Thursday, April 22, 2010
Last week, I went to the optometrist to get my eyes checked and pick out some new frames for my specs. I have astigmatism, and it's fairly mild. Without glasses, I can still read a good portion of text at any distance, and there is only a slight "fuzz" or "distortion" around objects.
My last RX, about 5 years ago, was pretty straightforward:
In technical terms, Sphere: (L) plano (R) plano, Cylinder (L) -2.00 (R) 1.50, Axis (L) 095 (R) 090, Add: (nothing in either).
My new prescription:
Sphere: (L) plano (R) -0.25, Cylinder (L) -2.75 (R) 1.75, Axis (L) 090 (R) 099, Add: +1.75 (both)
The big difference is that my old lenses were single vision. Just one "view" and everything looked the same, no matter which way I tilted my head or pointed my eyes. Everything through the glasses, even when viewed with peripheral vision, looked the same. It was pretty clear, and I wasn't sure I even needed that big of an adjustment on the RX. (I went mostly for the regular check up, and for the frames). If you look at the numbers, really, the major difference is that my left eye had gotten worse, and the addition of the "add" enhancement for near reading in the new RX.
So I go pick up my new specs today, and they look fabulous. Different style of frame for me, more comfortable, and I really like them.
Then I put them on.
I felt like I just came off a weekend in Vegas with Hunter S. Thompson and went straight into a 5 day bender with the characters from Trainspotting. I've had acid trips that were more lucid and focused.
Yes, when I position my head properly, and look through the "proper" part of the lens, things seem clear and focused. More than with my previous lens and RX? Debatable. However, look the wrong way, or try to use my peripheral vision and things become muddled and disorienting. My first reaction is DO. NOT. WANT.
The folks at the vision center (and much of the online reading I've been doing about progressive lenses) say that it takes a good 3 or 4 days to completely adjust, and once you do, you will absolutely love the progressive lenses and wonder how you ever lived without them. Right now? I'm tempted to gouge my eyes out with a steak skewer and develop my other senses like Matt Murdock.
Whatever limitations there might have been with my previous RX and lenses, I didn't notice a lack of clarity and I was certainly used to -- and now massively appreciative of -- a consistency of image, no matter what my eyes or head might be doing.
I think I'll give them until Monday before deciding to go back and see what else can be done. (Different progressive lenses? Check the RX again? Pick a "best overall case" for single vision lens? Don't know).
Has anyone else who wears glasses been through this transition? Anyone else wear progressives? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Am I overreacting? Should I just enjoy the hangover free trip, dude?