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Why do I need more than one pair of glasses?

Do you ever think to yourself why can’t I just get one set of glasses for everything? Well you are not alone.  Take your mind back to before glasses remember how you could focus your vision clearly at every distance without effort? It can come as a bit of shock when you are told that one set of glasses won’t adequately correct all your visual needs. Let me explain how it all works.

As a teenager I was informed that I needed glasses, but in those days the one pair did everything I needed. Of course life was a little simpler then. Today the needs of children and working adults are different and more complex. In particular new and emerging technologies have changed our work environments and eyesight demands.

Our Life And Eye Needs Are More Complex

Let’s take a classic day in the life an adult which consists of commuting to work by car requiring glare protection. We arrive at our desks and switch on computer screens and shuffle through mountains of electronic paperwork. Perhaps we turn on machinery and our trade tools and need eye protection in the form of safety glasses. After work it’s sports and recreation time. High velocity ball sports require acute vision and contrast.

As an adult or student the hours spent on computer games, smart-phone based social media, and homework also take their toll on our vision.

Then just when we think we’ve got it all sorted, we reach our 40’s and it all goes wrong. Our natural crystalline lens loses its flexibility as we age (a condition called Presbyopia), and we consequently lose our focus zooming ability (accommodation), gradually at first until in time it manifests itself as blurry vision. Life is getting complicated.

New Lenses Create New Solutions

The variety of spectacle lenses available in today’s market is mind boggling. Lenses that simply didn’t exist 20 years ago are in demand because of our changing work places and demands.  Have we just invented new lenses to create new market demands?

Bob’s Eye Journey

Consider a 50 year old adult male who now suffers from long sightedness or Presbyopia.  Let’s call him Bob.

School – one pair of glasses

He was first prescribed glasses after failing an eye screening at school and required single vision glasses to correct vision. Because he was very young he could accommodate well, and the lack of digital devices at his disposal meant that multiple pairs of glasses were not needed.

Young adult – contact lenses, sunglasses, glasses for driving

As a young adult he wanted to play more sport and wear sunglasses, necessitating contact lenses and eventually prescription sunglasses for driving. This combination of vision correction worked well until he turned 45 years of age.

At 45 – multiple glasses

Around Bob’s 45th birthday his smart phone didn’t look so clear anymore. He now required different vision corrections for different work distances.  Multifocals provided the solution here.  He still needed sunglasses and he considered a lenses with a photo-reactive tint (eg. Transitions https://kosmacandclemens.com.au/spectacle-lenses/) however whilst they worked well when he was out in the sun, they proved inadequate when driving. He solved that problem by getting polarised tinted Multifocals, however there were new challenges waiting in the office.

Computer based work now consumed the majority of his day. With the new expansive screens it was becoming a challenge to access the desired vision at all points on his larger screen with regular Multifocals. Fortunately, new screen biased Multifocal lenses were available and prescribed, making his work day more comfortable.

Bob comes to the end of his workday and looks forward to getting out on his bike for his daily bike ride.  Luckily he has tinted high wrap sports glasses that block out the wind and improve contrast which is really helpful in the fading light of dusk.

Glasses Are A Bit Like Shoes

If there can be only one analogy to drive the point home, then it would be this… consider how many pairs of shoes you own: leather work shoes, cross-trainers for the gym, work boots for the garden, football boots for this Saturday’s game, thongs for the beach, slippers for the bedroom, casual shoes for lunch with friends, and something a little dressy for dinner at that restaurant you’re going to this evening.

As much as we try, one pair of glasses sometimes just doesn’t cut it for our lifestyle.  It will always be the compromise between what we need and what we can endure. The great news is there are loads of options available now. So maybe it’s time to consider helping your eyes out as much as your feet!