Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Eyeglasses? I Wear Faceplant 500's!*

I've been juggling various reading glasses for several years as I transitioned from mild middle-age-eyes to cataracts in both eyes.  My vision has gone from 20-15 at age 45, to 20-60, and I finally broke down and bought prescription tri-focals.  There's a whole lot that the doctor doesn't tell you when he sets you up with these.

I've been using low power readers for driving and walking; stronger ones for reading and working on the computer.  The upper part of the tri-focals take the place of my low power readers, and give clear vision in both eyes.  The lower part of the lenses do the closeup work.  It took just a few days to train my head how to bob and weave for the right effect, or so I thought.

While trekking through a woods, seeing clear as a bell on my compass target, I was suddenly on my face in the leaves.  I had tripped over fence wire that was about 3" above the leaf litter.  I hadn't seen it at all.  I hit hard enough that blood spurted out of several places in my recently healed hand.  A week later, I walked off a culvert and did another nose dive into a ditch.

The lower peripheral vision in these glasses is a blur, and you don't notice that when you are looking ahead.   The doctor didn't warn me about this, but he did tell me to put them on and not to be switching back to reading glasses.  That advice is out the window, and I've gone back to readers for hiking.  The other thing the doctor didn't talk about is the way these glasses can induce motion sickness.  As I work from one side of my computer, to the screen, and then to the other side for my printer-scanner, the various focal lengths in these lenses provide an out-of-focus, swimming effect that will make you nauseous. 

I have noticed, but never thought about older folks walking with their heads turned down.  When you see that in the future you will know that that person has busted their face into the sidewalk because he/she was looking ahead through tri-focals as they walked.  Why don't these glasses come with a warning label, and why aren't the doctors prescribing them warning their patients? 

* Faceplant, what they do to you.  *500, what they cost.


Anonymous said...

I guess I'm luckier; so far I only need bifocals so I'm not quite blind at my feet. But I do walk somewhat head down.


Barton Levesque said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Tri-focals take a whole lot of getting used to. I've been wearing mine for around three month sand I still struggle with my peripheral vision, especially while walking outside. I now just tend to walk that little bit slower, add as you say with my head bent down.

Barton Levesque @ Glenmore Vision Center