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View Full Version : Varilux bifocals worth the extra cost?


MikeVB
05-22-2012, 05:58 AM
Question for my fellow over-40 TGP'ers that may or may not be able to see their tan pants.

I've got to break down and get some bifocals, just wondering if the Varilux lenses are worth the extra money.

thirsty one
05-22-2012, 06:00 AM
I love em, but never had lined bifocals. I'm on my second pair.

Blue Fin
05-22-2012, 06:38 AM
Yes, I have them and they work very well. There are some other premium brands that are also very good.

GAD
05-22-2012, 07:02 AM
I bought them and hated them. My eye doctor warned me that I probably would not like them based on things I'd told him.

With progressives that I've had, the entire lens is not prescription - only the center. This caused a big issue with my on my Maui Jim wraparound frames. When learning martial arts many years ago, I was taught to move my eves before turing my head. Doing so with progressives made me nauseated because my vision was constantly going in/out of focus. That more than anything cause me to give them up.

Progressives have a thin band of in-focus that you constantly move your head to find. As time goes on, this becomes second nature, but it frustrated me - even after two months. I wanted the entire scene in focus and couldn't get over that.

I switched to single vision for my sunglasses, and good old-fashioned old-guy bifocals for regular glasses and love them both. I will say that I wish I had gone bifocal for my sunglasses because they're useless for fly fishing when tying knots, but I don't think Maui Jim offers regular bifocal lenses.

Lotis
05-22-2012, 07:13 AM
Had them for years. There is a week or so of adjustment then they are great.

mannish
05-22-2012, 07:24 AM
I tired the progressive lenses and hated them. I just remove my glasses when I need to see close

My wife worked in optometry & said they take some getting used to and some people never get used to them

gtrnstuff
05-22-2012, 07:28 AM
Once I got used to them, they are indispensable.

stellablue
05-22-2012, 07:45 AM
They are good lenses, but you pay a lot for the name. I'd get an Amplitude High Def from Hoya, or a diiferent premium unbranded lens. Get one of the new digital lenses and you will have a wider field of vision than with a traditional lens. Zeiss Individual is near the top of the pyramid in progressive lenses. If your wallet can handle it get an Individual with Purecoat AR coating.

Jim S
05-22-2012, 07:53 AM
I like mine. I'm not sure which brand but I got the least dense lens available because my prescription is one step away from a dog and a cane (my lens normally would be as thick as wall).

korby
05-22-2012, 07:55 AM
My wife bought them and could not use them , waist of money .

MikeVB
05-22-2012, 08:15 AM
Follow up question for those that like progressive lenses:

Would you feel comfortable purchasing them online if you knew your prescription and PD?

Blue Fin
05-22-2012, 08:32 AM
Follow up question for those that like progressive lenses:

Would you feel comfortable purchasing them online if you knew your prescription and PD?

No, I would absolutly not but them online.

Csapo
05-22-2012, 11:04 AM
My first attempt with progressives was a disaster. I was also told that it would take a week or so to adjust, but no luck. The frames were very narrow and similar to these.

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f399/Csapo/Forum%20Pics/images-2.jpg

But I really couldn't do without both prescriptions, in one frame, so I opted for a larger frame. Not your huge Harry Caray/Carol Channing type, but similar to these.

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f399/Csapo/Forum%20Pics/images1.jpg

Took a couple of days to adjust, and haven't looked back since...:facepalm

NyteOwl
05-22-2012, 11:05 AM
I'm in my "getting used to" period and will let you know in a week or so, but I would never purchase them on-line.

Nurk2
05-22-2012, 11:42 AM
Follow up question for those that like progressive lenses:

Would you feel comfortable purchasing them online if you knew your prescription and PD?

No, I would absolutly not but them online.

I'm in my "getting used to" period and will let you know in a week or so, but I would never purchase them on-line.

My first attempt with progressives was a disaster. I was also told that it would take a week or so to adjust, but no luck. But I really couldn't do without both prescriptions, in one frame, so I opted for a larger frame. Took a couple of days to adjust, and haven't looked back since...:facepalm

I've bought two pairs of progressives online. From different suppliers. Different size frames (but both are pretty small lenses/frames - smaller than the pictures above). My eyes adjusted to them almost immediately, and adjust throughout the course of the day as I switch glasses for different uses. It's not been a big deal for me at all.

KeithC
05-22-2012, 11:54 AM
Varilux is a "line" of progressive lenses that is sometimes used as generic to describe progressives. Even under the Varilux banner there are a number of different designs.

They get the most general audience advertisement but Essilor Lenses that make the Varilux line have other progressives and as has been mentioned there are many different brands too. Each claiming to be easier to adapt to, wider near and intermediate zones and less peripheral distance distortion.

Good fit with good measurements is the biggest thing.

I've been comped a couple pair of the digital progressives to get our office to switch and I had ZERO benefit over my other top of the line non digital lenses.

Ordering progressives on line? I wouldn't but I see the small percentage of people that just can't adjust to progressives when I know all the measurements are accurate. Non adapts in my experience are really rare when everything is done right and proper training and expectations are described right.



If you have someone that will take the mono PD's and get you correct pupil heights in the particular frame you are using then of course the on line lab should be able to make them.

I couldn't do my job making progressives for people without my progressives ;)

MikeVB
05-22-2012, 12:30 PM
Varilux is a "line" of progressive lenses that is sometimes used as generic to describe progressives. Even under the Varilux banner there are a number of different designs.

They get the most general audience advertisement but Essilor Lenses that make the Varilux line have other progressives and as has been mentioned there are many different brands too. Each claiming to be easier to adapt to, wider near and intermediate zones and less peripheral distance distortion.

Good fit with good measurements is the biggest thing.

I've been comped a couple pair of the digital progressives to get our office to switch and I had ZERO benefit over my other top of the line non digital lenses.

Ordering progressives on line? I wouldn't but I see the small percentage of people that just can't adjust to progressives when I know all the measurements are accurate. Non adapts in my experience are really rare when everything is done right and proper training and expectations are described right.



If you have someone that will take the mono PD's and get you correct pupil heights in the particular frame you are using then of course the on line lab should be able to make them.

I couldn't do my job making progressives for people without my progressives ;)

Assume you're an OD? Could you pm me some good recommended top-of-the-line lens brands and models to shop around for? I, of course, want the least peripheral distortion possible at the best bang for the buck. I don't mind spending the money for better products, but don't want to pay beyond the point of diminishing returns in vision performance for brand snobbery.

Rockin J
05-22-2012, 08:20 PM
I have tried a couple of different brands but Hoya Summit's have worked best for me. A optical lab tech told me if the Hoya's work well do not try anything else because progressives work very different for people. Hoya's that work for me might be terrible for someone else. If you ask these tech's which brand is best they can't give you a diffinitive answer. The crap shoot sucks because they are so expensive.

otaypanky
05-22-2012, 08:49 PM
I wear progressive lenses and the ones I have now I ordered on-line. I have ordered 3 pair on-line and I'm not sure I'd do it again. There was a significant cost savings.The frame with my prescription lenses purchased from a local optician would have been approx. $600. On-line it was $450. After wearing my first order for a year I went for my eye exam. My dr. told me the lenses were not aligned in the frame properly relative to my eye. I ordered from there a second time, a new frame with lenses and also replacement lenses for my first frame. This time they sent me the frame and had me take a photo while wearing them so they could get a proper alignment. It was a lot of back and forth, wrong temple size sent, and the two sets of lenses gave me very different results ~
Next time I may buy the frame on-line but not the lenses

Sigmund Floyd
05-22-2012, 09:27 PM
I bought some about 6 months ago. They're ok, but to really read up close I just take them off, they're not strong enough on the reading part. Not sure why that is....

Nurk2
05-23-2012, 07:46 AM
I bought some about 6 months ago. They're ok, but to really read up close I just take them off, they're not strong enough on the reading part. Not sure why that is....

That's wrong. did you get the "+" at the end of your prescription? That's the reading part of it. If you did get it and it doesn't work, you have the wrong prescription.

One thing to consider, I favor very small, rectangular lenses. The "reading part" of my lens is at the very bottom - it's a little more than a sliver.

stellablue
05-23-2012, 09:09 AM
Sigmund: if you have a small lens, it may not be deep enough to reach the full add power.

To the OP: Zeiss Individual is on the top of the heap in current lens technology, in my experience. It also costs the most. I don't like Varilux lenses because their designs are old. They applied a new production technique to an existing lens design to make their digital series. Companies like Hoya and Zeiss are creating new lens designs to make the best use of evolving lens production capabilities. The new digital lenses actually do have a wider corridor and less distortion in the periphery. Your perception of this benefit will vary with your prescription. Best bang for the buck is Hoya's Amplitude HD, not the regular amplitude. The HD is a rebranded Lifestyle ID, distributed through a buying group. This is an excellent lens. I manage a small lab and could possibly be persuaded to help you out. You would still need someone local to take the measurements.

yspokes
05-23-2012, 10:03 AM
My 2 cents. Strictly information about an alternative based on my experience.

I had Lasik done in 98 and it only lasted 10 years before I had to go back to glasses. My vision was 20/70 right and 20/50 left, with astigmatism in both.

The astigmatism in both is gone, but am now 20/45 right and 20/25 left. I need reading glasses too. I went with bifocals with the lines because progressives don't work for me as I have a bad neck and can't constantly turn my head to see through progressives. Plus, I just didn't like them. So, I wore glasses for 4 more years.

In November of last year my OD tells me about multi focal contacts, and tells me I would be perfect for them. So I gave them a try, as I wore contacts back in the day before my reading vision required me to uses glasses.

After 30 day trial, I was sold. I have worn them for 6 months now, and won't go back. They are 30 day throw aways. I take them out once a week for a clean and soak over night, and wear them for 4 weeks before disposing them and wearing a fresh pair. They are very liberating, and very comfortable, and just work for me. And I can read with them better than I could with glasses because I can hold my head level instead of tipping my chin up to look thru the bottoms. Another BIG plus is the fact that I can buy sunglasses off the shelf, and don't have to have regular and prescription sunglasses (I fish, therefore, I am).

Just an alternative to consider - YMMV

dank
05-23-2012, 10:55 AM
I have been using them for years, and they are great. You will need a little bit of time to adjust your varying fields of vision, but that is very minor.

Mike9
05-23-2012, 10:59 AM
I wear progressive bifocals, but the peripheral fuzziness annoys me. Varilux claims they have fixed that. I also heard Kodak has a nice lens, but a pair is almost $400 vs $239 for Varilux.

vortexxxx
05-23-2012, 11:49 PM
I need new glasses. I would want separate glasses for close up work and far.

Guitar55
05-23-2012, 11:57 PM
I've had progessives for many years now and they feel very natural. I had to get a cheap pair of bifocals while my 2.5 frames were getting new lenses. I hated them. The line really bugged me.

UncleLarry
05-24-2012, 01:57 AM
I have progressives for wearing in the evening. The rest of the day I wear multifocal contacts. I love those too and they work wonderfully for me for 90% of the time. I only need readers for fine detail work.

I think progressives are great once you get used to them. The most important thing is that the mid-vision part of the lens is centered properly to your normal "head position." I went through three pairs of lenses before it was correct.

About 75% of what we actively see is between 18 inches and 10 feet away. This is the most critical part of what your lenses should be "tuned" to.

When we are trying to see something in the distance, our head will instinctively tip slightly forward. The prescription should be more corrected for distance at the top 1/4 of the lens.

Of course, bottom 1/3 for reading and close work.

I would never buy progressive glasses online. working with a local optometrist is far easier if things aren't just right.

MCK
05-24-2012, 02:10 AM
I had progressive tri-focals made in Japan for me a while back. They were Hoya something if I recall correctly. The lenses are also auto-darkening similar to Transitions so this is my all in one set. Goes on when I wake up in the morning and goes off when I go to sleep. Its as crucial to my survival as is air. Well almost! Adjustment period was funny I can't imagine life without them.

I tried contacts and also had a period where I had 3 glasses on me at all times... prescription sunglasses, regular (non-tinted) glasses for astigmatism and then your regular over the hill reading glasses. Was a pain as I always forgot them at various places.

Tri-focals are the best for me. Good luck in your trial.