Thursday, 27 May 2010

Leave the Varifocals at Home



Are you over 65? If so do you, or anyone of that age you know, wear varifocals? If so read on.

An Australian study says that falls are a leading cause of death and disability in the elderly, but research says 40% could be prevented if single=lens glasses were worn outside.

Researchers from Sydney recruited more than 600 people from age 65 with a history of galls. All of them used varifocals and not single lens glasses and wore them outside at least three times a week. Half were given single lens glasses for going out and the other half were not. In all, the first group had 8% fewer falls than the second. For those who regularly went outside, the difference was significant - with 40% fewer incidents.

Based on the findings, the authors recommend that older people who are active outside should be advised to switch between single and varifocal glasses - despite the inconvenience. The UK's College of Optometrists welcomed the study, but stressed some people did find it frustrating to have two pairs of glasses.

I've worn variofocals for some years now, although I only use them at home for watching television or for reading very small print but I can believe this study. Walking on uneven surfaces or going down stairs can be slightly disorientating.

Remember, if anyone you know wears variofocals, do ask them if they find wearing them outside difficult at times. If so, perhaps you could suggest they bought a pair of single-lens glasses for outdoors. After all they will be much cheaper than spending months recuperating from broken bones.


14 comments:

Mrs Rigby said...

OH, who isn't over 65, wears varifocals, has for about ten years. Has to take them off to go down/up stairs because of the 'looking down' problem.

Billy said...

Hi Subrosa...you should go and read up on a Dr William H. Bates who says that putting on glasses in the first place is the biggest problem as your eyes actually get worst because of this. As he states it is not your eyes that deteriorate but the muscles that focus the eyes.

It seems that all you have to do is simple exersizes to get the muscles back into shape then you can chuck your glasses in the bin.

Of course the opticians would rather just stick the glasses on your face as you will be a customer for life then...that is why Dr Bates got thrown out of their organisation even though he did more scientific study of eyes than anyone else.

I have the book and a more up-to-date exersize pack of eye exersizes from Amazon as I am determined to get rid of my glasses.

Leg-iron said...

I have varifocals and they are a pain. I'm always tilting my head to find the focus and I've given up trying to read with them. It's easier to take them off and hold the book at arm's length. I'll be back to plain ones next time.

Billy has a point there. Most of us need glasses at around the time of puberty. If we didn't get them, would the eyes readjust? At puberty, different bits grow at different rates so it's not surprising that the eyes go out of focus.

The trouble is, they'd then readjust to accommodate the extra glass lens rather than getting back to normal.

I wonder if anyone's looked at that aspect of it?

Mad Dog McClane said...

I tried varifocals and hated them. My eyes were always having to re-focus.

Now I wear +2.5 from Sainsbury's at 9.99 a go when I'm on the computer or reading.

I have trouble recognising people. But they recognise me and say hello. I always say hello back. It's only polite. God knows who they are. Some of them now even wear helmets when they're scootering when they say hello. I have no idea who they are.

I just wish they would make the road signs bigger.

subrosa said...

Same problem here Mrs R and with walking on uneven ground.

subrosa said...

Billy, I've read several books on that subject over the years. I was around 9 when I first had to get glasses because I couldn't see the blackboard.

Around 14 I began to hate them so decided to only wear them when absolutely necessary. 50 years later I'm still doing that, but I certainly couldn't throw them away. If I did I wouldn't be able to drive. That and watching a smaller TV are about the only two occasions I still use mine.

So it works to a degree I think but not completely, even though I did the exercises regularly (which I don't do these days).

Keep it up though. You may find you don't need them so much.

subrosa said...

I got variofocals so as I could read labels etc LI and, like you, I'm always trying to focus. Because I read a lot I decided to get a proper pair of reading glasses as I couldn't be bothered messing around.

In the past 10 years or so I've needed weaker lenses as my optician says the tables turn on the distance and nearsight focuses. Don't know how true that is.

subrosa said...

Good for you John. I've a stigmatism in one eye and feel cross eyed wearing the cheapies but I know plenty folks who do.

Most folk around here know I'm short sighted so know I'm not ignoring them. Just not seeing them.

Gave up shouting hello to folks many years ago - too many embarrassing mistakes. ;)

You're right, it is only polite. I blame the councils, even in Turkey. They save money squeezing too much on signs these days and with such small fonts.

Indyanhat said...

Dunno if its my glasses or not Rosa but I keep seeing links to interesting things you have posted (the latest was SNP and Scottish independance I think) in my blog list on my page and when I click through I get a page that says page not found!! Its happened a few times recently , any idea what is occurring???

subrosa said...

Yes I do Indyan. The dame who write this blog isn't too techy and she writes some posts in advance then times them for publication. On the odd occasion somehow the timing was wrong and the post published right behind another, so this dame had to delete that one and do another in the hope that it would publish when she wanted.

She's quite dizzy at times, even though I say so myself, so do forgive her. There is a post with that title coming up shortly.

Indyanhat said...

Nothing to forgive the dear lady, Just wondered if it was my browser or my complete misunderstanding of how to drive a comfuter!!!
Danged tek nologogy!!

subrosa said...

So pleased you understand my inadequacies Indyan. :)

Apogee said...

Hi SR. As one who has needed specs since the age of 12, (could see well up to about six foot but couldn't read a foot high lettered sign on the other side of the street)I think I've been through most of the sight problems caused by ageing. Between age 55 and 65 the muscles of the eyes had changed so that I didn't need glasses.
However, I am now back to needing glasses but for close up now.
Only use varifocals now, bi focals are a total pain, but its possible that some of the problems are due to the strength of the glasses.

Can I suggest another possible reason for the falls and its not directly related to wearing glasses.

As one ages, the muscles in your legs that control your feet age,get damaged and weaken. One tends to shuffle along,and as you dont pick up your feet so high as you used to, you will kick ,unexpectedly, things you used to step over.
Watch the walking style of a 10 year old compared with a 60 year old. Think, you don't spend your life watching your feet, but you don't spend all your time controlling how you walk,
you learnt to do that as a kid, right?
But the muscles dont do what they used to any more, so the control is not precise any more, so as they told you in the Army,PICK YER FEET UP.
Found this out myself the hard way,
after thinking it through, didnt matter wearing specs or not.
Thats my take on it,FWIW.

subrosa said...

Superb analysis Apogee and very likely. Do hope you put that forward to the folks who do these tests.

I've never been great on my feet (as they say) and I'm very aware that I'm much less steady than I was. Which, as you'll realise, wasn't good to begin with.

Saying that, I was a braw dancer. :)

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