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Varifocal Contact Lenses

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by nheather, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. nheather

    nheather Well-Known Member

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    Time to get my eyes tested again. I have been shorted sighted for some time and have worn single perscription spectacles for driving.

    As my eyes get older (I'm now 48) I realise my eyesight at short (reading) and medium (using a PC) is beginning to deteriorate.

    In the past my wife has had expensive varifocal spectacles but I notice she struggles with them, having to look at different angles depending on the distance - plus they were about £400 or more. I'm not at all sure I could cope with them.

    Just been looking at an online site and I was surprised to see varifocal contact lenses (Bausch & Lomb PureVision Multi-Focal to be precise).

    Any had these or similar? How do you get on with them?

    Also how do they work, do you have to put them in with a specific orientation as different parts of them will have different perscriptions.

    I've also considered laser surgey but was put off when I read that it wasn't suitable for older people who are starting to need reading glasses.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
  2. SevloW

    SevloW Active Member

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    Can't help with the contact lens side but I have been wearing varifocal glasses for years and would be lost without them. I don't understand how your wife has to look at different angles to view things :confused: Unless they were not fitted correctly in the first place?? When I look at anything from looking at my watch to looking at a distant object the vision is perfect - I dont have to look at different angles.
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  3. bodoman

    bodoman Active Member

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    Same here, no problem with them at all, when you first wear them your eyes have to adjust to them for a couple of days max, but after that their fine:)
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  4. FruitBat

    FruitBat Active Member

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    I've almost started a similar thread recently.

    I'm also 48 and short-sighted. At the moment I'm mostly using an old pair of glasses for computer work. This is an old prescription which leaves me slightly short-sighted. I wanted contact lenses with a similar prescription, but my optician was reluctant to send me out with blurred vision (I think those were her words). This was despite testing me with those glasses and saying that I was legal for driving in them (I could read third line from the bottom). I may get a second opinion at some point.

    The options I was given were:

    1. Varifocal lenses. I may still try these, although Mrs Fruitbat had a trial for a week and couldn't get on with them. I'm worried about the expense of gas permeable lenses if they don't work out. I think disposable would be a better option for trying them out.

    2. Lenses for distance vision and reading glasses. I got a new prescription for lenses this year and suddenly discovered that I couldn't read or use a computer with ease. I don't like this option because I spend most of my time reading or using a computer and I would end up wearing glasses and contact lenses together nearly all the time.

    3. "Monovision". That's what the optician called it. One lens for distance and one for close up. This is what my current contact lenses are. Generally it works OK although it's a bit of a compromise. I find it's OK for reading and OK for reasonably far distance (e.g. cinema), but slightly problematic in-between (computer, TV). Sometimes with these lenses in, I find I am closing one eye or the other to force the use of the appropriate eye. To be fair, I've probably not worn them continuously enough for my brain to get used to it. I haven't watched any 3D cinema with them, but I assume that it wouldn't appear as expected.

    What I wanted to get and what I may get a second opinion on is the idea of having lenses with a weaker prescription (so I would be comfortable reading and computering) and a pair of glasses on top for driving and cinema. This may seem a bit contrary to the more orthodox idea of reading glasses, but it would fit in a bit better with my usage I think.

    Apologies for going a bit off topic, but I shall finish off by trying to answer some of your questions based on Mrs Fruitbat's trial.

    My understanding of the trial lenses (these were soft - daily disposable) is that the prescription changes as you move out from the centre. So the centre is distance prescription and it changes to a reading prescription in concentric rings (if you see what I mean). So the lens only has to sit centrally over the pupil, the orientation does not matter. Mrs Fruitbat found that she had to read by looking at the book downwards to make sure that she was looking through the correct part of the lens. She didn't like it. Perhaps she should have given it more than a week.
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  5. nheather

    nheather Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the help so far.

    Question about eye tests. Do you reckon that all opticians are much of a muchness for the actual test, or is there truth behind my perceived brand snobbery.

    I have it in my mind that there is a pecking order, something like

    Independent Optician
    Dollond & Aitchison, Boots
    SpecSavers, Vision Express
    Tesco

    but I respect that this could be totally unfounded.

    The reason I ask is that I can get my eye test paid for by my employer so it doesn't really matter where I go - never bothered before because I could always get a free test (still can) but this time round since I might be entitled to a contribution from them I should follow process.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
  6. gus607

    gus607 Member

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    I've worn varifocals for years, best thing since sliced bread !

    My last two pairs were bought from ASDA opticians, Decent frames, anti glare & anti scratch coatings etc £95 per pair.

    Best specs I've ever had.
  7. Steven

    Steven Senior Moderator

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    That really depends on if you feel the service you have previously been given was deficient in some manner. Obviously you lack the specific expertise to judge them accordingly, but if you feel you require a second opinion from a different opticians then go ahead! I've been with specsavers and vision express over the years and comparing overlapping tests I am satisfied their respective employees have done their jobs
  8. nheather

    nheather Well-Known Member

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    True,

    The only thing I don't like about Spec Savers and Vision Express that I have used in the past is that the Eye Test has been free and they have kept the perscription to themselves.

    I think I'd prefer to own the perscription so that I can choose to use it where I want or be able to reuse subsequently.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
  9. FruitBat

    FruitBat Active Member

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    I usually get given a copy of my prescription from Specsavers. I believe that Specsavers stores operate under some sort of franchise ("Joint Venture Partnership") so perhaps not all stores are alike.
  10. nheather

    nheather Well-Known Member

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    Could be, could also be that my experience was with Vision Express (can't remember which). But they were very guarded, actually tilting it away when I tried to look at it.

    Suppose I should have been more forceful and demanded it but there was no way they were handing it over voluntarily.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
  11. JayCee

    JayCee Active Member

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    I do think you need your eyes tested Nigel as you seem to get "pre" and "per" around the wrong way. lol.
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  12. DIYlady

    DIYlady Member

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    I wear daily disposable contacts. I've been put off bifocal contacts as I don't want to go back to hassle of daily cleaning. So I undercorrect my left (reading) eye. This works fine for the vast majority of things. Only exceptions are really, really close work (eg threading an extra fine needle with 'invisible thread'). I also find that if I'm driving long distances at night then I need to boost the prescription a bit.

    I suspect a week may not be long enough to get used to varifocal lenses. Any change needs a little time
  13. AJBek

    AJBek Member

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    Disposable Varifocal lenses are very hit and miss.

    They are the one biggest area of expansion the companies have been working to improve for over 10 years and though they are slightly better they are still not great.

    When we are fitting them we are told to "set patient expectations" which is optical speak for vision being compromised in some way.

    I have a couple of patients on them doing ok with them, and another couple on (v expensive) hard lens versions that work very well indeed, but comfort is an issue with the hard versions. Generally patient do not like the compromised vision.

    I would reckon you will lose at least a line on the test chart both distance and near compared to varfocal specs, as the way they lenses work it to split the light into two focal points simultaneously which automatically reduces the quality of the image. Spec don't work like this as you can move your eye across the lens, hence you get better vision.

    Monovision sounds crude (because it is) but often gives better results if you can put up with the reduced stereopsis and "out of balance" feeling.

    BTW all opticians are obliaged to give you a copy of your prescription after the test by law so don't worry about "owning" your prescription as you do anyway. I know some don't but they should and would be in hot water if you complained to the GOC.

    However I do not recommed going elsewhere with your prescription after the test as if anything goes wrong it is a nightmare to sort out as the dispenser blames the prescriber and vice versa and you are caught in the middle. Always shop around before the test and deal with the same person so you know who to complain to if things don't work out.
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  14. Steven

    Steven Senior Moderator

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    My 2 year check is due in Dec and conveniently work will provide a voucher for a free test at Boots. And coincidentally have a Nectar bonus offer expiring Jan 2012 for a free test at Vision Express. Wonder if it would be 'too much' to undergo two tests :laugh:

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