A New Vision
August 8, 2006 8:08 AM   Subscribe

At 43 I just got glasses. They are very odd. How do people live with these? Please help. Lots

So I finally headed over to the eye doctor to get my eyes checked. Everything fine, but I did pick up some prescription reading glasses to deal with some minor eye strain I'd been having.

And suddenly I realize my eyes were awful. The difference is huge. I'm having a hard time understanding how I didn't notice how blurry everything was. Since I spend pretty much the entire day reading and programming, you'd think I would have picked up on that. I felt like my eyes got tired sometimes and things would get a wee bit hard to read, but I must have been in serious denial. How freakin' long has it been like this?

And it's not even subtle. Without the glasses everything within 18 inches is blurry. With the glasses everything is clear. Magazines, websites, computer code, video games. I had sort of figured I'd use them for reading sometimes, but I wouldn't be wearing them at home or at work. So much for that Idea.

But my vision is fine for anything further than a couple feet, so I won't be wearing them for driving and walking around and such. And obviously I can get by without any trouble if I'm not wearing them, but the improvement is so dramatic I don't see any reason for that.

So....... Now I have this silly prosthetic device I have to carry around and keep in good working order. How does one do that? Cleaning? Convenient cases or bags? How does one integrate these stupid things into their life? Is just going without for long periods and having everything burry acceptable in polite society? I don't wear shirts with pockets, and I think they'd get crushed in my jeans. Do I need a new wardrobe to carry these?

Also, I tend to get mild headaches after wearing them for an hour or two. And they sort of make me feel cross eyed. This doesn't get better or worse the longer I wear them. Is that normal? Will that fix itself over time?

Additionally, I didn't spend much time picking out frames since I figured I'd only be wearing them now and then. But it now seems like I'll be wearing them all day. And I spent a not insignificant amount of money on the POS frames I now have. Is it worth going back and buying new frames (not to mention trying on 40-50 pairs while putting up with a salesperson) to get something better? The glasses are extremely light, but they tend to make my nose hurt a little. And the bottom of the frames seem to cut into my vision a bit. This is normal? Or unacceptable?

One more question - I went to Lenscrafters just because it was conveniently located. But I suspect, since it turned out I actually need glasses and a real doctor, that was a bad idea. On the other hand, all they really need to do is have me look into a variety of machines and answer simple questions. Not too complicated. How important is it for me to find something better than a mall doctor and minimum wage sales drones?
posted by Minglet to Health & Fitness (63 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I think Lenscrafter has some sort of time period where you can exchange your frames if you don't like them.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:10 AM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

The headaches and eye-strain will go away over time.

I actually only need glasses for distance (e.g. for driving but not for reading) but I'm absent-minded and they'd get lost just about any time I put them down, so I just keep them on all the time. I find that alot simpler. The bedroom dresser and the bathroom counter are the only place I ever put them down.

I think good frames are important. There is probably an independent optician near you who has better-looking stuff than LensCrafters and can spend time helping you find something that suits you (note: neither of these two attributes are necessary traits of independents -- you might have to try a few places).

I have no idea on how to determine whether one optometrist is better than another. I've never had any trouble with the ones in the store nor those in their own office.
posted by winston at 8:17 AM on August 8, 2006

How does one integrate these stupid things into their life?

Well, first, I'd adjust my attitude: they're amazingly useful tools, not "stupid things," really. But it's definitely understandable how they'd seem odd after 43 years without them. Rest assured you'll adjust and integrate more quickly than you think, particularly if you stop thinking of your new glasses as awful.

Get a hard case to keep them in; they're cheap and will protect them better than a soft case if you leave them on a chair, etc, and will hold up better in whatever attache case or bag you carry. Did your eye doctor tell you the mild headaches were typical at first? If not, ask, but they're almost certainly temporary adjustment thing. I got headaches when I switched to contacts years ago, but they stopped after a while. And cleaning is easy; they don't have that many moving parts and the supplies are everywhere.

Welcome to the club.
posted by mediareport at 8:20 AM on August 8, 2006

If it's still possible to exchange (or return) your glasses, you might check out a pair of Scojo Gels, a super-light, frameless brand of plastic reading glasses. These things are the biz.

Since they're pre-made, you'll have to use a set magnification strength, but that hasn't bothered me a bit. I use 2.0 for reading, 1.5 for computer work.

Treat these glasses (or whatever brand you buy) as another accoutrement in your geek wardrobe, and the hassles will be much more tolerable. Think of them as a new addition to your road-warrior rig. That's what I do.
posted by Gordion Knott at 8:22 AM on August 8, 2006

Make a note of the return/adjustment policy - if the eyestrain and headaches don't go away, you'll want to go back for tweaks - the prescriptions may not be quite perfect.

If you can, have a pair for reading at home, and a pair to leave at work so you don't have to cart them back and forth. Or just have a good case and pop it in your briefcase or whatever bag you use each morning.
posted by canine epigram at 8:23 AM on August 8, 2006

We see a 'real' eye doctor, but use Lenscrafters to buy our glasses. However, I don't know anything about the eye doctors there--they might be perfectly fine. I can't imagine that one could be giving eyeglass prescriptions without knowing what s/he was doing.

I now wear contacts, but when I had glasses, it was, indeed, routine for the frame of the glasses to be in my field of vision. It was really pretty odd, as if I looked straight ahead, or only slightly to the sides, everythign was fine, but if I looked up or down too far, I was looking over/under the glasses and everything was blurrier.

They do take a while to get used to. When I first got them, I was making comments for several days straight like, "Look at the leaves on those trees! I can see the individual leaves!"

I had the same, "How didn't I notice sooner?!" trouble. My left eye was something like 20/300. I think it's just that it's all you've ever been able to see, so you had no clue that things could be much clearer.

Whenever we've bought glasses from Lenscrafters, we've been given a case for them. You really, really want to keep your glasses in a case when you're not wearing them, otherwise you're just asking for scratches. (Also note that there exist much nicer cases than the Lenscrafters freebies, but they work fine.) In terms of cleaning, they make special cleaning cloths and cleaning sprays. I always thought that was all crap, but my old glasses are now so horribly scratched that I can't stand to wear them. I think the cleaning cloth bit is especially important, sort of like how you shouldn't be cleaning your computer monitor with Kleenex if you don't want scratches in it.
posted by fogster at 8:24 AM on August 8, 2006

Minglet, where are you? You might get some good recommendations if people knew that.

Cleaning: soap and water; dry with a cloth towel. Don't use paper, some is abrasive.

You could get some Croakies and hang the glasses around your neck, if that doesn't overly diminish your self-image.

The vision wierdness and headaches will fade, assuming that whoever wrote the prescription knew what they were doing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:26 AM on August 8, 2006

I'm in the same boat. Got my first pair of glasses at 36. Went to an opthamologist for the diagnosis and prescription, then went to Lenscrafters for the glasses. Here's what I have learned.

Glasses are annoying. I only wear mine half the time, so the rest of the time I have to remember to tote them around, or resign myself to squinting very hard to read.

Get a microfiber lens cleaning cloth, these work MUCH better than standard cloths, and do not require water or cleaning solution for a quick cleaning.

Even so, you want to use cleaning solution every day or two. I get mixed advice from different shops. Lenscrafters claims to use isopropyl alcohol, another independent shop says I should NEVER use that to clean glasses (they want to sell me some expensive solution; the ingredients are not listed on the bottle.) My lenses have anti glare coating. Not sure what to use. I have some cheap eyeglass cleaner solution, it works oK.

Get a hard case and use it.

Lenscrafters is VERY expensive compared to the competition (at least here in NYC). Try Costco for a cheaper alternative.
posted by dudeman at 8:37 AM on August 8, 2006

As far as the "real" doctor issue goes - all the Lenscrafters that I've been to have a separate eye doctor for each branch. Yes, they're attached to the store, but they're independent doctors. Mine gave me my perscription because I told him I wanted to buy my frames somewhere else, and he was all, "ok, cool" (basically).

And yes, looking into a variety of machines and answering simple questions (which is clearer, a or b; read the 4th line down; etc) pretty much sums up the eye doctor experience. They can't actually see through your eyes, obviously, so they have to rely on you to say what looks the best.

I've had glasses most of my life - at 6 it was discovered that I was very nearsighted (everything past about 6 inches is blurry). The reason you never realized it wasn't denial, you just never knew the alternative. I still remember the first time that I left the eye doc's with my brand new glasses, and I was absolutely AMAZED at what the world looked like. I still can't put it into words. :) My mom wondered why I never told anyone that I couldn't see, and my reason was the same as yours - I never knew the difference.

One more thing: The glasses are extremely light, but they tend to make my nose hurt a little. And the bottom of the frames seem to cut into my vision a bit. This is normal? Or unacceptable?

This is EXACTLY why Lenscrafters lets you exchange your lenses within 30 days, take advantage of it. Everybody's face and ways of seeing is different, so not all frames or lens sizes are right for everyone. Obviously, the lenses don't completely cover your peripheral vision, so there will be a bit of "cutoff" there, but in a short while, they tiny turn of the head necessary (instead of just moving your eyes while keeping your head still, I'm making it sound more complicated than it is, hahaha) to cover that area will become second nature, and you won't even notice it.

When I got my current glasses a few months ago, I was chatting with the sales lady, and she said that people exchange them all the time, and its no big deal - she even told me the story of a girl who comes in EXACTLY every 4 weeks for new frames, just because she can. She's totally abusing the system, but it's completely legal. You have a legit reason to use this service, so use it.
posted by AlisonM at 8:37 AM on August 8, 2006

You will get used to them. I've had glasses since I was 5 -- everytime I get a new pair, I get disoriented, dizzy and headachy. Like everyone else has said: if the prescription is good, these will go away. They go away faster the more you wear them. I know my sister, who very rarely wears them, still occasionally gets headaches when she puts them on... because she never puts them on.

Cleaning: Lenscrafters would carry an eyeglass cleaning solution. Or, you could just do soap-and-water as suggested above, but I honestly think the cleaning solution does a better job. That could just be me being a tool, however.

Carrying: Well, I just constantly have mine on, but if you feel the need to take them out, pop them in am eyeglass case somewhere where'd you be -- the car, the office desk, etc.

Yup, every pair of my glasses has been in my field of view to some extent. After awhile, if you wear them a lot, you will stop noticing.

Lenscrafters is fine. There's no point going to another eye doctor if the headaches and everything go away in awhile. If they don't go away... that would be a good time to go see a different eye doctor.

Yes, go see if you can exchange your frames. It's worth it. Trust me.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:38 AM on August 8, 2006

As someone who's been wearing glasses for 28 of her 31 years, the eye doctors at Lenscrafters are just fine. As long as the person you went to is helpful and answers your questions you can go ahead and stay with them. They have all the same equipment and do all the same stuff as any other optometrist.

As far as keeping them with you, either wear them all the time or get a couple of pairs and leave one at home and one at work/in your briefcase or purse. Or you could do one of those beaded eyeglasses chains if you like the look.
posted by MsMolly at 8:38 AM on August 8, 2006

This is EXACTLY why Lenscrafters lets you exchange your lenses

Gah! Should have previewed better! They let you exchange your GLASSES, not just the lenses :)
posted by AlisonM at 8:39 AM on August 8, 2006

You could also do what a young friend of mine has done. She only needs glasses for reading, but didn't want to be taking them on and off so often. She had progressive lenses made - clear for the top two thirds and the bottom in her reading magnification. Now she can just go ahead and wear them all the time and not worry so much about losing them, sitting on them etc.
posted by jvilter at 8:41 AM on August 8, 2006

One of two options are possible: your eyes will adjust, or your prescription is wrong. It's much more likely to be Option 1.

Your eyes have been focusing one way for a very long time. Putting lenses in front of them makes them have to work differently than they're used to, and this can cause headaches and that weird foreign feeling. Anecdotally, I bought a new pair of glasses last winter and learned that the focal point had been off about 3mm on my previous pair. I was given the choice to have the new glasses made correctly or wrong-on-purpose to match the old pair. I opted for the correct version, and it took a couple of months before I felt really comfortable in my new glasses and the headaches went away.

The shape of your lenses will affect your vision, too. You'll have the best vision when you look straight through the center of the lenses, rather than glancing through the corners. Round lenses have less distortion than rectangular lenses. Unless you have wraparound safety glasses, there will always be a point at which your vision is cut off on the sides, top, and bottom.

Lenscrafters is fine as long as you feel confident with the optometrist and the person helping you. As with any chain, I've encountered really helpful and really not-at-all helpful people there. (When I couldn't find anything I liked, the saleswoman actually had me try on her own glasses and then had the techs pop out the lenses so I could get a better look. They were discontinued but she found me a pair. Now that's service!) But for the most part I find them extremely patient and they do have very liberal policies - you have 30 days to exchange the glasses as many times as you want or return them outright. And they don't put this on their web site, but the manager told me that you also have 90 days to swap out the lenses if the prescription is incorrect. Also, you can walk into any branch to have your glasses adjusted or cleaned.

You seem to be on the right track. This is a big adjustment, and it may take a couple of months to get used to it. If you really feel that something is wrong, go back and talk with the optometrist. Have them test your vision with the new glasses. They don't want you walking around in the wrong glasses any more than you do, and they should be happy to help you work through this. If not, then it's time for a different optometrist.
posted by hsoltz at 8:42 AM on August 8, 2006

If you don't want to carry glasses around and aren't too hung up on style, maybe you should just buy cheap pairs from one of the several dirt-cheap online providers and leave one pair at work, one at home, and one in your car.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:45 AM on August 8, 2006

The approach I took for being in the "old man glasses club" is this. First, I looked at what happened to every pair of sunglasses I've ever owned and decided the following would help me the most:

1. Got the lightest frames I could and got the lightest lenses I could.
2. Got frames that are Flex-On and hard to casually destroy.
3. Got a hard case that is sacrificial--I go through one to two per year, and that's way cheaper than the glasses.
4. Clean them when I can tell they're dirty or my wife tells me they're dirty. For superficial crud on the lenses, I just don't see it when I'm wearing them (which is why I have reading glasses in the first place). I clean with liquid dish soap and water then dry with a soft cloth.
5. Get my vision checked every two years. Sometimes it helps to tie this even to some other life event or to a 2 year magazine subscription.

I'm on my third Rx and am still using the same frames. Some of the metallized plating has come off from wear, but they're basically straight and have only had one screw replaced. I consider this a success, since sunglasses die quickly in my hands.

Consider getting larger rather than smaller lenses. Half-moon or the current trendy lenses for computer work are not so good. You want to be able to read without tilting your head back. Tilting your head back over time can give you headaches and pinched nerves.

For reading glasses, I can probably get away with using "drugstore" glasses, but I'd rather have something that looks good and is tuned to my vision.

On really long days, wearing the glasses affects my distance vision adversely.

How did you not notice it? Your eye musculature worked harder to try to focus on things. You'll probably notice that your eyes aren't as tired as often. I first noticed that I had an issue when I was asked to look at a circuit board in a "what do you think of this" and I realized that there was no place I could put the board so that I could read the text on the IC. The gods of irony laughed.

Cultivate the ability to look over the top of your glasses at people. It will serve you well. When I was teaching, I found that it could be effective in stopping kids in their tracks.

My biggest frustration is that the glasses that work so well with computers and books suck for playing in a community band, as I often see somewhere between 2 and 4 conductors and I know that there's only one. Pretty sure, at least.
posted by plinth at 8:49 AM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

Oh and my eye doctor is a small town eye doctor and a mall eye doctor depending on the day.
posted by plinth at 8:51 AM on August 8, 2006

Millions of people do it. You'll manage.

I've been happier getting the lightest frames and lenses I can. I keep them in a small, hard case when not in use. I keep a glasses-cleaning cloth in the case. I carry a bag and keep them in them.

Your headaches might be coming from keeping them on for focusing on distant things when looking up from your reading or monitor. I'm nearsighted, not farsighted, and I get a headache very quickly if I don't take my glasses off for near-focusing. Take them off for far-focusing, and you'd be better off taking breaks every 20-30 minutes from near-focusing, taking them off, and focusing on something distant for 20 seconds. (20/20/20 rule.)

If you can afford it, you might find it convenient to get multiple pairs so you can leave a pair at your work computer and your home computer, or other places where you'll typically need them. (Or, if your prescription doesn't change much, you'll find you'll accumulate them over time -- I have.)

If your clothes don't have pockets that can accommodate the glasses, you'll probably want to get some sort of bag. But, yeah, you will want one or another.

It's worth the time and effort to get frames you like, and that fit well. You picked bad frames -- they absolutely should not hurt. If the frame itself is obstructing your vision, I wonder whether you might have your monitor (or other thing you're looking at) in the wrong position -- talk to your eye doctor.

Mall eye doctors are still eye doctors. An O.D. is not a trivial degree to get, and, with no other info, there's no reason to expect some random optometrist outside a mall to be better than one inside one. Ophthamologists are medical doctors who are eye specialists -- they can and do perform eye exams and prescribe glasses, but, for those tasks alone, the difference between them and an optometrist isn't relevant. Their diagnostics might be more thorough (or might not), and there's a chance they'll notice problems an optometrist might miss (but optometrists will notice a lot of things and refer you to a medical doctor if they suspect a problem), but for vision correction, per se, an optometrist is just fine.

And, yeah, welcome to the club.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 8:58 AM on August 8, 2006

some possible solace: glasses on a man are often quite sexy.

And yeah, the eyestrain and headaches should go away soon. I've worn glasses since I was 8 (and contacts since I was 14) and there's always a period of adjustment for me -- I imagine it's quite dramatic for you!
posted by scody at 8:58 AM on August 8, 2006

I have found that the well-advertised eyeglass vendors like Lenscrafters tend to be WAY more expensive than smaller, mom-and-pop establishments. I was shopping for glasses a year or so ago, and called about eight or nine places in my city, and found a smaller place that charged less than half of what Lenscrafters charged.

I asked why their prices were so much lower, and they said they don't accept insurance, and that Lenscrafters is set up to cater to people with insurance --- and sets their fees high, in the expectation that the insurance companies wouldn't pay 100% of the fee. Who knows if that's true, but it made sense to me.

So shop around, you may find something dramatically cheaper than Lenscrafters or similar big-name outfits.
posted by jayder at 9:05 AM on August 8, 2006

Here's my suggestion:

Go to an optometrist's office and get a 'real' eye exam. It might be with an ophthamologist, and that's OK. Before you make the appt, check with your health care to see if eye exams are covered. While you're at the appointment, talk with them about contact lenses. If you're going to wear your glasses all the time anyway, contacts might make it much easier to deal with the transition.

Bring the Lenscrafter glasses with you to the appointment, if you're able to get one within the guarantee period, so you can talk with them about whether to keep or return the glasses.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 9:05 AM on August 8, 2006

I've had glasses since I was 11 or so. You can totally live a happy life without any fancy glasses-cleaning whatnot. Yeah, your lenses will get scratched and you'll have to replace them every few years, but you shuold be replacing them every few years anyway. And if you like the frames, you can just get new lenses.

Also, I'd recommend wearing them all the time. You stop noticing them and it's just easier. I spent years carrying mine around, and while it is socially acceptable to just have things a little blurry, I just got tired of forgetting them.

Finally, if you think glasses are a pain, contacts are worse.
posted by dame at 9:18 AM on August 8, 2006

As others have repeatedly said, the ODs at Lenscrafters are "real" eye doctors. In fact the independent OD I use now was attached to a mall Lenscrafters when I first went to her. She is - and was - very thorough.

Getting progressive lenses as jvilter suggests might be worthwhile.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:22 AM on August 8, 2006

One bit of info following up on jayder's post.

The promotions that Lenscrafters and the chains offer can make up for a higher per-unit cost. I got a prescription pair of sunglasses at the same time I got fitted for my everyday pair, and saved 50% off the shades.

Also, it may not be promoted by the customer service people, but AAA members ( as well as AARP and some other "clubs" ) can get additional discounts at Lenscrafters.

I've been happy with their service, and having a pair of glasses in an hour or two is remarkably convenient. Some instances where I've gone through independent establishments, I've had to wait anywhere from days to a week or two.

Good luck with the transition...
posted by wejones at 9:23 AM on August 8, 2006

I'm very nearsighted, and have been wearing glasses during almost all my waking hours since I was about 13 (aside: this should change in two days, when I get my eyes done).

You'll get used to the peripheral vision annoyance and just stop noticing. As for glasses, my family eye doctor always got his reading glasses at the drugstore. Good enough for him, probably good enough for you. I've always cleaned my glasses using nothing but the hottest water I can get out of the tap.

I did learn, when I went in for my LASIK screening, that it is possible to surgically correct for presbyopia (what Minglet has). They do this by replacing the lenses in your eyes (zoinks). This is an expensive procedure—they quoted me $5000—and obviously a serious undertaking.

Apparently the lenses in your eyes continue to grow all your life (as does your nose), and when you hit 40 or so, they're getting too big so they don't focus right. Replacing them fixes that.
posted by adamrice at 9:26 AM on August 8, 2006

I've been wearing glasses since I was eight years old. Nearly every pair I've ever owned has come from Lenscrafters—the doctors there are reputable, certified optometrists and opthalmologists. I wouldn't discount them as mere "mall doctors"—they're just as good at their jobs as any other doctor might be, but they just happen to be located in a mall (where they probably get more traffic/business than they might otherwise). Lenscrafters is pretty much the only place I'd buy glasses—I'm actually thinking about going back soon to get some prescription sunglasses, since I just got a $100 coupon for their glasses in this week's Sunday paper.

Anyway, if you're going to be wearing them most of the time, you should get frames that will bend outward at the temples when dropped and the FeatherWates lenses that are super-light and strong. Also get one of their hard cases to carry them when you're not using them—Lenscrafters gives them out for free. And yes, you should go through the whole process of finding frames that best fit your features and look good on your face. It's worth the time to go through them—glasses that sit wrong on your face or don't look right will cause you a lot of discomfort in the long run, and can possibly make it so you're not getting the full benefit of your prescription. (Case in point: I don't like to wear my glasses all the way up my nose, as the doctors recommend, because it feels strange. But they've all told me that I may not be seeing as clearly as I could be because the glasses aren't resting where they were designed to.)

And as many have suggested, you should probably just start wearing them most of the time. Rinse them off once a day under cold water (with or without soap, it doesn't matter too much as long as you get dust and splotches off) and dry them with a soft, possibly already damp towel and you'll be fine. (I went for years without regularly washing my glasses, and it was terrible—your eyes will work around spots on the glasses, but you look like a kook. Currently, I rinse them off daily after my morning shower, then dry them with the slightly damp towel I just dried myself off with.)
posted by limeonaire at 9:31 AM on August 8, 2006

For carrying 'em around, you'll definitely need a hard case. If you tend to stay in one place at work, you can leave case open on your desk and perch the glasses in there when you're not wearing them. If you move around a lot, you might be able to hang them from the neck of your shirt by sticking one stem inside your collar (people do this with sunglasses, why not reading glasses?)

I'd worry about dropping them when I bend over, though. I recently got reading glasses myself and those lil' buggers are too expensive to risk scratching or cracking. So I have resorted to the time-honored method of crotchety old ladies: they hang on a cord around my neck. (Your third-grade teacher might have used a chain of pearls or crystals, but mine is a home-brewed piece of ribbon.) I have seen at least one man do this too, using an unobtrusive nylon cord, and it looked fine.

Disclaimer: I am the last person on earth you should listen to for fashion advice, but it beats hell out of wandering around wondering where I left my friggin' glasses.
posted by Quietgal at 9:34 AM on August 8, 2006

And seriously, I've never found the salespeople at Lenscrafters to be dishonest or disreputable or lazy—they train them well, and they should be able to honestly answer any questions or concerns you present them with. Just go back there and explain your situation and treat them with respect and they'll help you out. There are almost certainly millions of people wearing glasses from Lenscrafters out there—the company takes its role as a medical care/equipment provider seriously, I think.
posted by limeonaire at 9:35 AM on August 8, 2006

Unrelated to the question, but, fits part of the thread...

In first grade, they told my Mom that I might need glasses. They took me to the eye doctor and I couldn't see the big E on the eye chart. I never knew any different, so, it didn't seem wrong to me.

A few years ago, when I got a new drivers license, I found out I couldn't read the letters out of my left eye. Turns out, I had a detached retina. I never noticed it since I don't cover my right eye and try to read that often. It's funny how things like that can creep in and you never notice anything is wrong.
posted by jeversol at 9:36 AM on August 8, 2006

Oh yeah, remembered what else I was going to note: just wanted to ditto the comments that essentially say "you'll get used to them." I currently wear relatively small frames, and I never thought I'd be able to get used to the restricted field of vision they offer—but your eyes are remarkably adaptable. Just as they adapted to your screwed up eyesight, they'll adapt very quickly (within a few days) to your new prescription.

One of the more fun things I've found about going to the eye doctor and getting new glasses is that "I'm walking under the floor" feeling that comes from my eyes getting used to focusing in a new way. You're probably experiencing something similar right now—but again, you'll adapt.
posted by limeonaire at 9:38 AM on August 8, 2006

I've been wearing glasses for about a year now (I'm 24), and I asked myself the same kind of questions.

I'm the opposite (i.e. shortsighted) - I drive a lot, and over the preceding few years I noticed that it was getting harder to read road signs, exit signs on the motorway, that kind of thing. I went along to the opticians and unsuprisingly they told me I needed glasses.

Now, I've never had a problem with the idea of wearing glasses, and I thought the same as you - "How do I make sure I don't break/scratch/sit on them?", so I pretty much wear mine all the time unless I'm sat at my desk for any substantial length of time. But (again, like you) wasn't prepared for the odd things it did to my vision and my perception of things...

* help, I'm going crosseyed! Wow. It felt like I was looking in a funhouse mirror. Distant objects were fine, but looking at anything closer than a few feet felt like I was on drugs. Imagine trying to focus on the end of your nose - that's what it was like.

* everything looks squashy!. Equally bizarre, with my glasses on, everything appeared to be slightly smaller. Even odder, when I took my glasses off, it was like I'd grown an extra few feet.

The good thing though is that this has gone with time. I can quite happily swap between having them on or off and not feeling like I'm having a bad trip. It's fortunate because when I'm sitting watching TV in an evening I prefer to without my glasses on, despite being able to see it better with them on. So don't worry, it does get better!

Looking after them's a different story. Put simply, I'm clumsy, and forgetful to boot. Where's my glasses? Uh, I don't know. Back of the sofa? No. Windowsill? No. Being used as a toy by a 2 year old toddler? They were. Under the table in the mopbucket? Ah, yes. I lost the cases I was given within about 2 weeks so my glasses get left wherever I put them (if I'm lucky), so hang on to those cases.

I've also found it's handy to keep a small screwdriver close by, because patching these things up becomes something you're accustomed to. Got no screws? My current pair have a handily-bent staple holding the left lens in place...

Cleaning them is always fun, too. The lens cloth went out with the glasses case, so I've had to improvise. I found out at this point that using the bottom of your t-shirt doesn't work (and always seems to create more scratches), but what works wonders is rubbing washing-up liquid on the lenses, washing it off with warm water and then drying it off with kitchen towels.

This probably reads as a ramble. It is, but it's hopefully a newbie's guide to glasses from someone who *is* a newbie to glasses.
posted by robzster1977 at 9:47 AM on August 8, 2006

I forgot to add: Since being a kid, I couldn't wear sunglasses because the glasses resting on my nose irritated me. Not just in a minor annoyance way, but a major help-it -feels-like-my-brain-is-coming-out-my-forehead way. That worried me when I first got glasses, but that disappeared almost straight away.
posted by robzster1977 at 9:52 AM on August 8, 2006

Response by poster: I just wanted to pop in to say that this is all wonderful advice, and probably better than I deserve. Thank you AskMe.

I was feeling a little squeamish about going back to Lenscrafters and demanding they give me new frames after I'd been such a moron by picking these. You've talked me out of that. I'll go look into some new frames.

My main suspicion about Lenscrafters came from the fact that every single person there, including the doctor, before even checking my eyes, asked me whether I was going to get lens or contacts. I'm backing away from that a bit, but am still a bit put off by the assumptive sales environment.

I'm thinking that getting several pair and stashing them here and there is the way to go. I hadn't even thought of that.

I'll probably go for the pricey lens cleaner supplies. I'm already noticing that even the tiniest smug drives me crazy. Since I'm an anti-neat freak most of the time, this will be annoying.

One more annoyance - Now that everything isn't blurry I'm seeing that my monitor needs to be replaced. Damn it.
posted by Minglet at 10:22 AM on August 8, 2006

"Also, I tend to get mild headaches after wearing them for an hour or two. And they sort of make me feel cross eyed. This doesn't get better or worse the longer I wear them. Is that normal? Will that fix itself over time?"

I have a pair of Lenscrafters glasses (purchased over a long weekend when my regular outfit was closed) that do this to me because the prescription is a shade too strong. In my several experiences with them, Lenscrafters has not been particularly careful about measurement and I wind up with a slightly off prescription and less-than-satisfactory lenses as a result. I'd suggest going somewhere a bit more reputable for measurement, and then purchasing glasses wherever you like.

I'm myopic -- everything's fine within about 18 inches, but outside of that the world is sort of a foggy blur -- so my experiences and sources of eyestrain may or may not match up to yours.
posted by majick at 10:43 AM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

Minglet, the exams and prescriptions are different for glasses and contacts. They need to know which one you're getting so that they can examine you for the correct thing, and write the correct prescription.
posted by occhiblu at 10:44 AM on August 8, 2006

I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend that you consider getting relatively expensive glasses. We're talking about what is going to be your most often worn and most immediately visible accessory. People will associate your glasses with your face, and with your personality; they will show up in photographs of you that don't even indicate what you're wearing. Your glasses are not a 'silly prosthetic device.' They are your new best friends. They are enabling you to get on with your life, and they deserve your respect. It is possible to find glasses that you enjoy wearing, because you like the way they look on your face. My glasses are Guccis and the frames alone cost over $700. I love them and I get compliments on them all the time. Probably the best investment I've made so far.

Yes, you might find great glasses at Lenscrafters. You might also find great shirts at Sears, but you wouldn't shop there for something you're going to wear every day just because the store is convenient to you. At this fragile stage in the development of your eyeglass aesthetic, keep an open mind. Drop by a serious eyeglass boutique, just to check out the styles, try some on, and get a sense of what's possible.
posted by bingo at 10:51 AM on August 8, 2006

Unless you're like my SO who loses things incredibly fast, I ditto bingo -- my glasses+frames are expensive and worth every cent.

I use Flexan frames because they're indestructible (I can literally tie them in knots) and the latest, lightest lenses with anti-reflection coatings etc., because they're just better to see (and be seen) with.

As far as getting used to them -- I've worn specs for fifty years, and it took me a month to get used to my latest change (progressive lenses, for age-related near-vision difficulties.)
posted by anadem at 11:38 AM on August 8, 2006

re: cleaning

When I first got glasses, the advice I got was to use water and dish soap, but these days that can remove some of the fancy coatings on the lenses.

My optician gives me free lens cleaner (and free refills).

Either way, the advice I've been given is to clean the glasses by spraying on the cleaner (or applying the soap) and rubbing it around with my fingers (e.g. with the lens between my thumb and forefinger), not the cloth. The cloth is used for drying, not cleaning. What I've been told is that with the cloth, you're more likely to grab a piece of grit and scratch the glasses with it -- while with your fingers it gets pushed away like with a squeegee.
posted by winston at 11:45 AM on August 8, 2006

I've worn glasses since I was in sixth grade (though I mulishly refused to wear them all the time until I was in high school) and I've noticed something surely fashion-related: lenses have gotten steadily smaller over the years. (I'm now 35.) I don't mean the lenses themselves, obviously; the part of the frames where the lenses go are smaller, hence the lenses have to be smaller to fit in. This means my corrected peripheral vision has been shrinking every few years, and I have frames creeping into my field of useful vision.

Every 3 years or so I get a new pair, and it never ceases to amaze me: unless I want their generic square-lensed geek frames, whatever I choose is going to be smaller than my previous pair. Last time I thought I'd be smart and get the type where the frames go only along the top of the lenses; the sides and bottom are just the edge of the lenses, no metal. Smart: now instead of frames in my field of vision, I have fuzzy glowing lense edges prisming light through my field of vision.

I'm assuming this is a fashion trend, and it HAS to reverse someday, preferably before I die. If it doesn't, soon you'll be able to use your contact lenses either in your eyes or in your eyeglass frames!

All of which is just to say: you WILL get used to your frames' incursion upon your field of vision. I've been wearing my current pair for three years and I'm fine with them. (But I'm not looking forward to going in soon and choosing new ones.)
posted by gillyflower at 2:07 PM on August 8, 2006

I have worn glasses for 36 of my 41 years, and only just recently discovered the wonders of micro-fiber cloths for cleaning them during the day (you'll want to wash them every day or two, and the Zeiss alcohol lens cleaner wipes are good two).

I get mine at Big Lots (made for cleaning cars, 2 for $1.95), but they're all over the place now. They will, of course, pick up the oils off the glasses, and you'll need to wash them (or dispose of them, but they wash just fine... alone).
posted by baylink at 2:22 PM on August 8, 2006

Heh, that'll teach you to go and turn 40. I've worn contacts for nearsightedness for 30 years. When presbyopia caught up with me I started buying my reading glasses from the dollar store. I probably have about 2 dozen sets. I don't know where they all are, but no matter where I am, there's always a set within reach.
posted by klarck at 2:50 PM on August 8, 2006

You'll get used to the feeling of the glasses. I've been wearing glasses for...oh dear...almost 20 years now, and I still feel a little off every time I get a new pair. Your eyes will adjust and your ears & nose will forget the frames sitting on them. That said, if in another week they are still bothering you, bring 'em back. They can tweak the frames to sit better and recheck the rx.
posted by radioamy at 3:06 PM on August 8, 2006

Someone above suggested contacts. If you can wear them all the time, glasses are way less hassle than contacts, in my book. Plus, glasses rule! Get good frames and think of it as a style makeover.

You say they were a not-insignificant amount of money -- just for reference, glasses (frames esp) are expensive. If you paid under $150 for prescription glasses it was a good deal. My last pair were around $300 and I counted myself lucky. (Slightly fancy frames, though.) Good ones will last for years and you'll use them every day.

Really, really: Spend some time to pick out frames you like and which suit your face! Bring a trusted friend and try to find a place where the salespeople are adults who know what they're doing. The frames will last for years; you can get new lenses put in them if your prescription changes. They will become a defining part of the way you look. They can lend you style or authority (etc) without people even realizing why. I went with a friend to pick out his first specs just recently; we probably spent 2 hours, but he has gotten a great response from it. People think he looks more professional, women flirt with him more; seriously it is amazing. Time well spent.

If you'll be putting them on and taking them off, get a hard case and *put a sticker with your contact info on the inside.*

If the glasses are pinching your nose so it hurts, that should be adjusted! If they just leave two little weird-feeling patches on your nose, that's ok.

When you have an eye exam, you should always get a copy of the prescription (and write the date on it, if they doc doesn't). If you suspect the prescription of your eventual glasses might be off, as someone suggested above, you can go into most eyeglasses shops and just ask them to check the prescription that's actually in the lenses against your written prescription.

Drug stores sell cheapo reading glasses in set magnifications. It sounds like you got prescription lenses instead -- ie, tailored just to you. If you're concerned about losing them or spending too much, you might see if any of the drugstore ones will work. (Don't switch prescriptions a lot, though, because this will give you headaches again.)

Routine maintenance issues to be aware of:

Cleaning. You've already noticed that the lenses get smudged or pick up bits of dust or dandruff or whatever. As you get used to them you will smudge them less with your fingers. To clean them you can get special sprays or cloths, but in my experience those are not necessary and are just an extra thing to keep track of (tho, pre-moistened lens cloths are handy if you need to wash your glasses in the car). Use plain soap (just a bar of Ivory, not dishsoap and not gel soap with moisturizer) and tepid water. Gently soap the lenses with your fingers, rinse them, and pat dry with a bit of toilet paper. By "pat dry" I mean, use the capillary action of the TP to suck water off the lenses, hardly making any contact between TP and lens. The supplies for this are cheap, ubiquitous, and I have never had a problem with scratching or peeling. I usually need to clean mine at least once a day.

Tilting. Over time (6 months?) nearly all frames will start to "tilt", in response to the way you handle them etc. The right side will end up a little lower than the left, so from the front you look lopsided. They can get quite lopsided without you realizing, since you're used to it. The tilt is quick and easy to fix, though. Stop by any glasses store and they can adjust them while you wait for under $10. Many places will do this for free.

Gunky nose-pads. If you have frames with little clear pads holding the glasses on your nose, over time those clear pads will get gunky from contact with your skin. This takes maybe a year for me, but obviously it will be different for everyone. When the pads get gunky, again any glasses store will be able to replace them in a few minutes for under $10.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:01 PM on August 8, 2006

I've been wearing specs for over twenty years, since high school. Not sure what I'd do if they weren't there. It'd be like missing a part of my face. Tried contacts for awhile, till one day there was a big gust of wind on a dirt path? Surprised my eyes weren't bleeding. Didn't wanna go through that again. Specs are great cuz they're like built in eye protection from cold winds that'd dry out your eyes or specs of gook or flying projectiles, etc., learn to love your specs. No harm or shame in them. Wear'm with pride!
posted by ZachsMind at 4:12 PM on August 8, 2006

Not to second guess your optometrist, but you may only need reading glasses. I had to buy my first pair last year (and after decades of better than 20/20 vision, it was an adjustment, believe me). At any rate, I picked up two pairs of lowest magnification reading glasses, ten bucks each, and a soft glasses case thing which I carry the good pair in (I take that pair to work). I have another uglier pair which I use at home, and don't have to worry about misplacing (alas, I have reached the stage of life where I wander around my apartment looking for the glasses that are hanging on the collar of my shirt). If they break, or get lost, they break. They're easily replaceable.

I am thinking of getting some kind of extremely elegant necklace-y thing, whatever you call it, to attach to my glasses and wear around my neck. Preferably encrusted with jewels.

No, I'm not bitter that I can no longer read without these odd lenses on my face. Sigh.
posted by jokeefe at 4:53 PM on August 8, 2006

Oh yeah-- and what's with this thing where they steam up when the humidity's high? I always thought that was a joke, but no.
posted by jokeefe at 4:54 PM on August 8, 2006

Just wanted to point to all the good answers I got in this maybe-helpful-for-you thread about cleaning glasses.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:37 PM on August 8, 2006

You become accustomed. I hated mine at first (got them in my mid to late 30s.) It's a few years later, and I feel naked now if I don't have them with me. (I can't really read without them anymore) I carry mine around on the top of my head. People also hang them from their collar, or in their shirt pocket. (if you're going to do that, you probably want them in a case, though.)

I agree with those who suggest you get a pair of good frames for daily use. My first pair was cheap, and they barely made it to the next year. I now have two pairs of Brooks Brothers frames (They're not cheap, but I've had the first pair through at least 3 different lenses). Oh, and they're from Lenscrafters, who has always been more than happy to help me with adjustments, etc.

If you do choose to use OTC reading glasses, be careful. They won't be a perfect match, you may get more headaches, and may be putting undue strain on your eyes.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:52 PM on August 8, 2006

The beaded chain/around the neck thingy is called a "croakie", as Kirth mentioned above. Most places all you find are the beaded ones, but outdoors stores (REI, NorthFace perhaps) will sell you ones that are a little less obtrusive.

I've worn glasses for perhaps 40 years (since I was ten or younger). I'm not eligible for contacts, not that I want them. They can be a pain, but the world is a very fuzzy place without them.
posted by lhauser at 10:39 PM on August 8, 2006

Also, I tend to get mild headaches after wearing them for an hour or two. And they sort of make me feel cross eyed.

Do each of your eyes need a very different prescription? Mine do (4.5 and 6.5, I think) - and I had a similar problem with glasses but not contacts. Then one really good optometrist told me that, since glasses are a few inches from the eyes, you have to make some adjustment to the prescription, as opposed to contacts, which are right on the eyes. Glasses made using that prescription were the only ones I could bear wearing.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:11 AM on August 9, 2006

I've had the same experience as Majick. Lenscrafters is not careful about measurement or manufacturing. I've gotten lenses there that didn't match my prescriptions, and had extra distortion built in as well. It's your vision - spend the money on a good optician. You can buy frames online if you really want to save money, but lenses should be fitted and checked by someone who knows what they're doing.
posted by EllenC at 4:43 PM on August 9, 2006

Buy nice frames; something you want to actually wear for most of the day, most of the week. I'd also get a AR coating on your lens.

I've only had mine for a few weeks, and the only problem I had was occasionally feeling like I still had them on, even when they where off.

Ditto on all the comments about the sudden transformation; I guess you get use to blurred vision, so when you put glasses on, oftentimes, it's an amazing transformation. I often dip my head and look over my glasses, and then look through my glasses for a before and after dealy.

Don’t think of them as stupid; that’s half of the battle. And for heaven’s sake see a optometrist.
posted by oxford blue at 4:53 PM on August 9, 2006

Regarding the cross-eyed feeling—whenever you look at something, you feel the tension in your focusing muscles and the convergence of your two eyes. In time, you learn to associate the two. Your glasses have just changed the relationship between those two stimuli, and it takes a while to learn the new association. You might also experience some fun effects when turning your head, for the same reason: For a given amount of neck movement, you're expecting a certain shift of the scene across your visual field, and the glasses don't provide what you're used to. Not to worry; you'll soon be fully comfortable with both the glassed and the glassless versions of the world.

When I want my glasses off and haven't got a shirt pocket, I fold them up and hang them off the front neckline of my shirt. Then again, I use mine more often than not. You might want to invest in a nice belt case for yours.

Don't 'put up with a salesperson' under any circumstances. Get them to tell you your eye size and loan you a catalog that you can peruse at your leisure. If they won't, get them to promise to leave you alone for fifteen minutes at a time. If they won't do that, walk out. Your glasses are going to be a more constant part of your life, and a more crucial part of your life, than practically any other object, and you don't deserve to be hassled while you pick them.

Related: Find an eye doctor who makes you comfortable. For me, that means one who treats me like a person and not merely a pair of eyes, who will explain my prescription to me and do considerate things like make my bifocal optional rather than mandatory, and who doesn't use those awful iris-dilating drops for routine exams. Once you have found a good doc, be a loyal customer.

'Going without ... and having everything blurry' has never presented social problems for me. But it's a pain in the butt not to see something I want to.

As to the frames cutting into your vision, (a) heh, wait till you're in bifocals, and (b) you get more or less vision depending on the height of the glasses. If you want a whole lot, you can get the "Napoleon Dynamite" big square windshields; if you don't, you can get the "hip little librarian" readers that only let you see a couple lines.

Count me on the soap-and-water side of the cleaning debate.

Re jvilter's suggestion of progressives: Before you buy, make dang sure they've got a non-adapt warranty. Bifocals with a line took mere days to adjust to; progressives drove me freakin' crazy and I took 'em back. YMMV.
posted by eritain at 4:37 AM on August 11, 2006

I don't even know if your reading this thread anymore, but I though I'd summarize and give some of my experinces. I've been wearing glasses since I was 7 (that's about 23 years, now). Lot's of people have pretty much said what I would say, but to summarize:
  • Headaches are not uncommon for new prescriptions. I've also gotten earaches from new glass sometimes, which go away after a week or so.
  • Don't let price guide you, if you don't have to. Expensive might mean brand name, but more often than not it means quality.
  • Same for lenses. Anti-reflective coatings and high-index lenses (maybe less so if your eyesight isn't as bad as mine) really are god-sends. In fact, if you have choose between awesome, but expensive frames and anti-reflective coating, I would go with the AR coating.
  • If you do have really bad eyesight, larger lenses will introduce more distortion. This may or may not bother you.
  • Microfiber cloths are the greatest invention in history, but I only use them to polish out the streaks, after I've cleaned them (with soap and water) and a chamoi (yes, for cars). Ideally, you do that every day, but I'm lazy.
  • I've never worn contacts, but I live in New Mexico, and everyone I've talked to who's tried to wear contacts in a dry climate has told me that it's just not worth it. Way too uncomfortable.
  • The quality of the optometrist and the quality of the frame store are orthogonal. I think most states require optometrists to give your prercription upon request. My latest one gave it to me without request while I was still sitting in the chair.

posted by dirigibleman at 10:55 PM on August 12, 2006

My first pair of "computer glasses" were expensive, custom-ground to my prescribed near-vision correction. I later asked my opthalmologist if inexpensive reading glasses would accomplish the same thing. He said yes, and that my correction was almost the same as a +1.5 reading lens. I picked up a couple of Walgreens pairs for occasional use & one slightly nicer set from LensCrafters for the office, and scattered them around my habitats. I don't much care how they look, as I only wear them when I'm reading or something, and whip them off to talk to people.

If you stick with prescription lenses, don't put up with headaches for very long. That can indicate that the lenses were ground wrong, which is not uncommon. The strength can even be correct but if the angle is off it'll bend your brain something fierce. <hearsay> I think 20/20 or 60 Minutes did a show on this, and found that something ridiculous like half of all the glasses they ordered were significantly off < / hearsay>.
posted by Tubes at 11:47 AM on August 16, 2006

I was prescribed glasses when I was 8 years old, and after 2 years of hating everything about them, my parents let me switch to contact lenses. I loved how comfortable they were (until I got astigmatism), but I've known many who have issues, some just from the mere idea of having to touch their eyeball. It may be worth a shot though, if you don't live in a dry climate (echoing dirigibleman's comment). Now that I've been diagnosed with astigmatism and require fancy-shmancy (read: expensive) Bausch and Lomb contacts for the comfort and fit, I may get a pair of glasses for the evenings anyway. So this thread has lotsa good advice for me.... thanks :)
posted by Menomena at 6:29 AM on August 18, 2006

I've been wearing glasses since I was a little kid. Here are some pointers.

#1: even when you've been wearing glasses most of your life (as I have), a simple change in prescription means a few weeks of headaches and "is this right? this can't be right" feelings. Just as your eyes (and brain) had adjusted to your poor eyesight, you will adjust to these glasses and sooner or later you'll stop noticing them. Hard to believe at this point, but true.

#2: if you really find carrying them around and taking care of them aggravating, have you considered contact lenses? I personally find the care and effort of contacts to be a drag compared to glasses, but many people feel otherwise, and perhaps you will too. No frames to distract you, no nose-pinching, and so on.

#3: if you don't want to carry the glasses case around, make sure you put your glasses down on the arms, not the lenses; you'll avoid scratches this way.

#4: if your frames are uncomfortable, it's absolutely worth it to go back and change the frames, and/or make sure the frames are fitted properly. Think of 'em like a good pair of shoes; the first time you buy a good pair, it takes a long time to find something you like that also fits well, but eventually you learn what works for you and replacements in the future are a no-brainer. Gotta get it right the first time, though, and you don't want to walk around in ill-fitting shoes that you think are ugly.
posted by davejay at 8:54 AM on August 18, 2006

i wear glasses as well about a yr now and im 44 and they can be a pain but are part of life now and you kinda get used to having to wear them ...do suggest cleanin daily unless u unlike most dont sweat or ever touch em adjustin them to see better cause many times stress can be for me on them when they got dirty and ya being lazy and seeing thru dirt vs cleaning the suckers so learn from others mistake and cleaaaaaaaaan them often :)
posted by SlyDaCat at 5:19 PM on August 20, 2006

oh should add i have bi-focals so reading glasses on bottom and long distance on top and as few other post mentioned the turning head alot to see as well as for me moving them UP when tryin to see things better cant read etc ...i have had neckstrain and headaches way more often due to sitting here and looking at he ceiling to be able to see thru bottom of lens "magnifier part" and ya head isnt like used to be slapped back just to see so end result is a sore neck and unable to see sleep cause of ya eyes only get worse when no sleep.....btw i liked that men are sexier with glasses comment
posted by SlyDaCat at 5:28 PM on August 20, 2006

don't get too close to hot food while you wear them, or everything will suddenly fog up and you'll look dumb.
posted by wumpus at 5:01 PM on August 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

SO the eye doctor (which is the ordinary name for ophtalmologist) most probably gave you a piece of paper on which he wrote the kind of "correction" your eye needs , which is a few numbers the lens maker must use to make your lenses. It's easy as one 1-2-3 and it's old tech so it's hard to have errors in numbers or in lens production.

Now there are many parameters in lenses, but not many THAT important to warrant spending A LOT of money of them, so don't get suckered into getting many useful options , get the ones you couldn't absolutely live without.

Now for the frames : I have been wearing glasses for the last 20 years and the very best are Frameless Glasses I don't endorse that company nor know if they are good or bad, but that is the KIND of frame you want...it is slightly more fragile then framed glasses, but nowhere as fragile as they might seem.

The advantages are : they weight next to nothing (which is good if you wear them for long periods of time) and they don't have that frigging annoying frame around the lens. Not surprisingly they can be rather expensive, but don't be suckered into buy $300-400 ones....$100-150 with lenses should be a fair price.

As for cleaning and maintenance : they are best cleaned with a piece of fine cotton cloth or even better with that kind yellowish skin one used to clean and dry cars at carwash. I usually clean the lenses of my frameless with ordinary handwashing soap , water and dry them with disposable paper, toilet paper or whatever handy and not too rough..I don' have a single visibile streak on them and been wearing the same for last 3 years.

Consider that in the future your eyes may change again, so plan a visit to eye doctor once a year ; at the same time you want your eye-doctor to control the "pressure" of your eye..which is a totally painless test, done in less then a minute, that (according my doctor) is used to prevent bad damages to eyes like glaucoma, which can turn your blind little by little without you noticing anything..unless you are "lucky" and start seeing black spots (which isn't a good thing to see !)

You may need to change your lenses again in the future, but at the point you will just demand to have the new lenses mounted on the new frame if possible (and most of the times it is)
posted by elpapacito at 6:40 AM on August 30, 2006

Reading glasses are very different from 'seeing glasses' -- I have worn glasses since grade two, and I'm still having trouble with the reading glasses.

Make sure you get a good fitting pair of frames (that sit on your nose properly) or you'll be fiddling constantly.

Everyone has given great advice -- the only thing I have to add is that if you get coated lenses (anti-glare, anti-scratch) DON'T clean them with Windex or another glass cleaner -- it will take the coating off and render them useless over time.
Drugstores sell little spray bottles of glasses cleaner; these are cheap and work fine.
posted by jrochest at 1:49 PM on September 18, 2006

I am a happy customer of www.eyefatigue.com - they sell the lowest-power (0.25 "computer") glasses I've seen anywhere, and they're lightweight and rimless. At $25/pair, I bought three pair, have one at my bedside, one at my desk, and one in my backpack. Most people "suffering" from gradual age-induced far-sightedness probably don't need stronger lenses for a few more years. These things are perfect for my 40-year-old eyes.
posted by dylanjames at 5:05 PM on September 27, 2006

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