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How Many Pairs of Prescription Glasses Do I Need?

How Many Pairs of Prescription Glasses Do I Need?

At Capital Eye, your local optometrist in Canberra, we believe your vision is unique to you. The way you use your eyes are different compared with your peers. Your vision requirements could be complex. This may involve multiple means of correcting and giving you clear and comfortable vision. But how many pairs of glasses, or even contact lenses would you need to achieve this?

Understanding Your Vision

Without knowing your vision, it’s challenging to provide any form of recommendations. Do you have “20-20” vision? Do you have troubles with your distance vision? Perhaps, the glare on the roads over the years have become more bothersome? Does your vision fluctuate throughout the day? Where do you usually find you have a problem with your vision? Is it when you’re driving late at night or after spending hours on your computer at work? These are some of the questions we ask you during our routine eye examination. This allows us to understand your vision requirements.

During your comprehensive eye examination, we look at your prescription and measure the strength of your eyes to see how they are coping with your vision demands. From your prescription, which may vary for different viewing distances (say the difference between the lecture slides and your computer), we can now make suggestions of what prescription lenses and glasses would best work for you.

Understanding Your Unique Environment

An office worker or a public servant may spend a lot of time in front of their computers, compared to say, a long-haul truck driver. Because of this, their vision requirements are entirely different.

Even if you have perfect vision, and never had to visit your local optometrist in Canberra before, you might find your vision is getting uncomfortable after long hours of you spending in front of your computer. You might be developing headaches and symptoms of eye strain such as intermittent blurry vision, vision taking longer than usual to clear up.

Or, you have been driving trucks for most of your life between Melbourne and Sydney. As you are driving towards Sydney, you’ve noticed the glare of the morning sun is becoming more and more bothersome over the years.

The situation above requires very different forms of prescription glasses. For our office worker, she may need a custom lens, such as a modified multifocal prescription glasses. These glasses may only need to be worn during work hours or when she is using her computer. During the consultation, we may talk about the recent evidence and viability of using a blue-light filter coating to providing additional comfort of vision while using her computer.

The situation is different for our truck driver. Our example here, our truck driver is a seasoned professional based in Melbourne, making over 20 trips per week to Sydney. She has started driving trucks at a young age. Each early morning, she had to overcome the glare issue of the morning sun. This isn’t new for her, but lately, it has become more and more bothersome. During our comprehensive eye examination, we found that she has developed early cataracts in both of her eyes. She is also having issues with her vision when filling in her vehicle log at the end of her day.

For her, it’s not just a simple case of purchasing a single pair of prescription glasses as she has problems with the glare in the distance as well as trouble with her vision at near. We can consider putting her in a perfect pair of polarised sunglasses to reduce her glare issues caused by her cataracts. We can also consider multifocal polarised sunglasses for her. This may or may not work as the lens design of multifocals naturally constricts her field of vision. And for a truck driver in her case, her main issue is the glare in the distance. (It’s unlikely she’ll be reading a novel while driving. I hope not!). What about her vision problem at near? She only needs to spend a few minutes at the end of her trip to fill in her vehicle logs. A simple pair of reading glasses, in this case, may solve that issue for her.

With the examples above, an office working having eye strain may only need a single customised pair of glasses for him to use only at work. While for our truck driver, she may consider getting two pairs of glasses. One optimised for driving to help her cope with the glare, and a simple pair of reading glasses to help her to fill her vehicle log. Even though she may not be suitable for multifocals at this stage, we will still discuss the features and benefits of having multifocals. In her unique circumstances, we believe she wouldn’t benefit greatly from a pair of multifocal prescription glasses.

Understanding Your Budget

At Capital Eye, we don’t believe in budget eye care. However, we don’t think our patients should be needlessly spending on multiple pair of glasses if it isn’t going to deliver additional benefits. When you need to upgrade your car, would you consider buying two cars and having one as a “spare”? Maybe you do need a spare vehicle because your business depends on having a car available. This is where we need to consider the individual rather than pushing our patients to purchase two pairs of glasses needlessly.

Our patients could be fashion conscious and would like to purchase multiple pairs of glasses with different frames to match their outfit, just like car enthusiasts like working with multiple cars. That’s more of personal preference.

You must have at least one perfect pair of prescription glasses that you use every day. Having the right quality lens and frames that you wear every day will pay its dividends over its lifetime. What about having a spare set? Unless it’s your first time getting prescription glasses, you can often use your previous glasses as your back-up should anything would happen to your new glasses. We find quite often getting a spare set is often superfluous to your requirements.

The Bottom Line

You’ll find most optometry practices; especially the retail chain stores would offer two pair of glasses at a specific price. Whether you need two pairs of prescription glasses depends on your individual needs. (After all, you only can wear one pair of glasses at any given time!). We need to consider your vision, your environment and also your budget. You may find after purchasing a single perfect pair of prescription glasses, often negates the need of a second pair, reducing your overall out-of-pocket expenses.