Monday, June 6, 2016

Transitioning to Bifocals

My New Bifocals
Since I was a child, I've heard people talk about bifocals. How hard they are to adjust to. Or sometimes how impossible they are to adjust to. How expensive they are. How frustrating they are. And so on.


But, in recent years, it became obvious that I was going to need bifocals. I've been very nearsighted since childhood. I got my first glasses when I was 10, and I'm one of those people who cannot see the Big E at the top of most eye charts. Without my glasses, I cannot function at all. I cannot see details of anything more than about 7" from my face.  I cannot see faces of people as they walk by. I certainly couldn't drive a car without my glasses. But, at the same time, I am becoming farsighted (developing Presbyopia). With my single vision glasses, I could not see things that are CLOSER than an arms length away. And then, if I moved them an inch or so further, they would become blurry again. Generally speaking, I had to take off my glasses to do tasks like reading or sewing, and had to hold the material I was looking at very close to my face.

This made certain multi-tasking tasks impossible. Everyday things like:

Reading a recipe while cooking.
Supervising children while reading.
Glancing at a map while trying to spot the names of roads on road signs.
Glancing up at the Priest while reading along with him in the Gospel.
Looking at my Icons while praying prayers in the Prayer book.
Being aware of my surroundings while reading labels at the grocery store.
Typing on my laptop while looking at the screen.
Write an item on the grocery list while looking at the list through my glasses.
Sewing something by hand while watching a video with my daughter.

Well, you get the idea. It was time. I HAD to have bifocals.

I dreaded it. I checked with several friends, and got the same warnings as always. If you're lucky, you'll adjust in 2 or 3 weeks. If not, you might spend a lot of money only to get headaches or other unpleasant symptoms.

I dreaded the potential price. I had heard reports of people paying $500. to $1000. or more for the things.

But, it was a necessity.

So, after I got my eye exam with a bifocals prescription,  I went to the local Eye-Mart (note, this is NOT an affiliate ad or a paid promotion of any kind - just a good customer experience).  I ordered the exact same frames that I bought last time, and the kind of bifocals that don't have a line. The bifocals without a line give me a transitional area that makes it possible to see the computer screen, as well as an area that allows me to read books. I also ordered the polycarbonate lenses because otherwise my lenses might look like the proverbial bottoms of coke bottles. 


My glasses were ready the same afternoon. Thanks to the identical frames and the no lines lenses, they looked EXACTLY the same as my old glasses.

The store personnel encouraged me to allow a couple of weeks adjustment period.

I found that the adjustment was INCREDIBLY easy! After about 1/2 hour transition time, I was able to wear the new glasses to drive home. By the next day, the adjustment was 95% done.

Occasionally, I glance down through the reading part of the lens to see steps or the floor - and of course that is blurry. I have to bend my head down to look at the floor.

If I look through the exact little spot where things are a little curvy (the sides of the reading area), and turn my head at the same time,  I can make it seem like a floor or a table has waves moving through it. But really, after a tiny bit of practice, these things just aren't problems.

To be honest - I'm wondering what all the fuss was about! This is a breeze!

The new glasses (not including exam) were about $129. - that included all extras like the polycarbonate lenses. If I had wanted a second pair, I would have only had to pay the $50. extra fee for the polycarbonate lenses, so I could have elected for two pair for about $179.

If you're needing to get bifocals, don't be scared! It can be a great experience!

Now, I can

Read a recipe while cooking.
Supervise children while reading.
Glance at a map while trying to spot the names of roads on road signs.
Glance up at the Priest while reading along with him in the Gospel.
Look at my Icons while praying prayers in the Prayer book.
Be aware of my surroundings while reading labels at the grocery store.
Type on my laptop while looking at the screen.
Write an item on the grocery list while looking at it through my glasses.
Sew something by hand while watching a video with my daughter.

And - just a side note. Some people worry about bifocals as a bad sign that they're getting "old." I am only middle aged, but if God blesses me with a long life, that is something to be grateful for!




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