April 2011 Issue

Picking Progressives: The Right Lens is Key

And plan on a frame with an adjustable nose pad. How these things fit is critical. For sunglasses, polarized are recommended for use with acrylic windshields.

Your 45th birthday is a memory. You caught yourself squinting at the gauges on a recent approach to minimums. The near-vision test on your last medical? You passed itóbarely. You have presbyopia, or old eyes. This term probably made sense 120 years ago, when 40 was old, but the term persists. Itís the result of the loss of elasticity in the crystalline lens in the eye, which allows us to zoom focus on near objects. Because itís the lens getting stiffer, not the focusing muscles getting weak, no amount of exercise will resolve the problem. The problem gets worse with age, no matter what you do. To better understand your options for progressive lenes, take a look at your vision in general. If youíre nearsighted and wearing distance-only glasses, you may have excellent near vision without your glasses and be more comfortable without glasses for reading than with progressives. That works fine at home, but not in the cockpit, so progressives are still a necessity.

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