Progressive Lenses – A Rant

glasses  Be prepared, this is a rant I just need to get off my chest.  I had my biannual eye exam and due to having  a hard time reading and being tired of whipping readers on and off my face at work all the time, I decided to get glasses.  The eye doctor said, “So you’ll need progressives, then.”  Note:  I don’t need glasses for distance at all, I’m farsighted.  But what do I know? I’ve never had prescription lenses before so away I go.

I tried on lots of frames and fell in mostly like with the ones above and bought them to have my brand spanking new progressive lenses put into them.  When I get the glasses, first thing I’m told is not to wear them driving….ok,  this is a problem because one of my issue areas is driving someplace and having to look at directions…need glasses to see the directions, but not to drive.  Thought these would eliminate the whole “driving with readers on the end of my nose so I can look at the directions again at traffic lights, but still see to drive.”  But ok moving on..

So, I take the glasses and leave, about $300 poorer.  Get home and start trying to wear them…no freaking peripheral vision at all…like being in a tunnel.  Giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe I just have to get used to them, I try to keep wearing them.  Head rushes when I move my eyes, hmmmm.   Then I try to read…yeah that didn’t work well either.  I read very quickly and I was always reading into a blurry zone.  If I read the first word in a line the last word is blurry.  ARGHHHHHH!

So, then I get the bright idea that maybe the reader part of the lens isn’t strong enough and that is why everything is blurry.  Call up the eye doctor and get an appointment to have them looked at again.  Meanwhile, back to my cheapo readers.

Go back to eye doctor, he does all his hemming and hawing, trying to find a way that it is me that is the problem.  First, he says I am not wearing them close enough to my eyes and pushes them so far up my nose that my eyelashes are getting stuck on the glasses…no, I can’t really wear glasses that way and guess what I told the optician that when he did the order for the lenses and he marked out the levels for the long, mid and close prescriptions based on where I wear my glasses.

Then, he tried to act like I was trying to read through the wrong part of the lens.  He kept lifting them to sit up higher, “That is better now isn’t it…isn’t it…?”  “No, it is exactly the same, I know where to look through the lens for reading.”

Then he blames that I didn’t buy wire frames, “If you bought wire frames we could adjust the nose pieces and raise it up. We can’t do anything with plastic frames.”

“Didn’t we just go through the whole, they don’t need to be higher…oh, yeah that is right, we did.”  Blank stare

I explained the problems again..basically said that is the nature of progressives…After I explained that the reading was really an issue for me as it is a big part of my life…”Well, if you are going to read 800 pages of Game of Thrones a night, you will need to wear readers.  That is all there is to it.”


So I try again…on to a different problem.  I’m a teacher, in an urban, low SES crime ridden area.  Peripheral vision is kind of important.  Kids have to get the impression that you have eyes in the back of your head. (in teacher’s college the technical term we were actual taught back in the dark ages was  “with-it-ness” and is a key component of successful classroom management)  I use my peripheral vision ALL THE F*CKING TIME.  Working with one kid at his desk, my eye is tracking Joe Cool on the other side of the room, who is trying to get his phone out to text under his desk.  Then I turn even more away from Joe Cool and calmly say out loud, “Joe Cool put your phone away unless you want to give it to me.” Joe Cool jumps, scrambles to put the phone away, staring at the back of my head, wondering how the f*ck I just did that.  Peripheral vision – vital.  Eye doctor’s response, “You have to get used to turning your head, not your eyes.”

OK, then.  Guess that just clears up everything, right?

Anyway, I left went home did some online research.  Found many others complaining of the same problems with progressives and from what research I did seems like I probably should have had bifocals instead with just the clear top and reader bottom.  This hindsight is not really helpful seeing I spent $300 on these glasses so I won’t be buying any new ones for a while.

Just a note to eye doctors and opticians:  Maybe ask about people’s life styles, what is important to them, when recommending corrections.

End rant.



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