The Spectator

The moment I realised I needed Varifocals

27 Feb 2017

The moment I realised I needed Varifocals hero image

Being an optometrist I frequently advise people as to the benefits of varifocal lenses, and I can actually remember the precise moment I realised I needed them.

It was whilst attending a conference.

My distance vision had been fine up to that point, but I had worn reading glasses for a while, and adjusted to having to take them everywhere with me. I had diligently packed them in my bag along with my other essentials for the day, so had no problem reading the detailed lecture programme.

I chatted to the other attendees on my way in and went through to the lecture hall to find a seat. So far so good.

Then the speaker came in to start his talk and put up a screen containing his lecture slides. I looked up. I couldn’t read any of it! I couldn’t even see him properly!

Not to worry: I took my glasses off – much better.

He continued the lecture and asked us to turn to page two. Oh no, I couldn’t see it! Where had I put my glasses?

Of course, when I looked back up at the lecturer he was blurred again. I needed to be able to see at long and short distances at the same time, but I couldn’t. I ended up trying to perch my specs on the end of my nose for the rest of the lecture – not a good look.

In fact, by the end of the lecture I must have looked like a stern schoolmistress with a neck problem.

I ordered varifocals the next day and I’ve never looked back (or around for my glasses). I have seamless, clear vision at all distances whenever I want it – something people need in whichever walk of life they inhabit.