Varifocal versus bifocal

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My eyes have been changing rapidly over the last twelve months. my glasses are usually for reading only. since finding out I have Fuchs, my eyes have changed and I now require short and long distance help. I discussed the. options and chose varifocals.

I just cannot get along with them.!!!

I can see clearly in the distance and TV watching is fine but reading is a nightmare!!

Anyone experienced similar?

Any advice gratefully. received


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Which Fuchs have you got?

    I have varifocals, are you in the UK?  I used Specsavers and the Optometrist spent a long time getting the prescription right.  I too had trouble with the reading part, with one lot of varifocals.  I mentioned it to Mr Specsavers and he made the size that I see for reading, larger than the previous Optometrist had done.

    I have now been using them for about 10 years successfully.  I have 2 pairs at a time and again, it takes time to get them both the same, it's just the fitting in that case.


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    • Posted


      I have Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy. I am told by my doctor and my Specialist that I should forget about it for now as am in the early stages. I still wonder if there is something I could be doing to keep it at bay but am at a loss.

      I research a great deal, always looking for new interventions and new research.

      I have ME/CFS too so try to keep my emotions under control as energy used up so easily.

      I read somewhere that Hyourolic acid and vitamin C (excuse my spelling) are good for not only the skin but also the endothelial layers ??

      I take Lutein every day !

      My optician is testing bifocals for me at the moment. She says that varifocals are guaranteed so if not working I can switch to bifocals.

      I explained that the amount of lens that was suitable for reading seemed only to be about 2/3 mm at the bottom of the lens !!

      So, I have agreed to try the bifocals for now.

      It's frustrating when you lose your senses especially if it is not necessary. I think they are very precious and I try to look after myself.

      At the moment my energy levels are very low so I do very little other than stick to a rigid plan each day, to survive. The one thing I can do is read, strange because you would think reading was a red activity; using lots of energy. For me, it seems not to be the case.

      I can walk for about 10 minutes then my legs go, just like a machine winding down !! 😡

      Thank you for your reply. This site is wonderful at times when you need to talk . 😍

      I appreciate your opinion Mrs Mop.


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  • Posted

    Don't worry, you're not alone! A lot of people have difficulty getting used to varifocals. If you've only just had them then I would give them a couple of weeks to try and adjust. A general rule for varifocals is to point you nose at the thing you're trying to look at, then move your chin up and down until you find the right place to focus. With practice you'll be able to find the right part of the lens more quickly. Having said that, if you've already tried them for a while and are still struggling then you should go and speak to the place where you got them from. Sometimes the frames just need a bit of adjusting, or it may be worth having your prescription re-checked. Some people do seem to just not suit varifocals, even when all the measurements are perfect. Bifocals are a bit more straighforward because its easier to see which bit you're supposed to be looking through, but they don't give you intermediate vision eg for a computer.
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    • Posted

      Good morning Rose

      Thank you for your invaluable advice once again . I am rather at a loss with the glasses because I have never strived to read before apart from when I knew I needed glasses.

      Something just isn't right and it's strange because a month ago I remember telling the optician, "I cannot drive with these glasses on...and how unclear the distance was ...only last week I said,..."my distance part of the lens is now perfect!" ...but I cannot read...😡

      I get Varifocals..... and your explanation is spot on but my gut instinct tells there is something amiss!

      Thanks for your input; it is appreciated.



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  • Posted

    Rose is right about the adjusting of the frames.  I have rimless titanium ones and to get them both perfect, took quite a while after I actually received them and I once had a pair, with Kodak lenses, I just could not get on with them at all.  I find that the Specsavers specs work well for me and the dispensing optician gives me as much time as I need.

    I have Fuchs's Heterochromic Cyclitis, which is why I asked what you have.


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    • Posted

      Hi again,

      Thanks to for that.

      yes, interesting although some of the Scientific language is off putting when you read through.

      When I get lost, I tend to give up. What do they say, little knowledge is dangerous. ??

      I hadn't heard of your type of Fuchs but sounds rather like treatment just plod on until the cateracts arrive. Let's hope that takes another 20 years to happen....!!!!😊

      My glasses are back in the workshop at the moment...looking at changing to bifocals. I am going to try them and see how I do.

      Will catch up with again.

      Bye for now

      Jinny 💝

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    • Posted

      I had a cataract removed in 1992!  

      The latest thinking on my Fuchs, is that it is a type of herpetic uveitis, which flares up fairly frequently these days.  They put me on Aciclovir about 5 years ago, I have to take it for life.  I use steroid eye drops daily , with the frequency varying.

      I hope your specs are ok when you get them back.  Look forward to the update!


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