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Varifocal and bifocal glasses

Discussion in 'off topic' started by mandryka, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    I think Specsavers vary , my wife has had abysmal service from them , having to return glasses a number of times . I even have a photo of the glasses they supplied with one lense clear and one dark . Would not touch them with a bargepole

    this is a pair they supplied

    [​IMG]36437967_1581496601977820_4457202276787814400_n by , on Flickr
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
    Mike Reed likes this.
  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Every time I visit Specsavers here in Norwich (one of two shops; a smaller one does hearing aids as well) I'm amazed by the number of staff hanging around the frames areas. In fact, I'm surprised by the overall head-count for such smallish sized premises. The mark-up on frames alone must make that of hifi a bit of a bargain. After all, 'designer' frames (whatever they are) at way over a ton are simply mostly plastic after all. It's a big mark-up business, but staff overheads must be very high.
  3. DuncanF

    DuncanF pfm Member

    I've been using VFs for many years. Like most things in life, all VFs are not created equal. Essilor are the big brand in VFs, but they have many offerings in their range that will vary in price. The more you pay, the more you get: thinness, viewing window width, dioptric bandwidth, etc., etc. It is worthwhile Googling the crap out of this so that you can have a sensible conversation with your optometrist.
    mandryka likes this.
  4. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    Bifocals for me. Tried varifocals on a couple of occasions but I could never get on with them. The last time I had varifocals I nearly lost a finger in a table saw. Luckily I only lost a fingertip but it shit me up and I went straight back to bifocals and no problems since.
  5. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I switched to varifocals a year ago after struggling with accommodation between bench and screen work. Having two pairs of frames was just annoying. Someone mentioned not being able to park straight - it's not just me then! There's quite a bit of fringe image magnification and colour aberration that takes a little getting used to, but being able to look at any object at any distance without straining has been a revelation.

    I'm moderately long sighted so expect the distortions would be significantly different if you're short-sighted. My eyes aren't equal either with a 2 dioptre difference between them and some astigmatism. I paid for Zeiss VF lenses because they came with a 90 day money-back guarantee. I got used to them within hours rather than days.

    In terms of experience with Opticians/Optometrists, the absolute worse I had to deal with were Vision Express who I foolishly gave a second chance when they screwed up a prescription twice, then gave me a half-finished pair of frames which they couldn't find the ends for (over the ears) that went obsolete and they tried not to give me a refund for frames that were scratching my head! My experience with Specsavers, albeit decades ago, was similar. I was lucky to have been under the care of the same Optometrist for the first 20 years of my life, he was the consultant at the local hospital who oversaw my squint operation when I was 5 yo. However the best person I've ever seen worked at my local Tesco store (and now works at the Costco opposite). He explained my eye health in great detail, helped me understand the level of UV damage he was seeing and how I should be preventing it, had lots of patience with new contact lenses and recommended the lenses I'm wearing now. If you find a good optometrist then keep them!
  6. k90tour

    k90tour pfm Member

    I used to go to a independent opticians and had my glasses and contact lenses from them. Vision Express bought them out and their customer list so i went to Vision express and continued with them. Two years ago, I was having my check up and the optician asked if i had trouble with headlight glare when driving. Which I do. She said that it was caused by UV damage to the retina and advised me to wear UV protection, but not to worry about the contact lenses, they will no doubt have UV protection. My notes showed that the UV damage had been identified earlier and was indicated for all to see. When I got home I looked up my contact lens manufacturer. Despite the advise in my notes, Vision Express had switched my brand of contact lenses from one which had UV protection to another which didn't.

    Their profit over my eyecare.

    Back to Varifocals. I wear them all the time except for the sporty stuff when I use contact lenses. I find my supposed prescription to be difficult in that the perfect point on the lens for reading is too narrow and the range of focal length too wide. My latest pair are only used in the morning and most of the time I use an older pair with a more relaxed range. It does mean it's hard work in the morning to focus on close up work. I have to tilt my head back so that the bottom of the glasses are over the computer screen. Driving is OK. I hate the things but I'm long sighted and very short sighted. I take the glasses off altogther to do any fiddly examination.

    I was told that some people react differently to brands of lenses. I prefer Zeiss. I did have Rodenstock but struggled to be comfortable.
    Vision Express will supply whatever suits their business plan. My new independent will supply whatever I want.
  7. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC


    As I need glasses for reading the DVLA says I needed them for driving, to read the dashboard I assume as my distance is fine, so I have to wear bifocals when driving.

    Try walking on a rock covered area or a very steep incline covered with rocks, when you look down with bifocals or varifocals everything goes out of focus as you then are looking through the close focus area and your sense of distance goes.

    Know a few people who walk a lot and they use single focal glasses for just this reason.

    I have used my both my local opticians and Specsavers as my neighbour worked for them, was surprised at how good they were and also the difference in price was a quite a lot.

    Like a lot of things you pays your money and sometimes you get a good result and other times you don't.

    As to price I got for the same money I paid my local optician for one pair of glasses three pairs of glasses from Specsavers, two pairs on their two pairs for £114 offer and got a ticket from them for another pair bought within 6 months for half price.

    Allows me to have a spare pair in the car and another in my backpack for reading the phone or map when I am out walking.


  8. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Expensive? You must be joking. I can get standard vision glasses for £25. 30 years ago there was nothing under 3 figures. I suspect that shop and staff overheads are high, but margins these days are a fraction of what they were. Lenses made to measure, in a frame, for the price of a chain store shirt. Go on then.
  9. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Is that correct? Did they inform you directly, or did you get the information somewhere else? I can see long distance well enough to drive, but have trouble with the dashboard without glasses.
    As far as I knew, the only DVLA/DSA test for eyesight is to read a number plate at the the appropriate distance. I even asked my optician, and the only test he had was the number plate one. When I was instructing I reported a pupil who had tunnel vision, and they weren't interested, telling me to report her to the police if I was concerned!
  10. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC


    Interesting comment about the person with tunnel vision, I was diagnosed with glaucoma a good number of years ago, which left untreated can cause tunnel vision.

    My consultant said I must inform the DVLA and insurance company about my condition, I did this and was asked to go for a visual field test which I passed, was given a three year licence and then when it was up given another test and another three year licence and so on every three years, or one two or three years depending on how the DVLA decides on the length of licence given.

    The interesting thing was that when I contacted the DVLA about my glaucoma my consultant and optician both wrote to the DVLA explaining my eyesight was excellent for long distance and only needed it for close reading, not for the dashboard. However when I got my licence back the DVLA stipulated I must wear glasses when driving, so I have glasses, bifocals, made specially that in effect give me no better sight than driving without them.

    If you told your client that they had tunnel vision it is the law the DVLA must be informed by that client and they will send that person to have a vision field test to check their field of vision and on that test you either get a licence or you lose your licence for life, no appeals, one failed test and you are out.

    The number of people driving with a medical condition that must be told to the DVLA is huge, I attach a link, I am sure a few PFM members will be surprised at the number of conditions. Also if you do not inform your insurance company of any medical condition the DVLA needs to know about your insurance is invalid.



  11. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    Same as my wife, hers has destroyed 80% of the peripheral vision on the left side, although it is stable now. She had long given up driving, and we had decided that one v. nice car is way better than two "ok" cars.
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    As Specsavers' range start at £25 for frames without lenses, your (local?) find must be a sight for poor eyes; (excuse paraphrase). From, I think, £69, you can have thick plastic lenses as part of a package. I've never been able to see myself going that route. I think you can pick up complete spec's very cheaply indeed, but not made according to prescription. A 'hit and miss' option; usually 'miss', I'd think.
  13. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    My wife bought prescription glasses with thin plastic, coatings, for reading and astigmatic correction, for £50. They even gave her a mobile app to measure pupillary distance so they could make sure the positioning of the best part of the prescription was correct.

    in part the resultant thickness will depend on the index of the lens material, the prescription, and the size and design of the frame.
  14. Dougie2404

    Dougie2404 cranky old git

    I agree with this, it's what I use. Yes they take a little time to get used to, and if you're a golfer putting can be a nightmare but then my putting is like that anyway.
  15. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    The optician said once I got used to Zeiss lenses there is no going back to cheaper ones as they are not as quick to react with vision and addittional finishes.

  16. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    Given I now wear contacts during the day, I went from expensive Zeiss and some Nikon lensed glasses, to Specsavers own, and I noticed no difference for my prescription. In fact I still have a Zeiss lensed frame and a Specsavers own, and no difference.
  17. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    We all see things differently

  18. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    I am very impressed by specsavers in Wimbledon.

    In fact my eyes are deteriorating but not as much as I had feared and I could still get away with using readyreaders.

    But they offer varifocals with a month’s trial and a refund if you don’t like them, so I’m quite tempted to go for it. Will decide soon.
  19. zippy

    zippy pfm Member

    Bifocals and varifocals - I've tried both and my brain can't cope with such complexity, and I get a headache.
    My wife, on the other hand, loves hers.
  20. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    me too, headaches and dizzy spells. Went back to contacts plus readers

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