JACKSONVILLE - If you're middle age, your optometrist may have told you that you would start losing your reading vision once you turned 40. You probably didn't believe him, until it happened. Now, you may fumble around for reading glasses in addition to your regular glasses. There's new eyewear on the market that combines all your prescriptions into one pair of glasses where you can adjust the focus yourself. They're called Superfocus.
Hugh Rawls recently visited the Baymeadows Vision Center for a quick check of his "Superfocus " glasses. The airplane pilot used to carry three to carry four pairs of glasses with him. Not anymore. "It's just these and a spare for safety," says Rawls. Superfocus allows Rawls to adjust the focus of his glasses himself by sliding a lever on the bridge of his glasses. "You put your thumb down about 5 o'clock and one of your other fingers on top and just slide it back and forth."
The glasses contain two pair of lenses. The front lens is removable and contains the distance prescription. The permanent back lens flexes when you move the slider. You can also turn Superfocus glasses into prescription sunglasses by changing out the magnetic front lenses to a darker shade.
Unlike bifocals you can see through the entire lens. Optometrist Brian Armitage says he's fitted about a half dozen people with Superfocus glasses. All of them over the age of 45 when most folks start losing their ability to focus. The cost? "The starting price is around $800. But it does eliminate multiple pairs. It's not uncommon to hear people using one set for the computer and one set for other activities. So when you factor in the cost, it's comparable to maintaining two pairs of glasses," says Armitage.
It's easier for Sheila Johnston to see now. "Everytime I blink my focus changes so I had six pairs of glasses." Johnston had cataracts at a very young age. Her Superfocus glasses now gives her a lot more flexibility. As for the style, at first, Johnston says her friends didn't hold back their comments. "They yelled out to me 'Hi Poindexter.'" But she says she likes the look and likes even more what it's done for her vision. "I can get through my day without six pairs of glasses. I can probably make it five or ten years before I have surgery and I'm happy about that."
Dr. Armitage is licensed to sell Superfocus glasses in the Jacksonville area.
First Coast News