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Specsavers Varifocals
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# 1
sue_balu
Old 18-10-2006, 6:48 PM
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Default Specsavers Varifocals

A couple of weeks ago I had an eye test and was advised my prescription had changed very slightly.

Due to other medical problems I need to take good care of my eyesight and so I ordered replacement varifocals. There was a BOGOF offer and so I had a clear pair and a tinted pair.

I drive quite a bit for my job and need to use SAT Nav and so varifocals are quite important to me.

I collected the specs last week £225 all together. Its taken a while to get used to the new specs - seem a bit blurred in the left eye especially near the "join" area.
However, I was cleaning them and noticed that there were numbers etched into the lens - just where I had noticed the blurring!!

I was astounded and took them back today. They said all varifocals have numbers etched on them its just that most people dont ever notice! (Presumably they hope their eyesight is so bad they dont notice!)

I have had varifocals before and never had this problem. Now that I know the numbers are there, its driving me mad all the time.

I would rather use my old specs to the old prescription which are only very slightly different than pay £225 for varifocals that are so irritating to my eyes.
Dont you think they should make customers aware of this before paying for expensive varifocals? Can I get a refund do you think- I paid by credit card?

Last edited by sue_balu; 18-10-2006 at 6:51 PM.
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# 2
wishiwasarichgirl
Old 18-10-2006, 7:09 PM
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all varifocal lenses do have numbers and symbols etched into them to help identify them and verify the prescription. Some manufacturers' markings are more visible than others but should not affect the quality of vision through the lenses.

If you have had varifocals before without problems and there was no significant change in your prescription then it sounds like you may have a different "style" of varifocal from your previous pair. This can take some adaptation.

As an optometrist i always recommend that you persevere with new spectacles for a week or two (not swapping between old and new specs), and if there is no improvement take them back to the store in which you purchased them.

If you need to do this it is a good idea to bring your previous spectacles also, so that any differences which may be causing adaptation problems can be more easily identified.

Also, having worked for Specsavers I know they offer a guarantee, where if you don't adapt to your spectacles they will put it right, depending on the problem this could mean a different prescription, different lenses or a refund.

HTH
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# 3
mishkanorman
Old 18-10-2006, 7:16 PM
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A quick fix to try ( very carefully ) is too push the nose pads slightly further apart, this will make them sit a bit lower on your nose and should drop the markings out of your line of vision. Its not an ideal remedy but may help till you can get back to the opticians.


mishka
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# 4
Ellie2758
Old 19-10-2006, 2:47 PM
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The last pair of varifocals I got from Specsavers were a problem and had to be re-made in the end. I also felt as if i would rather wear my old varifocals. Having said that, the old pair always hurt the top of my ear no matter how often i took them back for readjustment. This year I decided to give Dolland and Aitchison a go, but it turned out that my prescription hadnt changed.
Ellie

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# 5
recovering spendaholic
Old 21-10-2006, 10:17 PM
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I was reading this thread with interest as my prescription has recently changed and I need to get new variofocals. The pair I currently have (which need the reading element to be stronger) I got from Costco and they were Varilux lenses - pricey at 160 plus the cost of the frames (120) but they have been great and took no getting used to at all. This time I don't have that kind of money and have noticed that you can get cheaper variofocals from Specsavers etc. However someone told me that varilux are the only ones you should get as they are by far the best. I was wondering if any of you knew which opticians do varilux?
Jane

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# 6
wishiwasarichgirl
Old 21-10-2006, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recovering spendaholic
I was reading this thread with interest as my prescription has recently changed and I need to get new variofocals. The pair I currently have (which need the reading element to be stronger) I got from Costco and they were Varilux lenses - pricey at 160 plus the cost of the frames (120) but they have been great and took no getting used to at all. This time I don't have that kind of money and have noticed that you can get cheaper variofocals from Specsavers etc. However someone told me that varilux are the only ones you should get as they are by far the best. I was wondering if any of you knew which opticians do varilux?
most opticians will get them for you if you specifically request them. Varilux are not necessarily "the best" but if you get on well with them then stick with them. Varilux make a range of different varifocals though, with varying prices, do you know what type you have? (expert/comfort/panamic/ellipse are the main ones)
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# 7
recovering spendaholic
Old 21-10-2006, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishiwasarichgirl
most opticians will get them for you if you specifically request them. Varilux are not necessarily "the best" but if you get on well with them then stick with them. Varilux make a range of different varifocals though, with varying prices, do you know what type you have? (expert/comfort/panamic/ellipse are the main ones)
Thanks for this - I don't know what kind I have - how would I find out?
Jane

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# 8
wishiwasarichgirl
Old 21-10-2006, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recovering spendaholic
Thanks for this - I don't know what kind I have - how would I find out?
make sure they are clean and hold them up to the light, each lens will have an engraving about halfway up the lens near the nosepads(ish) it will be a circle with a symbol underneath, e = expert, e in a kind of circle = comfort, <e> = panamic, can't remember the symbol for ellipse sorry. it can be difficult to see if your spex are scratched or if you don't know what you're looking for. take it into any opticians though and they can tell you.
WigglyFB

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# 9
abiwoolhouse
Old 28-11-2007, 2:07 PM
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all varifocal lenses come with at least a 30day guarentee so if u found this to be a major prob take them back. However ALL varifocals come with the markings to allow dispensing opticians to check the fitting and so on of the lens. As for which lens is best it all depends upon the patient for example some people find Varilux very good but some find Zeiss or Hoya better. Also it depends upon which design u go for, for example the essilor range goes from the liberty ( basic) to the ipseo ( custom) and u will prob find the more u pay for a lens the less abberations u get and surface astigmatism. U should always spend more on the lens than the frame if money is a concern. The higher your prescription the better quality VF u will need ~(generally). I think that often people are not sold the right product or think that all VFs are equal which is very misguided u would not spend 100 on a tv and expect it to be as good as a 1000 flat screen for example. Always remember that if ur vision is not HD ready u wont see ne benefit from the flashiest TV
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# 10
suki1964
Old 28-11-2007, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recovering spendaholic View Post
I was reading this thread with interest as my prescription has recently changed and I need to get new variofocals. The pair I currently have (which need the reading element to be stronger) I got from Costco and they were Varilux lenses - pricey at 160 plus the cost of the frames (120) but they have been great and took no getting used to at all. This time I don't have that kind of money and have noticed that you can get cheaper variofocals from Specsavers etc. However someone told me that varilux are the only ones you should get as they are by far the best. I was wondering if any of you knew which opticians do varilux?
My first pair were varilux, cost me a fortune and a half just three years ago. When i needed a new prescription this year I went to specsavers and paid around half the price for two pairs of varifocals and to be honest Ive not noticed any difference in quality. I think with the varilux you get less blurring to the sides but to be honest I barely notice any on these, if there is any I got used to it quickly
if you lend someone 20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it

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# 11
Running Horse
Old 04-12-2007, 3:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mishkanorman View Post
A quick fix to try ( very carefully ) is too push the nose pads slightly further apart, this will make them sit a bit lower on your nose and should drop the markings out of your line of vision. Its not an ideal remedy but may help till you can get back to the opticians.


mishka
This would of course alter the position of the varifocal height.

Not recommended for a driver who needs to use SatNav.
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# 12
Running Horse
Old 04-12-2007, 3:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sue_balu View Post
However, I was cleaning them and noticed that there were numbers etched into the lens - just where I had noticed the blurring!!

I was astounded and took them back today. They said all varifocals have numbers etched on them its just that most people dont ever notice! (Presumably they hope their eyesight is so bad they dont notice!)

I have had varifocals before and never had this problem. Now that I know the numbers are there, its driving me mad all the time.

Can I get a refund do you think- I paid by credit card?
The numbers are designed to be outside the field of vision, so are you only seeing them when you take the glasses off? Most Specsavers are franchised and owned individually. Some would give the refund to get rid of an awkward customer, but many will stick to their guns rather than give back money from their own pocket for a product that has nothing wrong with it.

A long long time ago (1980s), if you ordered a hardcoat it would "run" into the engravings, making them invisible. We would file notches on the edge of the uncut lens to locate the various measuring points, and trying to find them after edging using UV a lamp was almost impossible.

Glass varifocals tend to have less noticeable engravings, and could often only be found by breathing on the cold lens to find the markings in the condensation. But it is really the luck of the draw, and there are less glass lenses available nowadays.

Something else you may notice is a laser etched brand mark near the top of the lens. Zeiss do a box-shaped "Z", Essilor (Varilux) a circled "E". With traditional engravings there is no need for this; just vanity of the manufacturer. But you cannot request not to have it, just order a less well known brand.
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# 13
roddydogs
Old 04-12-2007, 8:35 AM
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cant see any numbers on any of my Variofocals!
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# 14
harryharp
Old 30-10-2008, 7:59 AM
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I've been reading this thread with interest as I have just been advised to get varifocals. Does anyone know if the depth of the frames makes any difference to whether or not they can take varifocal lenses? I prefer the long, thin type of frames (ie. the ones I have at the moment are only about 3/4 inch deep)- would this be a problem?
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# 15
lou49
Old 31-10-2008, 10:26 AM
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Hi Harry and everyone. I am on my (I think) about fourth pair of varifocals. Have the rimless ones. Have learnt through bitter experience that with varifocals I need a bigger lense area otherwise it just won't work for me. I really like these up to date statement kind of frames that all the opticians have now but they wouldn't work as a varifocal for me. Often I think about going back to single vision lenses so I could have a frame like that, but then would need two pairs of specs (a reading pair) and everyone says this would be mad...
Louise
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# 16
harryharp
Old 31-10-2008, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by lou49 View Post
Hi Harry and everyone. I am on my (I think) about fourth pair of varifocals. Have the rimless ones. Have learnt through bitter experience that with varifocals I need a bigger lense area otherwise it just won't work for me. I really like these up to date statement kind of frames that all the opticians have now but they wouldn't work as a varifocal for me. Often I think about going back to single vision lenses so I could have a frame like that, but then would need two pairs of specs (a reading pair) and everyone says this would be mad...
Louise
Oh dear- just went to the optician yesterday, and asked about putting varifocals into my existing frames (as I really like them)- they are the narrow trendy kind. They assured me it would be OK:rolleyes: (something to do with having a 'wider corridor':confused: ?) but I'm really worried now...

If the worst comes to the worst they said I can change to a different design and they would deduct what I've already paid...will let you know how it goes.
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# 17
tidus
Old 31-10-2008, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryharp View Post
I've been reading this thread with interest as I have just been advised to get varifocals. Does anyone know if the depth of the frames makes any difference to whether or not they can take varifocal lenses? I prefer the long, thin type of frames (ie. the ones I have at the moment are only about 3/4 inch deep)- would this be a problem?
Yes, the depth of the frame is relevant. All manufacturers have a recommeded minimum depth (from the pupil as it sits behind the frame) to the bottom of the frame, typically around 20mm.

There are several "compact" designs with a short depth required, which are suitable for shallower (but not too shallow!)frames, which have a corridor of around 17mm. The transition from distance presription to reading prescription therefore occurs more rapidly, meaning less "intermedate" vision. This is not too much of a problem where the add is not too high (say, +1.50 or lower), but they don't perform as well with higher adds.

Unfortunately, if you are correct when you say 3/4 inch (20mm?) from top of frame to bottom, you haven't got a hope.
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# 18
harryharp
Old 31-10-2008, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tidus View Post
Unfortunately, if you are correct when you say 3/4 inch (20mm?) from top of frame to bottom, you haven't got a hope.
Yes, I've just measured them and they're exactly 20mm...but the optician was adamant it would be OK, so why would they say that if it wasn't true?
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# 19
tidus
Old 31-10-2008, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by harryharp View Post
Yes, I've just measured them and they're exactly 20mm...but the optician was adamant it would be OK, so why would they say that if it wasn't true?
Hmm, hate to conflict with anothers advise.. but...

You might fit in a compact varifocal if your eyes sit very close to the top of the frame (as i said you need about 17mm from pupil centres to the bottom of the frame) but you are likely to have very little distance area as the transition to reading will begin 3mm from the top of the frame! So it may be OK, but definitely OK is pushing it.

More than likely the optician knows its a possible problem but it just trying to help someone who likes their frame. So, let them try. If it doesn't work too well, they will have to sort it.
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# 20
lou49
Old 31-10-2008, 5:38 PM
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I am in my fifties and tend to have some neck probs and think that could have something to do with varifocal difficulties. However I do remember having one pair of the rimless titanium ones with quite a small lense area. Could never get on with them and realised it was because lense area was too small, so the opticians (Specsavers I think) changed them and I had a pair with bigger lense area, So annoying, especially when you see commercials with these trendy frames, and at the time I got the offending frames, the optician didn't warn me off which they should have done, with hindsight. However, you should be OK provided they will change the whole thing for you if it doesn't work.
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