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Varifocals vs two pairs of glasses

(32 Posts)
Floowho Mon 01-Feb-16 14:06:31

Not sure if this is the right thread to be on. Anyway I am 40 and my eyesight has changed. Have just got a pair of glasses for reading/ computer, but I am wondering if varifocals would have been better, because I tend to do stuff like watch to and go on my iPad, and I work in a school and look at a smart board then down at a computer. I originally had glasses that corrected my astigmatism and I could use mainly for distance. So basically I need separate glasses for near and distance, but I don't need them all the time.

CMOTDibbler Mon 01-Feb-16 14:14:50

Varifocals would be well worth a try - I need distance glasses all the time, and got reading glasses as well at 41 which I used for extended reading/screen use. But my vision changed enough to need to have varifocals at the next appointment, and I haven't regretted them at all.
I got mine from Asda opticians, and they said they would reglaze them as single vision for free if I couldn't get on with them, so no risk

Floowho Mon 01-Feb-16 14:27:45

Thanks. Just thinking about the cost implications now.

lljkk Mon 01-Feb-16 17:56:44

I've had 2 prs for 4 yrs but I think I should have varifocals or bifocals, and maybe a lot of cheap pairs as cheap readers around the house.

FreshHorizons Mon 01-Feb-16 17:59:04

I put off having varifocals for years thinking they would be difficult, but they are very easy to get used to.

Floowho Mon 01-Feb-16 18:29:22

Astigmatism means I can't have cheap readers. I think it's the vanity/age thing about varifocals grin and the fact that I have just had two pairs of lenses replaced with near sight.

senua Mon 01-Feb-16 18:34:39

DH has two pairs of glasses. He always wants the pair he hasn't got and doesn't know where he has left them.hmm
I have one pair - varifocal- and don't have this problem.

BackforGood Mon 01-Feb-16 18:52:12

Going against the grain, my optician suggested I tried varifocals last year. I couldn't get on with them at all. I don't know if they'd been made up wrongly (although they said not each time I went back). they said 'it can take 3 or 4 weeks to get used to them', but I couldn't even sit down in a chair and watch TV with them on - they were awful. They told me that you can no longer see through the whole of the lens hmm and you just get used to turning your head'

However, they had to replace them with ordinary distance glass and refind me my money as I just couldn't get on with them, despite me really likeing the thought of just having one pair of glasses and being able to see everything.

magimedi Mon 01-Feb-16 19:58:05

I've been wearing varifocals for about 10 years now (am 60+) & I love them - so much easier to just have one pair of specs.

Best piece of advice I was given is that when you get your new varifocals don't wear them that day. Wake up the next morning & put them on. My first pair took me about 2/3 hours to get used to.

Go to Specsavers (I've been with them for the last 8 years). They have a guarantee that if you don't get on with your specs they will refund/sort it out. And accept that you may have to go back in once or twice to get the fitting of the frames (most important with varifocals) just right.

gingeroots Mon 01-Feb-16 20:12:26

DP tried varifocals -he went for cheapest option .Couldn't get on with them and has 2 pairs .He is always hunting for a pair .

I wear varifocals ,got top of the range .No problem .Receptionist told me to "look down your nose" while walking ,using stairs until you get used to them .I adjusted to them in about 12 hours .

Floowho Mon 01-Feb-16 20:31:19

Thanks for all the advice, going to give two glasses a chance until the end of term, then decide. Luckily I don't need to walk around with my glasses. Need distance ones for driving, television, Cinema, plays, whiteboard at school. Need near ones for IPad, reading small print, computer at work ( max 6 hrs a week). Though I don't need them for reading my kindle in bed. How much did varifocals lenses cost, just replacing lenses as I like my frames? Have done a bit of browsing for prices, but would be good to find out people's opinions.

BackforGood Mon 01-Feb-16 20:51:29

You have to make sure your frames are "tall" (deep?) enough - some of the fashionable lenses over the last few years haven't got enough depth to get both types of lens into the one frame.
I can't honestly remember what mine were now - in my head I'm thinking it was £275 ?? (that was new frames, a 'spare pair', test, etc. all in) - but I know I got a considerable refund when I got my ordinary 'distance' pair made up instead.

dottyaboutstripes Mon 01-Feb-16 20:57:53

I got my first varifocals a couple of months ago, the lenses were £300 from John Lewis. I went for the most expensive after having it all explained to me. I think it took me a couple of weeks to get used to them - I was beginning to despair when I suddenly realised it was all good!

PoshPenny Mon 01-Feb-16 21:43:30

I've had very expensive varifocals from my lovely optician I've been going to for 30 years. About £500 with super thin lenses because I'm so short sighted. This last time I went and got my eyes tested at Asda and got 3 pairs of varifocals for a total of about £200 inc the eye test. Ok they have plastic lenses which scratch easily, but at that price, I can afford to replace them! I've never had more than one pair of glasses before, it's so exciting being able to choose! I've got on absolutely fine with varifocals and would recommend them over 2 pairs of glasses - it's a real pain when I have to remember reading glasses when I'm wearing contact lenses.

OllyBJolly Mon 01-Feb-16 21:51:34

I've got varifocal contact lenses which worked out loads cheaper than varifocal glasses. The downside is that distance isn't brilliant so I wear my usual glasses when that matters (or single use ordinary prescription contact lenses plus a pair of ready readers).

MajesticWhine Mon 01-Feb-16 21:57:06

I have astigmatism too, am a bit older than you, and I have recently moved to varifocals. They are absolutely great. I can now read the tiny instructions on food packets. They took no more than 2 or 3 days to get used to. They cost a fortune, so if I were you I would go for it next time you need new glasses.

Floowho Tue 02-Feb-16 09:19:35

At the moment, I'm listening to the television, while writing on here.

SecretSquirrels Tue 02-Feb-16 11:07:29

I've tried twice with varifocals.
Top of the range ones. I loathed them and reverted to my multiple pairs.
I have some bifocals which admittedly are very uncool but much easier to manage than varifocals.
I have a "good" pair of reading and distance from the optician and 27 several internet (prescription) £10 pairs scattered around house and car. I have an astigmatism which has not been a problem with cheap pairs.

StillMedusa Wed 03-Feb-16 23:50:27

I wear contacts in the day (VERY shortsighted) with readers perched on my head ready for action as I work with kids who have very challenging behaviour and can't risk breaking expensive glasses.
BUT... when I get home from work I wake out my lenses, bung on my varifocals and bliss... I can read OR watch TV at the same time if I want. I can read cooking instructions!

I was lucky..it took about an hour to adjust to them and I have never looked back smile

PolovesTubbyCustard Thu 04-Feb-16 00:10:41

DH is on his second pair of varifocals. He says this pair has taken a little getting used to - but overall hel ikes them.

He also has a pair of regular reading glasses (not the ready readers).

But this time he discussed contact lenses. He was fitted with mono vision contacts. So one eye corrects the long sight, the other corrects the short sight. It has taken him a while to get used to putting them in (and taking them out) but for going out on an eve, and for meeting new clients etc he loves them.

Could contacts be an option for you ? He has the daily disposables - so no need to clean or store. As he isn't wearing them every day it's not so pricey.

Bunbaker Thu 04-Feb-16 08:13:18

Why on earth would you prefer to faff around with two pairs of glasses when varifocals do an excellent job of replacing them? It's a complete no brainer to me.

I have worn varifocals for many years now. The first pair took me about 4 weeks to get used to, but since then it has been plain sailing. I agree with magimedi to not wear new glasses until the next morning.

Getting the measurements right is absolutely crucial. If they are wrong you can feel a little disorientated and seasick, so if they don't feel right go back, but I do think you need to give them a few weeks, unless the disorientation is really bad.

OH couldn't get on with varifocals (IMO he didn't give them long enough) and he has several pairs of glasses lying around the house and is always grumpy because he can't find the right pair. He is a pain when navigating because he can't adjust his focus from map reading to seeing long distance and has to keep swapping glasses over. We have a sat nav now.

Floralnomad Thu 04-Feb-16 08:23:37

I tried varifocals last year but couldn't get on with them at all , if you buy from Specsavers you can try them for a few weeks and if you don't get on with them you can swap back to normal lenses free of charge ( or you could when I did it) , infact when I swapped back they refunded me some money as the normal lenses were cheaper .

Bunbaker Thu 04-Feb-16 08:32:59

I got mine from Boots as I have a small head and can find very few frames that fit. Boots have the best selection for me. Also, the branch I go to is an ex D & H and the optician has been looking after the eyes of our family for years and knows and understands us. I have never had a dud pair of glasses from them. They also swap them over if you can't get on with them.

BackforGood Thu 04-Feb-16 19:47:51

Why on earth would you prefer to faff around with two pairs of glasses when varifocals do an excellent job of replacing them? It's a complete no brainer to me

Er - because I couldn't see out of them an they made me feel all disorientated? IME, varifocals didn't do an excellent job. You can only see out of the hourglass shape in the middle - what's that all about ?? confused - and they told me that before any fitting, as that is standard with all varifocals, not a mistake with mine. I went back 3 times and everyone who checke them reckoned the lenses were in the right place and they were correctly fitted, but I could neither see distance nor close up with them on, and it was much worse than even not having any glasses on. I couldn't 'practice' or 'persist' as I wasn't safe to be wearing them anywhere - I couldn't even cope sitting still in a chair to watch TV.
I love the idea of them, but the reality of my experience has put me right off.

SecretSquirrels Thu 04-Feb-16 19:52:36

Yes my experience was exactly the same as BackforGood.
The bit you can see out of is a tiny slot in the middle, even on the expensive "biggest slot possible" it was ridiculous. You have to wave your head around apparently hmm.
Trying to peer through that very limited view was worse than having no glasses at all.

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