<OT> Eyeglasses - want more than no line bifocals

Background: For driving, I have needed glasses for at least a decade. Now that I am middle aged, I find that I will soon need glasses for reading also (actually I have no problems reading most anything - the problem is when I need to see something at a very short focal distance). At my last eye exam, the eye doc mentioned that I was border line for needing glasses for close-up. He suggested the "no-line, transition bifocals where one moves the head as needed to look thru the varying lens. He said that it does take time to mentally / physically adjust to moving one's head for correct vision. I asked what the shortest focal length was and he said that 16 +/- inches was the standard but if I needed it different, that the prescription could be modified to provide a (in my case) shorter focal length. I am involved in a variety of activities such as working on older cars and home renovation. It is not uncommon to barely have enough room to squeeze in my head into an opening to get a line of sight so I am thinking of having the focal length as short as 10 to 12 inches.

Wanted: I would like to have glasses with the varying focal length both on the upper ...and... lower portions of the glasses so that when I am working on something overhead that I will not have to crane my head all the way back if the focal length is very short. The local eye glass emporium was not able to find such a lens grind in their catalog. Has any one heard of something like this? If so, what do they call this type of a grind? Where do I go looking for it? As a point of reference, my father, who wears trifocals, had the mid distance ground in the upper edge of his glasses in order to be able to see overhead better. I would be willing to splurge if I could have a varying focal length for over head work. Thanks

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I am not aware of a no line bifocal with this capability, but they are quite readily available in regular bifocals. You can look here:

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down to the multifocal occupational lenses description.

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Tell your doctor to write the prescription to bring your distance vision to 20/30 or 20/40. This will give you passing on a drivers test and your near vision will be a lot better through the glasses. I got two pair like that, safety glasses that I use at work for close up seeing, and I can still recoginize the guy on the other side of the building. I also got a pair for full correction to 20/20.


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You might try what I do for arc welding--it's a somewhat similar problem. Inside the welding helmet, I have difficulty positioning my head so I have a good line of sight to the puddle, while keeping the proper part of my glasses in that line. I keep a cheap pair of reading glasses handy, which allow me to focus at a short distance, regardless of the angle of my head. reading glasses can be had for $3 or $4 a pair.

Theoretically, it may be possible to make lenses like the ones you describe, but I doubt that any optical lab is set up to do it. Besides, if you could get them made, I don't think you would like them, because a large part of the lens, normally used for distant vision, will now be dedicated to close work, so it will get in your way. If you have to change glasses to work under a car, why not change to a cheap pair?

Reply to
Leo Lichtman

Before I had my eyeballs spot welded )Lasik) I was extremely near sighted. To work on details I had a habit of looking over my glasses. I had a pair of "occupational" tri-focals mounted "upside down" that were my standard prescription in the middle third, +1.5 diopter on the bottom for focusing at about 16" and +2 on the top for closer work. They did have lines but were probably the most practical working glasses I ever used.

Reply to
Glenn Ashmore

And make sure you try the prescription while you're at the office, viewing things at the distances of interest.

The Doc can give you "trial lenses" that you hold up in front of your present glasses that will duplicate the effect of the new prescription. Step out of the exam room and look at some real-world stuff with the trial lenses and make sure you're happy.

I've never had to go back for an adjustment since I've been doing this...

Reply to
Jim Stewart

odd that this should come up. I was chceking out the eyeglass frames at the local second hand store the other day..and found a pair of glasses exactly as you discuss. Mild correction in the center..and "bifolcals" at the top and bottom.

Im looking for a couple pair of high quality frames that I could not afford otherwise, to hve lenses installed in. Ive found quite a number. Now I simply need to go get my eyes checked and a perscription

Confronting Liberals with the facts of reality is very much akin to clubbing baby seals. It gets boring after a while, but because Liberals are so stupid it is easy work." Steven M. Barry

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I'll second the comment about single focal length glasses (reading glasses). Also, you'll find other ways to adjust. Learn to read backwards in a mirror with a flashlight. That's very handy. Another great idea I heard here but haven't tried is to get a small digital camera with flash. Stick it back where you can't get, and snap a pic. If it doesn't get what you need, try again. Bits are cheap.

Pete Keillor

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Pete Keillor

My thinking on glasses. Plastic lenses suck. Scratch resistant coating is only slightly better, but not much.

For general use get a pair of bifocals with photogrey lenses. These will be good for driving.

If you read a lot, get a set of dedicated reading glasses. Trying to keep your head cocked back to do a lot of reading is for the birds.

Consider having one pair of dedicated computer/shop glasses. Have the doc prescribe a focal distance of just a little longer than arms length. These are fine for the shop also until you need to see something up close. Then either a jewelers loupe or an Optivisor work great. I personally like the jewelers loupe with two flip down lenses. When the need arises I can read made in Japan on the bottom of my watch, (I used to be able to do this with my glasses off.) or find the stupid brass shaving that is in the need of removing.

Also when you are buying glasses look first at the safety frames. For some reason, when you buy stronger frames and have them fitted with stronger glass lenses the price goes down and the durability goes up.

Always get spring hinges. Always get silicone nose pads. Even though I have large, thick, heavy lenses, I can be in the hot sun, sweating profusely and my glasses do not slip even if I shake my head. I also never have red spots on my nose.

When properly adjusted, the temples on your gasses never touch the back of your ears, the temples actually are curved to conform to your mastoid bone.

If you select the same style frame for all your glasses then you can in a pinch swap parts if needed.

Reply to
Roger Shoaf

Let the record show that Pete Keillor wrote back on Sat, 08 Oct 2005 08:27:12 -0400 in rec.crafts.metalworking :

I have one of those pictures of the back of my computer.

And a pair of reading glasses to go over the trifocals for the close in work. (Tip: pay attention to the work. Don't look around, the visuals are ... motion sickness.)

tschus pyotr

Time to get some work done around here, then prep for another four days away. Save gas, sleep at work.

Reply to
pyotr filipivich

This may be an option to consider:

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on the "Tech" link for focusing distances.

Be aware that it can be difficult to adjust to the no-line lenses. The transition area is too small to be useful for intermediate distances, while reducing the usable area of the main focal lengths. Simple bifocals are better for improving your vision. If the issue is vanity, try contacts, one lens set for near vision and the other one far.

Reply to
Larry Kraus

I finally got used to them. There are some new gradients out that supposedly correct the side to side distortion. I've got a pair coming. I'll report when I get a chance to try them out.

Pete Keillor

Reply to
Pete Keillor


The ideal solution to a complex problem. I have used and damaged a couple pair of trifocals with an extra bifocal ground into the top for overhead work. Besides the huge expense, they weren't comfortable to work with most of the time such as running a backhoe (amazing the goofy places the boom would bend) and working on the computer. I developed the habit of carrying reading glasses in my pocket and choose between 2.5, 2.75, and 3 diopters, depending on what I expect to do. They work better under the welding hood too.

I'm much happier with very cheap ($2 to $4) reading glasses than I was with special $400 a pair glasses, and I throw them away when they get scratched.

George Willer

Reply to
George Willer

On Sat, 08 Oct 2005 23:13:23 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Larry Kraus quickly quoth:


Also, if you have any astigmatism problems, the no-line glasses are totally useless except in that way-too-tiny area in the very center of the lens. Everything else is uncorrected AND very badly distorted.

After a new optometrist talked me into the top-of-the-line Variluxes, I spent 2 weeks spitting and fuming. I could no longer use any of my VERY NECESSARY peripheral vision for driving or going up and down stairs. (Hell, that was 5 years ago and I'm still very mad at him.)

No-line lenses suck the big one for anyone who moves their head, uses their peripheral vision, or changes focus much. I'm sure librarians love them. Anyone moving around or driving will hate them. Anyone working with tools will hate them and may soon be called "Stubby", or "Lefty." Recommend them to people you hate.

Reply to
Larry Jaques

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