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Varifocal glasses.... advice please

(19 Posts)
Wolfgirl Fri 04-Mar-11 14:18:03

Hello, just been for an eye test, and I need new glases. Because I work on a PC all day, they have suggested varifocal lenses, which I have to admit, do seem more favourable for the type of work I do.

However, there are differences in the quality of lens available, the most expensive being £290 (Dolland and Aitchinson)

Top this lens off with a decent frame, and Im finding myself with a bill of £440. I do get a second pair free, but only for reading, not varifocul.

My question is this, do different opticians sell lenses at different prices? Are D&A considered to be more expensive than most?

many thanks in advance smile

Pterosaur Fri 04-Mar-11 14:26:41

I paid £159 at Specsavers for their best-quality varifocal lenses, but of course I've no idea how that quality compares with D&A. It might be worth shopping around a bit.

They are well worth having. I work on a pc too, and am often looking from pc to paper and back. I was struggling to focus and suffering from headaches before I got the vf specs.

mollymole Fri 04-Mar-11 14:29:39

i work for a small independant and good quality varifocals start around £125 the pair all depends on your rx

Deaddei Fri 04-Mar-11 14:31:26

I got mine from D and A for a similar price.
Once I got used to them they are great.
Next time I will shop around.

Davsmum Fri 04-Mar-11 14:35:37

I got varifocals - which cost me a fortune over 10 years ago I tried them for a long time and I never ever got used to them - They drove me mad. In the end I got reading glasses for work at the PC and 10 years later after my latest eye test the optician told me to just keep using the reading glasses - although now, I need a different strength lens for each eye.

Wolfgirl Fri 04-Mar-11 14:40:28

thanks all. Just did a quick nosey on the internet and prices vary big time.

Based on: Good, Better, Best, D&A come in £290 for their best pair

Vision Express come in at: £245, £274 and for their Tailor Made - £85

Spec Savers site says Tailor Made £159.

Now I also just spoke to Vision Express, and whilst she had to remain unbiased, she did say to be careful, as lens sold can vary in quality.

So if I took the Spec Savers lens, they may only be equivalent to D&A's basic pair which were about £220.

Still need to check Boots out... see what they have to say for themselves. I'm glad I stepped back to check these things out, else I may be out of pocket.

Feel quite naive with some things blush

Wolfgirl Fri 04-Mar-11 14:41:08

whoops.... Vision Express - Tailor made - £385 not £85 wink

ofmenandmice Fri 04-Mar-11 14:46:46

I can't get on with varifocals but that means I need two pairs of glassess for everything, plus prescription sunglasses. The cost can really add up especially as I like to have spairs and some to leave in the car etc....
I recently bought four pairs of glassess for under £40 here . There are numerous websites which sell all kinds of frames made up to your own prescription.
I would recommend you shop around local opticians with your new prescription and buy some varifocals. If you like them buy cheap spares online.

Wolfgirl Fri 04-Mar-11 15:03:51

ofmenandmice - D&A did not give me the prescription. How would I know what I am ordering from an internet site? Could I just ask them for the prescription, or would they get ar sey about it?

inthesticks Fri 04-Mar-11 15:19:28

If they did an eye test then there optician must have done a prescription. You are entitled to have a copy to take to any dipensing optician of your choice. They won't like it as obviously they want to sell you some expensive specs.
My last eye test was also at D&A and I asked for the prescription saying I needed time to decide which glasses to choose.

inthesticks Fri 04-Mar-11 15:19:56

their not there blush

mollymole Fri 04-Mar-11 15:52:53

you are entitled to the prescription from the optician who tested your eyes IT IS YOUR RIGHT to have it to take away, this is also the same for a private test or an NHS test

you cannot(should not)order varifocals from an online site as you need to be personally measured by a dispensing optician as to your eye centres and the depth of the variation you are having as it can be individual to your prescription

you should also be able to choose (according to your RX) the thickness of the lens - it is a load of
Cr** to call varifocals 'tailor made' as all varificals are made to an individual prescription - it is just a way of parting you from more money

at the small independant where i work you can discuss various lenses with the dispenser and they will tell you the make of the lens i.e. shamir, zeiss, nikon etc. or cheapo crap - and remember some of the big names make lenses especially for the large conveyor high street stores but they may not be the same as the ones made up by an independant

Wolfgirl Fri 04-Mar-11 17:14:15

thanks inthesticks; and thank you too mollymole, very informative and helpful.

I since did some more research, and it does appear that I am able to request a copy of the prescription, they are obliged to provide me with a copy.

So now, onto sourcing a good quality but not over priced lens. hmm

MajesticScallop Sat 05-Mar-11 07:19:11

Wolfgirl, I bought my first varifocals from Specsavers a couple of weeks back. The dispenser spent ages with me, and she told me not to go for their most expensive lens (the "Tailor Made") as the difference between that lens and the next one down (the "Elite"), wasn't really enough to justify the extra expense - she said she would recommend it more for people with higher prescriptions than mine (I'm +1.75 both sides I think, with a little bit of astigmatism, and an extra +1.00 at the bottom on both sides for reading). She told me that when the "Tailor Made" lens was introduced to the range, one of her colleagues got some, and said the only difference she noticed was that it was easier to reverse-park her car as the peripheral distortion was slightly less! I don't do a great deal of reverse-parking so that swung it for me!

She did say that it was worth paying the extra for the Elite (£109) over the Premium (£79) though, so I did (though I obviously had to take her word for that!) Have no complaints at all about the specs, and have found them very easy to adjust to - once I got the hang of the "arm's length" bit in the middle. So specs came to something like £270 quid, and I got a second pair of varifocals thrown in for free.

Good luck with yours!

nugiy Sat 03-Mar-12 11:29:07

Help, I've been told I need to wear varifocals as my close vision is now a problem, I end up lifting my glasses up going from the computer screen to a document. When I went to the opticians it was like taking your car in with the oohs and aahs when I said I didn't want huge glasses. I've come away more confused than ever!! My distance is -2.75 and close is +1.25, anyone also had the same problem?

This is also before they discuss the 101 packages available to supposedly same me money.

I really would appreciate some advice.

sportsfanatic Sat 03-Mar-12 13:12:05

Wherever you get them one of the most important things is see that you get the placing of the glasses exactly right IYKWIM i.e. that they balance the frames in the right position on your face. If not, when they are graduating the lens the far sight, near sight, reading parts will be in the wrong place.

I gave up on varifocals because I could not use them for the computer or reading for more than about five minutes: I had tried three pairs over the course of about 10 years (from Boots and from ASDA opticians) so went back to two pairs of glasses. So when I decided to try again (at Specsavers) I got a pair of varifocals and a pair of reading glasses as I assumed I would still have a problem. The result was that I wasted my money on the reading glasses as the varifocals were perfect. When I needed a stronger prescription three years later once again the varifocals were perfect.

Maybe just luck that it was Specsavers, but obviously that's where I will continue to go.

The key was that the person measuring the lens position for the makers got it spot on. At the other places the measurements were inaccurate so the gradation on the lens was wrong - thus failure.

However, Specsavers were not particularly cheap, but that was because I opted for the photochromatic lens that tint in strong sunlight (so I look like the Mafia) as my eyes are light-sensitive grin

JoanRobinson2012 Sat 03-Mar-12 20:36:04

I was prescribed varifocals for the first time in December and bought from Specsavers - lens decision made exactly as MajesticScallop describes.

I was expecting all sorts of problems but because they were so well fitted, it's been great - long and close vision much improved and no more peering over the top of my specs to read!

Bunbaker Sat 03-Mar-12 20:37:06

Boots own D & A so you won't get a different answer from them. Our local D & A is now a Boots (with all the old D & A staff), so we have two Boots opticians in town.

I love varifocals. I can't be doing with changing my glasses every few seconds and they are the best thing since sliced bread. This pair of glasses took me about 4 weeks to get used to, but it is so worth it, so do give it time.

The other piece of advice I was given was that if you need varifocals the younger you are the easier it is to get used to them.

Mine are horribly expensive because I am extremely short sighted. I pay extra for thin lenses otherwise they would look like jam jar bottoms.

I have a small head so generally end up with frames for a teenager, so my frames aren't expensive, but my lenses are. Unfortunately I can't do anything about my eyesight (a legacy of contracting measles as a child) so I have to put up with having expensive glasses.

davidrboyle123 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:31:55

Just bought two pairs of varifocals at Tesco opticians, price was

Two pairs top of the range designer frames £125
Varifocals, the most expensive "tailor made" option £159
Ultra thin and anti reflective coating on both pairs £40X2 =80
Total £364.

No tint on either.

Tesco gave me the full prescription before I purchased anything and definitely no hard sell, top marks for that. The optician recommended varifocals which could be seen as an "upsell" as I haven't previously used them and my near vision though not as good as it was when I was 18 (I am 48) is still OK, The jury is still out on this as I am on second day of use for the varifocals but I get on Ok with the for computer and driving use and so far have a positive view, some slight eye strain and headaches but normal for a new stronger prescription.

The service was excellent, I have used vision express before who produce the specs faster but are definitely more expensive, Tesco texted me after five days to say they were ready, for the price difference I would recommend Tesco. There was a bit of waiting around to be seen both for the eye test and getting the glasses but i think the price differnece at vision express isn't justified. £159 vs £385 just for the varifocal feature looks like a no-brainer for me.

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