Bifocals, take two
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some trouble adjusting to my new progressive bifocals, which I thought were just issues with getting used to something new. The in-focus reading area seemed too narrow, and if I tilted my head back at all while watching TV, it went out of focus and I had to push the glasses lower down on my nose, which changed the focus a little and made my eyes sore. I kept meaning to go in to the store and ask about these issues, but the terrible winter weather kept me indoors most of the time.
And being indoors so long meant that it took me a while to realize that the new glasses just weren’t focusing that well on anything more than about 6 feet away. I could watch TV okay from my couch, but when I tried watching a show on my computer monitor while doing the dishes in the kitchen (I can see the monitor from there if I open the doors on the double-sided cabinet in between), it was out of focus. Finally, this past Sunday, I went out to my car (where I was keeping my old glasses as a backup) and did a one-to-one comparison, and there was no doubt: I had better distance vision with my old glasses than the new ones. Something had gone wrong.
So I went back in to the store on Monday and had them double-check my prescription, since I’m still under warranty. They got me in for a second session with the optometrist, and she found that the distance prescription she calculated this time was different from what it had been before, about halfway between the old glasses and the first bifocals. I’m not sure why it was different, but I had been wondering if the problem with my sleep mask being too tight — which I only realized the morning of my initial visit to the optometrist — had caused some lingering aftereffect on my vision, throwing off the prescription.
Also, the clerk in the glasses store (to which the optometrist’s office is attached) helped me figure out that the bridge supports had been in too far, so the glasses were sitting too high on my nose and so I wasn’t getting the best use of the focal areas. Adjusting that seemed to help with my reading, and once I got the new distance prescription, it seemed to work for that as well.
Although I still had to wait a lot more than an hour for my new lenses. Last time, it was because they broke the frames and had to send out for a replacement. This time, it was because they happened to have just begun doing a lengthy process of maintenance on their lens-grinding gizmo. So once more, I had to go home and then come back the next day, and that’s a pretty long drive. (I started going to this optometrist/store back when I lived closer to the area.) But once I got them at last, they seemed to be a definite improvement. I could no longer discern any significant difference between my new and old (pre-bifocal) glasses where distance vision was concerned, and the reading part still seemed better now that the glasses were a bit lower on my face. And I had no trouble driving with them or grocery-shopping with them. I may still have some adjustment issues, but so far they seem to be working better than before. I still need to be careful not to tilt my head back too much when watching TV (and I should probably just raise my screens higher), but it’s better than it was. Hopefully this will be the last time I’ll need to go back there for a good while.