The Joys of Being Progressive

GlassesIs driving with progressive glasses the new “distracted driving” for the Boomer set?

Forget the dangers of texting behind the wheel. That’s nowhere near as risky as a middle-aged person trying to drive at night while wearing progressives.  My realization of this began when I recently went to the optometrist to get a new pair of distance classes. It had come to the point where I couldn’t deny how bad my night vision had been getting, especially my depth perception (or lack thereof).  After finding out that my prescription had changed dramatically over the past couple of years, I surrendered my night driving glasses for a week to get new lenses.

Which left me stuck with driving after dark with my progressives. I usually use them for reading, and rarely use them for any kind of long-distance vision. The first time I drove at night with them, I really wasn’t prepared for what an adventure it would be! I could see fine at a distance – but how fast was I going? What the heck did my GPS on the dash say? Thankfully, I could tell what gear I was in, but everything else close up was a total blur. I can’t even imagine trying to text (oh wait, that’s bad, isn’t it?).

Of course, if I bobbed my head up and down to point my nose where I wanted to see (the directive for leveraging all three layers of the progressive lenses), I could sort of pan up and down to connect the dots for a full picture. If anyone saw me bobbing my head up and down while peering out the tops of my glasses, I’m sure they would have wondered what the heck I was doing. It actually was kind of funny, in a dangerous sort of way.

When I finally picked up my distance glasses, I told the optometrist about my experience. She told me that, at times like those, it’s probably safer just using your flawed eyesight and winging it!

Karen Lambert

Karen Lambert

Karen Lambert has over 25 years of marketing communications, brand strategy, and overall marketing management experience, primarily in technology (although early-career industries included such "related" areas as produce and golf!). She is relatively new at this 50+ thing, but is trying to embrace it with a positive outlook and humor. Karen lives in Golden, CO, with her 11-year-old son. She loves hiking, running, yoga, and snowshoeing - and her claim to fame is having summitted all of Colorado's 54 fourteeners.
Karen Lambert
Karen Lambert

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  1. Sarah Kincaid says:

    Karen, the world doesn’t want me using my “flawed eyesight and winging it!” Yikes. I wear progressive lenses, and I’m used to them. It took a few weeks, but my head now knows how to tilt and bob to optimize the optical. What you didn’t mention is the slight seasicky (well-known medical term) feeling associated with getting used to the progressive lenses.

  2. Gary Ingram says:

    Great news. They do make tri-glasses where the very bottom is for close-up, the middle is for far and the top is just regular. You wouldn’t have to bob your head as much!

  3. You do get used to progressives. I did. I think the one-eye-near and one-eye-far contact lens thing is a lot harder for the brain 😉

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