In Which I Go On Way Too Long About Glasses

I’m over 40. Actually, I’m 45, with a birthday looming in less than 3 months, which puts me quite firmly into my “mid-40’s”, much to my amazement.

And, as so often happens to those of us of a certain age, I’ve been wearing glasses, just when working on the computer or for reading, for the last few years.

I had sticker shock when I got my first pair – I forget exactly how much they were, but I want to say they were around $150, maybe more. I found out later that you can buy reading glasses for a couple of dollars at any drug store, and I did pick up a few pair that I keep at various places (work office, home office, bedside table, etc). But I have to say that I was never as happy with the cheapo ones, and I’m still wearing that original pair.

Then I found out about Zenni Optical, and when it was mid- December and I still had a bunch of money to burn through for my flexible spending health care account, I decided it was time for some new glasses. (Seriously, if you wear glasses and have not heard of this company, you really need to check them out.)

I placed the order, using the prescription from my last eye exam (from a year ago, that I never filled), on December 23rd. I ordered three pair: two pair of progressive lenses in different frame styles, and a pair of reading glasses. Total for the three was $99.85 (including shipping). I understand progressive lenses at a typical optometrist can cost upwards of $500 for one pair. Anyway, I got an email from them the following day asking some questions about my order — it seems I had entered some of the information incorrectly. But I was impressed to be asked and the care they took in educating me also.

The glasses arrived last Saturday (about 3 weeks, which included 2 major holidays). They each arrived in their own case, with a nice cleaning cloth for each pair. I excitedly tried them on. I love the reading glasses – I’m wearing them right now as I type this!

But I’m hoping anyone who wears progressive lenses can help me figure out what I’m doing wrong. I can tell that they are indeed “progressive”, with different viewing experiences as I move my eyes up and down. But maybe I don’t look down enough when working on the computer? I thought I’d like them so as to avoid taking my glasses off or peering over the tops of them when someone came into my cube at work or one of the kids calls to me at home. But the reality is…..they’re kind of a pain and not that easy to see with. Am I doing something wrong? Am I not a good candidate for progressives? Please, someone diagnose me without ever having met me or examining my eyes or viewing tendencies!

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6 responses to “In Which I Go On Way Too Long About Glasses

  1. As one who is leaving the mid-fifties far behind (58 in a couple of months) and as one who has relied on progressives for a long time, a couple of things come to mind. You should perhaps have gotten your eyes checked to be sure that last year’s prescription was still valid. Also, my glasses are adjusted to my eyes by the optician when I pick them up. Maybe yours need adjusting? All that said, I have problems when I’m walking down stairs…my balance is impaired. So maybe everyone has one place that needs work.

  2. That site is awesome!!! I have worn glasses since 3rd grade and have a fairly strong prescription, so I”ve never had more than 1 pair at a time (that I wear for at least a year, preferably 2)…..I may actually try to order a 2nd, “fun” pair and see how they are. I’m not in bi-focal’s/progressives yet, but I’m sure I will be soon.

  3. It took me forever to get used to my bi-focals when I had them. Once of the best pairs I’ve ever had though. Hope they work out for you, sorry I can’t be of any help. Great site recommendation, thanks for bringing it up!

  4. Thanks for that site info! The Mountain Man needs progressive lenses, but the eye doctor is charging him about $300, so he doesnt have them yet. I have heard that progressive lenses are VERY hard to get used to, though. My last pair cost $250 because the prescription was so strong. Then my Mom paid for my Lasik surgery in 2000, and I could see for the first time since I was 6. It was quite an experience.

  5. I just today picked up my progressives from my optometrist. I was told they’d take about 10 days to get used to. I was also told as an exercise to do some “near” and “far” stuff. The suggestion was to watch television because you could focus on “far” during the show and then read (“near”) during a commercial.

    I might watch the Stupid Bowl tomorrow. I could watch the commercials (“far”) and then read during game play (“near”).

  6. My optician said the trick is to point your nose at whatever you are viewing.

    I was lucky that I was able to return the first pair of my most recent progressives because the placement of the fields wasn’t optimal (they gave you a try-out period).

    When being fitted, he marked and measured where I would point my eyes for different types of reading.

    It’s been a few months . . . have you adjusted, how is it going?

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