Refocused

February 11, 2008

Last Friday, after work, I returned to the vision center, ostensibly to have my eyes measured for bifocals.  In the time between making the appointment Thursday morning, and arriving there Friday afternoon, I had changed my mind - I wanted trifocals instead.

When I spoke to the technician on the phone Thursday morning, I complained about the blurriness caused by the edges of the lenses.  The portions outside of the three focal zones on the progressive lenses were giving me fits.  She warned me that going to bifocals would be at the expense of losing the intermediate range, which is ideal for computer use.

Typically you hold a book or document closer to your face to read, than the distance you site from your computer's monitor or screen.  With only two focal ranges, distance and near, in a bifocal, the computer screen could fall into neither range, forcing me to squint or sit much closer than normally comfortable.

After talking it over with the technician Friday afternoon we agreed that trifocals were my best choice.  They provide all three distances, like the progressive lens, but without the distortion artifacts that were bothering me.  Apparently many people adjust to the progressive lens and aren't bothered by the distortion, but I was uncomfortable enough with it that I wanted to switch lens styles.  Having lines on my lenses won't bother me a bit.  My last pair of glasses, before the LASIK surgery, were lined bifocals, and I adapted to them in no time.

My new lenses should be delivered by mid-week.  I'll have lined trifocals and, given the shape of my frames, the enhanced area of the lens (both intermediate and near) will be approximately 35 mm wide - or nearly the full width of the lens surface.

Even with the distortion I was able to notice an immediate improvement in reading books, my cell phone display, and my computer screen, so I am looking forward to the trifocals.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.