Varifocals, the challenge of aging eyes

Sometime in my mid-30’s my eyes began having trouble focusing from near to far distant. I noticed it first when I had been reading then looked up at the dvd player to see the time; it took me a few seconds for my eyes to adjust the extra few feet. Off to the optometrist for a check up I thought.

She did all the usual tests including a lovely look at the back of my eyeball (which I viewed on the monitor), declaring it all healthy. She then told me that with age, the elasticity in our eyeballs reduces so that near and far distance take a little longer to refocus.

With age! “Well you are nearing 40”. This is not what you want to hear when you are only 35. The result of this is that I began using varifocal lenses in my glasses.

I got on well with them at first but over the years, as my eyesight has worsened, the prescription has obviously got stronger, causing quite a marked difference between the near sight part of my lens and the far sight.

Over the last 6 years I have begun to struggle to read comfortably with the varifocals. At first I thought it was because the width of the near sight lens area was too small (the wider the area, the higher the cost of the lens). Very recently though, I had my eyes tested and bought some new frames and new lens after my prescription had changed again.

This time I decided to splash out and buy the (almost) top width of varifocal giving me as much ‘reading space’ as possible. The independant optometrist very kindly upgraded these lenses to the best possible lens I could have free of charge. I also have ultrathin lenses so I don’t look like I’m wearing bottle bottoms on my face.

So basically, my current prescription cost me £520, not including the new frames!!! *pause for sharp intake of breath* Thats USD687.00 or €619.00 for those non-UK readers. That is a LOT of money. And with that I expected to be able to read perfectly.

Well I can’t. I am still struggling to read. I have tried adjusting my head/reading material to find a better angle to little avail. I think (because I don’t know for sure) that the line of change between the two areas of the lens is exactly where I view through to read.

Whilst these glasses look fabulous, are extremely lightweight and excellent for every day use – ie I can see perfectly to drive, for work, out and about – for sitting reading a book they are hampering me. Which means, most likely, more expense to buy a pair of reading glasses purely for near sight needs. More expense that I can ill afford.



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