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Bifocals: Hold off as long as I can or just bit the bullet?
Old 06-06-2016, 12:34 AM   #1
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Bifocals: Hold off as long as I can or just bit the bullet?

The last time I went to see the optometrist about 2 years ago, she said I may want to start considering getting bifocals though I might be able hold off a bit longer. Over the last year, I'm occasionally struggle to focus reading on my phone close up, though all I do is flip my glasses up and problem solved.

Should I hold off another couple of years or just bite the bullet and get bifocals?
I'm turning 45 this year. When did you get bifocals?

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Old 06-06-2016, 04:34 AM   #2
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Presbyopia set in when I was about 40. It started with an inability to read restaurant menus in dim light and progressively got worse. I've been using reading glasses ever since.

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Old 06-06-2016, 05:48 AM   #3
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I think I was in my early 40s. Long drive at night and had to pull out a map to take a detour in an unfamiliar city and couldn't read the highway numbers on the map. If you can read just fine without your glasses maybe you're fine unless it's a pain to flip them off.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:09 AM   #4
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At 44, could no longer read without taking glasses off and read 6 inches from nose. In hindsight, I've no idea why I waited to get no line bifocals, foolishness of youth I guess.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:26 AM   #5
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I have used progressive lenses since my mid-40s. I am under the impression that most folks use them these days rather than bifocals. For the vain among us, there's no line, so it's hard for anyone to tell we're wearing them.

More importantly, the prescription varies gradually, so it's a very natural vision correction.

The biggest disadvantage is that there is some distortion in the peripheral vision. I got used to it very quickly, so that now I turn my head without even thinking about it when I want to focus on something to the left or right.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:32 AM   #6
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I got by from about age 45-49 just using reading glasses. I bought a pack of six cheaters from Costco and kept a pair at multiple key locations.

At age 50 I moved to progressive lenses. By then I need distance correction, and hadn't realized it. I adapted to the progressives after a week or two of adjustment. I still have to pay attention on staircases, though.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:34 AM   #7
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I recently had to fill out a form, with such small print that when I did my usual "hold it 12 away so I can read it"... well it was in focus but now too far to read (by anyone really, it was that small). I didn't have my readers with me as I wasn't expecting to need them, so I had to just wing it!

Yes it's time, progressives though will be my choice.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Slow But Steady View Post
I have used progressive lenses since my mid-40s.
Me, too.
They were great. DW took about a week to get used to them, but I had no trouble at all.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:52 AM   #9
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Glasses are no big deal. Being able to see and read clearly has always been my top priority. I used glasses for distance for many years, finally stopped when my cataracts were removed 2 years ago. The next day, of course, is when I started needing glasses to read. I buy inexpensive reader multipacks and have spares everywhere.

Besides, aesthetically speaking (in my case), glasses cannot detract from what is not already there.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:20 AM   #10
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I went to progressives in my late 40s. Same as MichaelB, after cataract surgery, now only need reading glasses for close up, and nothing for distance. Very liberating.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:26 AM   #11
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Same story. Get some progressives and see.

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Old 06-06-2016, 07:34 AM   #12
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Mine is actually tri-focal: far distance for driving (1), computer distance (2) and short distance for reading (3).

I did not realize I needed this until I received my first bi-focal from Costco. I could see far to drive (1) and read books (3), but I could not see the computer well. So, I went back to Costco and got a second pair for driving (1) and computer (2).

Both progressive. So no lines. I eventually learned how to rely on my first pair of glasses for 3 tasks.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:49 AM   #13
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I got bifocals in my early 40's. They improved my vision considerably at that time. So, I'd recommend getting them if there is any room for improvement.

It took me less than a half day to adjust to them; be careful stepping off curbs or climbing stairs, the first day.

I am older now so I have gone through the bifocal stage, followed by the trifocal stage ($$$), cataract surgery, and now my only glasses are readers for near vision.

For me, as for many people that I know, multi-focals (progressives) were a complete disaster and a waste of a huge amount of money. I wore them for a year and never could adjust to them to the point that I could see. I'd suggest getting used to bifocals first, before trying them. Those who can wear multi-focals really like them, but in my case I felt like I was "conned" because I hated them so much.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:53 AM   #14
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My first bifocals were in my mid-late forties. I tried progressives but with my strong prescription I had just a thin vertical space in the center that was in focus and too much peripheral that was not in focus.

I thought it was very counter productive for me to give up any sharp vision so that people looking at me didn't see my bifocal line! That just goes against my personal policy of not caring what other people think.

In my early 50's I had to go to trifocals, the middle space is used for the computer screen, my car dashboard when driving and sometimes I use it for reading, depending on if I'm seated or lying down.

For a while frame styles were very small and it was hard to find frames that would accommodate trifocals with enough area where I needed it. Current styles are great for this, I just got new frames and trifocals and had plenty of nice options.

The only time that bifocals/trifocals just don't work for me is when sweeping/mopping/vaccuming a floor. I can only focus on the floor directly under me with the top visual space and to do that I have to crane my neck too far. So these tasks are just a little out of focus.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:43 AM   #15
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You may consider readers if you don't mind carrying and changing 2 pairs of glasses all the time (depends on your lifestyle of course).

I've had progressives for about 10 yrs and they are just find. Variable focus just by bobbing my head up and down...I must look like a drunk or stoner some times.

Seriously, try the simple fix (readers), and if that's too much of a hassle try the progressives. They DO take some getting used to but once thats done it's just second nature.

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Old 06-06-2016, 09:56 AM   #16
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The 40's is the age I started to get bifocals also. At first, I thought, no way.. but then after finding myself squinting to see smaller print, I waved the white flag and surrendered.

Today's bifocals aren't all like your father's. They don't have to have that slit on the lens to show everyone that you wear bifocals. But for me, I like having a larger lens as after having a pair with a smaller lens, I was having trouble getting good focus...I think from either seeing too much on the bifocal area or outside of the entire lens.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:06 AM   #17
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If you can read find without glasses, and just need them for distance, why change ?
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Bifocals: Hold off as long as I can or just bit the bullet?
Old 06-06-2016, 10:09 AM   #18
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Bifocals: Hold off as long as I can or just bit the bullet?

If you have about $2k and 10 minutes they can fix your distance vision.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:44 AM   #19
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I've been near-sighted most of my life, and I couldn't ever read with my distance vision glasses on. I waited until I started having too much trouble reading small print to get progressive bifocals (at 53), and now of course wear my glasses a lot more. In my case, as I got older my distance vision improved, and my correction for distance vision has been reduced a few times.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:50 AM   #20
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I started needing glasses at age 45, and I bought +1.25 glasses (not bifocals) from the optometrist when he examined my eyes. However, I never replaced them, and have relied on cheater/reading glasses for 18 years now. I gradually reached +2.50. I don't see any need to buy bifocals when cheaters are so much less. YMMV

However, I DID buy bifocal sunglasses for $60 - but they were online non-prescription, and they have served me perfectly well.

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