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Old(er) eyes

Postby roweenie » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:30 pm

Ok, so I've gotten to the point where I can't see the music anymore (at least I can still hear it! :tuba: )

I currently wear progressive lenses, which are great for general all-around vision, but the focal spot for reading is way down at the bottom of the lens, forcing me to raise my head way up to see the music on the stand.

I'm going to visit my optometrist on Saturday, in hopes of getting this squared away, once and for all.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Three Valves » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:32 pm

I had single vision lenses made just for computer/work/music.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby cktuba » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:34 pm

Reading glasses. I have progressive lenses as well... and there is no way to use them effectively reading music.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby the elephant » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:37 pm

"Executive" bifocals. Bifocals generally have a huge distance lens with the reading lens polished in at a small, lower part of the lens. Executives are all reading save for a narrow strip across the top for distance. (Generally these are 50/50 lenses, but we have a local shop that will move the dividing line up some to make them mostly readers.) Set the conductor in the upper part and read from the lower one. A number of our musicians used these until they discovered that narrow "readers" from Walmart worked well enough (for cheap) and that they could still see the conductor au naturel over the tops, which are low and flat. So, if you are able to use readers you have a very cheap solution. If not, look at the "executive" bifocal lens grind. Good luck!
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Donn » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:41 pm

roweenie wrote:Any suggestions?


Don't miss your optometrist appointment.

Might be overkill, but it wouldn't hurt to show up with a measurement, taken from eye to music. Just thinking non-musicians might confuse this with ordinary reading distance, when it's probably twice as far.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby the elephant » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:48 pm

Donn wrote:
roweenie wrote:Any suggestions?


Don't miss your optometrist appointment.

Might be overkill, but it wouldn't hurt to show up with a measurement, taken from eye to music. Just thinking non-musicians might confuse this with ordinary reading distance, when it's probably twice as far.


I have been told by a few of our musicians that they had to sit and play through a rehearsal in our concert hall with the normal stage lighting and our normal stage setup. At the break one of the other players was to take a tailor's tape measure and get a pretty close estimate of the closest and the farthest the player's eyes were from the page, write that down, and bring it to the appointment.

This local guy could simulate a reader that worked well with music at a certain distance range. Then he would do a normal exam and get the regular lens info and grind the lenses with the regular field in just the upper third. These were full-sized lenses, though.

Truth be known, as these players have aged *all* of them have migrated over to Walmart readers except one, and she plays viola. HAHAHA!!!

I need distance lenses more than up close, but I still need up close, so I will have to get the executive bifocals soon, as I do not think the readers will really benefit my particular issues all that much.
Last edited by the elephant on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby roweenie » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:49 pm

A friend suggested I go with my horn and a music stand, and since I'll be going there after a gig, this will be no problem.

The "executive" lenses sound like a great idea, thanks elephant. I hadn't ever heard of those. Simple readers won't work for me, my distance vision is pretty bad :cry:

Has anyone tried contact lenses with reading glasses? That may be the cheapest solution......if it works.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby tubapix » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:05 pm

I have a pair of "Mid Range" glasses. They allow reading at a farther point (about 2.5 feet) than regular reading glasses. Also the director of my group is very tall and keeps the music fairly low. He went to a specialist and got glasses that focus about 4 feet in front of him. Anything can be done it's just a matter of finding the right person and of course $$$.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:21 pm

For most of my life, I've had very good close-up vision and not-terrible distance vision.
I'm beginning to develop cataracts, which is frustrating because there ain't no lenses that help.
I know that - once they're gone (operation) - I'll be able to see well again, but - well... - I'm not in a hurry to have my eyes poked at...
...and I'm told that I still see better than do many folks. Yeah, I can still read just fine without magnifiers, but do use them to repair instruments...
...and I drove through two-lane roads in the Ozarks during the wee hours a few days ago...and didn't wreck the car....
Still... :roll:
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Radar » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:50 pm

Three Valves wrote:I had single vision lenses made just for computer/work/music.

I have the same issue and that's been my solution as well!!
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby ren » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:57 pm

Having the same issue. Tonight at rehearsal Im going to try my contacts again. Im doing the "monovision" thing where I have a contact for near in one eye and a contact for distance in the other.
Its works for everything except the near distance is too close (for reading music - on the other hand I can actually read my phone for once!). I may have the optomistrist see if she can adjust it out a few feet and then I would be fine. Also Im hoping the adjustment will work for using the computer as well.

I cant do single vision since I wouldnt be able to see the conductor.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:07 pm

ren wrote:I cant do single vision since I wouldnt be able to see the conductor.


Anytime someone comes up with a "we professionals" type of remark, I find it to be annoying, elitist, and - therefore - fairly offensive.

That having been said, I tend to only go play where there is (at least a little bit of) remuneration :oops: ...so...

Something that is REGULARLY said by "those who play at venues where I also play" :roll: is,

"NEVER look at the conductor !!!"
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby ren » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:27 pm

bloke wrote:I find it to be annoying, elitist, and - therefore - fairly offensive.


There is nothing elitist annoying or offensive in my comment. And Im not a professional. :tuba:
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Doc » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:36 pm

With the proper reading prescription, a competent (old-school) optician can make and fit the correct glasses. My brother does this for musicians all the time. It’s a family tradition. My father ran a very popular eye clinic in south central Texas for decades. Fit glasses and contacts also. Special applications for eyeware was one of his specialties. Finding someone who really knows what their doing (not those crappy one-hour places) will yield the right solution for you.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Worth » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:40 pm

ren wrote:I cant do single vision since I wouldnt be able to see the conductor.


It's all cool they're just a bit out of focus. :tuba:

As a progressive wearer, decent quality readers has been the best solution I've come up with.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Doc » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:53 pm

Tampaworth wrote:
ren wrote:I cant do single vision since I wouldnt be able to see the conductor.


It's all cool they're just a bit out of focus. :tuba:

As a progressive wearer, decent quality readers has been the best solution I've come up with.


The bifocal can be placed anywhere you need (bottom, top, middle, bottom half, top half, etc), and the bifocal itself can vary in size, depending on your needs.

If you need a narrow section on top for distance, and the rest for reading at stand distance, the lenses can be made that way. Our guitar player has a pair just like that made for him by my brother. Make sure when you do your eye test, you specifically state that you need these for reading music and give the doc an approximate stand distance. Some people require a different prescription for book reading than they do reading off the stand 2 to 3 feet away. You may not have that issue (I do), but definitely give as much info as possible to help get it right the first time.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Ken Herrick » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:40 pm

The "executive" lenses are a very good solution. Wish I could still get them here in Oz.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby roweenie » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:59 pm

Tampaworth wrote:As a progressive wearer, decent quality readers has been the best solution I've come up with.


So, do you wear your progressives and reading glasses at the same time? You're not being very clear (I say this because I recall there were times that my grandmother wore two different pairs of glasses, simultaneously.... :shock: )

Strangely enough (even though I wear progressives), when I read (or do any other close-in work, such as tuba-construction-type stuff) I take off my eyeglasses and hold the book (or work, as the case may be) about 6 to 12" from my face.

I will ask my optometrist about executive lenses, maybe something like 1/3 distance and 2/3 reading. He is in Manhattan, so I've got to assume he'll have access to them (?)

The question of contact lenses and reading glasses is still on the table. If that were to work, it would be the least expensive solution.....
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby LCH3 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:37 pm

I started out with a pair of glasses with lenses prescribed for the distance from my eyes to the music stand - yes take music/stand with you. This was great for reading the music, but the conductor was blurry - the further away, the greater the difficulty seeing the stick.

Then I tried glasses like the “executives” being mentioned here- basically large bifocal in the center prescribed for intermediate distance to the music and distance at the top of the lens. Music was clear and conductor clear. This has worked great and is what I use the most now.

Recently, I tried distance only contact lenses (not multifocal, which did not work for me) which worked fine with reading glasses - +2.00 for reading and +1.25 for music.
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Re: Old(er) eyes

Postby Matt Walters » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:13 pm

You don't need to count the hangnails on the conductor's hand to see him wave tempo suggestions. I am very nearsighted and of course now that I am older, I also can't read if it's too close without corrective lenses. I have a pair of single prescription "Music glasses" I leave in my gigbag and switch glasses before and after playing. With my music glasses I can see the entire page(s) of music on the stand without moving my head and see the slightly blurry guy at the front of the band with a self important stick, wave in the air. Take a music stand and some music to the optometrist when you get your eye exam to show exactly what you need. Your eyes, your dollars paying for the exam.
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