Two different optometry prescriptions - does this equal disaster?
February 1, 2016 10:57 AM   Subscribe

After 35+ years of spectacle wearing I've decided to give contacts a go. So at my latest optometry visit I asked the specialist about it and she said it was possible. However It seems that, here in Turkey at least, I am not able to get a lens strong enough for my left eye. So the specialist has written two different prescriptions.

The right eye is the same for both, but for the left eye
Glasses: Spherical +1.75 Cylindrical -3.25 Axis 145
Contacts:Spherical +1.75 Cylindrical-2.75 Axis 150
When I asked if I shouldn't get both glasses and contacts as the same she insisted no. Is this going to work? Can my eyes and brain really deal with looking through different lenses?

My plan was if contacts went okay to wear them most of the time and just have glasses for when my eyes got irritated or tired. If they weren't so great I would just have them for 'vanity' moments, such as a night out when I don't want to wear glasses but would like to be able to see in focus.
posted by Megami to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Best answer: That you aren't allowed to get a particular prescription is weird, but I've had different glasses and contacts prescriptions for years and my eyes/brain have not had a problem with it.

My left eye is a lot worse than yours (I wear a -9.00 in my glasses), but the doctor said that getting a prescription that strong in contacts would be hard on my vision. I don't understand the mechanism behind that idea, but I can tell you that switching from contacts to glasses and back has not caused any eye troubles for me.
posted by 256 at 11:13 AM on February 1, 2016

I have worn both over the years and have not always updated my glasses when I have had a new prescription for my contact lenses. It causes no problems.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:21 AM on February 1, 2016

Best answer: I think it's pretty common to have slightly different glasses and contact prescriptions. I think it's because the lenses work slightly differently when they're placed right next to your eyes, as in contacts, from when they're a little bit away, as in glasses. My prescriptions are slightly different in one eye and the same in the other, which may have to do with the fact that I have a little bit of astigmatism in one eye and not the other.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:21 AM on February 1, 2016

Best answer: I have terrible vision and wear contacts most of the time, but glasses at night or on the rare day off when I don't leave the house. My eye doctor has told me that the prescriptions are different because of where the lens is located -- you need a stronger prescription for glasses because they're farther away from your eye, whereas a contact lens is sitting directly on your eyeball so your prescription is not as strong.
posted by jabes at 11:21 AM on February 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

My prescriptions are different and cause me no trouble at all. I make a point of wearing the glasses if I need that last little bit of visual acuity.
posted by hollyholly at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2016

Best answer: My glasses prescription and contacts prescription are different, and each eye has a wildly different prescription. You should be fine. If not, talk with the optometrist about that.

A tip for a new contacts-wearer with astigmatism: look for the marking on the lens when you're putting them on. Making sure the mark's pointed down saves some time waiting for the lens to fall into the proper position. Nobody ever told me about that one, and it makes contacts-wearing life much easier! (And believe them when they tell you to apply the lens with clean hands, and take the things out if your eyes feel the least bit irritated.)
posted by asperity at 11:43 AM on February 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Not only do I have different contacts and glasses prescriptions (due to distance from eye to lens), I also voluntarily choose to have my contacts made as straight minus power instead of adjusting for my mild astigmatism. And when I got my glasses prescription updated recently, There was an additional -0.25 which can't be made in contacts (only come in 0.5 increments) but the optometrist was fine with me continuing to wear my old contacts.

In my case there's a bit of an adjustment period to the new prescription, especially as I wear my (daily disposable) contacts very infrequently, but it only lasts about 2 minutes.
posted by serelliya at 11:47 AM on February 1, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the quick and reassuring replies - I will go ahead with the two different scripts.
posted by Megami at 12:53 PM on February 1, 2016

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