~Hate my progressive eyeglasses….

January 12, 2009

Hate my innovative eyeglasses….

“You kidding me – only THREE words?”

That’s the title and six words story for speed readers and busy writers. Let your imagination carry you away. See 2008 reviews on 5 women’s fiction novels.

Expounding…..eye strain and reading glasses.

UPDATED – The eyeglasses were returned and remade, not once but three times.  The final return now awaits a refund.  But my eyes stopped hurting and turning red.  Even a second prescription reading did not show that I needed any changes though.

But — this is all about the progressive eyeglasses.

Customer opinionated rant ahead.

Ever noticed a person reading and their head is loose? They wobble on their chair like reacting to quick-shooting sensations?

I thought it was a muscular disease. I have been there and back.  I empathized. But perhaps I am at the bottom of it. Stay with me now.progressive multifocal lenses vision

Three weeks ago I ordered new bifocals. They told me about a new-fangled reading glasses combo. Progressive mutli-focals. These have a bifocal definition on the bottom of the lens for the arm-length distance computer screen or store shelf. The half-lens above is for driving, watching birds, seeing individual snowflakes in the garden.

I loved both those focals, loved them.

Then it was time to read.

This is where the reading corridor is used, the tiny hourglass shape in the center of the entire lens.

large print books reading eyestrainI am an author. I read all day. Books. Computer screen a foot from my face with bifocals on to see clearly. Much eyestrain. A real neck cramp, but I do it. That is why I was excited about the new-fangled reading hourglass in the center of my new multifocal glasses. Just in time for the twenty book reading spree research before my next novel on Lindsay, Gooee, and Heather Laurel’s story behind Jesus and the Essenes. omgoodness! I was so happy.

Open book to read. There is no focus. All blurred.

What did they tell me? You gotta point your nose at what you want to see.

Hmmm…..

Fifteen minutes of pointing my nose like a Brittany spaniel and I figure it out.

I am able to see three words in large text. Five words in small text. All I can read at a time in new-fangled lenses. The rest is distorted, not just blurred. Distorted. Page is like a wave of paper if I don’t move my head. I say to me, these are good for reading with Amazon Kindle books or my ebooks for Blackberry. Not book books.amazon-kindle-books-spirituality

I call optometrist’s office. They again mention this might take a few weeks to adjust. I don’t have a few weeks. I am cramming. Well, come back tomorrow and maybe the lenses can be tilted.

I try all day to do it right anyway. Had been so excited, you know. Headaches, neck ache, nausea would fade with new glasses. Now I am tense. Neck pain. Now I walk like Johnny Dep on Pirates of the Caribbean. Feel drunk too. And carsick.

Tomorrow comes. Office manager explains that she is on her fifth pair of new-fangled before finding an improved, less distorted patent that works for her. She put me in THE ONE that works for her to spare me.

Me: I am not spared. Show me again what it is like to read in these things.

And she reads down the page of a book, head shaking all the way.

hate-my-new-eyeglassesMe: So you are not kidding. I will only be able to read three words on one line at a time with these. I cannot rotate my eyes alone to read the line above or line below. I have to move my head up and down. And I have to move my head left and right to see the left of the line and the right. Reading a wide-page will be rocking fun. Whee, large print novels, fun!

She: Yes, that’s the way they are. Like we told you, they take getting used to. You have to point your nose at what you want to read.

Me: Point your nose at it! What that means to me is point your nose at the BOOK! Point your nose at the cereal box. Point your nose at the up-close computer monitor. Not the three words you want to read.

She: Point your nose at the words.

Me: I just want to be certain we aren’t missing something here. I will never be able to read more than three to five words on one line again without shaking my head side-to-side as I propel my head up and down over the page for as long as I shall live? Right?

She: Ninety-eight percent of our patients order the progressive lenses. They adjust and like them.

Me: That’s bull. No one likes this.

She: There are several manufacturers. These have been around twenty-five years. They are much improved.

Me: I cannot imagine. Some things are better off left unimproved and this was obviously one.

I further assured the office they needed to be more specific with their patients about what their noses needed to point at. Three words means three words. That no one wanted to live like this and I would not. That the 30-day return policy with no refund on the new-fangled lenses was not acceptable. That I wanted bifocals, so re-measure me anyway. Right, you read it right. My insurance company paid $145, I paid $105 for the new-fangled progressive-type multi-focals at a discount. But I sent them back for regular bifocals and will not be refunded. They are doing me a favor for giving me the thirty-day option to adjust and return. Their deception on an inadequate product, I pay. They? The techs, office manager, optometrist, lens manufacturers, and patent holders get paid. Do you want to guess where these patents were developed? I’m not saying it.

I am reading with bifocalsNow I ask you, the readers, oh, and the writers of books — we who have our head in words all the live long day. What do you suppose we will look like when we are ten or twenty years into this new-fangled phase of living in our new-fangled reading lenses? Our heads shaking loose on our necks whether we are reading or not. Our entire bodies with this swivel-bob motion. Going…. Uummmmm…… where is that word again? What line was I on? Like… like… well like wobbly elderly people who sometimes lose their stability and have earned that wobble. Only we will be thirty and fifty years old and wonder why.

Now the newer version – the multizone bifocal – is supposed to be superior, studies say.

Footnote: Not an attempt at humor or sarcasm. If you are doing an Internet search for Progressive Multifocal, the information on this page is not to be confused with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) a deadly disease when the myelin sheath for nerve cells is destroyed which impairs nerve impulses, causing weakness, paralysis, vision loss, impaired speech, and cognitive deterioration, similar to multiple sclerosis. See Wikipedia, for one, and I am sorry you are dealing with this in your family.

People who are sick and in pain need laughter, smiles. I suggest Gracie: The Freezing Fake Lady Bug. Or I hope the neighbors weren’t watching. (Family-rated.) Also Don’t worry, Papa, I’m just thinking about it.  The last one is one of many stories on my skunk blog, Pet Skunk  Medicine here on WordPress. These are a few some good short stories for your family.  Essa

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71 Responses to “~Hate my progressive eyeglasses….”

  1. Bill Fabrey Says:

    I do prefer old fashioned bifocals, with separate reading glasses which I also use for the computer monitor. Based on your writing, I sure won’t be trying that type!

  2. essaadams Says:

    Yes, I have an appointment with the optometrist again this week. Seems even my bifocals are awry, strained feeling then pain in my right eye when I take the glasses off. Never had this before even w glasses that were not the right prescription. My librarian says she loves her progressive lens and does not need to swivel her head all day long. The doctor has some explaining to do now, no more office manager.


  3. I don’t even try to read in my bifocals because I’m bobbing my head constantly. I have a separate pair of prescription reading glasses.

  4. essaadams Says:

    Yes, the reading glasses are on order now. Life has never been so complicated as since I ordered the progressives and tossed them back at the optometrist.

  5. Anna Says:

    I got my progressive glasses yesterday. My husband asked me why I was crying. Like you, I only have 3-5 words in my “reading sweet spot.” I feel so ripped off! I trusted these people with my vision and money (doctor and optician) and all they saw was a sucker walking through the door.

    Since I started researching online I realize the problems I am having (exactly like those here) are typical. I was never asked about my reading habits and the narrower vision area for close up vision needs was never explained to me by my doctor, nor by the optician.

    Prescription reading glasses will be my next purchase. I’m only doing that because my eyes are different prescriptions; otherwise, I would just stick with my cute OTC reading glasses.

  6. essaadams Says:

    I wonder how many really do not like their progressives but are just stuck with them? I am using bifocals now and need reading glasses for simple reading and monitor, it’s the only way for me. And yes, I felt completely ripped off. The optometrist did honor my change because, as he said, he was the one who suggested them to me. At least that was something.


  7. I just got progressive lenses, three days ago. I hate them. I was asked my reading habits and I explained that I use the computer extensively. So it was suggested I try progressive lenses in order to save on neck strain I was having with bifocals. I thought that sounded great. Now I can see about 5 words at a time with a blur around the edges like I have film on my eyes. I called my optomitrist and was advised I can have them redone into bifocals at no extra cost. Thank goodness I only have to go 100 miles and waste a full day on this, then wait another two weeks to be able to see clearly. I am so angry and agitated. Did they talk me into these because they really thought they were best for me or because they cost so much more than bifocals. I fell even less confidence in the medical field than ever. I think they should pay for a pair of glasses just for the computer because they told me oh you will adjust in a couple of days. They lie. How the hell do you adjust to a reading field of two inches? I am livid.

  8. essaadams Says:

    Exactly!!!! I was so angry I ranted for forty miles home – there was no turning it off. I was treated badly when I took them back the very next day. They seemed to think i should give the progressives two weeks for me to adjust. Now when I pushed through the staff and management to see the optometrist a second time, he was accommodating. I am still using bifocals and will have my new flat monitor moved up into a corner so I can relieve my neck pain and hunching. Good luck with finding your answers.

  9. debbie Says:

    I found your blog searching for info about these darned progressive bifocals. I have had them three weeks and went back to the doctor yesterday who reassured me, that YES! you are only going to be able to read a few words at a time. That the outer edges will always be blurry. I wish I had been warned. I hate them. I am a librarian, I need to be able to read. I have complained for three solid weeks. She did offer to change them into reading lenses for me, but I cannot afford two pairs of glasses. Glad to know I am not alone.

  10. essaadams Says:

    You are definitely not aone and from what I hear is the optometrist and staff and not forewarning patients what to expect. I was told to give them two weeks to adjust and never told what to expect. LOL they were quite put off that I was back the next day and mad as a wet bee. But I am an Aries, what can I say.

  11. ashley Says:

    I wear progressives and i can read with them fine, i see more then three words its like i’m reading without them on i don’t even notice anything, they do take time to get used to they are weird at first but give them a week and they are fine!
    I don’t know where you got your glasses made but there are alot of different kinds of progressives, but they don’t allow you to just see three words at a time that is just crazy, they had to of cut out your reading perscription..

  12. Charles Ellmaker Says:

    I just got progressive lenses (at huge cost) and they are horrible. The “reading” portion of the lens is the tiniest sliver at the bottom of the lens. I practically have to tilt my head toward the ceiling to look “down” at my computer screen. Having to move your entire head around to see different parts of a book or a monitor is completely ridiculous.

    The optometrist knew that I used a computer all day and said nothing. What a disservice.

  13. essaadams Says:

    I have been told by insurance at hubby’s work that the company cutting prescripts is doing a poor job of it and that may be the problem. But too many others have told me the progressives like I had at first are not what they bargained for at all, even after adjusting for months. I am glad I opted to go back to the bifocals and a reading pair simple and easy. Thanks for writing, good to hear some like theirs, *_* no all hopeless then.

  14. essaadams Says:

    That is exactly what I said. We at least got the money back. Do you know I have been so busy writing and developing my business websites I have not gone to fill the prescription elsewhere, but I will soon.

  15. Steve-o Says:

    Wow, and I thought it was just me. I’ve had my ‘progs’ for about a month and a half and I’m not liking them very much. If money were no object, I’d just go and get LASIK, get some prescription readers and be done with this. alas….

  16. Sarah Says:

    My glasses from my former optometrist are awesome. Computer glasses he called them. I can see to read with them and I can see the entire computer screen. After we moved 400 miles away to a small town, I went to a new optometrist and was very excited to order a flashy new frame with what I was assured would be a progressive lense for computer use. They were horrible! I could only see the center of the computer screen and the rest was out of focus. I had them remade and they are still horrible. Now I can’t even pinpoint an area that I can see clearly. I hope to return them, these $200 pieces of garbage. I guess I’ll be making a 400 mile drive once a year to the optometrist. I’m now wondering if there is an actual name for these miracles of technology that my former optometrist created. I’m relieved but frustrated and a little sad that so many people have had a similar experience. Why is this happening when so many people spend so much time using a computer? It seems there should be a standard formula to follow. (I had LASIK for distance vision in 2001 and have just in the last three years needed reading glasses.)

  17. essaadams Says:

    I want to drive to your former optometrist too. Do you know I am still wearing my former bifocals. All that energy and time spent to get three pair done and left with the ones that I felt needed replaced months ago. But they ar better than what I got. haha. I have been so busy with starting business – all computer work – and no time to go after another pair yet. But I am drinking lots of noni which is what corrected my eyesight to 20/20 several years ago when I had been very ill and used noni to get well. That is another blog, but the noni is helping or I could not use these bifocals w/o a headache. I used Morinda noni before and am using Neways noni now. Link to right to read about that or email if curious. It really worked then, had three tests to prove it. Hoping it will work now all the way too. But I am much older. *_*

  18. Jean F Says:

    I have computer glasses with antiglare coating for the computer, reading glasses for reading and bifocals for walking around. All three of those are cheaper than one pair of progressives. My eye doc (a neuro-opthomologist) assured me that progressive lense cause nausea and, in some cases, even seizures and that I should avoid them.
    Computer glasses are called computer glasses, they are simply adjusted to give you optimum vision at the viewing distance of the computer screen. Any doc should be able to prescribe them, its simply a matter of determining where the computer screen is relative to you and doing some simple math (mine are adjusted for a bit closer because I use a laptop, my roommate uses a desk top and has computer glasses made for that). There is a standard forumla. If your current doc does not know it, they’re completely incompetent.

  19. greg Says:

    I use my eyes extensively in my line of work. Opthomologist suggested progressive lens by Zeiss. Very expensive? Who made your lens. I am disheartened by all od your experiences. I thought that I could get away from multiple pairs of glasses.

  20. Barb Says:

    Wasn’t sure what was on this page but when I read the article above I got a good laugh – one that was needed! I am trying trifocal progressive lenses for the second time. The first time was several years ago. I have motion sickness and could not adjust then at all. My optomotrist told me that the progressive lenses are “new and improved” but that it might take me two weeks or so to adjust. Well, I can’t make it that long. First of all, they make me nauseous and I feel like I am drunk or something when I wear them. LOL! Then I can’t believe that the bifocal is only like an inch or whatever. I can only read a few words at a time and I am on the computer a lot as I am a Word Processor. I keep trying to wear them when I am on the computer, only to get frustrated and take them off! I love the look of no lines. But I am going to have to go back to the lined bi-focal. I don’t understand why there is all the distortion on the sides. That is what makes me feel sick! Ugh. They told me that if they don’t work for me I can bring them back and they will replace them, but guess who will be out probably a good $100 or more dollars? They aren’t going to refund any of my money. Never again!

  21. essaadams Says:

    This will stop me from trying them twice. At the time, I am attempting computer glasses. First with off-the-rack pair to see if I will even like them. Then I will find the perfect OD to fit me. I will end up with three pair of glasses plus sunglasses for driving. But at least I can work all day if all goes well. This has all taken forever, but last spring just did me in with three pairs in two months. One gets to wonder what is real and if one really needed new glasses.

  22. essaadams Says:

    When Hubby told the insurance manager at his job what happened, she assured him the OD would not have made a mistake and the lens were made incorrectly. This comes from her experience with others having lens / prescripts coming back wrong. I don’t know because the prog lens were a problem just in being what they are. Seems that after waiting so long, the new lens company that has been assigned to our insurance will be a better bet either way.

  23. essaadams Says:

    All good to know. Thank you for sharing so many details I did not realize.

  24. Jeff Says:

    Here’s one thing to try, it can save you money. It is now possible to mail-order glasses. If you just want to get basic glasses (no funny progressives!) then you can try several websites for different companies. Go to the GlassyEyes blog for more info ….. on blogspot.com

    He’s got ratings of all the online merchants and they’ll help you understand your prescription and how to order online. I just got a new pair of glasses for $20.00, including shipping and clip-on sunshades. These are single prescription.

  25. essaadams Says:

    I’ll take a look at those too. Some love progressive lens glasses, some hate them, but everyone needs a reasonable price on eyeglasses after the prescription is done. That is something else I was not getting from the optometrist. Thanks.

  26. Lexie Says:

    I just got my progressive lenses this evening. I cannot stand them. I have to hold my neck very stiff to see clearly. If I move at all, much of the picture is blurred. I was looking forward to these very much. I now feel that I cannot see both at a distance and when working on my laptop. For over $400, these should be a lot more comfortable. I will keep trying them for a few more days but I believe I will end up replacing them for computer glasses and just keep my distance glasses. (I don’t need reading glasses.)

  27. Roger Dann Says:

    how timely to read this. I am on my third, or is it fourth set of progressive lenses? every time I have returned them after giving them ample time for my eyes to adjust. This time I was persuaded by a new optician to go with these new ‘special’ progressives as they now have solved the problem of a narrow read corridor. Excited to try and immediately disappointed, they don’t get it. $400 this time and going back to lined bifocals. Money and time wasted, its not worth it.

  28. Essa Adams Says:

    The lined bifocals make me crazy because I have to hold my head so the line is not centered in my computer screen. But I CAN read.

  29. Andrea Says:

    I thought I was alone with this problem! Have had my first pair of progressives for 3 weeks now, and hate them – keep tripping on stairs, can’t see the computer, can’t read properly, etc. Just a small section at the top is any use for distance vision. Went back to the optometrist today – he checked my prescription, said it was fine, and therefore was going to have to charge me for the re-check… until I flipped out in front of other customers, then he changed his mind. Just the lenses alone cost me $500, and I have no insurance to cover this. I was told ‘the more expensive the lens, the better the quality of the vision’ – yeah, right! But that doesn’t help me any for now. Next he said that if I tell him what I want from my glasses, he’ll order different lenses – well, duh, how am I supposed to know what I want, apart from being able to see properly? He said to go home and think it over, and see if I’ve figured it out by tomorrow – I don’t even know what he means by this. I’m in despair and totally frustrated. After reading all these posts I’m thinking bifocals might be the way to go, plus some computer glasses – but goodness knows if they will do that for no extra charge; guess I’ll find out when I go back tomorrow, when I’m supposed to have figured out what glasses I want – and all this time I thought that was their job…

  30. eyeglasses Says:

    Great post; I can so relate. One trick that helps with progressives is having a larger than usual lens so that the distance portion of the lens is larger to view out of and same with the lower portion for reading. This will make eyeglasses wearers more comfortable as there is more viewing material. Has anyone notice this too?

  31. Dr. Jayashree Joshi Says:

    First, thank you for sharing your experience and all the advice that would definitely help a new user of Progressive lenses.
    I’m a Physician in India and have been living with a fairly high degree of myopia ever since my teen years and I am now approaching my 60th birthday.
    I caught the Progressive ‘bug’ recently and thought I’d give it a try and got mine delivered to me, last night.
    I knew of course, that it takes time to adjust to Progressives, but I was horrified when I actually put them on!
    For the past few hours, I’ve been reading about Progressive lenses and what users are saying about them (both in favour and against) but nobody, just nobody has been able to write such a comprehensive view of them as you have, on this blog!
    I’m writing to thank you for the advice about ‘pointing your nose’ at the words you are trying to read and also your assurance that one can’t get more than 3 words in focus at a time, without moving one’s head like crazy.
    To this, I’d just like to add that it seems to help to move one’s head back a little, when the focus gets blurred after a while (“while” in my case just a few seconds, still), but I’ve paid an atrocious amount for these glasses and I mean to learn to use them or get used to them anyway, even if it takes me a lifetime to do so!
    That’s the difference, I feel….. Indian professionals who have not emigrated to the West but have chosen to remain in India, continue to believe that Patience is the only option available to us and that it is not merely a virtue.
    So, please wish me Luck and thank you again, for writing your wonderful blog!

  32. Dr. Jayashree Joshi Says:

    I forgot to add… I’ve written the entire comment with my Progressive glasses on, and I know there are going to be a few mistakes, which I hope you’ll excuse me for!

  33. Essa Adams Says:

    Yes, patience is sometimes what one needs. And sometimes to know what one is willing to put up with in the end.

    Yesterday I went for my annual eye exam. The new optometrist was adamant that progressives are horrible and not developed yet. I was so thrilled with her and her assistant, so thrilled. I have computer glasses on the way and have had the chance to ‘try’ on the new lenses right at the office via her little black box of lenses to pop in to the frames. So happy I could dance.

  34. Essa Adams Says:

    i know – until yesterday, I thought i was in the driver’s seat. but my new op is so wonderful and guided me with wisdom. i am very happy to have a professional be able to tell me what I need and will be happy with and why. not sell me on the latest new fangled that will cause issues in my work and life and budget.

    I think you were being told to rethink your needs in glasses, like what do you do the most and if you only have one pair what do you need the most. sounds like bifocals, but you know, I cannot walk well in those, i always did take mine off around the house and when walking all these decades using bifocals. But most are all right to walk in them. I hope you got what you wanted in the end.

  35. Jerre Says:

    This is ALMOST funny — not really! I got my first pair of progressive bifocal glasses almost two weeks ago. I was told that it would take two weeks to get use to wearing them. I can’t stand them and I have tried to wear them. It is very frustrating since I have to end up taking them off. I can actually see better without them than when I wear them to read. They are terrible and I certainly WOULD NOT recommend that anyone get them. I have a thirty day return guarantee and I plan to return them and get my money back within a day or two. They cost me over $300.00 and I was told at the time I purchased them that was half price.

    Very annoyed!

  36. Julie Says:

    This made me roar with laughter. Thank you for describing what these crazy lenses are like and for articulating so clearly how unreasonable it is to expect someone to constantly move their head to read. I’m on day 3 of trying to adjust to these insane glasses. Actually to be more specific, I gave up on day three and went back to my regular reading/computer glasses. I just started an MA in Literature. There’s absolutely no way I can complete my degree reading only 3 words at a time. I’m calling my optometrist tomorrow.

  37. Junior Stallones Says:

    Laptops will revolutionize the country when they are accessible to everyone financially. Think of every man and women, having a personal laptop.

  38. Robin Says:

    I wish I had read your story before getting my first ever pair of perscription eyeglasses. I have repeatedly made the one hour drive to the optomotrist only to be shuffled through the eyeglass assembly line and coming out at the end with glasses that make me feel like I’m viewing the world through the bottom of a fish bowl. I am disgusted at the lack of information I was given and the lack of attention paid to my needs. I was leaning towards just getting reading glasses but now there is no doubt. Thanks for sharing your experience and those of your readers. No more nausea for me, YEAH!

  39. Diena Says:

    I’m currently fighting w/optician to get a NO LINE bifocal WITHOUT the stupid curvy hour-glass part of the lenses, (which is useless, by the way). I know they exist as two ppl in my ofc have had them in the past. Both of these ppl have been fitted with these progressive lenses over the last few years and both of them HATE HATE HATE the progressives. One has completely given up wearing them at all. He got a pair of otc readers and is so happy he can see again! The other person just got her re-fitted glasses back after months and months of wrangling with the opticians ofc. What a nightmare!!!

  40. Optical Directory Says:

    I have personally seen many people want their money back for these progressive lenses. I have a friend who said after being “sold” on these lenses the floor in his house looked warped and he practically had to re-learn how to go down the stairs in his own house! This is probably being pushed by a corporate agenda [read: kickbacks] and they’ll find out in a few years that they screw up your eyes even further.

  41. Joe Says:

    Progressives are a nightmare. Bifocals did not work wither. I am so frustrated. IT was a very costly experiment that I did not ask for.

  42. Essa Adams Says:

    Long story short, the scenario took fourteen months for me to get new glasses becasue I sent back three pair at the beginning. But I am happy with these old-fangled ‘piano-glasses’ that are now called computer glasses. Love them.

  43. Essa Adams Says:

    Junior, I think I will personally be happier without a computer around my neck all day everywhere I go. Computers make me angry too often.

  44. Essa Adams Says:

    I hope you did get your money back. Let us know where you are now, Jerre.

  45. Essa Adams Says:

    You are a warrior! Trying to adjust for three whole days! LOL. I was done in three hours and only ten minutes at a time at that. Insane is the keyword here. They were patented by a Japanese partnership, I believe.

    One day later – oh, hubby reminded me that I decided in one afternoon I would not keep the glasses. They WANTED me to try to adjust for a few weeks.

  46. SobbingLady Says:

    First of all, I’m so happy to hear that I’m not alone. I came across this blog entry while doing a search of “new glasses with progressive lens can’t see to read”…go figure. After months of not being able to see clearly to read (weird swimming/shadowy letters and the like) I went to the optometrist and he informed me that, at the age of 33 *eek* I needed reading glasses because my eyes were pulling inward and then not focusing back out for distance vision. He suggested that I try the progressive lens. He did point out that 1) it would take awhile to get used to and 2) that I would have to turn my head towards things for them to be in focus – i.e. – things in my peripheral would be slightly blurry. Fine, OK, at this point I was desperate as not only am I a book worm (averaging an insane number of books per week and I’d been unable to read comfortably for several months – misery) but I’m also a photographer and jewelry maker and spend a crazy amount of time on my laptop. Needing to be able to see at all distances was important. I picked up the glasses after 3 weeks of suffering with the old glasses and I was so anxious and happy thinking about the possibility of being able to see and do all the work I have fallen behind on. The first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t see in the distance – my old glasses were better than the new ones! Everything looked like I was looking out of a fish bowl. They were adjusted over and over again and the eyejerk retested my eyes and everything and assured me the prescription was fine and I just needed to adjust to them. They kept looking at me like I was out of my mind and being a pain in the a**. After several adjustments I was able to see “better” across the street but not 5 feet in front of me. Things were certainly not clear and crisp and certainly not any better than my old glasses (eyejerk said this was partially because my eyes were “lazy” and used to the other lens. Um…). I proceeded to go to Walmart and ended up crying in the store because my distance vision was so bad – everything was blurry and weird looking and I couldn’t even see to focus on the LARGE isle directory signs. I mean really? Even my older mother can see those without her glasses! I’ve had them on all day today and not only do I have a headache, eye pain but I still can’t see – in the distance, I can’t read the stupid directory on my cable (it’s a small thing but so annoying – the letters are blurry and swim) and yes, I tried to read and I noticed that I could only focus on about a 2 inch section in the middle of the page but even that wasn’t clear of comfortable to read. NO ONE EVER told me I would have to freaking move my head BACK AND FORTH to read! And did any of you notice that the “test” plastic sheet they give you to read is so narrow that you don’t realize this weird outside blur on pages until you try to read an actual BOOK? It would be one thing if I could even see far away but I can’t and there is literally a tiny, small, spec that is in focus and I have to adjust my head just right to even see the computer screen where I’m typing but forget about being able to see the rest of the computer screen – I guess I can forget about working in multiple windows now. And I’m still unable to see the computer screen comfortably without making the font 150% when I used to be at 100% – I mean what is going on?! How is this freaking acceptable? How is it acceptable to have such a LARGE frame of your peripheral vision cut off (like not being able to see my drivers side window – I mean I can see enough not to swerve into someone but I feel uncomfortable). Now, I just want to cry. I’m unemployed with no insurance and just forked over close to $700 bucks for these crappy glasses. I’m not sure a line bifocal would be better or if I should just suck it up and deal with the misery of reading with my normal glasses and deal with eye strain and misery while reading for the rest of my life.
    I am miserable but thanks to your blog I know I’m not the only one out there banging their head against the wall. Now, I just need a solution :(

  47. Essa Adams Says:

    There you have it folks. Another description of what these new glasses can be for some. If you are having issues, it may not be you at all. Ursula (Sobbing Lady) I sure hope they will make this right for you. Perhaps copy all the experiences you find here and elsewhere and take to the ‘eyejerk’ for support of your experience. LEt us know what is happening! Essa

  48. Athena Says:

    I’ve been wearing progressives for over 15 years and there is no way I would switch to bifocals. I’m reading all the time — newspapers, magazines, and books — and I’ve never had the “3 word” problem you mention here.

    I’m glad I got them when I did though because otherwise, I might blame the lense design rather than the FRAMES. The short/wide frames that are so fashionable now are disastrous when it comes to progressives. It’s true that most lens suppliers have special “short corridor” designs but they aren’t nearly as usable as the larger lens designs.

    My priority has always been on vision acuity. I spent 2 tortuous years with a short frame as my primary glasses and just went back to the large ones I prefer (50mm round). I hardly ever use the special computer glasses I got when I moved to a shorter frame anymore.

    I’m happy to hear that you were finally able to get something that was more comfortable for you but I think your rant was misdirected.

  49. Patricia Nyquist Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for describing your experience. It matches my own bad experience with progressive lenses and reading. I am an English instructor at a university. I read for work and I read for life. I do not read two or three words at a time; I read, probably as most serious readers do, in a sweeping, holistic way, and so when I lost this ability, I began to experience something like depressed resignation at the new world I was living in–a world in which I could no longer enjoy the pleasures of reading, of seeing a whole page of words and taking them in, of enjoying typeface choices and the layout of a title page. I am still struggling to find a solution for seeing. I miss the days of being able to read and enjoy reading and hope that I can have them back eventually.

  50. Essa Adams Says:

    I am still good in my bifocals for everything, then the computer / piano glasses for work at the monitor. Hope you find your answer soon.

  51. Essa Adams Says:

    Well, my frames were quite large as I do have one of those faces that look best in large frames. I don’t think that was the problem, especially since so many have the same issue. Some do some don’t.

  52. Marilyn Says:

    OMG, I’ve had my progressive lenses for appx 1 week and HATE them so far! I feel very disoriented when wearing them, can’t use them for computer work; despise trying to read with them! I will use them for another week (making it 2 weeks total) and will probably trade them in for plain reading glasses! Hopefully, I’ll recuperate some money….feel like I just threw $600 out the window!!

  53. Jillian Says:

    Hello all,

    I am a bookseller and an avid reader and apologize for this long post.

    Ten years ago, I was in a car accident with permanent neck injuries. A few months later my optician at Sam’s Warehouse said, I needed to have progressives since I was having trouble reading. He knew that I had terrible problems with my neck since I complained during the examination and he made very sure that all the chin shelves were at the correct height so that I would not have to bend my neck.

    I left with a pair of the cheapest progressives (with a large lens, yet spent about $250. I did not see so well with these, ending up complaining of being blind all the time. I endured, but wore my old distance lenses and reading glasses most of the time. I blamed myself for buying the cheapest glasses. At that point…I disliked my progressive glasses.

    On bright side of things, I learned to touch type since I could not bend my neck to look at the keyboard.

    Three years later, I went back, this time he suggested that I spend the money to buy better lenses and that grinding techniques have been improved. The only frames they have are small, so I bought a pair of Nikon frames with Nikon lenses, ultralight and fashionable. I spent over $400. The result being I failed to adjust, felt blind, and ended up absolutely hating theses new glasses. The funny thing was that I felt I saw better with my previous larger progressives and I did not know why!

    Last month I went back to the same optician, this time after Googling and learning all I could about eye glasses, field of vision and neck movement. I told the optician I hated my glasses. Again, he told me to buy even more expensive progressive lenses ($500) and that grinding techniques have improved. Same story! This time I was not fooled.

    All this time, not one optical person told me that I had to point my nose at what I wanted to see! And they all knew I didn’t move my neck very much! So of course, I couldn’t see! The internet taught me that with small frame progressives, the optical viewing area is greatly diminished and you must move your neck to see.

    I declined his offer in front of other customers and his assistant and told him I would be buying cheap glasses on-line and looking into Laser Eye surgery. The temperature dropped 20 degrees after they could not convince me otherwise. We also had words about my neck injury in front of the other customers as well.

    I asked for my PD (pupilary distance) and they refused to give it to me stating they could lose their license. (a total lie) I finally got a copy of my order from three years ago with it since they are required to give it to me if I ask. However, when I asked them to show it to me on the paper, again they refused.

    After all this, I ordered 3 pairs of glasses on-line. Progressives with titanium frames, Distance with stainless steel, reading with plastic frames. Total of all three glasses, $175. I also went with the lighter, better lenses. Scratch resistant, UV and clip on polarized sunglasses included.

    I see a bit better with the new Progressives (much larger lenses and better viewing area), and 100% with the reading and distance glasses. I may order computer glasses as well since they will cost under $20.

    I really don’t know where opticians get off on charging so much for glasses. Manufacturers of lens blanks all get their plastic resin and molds from the same place. It is all marketing hype.

    But what is so shameful is that Sam’s Warehouse Optical sold me high priced glasses that could never work for me since I have neck injuries.

    I hope my story can help others.

  54. Connie Says:

    I just got new progressives about 3 weeks ago. I have had progressives lenses for about 20 years. The first time it took me probably 2 months to get used to them. I was told at the time to always get the same progressive lens from the same manufacturer. Well, the manufacturers never make the same lenses. I have never had a problem before and I read all the time until NOW after 3 weeks I am experiencing the same as all of you. I think it’s time I go and complain. I’m getting horrible headaches from them. So I have come to the conclusion that it’s the people who are fitting the glasses. Like I said, I’ve never had a problem since my first pair.

  55. Iorwerth Says:

    Having used drugstore readers for several years, one thought that professionally prescribed lenses would allow one to more comfortably spend one’s long day at the computer.

    The OD suggested an especial “office lens.” “Everyone is happy with them,” one is told.

    So, one selects a suitable frame, waits, and is ever so pleased that one’s new glasses are ready so soon that one eagerly rushes to the OD’s dispensary.

    Then one tries them on.

    One is horrified.

    “It will take about a week to ten days to become accustomed to them,” one is told. But, one must have had a most unpleasant expression on one’s face as “Now, you’re not stuck with them!” was ever so quickly added.

    One dutifully tries them as instructed.

    Three tiny words visible on a printed page, bizarre distortions creep and dance into one’s field of view. Bent, distorted shapes all round—no right angles anywhere anymore. The computer screen has become a swaying trapezoid. Fever dream-like tunnel vision. Chromatic aberrations. Headaches.

    So, a new set of “office lenses” is tried.

    Four words are now visible on the printed page. Hardly any better. One feels that one can see better without these new glasses. The printed page, the computer screen, the desk, all appear smudged, blurred, bent.

    More headaches.

    So, one goes back to one’s drugstore readers.

    Then one finds this dear blog and finds that one is not alone.

  56. MizLiz Says:

    Wow, I wish I’d found your blog before I ordered my progressive lenses (two pairs, actually — regular and sunglasses). Just got them today and I hate them. Ophthalmologist suggested I keep my old prescription for computer use, so I’m fine typing this. But the progressives make me feel seasick. They’re great for distance, but as soon as I look anywhere in the midrange, everything is distorted. Plus I have to tuck my chin to see the ground at all clearly. I’ve been trying to read in them, but I feel am experiencing the “five word” sweet spot issue and not liking it at all. The ophthalmologist never said a word about this, and the optical shop just said they’d take some getting used to. UGH! I think these are going back tomorrow.

  57. jobartwo Says:

    I just got my first set of glasses at the age of 45 and my doc suggested the progressive lenses were best since I needed a little help with both distance and reading. Being new to glasses, I felt that one pair would be better than trying to switch glasses throughout the day. So far, I can definitely “see” the fishbowl effect and reading three words at a time is incredibly frustrating. I work with two side-by-side monitors at my office and rely on my periphery to see when new messages come in or to move things between screens. I also do a fair amount of detailed architectural work, and not sure that seeing just this small window will be good for me. I want to give them a shot at being right since this is all new but I also have the patience of nil.

    Is this as good as it gets? Anyone have other options or suggestions. Again, being the rookie is no fun!

  58. JouJou Says:

    Like the rest of you I’m so disgusted with my progressive. I get allocated 1 pair of glasses every 2 years with my insurance and these glasses were over $250. Those of you who paid $700 I feel for you!

    I hate them..HATE them. I cannot see! Literally. CANNOT see out of these things! The distortion field is so bad I cannot even read a 2 inch piece..I can’t see even that. And my eyes hurt. This is a nightmare. All I wanted was something to help eye strain. I read a lot and work on the computer a lot and my eyes are always read and tired.

    The Dr. told me it is because they reduced my prism and, combined with the progressives, that it would take a while. I have no idea how I could possibly adjust to these. What is there to adjust to? Not seeing? Not an OPTION! Although now I guess when they ask me “are you having trouble with your sight?” I can tell them legitimately NO because flatly I have NO SIGHT!

    I should have just told him I wanted 3 separate pairs and bought them all online. I have learned a very valuable expensive lesson that I could not really afford. I am going to make sure I tell everyone I know.

  59. Robin Says:

    I saw this survey that showed that 35% of users of progressive glasses, never got used to wearing them. When you pay as much as 500-1000 USD a pair, think about how much money is wasted every year.

    I wasn`t sure if i could use progressive, so i bought both progressive glasses and bifolcals online at this great webpage called www. extra optical. com Progressives start at 39USD if I’m not mistaken..

  60. J Alzatez Says:

    I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you as an author to be limited to 3 to 5 words per line. The truth though is that what works for one person may not work for another, EVERYONE is different, glasses are not a one size fits all product. That is why there are so many types of progressive lenses, my wife and I have had experience with several and we wear very different progressive lenses and are very happy with the ones we’ve stumbled on. The first bit of advice that I have for everyone is to give a detailed description of what you want your glasses for. This may seem trivial but it makes a huge difference, I say this from experience, if you tell the opticians keywords such as comfortable reading area, wide distance vision, crisp no glare computer vision it makes a difference. Also how big the frame is seems to play a role. My wife chose a small frame one time and had to change to a bigger (almost grandma-ish) frame that gave her more comfortable fields of vision. Good luck

  61. Essa Adams Says:

    As with all the stories here, I know my optometrist knew that I worked on the computer all the live long day and / or was reading a book or something of the like. Seems to make very little difference. The one point we can all take is that we need to order with a larger frame, but why don’t the professionals who fit us for the glasses make certain we do order the larger frames so there is less chance of dysfunction. Still, the post is appreciated.

  62. Essa Adams Says:

    To date, I am still using the computer glasses I purchased from the second optometrist. I am quite happy with the experience of these glasses – they were once called piano glasses. I also have driving bifocals that have a small reading area, not much.

  63. Essa Adams Says:

    The patience of nil? LOL – that is why my progressive lenses were back to the office long before they asked my to try them, there was no option. That is nil patience.

  64. Essa Adams Says:

    You are very welcome, One. I wish you well.

  65. Essa Adams Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jillian and everyone. Our stories will help.

  66. vivienne Says:

    ok that’s it, thank you all. I have been living the same nightmare in these new glasses. Reading is a pain, I can’t walk a straight line, I feel sea sick, I nearly break my neck half the time just getting up to make a cup of tea.

    I’ve been back to the optometrist so many times since getting these bloody new lenses and still no good. It has been about a month and still not used to them. I am a visual artist I say to the guy what the f@*K! I read all the time and now I just want to cry. I am now wearing a pair of reading glasses which are the wrong prescription now and they are still better than those new bastard glasses!!!

    You have all now given me the back up I need to go back and say to the eye guy, “Start again” give me regular multifocals or I will go to consumer affairs!!!!!! Wish me luck.

  67. John Sheridan Says:

    I have been using progressive lenses for 7 years now and I have no idea what all you people are going on about. Progressives are -great-!

    I can hold an 8.5×11 inch sheet of paper sideways (so that the 11 inches is horizontal) and the edges are slightly blurry but I can still read without moving my head sideways at all.

    Yes you read that right, 11 inches horizontally with almost no blur. And I have a +2.0 add in the reading area.

    For the computer, I do use a separate pair of computer glasses. I admit, using the intermediate area for computer use does not work well so you do need another pair for the computer.

    You people need to get good lenses (mine are called “Definity”) and see an optician who knows what they are doing. Then you will like your progressives.

  68. John Sheridan Says:

    I made a post here before, and it got deleted. I hope you don’t delete this again, I am just trying to help.

    There is noting wrong with progressive lenses. I have a +2.0 add power in my progressives and I can hold an 8.5″ x 11″ paper sideways, and read from side to side (all 11 inches width) without moving my head at all.

    You need to go to a place that sells premium lenses, and make sure the optician is old enough to be wearing progressive lenses him/herself, and has a lot of experience fitting glasses with progressives.

    Expect to pay at least $800 (without insurance). If you go cheap, then yes you will only see three words at a time. I went cheap on my first pair, and that is exactly what I got. I’ll never go cheap again. Comfortable eyesight is worth the cost.


  69. I’m having the exact same problem as many here. I went into the eye doctor and asked for trifocals. Two hours later, I had been convinced that progressives were for me. $400 and two weeks later (today) I got my glasses. They work fine for long distance, but if I try reading the computer (which I do for 12 hours per day, I can read one or two words clearly – the rest is a blur, and I’m craning my neck back and adjusting my lateral head position with every word. Reading a book is even worse, and to do that, I’m looking through the very bottom edge of the lens. As with others here, no one told me that I’d have to be moving my head around to read – and I have two slipped discs in my neck, so this can only end in pain for me.

    Part of the salesman’s spiel involved telling me that progressives would make me look younger. I was taken in by this, even though I don’t care about looking young. I figured “What the hey – if I can see better and look youthful, why not?” But the reality is that I just want to be able to see long distance, use the computer, and read. I wish they had told me that this would be impossible.

    Also, they added a non-glare coating to the glasses, which I never asked for (I’ve never had a problem with glare) and which require more gentle cleaning – so if I don’t take care, the glasses will get scratched! Why can’t they just keep it simple? I just want to see – I don’t need to look young or cut down glare – I just need to see.

  70. Essa Adams Says:

    John – Hi – I didn’t remove the comment. The blog is set up for comments to be approved first. Just now getting to this. Have moved your comment over to the new site http://www.womens-fiction.com for Progressive Lenses post too. Thanks for all the info, much needed.

  71. Essa Adams Says:

    Good luck! It has been said that we are getting what we pay for but I beg to differ. My insurance was paying and we paid a price too, and never once was I given a choice on the degree of quality I might order.

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