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HighMyopic 25 Feb 2017, 11:14

Roy whats your email? I would love to see pics of your 24 prism glasses. I collect very strong glasses. My email is

Roy 25 Feb 2017, 10:54


I first experienced double-vision around the age of 15 when I noticed a vertical split image when looking to the left or right extremes of my visual field. I was prescribed a 2 up/3 down prism. This fixed the problem and has remained part of my prescription ever since.

My need for the horizontal prism came much later - in my mid/late forties I think. I noticed eye strain which the optician was able to relieve with base-out prisms. I believe my first prescription was around 4 BO (shared). It crept up over a few years to around 8 shared and was fairly stable at this until around my mid fifties. (I am 70 now.) Over the last 14 years or so it increased steadily to the current value of 24 shared. The pattern is usually the same when I need an increase. I notice the eyes strain more as they maintain fusion. A small increase, usually 2 dioptres relieves the strain and relaxes my eyes.

Frank 24 Feb 2017, 00:51


your prescription sounds indeed very high. Can you recall at which prescription your double vision became more permanent?

When doing CJ's test (see my results in the post before yours) I noticed a considerable jump and stronger variation of my correction needs. How was your experience over time?



Cactus Jack 22 Feb 2017, 07:26


That seems reasonable. Many ECPs prescribe less than full prism correction for good reason. If at all possible, they want to leave some convergence ability for close work.

Even with prism correction, it is fairly common to see double when looking extremely left or extremely right. What happens is that as your eyes look that far left or right, one eye will "hit the stop" before the other and it will be physically impossible for the eyes to track together.

From an engineering point of view, the Eye Position Control System (EPCS) (my name) seems to be what is called an Open Loop Servo system that only needs some prism help to get the two images into "fusion range". Based on my experience, the EPCS seems to use sharp vertical lines or edges in the images to "lock on to". The thing that seems to cause confusion for my EPCS is images with repeating patterns or elements such as wallpaper or a row of light bulbs in the fixture over my bathroom mirror. If I am not paying attention, I will break fusion and I have to look at something else to re-fuse the images.

The exception to prescribing less than full correction is those situations where the EPCS has limited control over eye position, such as traumatic brain injury. In those instances, it may be necessary to prescribe full prism correction for distance and a different amount of prism for focusing close. Lenses with different amounts of prism for distance and close are called "Slab-Off" lenses.


Roy 22 Feb 2017, 06:38


I tried your prism test, repeating it several times to get an average, and arrived at a figure of 35 dioptres (base-out correction needed). Does that see reasonable, compared to my prescription of 24 BO (shared), which implies that my eyes can manage the other 11 dioptres?

I don't get any double-vision with the new glasses. With my previous pair, which have a prescription of 22 base-out, I was getting slight double-vision, but only when looking at the extreme right hand side of my field of view.

To me it looks as if I need the full 24 BO. As I said before I am concerned that any further increases may take me beyond the limit for manufacturing the the ground-in prisms. Do you know what the limit is?

Thanks for your help

Frank 22 Feb 2017, 04:34


Thank you for pointing me to your test. I had taken it before, and developed an adapted version of it for ad hoc use on my computer at a distance of 1m. I have measures the deviation for the past few days (with wide range of variations, strongly dependent on my fatigue), with rather high values in the morning and evening. I measured average values of 15 diopters. That hit me with surprise. I had estimated a total deviation of 15 BO from past tests, but this is on top of my current 6 BO (my astigmatism prevents me from reading the measure without correction at any distance).

Since starting to wear prisms, I have 'learned' to control my eyes in that I can relax them spontaneously, something I hadn't been able to do before. I am wondering if that is normal once getting used to prisms. However, I also noticed that my eye positioning system is very adaptive, and after a few minutes, my eyes drift further apart. So I suspect the current measures are only the status quo, but are likely to increase if I would wear a permanent correction of this strength (21 dptr BO). After relaxing my view for some time, it becomes quite hard to bring my eyes back into fusion. Is that something to be worried about?

Given the aesthetics of such high correction and the ease with which my eyes adapt to it, I would prefer to hold off, and only correct it to a level that allows me to read properly without tunnel or double vision as long as possible, but I am wondering if my planned 10 BO is sufficient for this, or just wasted money...

Thank you for your advice!

Cactus Jack 18 Feb 2017, 17:43


See my reply to Roy, below. You can also do the test.


Cactus Jack 18 Feb 2017, 17:41



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. Just remember, 39.37 inches = 1meter or 100 cm.

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 where you can attach a calibrated adding machine tape, using 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. The calculation is not hard. Recall, the definition of a prism diopter above. If the distance from where you will stand to the wall is 3 meters, 1 prism diopter will displace the images 3 cm

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. For example, if you need to wear glasses to see the marks and the glasses have say at total of 12 diopters Base Out (6 in each eye), what ever displacement you measure needs to be added to or subtracted from the 12 total BO. It is sometimes hard to decide if you need more prism in your glasses or less, but you can probably figure it out.

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. You just have to change the orientation of the tapes from horizontal to vertical.

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.


Roy 18 Feb 2017, 07:20

Yes Cactus I would like to try your prism test. How would I need to modify it for my prescription?

Cactus Jack 17 Feb 2017, 16:06


Have you done the Simple Prism Test? If you want to do it, we may need to modify the test slightly because of your prescription. Let me know if you are interested.


Roy 17 Feb 2017, 14:46

My 2-year eye test resulted in a reduction of 0.25 in each eye for my myopia and an extra 1 diopter to the base-out prism in each eye. Prescription now reads:-

Right eye -1.50, -1.00 @ 88, prism 3 down & 12 out

Left eye -4.25, -1.00 @ 80, prism 2 up & 12 out

Add 3.00

Got my new (progressive) glasses with this prescription yesterday and am really pleased with them. The slight double vision I had when looking to the left has gone and vision is noticeably sharper. (I just managed 20/20 in the eye test.)

The outer edge thickness of the lenses is now around 12mm and I re-used an old titanium frame with a 2mm thick rim. The edges of the lenses are not polished or chamfered. (I requested this.) I love the look of them. Just a bit worried I might reach the limit of prism that can be ground in if I have any more increases in the horizontal prism. Does anyone know what the limit is for this?

Cactus Jack 16 Feb 2017, 10:05


Have you done my Simple Prism Test? You can measure your needs with surprising accuracy.


Frank 16 Feb 2017, 03:13

Hi CJ (et al.),

Thank you for your advice/experience. To figure out which prescription I should order, I have gotten some prism foils from an optical shop (2 BO to add onto my current glasses, and 8BO to use with an older pair that doesn't have prism correction).

I have been wearing those for a few days (at home only, though - vanity is an issue ;)) and got somewhat used to the reduced vision quality of the foils. In fact, they seem to act more like occlusion foils, but the vision comfort outweighs this disadvantage (I notice that once I take them off)

But after those few days, I realise that my eyes tend to drift off again, and I have severe problems keeping my eyes fused in the morning wearing my regular prescription for work (especially when tired). For the purpose of testing, I now tried the 8BO foil on top of my regular glasses (adding up to 14 BO in total), and must admit that the vision was never so relaxed. But I also realise that it is extremely hard to fuse my eyes again for the rest of that day once I remove the foil.

I suspect that my deviation is definitely higher than the prescribed 8BO, and I am now wondering how high my strabismus really is (since my eyes adapt so quickly). I will at least order 10 BO for my daily use, but wonder if it makes sense to go higher immediately?

Any thoughts appreciated!


Soundmanpt 08 Feb 2017, 14:08


Most likely you only barely passed the drivers vision test when your prescription was -.50/-.75. Now that it has changed slightly to -.75/-1.00 i'm quite sure you would be unable to see 20/40 which is the limit you need to able to see. You likely only passed on the basis of your -.50 eye before and if both eyes had been -.75 you would have failed then.

You made a wise decision when you went from only wearing your glasses for night driving to wearing them during the day as well. It's really not a bad idea even for the ones that only wear -.50 glasses to wear their glasses anytime they are driving.

Many years ago I was dating a girl that was 17 and she was about to go for her driver's permit.She was smart enough to first go and get her eyes examined a few months before because she was having trouble seeing the board at school. She was prescribed glasses and her prescription was -.50. I had promised her that when she got her permit I would teach her to drive. I was going to be teaching her in my car. I had a 73 Dodge Charger that I ordered special with everything on it so it was my baby. It got washed at least 3 or 4 times a week and waxed at least once a month. Anyway the very first day of her first lesson I told her she needed to wear her glasses. She wasn't very happy with me and she didn't even have her glasses with her. So I drove her home so she could get her glasses. I told her what she did after she got her license and own car was up to her but whenever she would be driving my car she would have to wear her glasses. She wanted to drive bad enough that she didn't put up any argument and when ever I came to get her for a driving lesson from then on she was waiting with her glasses on. She was actually a good learner, or maybe I was a "great" teacher, but she was ready to take the driver's test after only a couple months. I let her drive quite bit once I saw that she was doing really good. After a while she got her own car and I was glad to see that she continued wearing her glasses. Sadly her dad got a job in California and she moved their with them.

anon 08 Feb 2017, 07:57

Mine started at -.50 and -.75. Shortly after went for drivers test and passed the vision part without the glasses. Wore them mostly for night driving, not even TV. Also began wearing for day driving. After a while began noticing more blur without them so wore them more often. Had another exam and came out with -.75 and -1.00. Think I would fail the test today.

Mike 07 Feb 2017, 17:52

Anon, is your prescription similar?

Anon 07 Feb 2017, 14:45

In other words, Ben, it IS a one way street. Not necessarily bad, if you can see better, but I think that any time you adjust to wearing glasses it is almost always one way. I was like you, and thought I didn't really really need them, and tried for a week, and as I noticed more and more how I could not make out out signs and even not so distant phone numbers I realized I had to go full time!

Cactus Jack 05 Feb 2017, 19:04


It is a common experience, but people with low myopia have less trouble switching from glasses to no glasses after they get used to seeing well with glasses. It really is your choice, with the exception of situations where poor vision affects the safety of other, such as driving.

More likely, you will decide that you prefer your vision with your glasses. Vision actually occurs in the brain. Your eyes are merely biological cameras. You brain corrects what you "see", IF it knows what you are looking at. Your brain can even generate images with your eyes closed. Ever had a dream?

Part of the suggested two week process is to let your brain learn to deal with images that have been corrected optically. In some ways, it is like a computer algorithm. The brain does not forget an image processing algorithm, but it may complain about having to re-load an algorithm that means it has to go back to work. Like any labor saving tool, it is hard to go back to not using the tool after you have experienced the difference and the comfort.


Ben  05 Feb 2017, 14:16

A friend told me that if I wear glasses full time for 2 weeks then without them everything will be so blurred that I will have no choice but to wear then full time.

I am concerned about taking a chance from not needing them to being dependent?

Is this common?

Soundmanpt 05 Feb 2017, 10:21


Of course you don't have much choice if you have been told that she needs to wear glasses then you should order them as soon as possible for her. At 6 years old she needs good vision so she can learn and be having trouble seeing at school. Just curious is your daughter small for her age? Because she is only 6 her eyes maybe just slow developing. Her eyesight isn't by any means terrible even if you weren't able to see anything through her prescription. But if your nearsighted that even would make it harder for you to focus with what her glasses would be. And if she is in fact just slwo with her eye development it is very possible that her need for glasses will slowly be reduced and maybe go away completely but that is very hard to predict. That is something you can ask about when you go back to have her re examined Now don't be upset if after she wears her glasses full time for those first 2 weeks and sh goes back for her re exam that they might increase her prescription a bit more. I'm pretty sure the went on the weaker side to let her eyes adjust to her glasses so they will know exactly what she needs. But again as she grows up her need for glasses could lessen or increase.

Cactus Jack 05 Feb 2017, 08:59


Unfortunately, that won't work. A narrow field of view is a common complaint about low cost progressives. Premium progressives such as Varilux and other top of the line lens are advertised as having a wider field of view, but they are not cheap. I don't have much experience with progressives. I tried them several years ago and had the same problem. I went back to lined bifocals and trifocals after a week of trying to function with progressives and never looked back. I have never been afflicted with Vanity.


Frank 05 Feb 2017, 03:51


Thank you for your feedback. Your advice confirms what I already had in mind. I guess 5 BO it is.

If I may bother you with another question: As I mentioned, I wear an add to reduce the tendency to overconverge at near. However, with the progressives, I really have a crisp, but very narrow field of view when reading - I can't see a full A4 text line clearly without moving my head. (Note: I reduced the PD by 3mm as generally recommended.)

Do you see any value in reducing it to 2mm, or alternatively, to reduce the add (now +1.5) in order to widen the field of view for near vision, or will that lead to other problems?

Thank you for your helpful advice!


MCG 04 Feb 2017, 19:12

Cactus Jack,

Hi thanks for your explanation.

1)My husband and I both wear glasses (except he had lasik). 2)A referral was sent home from school saying she tested at 20/40 and should have an exam.

We haven't gotten the glasses yet just wandering what the future might hold for her.

Cactus Jack 04 Feb 2017, 18:49


Your daughter has very mild Hyperopia (1st number Sphere) with a little Astigmatism (2nd and 3rd numbers Cylinder and Axis). Hyperopia (and Myopia) are caused by a mismatch between the total optical power of the eye's lens system and the length of the eyeball. For Hyperopia, the eyeball is just a tiny bit too short and she needs a bit more Plus to be able to focus. Astigmatism is caused by uneven curvature of the front surface of The Cornea, Astigmatism causes problems, particularly reading text at all distances.

Almost all children are born with Hyperopia because their eyeballs have to be small to fit in their small head. As they grow, the Hyperopia decreases and sometimes turns into Myopia as their eyeballs grow. We don't really know much about the causes of Astigmatism, but typically is does not change very much over time so she may get to deal with that for a long time.

Ultimate eyeball growth is regulated by a person's genes with a small Visual Environment factor thrown in. A few questions:

1. Do you, your wife, grandparents wear glasses, other than for reading?

2. What prompted the eye exam (symptoms)?

One small request. Please decide on a nickname to help keep track of your posts.


 04 Feb 2017, 15:51

My daughter (6) was just prescribed glasses for the first time. The prescription is something like +1.00, -.5, and +1.25, -.75. The Dr. says that she should wear them all the time for 2 weeks and then he is going to re-check the prescription. After that she should wear them all the time at school. He had me look through some crazy contraption with her prescription but I couldn't see a thing. Is her prescription likely to go up to a point she cant see without glasses?

Cactus Jack 04 Feb 2017, 08:38


Congratulations, You are almost there. 20/50 means that without your glasses, you see at 20 feet what most other people see at 50 feet. BTW, 20/20 is actually not the best possible vision. It was "typical" vision when Snellen (the creator of the Snellen Chart) did his research many years ago. 20/15 is a little better, but few ECPs try for that.

Full time wear for most people with mild Myopia, as you have, helps keep your Ciliary Muscles (focusing muscles) in good condition. It is often tempting for people with low Myopia and little or no Astigmatism, to read without their glasses. Having low Myopia is like having built in reading glasses.

When you don't wear vision correction, your Ciliary Muscles don't get enough exercise and they tend to get weak. For their size (tiny) the Ciliary Muscles are the strongest muscles in the body. When you don't use them, they get out of condition and that often leads to the symptoms of Presbyopia happening at an earlier age than would naturally occur.

My suggestion is that you wear your glasses full time for 2 weeks. There may be some initial mild discomfort when you focus close (like going to the gym the first few times), but in a few days, your Ciliary Muscles will get used to working a little harder. Also, with full time wear, all your associates will get used to you wearing glasses, and that will be the end of the comments. In many ways it is like getting a new pair of shoes or a different hair cut.


Mike 04 Feb 2017, 08:07

Hey Ben

I'm in the same boat. I'm 30 (must be a 30's thing!) and got prescribed -1 -0.25 180 glasses also last week. I thought it was just normal not to see signs at distance, but had noticed some of my mates could - so after putting it off for a long time I get my eyes checked and letters were not so clear after a few lines. My vision was 20/50. After trying lots of lenses he could get my vision perfect so I could read to the bottom. Technology has got a lot more modern since I last got checked as a teenager.

Choosing glasses was tricky. I got a friend to help and say yay or nay. I was tempted by the not-so-subtle black frames, but ended up going for something a big more discrete. I might upgrade to more designer frames in a few months. First I just want to try them.

I know I'm being melodramatic, but it is a bit of a life shock at first. Suddenly your glasses wearer status changes and you are that guy in glasses. Last weekend I was meeting my mates in the pub and decided to wear them. I was actually really nervous about it - silly really. Anyhow, some teased me but most complemented me.

Cactus you are right about the difference - am quite amazed by the how much detail I can see, especially at night and seeing faces and eyes so sharply. I don't drive currently and work in an office so have been mostly just wearing them at home and at the weekend. Walking around the city is quite different.

I'm curious to know how you get on and how often you end up wearing them - that's my dilemma - whether i'll wear them more often or not.

Cactus Jack 03 Feb 2017, 15:30


It is very common for people with mild vision problems to think their vision is just fine. The problem is that you have no frame of reference because it has probably been years since you experienced really good vision.

Like many things, you need to experience something before you decide if it is beneficial or not. With the one exception of driving, when you wear your glasses is really up to you. We often suggest that you should wear you glasses every waking hour, for the first two weeks. That will allow your brain to re-program itself and get used to not having to work so hard. Then you can make a decision about when to wear them.

You may be concerned about what your family, friends, associates and clients will say about your wearing glasses. That is a natural concern, but it only lasts a few days, if that.

I think you might find a true story on the Vision and Specs site interesting. It is about a first time glasses wearer. It is under the Fantasy and True Stories . . . thread titled Macrae's Story. Macrae needs low prescription glasses for Hyperopia (the opposite of yours), but his experiences with the psychology of wearing glasses is similar, no matter what your prescription.


Ben 03 Feb 2017, 12:14

That's -1.00, -0.5 each eye.

I am 32 and work in sales.

I didn't feel things were so bad that I would need to wear them all the time?

Cactus Jack 03 Feb 2017, 10:04


If you posted your complete prescription, it means:

OD Right Eye Sphere -1.00

OS Left Eye Sphere -0.50

That means that with your Right eye, everything beyond 1 meter (3.3 feet) everything is increasingly blurry. With your Left Eye everything beyond 2 meters (6.6 feet) is increasingly blurry. If there are more elements to your prescription, they just mean that your vision is worse than that, without correction.

You are probably reading with your Right Eye and using your Left Eye for distance. Most people like to see clearly with BOTH eyes and would wear their glasses full time. But, other than for driving, when you wear your glasses is up to you. Some people actually like blurry vision.

I think you are in for a big surprise when you discover what you have been missing. After you and your friends get used to you wearing glasses, you will wear them all the time. Please don't let Vanity keep you from having good vision.

May I as your age and occupation?


Ben 03 Feb 2017, 09:24

I went for An eye test because my girlfriend thought I couldn't see signs. I got a result of -1.00 - 0.5. I tried on glasses and my girlfriend thought dark frame glasses that aren't subtle might suit me.

I can't imagine wearing glasses at all. It my girlfriend says her friend wears this type of glasses all the time.

Do I need glasses. If so would this be all the time, or sometimes for most people?

Cactus Jack 03 Feb 2017, 07:21


Sorry to be slow answering. There is not a lot of difference between 4 and 5. but 5 would probably be more comfortable and help for a longer time. The idea of under correcting prism is to get the two images into capture range and then your Eye Position Control System (EPCS) (my name) can take over an complete the fusion task. be sure and adjust your distance and near PD inward by 0.3 mm per prism diopter so the optical center of your lenses and your central axis of vision are co-incident for the least distortion.

You may also want to investigate Optical 4 Less as a source of higher prism glasses if you need them. I have not checked in many years, but at one time they offered up to 11 diopters of prism. They are more expensive than Zenni, but still less than Mall Opticians.


Cactus Jack 03 Feb 2017, 06:58


You do need glasses for distance and to help your eye work as a team. How much you wear them depends on your needs. You definitely should wear them for driving.

We usually suggest that you wear them full time for 2 weeks and then make a decision about when to wear them. Vision actually occurs in the brain, your eyes are just biological cameras. Your brain has the ability to correct images, IF it knows what you are looking at, but it takes a lot of extra energy to do it. After a few days, you may think that your glasses have made your vision worse. That is not true. All that has happened is that your brain has become used to having the images corrected optically and it has stopped its correction process.

Think of your glasses as labor saving tools and you will understand what has happened. You may decide that full time wear is really the better choice. Other than driving, the choice of when, is up to you and probably your GF. She may find your glasses a turn on and that is usually not a bad thing.


Ben 03 Feb 2017, 06:07

I went for An eye test because my girlfriend thought I couldn't see signs. I got a result of -1.00 - 0.5. I tried on glasses and my girlfriend thought dark frame glasses that aren't subtle might suit me.

I can't imagine wearing glasses at all. It my girlfriend says her friend wears this type of glasses all the time.

Do I need glasses. If so would this be all the time, or sometimes for most people?

Frank 30 Jan 2017, 22:32

I recently went to the ECP because of double vision when tired. If looking at distances beyond 3-4 meters, especially in relaxed social environments, it was hard to keep the eyes fused. Usually I only had fusion problems at near (am far-sighted), for which I had ordered an additional add (+1.5), which helped a lot (but I can't do without now :( ). My regular prescription is about +2.5 sph, -2.0 cyl., 3 pdptr BO (i.e. 6 BO in total).

My ECP measured quite high values on the prism test (but didn't want to tell me the values). She suggested I should only increase to 4 prisms BO (i.e. 8 BO in total). I suspect that this is not enough in the long run. Following CJ's test, I have a max. of 15 pdptr in total at the current stage - depending on fatigue level.

I wonder whether I should order 5 BO immediately. However, this would be my last order with cheap online services if my strabismus increases further (most only deliver up to 5 prism dptr at affordable prices - I can't really afford much more). Should I just do the incremental increase and see how it goes, or save money and jump to 5 BO immediately?

Any opinion/experience is welcome!

Soundmanpt 28 Jan 2017, 11:09


Based om your current progression I would think that by 2037 the prescription for your "cat-eye" glasses will be:

O.D. Plano -2.00 180 +4.00

O.S. Plano -1.75 170 +4.00

And you glasses will only be single vision instead of bifocals.

(of course you know i am only kidding, but you never know?)

Catwoman 28 Jan 2017, 10:20

My current prescription, as of the summer of 2016:

OD: -4.00 -2.00 180 +2.75

OS: -5.00 -2.25 170 +2.75

My prescription from 2008, my 1st year with my current eye doctor:

OD: -5.25 -2.00 175 +2.25

OS: -5.50 -2.50 170 +2.25

If all goes well, by 2037 I should have perfect vision. :)

Trent 27 Jan 2017, 19:08

OD: -8.00 -1.75 x017 +2.25

OS: -8.00 -2.00 x162 +2.25

Cyl has decreased and axis changed. First time in my life that my right eye is better than left. Dr. said that the shape of my eyeball changes with age. I have been as high as -8.5 -2.75

Cactus Jack 24 Jan 2017, 08:08


Welcome to the "club".

It is amazing that you have been able to function without glasses all these years. Your short sightedness as indicated by the first number (Sphere) in your prescription, helped with close work. The second and third number (Cylinder and Axis) indicate that you have enough Astigmatism to mess up your vision at all distances, but particularly, when you need to read small text such as on your phone.

When you get your distance vision corrected by your glasses, you WILL have trouble focusing close. It is caused by Presbyopia (literally "old eyes"). You will need external help focusing close. That is the purpose of the +3.00 Add.

Because you have lost your ability to focus you have a lot of choices of what to do about it. The simplest choice is a Bifocal Add. You use most of your glasses lens for clear distance vision and there is a small "reading segment" at the bottom of the lens that helps you focus at 33 cm or 13 inches, but you may have a problem using a computer, which is typically about 60 cm or 25 inches away from your eyes.

For that you need an Add of about +1.50 or +1.75. The solution there is either trifocals or variable focus lenses, often called progressives. Which is best for you, depends on your visual environment. Progressives are considered by some as being more cosmetically attractive, but they can have a narrow field of vision and some distortion in the transition from distance to near. Bifocals or Trifocals have visible lines, but offer a wider, distortion free "window". I am 79. My background is Engineering and I prefer trifocals.

I also have a second pair of single vision glasses with my reading prescription. I like to read in bed and they are great for that activity, where there is no need for distance vision.

May I as your occupation and where you live?


Lee 24 Jan 2017, 02:19

Hi all,

I recently went to get my eyes tested as I'm struggling seeing my iPhone ! I'm 60 and the last time I had an eye test was when I was 16, I had glasses that I wore all the time form the age of around 10 to see the blackboard but I seemed to stop wearing them after leaving school.

I was surprised to be told by the optician that I am a bit short sighted but also needed different glasses for close work. They gave me to following prescription:

RE sph -1.25 cyl -1.25 @ 175

LE sph -1.00 cyl -1.00 @ 60

ADD +3.00 both

The optician said I need 2 pairs of glasses or even varifocals, I haven't ordered any as yet as I was taken by surprise, what does all this mean and what should I do?

Maxim 23 Jan 2017, 16:15

Hello Emmy,

I can only encourage you, to wear your glasses permanently. Your collegue might be right saying, that your prescription is a "weak" prescription or not a very dramatic one.

But on the other hand, I cannot imagine walking around, working or functioning properly in everyday life situation without proper vision.

I have already simulated a need for 3,25 resp. 4.00 diopters (with CLs / GOC - adverse contact lenses and glasses over them for correction), and I can confirm - you need correction! You could even not read a car registration plate when you're in front of a parking car!

So tell your collegue nicely, that he is wrong!

When he needs a -12.00 correction, he could not function with glasses of -8.00 only, lacking four diopters of correction!

Best wishes to you, and I'm sure, you're good looking with your glasses!

Emmy 23 Jan 2017, 13:03

Thanks Cactus Jack. I agree its none of his business, it was just the insinuation that I could solve my sore eye problem by just not bothering with any correction at all. Yes I do find using a computer hard without my glasses or contacts so thought it would seem odd not to wear them for that, also recognising people in an office pretty much impossible without them. Both of which are reasons I feel like I need to wear them all the time! I have got some lovely new glasses on order, should get them in the next day or so. Not having them is pretty much a pain!

Cactus Jack 23 Jan 2017, 12:37


It is not any of his business when or where you wear vision correction of any type. Without correction, everything beyond about 11 inches or 28 cm is increasingly blurry. That makes it hard to read or use a computer, not to mention your distance vision.

I urge you to take action to get replacement glasses as soon as possible and consider ordering an inexpensive spare pair from an online retailer. If nothing else, an older pair of glasses with a weaker prescription would be better than not having any correction at all.


Emmy 23 Jan 2017, 10:56


Have 'lurked' on these boards before but actually have a question/something I'd like to get opinions on. I wear contact lenses with a prescription of -3.25 and -4.00. I recently broke my glasses which I wear sometimes at home or the occasional day at work if my eyes are tired. I was complaining to a colleague of a sore eye today due to this and said I was looking forward to getting some new glasses so I didn't have to wear contacts all the time. He has quite a strong prescription for glasses by the looks of his lenses. He asked me my prescription and said if his was that low, he'd just go without glasses in my situation with the sore eye. Now I know my orrscriotion is not really strong but I feel I n33d glasses/contacts for most activities. But his surprise got me wondering what other people with this sort of prescription do, just for driving and TV or all the time? I originally got glasses when I was a teenager and did just wear them for those activities but as my prescription got stronger I started to rely on them more.

Soundmanpt 20 Jan 2017, 10:51


Just as "Cactus Jack" and "George 1968" has already told you it is perfectly understandable that when you take your glasses off that you feel "completely blind" In fact I would say nearly everyone with your same prescription likely feels the same way. Your wearing has in no way worsened your eyesight even though many people claims that their wearing glasses ruined their eyesight. That is complete nonsense. Just as Cactus Jack said without your glasses anything more than 14 inches away from you already starts to become blurry. And of course the further away something is the more blurry it is. So if by wearing glasses allows your to see perfectly at a much further distance why wouldn't you want to wear your glasses?

George1968 20 Jan 2017, 07:24


Is that your first glasses prescription?

If so, the reason that you feel blind without them is the contrast between the vision you had without them, and the vision with them. As you wear them, your eyes and brain adjust, so that when you take them off, the world is blurrier than you remember. Nothing is going wrong with your eyes.

There are no glasses police, so you can wear glasses as often or as little as you want (except for driving, when you now MUST wear them). But, the vast majority of people with glasses of your prescription wear them full-time. That's only bad news if you are uncomfortable wearing your glasses in front of other people. The good news is that if you are wearing them full time, the only time you will be bothered by the blur is when you take off your glasses to go to bed.

My guess is that since there appears to be such a difference in your vision with your glasses on versus glasses off, that you will decide to just wear the glasses.

Cactus Jack 20 Jan 2017, 00:33


It is a fairly low prescription, but even low prescription can make a big difference. Vision actually occurs in the brain. Your eyes are merely biological cameras. Your brain is perfectly capable of correcting blurry images, IF it knows what something is supposed to look like, but it takes lots of effort and energy. Your brain can even generate images with your eyes closed. Ever had a dream?

Your prescription means that without correction, everything beyond about 36 cm or 14 inches is increasingly blurry. Most people think that when they start wearing glasses, the glasses make their vision worse. That really is not true. What happens is that the glasses correct the blur optically and your eyes deliver two very sharp images to your brain. That means that your brain does not have to process the images very much and it simply stops doing it. Think or your glasses as labor saving tools. When you take your glasses off, what you see is what your brain had to work with before you got glasses.

Noting is wrong, just enjoy seeing well with your glasses. Don't worry about what other people say. They have absolutely not right to pass judgement on your vision and what it takes to make it very good.


Jacky  19 Jan 2017, 22:54

Everyone says I have a really low prescription but I feel completely blind without my glasses on. Why is this happening?


OD -2.25 -0.50 170

OS -2.00 -0.75 180

Cactus Jack 17 Jan 2017, 15:09


You are pretty much there. If you need -1.00 glasses that means that everything beyond 1 meter or about 40 inches is increasingly blurry. When you wear them is pretty much up to you with one exception. If you drive, you should absolutely wear your glasses.

Vision actually occurs in the brain. Your eyes are merely biological cameras. Your brain can correct blurry images IF it knows what something is supposed to look like. Your brain can even generate images with no external input. Ever had a dream?

I suggest that you wear your glasses full time for about 2 weeks and then make a decision about when to wear them. It will take a few days for your brain to get used to the fact that what you see is being corrected optically, by your glasses and it does not need to correct the images. When that occurs, you will think that the glasses have made your vision worse, but that is not really true. All that has happened is that your brain has stopped expending effort and energy correcting the the poor quality images and is using its considerable processing capacity on more productive things.


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