read closee comfortably without correction now. I can only see about 8 inches from my face now!

minus5wholuvsgwgs 20 Nov 2013, 02:42

Alyssa you are young and self conscious my own gf is much more than you minus15/16.25 and she has had quite a few boy friends most do not mind some of us love glasses

Cactus Jack 19 Nov 2013, 22:15


It is possible that wearing reading glasses COULD, MAYBE affect your girlfriend's prescription, but it depends on several factors.

There are two kinds of myopia. Axial or true myopia, which is caused by a mismatch between the total plus power of the eye's lens system and the length of the eyeball and Pseudo or false myopia, which is similar to latent hyperopia and it caused by the ciliary muscles and crystalline lens. It is possible for a person to have both kinds and they add together for their total myopia. The correction for all forms of myopia is minus lenses to neutralize or cancel out excess plus power,

If your girlfriend's myopia is Axial or true myopia, the reading glasses will have no effect on her overall prescription. However, if part of her prescription is Pseudo or false myopia, it is possible that the reading glasses may help relax her ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses, which will reduce the total plus power of her lens system and it will take less external minus in contacts or glasses to correct her total myopia.

Unfortunately, there is no commonly available test to determine exactly how much Pseudo myopia a person has. A dilated exam MAY offer a hint that some Pseudo myopia is present, but as in Latent Hyperopia, it can take weeks or months for the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses to fully relax to their minimum plus power and a persons Axial myopia prescription to be revealed.


And 19 Nov 2013, 16:40

Soundmanpt - yes my gf is in front of a computer all day and wears contacts full-time. I just wondered if now needing readers could alter her minus prescription at all ?

Soundmanpt 19 Nov 2013, 12:35

alussaI'm sure being 17 that 23 does seem very far away. But it is possible that your eyes my at least star to low down even before you reach 20. I'm sure as much as you hate that your eyes continue to get more nearsighted that putting on your new glasses and everything is again nice and clear is better than the blur you were having each time. It seems you eyes are changing at about -1.00 or so every 8 to 10 months.

Nothing you did to cause it and nothing you can do to stop it from happening. Its all about genes.

I can help you understand the numbers if you like? The first numbers in each set are your distance numbers (SPH) and that as you can see is the numbers that are changing the most. They are why your nearsighted. the next numbers are your astigmatisms (CYL) and they don't usually change very much. Thye have an effect on your vision for all distances and aids in your focusing. The last numbers are the axis and really don't have any power to them.

Your mom is right. Contacts are expensive and because you have astigmatisms you need what they call "toric lenses" and they are about 3 times more than regular contacts. But you know your getting close to being able to get a job so maybe when you get a job if you want contacts yo can pay for them yourself.

alyssa 19 Nov 2013, 10:57

23!!! That's to long!!! I don't want to wait so long. I found the numbers in the book my mum keeps about our eye stuff but don't know what they mean!!!! Oct 2013 RE -9.75 -1.75 70 LE -10.25 -1.25 110 Jan 2013 RE -9.00 -1.75 75 LE -9.25 -1.25 110 March 2012 RE -7.75 -1.50 70 LE -7.75 -1.25 100 but i have no idea what that actully means!! Is that enough? My dad has really bad eyes to and my brother has glasses but he is not as blind as me. And yes my glasses are a burden because i hate wearing them and they make my eyes all small which is really unattractive. My mum wont let me have contacts because my glasses are free (cos im so blind lol) and contacts cost to much money. So when do you think they will stop being bad?

varifocals 18 Nov 2013, 16:53


Glasses can actually make people look attractive & not a burden.

Here in Bedford they are all the rage & with a nice hair/ colour frame mix you will be fine.

They experts say the progression will slow down 23/ 25 in most cases depending too on your life style, family genes, that sort of thing.

Puffin 18 Nov 2013, 16:49


In very broad terms, much of the changes are due to genetics, growth, what you do with your eyes (close work, etc) and (alas) a certain amount of chance.

Where you are now and whether you have close family also in a similar situation can help estimate how far and how long changes will go on for.

alyssa 18 Nov 2013, 16:48

Sorry i don't know the exact numbers but my mum writes them all down in a book so i will find them and tell you. I just wanna know if my eyes will stop soon because i dont want them to get any worse. They have been bad since i was about 7 and just keep getting worse.

Cactus Jack 18 Nov 2013, 16:00


They can get really bad, but you did not give us enough information to even speculate. Your most recent prescription and the prior one with approximate dates would be very helpful.


alyssa 18 Nov 2013, 15:30

Hello. How bad can yr eyes get? I feel like my eyes cant get any worse but they still do? When will they stop changing? I'm 17 but my eyes keep get worse and i'm so blind and i hate my glasses.

Soundmanpt 18 Nov 2013, 14:02

Cactus Jack

I am not so far behind you. I am now 65. God bless Medicare. lol

Cactus Kack 18 Nov 2013, 13:52


I think you are right. I have gotten to the point where I don't even try to remember much about previous posts. Needing some reading help crossed my mind which is why I asked for her age, but didn't pursue it.

Maybe my age is catching up with me. 76 now.


Soundmanpt 18 Nov 2013, 13:45


Does you gf do a lot of close work at her job? Do you think if she is prescribed bifocals at her next exam she will stay with bifocal contacts or maybe give in to wearing bifocal (progressive) glasses? I think you would prefer her to wear glasses wouldn't you?

Soundmanpt 18 Nov 2013, 13:42

Cactus Jack

I recall "and" saying that was his gf's contact prescription in past posts. I assume she is having difficulty reading with her contacts and that is why she got the readers.

Kinda sounds like she may be looking at needing bifocals at her next exam.

Cactus Jack 18 Nov 2013, 13:18


You didn't provide enough information to even begin to answer your question.

Age and actual prescription (glasses or contacts)) would be helpful.

If her actual contact lens prescription of -7.50 is correct. Wearing +2.50 glasses with her contact would result in the effect of being myopic and needing -2.50 glasses. If she is bare-eyed with the +2.50 glasses would have the effect of needing -10.00 glasses. All numbers are approximate.

If you don't need glasses and are curious about what it is like to need -7.50 contacts, you can get a pretty good idea by trying on 2 +3.50 OTC readers, one over the other at a store that sells them. If you really want to experience an even better idea, order some inexpensive +8.50 glasses from Zenni or if you want to live it, we can tell you how to do GOC, but you need an eye exam so we can help you get some comfortable contacts and glasses. The +8.50 is the -7.50 corrected for Vertex Distance effects.


And 18 Nov 2013, 03:42

My gf now wears 'over the counter' +2.50 readers - does that mean her minus vision will have changed, either with her -7.5 contacts or bare-eyed ?

Jim 17 Nov 2013, 01:16

Hi Cactus Jack,

thank you very much. I will give it a go. Hope I find enough privacy for such a setup. Will let you know how it goes.

Thanks for your effort!

Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2013, 13:56

Look under Vision Special Lenses for Eye Conditions > Prisms

Will post test for prism there, in a few minutes


Anonymous  16 Nov 2013, 11:45


Try to post the URL.

Sound interesting

Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2013, 11:40


I tried to post a reply to your question that included a test you can do to determine the amount of prism error you have.

Unfortunately, this site rejected my attempt.

Do you have access to the Vision and Spec site?


Cactus Jack 16 Nov 2013, 10:49


Jim 16 Nov 2013, 07:34

Hello everyone,

I wear a very mild prism correction of 2 prisms base out since around a year. Lately I have started to see double, particularly in the morning and evening. I can generally suppress it for a very short time, but in the evening it is becomes quite hard, so I have to cover one eye when I need to concentrate or for watching TV. However, after doing that I have constant double vision for the rest of the evening, with both pictures being further apart than normal (normally overlap by half of TV screen on 3m distance, after covering a third TV would fit in between both pictures).

I think the prisms have increased, but my ECP doesn't want to increase them as he thinks it would only get worse. However, I have trouble concentrating and watching a movie without covering one eye. Is there any way I get measure the extent of deviation myself, or any other ideas on how to go about it?


Andrew 03 Nov 2013, 16:32

And from my own experience: the lower the index, the thicker the lens, but the better the vision as well.

Melyssa 02 Nov 2013, 11:12


Your friend's optometrist was probably not only incorrect, but was trying to steer your friend into purchasing more expensive glasses. This happened once to me back in the 1980s, so I did not deal with that store again.

I have worn what some people consider huge frames for decades, and yes, the lenses are thick, but my peripheral vision has been quite good. It would be more of a problem with wide-side frames, none of which I have. Even now with my -9.00 prescription, there is no "prism effect," or whatever said optometrist/optician wants to call it.

Crystal Veil 02 Nov 2013, 08:09


the term "prism effect" is not quite right. The optician probably meant that -8.00 lenses in a huge frame would create mighty power rings and a less than perfect peripheral view, especially with high index lenses. However, my life partner Nel now wears a giant pair of red glasses and she has no problem with her peripheral view. Her prescription is -11 / -12, much stronger than the -8 of your friend. So I wonder if the optician gave the right advice.

Astra 02 Nov 2013, 00:36

Recently I have come across a friend with

PD 60 Rx: -8.0 both eyes

and her optometrist refused to allow her choosing a frame

The frame :

size 55-18

lens height 60

square shape frame.

The optometrist explain there would be some prism effect which she will not be comfortable. The larger the frame it would be more severe for her.

Why there are such "prism effect" (I am not sure what this term in English)

Soundmanpt 14 Oct 2013, 23:07


One thing you may want to help her with is by giving her some tips. For example you should point out to her that she never wants to use any kind of glass cleaner except what they recommend for her glasses. If she got any type of coating such as AR coating extra care is needed. Also she should never use any tissues, toilet paper or pare towels to clean her lenses with because these things are all by products of wood and they can and will scratch her lenses. One of the best things to use besides the micro cloth they give you when you get your glasses is a baby diaper. You can cut it up into many small pieces and keep the pieces everywhere so the are handy. Many often time use their clothes to clean their glasses and that is only okay if the material is very soft.

Soundmanpt 14 Oct 2013, 22:59


Its nice that she has so much self confidence that she doesn't have any problem wearing glasses. As you know from reading in here sometimes that can be very hard for some to muster up the confidence to wear their glasses for the first time in public.

It probably helps if she has been getting a lot of complements on her glasses look. Getting past those first few days are usually the tough part. Now she should be getting more used to them and they should be even more comfortable for her as well.

I don't think you should tell her that because of her prisms she won't ever be able to wear contacts. That could scare her if she finds that out. Even though she is okay with glasses now she may have in the back of her mind that at some point she may want to get contacts. I guess where she got her glasses from they didn't bother telling her that either.

Carrie 14 Oct 2013, 17:50

The newish girl looks as gorgeous as ever with her glasses on. I think she likes the novelty of getting glasses. She seems ok about wearing them all the time though. The male attention has not dropped. I'm glad to see my male colleagues are not bothered by glasses.

Soundmanpt 12 Oct 2013, 11:17


That's right I forgot you and Gemma were about to get your own place. Your right now that your both under the same roof it will be much harder to keep any kind of small secrets anymore.

I suspected that the newish girl would be getting a call about mid week telling her that her glasses were in. So when she came in wearing them on Wednesday how did she look in glasses? You seemed to find her more than a little attractive even without glasses so is she even more desirable wearing them? I understand that Gemma has nothing to worry about of course. Do you think she was a bit disappointed to be told that she really needs to wear them pretty much full time already? I know she was excited about getting glasses, but that was maybe in part because she thought she would only need them a little bit like for driving and watching TV. At least she seems to be taking the advice given to her and is wearing them full time it would seem. Of course as her eyes are adjusting to them and she can tell the difference when she takes them off it should be easier each day to wear them and not even think about it. Those first days for someone that has never wore glasses there is a lot to get used to. You know it hasn't been all that long since you started wearing glasses and there is that getting used to how they feel on your nose and behind the ears as well as looking through a couple of little windows to see.

Now that she's wearing glasses is her appeal still at a high level with the guys she works around?

Carrie 12 Oct 2013, 10:11

Hi Soundmanpt

It's a bit more difficult to go one Eyescene now that Gemma and me are living together. I don't think she'd like Eyescene. I hate keeping secrets from her as I love her so much but I think it would seriously harm our relationship if she found out.

The newish girl came to work wearing her glasses on Wednesday. She said that when she went to collect her glasses she asked what she should wear them for. She said they said because of the prism she would be better off wearing them most of the time. She is likely to take a few days to get used to the glasses.

She said it was a bit of a shock that she was recommended to wear them most of the time as she was only expecting to need them for driving and watching tv. She has noticed that her sight is better and her head feels clearer with her glasses on. She let me look at her glasses and it was interesting to see things were slightly magnified through the left lens and slightly minified(?) through the right lens and how things stretch and squash as you move the glasses. I tried them on and they made my eyes feel a bit funny. Obviously I wasn't expecting to be able to see much as the prescription is very different to mine, just like she couldn't see when she tried my glasses on last week.

At the end of Wednesday I asked her how she was getting on with her glasses. She said it still felt funny to be wearing them but things were definitely getting even clearer the longer she had her glasses on.

She wore her glasses all the time on Thursday and yesterday. Yesterday she said she already feels that she does need them all the time as she gets slight double vision when she takes them off.

She was also wearing them at work today. She was working I came in with Gemma to do some shopping (I get staff discount). Gemma says it's not fair that I get to work with such good looking women. I do wonder if the managers are deliberately employing women under the age of 30 to encourage more men to shop!

Soundmanpt 11 Oct 2013, 15:05


So i've been watching everyday for an update on the "newish girl" where you work if she got her glasses yet or not? Your last post you thought she was to get them some time this week.

Cactus Jack 09 Oct 2013, 13:28


If your wife's complete prescription is:

R -2.50 Add +1.75

L -2.50 Add +1.75

with no cylinder or axis listed, she has built in reading glasses of +2.50. Glasses correct myopia or short sightedness or nearsightedness by neutralizing a PLUS refractive error by using MINUS lenses for distance. When she takes off her glasses, it would be like having an ADD of +2.50 in bifocals or progressives.

If she had a +2.50 add instead of the +1.75 in either progressives or lined bifocals she might find that better. If she likes having a larger visual field for reading where the entire field is in focus, she might prefer lined bifocals. When she takes off her glasses, her entire visual field is in focus at about 40 cm or 16 inches. Everything beyond that is blurry.


Jackson 09 Oct 2013, 06:13

My wife, aged 55 has worn glasses for many years and more recently progressive lenses. Her script for both eyes is -2.50 + 1.75. She now finds it easier to read and do close up work without glasses She probably wears her glasses less than 50 % of the time. If this continues will she ever need reading glasses ( when not wearing her progressives )? Would she be better of with lined bifocals. Any thoughts would be appreciated

Daisy 09 Oct 2013, 06:07


Soundmanpt 04 Oct 2013, 13:55


I'm sure your probably every bit as excited about her getting glasses as she is, maybe even more. I'm sure that will be the first thing you will be watching to see if she got her glasses each day she comes into work next week.

I'm sure she may have looked really cute with your glasses on but not a surprised that they didn't help her at all. Your prescriptions couldn't be much further apart form each other. When she gets her glasses and you try them, and I know you will, your going to almost think that her glasses don't even have a prescription in them, they will seem that weak. If you notice anything at all wearing her glasses you may be able to notice the effect her astigmatisms make. Her lenses are going to be very thin and her eyes should not appear any different with or without them on. But here eyes should be much more blurry after a few days of wearing them as get more comfortable to her eyes.

Don't expect to see any difference in how her eyes look even after her eyes get adjusted to her glasses. Her eyes should look the same as they do now with or without her glasses. That will only happen if she gets more prisms added. It is very possible that she will need more prism next time.

Carrie 03 Oct 2013, 18:40

lazysiow I'm probably as excited about her getting glasses as she is but I'm keeping it a secret. There's no doubt the boys will still pay her attention. She obviously enjoys the male attention but she isn't a flirt. Another female colleague, the one that used to annoy me by pretending to flirt with me, is a little annoyed that the male attention on her has dropped a lot since the new girl started. Obviously I'm not bothered about getting male attention although I am very flattered when I get it. One male colleague does occasionally ask me if I'm still gay! He really hopes he can tempt me back to men.

Soundmanpt I will certainly use your "white lie" especially if she has trouble adjusting to them at first.

She tried my glasses on today and looked absolutely gorgeous. She couldn't see a thing unless she got quite close to it. Without anyone telling she's worked out I am gay. She said it was the way I was trying not to look at her that gave it away. She said she has absolutely no problem with my sexuality and is very flattered that I fancy her. She said she isn't gay but did have a one night stand with a woman a few months ago just out of curiosity. She quite enjoyed the sex but still didn't fancy the woman and hasn't seen a woman that she does fancy but a couple of the lads at work are very much her taste!

I will now stop trying not to look at her. When she was talking to me I was looking at her eyes but I couldn't tell if she had any trouble with her eyes looking in the same direction at the same time. Am I right in thinking that there would only need to be a tiny difference between the directions each eye pointed to cause problems?

Soundmanpt 03 Oct 2013, 12:39


This newish girl at your work does have a bit of a different prescription. Her SPH numbers (-.25 / +.50) probably would not have even got her a prescription for glasses because it is so weak not to mention that one eye being for distance and the other for close up they would balance each other out. But she does have a decent amount of CYL astigmatisms which may make her feel a like the room is spinning as her eyes work to adjust to her glasses. So if you notice her taking her glasses off quite a bit when she gets them that will likely be the reason. Since you wear glasses you may make a great coach for her. You may need to let her know that is very common for her to feel dizzy and like the room is spinning with her glasses on, but she needs to wear them so her eyes can adjust and then they will be fine.

You said she said she got here eyes examined because he was having trouble seeing in the distance. In her case it is because of her CYL since her SPH is practically nothing. But she just doesn't know it yet but she will notice her close vision will also be better with glasses now too. This much of her prescription is really pretty weak and she would be very able to see quite well without her glasses, but the prisms she needs is going to make her eyes uncomfortable if she takes them off for even a few minutes. And if she tries going without her glasses she may have problems with double vision as well as getting a nasty headache rather quickly. And since they don't make contacts for prism correction she will have to wear glasses from now on.

You said she was excited about getting glasses so I hope she continues to feel that way after she gets them and starts wearing them. Her lenses will still be thin so if she picked out a nice frame her glasses should look really nice on her. If as you say she already very attractive and the guys are hot for her I doubt that her wearing glasses now will change any of that. In your case you will probably be even more turned on by her when she gets them.

But because these will be her first glasses and with the strong possibility that they may make her feel dizzy at first she may be taking them off quite a bit, this is where you need to guide her a little. Remember a little white lie isn't so bad at times like this. You can always tell her that you have a friend and her first glasses she had astigmatisms and she felt dizzy and light headed until her eyes adjusted to her glasses.

lazysiow 03 Oct 2013, 10:53

She has pretty good vision but she's going to end up full time because of the prisms, however you must be excited about that :)

Would be curious if she'll still be as popular with the boys

Carrie 02 Oct 2013, 16:00

A newish girl at work said she had her eyes tested for the first time on Monday. She was quite excited to be prescribed glasses. She'll be getting them next week. She quite happily showed us her prescription. She couldn't remember what the optician said she should wear them for but she presumed for distances as that's what she has trouble with.

Without her knowing I took a photo of her prescription on my phone. R Sph -0.25 Cyl -0.75 Axis 90.0. L Sph +0.50 Cyl -1.00 Axis 81. Below that it says RPrism V-Dist 1.00 Down. LPrism V-Dist 1.00 Up. (I've only written the parts of the prescription that had numbers. There were other headings but they were blank where the numbers would go so I didn't think there was any point putting them here)

I'm really looking forward to seeing her glasses as the prescription looks quite complicated! She is also close to my age, really friendly and quite good looking (a lot of attention from my male colleagues. If I was single I would be very tempted but I'm pretty sure she's not gay/bi anyway. I'm not going to ask.)

Jose 19 Sep 2013, 06:21

Ricardo, how are you getting along with glasses wearing? Still full-time?

Crystal Veil 18 Sep 2013, 18:42

The same thing happened to me during my late forties. A change from L 0 / R -4.00 to L +2.00 / R -2.00 within less than five years. It has remained fairly stable ever since.

SC 18 Sep 2013, 13:52

I have an uncle who always wore weak minus glasses - starting from late teens to early 20s. He needed an add in his 40s and by the time he was 50 the distance had become plus as well.

If you consider that many long sighted people get to their 40s before realising they have self corrected +1.5 until presbyopia prevents it, then it makes sense to me that many myopes may be overcorrected by -1.5 too (psuedo myopia).

Posts on other threads from Aubrac and in the past Phil seem to confirm this. Maybe overcorrection for myopes is a significant issue.

I also worked with someone and his wife had worn minus glasses for 15 yrs and was then told she didn't and never had needed them.

SC 18 Sep 2013, 13:51

I have an uncle who always wore weak minus glasses - starting from late teens to early 20s. He needed an add in his 40s and by the time he was 50 the distance had become plus as well.

If you consider that many long sighted people get to their 40s before realising they have self corrected +1.5 until presbyopia prevents it, then it makes sense to me that many myopes may be overcorrected by -1.5 too (psuedo myopia).

Posts on other threads from Aubrac and in the past Phil seem to confirm this. Maybe overcorrection for myopes is a significant issue.

I also worked with someone and his wife had worn minus glasses for 15 yrs and was then told she didn't and never had needed them.

Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2013, 21:22


You also seemed curious why I said myopes rarely become longsighted. For a true myope of any significant degree to become longsighted their eyeballs would have to get shorter or shrink, which is near impossible. If a large portion of their myopia was Pseudo or False Myopia rather than Axial or True Myopia it is possible. It depends on how much there is of each type.

Pseudo Myopia is identical in cause to Latent Hyperopia. Both are caused by failure of the crystalline lens and ciliary muscles to completely relax. If the crystalline lens does not completely relax to minimum plus power when it should, it causes the effect of extra myopia or in the case of hyperopia, causes partial or complete correction of existing hyperopia and hides it from being detected - usually until presbyopia reveals it.

If a person has low hyperopia (long sightedness) and has developed significant extra plus correction in their crystalline lenses, it is possible that they have gone from being long sighted to being short sighted. They have actually "Induced Myopia" and for all intents and purposes they ARE short sighted. When presbyopia finally rears its head and the crystalline lenses are forced to relax to their minimum + power. The person will become long sighted again.


Cactus Jack 15 Sep 2013, 20:56


There are several things that can affect vision after presbyopia reaches its limit and accommodation is impossible. For this explanation, I am going to ignore Astigmatism because it has a completely different cause and it affects vision at all distances and it does not matter if a person has Hyperopia, Myopia, or Presbyopia. I will assume that Astigmatism is ZERO as are Cylinder and Axis and only consider SPHERE error and correction.

Hyperopia and Myopia are names given to common types of refractive error in the eyes. They actually have the same basic cause. A mismatch between the total optical power of the eye's lens system and the distance from the back of the crystalline lens to the retina. Which of the two a person has depends on which side of a perfect match he is on. A perfect match results in a refractive error of 0.00. If there is a refractive error, glasses or contacts are used to neutralize or cancel out the error by using external lenses with the opposite sign of the actual error.

The lens system in the eye consists of 3 fixed focus (or nearly fixed focus) lenses and 1 variable focus lens. The variable focus lens is the crystalline lens and it is the ONLY lens that is affected by Presbyopia.

The crystalline lens and the ciliary muscles comprise the auto-focus mechanism in your eyes and it is their operation that permits a person to focus closer than the distant vision ideal of 0.00 that enables you to see clearly at very long distances or for our purposes, at or beyond 20 feet or 6 meters.

Presbyopia gradually turns the crystalline lens into a fixed focus lens as the gelatin like material that makes up the lens gradually becomes so stiff with age that the ciliary muscles are not strong enough to increase its plus power to focus close. When that happens, often external plus lenses are required to help you focus. The next question is how much external plus is required. The answer is: "It all depends".

It is always more plus, but it may not be obvious.

If a persons refractive error is 0.00 either naturally or by the use of corrective lenses, the amount of plus to focus at any distance closer tha 20 feet or 6 meters is ALWAYS determined by Sir Isaac Newton's laws of optics. All that is necessary to figure out the power is to divide the distance into either 39.37 inches or 100 cm. Keeping the units of measure the same. For example if you want to focus at a typical 16 inches or 40 cm just do the simple division and you will get or get close to +2.50 diopters. That +2.50 is ALWAYS required and it must come from somewhere or you simply cannot focus at 16 inches or 40 cm. Before presbyopia, the crystalline lenses and ciliary muscles can easily supply the extra +2.50 or even more to focus closer. Depending on how far presbyopia has progressed, some may come from external + lenses and the rest from your crystalline lenses, but the total will need to be +2.50 for 16 in./40 cm.

Now to your specific question. If a person has myopia AND it is less than -2.50, they actually have, in effect, built in + reading glasses. If, for example, their distance prescription was -1.25 and they wore bifocals, the distance part of their glasses would be -1.25 if their ADD was +2.50, the absolute power of the reading segment would be +1.25. Algebraically, (-1.25) + (+2.50) = (+1.25). If they had a distance prescription of -2.50, they could just take off their glasses and read handily at 16 inches or 40 cm. If they has significantly more than -2.50 for their distance prescription (say -5.00) their bifocals would be -5.00 for distance and using algebra again, their reading segment absolute power would be: (-5.00) + (+2.50) = (-2.50). Of course they could take off their glasses to read, but they would have to hold the text at about 8 inches or 20 cm.

Why did I exclude Astigmatism from the explanation. Astigmatism is generally caused by uneven curvature of the front of the cornea. If uncorrected, it messes up vision at ALL distances. It is likely that a person with -2.50 of myopia and more than -0.50 of cylinder would find it uncomfortable to try to read by taking off their glasses and would require correction of the astigmatism for all distances.


Clare 14 Sep 2013, 05:10

Cactus Jack - I was just reading your responses to Lulu's posts and was interested in what you say about myopes rarely becoming longsighted. I had a boss a few years ago who must have worn contacts when I first knew him, later he started wearing glasses which I'd guess were in the -2 range. He also used to have reading glasses so would switch between them (which must have been very annoying!). My friend's father too, now well into his 70s and a glasses-wearing myope ever since I've known him, now had bi-focals with minus at the top and plus at the bottom. I'd always thought that with enough myopia it would be possible to avoid reading glasses. Is that generally true and how much would someone need?

Cactus Jack 13 Sep 2013, 21:10


GreginColo 13 Sep 2013, 19:58

Concerned Mama: glad to hear your son is excited about getting his new glasses; maybe the Spiderman frames is what it takes to cause him to wear them, even with the increase in his Rx. It sounds like it is probably hereditary, given the advanced Rx of his sister. The more you and your husband wear your glasses, as opposed to contacts, at least at home, may help your son to be stay positive about wearing his glasses. Let us know how it goes when he actually gets his new glasses. Best regards.

ConcernedMama 13 Sep 2013, 17:25

Hi Cactus,

Thank you for being so patient and interested. I am so lucky to have found this place.

The appointment was fine. He saw the ophthalmologist he used to see before he was referred and had a full eye test with the drops, so a bit of sitting around. He does need a stronger prescription so they have given him that for the time being and not done anything else although they did say that Moorfelds might want to give him a slightly weaker prescription than he needs.

His new prescription is

OD: -7.25 -1.50x170

OS: -8.00 -1.00x015

And they said to use his current reading glasses for reading and to wait until we have our appointment next month for anything else. This time I sent him to wait outside with my sister whilst I spoke to them about the results and they were quite concerned with the speed his eyes are getting worse so I'm glad he wasn't there really. It's only been 5 months since his last prescription and his left eye has got quite a bit worse.

We've dropped his prescription in to be made up (he gets them free) and will hopefully pick them up on Monday or maybe even tomorrow if they get them done in time. He's quite excited about getting them now as he's getting spiderman frames!

Thank you for your patience,

CM xx

REd 13 Sep 2013, 16:23


OD means right eye (OS = left), then next 3 numbers are sphere, cylinder and axis.

Negative sphere numbers means she is nearsighted or myopic. Both her old and new sphere numbers are rather high myopia and becoming more so. Assuming you have perfect eye you can simulate what she sees without glasses by trying 3-4 pairs of drug store reading glasses over each other whose prescription totals + 8.75 to + 11.00; + to equal her sphere - number. For example 4 pair of + 2.75 readers = +11.00 and would simulate what she sees without her -11.00 lens.

Cylinder and axis numbers refer to amount and orientation of astigmatism. She has a moderate amount of astigmatism. The above simulation does not deal with her astigmatism.

BC = base curve and is a measure of the curve of the front of her lenses. BC of 0.5 is a very minor base curve recommended for strong prescriptions to reduce the slope of the curve on the back of the lens. The sum of front and back curve must equal her sphere prescription. Plano means the lens front is flat; it will reflect some light somewhat like a mirror.

PD = pupillary distance. It is the distance in millimeters between her pupils.

Without glasses she will be able to read if she brings the text close to her eyes. Distant objects will be very blurry.

I hope this helps. Cactus Jack may provide a more in depth explanation.

Ben 13 Sep 2013, 13:43

Hi. I just started college and happily I met a girl I like who wears glasses that seem pretty strong. She just had an exam and got a prescription that is even stronger. I was wondering if someone could explain her prescription and tell me how bad it is.

The old prescription says:

OD -8.75 -1.75 75

OS -9.25 -1.50 110

then it says

BC +0.50

PD 58

The new prescription says:

OD -10.25 -1.50 80

OS -11.00 -1.00 100

then it says

BC plano

PD 58

What is that all about?


Cactus Jack 13 Sep 2013, 12:54


Could you let me know the results of your son's appointment. If possible, his actual refracted prescription and what the local ECP recommended.



Soundmanpt 11 Sep 2013, 01:02


Your friend, if she continues to wear her glasses more and more often and fro longer times will soon find that her eyes will not want to focus as soon as she takes off her glasses. It takes a little time for the eyes to completely adjust to seeing with a prescription, even a rather weak one. but for now i'm sure her eyes are much more comfortable wearing her glasses than they would be if she hadn't gotten them. And she seems fine with the idea of wearing them even away from work. So she no doubt must feel like they look good on her? I'm sure you have told her how nice she looks wearing glasses. That really helps with self confidence for anyone.

Dan 11 Sep 2013, 00:14


My friend wears her glasses all the time at work and also says she wears them some days all the time depending on her mood. She told me that she can still see fine without them but when she takes them off after a while her eyes feel like they have trouble focusing for a bit. I'll be interested to see her progression.


I typically stick with my single vision contacts but when I am wearing glasses and am doing prolonged nearwork I usually take them off. Also, I do slip on a pair of weak reading glasses over my contacts on occasion. My eyes don't seem to have given up accommodation yet but I'm sure it's coming at some point!

Cactus Jack 10 Sep 2013, 04:48


I wish we could have talked a bit before you did the experiment, but no harm done. You need to remember that the experiment is extremely crude and relies on many variables.

I have never before suggested trying it with a 7 year old, but he was willing to cooperate and play the game, which is a really good thing. He needs to get over the fact that he needs a prescription change. You did good from a psychology point of view.

I usually suggest doing each eye individually, 3 times and averaging the distance. If you do both eyes together and there is a big difference in the prescription for each eye, the brain will select the best image and use it for both eyes. Also, the text style can make a difference. If we knew the prescription in his reading glasses, we might have done the experiment with those.

The test is so crude that I primarily use a modified version to find out if a person is simply short sighted or long sighted and needs more plus or more minus. The idea is that I ask them to use Over the Counter (OTC) reading glasses to make them short sighted by a known amount and measure the actual distance where the text in an ordinary book becomes fuzzy. Then I use the formula developed by Sir Isaac Newton and divide the distance into either 100 cm or 39.37 inches to get an approximation of how short sighted the OTC glasses made them. If they had selected +1.50 readers and their actual prescription (refractive error) was 0.00 the test should have just begun to get fuzzy at 66 cm. If the distance was more than 66 cm, they were a bit long sighted, if it was less than 66 cm they were a bit short sighted. by dividing the difference between 66 cm and the distance measured into 100 cm, you can approximate the prescription they need.

In your son’s situation, we know that he probably needs more minus in his glasses, we just don’t know how much more (and frankly still don’t), but if the 63 cm turns out to be pretty accurate 100 cm / 63 cm = 1.58 diopters or about -1.50 more sphere or around -7.50. I suspect that the increase is actually less than that. The results could be skewed if the -6.00 in his prescription is in fact, under correction. Under correction is pretty common for progressive myopia, again in a effort to slow the increase in the same way as using reading glasses with a reduced prescription for close work.

Hopefully, the exam on Friday, will give him just enough increase to let him function in school (read the board from the front row or close to the front row) until Moorfields can see him in October. It might be helpful to find out the distance from the front row or second row to the board.

The important thing is to remember that he is pretty concerned about his vision and if possible, no one involved should make a big deal about the fact that he needs an increase. That is why I suggested the 2nd row rather than the front row if possible, but the important thing is that he be able to read the board without having to try too hard.

Please let know if any of this is not clear or if you want to try any different experiments. It might be an idea to print out a small Snellen chart if we can find one on line that prints out in the correct size.


John 10 Sep 2013, 03:47

Hello Concerned Mama

If I can join in the conversation....

If the text became blurry at 63cm, that would suggest an extra -1.5 needed for the lenses. Obviously, that is very rough measurement and an optician will be much more precise.

So it is possible that he may require some stronger lenses.

I'd put the ball into his court. Give him the option of making his own choice(s).

From where I'm sitting...

(1) get new glasses that make things look clearer and wear them

(2) continue with his current glasses that make somethings clear but not everything

(3) live in a blur without glasses

Can I also mention that the RNIB have various departments that can offer help and advise.

The link above is for Action for Blind People's Actionnaire clubs; they are for children and young people aged 8+.

I hope everything goes well

ConcernedMama 10 Sep 2013, 02:08

Hi CJ,

Thank you again for your patience with us. You are such a star.

We did the 'experiment' - that's how I sold it to him. I said that we were going to do an experiment to see how well his glasses were working. He actually enjoyed it and wore his glasses afterwards until bed time! I told him that it wasn't really an issue at all that he needed new glasses - it's just what happens when your eyeballs grow and he seems less worried about it all. This morning he hasn't put them on yet but I'm hoping that he'll have them on before we leave for school.

I wasn't sure whether I should do the experiment with one eye at a time? I didn't, because I wasn't sure. He was wearing his glasses and I used a page from one of his old books which has fairly big writing. I stuck it to the wall and told him to walk away until it got fuzzy and then measured the distance. It was about 63cm from his head. Can you really work out his prescription from that?! I'm impressed!

I have heard from Moorfields who can't fit him in before his appointment in October but he now has an appointment with the local guy he used to see for Friday morning. Hopefully we can get him some new glasses and he can enjoy being able to see properly again!

Thank you so, so much for your help

CM xx

minus5wholuvsgwgs 09 Sep 2013, 11:58

Concerned Mama I first got glasses at aged 8 found every excuse not to wear them wish though I had worn them a few suggestions bribery, have a word with some school friends parents to get their off spring to compliment him on his specs ,tell him all the best people wear specs etc Good luck to both your children thank goodness for the invention of glasses !!

Cactus Jack 09 Sep 2013, 08:30

Concerned Mama,

With your son's prescription, he probably needs to do the test with his glasses on. Without his glasses things start getting fuzzy at around 16 cm (6.5 inches)or maybe even closer because of his astigmatism. We can do a more accurate test if he is wearing his glasses.

Kids can be pretty brutal and it is likely that there are not many kids in his class that need glasses, yet and his glasses may be about the strongest. Some of his classmates may be making fun about his glasses because they don't understand anything about vision or how it works at that age.

I forgot to ask you if you preferred working with Metric or English measurements. To do the test, you will need a tape measure that is about 2 meters or 6 feet long. If you want, you may be able to print out a Snellen chart online rather than use a book. He can also wear his reading glasses, but I need to know the prescription so I can calculate the distance where they SHOULD become fuzzy and then use the distance where they DO become fuzzy to estimate his increase. If we do the test with his reading glasses the distances will be much less than we would measure with his distance glasses, but more than the 16 cm we would measure without any glasses.

Are you familiar with Sir Isaac Newton's optics formulas?


 09 Sep 2013, 05:40

Cactus Jack,

Thank you so much for your advice. You are spot on as always.

I think you're right - I think that he was scared to have discovered that his sight is worse. I think that all of your reasons are right - the fact that we had talked about slowing it down with the reading glasses probably meant that he thought that it would mean he wouldn't have to get stronger glasses.

Also you're right about his sister. We've had a tricky few months with her vision which is still deteriorating quite fast to the point where she can no longer see the 6/36 line even with over -20 (not sure of her exact prescription, will find it later if you need it?). I think that it scares him - he asked the doctor back in April if he would go blind and they told him that they hoped he wouldn't. Maybe that scared him.

His prescription back at the end of April was

OD: -6.00 -1.25x170

OS: -6.50 -1.00x012

My husband's prescription is about -8.25 and he's worn glasses since he was about 13 or so and mine are -10.25 and I got mine when I was about 11. I do worry that he's only just turned 7 and is already catching up with us.

I think that a lot of his reaction is my fault. I tend to feel really guilty for having passed on my bad eyes to them both and I think that I worry too much about them and therefore he picks up on it.

This morning he refused to wear his glasses and fell over the dog... funny now but at the time it wasn't. He cried and still refused to wear them although he did take them to school.

It's just such a neverending battle at the moment. It seems like he just got the last pair and already needs an increase.

I'd like to do the test, if I can get him to participate!

ConcernedMama xx

Cactus Jack 09 Sep 2013, 00:30

Concerned Mama,

Welcome back. I was wondering just a few days ago how you and your children are doing. Please, never feel like you are crashing in if you have vision questions that you think we can help with. Also, please, you and your husband have nothing to feel guilty about your children's vision so don't waste your energy worrying about that.

I would almost be willing to bet that the problem is that your son is scared about his vision. He got a very nasty surprise last Monday when he returned to school. He could no longer see the board with his current glasses. He probably believed that by using reading glasses his prescription would not increase. Wearing reading glasses MAY slow down the increases, but they will not stop it as long as he is growing.

One problem is that we don't know at this time, how much his his prescription increased, it may actually only be by less than -1.00 diopter which in a growing child really is not very much. To use -1.00 as an example, that would mean that everything beyond 1 meter (39.37 inches) would be increasingly fuzzy. If it is only a -0.50 increase, the place where vision becomes fuzzy is 2 meters or about 7 feet. We also don't know how far the board is from the front row.

The bigger problem is that your son is too young to understand all this and I think it is very important that you not pressure him to wear his glasses. Not wearing his glasses will not damage his eyes or cause or fix any vision problems. The only potential harm might be a very short term set back in school caused by his difficulty in reading the board.

I think part of the problem also, is that your son turns out to be a young male child who has a temper, but he needs to understand that not wearing his glasses or throwing them across the room won't help anything and could make his personal situation (unrelated to his vision), uncomfortable. He has had a shock, but he will get over it. You and your husband need to avoid reacting much to his frustration. If you can, you might try calmly explaining to him that both you and his father have been wearing glasses since you were (ages) and prescription changes when you are young are just one of the things that happen. He needs to let you know if small things like leaves on trees or distant signs start being hard to see or read. All that will happen is that you will make an appointment for an eye exam and he will probably get some new glasses. No big deal.

If he comments about his sister's situation, you need to tell him that everyone is different and while he is short sighted, his vision problems are in no way related to his sister's. He may ask why he was examined by Moorfields, you might comment that you only wanted to make sure that his needing glasses was not related to his sister's vision and Moorfields confirmed that he was just a normal young boy who is short sighted and that it is normal for short sightedness to increase as long as he is growing. He might as well be resigned to prescription changes until he is in his early 20s.

I suspect that the increase is nothing to get excited about and If he will let you do it, I can suggest a very simple test that would give us an idea of how much his prescription needs to be increased. All it takes is a book with slightly larger print than normal and something to measure distance with. A tape measure will probably work fine.

Fundamentally, all you need to do, while he is wearing his glasses, is tell you where the text in the book gets fuzzy as you move it away from him. Once we have that distance we can calculate with simple division how much his prescription has increased. It is not as accurate as an eye exam, but you can do it in a few minutes at no cost or real trouble.

Do you happen to have is current prescription handy? If you want to try the simple test, let me know and I will explain the details.


ConcernedMama 08 Sep 2013, 13:12

Hello everyone,

I really hope you don't mind me crashing in once again to ask for advice. We're really struggling with my children's eyes at the moment and could do with any ideas.

My son is the real problem (for once!) - he's seven and is generally a very sweet natured little boy and very kind to his sister. He's worn glasses for the last four years and they aren't that strong, although probably stonger than the average for his age.

Because his eyes were getting worse a bit quicker than they should, we were sent to Moorfields who already see his sister (who has much worse eyes) and they made his normal prescription stronger and prescribed him a pair to wear for reading that were weaker to see if this would slow it down. Anyway, we're due to return to Moorfields with him in October.

The problem is that last Tuesday (he returned to school on Monday) his teacher cornered me at the end of school to ask if I had got her note - I hadn't. It turned out that she had given him a note to go home with the day before because he couldn't see the board. He claimed that he never got the note and then when his teacher told him she definitely gave it to him, he said he lost it and said that he could see just fine. I mentioned it again that night as he was squinting to see the television (I hadn't noticed that he'd been getting closer and closer - I feel really guilty) and he got really cross and threw his glasses across the room.

Since then he's been refusing to wear his glasses at all at home, even though he's pretty blind without them and at school takes them off whenever he can. This weekend has been a nightmare - we've had lots of tantrums and tears whenever we ask him to wear them. Today we've tried not mentioning it at all but that hasn't worked either. His sight isn't really good enough for him to not wear them and I worry that by not doing so, he's going to damage his eyes.

My husband and I have worn glasses a lot over the summer and his sister obviously always wears hers. This weekend we've all been in glasses full time apart from him!

I am waiting to hear back from Moorfields to try to get an earlier appointment as he obviously needs a stronger prescription if he can't see the board even with his glasses (and if they can't see him earlier then we'll ask to see the paediatric ophthalmologist he was seeing locally before) but I am really worried about his behaviour.

Do you have any advice? I am desperate. It doesn't help that I feel awful for not noticing that his vision has got worse over the summer - we've had lots of problems with his sister and I feel terrible for not giving him more attention.

Concerned Mama xxx

Cactus Jack 08 Sep 2013, 11:41


It probably won't continue to "improve". How the eyes work is interesting in itself. Curiously, there are two kinds of short sightedness (myopia is the technical term). True or axial myopia (permanent type) is caused by a mismatch between the total optical power of your eye's lens system and the length of your eyeball from the back of the crystalline lens to the retina. For low myopes, like yourself, the mismatch is pretty small, about 0.6 mm per diopter, but in this case, a little goes a long way. The typical cause is that your eyeballs grew a little more than they should have as your head grew from being an infant to being an adult. For true myopia to decrease, something has to ungrow or shrink and few parts of the body can do that.

The other type of myopia is pseudo or false myopia (temporary or sometimes semi-permanent) which is caused by the ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses not fully relaxing back to their minimum plus power for distance. Both types can be present and the effect of some false myopia in addition to true myopia is to make the eyes seem to be more short sighted than they actually are when you are relatively young. False myopia tends to go away as presbyopia becomes more developed, but once it is gone, your prescription will stabilize if it has not already done so.

None of this is dangerous, it is just a part of aging. It is highly doubtful that you will ever become even slightly long sighted. It is very rare for a person to have that much false myopia.


Lulu 08 Sep 2013, 11:09

Cactus Jack

Thank you for your elaborate and interesting answer.

So if I get this right, it would be better for myopes to train these muscles by reading with glasses on? Maybe it doesn't make a difference anymore at my age?

The eye doctor also said it was ideal two years ago, but since my eyes keep improving I was starting to worry. Five or six years ago I was told it was luck, two years later it was "probably the last improvement", two further years I had reached this ideal point, and now passing the -2 border in one eye now almost seemed dangerous. What if this goes on?

Although I must say I don't really notice that much difference in my distance vision. I still feel like I need my glasses most of the time. When I was 18 I had the same correction and didn't need - or want - glasses at all.

Cactus jack 08 Sep 2013, 10:00


Presbyopia is not preventable. It happens to almost everyone and it actually starts in childhood, but for most people it does not become a nuisance until around 40. 40 is not a magic number. Long sighted people (people with hyperopia) often develop presbyopia earlier than 40 and short sighted people (people with myopia) develop it after 40.

Based on your post, it is likely that you already have developed significant presbyopia. True presbyopia is caused by the crystalline lenses in your eyes becoming so stiff that your ciliary muscles can no longer squeeze them to focus close. Your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses are the "autofocus" mechanism in your eyes. When you were very young, your crystalline lenses had the consistency of gelatin dessert. The ciliary muscles could easily change their focusing power to provide amazing accommodation (focusing) range. That is why children can effortlessly focus at very close distances. Over time the accommodation range will decrease as the crystalline lenses become stiff and reading glasses are necessary for some people. People who are short sighted have in effect built in reading glasses and your shortsightedness is almost ideal for reading purposes without external glasses. It is unlikely that your level of shortsightedness will change very much from here on out.

There is also another phenomenon associated with presbyopia and the need for external reading glasses and that is related to the ciliary muscles. These tiny muscles are located inside your eyes and for their size, they are potentially the strongest muscles in your body. This is because they get lots of exercise in people with "normal" vision or in people who are long sighted. However, people who are short sighted and take their glasses off to read or focus close do not exercise their ciliary muscles and they become weak and de-conditioned. That causes, in effect, pseudo or false presbyopia. The effect is the same as having true presbyopia, you have difficulty focusing close when wearing your distance correction. This de-conditioning process can happen very fast when a person with "normal" vision or long sightedness starts using reading glasses, but a short sighted person may not notice it very much because in many cases, the ciliary muscles have been de-conditioned for many years. Even young people who have uncorrected myopia (short sightedness) can experience this false presbyopia when they first start wearing glasses. The may have to "learn" how to focus their eyes and occasionally, they may have to wear reduced power bifocals for a few months to let them read with their new glasses until the learn to use their ciliary muscles. I know of one instance where a short sighted boy avoided wearing glasses until he was 17. When he finally got glasses, his ciliary muscles were so weak that he could not focus to use a computer or read with his glasses on. The solution was trifocals. I don't know if he was ever able to work his way out of wearing them.


Lulu 08 Sep 2013, 08:25

I'm a 36-year-old mother who has been shortsighted for at least 18 years, but as my eyes seem to get better year after year, I as wondering...

What can I do to prevent presbyopia? Two years ago my eye doctor said I needed to 'keep' -2 (at that time I believe I was 2.5, -2) not to need glasses to read. I would indeed hate that! I had grown used to wearing glasses and even started liking it. Five years ago I was around -3.75, now it's just -1.75 and -2.25. Would that mean I will one day need reading glasses? And what can I do to prevent that? Although I like wearing glasses, I also like taking them off to read.

Cactus Jack 02 Sep 2013, 19:34

i have a question,

There is no direct correlation between a prescription of -2.75 and a Snellen fraction of say 20/500 or 20/1000. What the a Snellen fraction means is that the patient can identify letters at 20 feet that a person with "normal" vision can identify at 500 feet or 1000 feet above. Beyond a certain point, usually around 20/200, it just does not make any practical difference.

It is very easy to experience a fairly close approximation of the vision of a person who needs -2.75 diopters of vision correction by trying on a pair of Over-the-Counter (OTC) +2.75 reading glasses, assuming your vision is pretty close to 20/20. Effectively, a person who needs minus glasses for distance is wearing built-in reading glasses. If you can't find +2.75 readers at your local store, +3.00 is a little worse and +2.50 is a little better that needing -2.75 for good distance vision. If you require vision correction, let us know the type correction and the prescription and we can tell you how to simulate -2.75.


i have a question 02 Sep 2013, 15:11


My girlfriend has a prescription of -2.75 in contacts. I'm really curious to know how bad this is. Is it strong or strong ish? Would she be able to cope well without them? What does this roughly mean in the 20/?? scale? how blurry would things be at say 10 feet? Could she facial features etc?


Brian 28 Aug 2013, 20:09

Dan, I don't know how much of an affect the low prism .75 in each eye would have on her vision when she is not wearing them. My 1st prisms were 2 BI in each eye and after about a week I was constantly seeing double when I took them off, but obviously I had a greater need for them than your friend, bc I now have 5 BI prism in each eye.

Soundmanpt 28 Aug 2013, 12:52


I assume your friend must have ordered her glasses about the same time they were prescribe to her which was back in mid July so she has had her glasses and been wearing them for about a month now. So by now she should be pretty used to wearing them and her eyes should be adjusted to them as well. Has she said how her vision is when she doesn't have her glasses on? Her prescription is really very weak but I am curious about the effect the prisms is having on her eyes. I wonder if she tried not wearing her glasses for a day on her computer if her eyes would have trouble with focusing?

Jamie32 28 Aug 2013, 11:11

So Dan,

Sorry if you've mentioned this earlier but how much are you wearing your multifocals or are you trying to get by with your single vision correction?

Dan 28 Aug 2013, 09:12


Sorry for not updating. She did receive her glasses and told me that they do help. She's been wearing them all the time at work (staring at a computer all day). She also has worn them all day a few times when she is out of the office to get used to them.

Dan 28 Aug 2013, 09:12


Sorry for not updating. She did receive her glasses and told me that they do help. She's been wearing them all the time at work (staring at a computer all day). She also has worn them all day a few times when she is out of the office to get used to them.

Brian 27 Aug 2013, 20:54


Did your friend who got a prism correction get her glasses? If so how is she doing with them?

Ricardo 27 Aug 2013, 08:53

Neil- what is exercise? Never heard that word before...hehe

Neil 26 Aug 2013, 19:31


Your wife making you wear glasses you don't actually need (yet) is quite something. Nice of you to oblige. Do you wear them during exercise?

Ricardo 24 Aug 2013, 08:01

So...after 2 weeks of full time wear of my glasses I can now say that I actually like wearing them. Although I will say that I could do without them, I feel like they do what they claim...anti fatigue. I was not wearing them for about half day and noticed a very slight discomfort while reading a magazine. So this got me there an optometric conspiracy? I noticed that they are prescribing multifocals this to combat the contact lens and surgery? If people become dependant on a close add then they will still require glasses for reading if they wear contacts or get surgery.

Also an update on my wife...the day I didn't wear my glasses for half day was also when my wife didn't. We were doing an experiment...we wanted to see if we could get by without glasses now and who would reach for them first. My wife says that she can't see far anymore clearly without them. Even after a few hours she said she still struggled. But when the headache began, she gave in and said she was 'desperate' to put them on.

We talked about vision and asked ourselves if we would prefer short or long wife, because she was short sighted most of her life (although slight) said she preferred being short sighted. I asked why. She said that when she was short sighted she thought it would be better to be long sighted because you only need to wear them to read. But now that we are both in our 40's she says that short sighted is better because if you chose not to wear them, things are blurry but you don't get headaches and the 'desperate' feeling to need to relax your eyes. She says that after about half hour without she gets the urge to really need them.

Puffin 17 Aug 2013, 10:27

well, it all probably started with the invention of writing.

Puffin 17 Aug 2013, 10:27

well, it all probably started with the invention of writing.

Cactus Jack 17 Aug 2013, 10:02

People are constantly using new things to announce as the cause of some problem (often health) to gain publicity. In some instances they have fallen for flawed logic. It is so common that there is even a latin expression for it.

"Post hoc, ergo procter hoc" "After this, therefore because of this"

The good doctor is using his credentials to lend credibility to his flawed logic. It is fairly well know that extensive close focusing when a person is young and the eyes are developing and growing can induce myopia. Smartphones, tablets, and hand held games are just the latest. Before that, it was books and TV.


Melyssa 17 Aug 2013, 09:36

There were iPhones in the 1960s? LOL

Guido 17 Aug 2013, 08:33

iPhone causes myopia.

Jose 16 Aug 2013, 08:59

Hi Ricardo, how is the "glasses wearing" going? Committed to full-time?

Slit 11 Aug 2013, 09:03


It seems your wife is enjoying the concept of glasses wearing. I know a couple of my female friends who really like wearing glasses even though they have 20/20 eye sight and likes to play around with my glasses Lol!

Ricardo 11 Aug 2013, 08:12

Pretty much. I tried not to wear them on Saturday morning while at home but my wife was insisting. Not that I felt my eyes fatigued, I do feel they make close vision comfortable...not better like I can't's kind of hard to describe. More comfortable is probably the best description.

Jose 11 Aug 2013, 07:14

Sorry about the typo. "in your glasses full time?"

Jose 11 Aug 2013, 07:12

Ricardo, are you still I your glasses full-time?

Ricardo 08 Aug 2013, 05:18

I think it's both...she says I look really good in them. Other females at work said the same thing. Guys at work seem to 'ignore' as if I always wore them. I also think its out of a little spite as she wants me to feel what she is I guess. So I'm still wearing them. They seem to work in regards to close stuff as they seem like it makes things easier somehow but they don't magnify much...I guess that's where the word Anti Fatigue means.

My wife is doing very well. She says that she can see clearly at all distances with her glasses. Her only question is that she feels that in the morning she can see far clearly and no strain but the longer she wears them throughout the day she feels she needs then when she removes them to clean them or touch up make up.

Soundmanpt 06 Aug 2013, 16:25


It seems your wife is determined that your going to wear glasses even if you don't really need them yet. So it makes me wonder if she really likes your appearance in glasses or if she out for spite since she how has to wear her glasses full time. But there is a big difference between her need for glasses and yours. Like you said even your doctor seemed to think they weren't necessary to the point where he even said if it were him he wouldn't get glasses. But your a good husband to go along with her and agree to wear your glasses full time. Well they will likely relax your eyes as your eyes get adjusted to them.

By the way, how is your wife doing with wearing her glasses full time? For her i'm sure they make a much bigger difference when she has her glasses off compared to you? Does she feel like her eyes now can see all distances much better than before?

Ricardo 06 Aug 2013, 08:49

Thanks John S. good explanation and link. I guess I'll post a few days to let ya'll know how I'm going.

John S 06 Aug 2013, 08:26


AF is an abbreviation for Anti-Fatigue lenses. Progressive lenses are usually not available in add powers of less than +0.75. The AF lenses depending on the manufacturer, are usually in the range of a +0.6. By your description, you probably have the single vision version of the lens. Some types have also have a light tint and/or prism correction to supposedly make computer use more comfortable.

I really don't think an add of less than +1.00 has much of an real life effect. It could give your accommodation system a little break, which I guess is the idea.

I would be interested in your thoughts of the lenses in a month or so after you get used to wearing them.

I did find a good comparison between some of the lenses.

Ricardo 06 Aug 2013, 07:32

I wore them all evening. Next morning I got up and my wife said "glasses on honey, promise me you'll wear them all day at work". I had to. I still swore they didn't make much difference, but I looked a lot smarter. When I got to work, everyone was commenting on the glasses and the new look. I just went along with it and made it out that I now need glasses. I couldn't believe that after about half hour no one commented any more and it felt like I always wore glasses. I went out as usual with my work mates for lunch. As we walked I noticed that the lenses went dark. Cool. After about half day I felt like my eyes felt easier and I could read easier. I took them off to compare and it still felt like I could do without and there was little change.

When I got home my wife asked me how was it and if I kept my promise. Of course I did. I just said that it felt weird after about 2-3 hrs in that I had something on my face all the time and my instinct was to take them off. I told her that I felt like taking them off every time I bumped into work colleges, but resisted and made it out that my eyes are worse than they really are.

So that's my life wish on my wife ended up also on me even though it was slight deceit. I'm still puzzled to what AF lenses are as I was told they are not multi or bifocals but not standard lenses either.

Ricardo 06 Aug 2013, 07:14 wife pulled a swifty on me...I came home yesterday from work and she told me that we need to go to the store to get some groceries. She drove and parked the car a little further than we normally do. I was puzzled but she said we need to walk. We walked past her optometrists and she turned and said "oh, can we go in here for a sec I need to check something". Didn't think nothing of it. We sat for about a minute waiting for the optometrist. The doc pulled a new pair of glasses from the drawer and said "Ricardo, your glasses are ready"..."WHAT?, I thought I don't need them". He reminded me that he said when I got them checked that I could need a small correction but wouldn't worry about it yet, but my wife insisted privately (without me knowing) that she wanted me to get them filled. I remembered that my wife got me to try different frames and the ones we both liked she went back and bought.

Can anyone explain what "AF lenses" are? I was told I have very mild astigmatism. He also put a +0.25 in them. So the Rx is +0.25/-0.25/175 and +0.25/-0.25/5. It said AF lenses. He explained that the lenses are pre multifocals and will help to adjust when I actually will need them. I was puzzled at this. All the time he was talking I was just looking at my wife and thinking how will I see with them on. He put them on me and it seemed like nothing really changed. He checked my vision with them on. Things looked a bit weird. Distance wasn't as clear. He asked me to read and I could see ok. He told me to look through the bottom and it seemed like it was a little easier to read. I took them off and I could still read. He said that it was ok and that he personally wouldn't have got it filled but my wife insisted. He told me that I could wear them when I wanted but it would be beneficial to wear them as much as possible. I looked at him and my wife jumped in and said "don't worry, he'll be wearing them full time". The optometrist looked at me and said "looks like you've been told". After some adjustments he took them off to clean them and put them in a case. My wife said "no he'll wear them now" with a smile on her face.

When we left the store I could not believe that I'm walking out wearing glasss! My wife gave me the biggest cuddle and said "we can grow old gracefully together. If you love me, you'll wear them full time from now just like I had to, plus you look sexy". What could I say? We went home and all I could do was look in the car mirror and look around dropping them on the nose and comparing with/without. My wife told me "don't worry, you'll get used to them. Distance will improve". Yep...the same lecture.

marcus 02 Aug 2013, 08:17

Thanks CJ.

I have some +1 readers I sometimes use. Trying not to get hooked on them too fast.

Matt 01 Aug 2013, 14:22

Hiya again I managed to arrange an eye exam for yesterday. I told the optician about my difficulties with my night vision, and was given a slight prescription which would help me at night and maybe during the day.

I did mange to find some glasses as well which is harder than you think!! I have been told they should be ready by the weekend for me to pick up.

Cactus Jack 01 Aug 2013, 10:37


There could be a restriction, but maybe not. There is no hard and fast relationship between a vision prescription and the common way of indicating visual acuity as what appears to be a "fraction". A -0.50 Rx typically means visual acuity of about 20/30. That means that at a distance of 20 feet, the smallest line you can read is the line that most people with "normal" visual acuity can read at 30 feet.

I checked on the web for Illinois vision requirements and it appears that Illinois requires at least 20/40 vision for an unrestricted license, but there are other vision requirement that could be a factor. Here is a link that has the vision requirement for all US states.

If your renewal cycle requires vision screening, I would suggest trying to pass the screening test without your glasses, but have them available. Illinois tests each eye individually, which is slightly more difficult than both eyes together. If you can, try to go to the DMV early in the day when you are rested. Do not read while you are waiting and try to avoid anything requiring close focusing the night before such as reading or using the computer. You want your eyes as relaxed as possible.

At your age, presbyopia is a likely factor. Presbyopia does not directly affect your distance vision when you are a little nearsighted, like you are, but it can make your crystalline lenses very slow to relax after focusing close. That can cause Pseudo or false myopia, which has the same visual effect as Axial or true myopia on your distance vision. The difference between the two is Pseudo Myopia will go away when your ciliary muscles and crystalline lenses relax fully, but Axial Myopia is a permanent condition. The time it takes for them to fully relax depends on how much presbyopia has affected the stiffness of your crystalline lenses.

Often, with presbyopia, reading glasses can help with Pseudo Myopia, but they can make presbyopia seem to become problematic faster by helping the ciliary muscles become de-conditioned. I suggest trying to get your Drivers License renewed ASAP after a weekend of no reading or other close work, so you have the best chance possible of minimizing Pseudo myopia.

Please let us know how your renewal works out.

Another question, do you use reading glasses?


Marcus 01 Aug 2013, 08:42

I am 42, work in sales, and live in Illinois. My question is how get an idea of if there will be a restriction on my driver's license. Thanks.

Cactus Jack 31 Jul 2013, 18:58


Possibly, but it depends on where you live. A prescription of -0.50 does not seem like much but what it means is at everything beyond 2 meters or 6.5 feet is increasingly blurry. The thing that helps in bright light is that your pupil closes down and acts like the iris in a high end camera lens. Photographers are used to dealing with the iris adjustment and its related "depth of field" which, in other words, is "range of useful focus". In low light conditions, your pupils are wide open and your range of useful focus is very narrow and anything beyond 2 meters is out of focus, at least a little bit. In bright light your range of useful focus may be quite good and even distant signs may be easy to read. At night, not so good. Try wearing your glasses at night, you might be surprised at how many stars there are in the sky if you happen to be somewhere where it is dark enough to see them. The Milky Way is spectacular.

A few things to remember:

1. You don't have to justify wearing glasses to anyone, because they or you think the prescription is too weak.

2. With the exception of driving, you wear glasses for your benefit, not the benefit of anyone else and they are not entitled to anymore explanation than "I like seeing clearly".

Vision occurs in the brain and the brain has the amazing ability to correct a low quality image from your eyes (mere biological cameras), provided it knows what something is supposed to look like. Image correction takes a lot of effort and energy. When you wear your glasses, the image delivered to your brain requires no correction or processing to be useful and it does not take you brain long to decide that it really prefers the high quality images over the low quality images. When (not if) your brain decides it prefers the high quality images, it will quit trying to correct the low quality images and you will suddenly think the glasses have made your vision worse. Not true. If you completely quit wearing your glasses, in a few days or weeks you will have forced your brain to go back to work, but it may not be happy about it and it has