Thursday, 20 November 2014

All glazed over

Ladies [and gentlemen] who wear granny goggles/varifocals, please give me the benefit of your wisdom and experience!

(image from

Is it usual to have to actually move one's head as the eyes move from one side of the page in a book to the other? The edges of the page are not in focus unless I move my head....not too keen on that - I feel like a mechanical puppet moving my head like a loony.

The computer is another challenge - I can see the screen, but when I drop my eyes down to look at the keyboard, it's out of focus.

The lady in the optician said that a rule of thumb was to have my nose aiming for whatever I wanted to look at.  Would you agree?  It would seem that I have to stop moving my eyes and  move my head around a lot more!

And how long is it going to take to get used to them?  Give me some encouragement, because I am not enjoying this stage at all!


Frances Hyde said...

It took me a LONG time to get used to my first pair of varifocals. I didn't, really. In the end, I gave up and went back to two pairs of long distance and near distance glasses. But my vision wasn't happy - and everyone else was saying how well they were getting on. In desperation I tried again. (Not this time with the company who say you should have gone to them) And it worked beautifully. Partly it was going to an optician who really knew what they were doing, but mostly it was learning a new way of using my glasses and a new way of seeing. I don't move my head from side to side anymore, and I don't anymore follow my nose - useful thought that advice was at first. Good luck. Be patient. And persistent.

Attila said...

Yes it's perfectly normal. I took a few days to get used to mine but have known others to take longer. The important thing is to bend your neck when going down stairs so you are looking through the right part at the top of the lens. As I am disabled and live in a bungalow this is not a problem for me!

SarahElisabeth Jones said...

Morgan, sorry you are having problems with the varifocals.
I first had mine when my youngest still had to be carried up and down the stairs so raised this as an issue and so did buy the highest grade of varifocal at some cost! Having said that I don't think they were more than the amount that you quoted for yours.
I was told not to drive wearing varifocals, for the first 24 hours but had very little difficulty with the glasses.
The things that I have found are that I can't read the titles of books in the bookcase when I am lying in bed (!) and that I tend to hold a hymnbook flatter (not quite sure why but it works better). I certainly don't have to consciously move my eyes to read and using a computer hasn't caused difficulties.
Perhaps if it doesn't settle soon you should go back to the optician.

sweet blondie blue eyes said...

I had vaifocals and they drove me nuts. After almost breaking my neck, falling down the stairs at the office, the steps had two edges, I chose the wrong one to put my foot on, they went back and I had bifocals instead.

Eye got done today, now bionic woman, OH says I look a right sight!!

rabbitquilter said...

Persevere!!! After falling up the kerb a couple of times, it got better!! Yes, I think you do have to point your nose in the direction you want to see. No more looking out of the corner of your eye either!! It did take a while to get used to varifocals as I had just had reading glasses before. But I am fine with them now. The only thing I do find awkward though is reversing the car, because I can't turn my neck very well, I have to pull my glasses down my nose or it is just a blur, or the frames that get in the way!! Have to say, I much prefer vari's to having 2 pairs of glasses like my husband!! That is a nightmare, as he usually forgets/looses a pair and I think he could do with a Man-bag to carry them in, drives me potty!! XX

Wanda said...

Stick with it. I HATED mine, for all the reasons you stated. Wearing them for short periods didn't help at all. It only really all clicked into place when I *had* to wear them for a whole day while working - eyes down at keyboard, up at screen, further across counter at customer. By the end of that day it all just slotted together beautifully. The head movement 'thing' just disappeared. The only real problem now is reading large books or newspapers. Reading a normal book, one that I can hold naturally in my hand is fine. Anything with very large pages is a bit sick-making so I keep a pair of reading-only glasses just for that.
I'd never give up my varifocals now - so liberating after fiddling around with two pairs of specs :-)
They really are just second nature now - but it did take a few weeks. The brain is very clever at adapting. Even that weird feeling when you look down at a step and it appears enormous - simply goes away. Honest! :-)

Liz2B said...

I had no problems at all .It took the time to cross the road to get used to them .But then I couldn't see before .Another thing get them checked so that they are sitting in the right place on your nose.

Mindo said...

I was advised to increase the wearing time by 2 hours at a time, from 4 hours the first day to 6 the next and so on. Your brain needs sufficient time wearing varifocals to get used to them.

But, if you don't get on with them after 2 weeks, I'd say it's time to go back and discuss options. My first pair weren't right and had to be remade, but after that I had no problems. I hope they work out for you:)

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

Our daughter is practice manager at a local opticians and they get people coming in who have got specs from the place that says "you should have gone to them" and have had problems with their glasses, she says sometimes they are completely wrong.
I hope you get on OK in time

Scarlet said...

After having cataract surgery at the age of 43, I tried for 6 weeks with varifocals. In the end I had to take them back. I've suffered severe whiplash twice, and my neck has never been the same since. The constant moving of my head with the varifocals aggravated it and I was in constant pain. Now I just have 2 pairs of glasses.
Hope you get used to yours!

Dc said...

I had the same problem especially whilst on the computer. After three weeks of feeling seasick, gave up, so much better!