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    Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    I just got a pair of Varilux (progressive focus) eye glasses for the first time.

    I was told they would take some getting used to, but they anyhow only have a fairly narrow angle of focus, such that one needs to physically turn one's head more to see clearly out of the side mirrors. There is also a slight parallex distortion if you look at something off axis.

    I was wondering if others are using Varilux or similar progressive lenses and whether they find them safe for Porsche-level driving?

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    #1-I wear the same lenses. As long as you're going around an oval track to the left, you should have no problem, it's the right hand curves that can kill you. JUST kidding! My wife is an optician and says to tell you if you wear them every day, you will eyes will adjust in about 2 weeks and you won't notice any difference than regular lenses. If you only wear them part time, it can take up to two months.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Quote:
    pnoble said:
    I was wondering if others are using Varilux or similar progressive lenses and whether they find them safe for Porsche-level driving?



    Hmmm, sounds like you might need a dedicated pair of glasses just for driving?

    You have to wonder how many drivers there are out there wearing glasses which may be great for most things, but not suitable for driving.

    Different problem, but I have a pair of (non-prescription) sunglasses which show up everything just perfectly apart from the small on-board computer display field in the bottom of the rev-counter. The tinted lenses darken the point-matrix display to the point that it is barely legible. The "normal" LCD displays in the same instrument cluster are no problem.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Quote:
    fritz said:Different problem, but I have a pair of (non-prescription) sunglasses which show up everything just perfectly apart from the small on-board computer display field in the bottom of the rev-counter. The tinted lenses darken the point-matrix display to the point that it is barely legible. The "normal" LCD displays in the same instrument cluster are no problem.



    I'm willing to bet its because they are polarised and depending on the angle of incidence on the glass, some type of displays get filtered to the point of being barely legible, others don't. If this is the case than looking at that display form anither position in the car should make it visible again. It happens to me with the PCM-I display, depending on how I look at it it will get too dark with the sunglasses.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Thanks 997Cab.

    This is what my optician said also. Problem is that they seem unusable for the computer since their area of focus is too small and my optician agreed that I need separate glasses for sustained computer use and another pair for reading - I spend around 12 hours a day between the two activities.

    So I'm not going to be able to use them full time. However, for general use and at the same time using a Blackberry (small target object), not to mention reading the menu in a restaurant without having to schlepp along reading glasses, they are perfect.

    I'm asking this question on this forum, because using the wrong glasses to read a book isn't going to kill me, but to drive my Porsche they just might!

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Quote:
    pnoble said:

    I was wondering if others are using Varilux or similar progressive lenses and whether they find them safe for Porsche-level driving?



    I've used them for about six or seven years. They are great for certain activities: driving is NOT one of those activities, and time will not make them better. You simply cnnot see off axis and be in focus!! When I drive any car I use bi-focal lenses, with a small lower lens area: perfect for the instrument panel, etc. The main upper part of the lens is to see sharply in all the peripheral directions you need to be a really capable driver.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    If you have three way progressive, the lense's optics are graduated like an hourglass. The upper part is wide for far vision, but the intermediate part for car gauges and radio controls is very narrow , then widening again for the lower part of the lense for reading . That's why you have to turn your head to read the radio controls, etc.
    Glasses that seem " sharp " for distance in day are " blurred " at night when your pupils are dilated . You can't have it both ways, as more day power makes middle and close vision worse on these " trying to do it all, but none well " progressive glasses. Welcome to getting old , lol.
    Some need nighttime only driving glasses and computer glasses and ....

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Thanks ArthurY and MKW. you are spot on. I actually have a mild prescription and don't need a bi-focal to see the instrument panel. But you have confirmed my suspicion that the off axis blur is an impediment to safe driving. i have already adapted somewhat with added head-turning, but when reaction times should be in milliseconds, the additional time to react and consequent loss of straight ahead vision surely are risky.

    Here I was thinking I would reduce my pairs of glasses but instead I just added one more pair!

    One thing Varilux/bi-focals rock at: walking through an airport typing on a Blackberry or a cell phone!

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    It may be a little bit off-topic but I'm pretty "anal" regarding sun glasses. So far, most Oakley glasses have worked just fine, especially the ones with the "Plutonite" lenses and of course they're polarized too. Highly recommendable.
    BTW: Oakley is also delivering sunglasses and shoes for army special ops worldwide, they even make custom made stuff for them. And they even sell car racing boots.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    I used to wear Varilux, but my last set of progressive lenses are "definity" by J&J. They have a broader mid-field, with greater depth of view. I feel totally normal with my glasses and participated in the Porsche Driving Experience, without a hitch.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Thanks, pcosta. I'll look into them.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Quote:
    MKW said:
    If you have three way progressive, the lense's optics are graduated like an hourglass. The upper part is wide for far vision, but the intermediate part for car gauges and radio controls is very narrow , then widening again for the lower part of the lense for reading . That's why you have to turn your head to read the radio controls, etc.
    Glasses that seem " sharp " for distance in day are " blurred " at night when your pupils are dilated . You can't have it both ways, as more day power makes middle and close vision worse on these " trying to do it all, but none well " progressive glasses. Welcome to getting old , lol.
    Some need nighttime only driving glasses and computer glasses and ....



    When I started using progressive lenses I tried several manufacturers and settled on Zeiss optics. Zeiss gives me very wide fields and no distortion.

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    Quote:
    ADias said:


    When I started using progressive lenses I tried several manufacturers and settled on Zeiss optics. Zeiss gives me very wide fields and no distortion.



    If you have bifocal progressives, the fields are wide for the near for reading and far for driving vision ( no hourglass effect in the center ) with good lateral vision top to bottom . If you have " trifocal " progressives with a third central intermediate focus for the instrument panel, it's this latter focus point that is the very narrow " waist " of the hourglass with poor peripheral/lateral performance at that central segment height . ( I'm not an ophthalmologist , I just play one on TV ! ) .

    Re: Driving with Progressive (e.g. Varilux) Eye Glasses

    I took pcosta's advice and looked at Definity. Evidently all ranges have around 30% wider effective viewing angle. The problem is that distribution is still limited on the East Coast: several stores in Manhattan but next to none in NJ.

    It seems, according posts on optician sites, that they have to purchase directly from J&J rather than from their regular labs so there is some reluctance to take on the line, though the product seems clearly superior.

    fortunately Varilux offers a 60 day return policy so I will explore further.

    Thanks everyone for their feedback.

     
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