Help please??
January 19, 2015 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Will bifocals help my scenario?

I am nineteen years old.
My glasses perscription is -7.00 and -6.25. I also have an astigmatism of -0.50 in my left eye and -0.25 in my right and ever since I got my new perscription, text has been hard to focus on up close and far away (especially up close it seems. I have had to take many reading breaks and keep tilting my head and the book to see things right).

So.. What I am wondering is if bifocals/reading glasses will help magnify the text and alleviate up close pressure. Would they be reccomended in this situation or am I too young or what? Please help me out..
posted by Wontly to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
Since you've gotten a new prescription recently, your optometrist should be available to answer your questions and maybe tweak your prescription since it doesn't seem to be working out for you (usually there's no charge for this kind of follow-up). I'd suggest talking to them first about what your options are -- if they don't seem to be helping, it might be time to try to find another optometrist. But first, call the one who's examined you recently. They're best positioned to help you right now.
posted by asperity at 6:30 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

What does your optometrist say? In my experience, they're not shy about telling you that you need bifocals if you do.

You could always buy a cheap pair of readers at the dollar store and try them out.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:31 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

am I too young

I got my first bifocals when I was 11, and my prescription and astigmatism are slight, but my eyes just couldn't make the near/far adjustment efficiently. They took them away for most of my 30s (my high school opthalmologist predicted this) but it's time again now, I think.

It's a little annoying that your doctor didn't catch it in the process of getting your new prescription, though. I'd call and complain and ask for a re-check and explain the problem you're having.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:32 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

OK, I'm no expert, just a glasses wearer, but I believe that you're probably too young to need bifocals. Since the problem occurred since you got your new prescription, there's a couple of possibilities:

1) The eye doctor gave you a bad checkup and a prescription that won't work for you.
2) The lenses were ground incorrectly and need to be checked.

Basically, it could be one or both things. If your eye doctor or optometrist won't work with you or things all appear to be in order, you should seriously consider seeing another eye doctor to see what their eye checkup reveals.

Either way, be persistent, it's too important.
posted by mdrosen at 6:34 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

My prescription is similar to yours (but stronger). I've worn glasses since I was a child and am very used to the adjustment period for a new pair/prescription. However, I recently got new glasses and had a hell of a time adjusting to them, similar to what you describe.

I do not need bifocals--Ruthless Bunny is right, you'd know if you needed them because the eye doc won't be shy about telling you if you do. The problem with my glasses was that the frames weren't "wrapping" around my face correctly and hence the lenses weren't in the right place--so I wasn't looking through them where I needed to.

Take your new glasses back to your eye doctor and have them adjust the nosepads, earpieces, and perhaps even bend the frames slightly (do NOT attempt this yourself) until your vision is correct. I couldn't even read with my new glasses until they were adjusted properly.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:42 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

I had to start wearing reading glasses at 24 and had bifocals by my early 30's. Don't let anyone tell you you're too young. Get a follow up exam with a professional and let them help you.
posted by matildaben at 6:54 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: @asperity I got a check up last month and they convinced me I was fine. Gonna go to a different place and get a second recheck.

@Ruthless Bunny How would dollar readers work on my perscription though?

@Lyn Never This will be my second recheck then...

@mdrosen I am seeing someone else. My original optimerists were no help whatsoever.

@hurdy gurdy girl This is my second glasses frame with the same perscription. I don't think its the design.

@matildaben I am getting one soon. With different people.
posted by Wontly at 7:36 PM on January 19, 2015

So, I don't think I was clear. Most frames, regardless of design, need a little tweaking for the glasses to sit correctly on your face. The last frame probably needed some adjusting too, just like this frame. Anyway, it doesn't sound like you are getting very good service from the people you're seeing right now, so it's good you are seeing someone different.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:46 PM on January 19, 2015

Response by poster: @Hurdy gurdy girl Yes it is. They were adjusted well though. Anyway I'll see soon enough.
posted by Wontly at 7:52 PM on January 19, 2015

With your vision, dollar readers won't help you at all. Dollar readers are ADD powers, you have a very strong minus. If someone prescribed reading glasses for you, they'd just be less minus than your current distance RX.

It sounds like you're reading near the edges of your lenses, which probably are less strong than the centers. If your new RX is stronger than your old ones, the new lenses will make it harder to see close.

Presbyopia - what bifocals are usually needed for - is really getting less depth in your vision. Where I could see fine close even with my glasses (and my RX is nearly identical to yours) when I was younger, when I hit my 40s, what I lost was depth. I can still see close and far, but now I need different lenses for each distance.

I agree with everyone above who said go see a good optometrist. It makes a huge difference.

Good luck.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 8:05 PM on January 19, 2015

Until you come up with a real solution, you might try just taking your glasses off when you do any extended reading.
posted by metahawk at 11:17 PM on January 19, 2015

It's also possible that your prescription is fine, but your new glasses are defective or otherwise wrong for you, so be sure to have those checked out along with everything else. You don't usually need an appointment for frame adjustments and that sort of thing, so you might not need to wait.
posted by asperity at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2015

Also: if your old glasses are still wearable, you might be better off going back to them while you sort this out.
posted by asperity at 10:58 AM on January 20, 2015

Response by poster: So, I got a re-test with a different optician. The distance prescription is the same. But I have an ADD of +1.25 and +1.50. So, the optician said I was 'too young' for bifocals and got me 'Anti Fatigue Varifocals' instead.

Would someone kindly guide me through the differences?
posted by Wontly at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh, I forgot to add one more thing and would appreciate some help on it:

In the midst of my eyeglasses issues, I noticed I had an underlying problem.

My eyes were flashing at night when I closed them and I had developed a few more floaters but the optician took a picture of my retina and everything was healthy.

Should I still keep an eye on things or not worry much? I have good vision and no ghost images, just slightly sore eyes.
posted by Wontly at 4:55 PM on January 22, 2015

A bit late...but I can help explain. Basically the ADD means that since you have trouble focussing for reading, your reading prescription is adjusted by that amount compared to your normal prescription. Bifocals are a more obvious way of combining the two, with a visible line outlining the reading area. Most people associate this with looking old! With a varifocal the prescription is blended down the lens, from distance in the centre to reading at the bottom, and you can't see the change, so it looks like a normal lens. As blending is a bit of a fudge, the accuracy is focussed on the middle of the lens vertically (more expensive lenses basically have a wider corridor of accuracy), so the edges of the lenses might feel even weirder. To couteract this, practice pointing your nose where you want to look, rather than glancing without moving your head.
posted by london explorer girl at 3:14 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

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