A Progressive Exception

For those of you who have been following my Musicians and Progressives Experiment, you'll be happy to hear that I did go to my optometrist's office today and asked for "normal glasses". I did learn a few interesting things that I can share:

  1. My prescription is correct. Always good to know.
  2. Approximately 5 - 10% of people in my age range (early 40s) do not adapt to progressives. It would appear that I am in that group. 
  3. This number (of patients who can't wear progressives) increases significantly as patients get older. If my memory serves correct, this number goes upwards to 20% for those in their mid-40s.
  4. I seem to know a lot of people who can't wear progressives (oh wait, that's because I know many musicians and other creatives). 
  5. If you can't adapt to progressives, you can explore trifocals, bifocals and different pairs of single-vision lenses and/or contact lenses.
Therefore, my optometrist was being proactive by starting me on progressives early.
He doesn't feel that office progressives will do me any good at this point, as it's mostly for intermediate and up-close vision (at least, that's what I remember of the conversation). That shoots down my wish for progressives that only have long distance and intermediate range lenses (and then I'd use separate reading glasses). Interestingly enough, it's it's my "up-close" range (AKA, the range I hardly use) that's degenerating first (Note to self: exercise that range more). I just heard from another music friend. He's a percussionist/conductor/teacher. His eye doctor is having him try trifocals INSTEAD of progressives. In fact, it was the optometrist who said, "Progressives don't work for musicians."
I remain hopeful that in time, progressive lens that don't severely limit the periphery will be developed. I look forward to the day that one pair of glasses/contacts will serve my and my fellow musicians' aging needs. That there will be a type of lens that I can wear without having to juggle multiple pairs of vision wear. Someday.

5 – 10% of people in my age range can’t adapt to progressives.I’m one of them. Photo by R-M Arca.

Back to today. I fell back on the non-adapt clasue. Ironically, the new pair is nearly identical in prescription to the single-vision glasses I'm wearing now. They are over four-years old, so they are a little beat up. The old pair will make a great back-up pair. The new pair will make a great dedicated music pair when the time comes to revisit multi-focal lens options. I could have tried bifocals today, but when it comes down to it, I just want normal glasses. 

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