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Glasses Wearers - Varifocal - Yes or No?

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by Crocodile, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    I've been using reading glasses for a few years now but now need distance glasses as well. The prospect of trying to keep two pairs with me & swapping them around sounds like a pain but a couple of people I've spoken to who have had varifocals reckon they're not all that.

    What say you?
  2. nmdale

    nmdale Member

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    I don't personaly wear glasses but both my parents wear varifocals and swear by them. They did take some getting used to and you shouldn't drive until you have, but this only takes a couple of hours, a day max!

    Varifocals are a tad more expensive so bare that in mind, also if you are going to be going outdoors a lot consider reactalight (change colour in the sun)!

    But to answer your question directly YES.
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  3. Chox1988

    Chox1988 Well-Known Member

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    Ran the question by my mum (optician) and she said a very small percentage of people cant get on with them but no way to find out without taking the risk, but aside from that just plain and simple go for it.

    I wear varifocals all the time, the thought of carrying glasses around sounds like a real pain.

    Oh and sorry for the counter argument against the above but dont go for react a light, they just dont react fast enough and you look like a real **** walking around in the rain with tinted glasses on, I used to have a pair :D.

    If you're an outdoorsman just get a second set of tinted glasses, so many places offer a buy one get one free anyway.
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  4. wack

    wack Active Member

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    I bought some varifocals from Costco about five years ago and got on fine with them from day one, when they were three years old they needed replacing.

    There was an offer on at specsavers so I went there but had nothing but problems, I just couldn't see out of them so they swapped them, the second pair were just as bad.

    I was still wearing my costco varifocals so the optician asked to see them then went ahh, these are essilor lenses, we can get them but they're very expensive so they refunded my money, I went to costco and one again they were fine from day one.

    Varifocals are not all the same
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  5. deckingman

    deckingman Active Member

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    I'm in the same boat as the OP. I have varifocals- much better than constantly switching glasses. It took me a while to get used to them but I wouldn't change back now.

    It can be useful to have a cheap pair of single vision as well though. I have a pair of distance specs 'cos if I'm laid back in my recliner, watching TV, I'd be looking through the wrong part of the varifocals.
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  6. AJBek

    AJBek Member

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    I am an optician and agree with almost all of that. About 90% of people find them ok, however the group that don't get on too well are people with very good unaided distance vision as there is a degree of compromise and some people don't like their distance compromised in any way. That it the exception. As for the comments about essilor lenses, I agree not all lenses are the same, but I would actually steer clear of essilor as they are overpriced in my opinion and as said people who get used to them struggle to use anything else, so you are stuck with very expensive lenses for ever, or you have to go through a painful readaptation. I personally dispense kodak lenses as they are well priced and do the job fine for most people if they are not already used to a super dooper design. just like cars once you are used to driving a rolls royce you won't like to drive a mondeo initially, but the mondeo will do the job just as well.
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  7. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, all very useful. :smashin:

    Vision Express have an offer on whereby they'll replace varifocals within 90 days if you don't get on with them. I dare say there's a premium price to cover that though.

    Deckingman, are you still a fan of Glasses Direct? I may get quotes from both them & Vision Express & weigh up the options when I know how big the differential is!
  8. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Well-Known Member

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    My experience with varifocals has been great. Biggest plus was not having to swap between reading and distance. However I did find that using a pc monitor at just over arms length gave me a problem in that the distance meant it was easy to get out "out of focus" easily and was very annoying. I now use a dedicated pair (fixed focus) for screen work. Much better!
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  9. Steven

    Steven Senior Moderator

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    I have one pair for everything. Does that just mean my eyesight is worse than all of yours? :rotfl:
  10. dakara

    dakara Guest

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    VARIFOCALS ARE GREAT
    I have been using Varifocal Photochromatic lenses in my spectacles for the past twenty-six years; and would never consider going back to single or bi-focals.
    When I got my first pair, I went out rock-hopping with them the next day, and had some difficulty, in that my feet, and the rocks to which I was jumping, appeared much closer than they actually were.
    Fortunately I did not get any falls, and within a few days my perception had adjusted to accommodate the new lenses.
    Regarding light sensitivity, mine, (APTIVE M16 DIGICALI GLASS BBGR - not sure what that all means), change color very rapidly, and do not go dark when it is raining, or dull. I wear them all the time, apart from in the shower or when sleeping. Rock climbing, hiking, driving, reading, computer - perfect, no problem.
    I have two identical pairs, one of which I keep in the car, to comply with driving regulations.
    They can be expensive, but are well worth it.
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  11. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I went for an eye test four weeks ago.
    At 43, everyone in the office was betting I'd need varifocals.
    Nope.:thumbsup:

    IN YOUR FACE!!!!:rotfl:
  12. scott spock

    scott spock Member

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    First experience of Varifocals that I had was from Specsavers, on a 2 for 1 deal. One pair was great (small frames, lenses) the other were diabolical (larger lens) and as a consequence never wore them. When my prescription changed I chose different frames, and again they were diabolical ..... Specsavers had a few goes at trying to fix them, they commented on my previous pair being a certain variety of lens and couldn't get them anymore, evetually the only solution they could get to was to source me the exact same frame as I had previously which meant the same size lens. They still seemed to take an age to get used to, now I am due another eye test and it is my intention is to get get single vision lenses as I seem to be perfectly OK with the spare ones that I have at the mo !
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  13. Dave Brand

    Dave Brand Member

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    I've been using Varifocals for 20 years or more now. I found that I adapted immediately - just seemed natural. Mine are photochromic - Essilor Transitions, which I find react quickly enough not to cause any problems. The only drawback to photochromics is that they don't darken when you're driving, as they react to UV light, which car windows block.

    I found AJBek's comments interesting - I find the only lenses I can get on with are Essilor.
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  14. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Well-Known Member

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    I would say that if you're moving to Varifocals for the first time and something isn't "quite right" for you, go back and tell the opticians.......

    ....... when I got my first pair I found that when driving I found myself turning my head slightly to focus on the dash. I thought it was me not being used to it. After a week of driving I found this so distracting I went back to the opticians. He examined the lenses and measured them and found that they had been made with the wrong distance between the centres of the lenses (the prescription had been mixed up with another customer). A new set o lenses later and all was well immediately. So don't be afraid to go back if you're struggling.
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  15. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    Interesting development.

    This has all been prompted by a recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Now I was told I would have to go for retinal screening, where the eyes are photographed so that any changes due to the diabetes can be tracked. In the letter confirming my appointment for that was a statement that this was not replacement for a regular eye test & I should have that done elsewhere.

    Being a lazy git that can't stand town centres, I opted for the easy route which was Tesco. Tested, prescribed & subjected to the hard sell for varifocals in minutes. Took the prescription & decided to ponder my options - hence the thread.

    As i mentioned earlier, Vision Express are offering to replace varifocals if they don't suit. As I know they print prescriptions (rather than the illegible hand written one from Tesco), I decided to book another test there. I've just got back.

    Their take is that due to fluctuations in blood sugar affecting my eyesight, it would be pointless prescribing glasses until the blood sugar has had a chance to stabilise after three months. Which begs the question why did my GP, diabetic clinic nurse, screening clinic & Tesco's optician all fail to mention this?
  16. AJBek

    AJBek Member

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    All opticians should offer a free 90 day non tolerance swap to 2 pairs, bifocals or another varifocal design (you might have to pay a bit more for a better design), at least we do and I would expect any decent optician to do the same.

    Have to say I hate glasses direct with a passion, especially for bifocals and varifocals as the centres and heights usually guessed and the specs are obviously no fitted which is so unprofessional it isn't true. However as they are non registered suppliers nothing can be done. That is why they are so cheap, they only have a big lab making up specs and don't have to provide any real service. If the specs don't do they will refund you rather than sort the problem as they wouldn't know where to start dealing with a non tolerance issue. They can be ok for a second pair of cheap reading glasses, but I wouldn't recommend them for any sort of complex prescription.

    As far as the Essilor lenses go I have to admit they are very good lenses indeed, I even dispensed them to my dad, but you can get lenses almost as good for 2/3 of the price and as the are I work in is quite economically deprived I can't get many takers for the dear stuff. Also, as I said, once you are used to Essilor (varilux) lenses nothing else will really do.
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  17. AJBek

    AJBek Member

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    DONT GET SPECS NOW, I have seen 2-3 diopter shifts in the prescription with recent onset type 2 diabetes. I had a woman last week who had a 3D shift due to being put on insulin. I didn't want to prescribe, but as she couldn't see to drive I was forced to but before she even pickled up the specs the eyes had changed and the specs were useless, so a big bill for us as I really couldn't charge her for them. I checked her another 3 times before I felt confident to prescribe. I would definately get another test if you feels your eyes are changing and don't get specs till you have at leats two consecutive readings the same.
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