chriscraft

Aging.... blurry vision when tooling

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I’m 44 y/o and I knew one day, I’d wake up and see the world in a different way.. blurry.

 I’ve been blessed with super human vision for many many years now. I could always see clearly miles away. Eagle eyes my grandfather would say.

Up close seamed like I had microscopic powers as the closer I could get my eyes to the paper when drawing, they would auto focus and I could see extreme fine detail.  My grandma would always have me thread the needle on her Singer treadle sewing machine. I’d come home from school and it would be my first chore before homework

   A halo... I’ve never seen or noticed the halo around all those city lights at night. They have always been a clear light with a sparkle in the shape of an X with fine pointed edges. That was the way I would draw them, same way I could see them.    Over the past 6-8 months I began noticing a halo toward the center of city lights. For years I’ve seen artist paint lights with a halo and always wondered where they came up with that. Was it to represent the halo pictured around religious saints. Not long ago, my question was finally answered... I think my vision is going. Today those lights at night not only have a halo.. they have many burst of light just like a sparkler on the 4th of July. 

Before this, I was a member of a Hazmat Team and our vision was tested at an optometrist office. Mine was 13/16 on my left eye and 16/16 on my right eye. I always assumed my dominant eye was my right but began using my left eye after this test.  Never had my nearsighted vision tested and that’s what changed recently. As of last month, anything 15” away from my eyes is just blurry. I awoke like any other day before and finally see the world differently as predicted.  

Its difficult to draw or tool leather as I can’t see my detail clearly anymore. My cuts have suffered and hand painting small detail is just frustrating. I just completed a leather patch for my son’s baseball bat bag and I’ve never made so many mistakes going over the lines when painting. I’ve touched all of them now,, well all that I can see. lol

  Soon I’ll visit an ophthalmologist to get a script for corrective lenses. 

Do I just ask for bifocals as I need to see very closely and not just read.  Do I buy one of those magnified round lights that mount to a table? 

 

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Edited by chriscraft

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Bi or Vari focus take time to get used to but many myself included find them better than carrying two pairs of glasses

I am surprised it took you so long to get tested

A large magnifier can be very useful but you still need the glasses

Good luck with whatever you choose  

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I use varifocals for everything (and have done for 12 years) except leatherwork.

I have single vision specs based on the distance to bench, whilst standing, as I always stand, as varifocals make rulers look curved at that range and it freaks me.

:wacko:

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I have transition bifocals and find that the circular magnifier with the light makes my stamping much more accurate, especially stuff like Basket stamping.

Todd

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I am 48 years old. The same situation 2 years ago: (
For fine work, instead of glasses I use this one. Illumination and a set of 5 lenses helps a lot.

 

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My story is a bit different.  I have a weak eye, in other words it just goes off on it's own, and my brain can shut out the input from that eye.  I can cross it at will.  When I am tired, I have to choose which of the lanes on the freeway to use, since my brain can't seem to shut it out well when I am tired.  When I was young, they discovered I skipped letters when I read them out.  I read by the shape of the word.  I believe part of why I could never draw is because I couldn't really see where I was putting the pencil.  They gave me glasses, which I didn't wear very often.   I did eye exercises and put the glasses away.  My distant eyesight was really pretty good, and I had no troubles reading.  I have been called Eagle Eyes many times. Fast forward to earlier this year, and about the same age as you, decided to get an eye test.  I knew I had astigmatism, etc.  Doc prescribed some glasses for up close work.  I used them for about a week, and the up close world came really into focus for me, and I was able to do some really nice tiny tooling.  

But then,  within 2 weeks of getting glasses, something strange happened.  I could no longer read much of anything without them!  This is really frustrating for me, since I never had this issue before.  I do wish I had just gotten some magnifiers for the up close work.  I wear the glasses only for tooling and stitching now, force myself to read without them.

YinTx

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Hidebrand that’s what I was thinking.. using glasses plus one of those magnifier lights. 

 

ABHandmade are those all prescribed lenses? 

That setup maybe the way to go... 

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Yin Tx, I’ve been thinking that my vision will also get worse once I start to correct it.  I’m not worried about it right now, guess I’m still in the Denial stage.

I used to think I can do anything I set my mind to. Especially the hands on stuff like drawing or using my fine motor skills and hand eye cordination on stuff. I believed that anyone else can do the stuff we do. But now, maybe it was only cause we saw it in a way that we can break it apart into its basic steps, then only to trace them back recreating them to accomplish the task. 

  I still have not lost the gift of patience so I’ll need to adjust to the use of glasses while I learn to use them. Once I get them I mean.

Guess I need to limit myself in that I shouldn’t attemp to draw with such fine detail anymore. Lately, to get out of drawing, I’ve been telling ppl that ask me to draw them something that instead, I can teach them how.  Usually they answer, “I can’t even draw a stick figure”. I reply.. that’s great cause I won’t be teaching you how to draw any stick figures...

 

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I have old-focals, but what you're describing sounds worse than mine.  I've tried "line" bifocals and "no-line" bifocals, and I don't care for either.  Near sighted, but only time I wear em is driving, and usually only at night - it's the distant stuff I don't see well.

Don't like to use 'em for close work - including typing this -- since either you have the line causing everything to be duplicated (driving causes two speedos, two radio dials, etc) or you have the no line causing you to move your head like a chicken trying to keep the right focal point.

When  I took my last driver station test for license renewal, the girl said read the top line, and I said "there's lines?@!" :rofl:

 

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Progressive or varifocal lenses have a much narrower field of view than bifocals or single vision.  If not prescribed and designed correctly, it is like you are looking down a tunnel.  I've been working through this the past few months after cataract surgery where the natural lens is replaced with an acrylic lens.  You go from being able to focus your eyes to being like an old fixed focus box camera.  I was very near sighted.  Now I have 20/20 and 20/25 vision.  But, my focus distance is like the box camera, everything is in focus from 4' to infinity.  Hard to read the newspaper without 4' long arms!  So I have to have reading glasses.  I found a pair that are like progressive lenses good for reading, computer, and out to about 4' so basically 3 zones of view.  (Cheap from China, about $45 CAN.)

I have since then gone after progressive lenses that would let me work from about 5" out to infinity.  But that is too high a gradient to work into the lens. 

For progressive lenses, there are what they call soft lenses and hard lenses.  Nothing to do with the material they are made of, but deals with the width of your field of vision.  Hard lenses have a narrow field width; soft has a wider field width.  The first pair were hard, and along with that high gradient were not really useful.  The next pair were still hard (lab error!), but from about 14" to infinity.  But still like a tunnel.  Just got another pair today, soft this time.  They are better, but not like my vision used to be, and of course not useful at close distances, like tooling, stamping, and threading a needle.  Most of you are familiar to some extent with what a bell curve looks like.  Hard lenses have a high peak, and narrow steep sides.  Soft lenses have a wide peak, not as high, and flatter slope on the sides.  So soft helps me to see better, not as narrow a tunnel, but still not like my vision used to be.

If you can, I would suggest a pair of bifocals that are for reading distance and for your computer distance, as long as you have your natural lenses in your eyes.  That is what I worked with for years in an engineering office, and they worked very well.  I could see the dual monitors and my whole desk, all in focus.  I had executive cut lenses.  The line between reading and computer runs all the way across the width of the lens.  Gives a very wide field of view in comparison to 'normal' bifocals and much better than progressive lenses.  For those that are far-sighted, I think these would work as well, but I don't have that experience.

One of my problems is to re-train my brain.  It used to be move closer to see better.  Now it is the opposite, move further away to see more clearly.  Hard to get used to that.  For closeup work, I will need to use a magnifying light from time to time.

Hope this info is of some use to you who are dealing with vision problems. 

Just as an aside, about 3 years ago, I was sitting behind a person, listening to a speaker.  Every time the person in front of me moved her head to the right, the image I saw of the speaker suddenly went to being a dark shadow over a lighter shadow background.  It got me pretty concerned!  I got into see a retinal surgeon within a few days.  He determined that I had scar tissue over the retina.  Said my vision was at 40%.  I felt like it was more like 10%.  He removed the vitreous  humor from my eye, scraped the scar tissue off, and refilled my eye with silicon oil.  And my vision came back quite well, but due to the now irregular surface of the retina, lines are not straight!  It did get rid of the floaters in my eye which is great.  I had noticed about 30 years before that my right eye didn't see white, it was sort of a cream colour.  No one could tell me why.  Now my right eye sees white the same as my left eye.  So if you notice something like that, go get it checked and tell them about my experience.  No one knows why the scar tissue developed.

Tom

Edited by Northmount
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I should have tri-focals, well that's not correct, I do have them but I never wear them.  I use my "computer" glasses.  They are setup so the top 1/3ish is for distance, the large middle bit is for reading my computer and there is a bottom bit for close up work, like reading from a book.  The "normal" tri's were making me move my head way too much to be useful.  The computer glasses seem to give me the most use for my prescription.  I'm not totally blind, but I do lose focus oh about 4 inches past my nose.  And I was told last week that I have cataract(s) developing in my "good" eye which is messing with my night vision.

Edited by Aven
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I’ve been told my sons eyes “aren’t bad enough” for glasses.

But he can’t read well without cheaters. So I looked into some eye excersizes that are available online. When he does them, he reads better. When he skips, he needs the cheaters.

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I've been told the best prescription for glasses is to not be perfect, but to make the eyes work a bit at seeing clearly.  When fitted for perfect, the eyes seem to not work as hard, and you go into new stronger lenses sooner.  (That's assuming you have not had your natural lens replaced with an acrylic lens like for cataract surgery.

Tom

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As aven said above, it is important to have your optometrist or ophthalmologist measure to get the 'split' lines in the correct place so they work for you, and so you don't develop neck and shoulder problems due to the way you have to hold your head to be able to see clearly.

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7 hours ago, chriscraft said:

ABHandmade are those all prescribed lenses? 

No, this is a standard set. I have astigmatism, so, of course, conventional spherical lenses do not provide 100% image clarity. But due to the design of this head binocular, I, if necessary, can use it with my glasses.

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I'm one of those that have two pairs of ( script)  specs, one for general purpose, and the other for reading, close up work etc.  I only got them because they were cheap and eye testing was free . I was using those ' magnifier' type glasses that I got cheap from any discount shop, and if I wanted to see even closer,  get a stronger pair or I place another pair over the other ( an optometrists worse nightmare I'm guessing ?) , but it worked .Good lighting is a must.   But I took breaks after lengthy tooling periods, the same with ' carvers cramp' . 

HS 

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1 hour ago, Handstitched said:

Good lighting is a must.

Definitely.  When you look at how lenses and the iris work together, it shows the need for a well lit workspace, at least for the object you are working on.  In photography, one of the things you learn is about depth of field.  That is how much of the scene is in focus measured from the front of the lens.  A large depth of field puts more of the scene in focus.  If you were taking a portrait outside, you could have the persons face in focus, but the foreground and background out of focus.  This is a shallow depth of field.  To get the largest depth of field, there needs to be lots of light, and a small iris/aperture opening.  The same is true for your eyes.  Lots of light causes your iris to narrow, increasing the depth of field, and putting more of the object you are working with in focus.  This is even more important to people like me that have had cataract surgery.  My eyes' lenses cannot adjust since the lenses are fixed.  The eye muscles cannot adjust the lens.  So a brightly lit workspace improves what I can see clearly due to the improvement in the depth of field.

Just make sure the lights you use don't shine in your eyes or make glare that masks what you are trying to see.  Use lighting that comes from both sides to minimize shadows caused by your hands and tools.  Hard to follow a line when it is masked by a shadow!

Tom

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Thanks for all the advice. 

  I just finished tooling this piece on 5oz. Wow this 2mm thin HO sure stretches. I’ll need to glue it down to poly board next time. Was also trying not to punch thru and did a good job at that. Have held it up to the light and no holes. 

Now that I’ve taken a photo and can zoom in on it, yeah I see many little mistakes. Can’t see where I’m placing my beveler anymore while walking the tool.  Lining up these 1/4” letters is trickier.. wow.... I need to wait till I’m set up with glasses. I do find it funny that I can’t see, it’s like permanent beer goggles but from very close by. Anything 15” or farther away I can see fine. 

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Old age sucks.. just wait until you hit the 60's!!!

Don't hesitate in visiting the eye doctor to get things checked out and by all means get the glasses if you need them. Eye issues can be a sign of serious health issues so don't ignore it.

That said I would recommend just using reading glasses for doing the tooling work. I spent a bunch of money getting the transition lenses and hated them for doing things that were close up such as tooling and other leather work in general, even using my sewing machine. I decided to buy a cheap pair of reading glasses at wally world and was much happier with how they worked. I eventually bought a pair of good quality readers and that is all I have used since for all of my leather work.

Just my 2 cents..

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My close vision started going a few years ago.  I'm getting by with dollar store reading glasses for close work.  They might help you until you get your prescription glasses.

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2 hours ago, Ed in Tx said:

just wait until you hit the 60's

Long past!  Have to wait for them to come around again someday! :(

Tom

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2 hours ago, rodneywt1180b said:

My close vision started going a few years ago.  I'm getting by with dollar store reading glasses for close work.  They might help you until you get your prescription glasses.

I’ll stop by and pick up a pair. I’ve seen them before at the end of the isle  near the pharmacy at Walgreens. I’ll get the weakest set I can find, just need to see a little detail for now. 

I’m glad I’m not painting or doing any art projects for money anymore. That would really be a bummer.  I’m just making a few custom tooled Christmas gifts for the kids so my stuff doesn’t need to be perfect. 

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6 minutes ago, chriscraft said:

I’ll get the weakest set I can find

Try them on while you are there and pick what works for the distance you want to work at.

Tom

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1 hour ago, Northmount said:

Try them on while you are there and pick what works for the distance you want to work at.

Tom

this

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58 minutes ago, rodneywt1180b said:

this

I tried out the +1.25 lenses, they worked but I noticed I had to be a certain distance to see clearly. Move 1 inch away or closer and things  got blurry quick. 

The next strength, +1.50 was better but the +1.75 I liked the most. 

This last Marquette University Dentestry seal I tooled this morning will be painted. The first color I used was on the background. It’s dry now and with these glasses I just picked up, I can see it’ll need to be touched up before moving on to the next color. 

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