Glasses and clear vision

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
I don't REQUIRE glasses to read but they do make things very much clearer (I do use prescription glasses for distance).

When reading without glasses the letters smear a little but it's not much of a problem however when I put a pair of reading glasses on things are so much clearer and I wonder if this sort of thing would help my sight reading as I notice the notes also smear at the edges. I have tried using my reading glasses but of course their use is limited to the distance at which I might read a book; not much good when I've got a kilogram of brass between me and the music I want to read clearly.

I can buy reading glasses anywhere but don't seem to be able to buy glasses that are similar but focus at just that little extra distance without buying a prescription.

Has anyone come across 'music-reading' glasses that can be bought without prescription?

Martin
 
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stefank

Member
Messages
368
Location
Hobart, Tasmania
As I get into the wrong end of my fifties I find special glasses necessary for most music reading (bear in mind that I am considerably myopic and have needed glasses since the age of seven).

There are exceptions, eg if I go and sing some choral music (where the score is held low in the field of vision) the gradient focus "normal" glasses cope just fine, and they're also not too bad playing section work with a rock band, where if I'm reading I have the stand set low (and the charts printed large).

The other extreme is if I have to play in a marching band, with music that is small and on a lyre which is both close and high in my field of vision. My first solution was to "convert" a lyre to get the music further away from my nose. This helped a bit, but not quite enough, particularly in poor light. Over the counter reading glasses were no use to me, as they made image larger but no clearer. In the end I obtained some prescription glasses optimised for about 20cm to just over a metre. Absolute magic - I wish I'd done it a few years before. If you can't solve the problem another way, it's worth spending the money.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Ever thought of Varifocals?

They should provide sharp focus at every distance from close reading to infinity. Only drawback is that the corrected vision is only down a fairly narrow strip in the lens centre but you are probably used to peripheral vision being blurred anyway.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
With my varifocals, the close focus area doesn't focus close enough. Might be becasue of the lens outline, it's close to a horizontal box, so could be they cut too much off the bottom. Agree with OG on the narrow centre strip, but you can pay extra for a wider strip.
 

stefank

Member
Messages
368
Location
Hobart, Tasmania
Ever thought of Varifocals?

They should provide sharp focus at every distance from close reading to infinity. Only drawback is that the corrected vision is only down a fairly narrow strip in the lens centre but you are probably used to peripheral vision being blurred anyway.
They sound like what I call gradient focus lenses. Great if you can choose what part of the lens to look thruogh, but if you can't (an extreme example being using a marching "lyre" music holder) they can be quite useless.
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
I got reading glasses set to an arms length away for computer work. With the buy one, get on free offer, I use the second pair for reading music - they're brilliant. Only trouble is, 'cos I need distance glasses too, I can't see what the conductor is doing at orchestra!!! :(

I do have varifocals for general use, but I don't like moving my head around to find the right focus.
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
This is a pain as i wear glasses for reading. In the band we sit down and play which is ok but when i have to stand up and do a written solo the score is then too far for me to see it properly. If i'm just improvising no problem, i still have not found a solution for this yet, apart from learning all the written solos off by heart...
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
This is a pain as i wear glasses for reading. In the band we sit down and play which is ok but when i have to stand up and do a written solo the score is then too far for me to see it properly. If i'm just improvising no problem, i still have not found a solution for this yet, apart from learning all the written solos off by heart...
I have varifocals and have done for years - they work very well in most circumstances and would I am sure work for you. They do take a bit of getting used to though.
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
I use varifocals - except for music.

With a big lump of brass stuck in my gob it wasn't so easy to make the small head movements necessary to be focussing through the right bit of the lens. One lesson I ended up trying to read the last bar line of the page under the bottom of the glasses - with predicatable results.

So I asked the optician to adjust the 'reading' part of my prescription to the appropriate length and use those. I'd imagined it was just a case of adjusting the magnification down a bit. Certainly first time that's all the sales lot in the opticians did. Second time, when my eyes had deteriorated a bit more, I asked the actual optician who did actually measure it up properly. Can't say I perceived a dramatic difference between the two approaches. Moz, you might be able to do it yourself. Take your music and sax into the shop and experiment . ;}
 
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Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,428
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
I have thin rimmed half glasses for reading. Slightly different prescription for each eye. They work from about a foot to up to around four feet away so are fine for reading music on a stand (but a lyre might be too close though) and I can just glance over the top at the ensemble leader without thinking.

I have separate light prescription driving glasses that I keep in the car. Don't always need them but they make things a bit sharper and are slightly tinted to help with glare from oncoming headlights at night (eyes get more sensitive to bright light as you get older) and I notice my eyes don't feel as tired on longer journeys now.

Unfortunately there was glaucoma in both my parents' families, but the upside is I get a free full eye test every year and hospital referal if there is ever any doubt about pressures.
YC
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
346
Location
Exeter
Yes this is all a real pain. I now have one pair of glasses for reading a book, another for reading music and computer work and another for driving!! The only up side is that this is further motivation for memorising tunes and changes and abandoning the music altogether. Pete
 
OP
Moz

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Thank you all for your replies. I think the general concensus is that without a prescription there are no glasses for that extra distance. Perhaps there is a market there, I'll just get out my ACME glass-grinding kit and start taking orders.

Cheers

Martin
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
I also got myself a pair of prescription glasses focused to about one metre. This works well, as long as I make sure that the lighting is adequate. I can read very easily without glasses, but I wear a pair of multifocals (varifocals) for getting about. I have tried to use for reading music, but found it unsatisfactory. .One problem occurs when the score is spread over two pages. It is quite difficult to find the spot where one can read the extreme left and right. Another problem is the vertical focusing. It can be quite hard to get both top and bottom right.
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
My dsistance vision is quite good (enough to pass my Spanish driving licence test!) but I wear varifocals all the time, for the convenience of not needing to carry reading glasses around, and the ability to read close-up(books) and a bit further away(PC screens, music), by very tiny head-movement.

It is probably worthwhile spending more on 'better' varifocals (e.g. Varilux Panamic) as they, allegedly, have a larger area for each focal length.....also being prepared to have slightly 'deeper' frames so the lenses are not too 'squeezed'(optically).

It's highly amusing to me to see the sax-section stand-up for a 'solo spot' ....the bespectacled elderly gents then have to stoop/lean forward in order to read their music :)
 

kiwi simon

New Member
Messages
26
Location
chch, nz
An older guy in the band uses those magnifying sheets (plus glasses) - although they only magnify the page 3x or so, they have an advantage of keeping the music on the stand too, which has come in handy when yer outdoor gig literally ends up '6 sheets to the wind' ... Jimmy Lally charts are prone to this, as the yellowed tape keepin it altogether usually gives up at the same time.

Simon

PS G'day Roger!
 

Semiquaver

Member
Messages
102
Location
Hertfordshire, England
An older guy in the band uses those magnifying sheets (plus glasses) - although they only magnify the page 3x or so, they have an advantage of keeping the music on the stand too, which has come in handy when yer outdoor gig literally ends up '6 sheets to the wind' ... Jimmy Lally charts are prone to this, as the yellowed tape keepin it altogether usually gives up at the same time.

Simon

PS G'day Roger!
Good to see you back on the forum Simon. Where have you been?
 

Luluna

Señora
Subscriber
Messages
698
Location
Vermont, USA
Simon - I have 4 children (25, 23, 17 and 7) and in addition to the lifestyle change, I think your vision deteriorates with each additional pair of feet - but what fun!

Moz - I had the same dilemma with the "arm's length" vision. After paying $400 for no line bifocals (top for driving, bottom good for nothing), I went to a local discount market that had the various strengths of reading glasses marked +1.00, +1.25, all the way up to +3.00. I brought in my music and stood by the display trying on glasses and trying to see if I could read the music until I found the correct pair. I leave them in my sax case (for $1 each I bought a pair for each one) and don't go to rehearsal without them.

Additionally, a health nut friend of mine told me to sprinkle flax seeds on my breakfast yogurt every morning, and I will say it's made quite a difference in my eyesight, I was able to go down a magnification step after a few weeks. My last resort - when the publisher makes the notes especially small (meanies) I will take it to the copy machine and enlarge, cut and paste until I can see it.

Best of luck - after 40 it's patch, patch, patch! :)
 
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