Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fields of vision, knitting, and annoyance.

Right. Since I've been diagnosed with middle age, developing problems seeing things up close (LIKE KNITTING), I've been looking - ha - for a solution. I'm blogging about it because I'm not the only one aging, and it's likely 90% of us will develop this problem eventually - if we don't have it already.

My quest for a solution has led to this:
Which is, now that I look at it, pretty crazy. On the table there are two pairs of up-close, one pair of distance (with a polarized clip-on thing), and a pair of progressives lenses. Progressives, for you young kids, are the new, high-tech version of tri-focals. They have a 'zone' in the lens for up close, middle distance, and distant distance, with the between spaces ground to sort of middling focus. They're kind of awesome, and kind of suck - they take a lot of getting used to, because you have to get exactly the right bit of lens between your eyes and whatever you're looking at (different distances are DIFFERENT, go figure). And if you're like me and spend a lot of time looking at stuff out of the corner of your eyes, trying to focus on twenty things at once, or one single thing, they may drive you nuts.

This led to me purchasing what are known as single-focus lenses, which are just what they sound like. The driving glasses are ten kinds of awesome, giving me distance and nothing else. (I suspect I love them because this is exactly the type of glasses I've been wearing for twenty-five years and it's what I'm used to.) I use them to see things far away, and for anything else (like the speedometer), I look under or over the lenses.

So, the real point, here. Knitting. For only knitting (or only spinning), the up-close 'cheaters' work great. Fine. Whatever. The problem lies in the fact that, hey, when I knit I don't JUST focus on my knitting. (This should have occurred to me earlier, but no.) I knit, I watch TV, I look at a pattern, I read, I use my computer. Okay, usually not all at once. Usually it's TV or a book, not both. But that still leaves knitting (close), pattern (middle), book (different middle), computer (middle, what the hell, why isn't it the same as the book, damn it?), and TV (mid-distant). No single-focus lens is going to work for all those. So you're back to, dare I say it, progressives or tri-focals (debating ordering a pair of those), or just losing your damn mind.

At the moment, I'm either not wearing glasses (hello, eyestrain headache, you bitch who prompted this whole damn quest in the first place), or wearing eyeglasses for one focus (usually the knitting) and looking over/under/around them for the rest. To wear my progressives and have them work for everything, I'd need to rearrange the living room to get everything into the right spot in the lenses.

Bottom line? There's no easy solution, as with so much else. Oh, and aging is damned irritating, which I always suspected anyway.

Any of you out there also aging, maybe you'll find this useful or at least interesting. Anyone got $150 for a pair of trifocals? I've totally maxed out my insurance policy for eyeglasses and they won't let me sell my kid on eBay.

23 comments:

KnittyLynn said...

I have contacts. Makes it a bit easier.

debsnm said...

Just ordered my first pair of progressives & a pair of mid-focus for the computer (since I'm on it 8-9 hrs a day). I'll let you know how it goes. They should be in this next week.

joan said...

trust me you will get used to the progressive lenses and learn to love them. Then as you age and the cataracts arrive you have something else. I now only need reading or cheaters. After 45 years I can get out of bed with out my glasses. Hang in there it will all work out.

justthreadtwiddling said...

I settled for progressives several years ago, when I couldn't look up from my handwork and see the TV. I can cook and drive without glasses and do other things, but if I want clarity for reading I MUST wear my glasses. There was a learning curve for the progressives, but they are much better than the old bifocals I started with.

Deb said...

I had progressives and hated them. I work on a computer all day and am looking at reports, etc, so I got executive bifocals. I love them!

You could get bifocals with distance and mid-range, then get the clip on magnifiers that you flip down when you need them.

Or you could buy the lenses and use existing frames. It might be a little cheaper.

Caryn said...

My eye doctor said he couldn't wait to get cataracts because after the surgery he wouldn't need glasses. He was only kidding a little bit.
I use cheaters off the rack. They work for knitting and reading patterns and the computer but I have to look over them to see the TV. Or not see the TV because I can't really see far either.

Emily said...

I have progrssives & at first they drove me nuts. I read a lot & found I was having to look down my cheeks to read...oy. Well, I got used to them eventually, so all is well.

I did get special glasses for reading music, which is a funny sort of middle distance. They are not great in rehearsals because then I can't see the teeny-weeny measure numbers. I find, though, that I really only need the special glasses when I'm tired. (I'm on oxygen, so getting tired is sort of frequent.)

Hang in there, is my recommendation.

Mandy said...

I tried progressives at just the time I was going back to school for my master's degree, and I HATED them. Having to move my head to read across the page in the textbook gave me a headache, and driving with them was terrifying. I took them back and insisted on single focus lenses, and now I have to take those off to read. I think I'll have to go back to some sort of multi-focus lens with my next pair of glasses, but with luck I can put that off for a little while (since I don't have insurance coverage for glasses).

=Tamar said...

I once had three pairs of single-focus glasses - car, walking across the room, and computer - but I like my progressives. Having had weird astigmatism all my life, I was already used to dealing with less-than-perfect correction. I can glance sideways and not be perturbed by fuzziness. My progressives don't seem to be limited to specific spots.
On the other hand, I remove my glasses entirely to read and don't bother with TV.

Skatequeenknitter said...

With the trouble your having I don't think trifocals will help, I think it will make things worse. While not everyone adjusts to progressives the percentage that don't is very very small, your best bet is to wear your progressive and not switch to any of the other glasses your brain and eyes will learn where the clear areas for each distance needed every time you switch from your progressives to a single vision lense your eyes & brain cannot learn to use them properly, you will learn to turn your head to what you want to look at instead of trying to use your peripheral vision. Of course there are people that cannot adjust but at this time I would take them back to your Optician and tell them your problems and see if they can adjust your frames to have your progressive lenses at the proper placement. Having the proper adjustment and leaving them on so your brain and eyes can learn to use them can make the difference between success or failure. With trifocal you will have 3 distances for seeing one close up another for reading usually about 18 inches out and the other for distance any visual ranges other than those that you may need will not be available but with the progressives you have the possibility. Good Luck don't give in your brain and eyes can learn to use them.

Anonymous said...

I have worn glasses for fifty years. (omg) and I've had both hard contact lenses and soft contact lenses. I tried progressive lenses. I was stuck with those suckers for two years or longer (til I had to get new glasses again). I hated those suckers. Never did get used to them. I haven't ever tried trifocals.

DeborahinAZ

Betsy said...

I can't use progressives...give me migraines (my husband loves his but his latest pair took much longer for him to acclimate because the newer ones have much more levels than the old ones). I wear a pair of bifocals most of the time and a separate pair for computer work but I do own a pair of trifocals. I prefer the larger field of vision in the bifocals. If I decide to go the trifocal route again, it will be with larger frames...probably "manly" frames.
Money is an issue in our household and we tried America's Best this time and were VERY impressed. My daughter actually ordered hers from another online optics place and was happy...so shop around on pricing...
Hang in there...seeing is oh so much better than those too vain to wear glasses who try hard to "fake it"...

Roxie said...

Perhaps your husband could get a large screen TV for Christmas. then you could knit and watch TV in comfort.

Barbara said...

Whoever said to make sure that your progressives fit right is right on the money. I go about once a month to have mine adjusted and it makes a world of difference. I started with the lined bifocals and those were impossible so the no-line is much better. You'll get used to them but probably won't ever have the same vision comfort as the "good old days."

How much to rent the kid for the weekend?

Linda said...

I could not get used to those progressives, despite wearing them for a year. I use straight, lined bifocals now and don't give a damn if they make me look older. I AM older.

Getting old stinks and it stinks more the older you get.

Katie K said...

I wear progressives which are also nonreflective and I love them. You only paid $150 for them? Lucky you!

NeedleTart said...

My current progressives were $500. That makes $150 sound pretty good. I just started seeing an ophthalmologist who said my lenses aren't quite straight (it took three check on three different machines to be sure they were no prisms, there weren't supposed to be) so be sure to get things adjusted. And if you use LensCrafters keep going back until the lenses are right!!

ellen in indy said...

i feel your pain. before retirement i worked 10-hour editing shifts on a computer, interrupted only by reading page proofs printed at 70% of the newspaper's already small typeface.

sometime in my 40s i developed severe pinched nerves in my neck from the constant up-and-down of reading the screen. not knowing the cause, the doctor sent me to physical therapy -- hot packs, traction (even "hanging" myself at home(, electrostimulation.

finally, one day the lightbulb went on in my brain. i got my eye doctor to prescribe glasses that made everything on the screen very clear and everything else blurry. my neck cleared up, and my work got easier.

i tried the progressives and absolutely loathed them. i have some astigmatism as well. dunno whether that's the reason, but w/progressives i was nauseated. that surprised me, because i've flown in horrible weather, driven in the mountains and been pregnant in my late 30s, all without ever being barfy.
so i'm glad you've found a solution.

one bit of advice: if you haven't already designated a "landing pad" for your glasses (a place you ALWAYS put the pairs you're not using when you're at home), that can save a lot of time and lessen the need to ask the goob to help.

8- ).

Donna Lee said...

I don't have much to add to the debate. I've had progressive lenses for 5 years now and they're ok. Not terrific but not terrible. I was a 'corner of the eye' person as well and had to learn to turn my head. It's become second nature to me but I still take the glasses off and put them on my head when I do extensive close up work. That makes following a chart a pita since I then have to put the glasses back on or pick up the chart. I am trying to leave this pair on my face and get used to the bifocals but it's a struggle.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

Corlis said...

Please, don't park them all on your body at the same time.

Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy said...

I got progressives about 18 months ago; i'm mostly accustomed, and I still don't really like them. It's true that I got "memory wire" temples, not they traditional hinge; i think that was a mistake. The rigid frames make adjustments more permanent, where the memory wire is ... floppy?

My preference is contacts with reading glasses -- try the dollar store. My favorite pair was white with orange and black leopard spots.

OTOH, I couldn't see a splinter in my palm the other day, even with an over-corrected reader. I had to use a magnifier like someone older than 43. :-b

Amy Lane said...

I have old old glasses for television, bifocals, and prescription sunglasses. The bifocals (w/the progressive lenses) make me queasy and drive me crazy. But they're REALLY good for the knitting.

Ellen said...

My GFMelissa knits while wearing her glasses upsidedown. That way she can see the upclose knitting and still watch tv or talk to friends across the room.

She hits me when I take her picture that way, though.

I have trifocals now. I used to run stairs with a group of triathletes until I got these new glasses.

I couldn't see my feet hitting the stairs and still see where I was going. So I held the handrail. Kind of defeated the purpose of "running" the stairs and really bunched up the runners behind me. So I quit them!

I just walk the stairs now - and stop for coffee at the bottom. Such is aging.