A New Pair of Glasses
I went to a different optometrist recently as I needed new glasses. It had been far too long using my very old pair. But with COVID-19, I only went for appointments when it couldn’t be avoided, such as my eye injections. Telehealth is good, but it can’t test our eyes for a new prescription, yet. They’re working on it. There was no problem with the previous optometrist, but this was a new clinic closer to home and on an easier bus route if I eventually became unable to drive.
A new optometrist
This new clinic has more computerized testing machinery, but I’m not sure if that makes a difference at this point in my macular degeneration journey. My retina specialist does the OCT (optical coherence tomography) imaging test every injection visit, which at the moment is 7 weeks.
Is it time to get new glasses?
Just to be sure I wouldn’t be wasting money, I had questioned him about getting new glasses. He agreed that as my eyes were stable, even with a very small leak showing at the edge of the OCT pictures, now would be a good time.
After my exam, a knowledgeable optician helped me with the frame selection. I knew I didn’t want the same type of metal frame with those nose pads that have become so uncomfortable. She showed me plastic frames with titanium inside for strength and weight reduction. She also explained that I have a narrow bridge, which limited my choices slightly. This is something I hadn’t been told before, but I could feel she was right with each pair I tried.
What lenses would work best?
Then the important decision. Which lenses would work best? I need progressives again. When she showed me the three options, I was amazed at the difference. If any of you wear progressives, you’ll understand how much improvement the wider field of vision makes. The “in-focus” portion is wider, which means you can just move your eyes to see something on the edge of your vision rather than turning your head.
High index progressive lenses
The high index lenses are also lighter, thinner, and just the ones I need. She explained they have the prescriptions on both surfaces of the lens. By splitting the progressive components of the lens between the front and back surfaces, they maximize the field of view and minimize distortion while reducing the need to move your head back and forth to see at different distances. They’re called Dual Surface. This is the first I had heard about that, and I have found it makes a difference.
These lenses automatically include 100% UV protection. I added an anti-scratch coating and an anti-reflective coating, which used to be hard to clean and smudge-prone, but now also has anti-smudge and anti-fog technology. If you have trouble seeing properly when on a computer, driving, or at night, consider the anti-reflective coating. I’ve found it makes quite a difference.
The optician demonstrated the anti-fog technology on her own glasses. I now wish I had done this when the pandemic started and masks were always necessary.
I chose not to add a blue-blocking coating as it would very slightly change my color perception, which macular degeneration has already impacted. Instead, I have bluelight filters on all my electronic devices.
I hope you’ll find some of this useful when it’s time for your new prescription pair.
If you have glasses, what features do you wish they had?
Do you feel that you've maintained independence with macular degeneration?