Can I use reading glasses for driving?

Varifocal glasses for reading only - is it worth it?

Since varifocals are usually quite expensive, the question arises as to whether such expensive glasses are even necessary. Do you only need varifocals for reading - or isn't good reading glasses enough? What other advantages do varifocals offer? These questions usually only arise if you are nearsighted - i.e. need glasses for distance vision - and presbyopia becomes noticeable from the age of 35 - which makes reading more difficult at close range.

The simplest and cheapest solution is initially a "transition reading glasses". However, such cheap reading glasses from the supermarket should only be used for a few minutes. It is hardly suitable for long-term reading, since the corrective lenses fit roughly at best.

Anyone who has to read more than 2-3 times a day for a maximum of 2-3 minutes needs a better solution. In that case, you can have good reading glasses made for you. If these are optimally matched to the eyes, you can get along well with the "two-glasses solution" for years.

Since presbyopic farsightedness continues to develop over the years, near vision correction will slowly increase from +1 diopters to +3.5 diopters at the age of approx. 60 years. This process can possibly be slightly delayed through targeted eye exercises, but nothing can be changed in terms of the development itself.

If you do not need the close distances often, you can put on your reading glasses in the few moments when it is necessary and everything is good. A good book in the evening can be enjoyed wonderfully with good reading glasses.

It becomes difficult when you have to read much more often and above all a constant change from near and far distance is necessary. Even most people do. Especially in the office and at work you often have to read something here and there, but you also have to be able to look up at any time to talk to others or keep an eye on other things. Then the constant switching between reading glasses and distance glasses would be very cumbersome.

This is exactly what varifocal glasses are ideal for. You basically wear two glasses in one on your nose - and depending on where you look through the lens, the image is sharp. In the lower area you can see the close-up distances (reading), in the upper area of ​​the lens you can see everything well in the distance.

Are cheap varifocals enough?

Many over 35 years of age are almost bombarded by advertisements for varifocal glasses. One often wonders why varifocals are advertised as if they were very inexpensive - but when you talk to others, everyone complains about how expensive they are in the end. This is particularly difficult because you can't even see from the outside of a lens why one costs 100 euros - and another 400 euros. See also: varifocal prices - why are the costs so different?

Precisely because the eyes continue to deteriorate due to presbyopia - and it is foreseeable that you will probably need new varifocals in 3-4 years, it makes sense to make good calculations and still go for cheaper varifocals. In the end, it's all just cut glasses, isn't it?

The optical effect of the progressive lenses

The problem is: varifocals sometimes differ considerably in their optical effect - but of course you can't see that from the outside of the glasses. You can only experience that at daily shows.

A good optician will therefore first ask what your daily viewing habits are. Do you read often and a lot? Or are you working on a PC? How far away is the monitor? Do you talk to other people frequently, do you drive a lot? and so on ...

The aim is to find out what the ideal progressive lens should be in the individual case. Because the optical effect of the progressive lens can be significantly changed by very fine, precise changes in the manufacturing process. The following graphic shows that there are progressive lenses that have a very wide field of vision in the distance (ideal e.g. for driving a car), or those whose near zone is particularly optimized (e.g. when digital devices are used frequently in the close range). Anyone who works in the office and travels a lot in the medium viewing distances, so-called room comfort varifocals are well suited.

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What do varifocals / varifocals cost?

Varifocals are more expensive than normal single vision glasses. The costs for the spectacle frame are practically identical, but progressive lenses cost more than single vision lenses due to the more complex manufacturing process. For some opticians, it starts at a price of around 100 - 200 euros. These are mostly made in Asia and do not always meet the usual standards here. In addition, these "cheap" varifocals usually only have a "standard" lens design, which quickly becomes blurred in the edge areas on the left and right (so it is difficult to see out of the corner of the eye).

If you order a special glass (tinted or thinner = lighter), the costs can increase over 400 euros go up. Together with the glasses frame, another 100 to 200 euros can be added quickly. Since varifocals can be adjusted up to a prescription of +/- 10 diopters, they are for almost everyone Eyeglass frames and eyewear trends suitable (also as sports glasses). See also: varifocals prices - why are the costs so different?

However, one should keep in mind that one otherwise two glasses needs: normal distance glasses to correct myopia and reading glasses for close range. If you work a lot on your PC, you may need screen glasses (the costs of which are usually borne by the employer in the case of employees).

Good varifocals cost quickly in an optician's shop 500 euros and more. This includes prices for varifocal glasses of approx. 200-300 euros at many online opticians opposite, including frame and glass extras. This saves the high space costs and the trained specialist staff. Buying varifocals online is much cheaper, but: with online opticians you have a greater risk that something will not work. This can affect the shipping or a possible complaint. The Competitive prices are possible through savings in service. For the first varifocals it is always advisable to seek the service and security of a specialist optician with a store in your city.

You should also keep in mind that the "cheap varifocal glasses" are usually only one Standard glass design in which the fuzzy edge areas are relatively large. Individually cut glasses are significantly more expensive, but also better.

By the way: The so-called "Varifocal glasses free of charge"Fielmann is by no means free. Free of charge means that you get new varifocals when you take out Fielmann glasses insurance (50 euros per year), but the frame is from the" free of charge range ". However, the price for the (simple ) Zeiss glasses that are available from Fielmann are indeed very inexpensive.

> Alternatives to varifocals

If varifocals are too expensive for you, or if you shy away from the "blurry" acclimatization period, you can also use bifocals or trifocals. With these two types of glasses, the lenses for near vision (and medium distances) are inserted into the lens (i.e. no progressive lenses, but separate lenses). The glasses for the different viewing distances are clearly visibly separated from one another. The manufacturing process is less complex, such as bifocal glasses and trifocal glasses cheaper are. However, there are many people who prefer the visual appearance due to the clearly visible separating edge not so nice Find. The eyes are more difficult to see for someone opposite - and the glasses do not look round and harmonious. These glasses are therefore not necessarily suitable as a fashion accessory, but rather act like a classic visual aid.

For reasons of competition, some manufacturers are selling their special lenses under new, modern brand names. For example, Fielmann offers so-called "Room comfort glasses" (also "Close-up comfort glasses"). However, this is more of a"Varifocal reading glasses", since you can only see fluently sharply up close. The room comfort glasses are not suitable for the distance.

As an alternative to glasses, you can also wear multifocal contact lenses, for example varifocal contact lenses. In principle, they work exactly like varifocal lenses, except that they are worn directly on the cornea of ​​the eye.

Those who no longer want a visual aid at all will find a way of correcting their poor eyesight with the eye laser: The surface of the cornea is processed in such a way that it acts like a lens placed in front of it.

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