Coffeehouse Thread

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Vari-focal "progresive" lenses

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  • User profile image
    Ian

    So sure eniugh when I hit 40 my eyes started to go and after boucing around with a few of the "off the shelf" reading glasses I eventually settled on my own prescription based pair.

    So here is the story, I ordered some aditional reading glasses from one of  these companies based 'somewhere else on the planet' and received an additional pair of reading glasses.  Great! 

    After I trod on my spare pair and ordered a replacement from the same company I was surprised when they came back and apeared blurry.  Bit of a revelation when I looked up though as objects that I had previously thought were sharp were now 'pin sharp'  (I had ordered long distance instead of reading lenses by mistake)

    So (don't worry I am getting there) this was all fine for a while and I even occasionally pick up the long sighted pair for watching HD films.

    Then I got a new laptop that supported 'Intel WIDI' and proceeded to set up a shared monitor between my laptop and TV on the other side of the room.

    All worked well and for a while I sat there with my reading glasses perched on the end of my nose such that when I looked at my laptop I could see eveything in focus, and when I looked up I could see everything on the TV (albeit sharp but not 'pin sharp')

    So I decided to try varifocals and they arrived this morning.

    I have to say they are a bit of a let down - I guess I was expecting a miracle but what you actually get with these lenses is a fairly small "sweet spot"  This guy explains it better.

    So I guess I will endevour to persevere for a while.

    Anyone else have any experience of this process?

     

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    I'm in my early thirties and haven't visited an optometrist in perhaps fifteen years. I can see-- as far as I can tell-- near and far perfectly well. Some day I will get an examine, and perhaps order something like these. I like the idea of adjusting focus on the fly, even if for a price.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    SteveRichter

    Interesting how you do not hear much about laser eye surgery anymore.

     

  • User profile image
    SimonJ

    I've been short-sighted with an astigmatism since I was about 8. About age 45 my eyes started changing rapidly. I have to have my sign tested every year as my prescription changes so much sometimes getting better, sometimes getting worse. I've been presribed varifocals but, working with a PC all day, I find they give me a crick in my neck as I have to hold my head back to bring the screen into sharp focus.

    I find I get better results from contact lenses to give me good distance vision and add +1.25 diopter reading glasses when I need to read small or close up text.

    Go visit a reputable optician, have a full sight test and tell them what you do for a living and how much of your life is in front of a computer screen.

    Don't be shy about rearranging your desk & monitors, pull the monitor closer or push it away, to make life easier and zoom the display in IE, Outlook or Word if you need to. Ctrl+ScrollWheel is your friend. Ctrl+0 to go back to 100% zoom.

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    On a side note, Ian, how did you get your profile back?

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    , SteveRichter wrote

    Interesting how you do not hear much about laser eye surgery anymore. 

    My wife and I both had our eyes zapped about 6 - 7 years ago. Before that we both wore contact lenses and both hated it. By the end of the day my eyes would feel like I haven't slept for 2 days.

    Anyway the laser surgery worked very well (although my wife had to go a second time because it wasn't quite right the 1st time). Since then neither of us needed glasses or contacts.

    However what laser surgery can't fix is that your eyes lose their ability to quickly change focal distance. This happens  at around 40 years of age. Once this happens your eyes get "stuck" in their natural focal point and you are either going to need reading glasses or distance glasses (or both even). My "natural" focal point is roughly 2 feet so it is ideal for me since I work on a computer a lot. At some point I know I would need to get glasses because I'm having difficulty focusing very close and distance is also not quite as sharp as it used to be so my eyes definitely are losing their focusing ability.

    One great thing about the laser surgery was that it fixed my astigmatism. At the time they could calculate about 100 points on each eye and adjust each point by a different amount. This allowed them to even out the curvatures on my eyes and hence fix the astigmatism. So even if I can't see quite as well as I used to, at least I don't have to deal with astigmatism.

    Also for what it's worth, we have "lifetime" free follow ups for our laser surgery. So we could go back any time and have it redone but I don't think either of us would need that.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    @Ian: You look a lot like Ian2, although your face looks quite a bit smaller. Do you two know each other?

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @BitFlipper: I'm over 40 and just had my eyes zapped this past December. I too have/had bad astigmatism so it was nice to get rid of that. I went the mono-vision route where they poke one of your eyes out -- kidding -- where they leave one eye less corrected for reading and the other eye dialed in for distance (as the doc put it, your shooting eye). It has worked fantastic. My near vision at the computer has never been better and my distance is great too. I haven't had any problems with changing focal distance so it probably depends on the person (knock on wood) I'm hoping to get 7 to 10 years out of these babies before I have to go back in and get a correction. Most likely it will be to dial in the reading eye for distance and move on to reading glasses. It is so nice not to have to deal with finicky toric lenses anymore.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    @DeathByVisualStudio: Luckily, I still have a few inches left in my arms before I really need reading glasses, but I have been thinking about this for a while.

    How much does that procedure affect your binocular vision? I don't mind 3D movies anyway, but I was under the impression that would interfere with my driving. How's your experience with that?

     

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    BTW this was the lasik technology that was used on my wife and me. I notice that different technology is used now so even that has been improved upon since then. Neither of us have experienced the so called night-time halo effects some people used to get from the older technology.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    @Ian:Getting a single pair of progressive lenses to work for general-purpose AND computer/reading is a big ask.

    Personally, I have 2 pairs - one that is oriented to general purpose use, with only a relatively small area for reading distance - and the second are specialised to computer-screen distance when looking straight ahead, and keyboard/desk/paper distance when I glance down, but still good enough to allow me to walk around the office without crashing into things.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , DeathByVisualStudio wrote

    @BitFlipper: I'm over 40 and just had my eyes zapped this past December. I too have/had bad astigmatism so it was nice to get rid of that. I went the mono-vision route where they poke one of your eyes out -- kidding -- where they leave one eye less corrected for reading and the other eye dialed in for distance (as the doc put it, your shooting eye). It has worked fantastic. My near vision at the computer has never been better and my distance is great too. I haven't had any problems with changing focal distance so it probably depends on the person (knock on wood) I'm hoping to get 7 to 10 years out of these babies before I have to go back in and get a correction. Most likely it will be to dial in the reading eye for distance and move on to reading glasses. It is so nice not to have to deal with finicky toric lenses anymore.

    Wow. People keep telling me to ditch the contact lenses and go for eye surgery. Dunno. I hear that these things go wrong one in twenty. Those are good odds, but I wasn't born lucky...

    I wear disposable contacts and they're no hassle at all, as long as you scrub your hands thoroughly before putting them in or taking them out.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    @cbae:Yes, we have a surprising amount in common.  (There was a period where Microsoft IDs that used a thrid party email address as the username refused to work - this is when I started Ian2).  

    On the glasses front I suspect that I will only use the varifocals when I am using WiDi. Ironically after getting the varifocals in order to cut down on the number of glasses I have next to me - at the moment I have three pairs fo glasses on the table next to where I work!

     I really like what the WiDi gives me so I hope that this doesn't become an issue.  

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    Wow. People keep telling me to ditch the contact lenses and go for eye surgery. Dunno. I hear that these things go wrong one in twenty. Those are good odds, but I wasn't born lucky...

    I wear disposable contacts and they're no hassle at all, as long as you scrub your hands thoroughly before putting them in or taking them out.

    How up-to-date are those statistics? I'm asking because I'm sure the failure rate has been decreasing over the years since they keep coming up with new methods and technologies.

    For instance the machine that was used on us had a little red light at the top. So as you lie down and look up, you are instructed to look straight into that light. The machine tracks your eye position very accurately and if you look away from that red light, it immediately stops any further laser action. Pretty fool proof it seems.

    Of course, failure can occur at other points too, like incorrect data being used on you (they do ask you to state your full name and some other identifying info as you lay down - don't want to get you mixed up with the next patient), or some mechanical/computer failure etc.

    I have a feeling the failure rate is less than one in twenty these days. Also one has to define "failure". I guess one can call my wife's 1st go around a failure as she didn't hit the exact amount of required correction but the second time she did.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    How up-to-date are those statistics? I'm asking because I'm sure the failure rate has been decreasing over the years since they keep coming up with new methods and technologies.

    Good point, and very hard to find the real stats on this. The private clinics reckon the failure rate is about 1 in 1000. The British Journal of Ophthalmology puts the figure at 1 in 10. 

    I have a feeling the failure rate is less than one in twenty these days. Also one has to define "failure". I guess one can call my wife's 1st go around a failure as she didn't hit the exact amount of required correction but the second time she did.

    Another good point. 'Failure' is defined as 'it didn't work', which doesn't necessarily mean that the recipient was harmed in any way. However there are rare cases of blindness, less rare cases of vision becoming worse, and quite a few cases of night vision becoming so impaired that the patient can no longer drive in the dark.

    The most common problem is 'dry eyes' which seems to happen a lot, but can be corrected apparently.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , Blue Ink wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio: Luckily, I still have a few inches left in my arms before I really need reading glasses, but I have been thinking about this for a while.

    How much does that procedure affect your binocular vision? I don't mind 3D movies anyway, but I was under the impression that would interfere with my driving. How's your experience with that?

     

    3D still looks 3D to me except I don't have the nagging toric contacts to deal with. Like Ray mentions dry eyes are the only problem I have but I had dry eyes before the surgery (another motivating factor for me).

    [quote]

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    Wow. People keep telling me to ditch the contact lenses and go for eye surgery. Dunno. I hear that these things go wrong one in twenty. Those are good odds, but I wasn't born lucky...

    I wear disposable contacts and they're no hassle at all, as long as you scrub your hands thoroughly before putting them in or taking them out.

    I concur with BitFlipper. They don't even pin your head down; "Just hold still". My GF got to watch the whole thing as they had a camera mounted on the laser. Afterwards your vision is immediately better (but not perfect). As you eye heal over the next couple of weeks everything gets perfect. I never had to wear any glasses after the surgery and went back to work the day after.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • User profile image
    spivonious

    While I have good vision, I can add that I've also heard that laser surgery is much better these days, with most people getting 20/20 vision afterwards, even those with severely bad vision.

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