Lenscrafters is full of shit

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I owe the title of this entry to my son, Mike. I asked him for a snappy title to describe my frustration with my situation re eyeglasses, and the above title was what sprang to mind. Ahem.

I have an odd situation with my eyes--my left eye is nearsighted and my right eye is farsighted. The left eye has always been nearsighted, but the right eye has only become farsighted with age. This means I can only see up close with my left eye, and I can only see at a distance with my right. For many years I've had glasses with correction for distance in the left lens, and no correction at all in the right. This worked fine for a long time, until the progressive farsightedness in my right eye finally made it impossible for me to read anything with my right eye, no matter how far I held it out in front of me. Without my glasses I can read with my left eye, but not with them; the correction for nearsightedness works for distance only. So I had to start taking my glasses off to read. Since I could still see at a distance with the glasses off, albeit through the right eye only, I simply stopped wearing them.

Except--for my sunglasses. I developed the habit of wearing sunglasses when I was in college in Tempe, Arizona, and I'm addicted to them. Whenever I go outside, if the sun is shining, I put sunglasses on. I've worn prescription sunglasses for years with correction in the left lens but no correction in the right. Seeing at a distance with two eyes is much nicer than seeing at a distance with one; I get better perspective using two eyes, so I'd never go back to wearing non-prescription sunglasses. Two things recently prompted me to get new sunglasses: mine were very old and very scratched, and I was buying new glasses and contacts for Mike so I figured why not get new sunglasses for myself while we're here?

So, finally getting to the point, I went to Lenscrafters for new sunglasses, and they said I'd have to get an eye exam, because my prescription was six years old. So I went to the place next door that does eye exams, and I filled out a bunch of paperwork, including a questionnaire that asked, among other things, if I ever had to use a computer, and I said yes, and then it asked how many hours a day I spend in front of a computer, and I said 8.

When I saw the doctor, she seemed disturbed that I never wore my regular glasses. She asked me about driving at night, and I confessed that glasses would be helpful. She talked me into getting bifocals, which would correct the distance vision in the left eye and the near vision in the right, and then, she said, I would be able to see everything, and I should get both sunglasses and regular glasses with the same prescription, and I should wear them all the time.

In recent years it has become a serious nuisance not to be able to read with my sunglasses on. I can't look down at a map while driving; I can't dig for change in my wallet while sitting in the drivethru lane at Dunkin' Donuts. Not without taking the sunglasses off, anyway. So I took her advice and went next door to Lenscrafters with my new prescription for bifocals, and I ordered both sunglasses and regular glasses. I paid almost $600 for the two pairs, which I picked up today. I put the regular glasses on and I wore them around the mall, trying to get used to them. I could see clearly at a distance, and if I looked down my nose at things up close I could see them, too. Hurray!! All better now!! So, I'll wear these all the time, I'm thinking. We went out to the car and I took the clear glasses off and put the sunglasses on, and hey! I'm thinking, this is great. So happy. I drove home, took the sunglasses off, put the clear glasses on, changed clothes, did a few minor tasks, thinking how great these new glasses are, poured myself a glass of wine, came down stairs, sat down at the computer...

...and couldn't read the screen.

That's right, folks, I can't read the computer screen with the glasses on. The screen is an "up close" thing, and with my new bifocals on I have to look down my nose at "up close" things, and I can't look down my nose without tipping my head waaaaay back, and I can't imagine what it would do to my neck to sit with my head tipped back 8 hours a day.

So right now my expensive new glasses are perched jauntily on top of my head, and I really don't know what to do about it, except maybe go upstairs and pour myself another glass of wine.


You need to get another pair of glasses, a pair with a fixed, non-bifocal prescription which is adjusted specifically for the distance from your eyes to your computer screen.

If your optometrist or ophthalmologist can't (or won't) perform the necessary measurements to write a prescription for this purpose, you should find another one who will do so.

Thanks. Yeah, you're right. I'll probably look into it when I feel like spending more money on yet another pair of glasses.

I had much the same problem with my bifocals and the computer, and just live with it. (I still can, despite the growing farsightedness of our ages.) It is, of course, exascerbated by the fact that my iMac screen is set to "huge" so I can fuss with artwork, which in turn makes the print that much smaller.

Ralph's suggestion is a good one, but I have reservations similar to yours about how much money I want to sink into prescription glasses since I *also* cannot use my bifocals at the art table. (Question is, when DO I use them? Answer is, hardly ever.)

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