New to progressives, blurry peripheral normal?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Dustbunny, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Dustbunny

    Dustbunny Guest

    I've been wearing single prescription glasses since I was 12. I really
    only need to take my normal glasses off now when things are very
    close. Arms length and beyond, I require them.

    I just came home from getting my first pair of progressive lenses, and
    find I can't look ANYWHERE but nearly straight ahead or there is
    terrible distortion. The guy told me that this is typical for
    progressive lenses, but that if it was really bad, he could try
    VARILUX, or some other special ordered lens.

    So my question is, do some brands have a broader peripheral vision
    "sweet spot" than others? Or would I be better off getting a regular
    bifocal, which I think would let me see side to side alright.

    Any insight or references greatly appreciated. Please respond here,
    not to email.

    TIA
     
    Dustbunny, Apr 21, 2004
    #1
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  2. Dustbunny

    Mark A Guest

    There are several factors to consider for progressives:

    1. It usually takes several weeks for first-time progressive wearers to
    adapt.
    2. You will never be able to see clearly through all parts of a progressive
    lens, although some brands/materials are better than others, and it depends
    on your specific Rx.
    3. There is a difference in the various brands, and the premium brands
    usually do better, especially if you have a moderate to strong Rx.
    Determination of what constitutes a strong Rx includes the distance power,
    and the reading add.
    4. There is also a difference in lens materials. Almost all progressives
    come in a variety of materials. Polycarb is good for safety glasses since it
    has very good tensile strength and high impact resistance, and it is
    reasonably light and thin (1.59 index). However, polycarb has the worst
    optics of almost available material, which can show up as blurring in
    peripheral vision. Find out which material you have and what other materials
    are available for your current lens, and other lens you may purchase.
    Personally, I would avoid polycarb like the plague. If you need safety
    glasses, go for Hoya Phoenix (trivex) material. Some of the big chains push
    polycarb because it is more profitable for them.
    5. Lens and frame fitting is very important for progressives, and is a major
    cause of remakes, or ultimate non-adaptation. Make sure your optician is
    experienced with progressives, and preferably wears progressives themselves.
    6. Fashionable frames with a very small top to bottom dimension (called
    short frames) can lead to less than optimal results with progressives.
    7. Varilux has 2 models, the Comfort and the Pananic. The Panamic is
    marketed as their premium lens, especially for shorter frames.
    8. Some people do better with one brand/model, while others do better with
    another brand/model. Some of this is the fitting, but there is a certain
    amount of voodoo in getting the best lens for each person's Rx.
    9. Progressives usually come with liberal remake or money-back warranties
    because of the problems described above. One reason progressives cost so
    much is because the cost of these remakes and warranties is built into the
    price of the lens. Make sure you keep close track of the warranty expiration
    date for getting a full refund if you are not satisfied.
    10. It sometimes helps to post your exact Rx when asking for help on this
    forum.
    11. Bifocals have better vision through the near and far parts of lens if
    you don't mind the line. But progressives have the advantage of providing
    some in-focus vision at all distances from the far vision to the near
    vision. The size of the intermediate variable vision channel is not large,
    but can be important to some people. Bi-focals only provide in-focus vision
    at two distances, near and far.
     
    Mark A, Apr 21, 2004
    #2
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  3. Dustbunny

    Terry Horton Guest

    There are wide differences in the peripheral vision of even premium
    progressive lens brands. In my case, several remakes from several
    labs of the Zeiss Gradal Top and I still felt I was looking through a
    smoky tunnel. Switched to Hoya's SummitECP lens, and from the first
    moment it was almost like an SV lens, except I could read. There's
    peripheral blur even in the Hoya, but apparently low enough and pushed
    so far toward the edge that the brain doesn't normally perceive it.

    If you're not thrilled with the vision from your progressives when you
    first leave the optician's office, you won't be thrilled with them in
    a month or a year. Knowing what I now know, I wouldn't let anyone
    ever convince me otherwise.
     
    Terry Horton, Apr 25, 2004
    #3
  4. Dustbunny () wrote:
    : I just came home from getting my first pair of progressive lenses, and
    : find I can't look ANYWHERE but nearly straight ahead or there is
    : terrible distortion. The guy told me that this is typical for
    : progressive lenses, but that if it was really bad, he could try
    : VARILUX, or some other special ordered lens.

    : So my question is, do some brands have a broader peripheral vision
    : "sweet spot" than others? Or would I be better off getting a regular
    : bifocal, which I think would let me see side to side alright.

    I went thru a similar experience last year with my first pair. In my case
    I was initially sold a set of Essilor Ovation lenses which may or may not
    have been acceptable but in any case they were fitted improperly. As a
    result I was basically unable to wear them from day one and had many of
    the same symptoms you report.

    After several attempts to make them work the senior optician (and owner)
    of the shop discovered the error in fitting made by his staffer and
    replaced them with a set of Varilux Comfort lenses. The difference was
    huge right from the start. These are acceptable for most activities and
    adaptation time was virtually nil. However, progressives are at best a
    compromise and the technology is oversold. In my case I still need to wear
    single-vision glasses when I play golf as it is impossible to hit a
    golfball wearing progressives. While peripheral vision with these is good
    enough for most things, I do notice that I have to adjust my head position
    if, for example, I am trying to watch television while laying down. There
    are still certain situations where I cannot seem to find the right spot to
    look through to get clear vision (trying to read fine print on labels of
    products on grocery shelves seems to be the prime offender) and just take
    them off to read. However, at least now I can read a paper or magazine
    wearing them so that is a step forward.

    Fitting them properly is key. Yours may be set too high and you may be
    finding yourself looking through the bottom of the "funnel" in the lens
    that is the area that gives clear vision. That was my problem with the
    first set. If you can slide them downwards on your nose and see more
    clearly in the periphery they may need to be adjusted or remade. Or it may
    be a poor-quality lens that cannot deliver acceptable claity on the edge.
    In any event, take them back and be firm in insisting on action. Every
    optician will try to convince you that you just need to adapt, but you
    cannot adapt if the lenses are not fit correctly or are of poor quality.
     
    Greg Beaulieu, Apr 25, 2004
    #4
  5. Dustbunny

    Dustbunny Guest

    Thanks to all for your comments. I took the glasses back. I need my
    far lenses to read my computer monitor. (Basically anything beyond
    about 18")

    With the new glasses, I could not even view my 17" monitor side to
    side from more than arms length without turning my head. This "tunnel"
    just wasn't acceptable at all. And driving my car and having to turn
    my head to look at my left side mirror makes drive MORE dangerous, not
    less.

    At some point I'll go to a good eye doctor and try again, but for now
    I'll put up with taking my glasses off for up close reading.
     
    Dustbunny, Apr 27, 2004
    #5
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