I have been wearing glasses since my school years. As a child, I was identified very early on as having a ‘lazy eye’ – a slight squint. But it wasn’t until I started reading a lot, either books or computers that I started developing headaches.
A visit to the optometrist identified as regular corneal astigmatism, which, in simple terms, means one of my corneas is shaped a little like a rugby ball, so I end up with two slightly different focal points within the eye. Vertical lines may be perfectly in focus, while a horizontal line will be slightly blurred.
The solution? I started wearing glasses.
Oakley Prescription Frames
I don’t remember what my first frames were. But, as I got older and also started wearing sunglasses, at some point I feel into the Oakley camp for my prescription lenses as well.
I think I am onto my fifth pair of prescription frames now, and I have actually lost track a little of how many sunglasses I have also owned over the years. However, I keep on coming back to the Oakleys, time and time again.
Oakley, potentially the first people to use the term (and patent material) ‘Unobtanium’ actually started out by manufacturing Bike Gips. Unobtanium is the rubber material that was used and is still used in many of the ear socks on their glasses.
I can’t really remember much about my first couple of pairs of prescription frames – I can remember there was a wire frameless one in there, and then a wire half frame, then the big change was a couple of years ago when I, shock, went back into a heavier frame. I suddenly got all hipster on it.2
My previous pair were Oakley Tailspins – really liked the look of them, but quickly found I had an issue with them sliding down on my nose. More correctly, I noticed I was constantly pushing them back up on my face.
However, as is often the case when dealing with a decent optometrist (OPSM in my case) – a solution was found. If you want to, OPSM can mount traditional nose pieces on nearly any frame. This lifted the glasses a little (I was noticing the top of the frame a bit) and the new nose pieces ‘stuck’ a lot better on my nose. However, I also had the back of the arms curved down quite a bit to better hold them around the ears.
Recently, I was suffering a bit (a lot) from eye fatigue. By the end of the day, I was rubbing my eyes and just feeling them more than I recalled. I put a lot of this down to lack of sleep (kids), but also noticed things were starting to get a bit blurry. Looking back in my records, I noted that it had been over a year since I had my prescription checked, so thought I would pop into OPSM and get them confirmed and updated if needed.
I tend to gravitate towards the Oakley section these days, I know their design aesthetic meshes with mine, after also picking up some other brands, I quickly decided to stick with Oakley, simply because I liked the look of the Marshalls.
I was aware of them potentially sliding down the nose again, but am happy to report that it hasn’t been an issue in the last month of wearing them. I am actually thinking it is the ‘unobtanium’ on the arms that hold these to my head so well – but certainly no problem with them slipping and having to be pushed back.
Anyone wearing prescription glasses will realise that the important part is actually the lenses held within the frames.
Interestingly, the prescription for my eyes hadn’t changed much at all. After a retest for the eyes, there was no significant change.
However, the technology available is constantly changing and updating, so I had a discussion regarding anti-fatigue options.
OPSM Anti-Fatigue Prescriptions
I mean, obviously, one solution is to simply spend less time in front of a computer. Certainly, there is a growing awareness of how bad sitting all day, staring at a screen is for the human species. But, the nature of my job and even this ‘hobby’ you are reading right now tends to mean I spend a lot of time reading, researching and writing on a computer. So, if there are new technologies that can help, I am all ears.3
The Anti-Fatigue offering from OPSM combines two technologies into their lens, a progressive, slight power variation in the lower part of the lens, and basically gives the eyes a bit of an extra help when reading computer screens or books.
I guess it could be considered a really light version of a bi-focal. But certainly not something I notice at all.
Blue Light Filtering
Another new technology I decided to try out was the Crizal Prevencia coating. In a nutshell, this filters out some of the UV and blue light.
Why would I want that? Well, some recent research is leading experts to believe it is the blue light that causes the fatigue and potential sleep issues that many people with high screen time experience. The light itself may contribute to macular degeneration, and the colour can also disrupt your circadian rhythm – the natural system that lets the body know when it is sleep time.
I had previously read about this, and coincidently, was actually experimenting with F.LUX – a piece of software that progressively changes the colour output on your screen depending on the time of day.
The lens coating essentially filters out a percentage of this blue light.
On my side of the lens, it means there is a slight shift towards the yellow/warm spectrum of things. This isn’t ‘noticeably’ so – in that, I don’t walk around feeling like I have coloured lens on, however, if I look at something noticeably blue (like the sky) and remove and replace the glasses, I can notice a subtle shift. This just means I need to be aware of any photography or video colour correction work I do (like setting white balance) – but it is simple a case of quickly removing the glasses to quickly double check myself.
Everyone else, looking at the glasses, will actually see a purple-hued reflection. This is noticeably more when the lenses tint due to the transitions coating I also have on there (they tint to sunglasses in the sun). It has actually got a lot of comments (positive) from people, asking what the glasses are and just generally commenting on how cool they look.
When I first wore these, I did also notice the occasional purple tint on the edges of my vision, but, not now. The brain is wonderful at accounting for these sorts of things.
You can notice this in the video from the Sika Show I went to recently.
This is a hard one because I am well aware of the placebo effect, but, the fact remains, that the only change, really, has been the coatings (same prescription).
I am pleased to report though, that the eye strain I had been feeling, has all but gone. Sure, if has been a particularly long night, due to either working late or sleeping late, I still feel a bit, but on the whole, it’s been a positive change.
They aren’t cheap. All up we were looking at around $1000 for the lenses and frames.4 But I wear glasses every day, most of my waking hours. Some dodgy maths means that is 27 cents a day, which, if it means I can see better and with less fatigue, I count as a good investment.