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Are My Arms Shrinking or Do I Need Bifocals?


Last Updated on December 28, 2014

I have scheduled an appointment for an eye exam at which I’m expecting to be told I’ll need bifocals. Or longer arms.

For years, I heard people who had reached the age of 40 warn that something happens to one’s eyes at that milestone. Not necessarily on the 40th birthday, of course, but sometime within a few years of it.

That something happens to be a change in vision.

Forty seems to be a time when a lot of us begin needing glasses (or a stronger prescription for existing glasses).

I had an unusual thing happen several years back: I wound up no longer needing glasses for nearsightedness because my optometrist in Richmond had prescribed eyeglasses one notch too strong; my eyes had to work so hard to overcome this error, I later learned, my eye’s muscles had strengthened to the point that I no longer needed glasses: my eyes were back to 20/20.

Hey, I’ll take that!

To be fair, my worst eye was only 20/40, which meant that things were just fuzzy enough that the DMV decided to require glasses to drive, despite the fact that their regulations, I’m told, require at least 20/40 vision or better to drive.

So this dramatic correction, in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t so dramatic.

Still, I was able to ditch the glasses and haven’t needed them for years.

Last year, I noticed that it was getting a little more difficult to read the date on my watch. (Yes, I still wear a watch: I can’t embrace the ‘I just use my smartphone as my watch’ thing.)

I got a Pebble, which made the date easier to read, but not quite easy enough.

My best friend, who is only about six months younger than I am, just got them last year. Leave it to me to be stubborn and put it off!

I’m hoping the eye doctor doesn’t tell me I need to spend less time in front of a computer; that might be a problem, since my job as a digital content manager pretty much requires a major portion of my workday be spent staring at a computer screen.

And then there’s this little blog, which, with its daily posting schedule, requires a bit of time almost every day, too.

But I have to ask:

Do you wear bifocals? If so, how old were you when you had to switch to them?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • patricksplace psalm23 Like Diana, I have anti-glare on my glasses. I’ve had that for at least a decade thought, well before I got bifocials. I got those magnetic sunglasses this last time, but I’m going back to transitions lenses (the ones that get dark automatically) next time; I’ve broken two sets of clip-ons and they are EXPENSIVE.
    I will say that I have to take breaks on the computer and s-l-o-w down with my eyes (computer, page, computer tab, new tab, new tab, page, computer…etc.). That’s when I get the headaches.

  • patricksplace psalm23 I have an anti-glare coating on mine. The coating also cuts down on reflection, without the coating I sometimes see a reflection from behind me and it is distracting.

  • patricksplace Cathryn (aka Strange) I have a friend who uses those.  She says it’s alright for now and cheaper than any alternative.

  • patricksplace DianaCT It took a little while to get use to them. I think they are more natural than bifocals because there is no sharp cutoff in vision but instead your vision slowly gets blurry.

  • psalm23 Yeah, I’ve heard the progressives take some getting used to. But I’m in front of the computer day and night…a job requirement, so the idea of any kind of anti-glare coating or anything else that would be a bit easier on the eyes is very appealing at this point.

  • Cathryn (aka Strange) I’m no longer really near-sighted, but I have to put on a pair of those cheap-o store magnifying glasses for small print now. Ugh.

  • I wear them, but the difference in Rx is slight. I consider this pair ‘training wheels’ for when things REALLY hit the skids. I definitely have considered trifocals since I do a lot of computer stuff. I have great difficulty see distance–trees don’t have leaves unless they are in my front yard. 
    Like Diana, mine are progressives. They occasionally give me headaches and motion sickness when they aren’t adjusted right.

  • I wear them and it was so long ago I can’t remember when I got them. I have progressive lens and I like them a lot better than bifocals.

  • I don’t wear them yet but I am getting closer! At my last appointment, I was told probably within a year or so I will need them.  I’m near-sighted and have to remove my glasses to see small print.

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