New varifocal glasses (not MS)

Hello all,

I’m sitting here trying to see the words on my iPad, whilst trying to get used to my first ever pair of varifocal glasses. I’ve been short sighted for years and worn glasses full time from the age of about 18 to the last few years. I found that over time I couldn’t see very well to read with my glasses on but I could see close up fine without them. So I had my eyes tested 2 years ago which confirmed that I was getting old! The optician suggested then that I could get varifocals then but I decided to continue putting on & taking off glasses would be fine. I wore my glasses to see the TV and when I went out, reading and using the iPad, I took them off. This summer however, I thought maybe the time had come to take the plunge, so I ordered and collected new varifocals yesterday. I bought the best kind (ie most expensive!) because I thought that when walking I’m off balance enough without having extra destabilising vision.

So I’m trying to get used to reading whilst wearing them. It’s weird. I’m kind of seeing text clearly when I concentrate on a word, but seeing the whole posting is making it go in & out of focus.

So, my question to you all is whether you have tried varifocals? Has anyone failed to get used to them? And how on earth do you get used to them?


Hi i wear them and they do take a bit of getting used too, try not too think about it too much and you will just get used to it in time . My new pair i had this year i didn’t have the anti glare coating put on them is i don’t drive anymore and boy was that a mistake i couldn’t cope with the slight glare i was getting on the inside in any lighting so i ended up having to get new lenses put into the frames as they could not add the coating to them so they cost me twice just minus the frames , wont make that mistake again .

Hope you stick with them . Take care . Katy

I have them too. It took about a week to get used to the first ones. I used them indoors at first but my old ones for driving. Then one day I realised I hadn’t changed them and was driving in the varifocals. I’ve had other pairs since which also took a couple of days to get used to.

I think it’s worth getting the expensive ones, you’ll be fine with them soon. Good luck!

Hi Sue, I have worn varifocals for years and really like them but you do have to persevere for a start.

It is worth it to get more expensive ones but I also have a couple of cheaper ones so I can have a pair in the bedroom as well. Mags xx

Snap! I hate mine, and am thinking of getting them exchanged for ordinary single vision lenses, like I had before!

I’m still within the trial period, so I could get them swapped to something I got on better with, AND be due a refund of the difference - which I think might be about £100 - so win-win.

I’m totally peed off that I’ve spent just under £500 on glasses that I think give me poorer overall vision than the old ones that were long overdue for replacement.

Distance is OK. I’m getting used to the fact things in my peripheral vision look slightly blurred, and the floor’s a bit wobbly if I’m not looking directly at it.

But the reading part isn’t working at all. I’m convinced my reading is worse through the lower, near vision area of the lens than completely uncorrected. I’m still taking the damn things off to read labels, check prices etc. in shops, which was the problem I was getting fed up with, that these were supposed to fix. I think the text looks both smaller and slightly distorted with the glasses than without. All the letters look as if they’re slightly on the tilt. Not quite Italic, but heading that way.

I wouldn’t dream of trying to read a book or newspaper like this, and I’m not using them for the computer, either - but then, I never have worn glasses for the computer.

I’m not sure if I’ve just got the wrong prescription, or I’m not persevering enough.

I feel as if the idea prescription for the near vision would be clear glass - i.e. NO correction, because I read best of all when I’m not wearing them at all.

Surely, that can’t be right?

My commiserations - it’s a bugger, isn’t it? I don’t think these are going to be for me. I don’t see the point in having ultra-expensive varifocals, if all they’re good for is distance. I’m not wearing them in the house at all, because I don’t need to see very far (small house!)



Tina, my last but one pair were the wrong prescription. They were from a well know high street glasses emporium which I had been using for… ever.

I had a feeling the eye test wasn’t right - it was that huge machine you look into and it’s all computerised and I knew she wasn’t paying attention. I couldn’t get used to them but because I have had them before I thought the problem was them, not me. So i went back to my original childhood optician who amazingly is still there and had a new eye test. I was right - the new glasses were way off. So I drafted a masterpiece of a letter to the high street place and they told me to go in for a full refund, no question. The speed and ease of their response made me a tad suspicious that maybe I wasn’t the first to complain… Anyway, refund there and then, new glasses and I was away.

So if you are having so much trouble, that may be the reason. Worth getting them checked.


Thanks for that, Val.

The lady in the shop could tell already I was disappointed, as soon as she handed me the card to read. I could still read it, but not as well as without!

It sounds like it’s very likely the same high street chain (or their main rivals!) you went with. The sight test did seem a little bit rushed, and I wondered how accurate it was, although I won’t say I had the sense the optician wasn’t paying attention.

Fortunately, I’ve got a no-risk trial of the varifocals, so have up to two months to decide for sure.

They did say I should know much sooner than that. Unlike you, I don’t have a reference point for how I’ve been with them before, as it’s my first time - that’s why I’m finding it so hard to tell if they’re wrong, or if I’m just not patient enough.

I’m sure they will fix things one way or the other, but whether to go for redoing of the sight test, and see if it comes out with a different recommendation, or just cut my losses and say I want to go back to single vision, I’m not sure.

I’m already having an ordinary pair of single vision made up as my reserve pair. If things stay as they are, I think they will become my primary pair, and the varifocals the emergency reserve! Definitely not the right outcome, for all that money.


I got my first pair a few months ago. I spent the first couple of weeks wondering if I’d made a big mistake - could hardly read, middle distance was impossible and terrible vertigo.

However after a couple of weeks it just sort of clicked. Now I love them and wouldn’t be without them. No messing about having to put reading prescription on and off all the time.

So don’t give up too soon. Wait until just before the refund offer runs out to give them a proper chance would be my advice.

Janet x

I had a home eye-test from the same firm (I guess) as Val. They tried to sell me vari-focals rather than the bifocals I have had for years, and I turned the idea down - fortunately.

The glasses arrived, and were wrong (including the correction for reading.

I had another test (different optometrist) and the prescription was wildly different.

Getting ready for a hospital appointment last week and the doorbell rings. Yes, it is a young lady from $pec$avers with my new glasses.

Guess what … … They are wrong again! Including the reading correction!

I did not have the time for a thorough test, and saw (sorry) enough to say “These are not acceptable, i want my money back”.

No one from the firm yas yet contacted me to arrange a refund.

This started with a call to the firm in late May - not what I call good service.


Oh dear.

I’ve not got a free trial period. But as I got them from a well known high street chain that gives two pairs for one price, they suggested I wait two weeks before they make up the second pair, just in case I can’t get on with them. I suspect they’d do some kind of deal if I need to change the lenses in my first pair.

I’ve been having exactly the same problems as Tina, in a shop or whenever I need to read something outside (menus in restaurants etc), I have to take my glasses off. In the house I’ve been fine with no glasses apart from TV (which I don’t do very much as ownership of the remote control has a definite male bias in this house) and whenever my OH holds up the screen of his Mac book to say “look at this picture”, (which he does annoyingly often!) and I reply “I can’t see it without glasses on”. These seem like stupid reasons now I think it through to spend £400 on varifocals. At least I got off cheaper than Tina!

But I will persevere for at least 10 days before calling it a failure. I’m just avoiding trying to do anything like move in them. My little bit of walking is so iffy anyway, I can’t afford the floor to wobble around whilst I stagger about. I suspect I’ll be ok after a few days, I just looked up from typing this and for a change was able to see the TV clearly. Sadly what was on the telly was football, but there may be times when I’ll be glad to read something and be able to see the box as well!!


After having to wear glasses, for close-up/reading for several years, l decided to do something about it. l found if l was standing up and reading the lap top or reading a recipe etc, with my reading glasses on, if l turned and looked away my sight was then out of focus and l would feel unbalanced. And it did cause me to fall down a few times.

One of my friends - who had worn glasses since he was 2 - had his eyesight corrected with multi-functional lens replacement. He is 57. He was so delighted to have 20/20 vision and not have to wear his specs all the time. He is interested in building model trains - and his ‘new eyes’ have made such a difference.

So l thought if he can do it so can l. l began doing a bit of research and reading the reviews from people who had the same procedure done. l came across Dr Mark Wevill - and Space Healthcare in Leamington Spa. l made an appointment and went and had an assessment to see if l could have it done. They were very thorough and l was impressed - although dearer then where my friend went to, which was Optical Express, l felt l could trust these people. Another friend of mine - and her husband and sister-in law also came and we had our eyes done about the same time. We are all so thrilled with our new ‘bionic eyes’. You have one eye done then wait a week to have the second eye done. The procedure takes about 15 mins - and you do not feel a thing. Within an hour of having my first eye done l could read the smallest print. Oh the joy! of not having to keep putting glasses on and taking them off. To be able to read in bed without glasses. There has now been quite a few more people ,connected to us, who have now gone and had theirs done. This is not ‘Laser’ treatment - this is ‘Lens Replacement’. We shall never need glasses again - and never get cataracts. ln fact one of my friends did already have cataracts - so she was even more thrilled to get her eyesight back.

Prior to having mine done - l did contact several other companies that do this procedure. And l was bombarded with phone calls/text messages/ emails etc. pushing their services - special offers - competitions - anything to try to get my custom. l was not impressed. My eyes are precious - well all of us the same. The people we went to never once tried to persuade us to have it done. No hard sell. And the after care has been just amazing.

l first heard about it on Midlands Today news. Dr Mark Wevill was interviewed - after one of his patients had said how wonderful her new eyesight was. He uses the latest replacement lenses that give you close up near and far vision perfectly.

So here we all are- about 9 of us - some who have had serious eyesight problems all their lives - and some like me having to wear reading glasses for about 10 yrs. We are aged 50 - to 72. One chap - was having to pay £1000 for his special spectacles every 2 years. Another wore contact lenses - and the cost of those mounts ups. We paid £5400 for both eyes. And we are so thrilled with our new sight that we have all said it was well worth it. The aftercare is all included. We donated all of our ‘specs’ to a charity that needs them. Our only regret is not doing it sooner.

I have them too. Took a while to get used to them. I use them for driving and reading but don’t wear them around the house/ I have the anti-glare and transitions lenses. Don’t need to put sunglasses on anymore! They were very expensive but worth it.

I’ve worn varifocals for about 10 years now but they do require persistence. I’ve also had an experience of poor testing, or rather, poor lense grinding, and had to send them back to be re-done. Came back great. I do find that as I work on a computer all day that I need a spare pair of reading glasses just for the computer screen. The varifocals are great for menu reading etc and being able to see who I’m eating with! Also I can read the petrol guage AND see out the front window without squinting - though not doing any of that recently.

I switched to varifocals a couple of years ago. I had been putting it off because of all the stories I had heard from other people who had taken ages to get used to them. I’ve worn specs since I was 4 and a half years old due to short sightedness and I, mistakenly, hoped that as I got older and my vision became more long sighted this would counteract the short sightedness!

Eventually I had to admit that resorting to using a magnifying glass to read small print ingredients or instructions wasn’t a good look so I agreed to try varifocals. I use Specsavers due to cost and because the independent optician I had used since childhood had retired and sold out to Boots who are far too expensive.

I couldn’t believe that within just 2 days of getting my varifocals I had the knack! Maybe my eyesight is so poor that it just made sense to look through the right part of the lens. The lady in Specsavers was really helpful telling me to point my nose at whatever I wanted to focus on and that really works. The only slight problem I did have was that I used to tilt my head back to avoid sunshine when driving but of course that would be disastrous now so I have to sit up straight and make sure the sun visor is down as far as possible (I’m quite short).

I wear them all the time - for PC use, reading and general vision. No problems at all.

Tracey x

I switched to varifocal glasses 2 years ago. They took a couple of weeks to get used to but are great now. I mainly wear contact lenses but find reading with my contacts difficult so trialled varifocal contact lenses too. Again they took a while to get used to but for now have decided against these as they would have cost too much money. However my glasses are great.

I got varifocals a couple of years ago; heard all kinds of stories about them and how awkward they were, so it was a bit of an anticlimax when I was used to them in less than a day! But I’m hugely short-sighted (minus 8 in one eye and minus 6 in the other) and have been wearing specs since I was 4, swapped to contact lenses for a while in my late teens/early twenties, but have now gone back to specs - far easier and less fiddly. Blow the looks… I don’t bother about that so much these days…

I have often wondered whether you could get glasses full of pinholes to achieve the much clearer vision I get when I go to the eye clinic and get my sight checked with something called a pinhole occluder. Since found out you can, though I dont think too any people would want to wear them out in public - but then again there must be vast numbers living in the Third World who would. Anyway they can work for near or distance but you probably need to be in a well lit environment, and definitely no use for driving as they reduce peripheral vision. As you would expect for something without lenses, they are very cheap on Ebay - usually under a tenner, so I think I’ll experiment with some, if only for curiosity. Would paste a link but my keyboard is knackered and wont let me.

Try a digestive biscuit. I’m not kidding! I know it’s not practical as a genuine vision aid (although dual purpose emergency snack is a plus), but the same principle exactly. The little holes focus the image.


1 Like