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Glasses or Contacts for middle age

(27 Posts)
WhataRacquet Tue 03-Nov-15 12:47:12

I used to wear contacts regularly until last year when I started finding it hard to read with them in. I just take the glasses off for small print. I also have an astigmatism which the glasses correct. Haven't tried toric lenses due to the cost.

Is it better to use contacts and reading glasses together or get varifocals which will take time to adjust to.

Getting fed up of having my glasses on all the time and it limits what I can do with my hair, wearing earrings, etc.

One advantage of glasses is they hide my bags!

What does everyone else do?

ChipInTheSugar Tue 03-Nov-15 12:50:13

I've gone for varifocals - got used to them almost immediately. Am considering getting a pair of lenses again, but the monthlies didn't fit quite right, so we are looking at gas permeable ones. I think I would only wear them for nights out etc, as I think I use the reading part of my glasses quite a bit.

customercare Tue 03-Nov-15 12:58:52

It's possible to get contact that are varifocal and also correct astigmatism. I got some last year although didn't persist with them as they were uncomfortable, but I could see and read fine.

customercare Tue 03-Nov-15 13:02:00

Forgot to say they were monthly contacts. The optician said they couldn't prescribe dailies with such a complex prescription.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Tue 03-Nov-15 13:14:46

I'm managing with one lens for distance and one lens for close-up, which is working well at the moment. I have mild astigmatism which the contacts don't correct, but if it gets worse I may have to move to the more expensive lenses. I refused point blank to have contacts AND reading glasses wink

2madboys Tue 03-Nov-15 13:16:20

I'm pretty short sighted and wear extended wear monthly lenses and off the peg reading glasses when I need them. I pay £26 per month for the lenses and they are toric as well.

CointreauVersial Tue 03-Nov-15 13:21:04

For some reason I can still see fine with my contacts, even though my prescription suggests my near sight has deteriorated (I'm 48). I'm also astigmatic.

The optician said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", so although I have a pair of varifocal glasses for days at home I still get away with my regular gas permeable contact lenses when I'm out.

I'm not sure this will last forever, but I have seen adverts for varifocal contact lenses from Specsavers, so I might give them a try.

In contrast, I'm struggling with my varifocal specs, and find it really hard to see my computer screen. This is annoying, because I really should be wearing my glasses more and my lenses less!

WhataRacquet Tue 03-Nov-15 15:31:54

Thanks everyone. I will have a chat with the optician and see what they recommend.

Floisme Tue 03-Nov-15 18:17:20

I gave up on contacts in my 40s, partly because my close vision was going but also because they made my eyes look tired. I think glasses are the middle aged woman's friend. They divert the eye up and away from the disaster zone that is my jawline plus cool frames are an easy way to look modern even though my face might be crumbling away.

I found it quite easy to adapt to varifocals.

Glasses plus earrings made my face look too busy so I do miss that but it's a small price to pay. I don't find hairstyling a problem.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 03-Nov-15 18:37:04

options are

contacts for distance, near specs over the top as required
contacts, mono vision, one eye distance, the other for near....this is being done less often as it can bugger up your 3d vision
contacts ...varifocal types each lens covers distance and reading and the brain picks up the one it needs

specs: pair of distance & another for reading
specs: bifocals
specs: varifocals

I have tried all the contact lens options, I am very shortsighted, with lots of astigmatism, my favourite solution is contacts (distance only) plus near specs

Couldn't cope with driving and mono vision, driving home in the dark, in the rain, with one eye closed is a nightmare I do not care to repeat

Varifocal lenses....because of my astigmatism there are issues, but on the whole indoors and general life was fine, but driving was a fecking nightmare. There are some new lenses available at some $pec$avers which were absolutely excellent for close and driving, but I could only wear them for about six hours without wanting to rip out my eyes and run them under the tap....but that was just me, I do know people are getting on with them, and the quality of vision was the best so far.

Oddly I do not struggle at all with near when wearing my specs so I am still knocking about with my normal everyday specs, but will probably go for varis at some point

It is well worth persevering with the varifocal contact lens option, there are LOADS of types and styles about, if your normal lenses are not toric it's very likely your astigmatism is not complex and that will widen your choices. It also depends on how you like your vision to be, I cannot bear any hint of a blur so tend to err on the over corrected side, and is also why I have toric lenses, less critical nitpicky and neurotic types often don't have any issues with their vision at all when using varifocal or monovision

customercare Tue 03-Nov-15 19:26:30

What's toric?

polyhymnia Tue 03-Nov-15 19:31:28

Fwiw I can honestly say that after wearing contacts for mAny years I got used to my varifocals instantly- no problems at all. And frames are so great now

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 03-Nov-15 19:33:27

toric lenses are those that correct astigmatism fully.

most contact lenses are only spherical and when the astigmatism is small not having it in the lens doesn't impact the quality of vision that much, but when it is bigger, then it needs to be corrected so that power is also worked into the contact lens, the lens is usually weighted so it remains in the correct orientation to provide accurate vision.

herecomesthsun Tue 03-Nov-15 19:39:00

2madboys - where did you get the £26 per month contacts from?

Footle Tue 03-Nov-15 19:39:42

Reading with interest. My vision problems are a bit complicated and I'm in the process of getting a better diagnosis. I didn't know about mono vision having a lasting bad effect - that's interesting.

WhataRacquet Tue 03-Nov-15 23:39:10

That's very helpful Tondelaya thanks. The only reason I don't have toric is the price difference so I put up with not being able to fully correct my vision! My astigmatism is not too bad just takes me longer to focus. Although I think they might have come down in price a bit now.

A few of you have said it was easy to adapt to varifocals so maybe that's the way to go.

JaceLancs Tue 03-Nov-15 23:50:36

I had to give up on contact lenses after wearing them for nearly 30 years, astigmatism got worse, high prescription, and now dry eyes
My reading isn't too bad with distance glasses, but am getting to stage where I may have to consider varifocals, but there are so many options I wouldn't know what to choose and am scared of spending a fortune, and not being happy with them
I had an eye test recently and cheapest option was around £350 highest was nearly £600 (to get similar glasses to current pair but in best version of varifocal)

DramaAlpaca Tue 03-Nov-15 23:50:52

I am very short sighted and also have mild astigmatism. I have two pairs of glasses, one for distance & one for reading. I recently considered varifocals, but decided not to mainly due to the cost. Even with varifocals I'd still need reading glasses and I didn't feel confident about spending so much on varifocals in case they didn't work for me.

I haven't worn lenses full time for years. I did when I was younger, but after I had my children my tolerance for lenses wasn't the same for some reason. I'm just in the process of trying out several types to see if I can find some to suit me, but I will still need reading glasses with contacts.

It's all a bit of a pain, really.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 03-Nov-15 23:59:37

I've had mono contact lenses for several years, one near and one far, it works brilliantly for me. However the near vision is just starting to need +1 reading glasses very occasionally (eg reading ingredients on tiny coloured labels). In glasses I'm still fine with single vision. I'm 48.

No way on earth am I going into glasses full time, I would try every contact lens option including with reading glasses before that happens, at my strength (-11) glasses are far too restricting.

WhataRacquet Wed 04-Nov-15 00:28:48

I hadn't realised varifocals were so expensive, yikes!

amarmai Wed 04-Nov-15 01:01:58

at my age -70+- i think i look younger in glasses. They do hide the suitcases!

2madboys Thu 05-Nov-15 15:13:44

Herecomesthesun - sorry, been away and only just saw your post. I get my contacts from Vision Express.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Thu 05-Nov-15 17:26:59

it's well worth shopping around for specs and contacts

Lens prices vary wildly!! Also lots of variation in the quality of varifocal lenses, be advised by your optician, but do bear in mind how much you are likely to wear them

lots of optometrists are very keen on advising varis as soon as anyone shows a hint of a reading correction, but it doesn't necessarily suit the patient, so a good chat with the dispensing optician (or similar) is a great way of covering your needs/options/budget/lens choices....always get someone to talk you through ALL the options!

Same with contacts...most places will do free trials for different lens types. It can be a nuisance, but with toric/varifocal lenses you can be in and out for vision checks and trying alternatives but it's because there are many more variables than with a standard contact lens

Standard lenses are does it fit? can you see? is it comfy?
Toric lenses as above plus ...are they stable?
Varis as above plus how's the reading? is that stable? is the reading interfering with the distance? is the balance between the eyes right
Varifocal torics......optometrists start crying!! ;) ...not really, but you can see how the options really mount up!!

It's generally not a quick fix, but give everything a whirl and if you can invest the time you should find a workable solution!

Greengardenpixie Thu 05-Nov-15 20:36:01

I have monovision lenses and they work really well. I have an astigmatism and also have the small print going on. Tbh i agree that glasses are a girls best friend when you get older. They hide a multitude of sins. I wear mine more often than not. Lenses come into their own for going out though. I hate wearing glasses on a night out tbh.

amarmai Thu 05-Nov-15 20:36:48

just bought a package of 3 pairs of very flattering reading glasses for $15 ! woohoo!

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