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Vision and eyeglasses while walking

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
[MODERATOR'S NOTE: These first two posts have been moved from another thread, as the topic seems worth a thread of its own.]

Edit (to explain the issue now that this has been used to create a new thread)
Older walkers might have noticed that when they are using bi-focal, multi-focal or graduated lenses that they have to drop their head to get the ground in front of their feet into the sweet spot on the lenses where it is in focus. For those who have yet to experience the joy of slowly losing their ability to accommodate large ranges of focus point, these lenses have a lower section designed to act as reading glasses while the upper parts of the lenses provide distance correction.

The ground is out of focus through the lower part of the lenses, and tilting the head down brings one's line of sight into the middle of the lenses, where it will be in focus. Next time you see an older, bespectacled person walking with their head down, you might suspect that they are just taking care about where to put their feet next.


You lost me at this point I'm afraid. Poles are a personal decision. I wear varifocals and have a tendency to bend my head over so the ground is in focus. Walking with poles I don't bend my head over so maintain a much healthier posture. I find poles helpful in many ways, that's just one.
A few years ago I had spectacles made with plain lenses that provided just my distance correction, and no graduated correction for accommodation (or the increasing lack of it). These do work to stop me from having to drop my head to get the ground focused at my feet. There is a downside, and that is removing my glasses to read a map or GPS.
 
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malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
A few years ago I had spectacles made with plain lenses that provided just my distance correction, and no graduated correction for accommodation (or the increasing lack of it). These do work to stop me from having to drop my head to get the ground focused at my feet. There is a downside, and that is removing my glasses to read a map or GPS.
I have to put my bi-focals ON to read maps! This means stashing the poles under my arms whilst doing so and trying not to poke my eyes out whilst doing so! :)
Ya gotta laff! Think of the entertainment you are providing to the youngsters!

Walk soft. Stay safe.

Buen Camino

The Malingerer.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
We seem to have a new equipment topic for discussion! (Notice that I didn't put this under "Medical Issues") I don't remember a discussion on this topic before.

A few years ago I had spectacles made with plain lenses that provided just my distance correction, and no graduated correction for accommodation (or the increasing lack of it). These do work to stop me from having to drop my head to get the ground focused at my feet
With one pair of new glasses a few years ago, even after years of using graduated lenses, I found that I had to tilt my head very slightly down in order to see the right amount of space in front when I walk. I wanted to have clear focus when looking ahead with my head straight, but also be able to lower my eyes to scan the area 6-10 feet in front as I walked. My new glasses were fuzzy at that distance.

I had to get quite insistent with the optometrist, but they made new lenses that lowered the position of the gradient so I had more area for long-distance correction. Now I can see clearly while walking, including the important part of the ground a few paces ahead. Correction for my middle and reading distance is narrowed, but still there. This works well for me as I have one pair of glasses for outdoors (these walking ones) and another pair that is graduated from reading to computer distances. For close-up reading I usually take them off entirely.

I have been tempted to do what @dougfitz suggested - get some single vision glasses for distance. They would be much cheaper. Since I'm lucky to be able to read without glasses, I can just remove them when necessary. One concern would be whether I can drive with single vision glasses - and read the dashboard properly.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I am terribly nearsighted and have needed glasses since I was four. A few years ago, I started noticing that I was having trouble with closer things, not just the distance. I found that by pushing my glasses down my nose a bit (making them a bit further from my eyes), it changed things and made them focus a lot better for closer things. For reading, I had a tendency to stop bothering with my glasses and push them up or take them off and put my reading material where it came into focus (generally under six inches from my eyes).

My eye doctor told me, of course, that these were signs that I could benefit from bifocals or graduated lenses. Or, he said, I could just keep doing what I was doing and manually create the focus that I needed. For a few years I did that, but eventually I gave in and got the graduated lenses. I was told that after a few days I would develop new habits and start to naturally hold my head in a way that would bring things into focus. No such luck. My old habits were too ingrained. It just seems easier and more natural to me to push my glasses up or down my nose rather than hold my head just right when reading.

All that said, I do like walking poles. :)
 
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malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I am terribly nearsighted and have needed glasses since I was four. A few years ago, I started noticing that I was having trouble with closer things, not just the distance. I found that by pushing my glasses down my nose a bit (making them a bit further from my eyes), it changed things and made them focus a lot better for closer things. For reading, I had a tendency to stop bothering with my glasses and push them up or take them off and put my reading material where it came into focus (generally under six inches from my eyes).

My eye doctor told me, of course, that these were signs that I could benefit from bifocals or graduated lenses. Or, he said, I could just keep doing what I was doing and manually create the focus that I needed. For a few years I did that, but eventually I gave in and got he graduated lenses. I was told that after a few days I would develop new habits and start to naturally hold my head in a way that would bring things into focus. No such luck. My old habits were too ingrained. It just seems easier and more natural to me to push my glasses up or down my nose rather than hold my head just right when reading.

All that said, I do like walking poles. :)
Back to the walking poles! TERRA NOVA make an interesting set called UNIPODS. The tops can unscrew and there is provision for a camera mount. I quite like them as they have a very long grip which can be a bonus for those who like Nordic poles and also make very good side struts for those (me!) who are cobbling together hip belt hiking trailers. :) One young lady, many years ago showed me that by adjusting the poles to fit the width of a window, they make very good drying lines!

Buen Camino.

:)

The Malingerer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
Camino Ingles, Caminos Muxia and Finisterre 2019
My sunglasses are also varifocals. I was concerned about how to safely carry either them or my regular glasses (whichever were not on my nose). Both sets of glasses have robust cases but neither pairs would fit in the 'wrong' case! The solution I found was a soft pouch made from lens cleaning cloth (came with my sunglasses), inside a plastic beaker for protection, inside my Rab sleeping bag liner sack. 72g and very handy.
20200504_212617.jpg20200504_212648.jpg
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
OK, guys, I opened this thread to discuss eyeglasses. :rolleyes:
Thankee for thy tolerance!

The malingerer.

:)

PS I have glaucoma, blepharitis, and ocular migraine but after the cataract operations I can see well enough for most purposes. I carry bifocals and spare reading glasses as back up. The snag is with flashing lights I can bring on the wretched Meniere's symptoms and have to hang on to my poles!

Walk soft, Stay safe.

The malingerer.

:)
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I am rather shortsighted and so remove my glasses for reading and tapping away at tablets.

I am also increasingly forgetful and an increasing proportion of each day is spent retracing my steps and muttering whilst I seek my glasses. Of course, when not wearing glasses they are virtually invisible.

I used to think that brightly coloured glasses on 50+ men were an affectation. Not so. It’s simply to increase the chances of finding the damn things.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am rather shortsighted and so remove my glasses for reading and tapping away at tablets.

I am also increasingly forgetful and an increasing proportion of each day is spent retracing my steps and muttering whilst I seek my glasses. Of course, when not wearing glasses they are virtually invisible.

I used to think that brightly coloured glasses on 50+ men were an affectation. Not so. It’s simply to increase the chances of finding the damn things.
David, you must still be relatively young (ish)...needing no reading glasses yet.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
One concern would be whether I can drive with single vision glasses - and read the dashboard properly.
I sometimes do this when I am headed off for a walk where I will use my plain (single vision) spectacles. I take the view that provided I can check my speed and detect a warning light should one illuminate, that will be enough. Its certainly easier to use my other set of glasses.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I use contact lenses of which one is for distance (+1.5x) and one for reading (+3.0x). It literally took ‘seeing it to believe it’ but the brain manages to sort it out and uses the eye it needs to in order for the needed object to be in focus. I wonder if anyone has considered trying this with a pair of glasses? Seems to be the same premise...
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I use contact lenses of which one is for distance (+1.5x) and one for reading (+3.0x). It literally took ‘seeing it to believe it’ but the brain manages to sort it out and uses the eye it needs to in order for the needed object to be in focus. I wonder if anyone has considered trying this with a pair of glasses? Seems to be the same premise...
I have heard of this and other approaches with contact lenses. After a few years of wearing contacts, I gave them away because of the difficulty I was having with tear strength, so this wasn't something that I continued to research.

Mechanically, it is easier to have a graduated lens with spectacles, where the lens orientation is fixed when they are made. That seems to be more difficult to manage with a contact lens.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
you must still be relatively young (ish)...needing no reading glasses yet.
While I'm sure this is true for @henrythedog, I'll point out that I don't need reading glasses (in spite of my age), although I do need them for everything else. Somehow my farsightedness due to old age has cancelled my youthful near-sightedness, and I can read very comfortably. This is only my own interpretation - not a technical explanation!!!

When I get cataract surgery (I'm told the cataracts are starting) I think I will choose to continue with my vision as it is, instead of correcting my vision so I don't glasses for distance. If I did that, I would need reading glasses. I am so accustomed to glasses that I like the protection, and I enjoy being able to read without any.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
David, you must still be relatively young (ish)...needing no reading glasses yet.

I am hoping that when my eyesight ages I may briefly pass through a period when distance glasses are not needed and before reading glasses are. My optician laughed when I suggested that this might happen.

I think that at age 18 one ought to be given a book setting out the natural and expected aging process. Whilst it might scare the hell out of most, it might save the health service many hours in breaking the bad news to the ageing population one by one.

Chrissy - I am in my mid 50’s, so still (in my deluded mind) just leaving the first flush of youth. Henry the dog is looking at me with a pitying expression as I type.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
just leaving the first flush of youth.
Well, if you are now just leaving the first flush of youth, I am for sure in the 2nd flush of youth...I like the sound of that!
I've been wearing reading glasses since I was 48, although do not yet need glasses for normal vision.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
While I'm sure this is true for @henrythedog, I'll point out that I don't need reading glasses (in spite of my age), although I do need them for everything else. Somehow my farsightedness due to old age has cancelled my youthful near-sightedness, and I can read very comfortably. This is only my own interpretation - not a technical explanation!!!

When I get cataract surgery (I'm told the cataracts are starting) I think I will choose to continue with my vision as it is, instead of correcting my vision so I don't glasses for distance. If I did that, I would need reading glasses. I am so accustomed to glasses that I like the protection, and I enjoy being able to read without any.
Your eyesight seems very similar to mine.

When my mother had her cataracts removed, she chose to have correcting lenses fitted.
She was so delighted to be able to wake up and see for the first time in her life. But she soon grew tired of the novelty of it and wished she’d passed up the opportunity.

I‘ll not choose the correcting lenses, for the same reasons as you.

As my optician says - when we’re very old ladies, we’ll still be able to sew and read without glasses ... even if we have to hold things right in front of our noses!

I usually wear highly O2-permeable varifocal monthly lenses. (a very high liquid ‘component‘, @dougfitz 😉)
I prefer the ‘all-round’ vision I have when using them.
Since I’ve been ‘confined to barracks’, I’ve not bothered with them.

The ‘reading‘ part of my varifocal glasses is only +1.5, and as you, I‘ve always assumed my congenital short sight has meant that my presbyopia has been less severe.

I took disposables on Camino and some sunglasses that fitted over my glasses when I wore them. They were close fitting, since bright, flashing light at the sides of my eyes gives me a migraine.
I’d worn hard lenses for years before that, but was unwilling to risk dust under them whilst walking.
I never did manage to get used to them again!

I just take my glasses off when I read, if the light’s lowish, or I read through the space below them ...

Small adjustments, made over the years, just become habit ... familiar and no trouble at all ...
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Gosh this is an interesting thread. I wish I'd read it before I ordered my new specs. Mine are multifocals, but I always take them off for reading and I don't need them for the computer. Since lockdown, I've rarely worn them. After reading the above posts I realise I'd be much better off with the long distance component lowered. When outside I often find myself peering through the top of the glasses to get things in focus.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
My sunglasses are also varifocals. I was concerned about how to safely carry either them or my regular glasses (whichever were not on my nose). Both sets of glasses have robust cases but neither pairs would fit in the 'wrong' case! The solution I found was a soft pouch made from lens cleaning cloth (came with my sunglasses), inside a plastic beaker for protection, inside my Rab sleeping bag liner sack. 72g and very handy.
View attachment 74446View attachment 74447
That's quite an interesting idea! I must say, though, for other readers' information, that when I used a soft case for my graduated sunglasses, they essentially melted the frames in the hot sun while riding in my pack. I had to take them in to the shop for adjustment after returning home.

I have decided that a rigid case is better for me. YMMV.

buen camino to all!
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
While I'm sure this is true for @henrythedog, I'll point out that I don't need reading glasses (in spite of my age), although I do need them for everything else. Somehow my farsightedness due to old age has cancelled my youthful near-sightedness, and I can read very comfortably. This is only my own interpretation - not a technical explanation!!!

When I get cataract surgery (I'm told the cataracts are starting) I think I will choose to continue with my vision as it is, instead of correcting my vision so I don't glasses for distance. If I did that, I would need reading glasses. I am so accustomed to glasses that I like the protection, and I enjoy being able to read without any.
I wore contact lenses for most of my life, (I was almost legally blind) and had about 15cm of vision in my good eye without them. Glasses wouldn't work for me as they had to be so thick, and my world constantly shifted around out the side and bottom that I couldn't walk around without getting vertigo. What you see through the glasses is so much smaller than what they really are. My eyes are also extremely light sensitive.
So when I developed cataracts and lost my sight completely I took the chance to correct the lenses. What a miracle that was, my life changed overnight, I could see power lines, leaves went all the way to the tops of trees, I could see road signs and car number plates.
I had mine corrected for my long vision, but found that I can usually read without glasses, as long as the light is good. Of course in a dark restaurant, I have to pull out my glasses to read the menu, but I can read a book or newspaper outside without correcting lenses.
So because of the light sensitivity I wear sunglasses every time I step outside, and occasionally have to wear glasses to read, but I LOVE my new eyes.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
So when I developed cataracts and lost my sight completely I took the chance to correct the lenses.
That is wonderful and, of course, a case where the need to use reading glasses is such a minor inconvenience. It must be a continual source of wonder!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Ah the bane of getting old!!! On my 2017 Camino I had two pair of normal reading glasses (second set as a back up) and my vision corrected sunglasses to protect against that bright Spanish sunshine. I can't remember what I did with the poles - maybe hung them from the two wrist straps.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
I use contact lenses of which one is for distance (+1.5x) and one for reading (+3.0x). It literally took ‘seeing it to believe it’ but the brain manages to sort it out and uses the eye it needs to in order for the needed object to be in focus. I wonder if anyone has considered trying this with a pair of glasses? Seems to be the same premise...
Me too! I started wearing contacts for scuba diving (prescription masks were prohibitively expensive then and you need to read your instruments!) - left eye reading strength, right eye distance. When I suggested the same approach to my optician she actually rolled her eyes and said "stick with your bifocals" (I can't get on with varifocals) - How's the virtual Camino going?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
I started using reading glasses when I was about 40. About 5 years later during a VDU eye test the optician suggested distance lenses - amazing difference, streetlights no longer looked like a star burst!
The trouble was I'd then tramp the aisles of supermarkets with distance glasses on to find the product and then swap to reading glasses to select what I wanted.
On to bi-focals but, having long arms and sitting back from the steering wheel I found the instruments hard to read . . .
So I've ended up with
1 reading glasses set up for reading a book
2 reading glasses set up for viewing the computer screen
3 "normal" bi-focals for everyday wear
4 driving bi-focals for . . . well, driving.

But they all have the same style frame

1588663715475.png
My solution: one pair are solid black, another black and clear, the third black and blue and the last black and white.

Now if I could just remember which is which . . .
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I use contact lenses of which one is for distance (+1.5x) and one for reading (+3.0x). It literally took ‘seeing it to believe it’ but the brain manages to sort it out and uses the eye it needs to in order for the needed object to be in focus. I wonder if anyone has considered trying this with a pair of glasses? Seems to be the same premise...
I tried this method years ago when I had to do a lot of long distance driving as a specialist social worker for the deaf. It was brilliant. I drove with the right eye and read maps with the left! Reaching for a pint tho could get a bit hilarious!

Yours aye,

The Malingerer.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
1588664513494.png

I am adjusting on automatic when converting to bifocals, I had to go find out what all the rage was about and took a snap...
This level has suited my needs very well, haven´t tumbled down down yet....I hardly notice the seperation line.
these are in specsaver pricerange..
only problem I´ve had was the spcs slided off when looking down, ( my ears are far from the front so no bend on stays) - so these here rubber horns were mounted which did it ...

1588665224901.png
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
View attachment 74477

I am adjusting on automatic when converting to bifocals, I had to go find out what all the rage was about and took a snap...
This level has suited my need very well, haven´t tumbled down down yet....I hardly notice the seperation line.
these are in specsaver pricerange..
only problem I´ve had was the spcs slided off when looking down, ( my ears are far from the front so no bend on stays) - so these were rubber horns were mounted which didi it ...

View attachment 74478
Oh I like those - same problem finding glasses with long enough arms - are the horns specsavers too?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Thank you for this thread. It is helpful to know that I am not alone with aging eye issues. I have been wearing corrective lenses for nearsightedness and astigmatism for - apparently - longer than some of you are old! For at least 25 years, I have used the vari-focal lenses which here in the US are often called progressives. My prescription is so strong, the glasses are special ordered and expensively priced. Therefore, I have tried to get by with just one pair. In the last year, I decided to try a pair of glasses just for reading because I could no longer seem to find the sweet spot on my progressives. That has helped me read books while I use the progressives for everything else - including driving and hiking. While hiking, occasionally I seem to have depth perception issues especially when finding my way down. I have wondered if this is an issue with the progressive lenses. Anyone have concerns with depth perception and solutions?
 

El Cascayal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo May 2019
Invierno November 2019
Ingles April (2020) postponed
I have to put my bi-focals ON to read maps! This means stashing the poles under my arms whilst doing so and trying not to poke my eyes out whilst doing so! :)
Ya gotta laff! Think of the entertainment you are providing to the youngsters!

Walk soft. Stay safe.

Buen Camino

The Malingerer.
 

Old Git

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 Portuguese
2019 Finisterre/Muxia
This is a really good thread and one that I haven't really given a lot of thought to. I have worn varifocals for some while and the necessity to look up and down hasn't really bothered me. But after 3 strokes close together I lost peripheral vision on one side and changes in light conditions can be very off putting where I have to concentrate on where I place my feet, poles help with stabilisation. So if you see an old man walking with his head down and about to wipe you out just give me the heads up.
 

Peter Wright

Walking to stay young
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Porto to Santiago Sept/ Oct (2019)
I have to put my bi-focals ON to read maps! This means stashing the poles under my arms whilst doing so and trying not to poke my eyes out whilst doing so! :)
Ya gotta laff! Think of the entertainment you are providing to the youngsters!

Walk soft. Stay safe.

Buen Camino

The Malingerer.
I am fortunate that although I have bifocals my mid and distance vision is good enough to safely walk and drive without them. They stayed in my pocket on the Camino until I needed to read the guide book. Walking poles helped save whst would have been a few falls on cobblestones without them.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
David, you must still be relatively young (ish)...needing no reading glasses yet.
"Relatively youngish" depends on whom I am with. I am looking forward to my retirement, which approaches ever more rapidly. I was prescribed for bifocals or varifocals, so I guess I could benefit from reading glasses. That said, if I hold the book just right, I need no glasses at all.

I've always (since I was four) been nearsighted. I was told that this was due to my eyes being "too long", which caused the image from the lens not to focus precisely at the rear of the eye as it does for people with normal vision. As I started having trouble seeing things closer, it puzzled me. How could my eyes be too long and too short at the same time? My eye doctor explained that it had nothing to do with the shape of my eye, but rather the muscles that change the focus the lens. They were just less up to the challenge of changing focus to read things these days. All of which is a long intro to why I can read without glasses. If I take off the correcting glasses, the natural focus point for my eye's lenses (where they don't have to do any work) is quite close to my face. Just hold the book there and focusing is no problem and no work at all.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I seem to have depth perception issues especially when finding my way down. I have wondered if this is an issue with the progressive lenses. Anyone have concerns with depth perception and solutions?
Yes, I'm glad you brought this up, as I had forgotten about it. In 2018, coming down a steep slope on the Mozarabe, I felt quite uncertain/vulnerable and it did occur to me that part of the problem was my progressive lenses. It is bad enough to be wearing glasses in the first place - smudged and sweaty, walking on hazardous surface on a very steep slope - and then being unable to focus clearly. Coming down a slope like this meant that I was looking through the reading part of my glasses

I was too unstable to stop and take a photo on the most difficult part, because I was so dependent on having my hands on two poles. The attached photo shows the view from the top, so you can see the type of terrain but not the actual slope you must descend before reaching the nice switchback path below.

Some other people who had walked that day didn't seem to find it quite so uncomfortable, so I think my glasses were part of my problem. This is reinforcing my inclination to get some single vision distance glasses!
 

Attachments

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
On the topic of glasses' cases, raised above.

When I was preparing for my 2016 camino, I started looking for a case to carry my glasses (or sunglasses, whichever I wasn't wearing at the time). In general, when I buy glasses, I get a case but they are always the big, heavy, rigid cases that seem to be the rage these days. What I wanted was the leather or fabric sleeve cases that I remembered from years ago. Much lighter and less bulky, but something that would prevent my glasses from getting scratched up and provide a bit of protection. I couldn't find them anywhere,.

Then I ordered some charging cables for my son and they came in these.cases as shown below. The little circles you see on the closed case are little magnets that hold it closed. Light, perfect, and just what I was looking for. I've used them on both my 2016 and 2018 caminos with no complaints.
20200505_104956.jpg
20200505_105023.jpg
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Me too! I started wearing contacts for scuba diving (prescription masks were prohibitively expensive then and you need to read your instruments!) - left eye reading strength, right eye distance. When I suggested the same approach to my optician she actually rolled her eyes and said "stick with your bifocals" (I can't get on with varifocals) - How's the virtual Camino going?
My Eye Doc is the one who actually had to talk me into going to mono vision contacts, sounded a wee wacky to me! They work quite well for me except when I get tired then the old noodle seems to have a challenge picking the right eye! Beer seems to help. Not my sight mind you, it just makes me feel better :)

camino has reached Roncesvalles now. Had some rain on the island and turns out I’m not inclined to get wet for a virtual Camino! You?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
I use a 27 gram pill bottle to carry my eyeglasses (I wear contact lenses).
The bottle is rigid and offers amazing protection. I cut two very small pieces of foam for the bottom and top - to prevent my eyeglasses from rattling around in the backpack.

I've been using the same blue bottle since 2013!

tjgear_14877_051313_194222_.jpg
 

wjohnk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugese Coastal (2019)
On my Camino last year I wore single vision prescription sunglasses (it was sunny:)). I had a pocket magnifying glass which I used to read maps etc.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
My Eye Doc is the one who actually had to talk me into going to mono vision contacts, sounded a wee wacky to me! They work quite well for me except when I get tired then the old noodle seems to have a challenge picking the right eye! Beer seems to help. Not my sight mind you, it just makes me feel better :)

camino has reached Roncesvalles now. Had some rain on the island and turns out I’m not inclined to get wet for a virtual Camino! You?
Don't want to sidetrack topic will mail you.
 

Carol06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
I use contact lenses of which one is for distance (+1.5x) and one for reading (+3.0x). It literally took ‘seeing it to believe it’ but the brain manages to sort it out and uses the eye it needs to in order for the needed object to be in focus. I wonder if anyone has considered trying this with a pair of glasses? Seems to be the same premise...
I switched to contact lenses with each eye set at a different rate...one for reading and one for normal wear and it was the perfect solution. And I did this especially for walking the camino because I find it so hard wearing glasses in the rain. And I suspect you can do the same with the lenses in glasses because I had some sunglasses made to work the same way. In fact my optometrist said to buy those cheap glasses you buy over the counter. He told me to buy two pair that are identical but with different lenses and told me the prescription for each eye and then he switched one of the lenses so eachh eye was accommodated. A very inexpensive solution.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Yes, I'm glad you brought this up, as I had forgotten about it. In 2018, coming down a steep slope on the Mozarabe, I felt quite uncertain/vulnerable and it did occur to me that part of the problem was my progressive lenses. It is bad enough to be wearing glasses in the first place - smudged and sweaty, walking on hazardous surface on a very steep slope - and then being unable to focus clearly. Coming down a slope like this meant that I was looking through the reading part of my glasses

I was too unstable to stop and take a photo on the most difficult part, because I was so dependent on having my hands on two poles. The attached photo shows the view from the top, so you can see the type of terrain but not the actual slope you must descend before reaching the nice switchback path below.

Some other people who had walked that day didn't seem to find it quite so uncomfortable, so I think my glasses were part of my problem. This is reinforcing my inclination to get some single vision distance glasses!
I can sympathise! My favourite spot for hell-hole activity i.e. when all my sensory perception decides to leave me defenceless in the face of the dreaded Meniere's attack is coming down that steep slope to El Acebo! I love the place to bits but by God that slope makes me pay for it!

Walk soft. Stay safe! :)

The malingerer.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
I need glasses just for reading but having to get glasses out to read aguide book became such a pain in the you know where, I just stopped reading except at night or when stopped for lunch. To make life easier, I bought a pair of off the shelf reading glasses that folded down into a small case that fitted perfectly into the pocket on the backpack waist belt. It was such a good solution, I used them when not on the camino to read menus when out for an evening. But even at that, it is a pain this getting old business. If only my eyes were still good, I would not even feel old
 

Damico Walking

Ready, and waiting, to walk
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal route May 2020 (not to be)
Portuguese coastal route TBD post COVID-19
Maybe a little late to the party but I have variable lenses and am one of those that tilt my head to see things if needed. I only take them off if I must see something very small and can hold it very close, being quite nearsighted. I have had these types of lenses for about 15 years and they are also Transitions lenses so they serve quite well as sunglasses.

I have worn glasses since about 7 years old. I remember so vividly the first time I walked outside with my new glasses. I discovered plants had little, individual leaves! They weren't just big green blobs, and the rest is history.

Now with that out of the way, I could never use multiple pairs of glasses. Several reasons, the first and most important is I would never have the pair I need with me at the time. I tried sunglasses and regular glasses a long time ago and learned that sunglasses do not work well indoors nor do regular glasses work well outside, which seemed to be the case with me most of the time. I can only assume this would be the same with reading glasses or any other configuration that required me to have multiple pairs. I am the type that puts my glasses on when I wake up and take them off when I go to bed.

I realize this is a personal problem that one would think I could fix, but alas not so. My wife has no problems with two pairs and rarely can't find the correct ones. But she is a fairly new user of glasses in the past 25 years. :cool: My memory isn't what is used to be and it is a miracle I have not poisoned myself by taking my meds multiple times a night because I couldn't remember if I had taken them or not. Multiple pairs of glasses would be no easier for me.

To each their own as we navigate through life and find what works, what doesn't, and what new thing may work tomorrow! Just don't move my glasses.

Buen Camino.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Maybe a little late to the party
Not at all! We just started this party yesterday. If one pair of glasses works for you, then you certainly shouldn't change! We are the ones with the "problem".
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I have worn Varifocals for years with no problems and now get them with Transition lenses .This means I no longer take sunglasses on my Caminos. Here in Australia I still use sunglasses as the sun is much harsher than in Spain. I do have early cataracts which is a worry.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I have worn glasses since about 7 years old. I remember so vividly the first time I walked outside with my new glasses. I discovered plants had little, individual leaves! They weren't just big green blobs, and the rest is history.
I remember thinking, when I first got glasses, "Things have edges." I could always tell when I needed new glasses because I would no longer be able to read the chalk writing on the blackboard at school. It was always the first to go.

My son's response when he first got glasses was "The world, now in HD."
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I love my glasses and try and get ones that make a statement - though that is tricky at times. I have three vision stages - distance, middle distance, which I call my computer and music glasses, and reading. I can read fairly comfortable with my music glasses and so I only use bi-focals, with a specific reading pair. I have over the last few years used invisible bifocals, presumably the same as multi-focals but only two variations within it. This means that the bottom script is larger than if I had the three distances. I wear larger frames which means that the bifocal part can be placed quite low in the lens / frame. Conversely, the pair that I use for playing the piano is the opposite, with the bifocal part set much higher than normal. This enables me to see a conductor if I need to and don't get a sore neck from having to tilt my head up. My eyes are just about the same and I am able to use chemist glasses if I need to, which is a bonus. I always check what number my prescription is after visiting the optometrist. This means that I don't have to take a spare pair of prescription glasses with me when travelling as, if something happened to them, I could just use single vision chemist glasses. I generally take a pair of very small chemist reading glasses on the Camino, just in case I need something stronger, but usually manage with my prescription ones.

My sunglasses have the same prescription with the stronger part as low as possible within the lens. Interestingly I now only use non Polaroid sunglasses. This means that if I need to look at my device - tablet or camera - I can see it without having change glasses. It is VERY difficult to see screens through Polaroid glasses.
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
My vision issues are a bit quirky. Most folks have eyes that share the vision - maybe 60/40 or such but mostly equal. Several years ago, I found out that my right eye controls the show - something like 85/15. This was also the reason that I could never obtain clear vision with contacts. Lasik surgery in the controlling eye meant that I could now see well for distance but needed readers for close work. Fast forward 10 years, my right (controlling) eye developed a macular wrinkle which gave me a slight blur at any distance. Glasses helped the left eye - but then it doesn't do much - so there's always a bit of a blur. Progressive lenses - individual per eye - transition for sunllight and blue light filter for computer etc. Not really needed for distance or driving but I tend to wear them all the time for the sun and if I need to read something along the way. Oh - and I bought computer specific glasses but found that the use of 2 monitors for my work made the distance incorrect for that use but perfect for reading music!

Anyway - walking the Camino was fine with the glasses as long as there was sufficient light. Walking before dawn or after dark - nope!
 

ken2116

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
We seem to have a new equipment topic for discussion! (Notice that I didn't put this under "Medical Issues") I don't remember a discussion on this topic before.


With one pair of new glasses a few years ago, even after years of using graduated lenses, I found that I had to tilt my head very slightly down in order to see the right amount of space in front when I walk. I wanted to have clear focus when looking ahead with my head straight, but also be able to lower my eyes to scan the area 6-10 feet in front as I walked. My new glasses were fuzzy at that distance.

I had to get quite insistent with the optometrist, but they made new lenses that lowered the position of the gradient so I had more area for long-distance correction. Now I can see clearly while walking, including the important part of the ground a few paces ahead. Correction for my middle and reading distance is narrowed, but still there. This works well for me as I have one pair of glasses for outdoors (these walking ones) and another pair that is graduated from reading to computer distances. For close-up reading I usually take them off entirely.

I have been tempted to do what @dougfitz suggested - get some single vision glasses for distance. They would be much cheaper. Since I'm lucky to be able to read without glasses, I can just remove them when necessary. One concern would be whether I can drive with single vision glasses - and read the dashboard properly.
I did much the same, at different times with both bifocals and progressives, adjusting the placement or transition point to where it was needed for various activities. Starting with existing glasses, use a felt tip pen to indicate desired zone placement - it took a little convincing but the rewards are worth it. Settled on two pair: Progressives for distance + computer/driving/music reading with full-on middle focus placed at or just slightly below straight ahead - critical work was done looking essentially straight ahead while casting the eyes down allowed close reading. Full distance vision required looking through the upper part of the lenses, accomplished with just a slight downward head tilt. These were not good for hiking, etc. The other pair was for distance and text reading. Descending stairs was a problem with progressives, so settled on traditional bifocals with a localized reading zone - these have the distance correction all around the bifocal zone so one can see to hike and descend stairs by just turning my head to the side without needing to tilt down.
 

ken2116

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
My vision issues are a bit quirky. Most folks have eyes that share the vision - maybe 60/40 or such but mostly equal. Several years ago, I found out that my right eye controls the show - something like 85/15. This was also the reason that I could never obtain clear vision with contacts. Lasik surgery in the controlling eye meant that I could now see well for distance but needed readers for close work. Fast forward 10 years, my right (controlling) eye developed a macular wrinkle which gave me a slight blur at any distance. Glasses helped the left eye - but then it doesn't do much - so there's always a bit of a blur. Progressive lenses - individual per eye - transition for sunllight and blue light filter for computer etc. Not really needed for distance or driving but I tend to wear them all the time for the sun and if I need to read something along the way. Oh - and I bought computer specific glasses but found that the use of 2 monitors for my work made the distance incorrect for that use but perfect for reading music!

Anyway - walking the Camino was fine with the glasses as long as there was sufficient light. Walking before dawn or after dark - nope!
As my eyes became older I could no longer use photo adjusting lenses at night because even in full darkness they filter out a percentage of the light - switching back to standard lenses provided a big improvement (as did lens replacement surgery for a very gradually progressing cataract I was hardly aware of). Anti-reflection coatings also improve transmission. Macular pucker can be a real nuisance - the membrane causing them often can be "peeled" by a specialist, but it doesn't always resolve the distortion and there are risks involved.
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
As my eyes became older I could no longer use photo adjusting lenses at night because even in full darkness they filter out a percentage of the light - switching back to standard lenses provided a big improvement (as did lens replacement surgery for a very gradually progressing cataract I was hardly aware of). Anti-reflection coatings also improve transmission. Macular pucker can be a real nuisance - the membrane causing them often can be "peeled" by a specialist, but it doesn't always resolve the distortion and there are risks involved.
Yes - my retinal specialist mentioned the peel but said my case wasn't bad enough to take that risk. He also said that almost everyone who had the surgery developed cataracts within a year. I chose NOT! Development of cataracts with age is a given but would rather wait a few years until absolutely needed. It's a minor "wrinkle" (ha!) to life! 😊
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I hadn't been to an ophthalmologist for ten years, but when I went three years ago he discovered I had a macular pucker in one eye. It is relatively minor and has not gotten worse on my yearly visits. My other eye is fine and compensates well for the other, but I was disappointed to learn that glasses will not correct the problem should it worsen.
I have no vision problems walking the Camino, but I do use reading glasses for looking at maps or reading things on my phone.
 

Jackie Robinson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Time this year
[MODERATOR'S NOTE: These first two posts have been moved from another thread, as the topic seems worth a thread of its own.]

Edit (to explain the issue now that this has been used to create a new thread)
Older walkers might have noticed that when they are using bi-focal, multi-focal or graduated lenses that they have to drop their head to get the ground in front of their feet into the sweet spot on the lenses where it is in focus. For those who have yet to experience the joy of slowly losing their ability to accommodate large ranges of focus point, these lenses have a lower section designed to act as reading glasses while the upper parts of the lenses provide distance correction.

The ground is out of focus through the lower part of the lenses, and tilting the head down brings one's line of sight into the middle of the lenses, where it will be in focus. Next time you see an older, bespectacled person walking with their head down, you might suspect that they are just taking care about where to put their feet next.



A few years ago I had spectacles made with plain lenses that provided just my distance correction, and no graduated correction for accommodation (or the increasing lack of it). These do work to stop me from having to drop my head to get the ground focused at my feet. There is a downside, and that is removing my glasses to read a map or GPS.
Since having to wear varifocal lenses I have found walking downhill a challenge as they seem to distort my focus so I just bought myself a glasses chain and they hang round my neck whilst walking but are easily at hand to pop back on again should I need to read a map or sign etc
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Since having to wear varifocal lenses I have found walking downhill a challenge as they seem to distort my focus so I just bought myself a glasses chain and they hang round my neck whilst walking but are easily at hand to pop back on again should I need to read a map or sign etc
This suggests to me that your distance correction is relatively small if your eyes are able to adapt like this. Is that so?
 

ken2116

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
I hadn't been to an ophthalmologist for ten years, but when I went three years ago he discovered I had a macular pucker in one eye. It is relatively minor and has not gotten worse on my yearly visits. My other eye is fine and compensates well for the other, but I was disappointed to learn that glasses will not correct the problem should it worsen.
I have no vision problems walking the Camino, but I do use reading glasses for looking at maps or reading things on my phone.
Highly advise getting an annual check - my mom missed just 1 year and progressed from having healthy eyes to significant glaucoma in that period. Without exams glaucoma generally goes unnoticed until vision abruptly is gone.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Highly advise getting an annual check - my mom missed just 1 year and progressed from having healthy eyes to significant glaucoma in that period. Without exams glaucoma generally goes unnoticed until vision abruptly is gone.
Thank you for your concern. I do now go faithfully every year to have my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist...a big difference.
 

Jackie Robinson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Time this year
This suggests to me that your distance correction is relatively small if your eyes are able to adapt like this. Is that so?
I can't see things clearly if they're too close so I had to hold books/pages etc at arms length and in the end I went to see my optician and I had glasses which I used for reading only but it got annoying keep taking them on and off and I either lost or broke them so ended up having lots of those cheap pairs in every room, bag, jacket etc. In the end, my optician suggested varifocals and I've never looked back since.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Via De La Plata, Camino De Madrid, The Oberstrasse, Camino Ingles, Camino Portugues
This thread made me remember the many times I was obliged to take off any glasses I might be wearing due to the horizontal rain on the camino I experienced! I couldn't see through the lenses and saw better with them removed. Same with sun shades, no use when it rained like that! I need three pairs of glasses now, one for reading, one for computer use and one for distance. I didn't want bifocals. I could not get contact lenses because the astigmatism in my left eye is too bad apparently.
 

ken2116

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
Thank you for this thread. It is helpful to know that I am not alone with aging eye issues. I have been wearing corrective lenses for nearsightedness and astigmatism for - apparently - longer than some of you are old! For at least 25 years, I have used the vari-focal lenses which here in the US are often called progressives. My prescription is so strong, the glasses are special ordered and expensively priced. Therefore, I have tried to get by with just one pair. In the last year, I decided to try a pair of glasses just for reading because I could no longer seem to find the sweet spot on my progressives. That has helped me read books while I use the progressives for everything else - including driving and hiking. While hiking, occasionally I seem to have depth perception issues especially when finding my way down. I have wondered if this is an issue with the progressive lenses. Anyone have concerns with depth perception and solutions?
Is your "depth perception" issue a binocular vision problem (images are sharp but your brain can't put them together), or an out of focus when looking down through the bottom of the lenses problem? If the former, consult your ophthalmologist. If a focus issue it may be because the lower region of your progressives are set to reading distance, much closer than your feet and the trail. I also had this problem with progressives and with full width bifocals, so for outdoor use and hiking I settled on the type of bifocals that have a definite "D-shaped" close focus zone (the straight part of the "D" is across the top of the zone), the surrounding portion of the lens being distance correction. I found that with suitable positioning of my head I could look around the side of the zone to see trails and stairs adequately. A web search surfaced a variety of available progressive and bifocal designs, some blurring (sorry...) the distinction between the two. One that might be of interest are progressives where the central low-set reading zone is flanked by intermediate focus zones on each side - if this intermediate zone was set for trail distance they might offer another solution for youl.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I was obliged to take off any glasses I might be wearing due to the horizontal rain on the camino I experienced! I couldn't see through the lenses and saw better with them removed.
Wearing a sun visor that can be angled up and down as required, under your rain hood, is the best solution for this. Even so, I have occasionally had to remove my glasses too, until I could clean them.

Is your "depth perception" issue... an out of focus when looking down through the bottom of the lenses problem?
Yes, I think this is the situation that several of us have tried to describe. I had to request that the distance portion cover more of the lens, so I can cast my eyes downward to a point about 10 feet in front of me and still see clearly. The middle/reading portions are reduced to a smaller region at the bottom. I think I will try single vision lenses next, for walking.
 

Damico Walking

Ready, and waiting, to walk
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal route May 2020 (not to be)
Portuguese coastal route TBD post COVID-19
Thank you for this thread. It is helpful to know that I am not alone with aging eye issues. I have been wearing corrective lenses for nearsightedness and astigmatism for - apparently - longer than some of you are old! For at least 25 years, I have used the vari-focal lenses which here in the US are often called progressives. My prescription is so strong, the glasses are special ordered and expensively priced. Therefore, I have tried to get by with just one pair. In the last year, I decided to try a pair of glasses just for reading because I could no longer seem to find the sweet spot on my progressives. That has helped me read books while I use the progressives for everything else - including driving and hiking. While hiking, occasionally I seem to have depth perception issues especially when finding my way down. I have wondered if this is an issue with the progressive lenses. Anyone have concerns with depth perception and solutions?
I have the same issue as you, very nearsighted with astigmatism. Also like you I switched to progressives about 20 or so years ago. I also have serious injuries in both knees resulting in no ACL and no cartilage in either. So going up hill is easy, but down hill not so much. I am not sure if the downhill is in part due to the progressive lenses or entirely due to my knee issues. I have noticed that when using trekking pole, I only use one, I have a much easier time on the decline. I used a trekking pole on the Cinque Terra and it was the only way I would have made it on the steep downhill/stairway sections. But you have me thinking now that I may have a bit of depth perception issue that has been hidden by the knee issues. Hmmm. Thank you as you have gotten me thinking.
 
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