Progressive Bifocals Let You See Everything

I can see very well — according to my eye doctor, well enough to get a private pilot’s license in all fifty states. However, after a certain age, I needed reading glasses from the dollar store. A handy pair of 1.5 magnification, and I was good to go for the next few years. Then 2.5 became even handier for reading, but for computer screens the 1.5 was still what I needed. I got tired of putting reading glasses on, then taking them off again. Everything within arm’s length of my eyes was out of focus. I needed sunglasses in the bright sun, but reading sunglasses to read outdoors. It was all just too much.

progressive lens

I had always heard that progressive bifocals were the greatest thing, once you got used to them. Finally, I decided to give them a try. If I had to have reading glasses with me all the time, why not just leave them on my face? So back to the eye doctor. She prescribed progressive lenses with 2.5 at the bottom, gradually decreasing up to clear glass for my super left eye and a little bit of distance correction for my right eye. Warning: they can be disappointing at first. The field of view for any one thing you look at just doesn’t seem wide enough at first, and it feels like you have to move your head all the time. But after a few days, the miraculous natural ability of your eyes to adapt takes over, and it’s as if the whole world becomes crystal clear, from top to bottom. It’s like going from black and white to color in the Land of Oz. Blurry to perfectly focused. While driving, you can see all the way down the road, and you can see the instrument panel. Perfectly.

I was tempted by the photochromic lenses, but they don’t work for driving. The car windows already block out the UV rays that trigger the darkening. I opted instead for the clip-on sunglasses that are made to fit the glasses exactly.

The rule for getting used to them is: wear them all the time. But that’s OK — you’ll want to.

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