Multifocal lenses

Hi Sierra,
Thanks for all the great inputs you provide. Off subject but since you are getting new eye lenses; have you considered multi-focal lenses? My wife got them four years ago and she needs no glasses for any distance. They do cost money over and above what Medicare pays, but they eliminate the need for glasses.

Yes, I am aware of multi focal lenses. In fact I have been spending much more time of late in researching my decisions related to IOLs. I could fill a couple of pages on the issues now. Far more complex subject than hearing aids. I did consider the Alcon PanOptix tri focal lens for a while. I have a friend that had both eyes done with PanOptix about 9 months ago. She initially thought they were OK and would get better with time. Now, she is totally against them, and said she made a mistake. Your wife probably has something different as I believe PanOptix was just approved in the US in 2019. However it seems to get the best name for multifocal lenses.

My conclusion is that for people who really want to get away from glasses and are willing to make a few vision compromises they do seem to work. For my friend she says the main issue are big halos around lights at night. She does not feel safe enough to drive at night. Her distance vision in the day is excellent, and if the light is bright she can read. But, anything less than bright light she needs readers for reading.

The final nail in the coffin for multifocal is the discussion I had with the surgeon on Monday. He basically said he can’t recommend them to patients because he would not put them in his own eyes. Ouch!

In any case my first eye will be monofocal distance. The second one may be monofocal but slightly under corrected so I can read. I have done that before with contacts with mixed results. I will try it again with contacts after my first eye is done, and then make a decision. But, I may very well go for distance in it too. Then I will buy readers like those Foster Grans ones I gave you a link too. My wait is 6 months still for the first eye, so I have a long time to think about it!!

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OT, I suppose, but after cataract surgery, I found I needed multiple pairs of glasses. I have bifocals for reading and distance, but then a bunch of intermediate focus, single-vision glasses for things like the computer, practicing music, playing handbells, etc. The good news is one can get such single-vision glasses muy cheap from Zenni Optical. It helps to have a decent understanding of the thin-lens equation. :wink:

Yes, I have Zenni in mind if I end up still needing prescription glasses. They are certainly cheaper than Costco. The “advantage” of needing glasses for distance and reading, and using progressives is that you only need one pair of glasses, and have only one place to look for them – on your face. Readers are never where you need them!

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I tried progressives and couldn’t make them work. The field of view was too restricted, and I was always bobbling my head around. Basically, everything was out of focus unless I had my head precisely cocked to a tolerance of a millimeter. So, I went with Zenni, and keep a set of glasses for each task at the location for that task, i.e. by the computer, in the choir room for handbells, in the kit bag for band, and so forth. I’ve been told progressives are better than they were a dozen years ago when I tried them, but I’m not willing to take the risk of trying them again, given their exalted price.

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I have progressives and they’re great. To each his own.

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The quality of progressives is in the width of vision. The cheap progressives have a very narrow angle of vision. The very best ones have a wide field. The Costco Accolade Freedom 3.0 HD Progressive Lenses are their best and have the widest field of vision. The cheaper Kirkland HD version of them are not quite as wide, or at least that is what they told me.


Did the cataract thing about 4 years ago. I have one lens for close and one for distance. My wife (10 years ago) has both lenses the same, got Toric (sp? $$$$) to correct astigmatism. She has readers for reading, another pair for driving, rarely wears them for normal use. I have the same, I only wear readers for extended reading, don’t bother to carry them. Menus and such are no problem. I do wear glasses for driving, but it is a belt and suspender thing, correcting the close eye. I probably wear glasses 10% of time or less, with the exception of sunglasses. Wearovers for driving. Which lenses you get are personal and final. Met a woman in the waiting room that did not like one close and one distance. I really like them, did not have to make any conscious adjustment. I think they offered to fit me with contacts like that if I wanted to try them. The big differentiator (IMO) is astigmatism. The lenses my wife got were expensive and not all the eyeball doctors (around here) offer them, they have to be installed precisely. Whatever you choose, you will be amazed at the difference… trees have leaves and clouds are really white.
Where we go to eyeball doctors, single vision glasses are $49, bifocals are $59 and frames are decent (not designer). I am in Florida. Hmm, I guess this is off topic.

Yep, we are way off topic. Fortunately in my first eye the astigmatism is too low to correct with a toric lens. I measured 0 cylindrical correction on one machine and 0.4 on the other. Correction has to be above 0.7 to use the minimal toric lens. I was prepared to pay the extra bucks for the toric, but it turned out to be not necessary. With our government healthcare system it is going to cost me $70 for my first eye, to pay for eye drops, dark glasses, an eye patch, tape, and a bag to carry the stuff in!

The second eye is less certain. I have astigmatism but it is not considered to be as symetrical as is ideal for correction with a toric lens. Not sure about that one. It is at least a year away, so lots of time to worry about that one down the road. I currently have 20/20 with eyeglass astigmatism correction, so one way or the other, I suspect IOL corrected vision will be good. My outstanding quandary is still whether or not to go monovision. Hopefully the monofocal contact trial will be revealing one way or the other, providing I can still see out of that eye.

Getting hearing aids made a bigger difference in my life than cataract surgery, but they both made a big positive difference.

Right now for me, I am in not too bad a shape. If I only had my right eye to depend on, I probably could not use a computer. I can’t really read the text. My cataract makes things blurry, I see double, and the whites are now a yellow. But, my left eye and with my progressive glasses I can see nearly perfectly. I can read the text from about 2" to 36", just by tilting my head a bit. I could live without my hearing aids, but not without my glasses. I guess it depends how bad each issue is.

Now this is a second thread, I would be any experience or input on a couple of issues:

How have you adapted to monovision, if you have tried it, and how much of a split do you have between the eyes. When I tried it a few years ago with contacts I had a split of 1.25 and the results were kind of mixed.

The second question is about what is called crossed monovision. The normal practice is to correct the non dominant eye for close vision and the dominant eye for distance. The way this is turned out for me, my surgeon is recommending that my first eye be corrected for distance, but it is my dominant eye. If I go with monovision then my dominant eye will be corrected for close up. This is called crossed monovision and there are some reports it can work, because the brain will adapt by using the eye that sees best. i.e. essentially the non dominant eye becomes dominant for distance.

Sierra, no opinion on crossing. lbr0el0fs: General thoughts on re-lensing:

Fixing the cloudiness is absolutely wonderful. Focus error is generally fixable, cloudiness aint.

My path: I am near-sighted. From very young, books I could read fine, chalkboard not so well. That seemed natural to me, until I got glasses. (roughly -1.75/-2.5d) I wore glasses most of the time into my 30s. I took them off to see at less than an inch (I used to be good at that), then as accommodation faded, to read the (slide-rule and) calculator (teeny LEDs). By 40 I was happier reading books etc without specs. Computers were tough and I finally evolved a bifocal with top at 30" (monitor) and bottom at 15" (keyboard and calculator; essentially null but balanced between sides). This was great around the office, and OK to walk between buildings, but if I forgot and walked to the car I’d stop outside and come back for the far-specs.

Then nothing worked and the spec-tech said he couldn’t help, but he knew this guy…

I saw I would have to pick my focus. I had been wearing glasses most of my life. And by this time, my cohort was mostly needing reading glasses. It was routine to sit in a restaurant, pick up menus, and somebody had to go out to the car for specs.

So I opted for “simple normal”. New lens for infinity (as near as they could judge through the cloud), possible driving glasses for fine correction, and readers for close work “just like everybody I knew”.

The choice got stupid-easy when Dollar General opened. All readers $1. Seem to be fine optics and OK frames. After sitting on a few $170 specs (when that was big money) it is a relief to “depend” on $6/fistful glasses.

I have part-diopter error which shows when reading on PC. Yes, Zenni will sell two single-vision Rx for $13 delivered, fine optics, better frames than $39-com. I added 1.66d on the far-vision Rx to see (new) PC at 24"-25". I did get “driving” glasses but am 100% legal without and I have only worn them to drive once.

My gal wears progressives. I can’t see a dang thing through them. (Her post-cataract Rx is near null.) I get the principle but I’m not going to aim my head like that; also the optic-math is impossible.