If you've recently been told by your optometrist that it's time to consider bifocals, you may be wondering how these lenses will affect your lifestyle. While allowing your declining vision to go uncorrected will only exacerbate any coordination or balance issues you may be experiencing, you may go through quite an adjustment period when switching from single-vision lenses (or no corrective lenses at all) to bifocals while playing sports or engaging in other activities that require quick reflexes. Read on to learn more about how wearing bifocals can impact various hobbies, as well as the steps you can take to regain near-perfect vision whether you're golfing, jogging, or playing the violin.
What types of bifocal lenses should you use when playing sports?
Many golf coaches have cautioned against the use of certain bifocal lenses on the course -- not because they don't allow you to see the ball well, but because the angle at which you have to hold your head to tee off can potentially cause back pain or affect the depth of your swing. Fortunately, there are certain bifocal lenses that can be customized to provide the clearest vision at just the spot you're targeting. These "spot lenses" place the bifocal lens slightly higher in the larger lens than reading glasses, and move this lens to the left or right (depending upon how you swing).
While you may choose to have a pair of spot lenses manufactured just for your golf game, these lenses are versatile enough to be used for other daily activities. You may also want to have these lenses polarized to help minimize the amount of glare you experience when looking directly at sand traps, open water, or other hazards of the course.
- Bikers and joggers
If you're engaging in a more vigorous or fast-paced activity than golf, regular bifocal lenses should be fine for vision improvement purposes. However, those who don't normally wear glasses while biking, jogging, or playing other sports may want to invest in glasses with sturdy nose supports or even a protective strap to prevent your bifocals from becoming dislodged or falling off when you quickly move your head, jump, or trip.
What types of lenses should you use when engaging in other activities that require close or accurate vision?
If your hobby requires you to read sheet music while playing an instrument, you may run into issues if you happen to share a stand with another player -- or if your instrument requires a certain posture or neck position that makes your normal bifocal placement all wrong for music reading. This can be especially common for violin players, as the position in which you hold your head can require you to look at your music out of the corner of your eye. In this situation, having a pair of single-vision lenses in a relatively strong prescription may provide you the best vision for reading music.
Those who need to look at the conductor may fare better with a pair of spot lenses. When well-fitted, these lenses should allow you to quickly glance up at the conductor with clear vision while using the bifocal lens to look directly at the sheet of music.
- Knitters and quilters
Stitch work is one of the easiest hobbies for bifocal wearers to manage -- the typical bifocal lens placement is in the "reading" spot, which happens to coincide with the knitting, crocheting, or cross-stitching spot. However, you'll still need to remain conscious of your body posture when you begin knitting with bifocals to ensure you don't put yourself in a position that places stress on your neck or upper back.
Talk to your eye doctor to learn more about this topic.