Presbyopic - My Personal Journey
Here is a May 2014 update to my 2012 realization (SEEN HERE) that I am presbyopic. I ordered by 1st progressives shortly after that 2012 post about trying monovision. They were great. They took some getting used to, and I actually had to have them remade once shortly after I got them b/c of a lens centration issue. But I could see clearly at all distances! Yes my own progressives had the same "problems" that everyone complains of: they were blurry in the periphery, things far away but low in my vision (like stairs, golf tees, etc) were blurry. There is some distortion and image movement in the periphery with quick head motion. All of those are absolutely true of all progressives, and immediately apparent and unfixable. Just part of the adaptation process. You have to know what you're getting into. NO lens is going to make you see perfectly at all distances in both eyes with NO distortion or funny motion problems like when you were 25 years old. Once you're presbyopic you have to just realize that it's never going to be perfect again. But the progressive glasses do *almost* everything I need them to do: sharp distance vision, easy computer vision, sharp near vision with normal size print/font. My droid phone is very clear. Like everyone, when I have to see something ABSOLUTELY TINY like the print at the bottom of a bottle of eye drops, it's still blurry/difficult even with my glasses on. That's just too ambitious for a progressive, a fact that I wish more patients would realize. Some things are just optically impossible in progressives. At some point if your demand is THAT high for some specific tiny-print task, you're going to have to do something else: a magnifying glass or a different pair of glasses or something. But for most things most of the time progressives are great. I can see a difference when I am walking up stairs, but people who "fall" and have a LOT of trouble with this...well I think some of those are the same ones who are so visially demanding that they can tell a -0.25 change in their vision and it VERY MUCH bothers them. I almost feel sorry for some of those...being dependent on vision correction and being ultra-sensitive to even the tiniest amount of blur...well those two don't go together very well. Generally those patients are just miserable when they're presbyopic no matter what method we use (progressives, lined bifocals, monovision, etc). To wear progressives is to be able to tolerate some amount of blur, especially peripheral blur, and pretty much everyone who adapts to that kind of blur is a "success" in progressives. Two days ago I got my 2nd progressive of my presbyopic "career": a bolder, larger frame, a different brand/type of progressive design, and a different Rx. It was interesting. The 1st day I got a headache. Like I tell all my patients to do, I stuck it out and the 2nd day was much better, especially after a frame adjustment. Today is day 3 and I've figured it all out. The reading portion is slightly lower in my vision, partly owing to the larger frame but mostly b/c of the different progressive design. The middle computer portion is WIDER, which is nice. Overall a change for the better, but still a change. Yes, the lower left and lower right are still blurry like all progressives. It's intersting. I can see how some people talk about adjusting to progressives and changes in Rx, but I am still a little skeptical of people who rail against progressives like they're the spawn of Satan and they absolutely could not adjust. That tells me that they cannot tolerate any amount of blur at any distance or position. Well for them we still have "flat tops" (lined bifocals) that work well...but are more limited in the number of distances they can correct for, and of course "make you look old". Newsflash: WE ARE OLD, haha! Choose your poison, I guess. As my old geometric optics professor at SUNY frequently stated: "there's no free lunch in optics".