Are my progressives as good as can be expected?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Joe Negron, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Joe Negron

    Joe Negron Guest


    About five and a half years ago I posted asking for help with my
    progressives purchased from LensCrafters. The problem I had was that
    the "reading portion" of the progressives were particularly narrow which
    made it difficult to read (I had to either move my head from left to
    right in order to read a book or move the book from left to right).

    The gist of the advice I received was to go to an independent optician
    rather than a chain like LensCrafters because most of the chains used
    cheaper lenses, and these cheaper lenses could be the cause of my
    dissatisfaction. I was cautioned that a good pair of progressive lenses
    would cost considerably more.

    Well, I got a recommendation from a trusted source who bought a pair of
    progressives and bought a pair myself. I paid $500 (which included an
    eye exam), compared to LensCrafters' charge of about $300 (but no eye
    exam, which I'd already got from an ophthalmologist). The lenses are,
    according to the receipt, Varilux's Physio 360.

    The result is that while these glasses are certainly better than the
    pair from LensCrafters, they're not perfect especially when it comes to
    medium distance vision (such as looking at a computer screen).

    Distance vision is pretty good (say eight of ten), though when I
    maintain my focus on a particular point while moving my head back and
    forth, the image "stretches" from diagonal corners and blurs a bit.

    Reading vision is about the same, though I must precisely position the
    book in order to avoid blurring on the edges (particularly from my right
    eye). Also, I can now read very small type (with some difficulty) such
    as is often found on product packaging, which I was not able to do with
    either the LensCrafters progressives or the bifocals I got to replace

    Medium distance vision is, as I said, the problem. For example, I have
    a 19" (diagonal) flat panel LCD display which is almost 15" across. If
    I focus on something at screen center, with my eyes just about two feet
    from the screen, anything to the left and right becomes progressively
    (no pun intended!) blurry, moreso as the distance from center
    increases. I estimate I can clearly see approximately one third of the
    screen. I don't mean to say that I can't necessarily read the other
    parts of the screen - it's dependant upon the font size, but except for
    the center third of the screen, things are either slightly or very

    I've had these glasses for almost a month. The first week was pretty
    bad, but after some kind of adjustment, as well as time for me to
    adjust, the reading and distance vision are good enough.

    I don't know what kind of adjustment he made but the optician took my
    glasses in the back of the store for about 15 minutes and I saw him
    hunched over them; IAC, they certainly fit better now.

    So, I guess my question boils down to: am I being too picky and is this
    the best I can expect from progressives, or must there be some kind of
    change made to the lenses in order to improve the medium distance
    vision? The optician tells me there's nothing he can do about it.

    My prescription is:

    O.D. p1 -1.50 30
    O.S. +1.25 -0.75 175

    O.S. add +2.25

    My previous prescription was:

    O.D. p1 -1.25 30
    O.S. +0.50 -0.75 170

    O.S. add +1.50

    The doctor told me that my prescription hasn't changed much.

    My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my
    life there.
    --Charles F. Kettering

    War is good for business - invest your son.
    --antiwar bumper sticker from the 1960s
    Joe Negron, Sep 3, 2009
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  2. Joe Negron

    The Real Bev Guest

    I've got a much nastier prescription than you do and I have no problem at all
    with my 23" monitor and single-vision glasses. Isn't the central portion of
    progressives sort of hourglass-shaped?

    I've pretty much resigned myself to switching among 4 pair of glasses (plus
    varying powers of cheap readers when I wear my contacts) depending on what I'm
    doing. I can see why people would choose lasik, but that would probably be
    screwed up too :-(
    The Real Bev, Sep 4, 2009
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  3. Joe Negron

    Dr Judy Guest

    Yup, that happens with progressives. The advice for using
    progressives is to "point your nose at what you want to see", don't
    move your head while keeping the eyes in one spot.

    Yup, that happens with progressives. They are clear for the centre,
    where you are looking, don't expect the whole screen to be clear,
    especially the edges where you aren't looking

    If you really need the entire 15" screen to be clear edge to edge,
    then consider a single vision pair of computer glasses, set for the
    distance from the screen.

    Dr Judy, Sep 4, 2009
  4. Joe Negron

    Joe Negron Guest

    it's such a hassle to carry an extra pair with me that I'm really trying
    to make these progressives work.
    Yes, it must be as that would explain my problem.
    Four pair? I think carrying one extra pair is a major inconvenience!
    Then again, I don't carry a purse (which I suppose you do).
    I considered lasik but after reading of some relatively rare but serious
    complications, and that it may only reduce not eliminate my need for
    glasses I figured I'd be better off with glasses.

    If my husband would ever meet a woman on the street who looked like the
    women in his paintings, he would fall over in a dead faint.
    --Mrs. Pablo Picasso

    War is good for business - invest your son.
    --antiwar bumper sticker from the 1960s
    Joe Negron, Sep 4, 2009
  5. Joe Negron

    Dr Judy Guest

    LASIK wouldn't solve your problem anyway; it corrects your distance
    vision but not your computer or near vision.

    Dr Judy, Sep 5, 2009
  6. Joe Negron

    Joe Negron Guest

    This wouldn't be a bad solution, as I wouldn't have to carry them around
    with me. The only problem is that I paid $500 for the progressives and
    had hoped that that would be the extent of my investment in this issue.

    He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.
    --Joseph Joubert

    War is good for business - invest your son.
    --antiwar bumper sticker from the 1960s
    Joe Negron, Sep 5, 2009
  7. Joe Negron

    Dr Judy Guest

    The good news is that single vision readers for the computer are
    inexpensive. And the progressives are still useful for everything

    It's a common solution, look around and you will find quite a number
    of people with progressives for most tasks and a pair of SV for the

    Dr Judy, Sep 5, 2009
  8. Joe Negron

    The Real Bev Guest

    99-Cents-Only Store. Wide selection of sizes and frames.
    I'd jump for joy if all I needed for the computer were cheap readers!
    The Real Bev, Sep 6, 2009
  9. Joe Negron

    Dan Abel Guest

    That assumes that the prescription for both eyes is the same (mine
    wasn't), that there is no astigmatism (I had considerable in one eye)
    and that the amount needed is in the range sold OTC (mine was a *very*
    strong minus).

    SV prescription glasses are *much* cheaper than progressives, but
    nothing like 99 cents!
    Dan Abel, Sep 8, 2009
  10. Joe Negron

    Dan Abel Guest

    This is all personal preference, as far as I am concerned. Some people,
    like my wife, want one pair of glasses that go on in the morning when
    she gets up and come off when she goes to bed. She doesn't want SV
    computer glasses, even though she could buy OTC glasses that would work.

    I like to use individual tools, because they usually work better for
    their one task, and you can buy all the tools you need for less than the
    cost of one all-purpose tool.

    Of course, it depends also quite heavily on how and how much you use
    your computer. If you are switching between talking to somebody,
    reading and using the computer, SV glasses won't work. If you just use
    the computer by itself, for long periods, SV makes more sense.
    Dan Abel, Sep 8, 2009
  11. Joe Negron

    The Real Bev Guest

    Yeah, but if your eyes match, you have no astigmatism and can get away with a
    prescription less than +3.5, the 00-cent glasses will do just fine. If your
    eyes don't match, you might try buying glasses with the same frame and
    different powers and swapping lenses.

    Even with PRESCRIPTION glasses my left eye is worthless for reading purposes.
    One eye is better than none!
    The Real Bev, Sep 11, 2009
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