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Thread: bifocals

  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
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    bifocals

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    My up close vision is going. I just got new glasses last month, and discussed getting either bifocals or reading glasses with my optometrist, and I opted to wait another year. Now, a month later, I'm regretting the decision to wait. My vision is getting worse by the day, and I'm having a hard time working (I'm a goldsmith).

    I can now see better while soldering without my glasses than with them, but looking for tools, etc., I need the glasses on. It's frustrating to constantly be taking my glasses off and putting them back on. I'm guessing that means I'd prefer bifocals to reading glasses.

    So, what are your experiences? Has the transition from single focal lens to bifocal been hard or easy? Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2
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    I don't like bifocals, I just take off my distance glasses and use magnifier reading glasses from the dollar store when I need them
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
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  3. #3
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    Sep 2007
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    I just buy the cheap narrow reading glasses from the drug store, wear them low on my nose, and look over them when I need distance/middle vision. It probably looks really stupid, but it works and it's really no effort.

    The optometrist doesn't even talk to me about bifocal contacts. I haven't heard good things from anyone who's tried them.



    ETA: I keep looking at magnifying goggles for close work (in my case, mostly electrical work on the vehicles). They just flip up when you need to look around the room. Here's a much cheaper pair, I don't know the difference. Might be a better option for your soldering. And +1 to SK on nothing but contacts and wrap-around sunglasses on the bici. In fact, when I first started needing vision correction, I had glasses, and needing my peripheral vision for cycling was the whole reason I went to contacts.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 12-16-2009 at 07:30 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
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    Fortunately I wear contacts 99% of the time so I use readers as necessary.

    I have bifocal glasses for backup but I wouldn't ever consider wearing them on a bike. That close-up lens interfers too much with my line of sight and depth perception when riding.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    1,333
    how frustrating! it's a b*!ch getting older, isn't it? I'm noticing that I'm starting to pull things farther to see more clearly.

    For me, it's a bit of a dichotomy, as my prescription's very strong so without contacts or glasses, I can only see about 5 inches in front of my before things get blurry. But my very up close vision is perfect for fine details.

    I thought about getting laser eye surgery, but then I'd lose that up close focus so I opted to just keep wearing glasses/contacts and one day end up with bifocals or readers.

    Have you tried what Oakleaf does? to put a pair of narrow glasses low on your nose and just look down them when you're doing work up close?

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    I wear bifocals. Unfortunately, I can't just leave them on all the time because the computer screen is too far for reading glasses (and too high) and too close for distance glasses. I'm better without glass to see the screen, unless the print is small, and then I have to crane my neck to look through the lower part of the bifocal. Trying to have a conversation with someone in a noisy environment also tends to put me in the "too close-too far" zone. So I'm always taking my glasses on and off, but at least I only have one pair of glasses to look for. Maybe I really need trifocals, with plain glass in the middle.

    It took me a few months to get used to the bifocals. Going down stairs is challenging for awhile, as is hiking down steep trails. You just have to remember to use your neck so you're not seeing the ground through the reading glasses (fuzzy stairs, fuzzy rocks). Driving has the same problem - you can see the road fine through the upper lens, but the instrument panel is fuzzy through the reading lens (remember to move neck). Also, if you have the bifocals with lines like I do, you get to see double images of anything that the line passes through - sometimes that's nice, sometimes it's not. I prefer my bifocals to any alternatives, but sometimes it sucks to need them.

    I do ride my bike in bifocals.
    Last edited by DebW; 12-16-2009 at 07:43 AM.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

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  7. #7
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    Jul 2004
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    Ugghh... similar problem. I just got my first pair of progressive lenses. I used to only need distance glasses, and I took them off or look under them for reading. But, last eye doc visit indicated I needed reading glasses too. (Was doing some soldering a few months ago and borrowed my BF's readers to see the circuit board - first hint that I had a problem. )

    I don't really like the progressives. I have to work to find the focus point when I'm reading, and like Deb, walking down stairs is a challenge. I'm really worried about them hiking. My plan is to use my regular (non-progressive, just distance) sunglasses for hiking and biking.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  8. #8
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    I have had progressive lenses for about 4 or 5 years. Took a month of headaches to get used to them, but I don't notice them at all now. I occasionally take the glasses off for close work- probably because I need a new prescription, but have no trouble on the bike.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
    I don't really like the progressives. I have to work to find the focus point when I'm reading, and like Deb, walking down stairs is a challenge. I'm really worried about them hiking. My plan is to use my regular (non-progressive, just distance) sunglasses for hiking and biking.
    I wear my bifocals for hiking now without a problem (except a sore neck on a long steep downhill). These are things you get used to if you do them consistently. My non-progressive lenses have a large focus area for reading. They are fine for biking (couldn't read the bike computer without them).
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
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    I have tri-focals after wearing contacts for years and then needing reading glasses and finally my eyes were just too dry for contacts any more.

    These were made up to have a larger middle distance piece for computer work, which I do most of the day. I also had a separate pair of just reading glasses made up, which I almost never wear.

    You do get used to bifoclas and trifocals, and the best advice I can offer is to point your nose in the direction you want to look.

    Good luck!
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  11. #11
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    I've worn progressives for about 4 years, and haven't had any problem except on stairs. That's still tricky.

    The only issue I've had is that the style lately has been for lenses to be fairly short from top to bottom, and you need a bit deeper lens for the progressives. So the most stylish glasses aren't an option, which isn't a problem for me since I'm not stylish anyway, but the selection of frames can be pretty small.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I have progressive lenses in my glasses and they work great. I do have to adjust to them after I have been wearing my contacts for a while. But after an hour, I can ride my bike and go downstairs just fine. I do have trouble with balance work at the gym at first.

    When I don't wear my glasses, I use bifocal-monovision contacts. Both my contacts are bifocal, but one is for reading and one is for distance. The bifocal part gives me middle distance, which I didn't have before with just monovision.

    I do not consider my contacts to work as good as my glasses, and some people can't adjust to monovision, but it works well enough for me. The trade off is to have to wear glasses all the time, and I don't want to do that. I like to be able to sleep and read in any position without glasses. I don't carry a purse, so I can't carry extra prescription sunglasses, and I must wear sunglasses (cataracts are a huge problem in my family and I don't want to develop them).

    It's not a perfect set up, but it works for me so far.

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  13. #13
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    Feb 2005
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    I wear contacts 99% of the time, with readers over them. Im 56 and started needing the readers when I was maybe 42. My face is teeny teeny and I cannot buy the drugstore ones or even the moderately stylish readers in dept.stores. I go to the optometrist for the readers and use my HSA to pay for new ones every 4-5 years. I buy kids/pre-teen sized frames.
    I have progressives as backups and have had them for about 15 years. I did wear them constantly for about a week when I first got them to get used to them, but now I basically wear them when I get into bed at night, when I take the contacts out, or if I am sick, allergies, etc. Most people have never seen me in my progressives. I went through the headaches and the stair thing that first week, but, now I don't notice it. I live in a house with 4 stories, so when I have them on at home, I go up and down stairs a lot. I am a little careful, but so far, so good.
    I spent a lot of $ on my progressives, so in the event I have to wear them, they would look nice and be comfortable. However, I really get annoyed when I have to wear glasses all of the time. My nose hurts. My ears hurt, too. Even though I have readers, I constantly take them off and on, so it's different. I would really hesitate to wear progressives riding, but if I had to, I would. One issue is that I would need to get some clip on sun glasses for them (one pair I had came with those). I *always* wear sun glasses when I go outside, all year round. Maybe it comes from living in the Sun Belt for a long time, but I can't stand not having the sunglasses on. Wearing contacts, I just buy regular cycling sunglasses. If I am riding alone, I will bring my readers with me, in case I have to change a tube, but I can do it without them.
    I have considered the bifocal contacts, but I haven't heard much good about the monovision kind. My DH's optometrist suggested the new kind that have both near and far vision in both contacts, but I think my far vision might be compromised; I am super nearsighted and also have an uncorrected astigmatism with my contacts, which is corrected with the progressives and readers. I already have really bad, I mean really bad, depth perception, so I am sort of keeping things the way they are.
    I do know people that wear progressives riding and don't seem to be bothered at all.

  14. #14
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    Jun 2006
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    Newport, RI
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    Thanks for all the ideas. I'm glad I waited to get the bifocals. It sounds like there are issues with them I wouldn't like.

    I may just opt for the looking over the top of my glasses suggestion while I can still see well without magnification. Then, when my eyes get worse, either the goggles Oakleaf linked to, or another clip-on type I found in a tool catalog.

    Yes, Badger, aging is fun! (isn't that what you said? )

  15. #15
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    Jul 2009
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    Black Hills of SD
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    I have lined bifocals with the focal distance of my computer screen at work. The bifocal part goes up as high as they'll go so I don't have to crane my neck to see the screen. I don't care for them to walk around in because the line is right in the middle of my vision, but at least now I can look up and see who is entering the room. I have lined bifocals with a little shorter focal distance for normal wear. I tried progressives but they made me really nauseous. I can't manage to ride my bike with them. I get really frustrated because I went for 43 years without needing glasses at all. DH finds this amusing since he has been wearing glasses since kindergarten. I hate getting old!

    Deb

 

 

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