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Wearing varifocals and looking at screens

(61 Posts)
Tippy22 Sat 17-Feb-18 13:38:56

I wear varifocal glasses and I find I am constantly adjusting them when i am looking at my phone or tablet because i am looking down whereas when my eyes are tested I am looking straight ahead. Do any of you have the same problem. When i mentioned it to my optician the last time I had my eyes checked he could offer no solution. I suggested perhaps I should have 2 pairs of glasses instead of varifocals but he said after all the years I had been wearing varifocals it wouldn't be advisable for me. Any helpful solutions would be welcome.

Welshwife Sat 17-Feb-18 13:55:01

I find that I adjust the height of what I am reading if it is something such as a newspaper. For the screen I have no problem at all - maybe I just adjust my head position without realising it. If I am watching TV and lean back in the chair I do then need to put the specs half way down my nose.
I find stairs are the biggest hazard and always look carefully before I start to descend and I am conscious then of altering my head position to make sure I am looking through the right part of the lens.

petra Sat 17-Feb-18 13:59:50

I have been wearing varifocals since they came out.
Never ever had a problem until last year where I went to 3 opticians until I got what was perfect.
Don't accept them. Ask for your money back and go somewhere else.

Maggiemaybe Sat 17-Feb-18 14:30:33

I have a selection of glasses to go with the contact lenses I wear most of the time. My lenses are monovision, so my eyes do take a few minutes to adjust to any of my glasses (I have a choice of varifocals, reading and distance glasses). I never wear my varifocals for screen work, as I find I've to tip my head back to see properly and this can get very uncomfortable. My reading glasses work well. I can't see there'd be a problem with your having a different prescription for computer work - perhaps you should consult another optician for a second opinion.

Willow500 Sat 17-Feb-18 14:35:54

I've got varifocal contact lenses and don't have the problem but my husband has just got varifocal glasses for the first time and is struggling with looking at the screens on his phone, iPad and laptop for the very reason you've said. He's constantly adjusting them to compensate and in the end often ends up putting on his old reading glasses. Very frustrating!

PamelaJ1 Sat 17-Feb-18 15:58:48

I’ve just got new glasses and have noticed this more than with my last pair.
I’ve only had them a week so thought that maybe I have to get used to the new prescription.

vampirequeen Sat 17-Feb-18 16:21:35

How long have you had this pair? Sometimes it takes a while to get used to looking through the right bit of the lens.

hildajenniJ Sat 17-Feb-18 16:35:31

I've been wearing varifocals for some years now, and I've never had a problem. I think I'm getting ready to have my eyes tested again because printed matter seems to be getting smaller. 😃😃

shysal Sat 17-Feb-18 16:49:19

I struggled with my first pair of varifocals 3 years ago, finding the reading section far too small for books and screens so gave up on them. I have chosen to have bi-focals this time and they are perfect! However, I don't like the look of them. When waiting to pick them up at Specsavers I looked on the desk mat at the image patterns for varifocals and there are I think 5 different patterns of view with increasing size of the reading portion, of course with increase in price too! I will get a reduction on a second pair of glasses so might give varifocals another try.

LadyGracie Sat 17-Feb-18 17:20:40

I’ve worn varifocals for years and have never had a problem, I always pay for the best varifocal lenses, so you don’t get distortion at the sides. I always have reactive lenses too. My eye test is this month, I too am finding print is getting smaller, but I think it really is!

Tippy22 Sat 17-Feb-18 17:21:47

I've worn varifocals for years and never had a problem until recently. I was offered a free trial of varifocals contact lenses but because I don't have full sight in my left eye I didn't think thus would help. It's only when I'm looking at my phone or tablet that I have a problem. I think I'll have to try and readjust the way I sit or just use the computer instead. Thanks for all your comments. Very interesting.

BBbevan Sat 17-Feb-18 17:53:39

I wear glasses, am very shortsighted but don't wear varifocals. My optician recommended, one lense near focus and the other far. It works extremely well. In fact I don't notice any change when looking at something near and then far.

harrigran Sat 17-Feb-18 20:39:02

I was persuaded to get varifocals but could not get away with them, I fell on the stairs and got headaches at the computer. The optician allowed me to return them and I went back to single lenses.

Bathsheba Sat 17-Feb-18 22:33:09

I've worn varifocals for several years. The first time I had them I couldn't get on with them, but tried again 2 or 3 years later, this time buying the most expensive ones available (i.e. the ones with the widest reading area) and they were perfect, so I've worn them ever since. The only problem I have is using a desktop computer, because I find I have to tip my head back in order to view the screen through the lower, reading part of the lens. The quick fix for this problem was to buy a cheap pair (£25) of reading glasses which I leave by the computer. Problem solved smile

Jalima1108 Sat 17-Feb-18 22:49:14

I use reading glasses when using a screen - or reading a book.

SueDonim Sun 18-Feb-18 00:45:18

Oh, gosh, I thought this problem was just me! I can't read or look at a screen for any length of time with my varifocals. I have to tip head back to get the correct bit of lens in the right place. I chose lenses that were a decent size, to allow room for the grading but that hasn't worked so I use reading glasses indoors.

The other issue is that screens look bowed with my varifocals. The middle appears nearer while the sides dip away. Most disconcerting, like something from Alice in Wonderland!

I've tried contact lenses, too, but for me, they fell between two stools. I sampled numerous combinations but none gave me good results for both long and close vision.

I've just had a reminder for my eye test so I shall go along to that armed with the information gleaned from this thread!

Nandalot Sun 18-Feb-18 10:08:46

Agree with others that you need the best varifocal lenses . (Arm and a leg job). I once tried to economise and bought the cheaper ones and felt really sick with the distortion.

annodomini Sun 18-Feb-18 11:14:29

I've had varifocals ever since they arrived on the scene. The first time I wore them, they seemed to distort everything so I went back to the optician who merely adjusted the fit and in the many years since then, I've had no problems. I did get separate glasses for a desktop computer, but since I changed to a laptop, the lenses have been perfect. I don't go to you-know-who but have stuck with the local optician with many years of personal service - more expensive, I know, but worth it.

Yorkshiregirl Sun 18-Feb-18 11:38:45

I worked as a optical assistant for many years. It sounds like either the varifocal hasn't been measured correctly and isnt sitting in the correct position, or you aren't using them correctly. Remember that thebtop part of the lense is for distance (anything further than an arms length away) while the bottom half is for close up. You must move your head so your eyes look through the correct part of the lense, which is especially important while going down steps...dip your head and look through the top of the lense. Close up adjust your head or book etc to look through the bottom of the lense. If this doesn't work I'd ask for a refund.

Jalima1108 Sun 18-Feb-18 11:45:07

I could not get on with varifocals despite trying, so the optician changed them for bi-focals and I have separate reading glasses.
However, my new reading glasses are hopeless when using a screen unless I am within three or four inches of the screen but my old ones are just fine. Perhaps I should go back again but I've had them for a month now.

chrissie13 Sun 18-Feb-18 11:50:08

I had worn contacts for over 40 years and tried normal glasses, but they didn't work for me at all, everything was distorted and I kept tripping up, and couldn't see the computer screen without reading glasses on top! I thought varifocals wouldn't work either, but when I saw that I could try some at Specsavers completely risk free I thought why not. I have had them a couple of years now and they're perfect, I can see everything. I have to tilt my head back very slightly for the computer, but it's not enough to bother me, and can see my phone and tablet perfectly. I also had the more expensive version, not the very top one, but the next one down. I never thought I'd say this, but I don't wear my contacts any more.

Mamar2 Sun 18-Feb-18 11:52:03

I tried varifocals & couldn't get on with them. The optician made a wider 'corridor' for the long distance section. This didn't work for me either so asked for a refund (£400+ so not cheap). They were super. No fuss, full refund & good customer service. Thanks Specsavers.

Jalima1108 Sun 18-Feb-18 11:57:10

I never thought that varifocals or bifocals would be a complete replacement and have always ordered a pair of reading glasses suitable for using the pc and reading books.

I like the bifocials (or varifocals if you can get on with them) for everyday use, seeing distance and also reading labels, menus etc, watching tv and glancing down at knitting but never for concentrated reading or computer use.

Nitpick48 Sun 18-Feb-18 12:08:50

I found out recently (after many years of wearing varifocals) that there are different types of varifocals depending on the company who makes them and the quality (and therefore the cost) I once had one pair of glasses made and couldn’t get on with them....after going back numerous times it was discovered they’d put the lenses in the wrong way round!!

Blue45Sapphire Sun 18-Feb-18 12:16:47

I have worn varifocals for years and never had any problems. Oh, just once like Nitpick above they got the lenses the wrong way round.