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fastsail
05-22-2014, 10:14 PM
I am 43 and my vision has changed a lot in the last year. My eye doctor sold me on progressive lenses and I have hated them since day 1. I find that I have to move my head excessively to see what I need to see because of the distorted peripheral vision that comes with progressive lenses.

The other issue I have (and I know it's not unique) is that everything I need to see is at different distances. I need to see to infinity out the windshield, to arms length for the EFIS tubes and close in for the IPAD, side panel and overhead. I see the tubes quite well without any glasses at all, but I need the glasses to land the airplane at night or in low visibility. When I put my old distance prescription glasses on it makes the tubes fuzzy.

I am about to go spend more money and try bifocals. I spent quite a bit on the progressives and it was a waste. A co-worker suggested executive bifocals with the line all the way across the lens. I also read that glass lenses are better then plastic for bifocals, and in low light conditions because they are supposed to have less glare.

I may ask for a distance correction on the top of the lens and a 0 correction on the bottom of the lens. I am going back to the optometrist next week.


My question is what works for you? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!


redthread
05-22-2014, 10:38 PM
If you have Varilux or another quality lens, progressives can work really well. But, budget progressives are prone to the "barrel" effect and peripheral weirdness. You get what you pay for but if you have good progressives already, you might indeed need a different type of lens.

rickair7777
05-23-2014, 12:38 AM
My eye doc says most pilots hate progressives. I experimented with bifocals but found that trendy narrow lenses don't have enough near or distant "working space"...I had to move my head up and down way too much and the transition line was always right in the middle of everything.

Turns out that the near correction is counter-productive for the instrument panel, and is really only useful for charts up close. Part of my problem is that my near vision isn't that bad, not 20/20 but I can still base the FAA test uncorrected so don't actually need near correction just yet.

The transition line would actually make my eyes water, probably because my vision system "felt" that something was in my eye making things blurry.

I got some larger"accountant" style glasses with a larger distant area and the near area much lower. Hopefully that will allow me to use distant correction for the panel and everything outside and keep the near correction out of the way until I need it for a chart. Not wearing those glasses outside the cockpit though!


FlyBoyd
05-23-2014, 07:24 AM
This might be the reverse of you but could work...

I flew with one dude that had bifocals made with the line higher so it fell on the glare shield. It naturally fell where you would least notice it and he could keep his head more still and just move his eyes.

fastsail
05-24-2014, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the advice. I saw the ophthalmologist yesterday. I ordered bifocals. They recommended the "flat D 35". They did not recommend the executive bifocal with the line all the way across. They said that line creates a ridge in the lens that bothers a lot of people.
I also had the line set much higher then normal to give me a larger intermediate viewing area.

I will get the glasses next week and will report back.

PerfInit
05-24-2014, 06:59 AM
I too am in my 40's and wearing progressives, which I have grown to like. If your aircraft's flight deck has an overhead instrument panel, then it may be challenging since the upper part of the eyeglass lenses are for distance vision (normally).. I have heard of some pilots going for a near vision line at the top of the lens for this reason. Less neck strain!

Barnstormer
05-24-2014, 04:23 PM
Here's how I took care of it. Was given Bi-focals that worked ok. On a day flight adjusted them so the break was right on the glareshield. Above glare shield was the distance lens. Below was the near. Went right to the office after landing and stated this is where the line needs to be. It is different from where they put the line for non-pilots. Also don't go full power on the bottom, that way you can read the instruments cross cockpit.

atpwannabe
05-25-2014, 09:27 AM
Progressive lenses.....hands down!


atp

swaayze
05-25-2014, 12:08 PM
I'm new to progressives as well. Definitely takes some getting used to but they seem to be ok. New airplane now with a different o'head and I notice now I sometimes have to look over the top (so what's the point, I was just peeking under my single visions!?). Generally speaking I do like them but I may try the multi-focal contacts again when my benefits renew next year.

Them dang progressives also make it harder to see all the sights while you walk thru the terminal.

airbus300
05-25-2014, 01:03 PM
Masterpiece HD lenses from wings eye care. I had a hard time adjusting to the Sam's club progressive lenses. The more expensive high definition lenses from wings eye care gives me the vision that I had at 23. You have a much wider viewing area so you do not have to turn your head as much. Normal price was $1000 for the lense/ frame combination, but got a 2 for 1 end of the year special.

airbus300
05-25-2014, 01:10 PM
My wife also thinks her HIgh Definition HD Masterpiece lenses are the best glasses she has ever had. (I do not work for wings eye care and do not get any commission off this).

Atlas Shrugged
05-25-2014, 04:47 PM
Screw that noise!

Buy yourself some of these and stop breaking your neck to see. You can focus on any distance under all conditions.

Superfocus - Keep your world in focus (http://www.superfocus.com/)

Greatest thing since sliced bread!

Packrat
05-25-2014, 05:31 PM
Hated progressives. No line bifocals for me.

vfrontop
05-27-2014, 08:58 AM
Top -- Distant

Center -- Panel

Bottom -- Close (stuff on the yoke)

atpwannabe
05-27-2014, 11:07 AM
Masterpiece HD lenses from wings eye care. I had a hard time adjusting to the Sam's club progressive lenses. The more expensive high definition lenses from wings eye care gives me the vision that I had at 23. You have a much wider viewing area so you do not have to turn your head as much. Normal price was $1000 for the lense/ frame combination, but got a 2 for 1 end of the year special.

I got my progressives from Wal-Mart with the magnet sunglass lenses. Frames run about $118.00 and the lenses around $250-$350 depending whatever extras you may added....i.e., scratch resistant, transition lenses, etc.


atp

IFLYACRJ
05-29-2014, 05:29 AM
I have progressives and I'll never wear lined bifocals

DELTA DOG
05-01-2018, 09:22 AM
I'm resurrecting this thread because I just got back from the eye doctor and it looks like I'm getting close to needing progressive/bifocal lenses.

Can anyone tell me how progressive lenses are now (4 years after this thread was started)? I wonder if there are glasses that will allow me to clearly see outside/instrument panel/HUD. I fear that may be too much to ask from a single pair of glasses.

If there are any 737 captains out there who can tell me how well they work (or don't work) with the HUD it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

DD

Learflyer
05-01-2018, 09:26 AM
I can't answer your question about HUD, but very happy with my progressive lenses. I opted for the top of the line "Varilux" lenses and I can see clearly at full distance and the FMS instruments have never been more clear as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

rickair7777
05-01-2018, 11:35 AM
Worth noting... you'll likely get the restriction "must wear corrective lenses for distant vision, must possess corrective lenses for near vision".

So if you don't actually need near lenses to see OK, you can just wear normal distance lenses and keep cheaters or bifocals in your bag (or around your neck).

USMCFDX
05-01-2018, 04:11 PM
I have progressive lenses, needed them for near vision after cataract surgery in one eye. Only line on my medical is must have glasses for near vision, nothing about distant. I have no problem with the HUD we use at FedEx.

742Dash
05-02-2018, 04:05 AM
I'm resurrecting this thread because I just got back from the eye doctor and it looks like I'm getting close to needing progressive/bifocal lenses.

Can anyone tell me how progressive lenses are now (4 years after this thread was started)? I wonder if there are glasses that will allow me to clearly see outside/instrument panel/HUD. I fear that may be too much to ask from a single pair of glasses.

If there are any 737 captains out there who can tell me how well they work (or don't work) with the HUD it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

DD

There are several, perhaps many, variations on progressive lens technology, the best of which are still under patent ($$). My first stab was at Costco, and they were useless at work. Then I spent a lot of money at an Optometrist who was used to working with pilots, and have been very pleased with the result. As with most things, you get what you pay for.

I can not help with your HUD questions, but if they did not work I think that we would all have heard about it by now.

Learflyer
05-02-2018, 06:03 AM
And don't forget if you go with progressives, you're probably going to have to get progressive sunglasses. Since the lenses have to be a bit larger, the frames have to be a bit larger as well. I have Ray Bans for my progressive sunglasses. I look like a dorky aviator but I guess that's what I am. The best price I saw was at Lenscrafters if you have those in your area.

galaxy flyer
05-02-2018, 06:06 AM
I used Varilux progressives on both the Collins and Thales HUDs (Global Express) without a problem. Spending the money on Varilux was worth it and I hated my earlier progressives.

GF

TroutBum
05-02-2018, 04:02 PM
I used Varilux progressives on both the Collins and Thales HUDs (Global Express) without a problem. Spending the money on Varilux was worth it and I hated my earlier progressives.

GF

I hated my progressives because I had to move my entire head to focus on things that weren't directly in front of me. Anything out of the very center of the glasses was out of focus. So, for example, I had to move my head back and forth just to read a newspaper. Do Varilux lenses remedy this?

galaxy flyer
05-02-2018, 07:29 PM
In my experience, Varilux were natural right out the door. I donít notice them at all, daily or flying. Might depend a bit on your prescription.

GF

Spin
05-03-2018, 03:17 PM
I'm retired now, but I use Varilux progressives for daily use. Not for reading or for the computer, you have to move your head too much. Never tried them for flying, but they're good for driving.

TroutBum
05-04-2018, 10:28 AM
In my experience, Varilux were natural right out the door. I donít notice them at all, daily or flying. Might depend a bit on your prescription.

GF

I'm retired now, but I use Varilux progressives for daily use. Not for reading or for the computer, you have to move your head too much. Never tried them for flying, but they're good for driving.

I may check them out. Thanks.

3 green
05-22-2018, 01:59 PM
I hated my progressives because I had to move my entire head to focus on things that weren't directly in front of me. Anything out of the very center of the glasses was out of focus. So, for example, I had to move my head back and forth just to read a newspaper. Do Varilux lenses remedy this?

The same exact problem I had with progressives. I just ordered bifocals and will report back when I try them out..I heard progressives work the best if your vision is really bad, and that is not the case for me..My eyes are still pretty good, and the progressives didn't work at all for me. The area of focus was way too small.

CaptYoda
06-04-2018, 04:24 AM
Has anyone have experience getting an eye exam for progressives in ATL from:

Dr. John Henahan, optometrist at Spectrum Eyecare in Peachtree City or

Alan Kozarsky, MD

Alternatively, other recommendations welcomed.

3 green
07-07-2018, 09:02 AM
After trying both progressives and bifocals, I strongly recommend bifocals while flying. U can have the magnification part of the lense cut to whatever height u choose.

AirBear
07-07-2018, 10:04 AM
After trying both progressives and bifocals, I strongly recommend bifocals while flying. U can have the magnification part of the lense cut to whatever height u choose.

I used tri-focals, bottom for looking at an approach plate, middle for the PFD and MFD, and top for looking out the window. A plane with an overhead panel with switches and other controls was a PITA thou.

I tried progressives many years ago and couldn't stand them. I'm even surprised the FAA allows pilots to use them. The blurry side vision was the biggest issue for me. Humans see motion much better with side vision than with straight ahead vision. It's been over a decade since I tried out the progressives so they may have gotten better.

bionic
06-08-2019, 01:52 PM
I see a few people have mentioned that they have been able to obtain custom, higher cut, bifocal so that the vision correction rises up to the top of the panel/glareshield. I have searched high and low and have not found anywhere online that offers this, nor even a single image of such a lens.

I would be grateful to anyone who can point me to an online resource, or explain the specs of the lens in more technical detail so I can discuss with a local optician.

I don't react well to the warping that my progressives are causing me and traditional bifocals just don't cut it for me either.

Thanks!

random dude
06-09-2019, 06:32 AM
Here is THE place to contact for custom glasses. I found Michael online several years ago, on some obscure pilot chat site . Michael has owned a specialty optical lab in Florida for many years.

He worked generously and enthusiastically with me to create a quadra-focal (reading, panel, outside, top panel). He even designed a magnetic sun-glass piece that I could pop on after breaking out and being in the sunshine again, while my view of the panel, upper panel and reading remained clear. I sent him my frames, and he re-worked the height of each segment a few times, and also changed the magnification of each segment a few times, too. The finished product was perfect!

https://www.questopticallab.com/a-word-from-michael

Quest Vision Care Specialty Lab in N. Largo, FL
Tell him the guy with the pilot quads glasses sent you (I don't get anything out of it other than the satisfaction of helping you get hooked-up with a really awesome guy!)
Best of luck.


I see a few people have mentioned that they have been able to obtain custom, higher cut, bifocal so that the vision correction rises up to the top of the panel/glareshield. I have searched high and low and have not found anywhere online that offers this, nor even a single image of such a lens.

I would be grateful to anyone who can point me to an online resource, or explain the specs of the lens in more technical detail so I can discuss with a local optician.

I don't react well to the warping that my progressives are causing me and traditional bifocals just don't cut it for me either.

Thanks!

navigatro
06-10-2019, 11:30 AM
keep in mind you only need to test 20/40 or better for a First or Second Class medical on the Near Vision and Intermediate Vision Tests*.


*intermediate only required age 50 and over. Not required for 3rd Class certification.

rickair7777
03-18-2020, 11:56 AM
Update. Just got Varilux progressives (top line option with best width, as recommended here), they're pretty awesome after having worn them for 15 minutes. Will take some getting used to but it's still better than bifocals, just need to fine-tune head pitch for the needed correction band, I think it will be second nature soon enough.

Learflyer
03-18-2020, 12:16 PM
Update. Just got Varilux progressives (top line option with best width, as recommended here), they're pretty awesome after having worn them for 15 minutes. Will take some getting used to but it's still better than bifocals, just need to fine-tune head pitch for the needed correction band, I think it will be second nature soon enough.

I still love mine as well. I have the updated transition lenses on mine too. They will even go dark in the cockpit and vehicle.