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Spectacles - Varifocal users


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I've required reading glasses for some considerable while now, and have recently used bifocals - one part for reading, another for using a VDU; my distance vision is still pretty good.

 

At my last eye test the optician suggested that I tried varifocals, and I agreed to give them a go.

 

Plus points so far include they're great for driving as I can read the instruments and Satnav, while also having clear forward vision.

 

Reading good too, no problems.

 

Still struggling with the VDU however, a lot of head movement required to scan the screen, particularly when processing photos. 

 

I've just got the glasses, and realise that there is a learning curve, so wondering if other long term users have come to terms with varifocals for VDU work?

 

I have a two for one deal here and have a month to decide on what is best for me. Currently thinking about one pair varifocals and one pair just for VDU?  Have been advised that bifocals and varifocals don't go together.

 

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I'm sorry, Bryan . . . I couldn't read what you wrote after "I've" or "Ivy" or something. Okay, that was a blind stab at humor.  :wacko:

 

"Currently thinking about one pair varifocals and one pair just for VDU?" - you.

 

That was going to be my suggestion. I was a varifocals failure and a contact lens failure. Good luck; stay calm. I need to get a eye test now. 

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I have been wearing varifocals for over ten years now and get on with them ok when looking at through camera viewfinder, the camera back, iPads and even my laptop but when using my main computer with two displays I use a pair of intermediate vision glasses made specially for as suggested by my optician ( cheap and with big frames. They don't look very good ... but they are spot on for computer work ) the bonus with the varifocals was that after getting them I could once again see my speedo and the road ahead when riding my motorbike.

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I have been wearing varifocals for over ten years now and get on with them ok when looking at through camera viewfinder, the camera back, iPads and even my laptop but when using my main computer with two displays I use a pair of intermediate vision glasses made specially for as suggested by my optician ( cheap and with big frames. They don't look very good ... but they are spot on for computer work ) the bonus with the varifocals was that after getting them I could once again see my speedo and the road ahead when riding my motorbike.

 

I agree - intermediate prescription (about 60 cm distance) is the way to go for computer work. As I use them a lot, I got a comfortable, light pair - I didn't bother with the reflection-free which the opticians usually try to sell as it adds a bit to the price - I had them before for compuer use and didn't see any real benefit. I have reflection-free distance glasses though - good for driving,

 

They are fine for reading as well

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I've been wearing them for about one year. They are usually called "progressive lenses" here. I'm still not totally used to all the head-nodding, but I haven't fallen down the front stairs yet. I do miss my 20/20 vision, that's for sure. Generally, I switch to cheap reading glasses for most computer work, especially when checking images for Alamy. I find judging sharpness, etc. unreliable with the varifocals because I have a habit of looking at the screen with the wrong section of the lenses. There is also quite a bit of distortion when I move my head from side to side.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I had a whole lot of problems with them and finally settled for 30 day contact lenses to correct distance vision and then add glasses for reading. My "good" glasses stay at home and I use a small pair in a little metal tube when I'm out and about. they are cheap, but for short time use my optometrist says they're fine. I have half a dozen pairs, they're in my handbag, my camera bag, car glove box etc.

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Varifocal/progressive lenses simply spread the near-to-far focal length for your prescription gradually over a portion of the lens instead of in the single step of bifocals (or two steps of trifocals). (And also don't have the distracting lines between the steps.)

 

This means that to best focus on a particular middle range, you need to tilt your head to the proper angle in order to look through that part of the lens. 

 

I have progressives for everyday use, but for me they can result in a little neck stiffness when used for very long on a computer (and they took a little getting used to for everyday use a few years back). I used to have a pair of single-vision glasses for computer use, but now the prescription is a bit old, so I either remove my glasses, or put up with the progressives. 

 

With "computer glasses" set for the right focal length for your computer setup, you can hold your head at any fool angles you choose. 

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My far vision has just gotten better and better so I seldom wear either my contacts or my prescription glasses. I use drugstore glasses for reading and a different (weaker) strength for the computer. My contacts work well for medium to far and some reading in good light. I use the reading glasses for any long periods of reading.

 

Paulette

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We are getting old......

 

I've been wearing "progressive lenses" for years, but I can not work at a computer screen with them.

I had another pair of standard glasses made for working at the computer.

 

Keep in mind that I can still pass my drivers license test without glasses, but for night driving

or reading (books not computer screens) I need glasses.

 

The lenses I use at the computer never leave my desk.

 

Chuck (Still the original Chuck and the one with two pairs of glasses..)

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Thanks for the responses folks, seems to me that there is a general preference for a pair of single magnification specs for computer work.

 

I have tended to keep my prescription glasses for specific purposes and use cheapo specs hung around my neck for the rough and tumble of day to day usage. The varifocals are a bit different however, more generally useful, for example supermarket shopping when you need to read prices, and see where you are going!

 

Using the camera: to date the dioptre correction of the viewfinder is enough for me - another advantage of the EVF, you can examine a magnified image without having to use specs.

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Thanks for the responses folks, seems to me that there is a general preference for a pair of single magnification specs for computer work.

 

 

 

Unless you have a very weak prescription, a good pair of anti-reflection coated prescription single vision lenses optimised for VDU use is the way to go. Using a PC with vari-focals is a pain in the neck. With single vision lenses the whole screen is sharp at the same time.

Edited by M.Chapman
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I have to use specs for reading these days too. Tried varifocals for a short while but did not get on with them.

 

Back to ordinary reading specs but with specs prescribed for monitor use only too. These are like reading specs but slightly weaker to allow for the distance my eyes are from the monitor. Roughly an arms length or something in the region of 2-3ft.

 

Allan

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Thanks again folks, I've done the deed and ordered a pair of medium vision specs for VDU purposes.

 

They are actually quite a bit cheaper than I anticipated at £25, makes me think about my current policy of buying cheap (Pound Shop, Wilko etc) specs for use out and about, as my eyes have different prescriptions.

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Thanks again folks, I've done the deed and ordered a pair of medium vision specs for VDU purposes.

 

They are actually quite a bit cheaper than I anticipated at £25, makes me think about my current policy of buying cheap (Pound Shop, Wilko etc) specs for use out and about, as my eyes have different prescriptions.

 

Good luck with those. My "Alamy specs" are cheap but mighty +3.50 drugstore readers that live next to my computer. So far so good...

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I worked for an Opthalmologist for 10 years. I got to hear the complaints if a pair of new glasses didn't work, which was 20 X more with the progressive lenses. The area for mid-range (computer) is so narrow that it drove a lot of people crazy, mostly with the people who used and need the mid-range a lot. Like us, and anyone else on the computer a lot.

I have a pair of bifocals, although I usually only use them for watching television. A similar dark lens pair for driving. Nice, because I can read maps with the lower part.

I have half-glasses for reading. A nice big enough area for print without having to look sharply down which gets old for a verocious reader like me. I can look up over them to glance across the room.

 

My usual method is when my readers get a bit weak for up close, they are perfect for the computer. They go to my desk and I get a new pair of half glasses for reading. Hitching the old ones up a bit on my nose keeps me from having to tilt my head for the computer.

Perfect.

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My wife is an artist working up canvasses from a foot to six feet. She tried bifocals and didn't get on, so her ophthalmologist suggested she try Mono-Vision. One eye sees distance (the predominant eye) and the other has a contact lens for closer work. Amazingly, the brain works out which eye to use and adjusts automatically. She also works on a 27 inch iMac without problems.  It took about a week for her to adjust. She has been on this system for about five years. Obviously this is not a do-it-yourself solution but it does work for some people. Wonderful what the brain can do!

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My wife is an artist working up canvasses from a foot to six feet. She tried bifocals and didn't get on, so her ophthalmologist suggested she try Mono-Vision. One eye sees distance (the predominant eye) and the other has a contact lens for closer work. Amazingly, the brain works out which eye to use and adjusts automatically. She also works on a 27 inch iMac without problems.  It took about a week for her to adjust. She has been on this system for about five years. Obviously this is not a do-it-yourself solution but it does work for some people. Wonderful what the brain can do!

 

Hi Robert, Just wondering if that system could cause another problem in "Lazy eye".

 

I have a slightly weak muscle in the left eye from way back when and when I am not concentrating, or sometimes working on the computer, that eye wonders out.

 

A system like your wife has would exacerbate that condition I should think.

 

Allan

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well, I can't really say. I remember going to the Moorfield once when they reckoned that I was a bit lazy about focussing on some mid-distances and gave me little cards to practice pinning the tail on a cat. Bonkers! I used to be predominantly left eyed but that one seems to have become a little weaker and I'm now right-eyed. I've always put the camera to my left eye but these days we mostly use autofocus so it's not much of a problem.

 

But if the idea of Mono-Vision sounds an appealing solution, this is certainly a case of "Seek professional advice". It certainly works for some, but not for everyone.

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Varifocals are much more expensive than two pairs of monos, so it's separate readers and distance pairs for me, from one of the UK internet suppliers.

They're well made and accurate. £30 the pair, delivered.

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