Ask the Optician

Outside edge is blurred in varifocals


I've been using varifocals for one week and I know it can take time to get used to them. I'm mainly ok with them - I work on a VDU and they've been ok for that and general usage and watching tv. The problem is when I'm trying to read a book at night it's really difficult trying to read as the outside edge of the right page is blurred despite me trying to look at different angles through my glasses. Is this normal or is it still too soon for me to tell? Also my glasses slip down on my nose during use will this impact upon the varifocals, do I need to get them adjusted?

I’m thinking of keeping varifocals in one pair of glasses but having my second pair made as reading glasses, would this be possible or shall I keep trying with my varifocals for a little longer before I make a final decision? If so how long do you suggest I wait?

Answer Written answer:

In the periphery of the reading area in varifocals there is some distortion and this is to be expected, although I would say you should notice this both in the right and left side, unless you have a significant difference in prescription between the two eyes. Varifocals need to be fitted accurately and if they are slipping down your nose they will not work as well so I would call into the opticians for an adjustment (mention the issue in the right eye at the same time). I would allow at least two or three weeks to adapt to the glasses. Many people find a separate pair of reading glasses useful for particular tasks so this may be a useful option. 

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Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 35 years, and has a vast experience of almost all aspects of optometry. He joined Specsavers Opticians in 1993 first in Liverpool and for 15 years as a director of Lancaster and Morecambe. He served on many panels and committees whilst a director, including those responsible for IT design and professional advancement. He was regional chairman of the North West directors of Specsavers for over 12 years and as such was involved in almost all aspects of optometry on a business and professional level. He has been involved on the Local Optical Committee for many years and is currently Vice Chairman in his area.
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