Adapting to No-Line Bifocals

It's hard to adjust when you switch to a new type of eyeglasses. August 29, 2006

Pardon the pun, but I am really trying to focus on work. I just switched over to progressive lenses in my new glasses. They are a bear! Has anyone switched recently and is working in the shop difficult? Making cabinets requires a lot of movement running the saw, lining parts up, checking measurements, etc. Is it my eyes just not used to the infinite number of focal points, or are these things screwy? Maybe itís an eye-brain connection that hasn't happened, but simple things like installing moulding are hard when the piece looks curved but really isn't. Does anyone else use progressive lenses or have you found the trifocals easier with all the movement in the shop?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
That's like a no-line bifocal? I have those and they do take some getting used to. Give them a chance and your eye-brain connection will make the adjustment.

From contributor B:
I never could get use to mine. I wear them to drive and everything else but somehow they make a square cut look like a bevel. I had to go back and purchase another set of glasses.

From the original questioner:
Yes, they are no line type bifocals. I am wearing them for the first half of the day when my eyes are fresh, trying to tell my eyes to not move like they are used to. If I don't keep them still and just move my head, the cut I just made looks curved. Once my eyes start to ache it becomes distracting, I sure don't want to cut my fingers. Iím going to give the new lenses a fair chance, for my brain to compensate. I mean if I can make cabinets, my brain can surely adapt to these things. Itís just aggravating to look at a straight board and see curves.

From contributor C:
I remember going through just that. Your brain will make the adjustment eventually but be careful until that happens - as your fingers can actually be in a slightly different physical place than they appear. Think back to first walking downstairs with your bifocals - maybe each pair of progressives should include a SawStop.

From contributor D:
I just switched from contact lenses to regular glasses (single focus) and am having a similar adjustment. Right now I'm spray finishing some stuff and hate the way the glasses bend everything. I know I'll adjust, I wore glasses for years before switching to contacts.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor E:
This is an old song, but it bears repeating: Be extremely careful when adjusting to any new eyewear (including safety glasses)! Anything new in front of your eyes will alter your perception. My father switched to no-line a few years ago, and he celebrated by taking the tips off of two fingers (one in the shop and one in the kitchen). He didn't realize fast enough that the curved effect everything had meant that he couldn't be sure about distance either.

After both accidents (and several fender-benders) he told me that the offending blade, car, etc. seemed to "jump out of nowhere" because his depth perception was off. After a few months, his brain did adjust to the new input, but the adjustment period was very scary for everybody involved! In other words, take your time, keep all the guards on (or put them back on), and double check everything, and life will be back to normal before you know it.