Thursday, July 3, 2008

What is the deal with bifocals?

Is anyone else finding it almost impossible to get used to bifocals?

Okay, I'm still in my forties, I'm not 93 or anything. But I have been fighting the need for bifocals for almost 4 years now.

When I first found reading difficult, and had to take my glasses off to read close up, my eye doctor said I needed bifocals, or a separate pair of glasses for reading. That sounded like a real pain, so I opted for the bifocals. I got the ones with a line in the middle (can't remember why now). The doctor told me to wear the new glasses all the time and don't go back to my old ones. Well, after about two weeks, insanity began to set in. I went out and got another pair of one vision glasses and relegated the bifocals to my purse. They stayed there, except for a few rare occasions for three and a half years. I could not get used to bobbing my head like a turkey to see properly.

Fast forward three years, and my eyes are REALLY bad now. I go for my checkup and both far away and up close prescriptions have changed. My new eye doctor (a woman, I might add) told me I should try the progressive bifocals - much better than the lined one. I tried a sample in the office - seemed pretty good. But to my dismay I was informed that the lenses alone cost between $400-500. Since my daughter also needed new glasses, and we couldn't afford both, mom decided to forego the new bifocals.

Finally, eight months later, a 50% sale on lenses enticed me to order the glasses. These were supposed to be the creme-de-la-creme lenses. $549 just for the lenses (but I got them for half price) and then the frames on top. So I ordered them. I now have had the new specs for a little over a week, and the same insanity is threatening!!

I only get these specific areas of clarity. Half the time, I'm looking through blurred lenses, googling my head to find the right spot on the glasses. When I find it, God forbid I should have to move again. Walking is a new challenge. To see the floor clearly, I have to angle my head straight down, then I crash into walls.

They should have courses for first time bifocalers! To teach us how to use these things. To anyone out there going through this, or better yet, anyone who has successfully mastered the art, please drop me a line and let me know your secret! I will be SO grateful to know I'm not alone.




Keli Gwyn said...

Sue, I had to smile as a read your post. A course in wearing bifocals? Funny, yes, but realistic, too.

I used to be very nearsighted, somewhere in the range of 20/900. I would pet a paper bag in the night thinking it was our orange tabby.

Seven years ago, I had LASIK surgery. Wow! The change was amazing. Trees really do have individual leaves.

Fast forward five years, and all of a sudden I found myself needing glasses again. Yup. You guessed it. Reading glasses, bifocal variety. My optometrist told me sugery wasn't an option this time around. This change was due to my advancing age, and I had to accept it. OK. So he worded it more tactfully.

The adjustment wasn't easy at first, and I resisted wearing my readers until I had to. Last year my vision took a downturn, and all of a sudden I became very attached to my glasses. If I lose track of them, panic sets in. I can't read a menu, and forget the tiny print in the phone book.

My wish for you is that you'll be able to make friends with your stylin' new glasses so you and the walls don't end up meeting as often.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks, Keli. Glad I'm not the only one. Also interesting to hear your lasik story. I was actually considering that this week!! Now, maybe not!

Take care,