Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trifocals: Wishing for 3 Eyes

I finally understand why [some] people arrive at the unfortunate point where trifocal eye wear becomes a necessity. Trifocals provide three distinct focal lengths to allow for accurate navigation through daily routines involving close up paper work, mid-range computer work and far off distance vision.

Once upon a time I had eyes that managed to maneuver between all three ranges perfectly (sigh) but somewhere in my mid to late 30's (yes, it started early for me) I noticed the dreaded blurring of objects close to my field of vision. Reading glasses were the short term solution but after going through oodles of pairs and constantly losing them (on/off/on/off), I went for a contact lens, in just one eye. One eye for close up vision, one eye for distance vision; it was great while it lasted. Gradually though, I began to need stronger and stronger magnification on my close up eye and then my distance eye started getting blurry. Yikes! So, for awhile it was a lens in each eye, just different strengths; still one eye for up close and one for distance. And that worked for another few years.

Finally the dry eyes and relentless escalation in need for more powerful lenses necessitated a switch to glasses. So, out with the contacts and in with the eye wear! At least with progressive lenses, bifocals no longer sport those dreaded lines. I've been quite happy with my glasses for the last two years until.......

I started noticing ever so slowly (isn't it always this way?) the mid range vision used for desk top computer work becoming fuzzy around the edges. Suddenly my neck was in a spasm of flexion as I strained to focus on the screen through the lower half of my glasses. Do this day after day and it becomes clear that bifocals alone are not going to cut it. Trifocals? Really?

If I had 3 eyes, I could get a 2.5 power for my reading eye, a 2.0 for my computer eye and a 1.5 for my driving eye. Sweet.

In the meantime, I stick with my progressive bifocals and use my cutsie pair of leopard print 2.5's for my as needed computer use. Oh, and I use my 1.5 sunglasses for the highway (I literally have to wear readers to drive). On/Off/On/Off. Here. We. Go. Again.

To those of you who've had to deal with myopia and corrective lenses/contacts all your lives, I know I'm whining about small potatoes. Forgive me. For those of you who've enjoyed pristine vision all your's coming. And for those who have had good vision and are now in my boat, I know you get it. It bites.


  1. I'm sorry that you are going through sounds very annoying.

  2. It's OK to whine; it's hard when bits and pieces of your body start giving out.

  3. Thanks for the caveat regarding those who have never been able to see anything...I have sympathy but not that much since i haven't been able to see anything since 3rd grade. :D

  4. Oh, boy. I know it's coming.

    I've been blind as a bat all my life - got glasses at the age of 8, contacts at 12.

    In my late 40's I started having problems focusing up close - my optometrist wanted to correct one eye for distance and one for close-up, kind of like what you were doing, but I couldn't deal with it. So now my eyes are corrected for distance and I use reading glasses for up close. I hope it's not going to deteriorate!

    But there may be hope for some of us - My mom had laser surgery to correct cataracts, and they corrected her far-sightedness at the same time. Now she doesn't need any glasses! And she's 82!

  5. I started wearing progressive bifocals in my 40's and so far that's good enough. Knock wood. I've always had to wear glasses to drive, see a blackboard, etc. When I looked for the closest window to read the phonebook I knew it was time for bifocals. I have three pair, in progressively stronger prescriptions, that I keep in different places depending on how well I need to see to drive, to read, and to sew. Isn't it funny how we each find a way to make it work? Good luck with your latest "transition.'


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