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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Eye test results mean a few changes may be required

Yesterday I went for an eye test. I wasn't due to have one until next year, but over recent months I'd noticed a gradual deterioration in my eyesight, particularly when looking at something like my computer screen. The results were not earth-shattering but will require me to make a few changes.

First and foremost, my distance vision has deteriorated and I will need new prescription lenses. In order to reduce the number of times I will need to change my glasses to use my computer, I have opted for varifocal lenses that will have enhanced peripheral vision. I have also opted for a second pair of glasses for medium to close distances, and these will replace my existing reading glasses.

The optometrist also spotted a couple of problems that will need to be addressed. Firstly, I am showing the early stages of developing cataracts in both eyes, and I have been advised to have light-reactive lenses fitted as this will reduce the amount of light entering my eyes on bright days. This should slow the development of the cataracts, as will taking multi-vitamins each day. The second problem relates to my eyelids, which are slightly swollen, causing the tear ducts to become blocked. As a result, my eyes are drier than they should be, and I am now having to use eye drops to reduce the swelling, unblock the tear ducts, and lubricate my eyes.

If my eyesight is going to gradually get worse over the next few years, I need to think about how it might affect my wargaming. The most obvious thing is that trying to paint smaller-sized figures is going to become more difficult, and a move to larger figures in the near future might make sense. As my regular blog readers will already know, I've already collected quite a substantial number of per-painted Del Prado 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures, and painting this size of figure in future should not present me with too many problems. As to my plans for staging a re-fight of Operation Barbarossa ... well painting the vehicles should not present me with any problems and I know that I can produce passably painted 20mm-scale figures. The latter might not win any prizes, but as they won't be entered into any painting competitions, that isn't a problem.

36 comments:

  1. I've had varifocals for approaching 15 years - they took a few days to get used to but are brilliant. Don't be put off painting smaller figures - I resisted doing 5/6mm stuff for over 10 years after getting the varifocals, then finally gave them ago and was pleased to find that I could still paint them OK.

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    1. John Arnatys,

      I use to wear varifocals, but last year it was recommended that I had separate glasses for normal and reading. This has not worked for me, and I am looking forward to the return to varifocals. As to moving to larger figures ... well it was on the cards anyway and this has sort of confirmed my thinking.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Maybe you should concentrate on 54mm wargame figures?
    I have always been short sighted but my close vision is good so I don't wear glasses for reading or hobby work. Medium distance, such as computers is a potential problem but I usually hold the lap top on my chest while I am lying down so I read it without glasses.

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    1. James James,

      Moving over to 54mm is something that I have considered ... but I'm not going to do so quite yet.

      For years my distant vision was good, but close to I have one very weak eye. As I do so much work on my computer, getting my medium distance vision sorted out is very important, and with luck my new glasses will do that.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Bob,
    I'm very sorry to read of your eye problems. Like John, I've had varifocals for a good few years and have had no problems with them - though I do sometimes take them off to focus very closely on something, which my myopia allows me to do.

    I used to paint 6mm, but - as you know - I've gone over to 10mm AND am using a painting service, which produces a better result quicker than I ever managed. I pay for it by teaching a few extra lessons and selling off books and games I know I'll never use again.

    I do hope the medical advice you've received will delay the cataracts for a very long time!
    Best wishes,
    Arthur

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    1. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      I used to wear varifocals, and I'm looking forward to getting back to wearing them.

      I'm giving serious thought to using a painting service in future. I like 15mm figures, but just cannot paint them any more. So it's either move to larger figures or get them painted for me. I could certainly generate enough funds to pay for them to be painted by doing some writing and selling stuff I don't need any longer.

      The cataracts are a problem that are currently on the horizon, and I'm going to everything to delay their arrival.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I've worn varifocals for a good few years and never had an issue with them, including reading. For my second pair I had one set made up with my near prescription and a shorter focal length for use just for painting (part of a Specsavers two for one deal). These have proved to have been a very, very worthwhile investment and I paint everything from 6mm to 28mm with them.

    I have not needed to have the painting glasses updated at my last two eye tests, even though I have needed new glasses for general use.

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    1. Trebian,

      I used to wear varifocals, and I am looking forward to going back to using them for everyday use. My new reading glasses will have enhanced lenses that will be optimised for close to 40cm. They should work well for painting and computer work.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. When I had my cataracts removed the doctor offered 4 types of lenses to be implanted. Distant, Medium and close. Also a variable type that your eye controlled just as it does your real lens. The later was much too expensive (it would cut into my gaming budget) I chose 'close' as I spend a lot of time reading, on my computer and painting! It turns out that with the close lens and a cheap pair of drugstore reading glasses, its like I have a loupe on my eyes and can see very close indeed! Talk to your doctor about it. It worked great for me!

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    1. Dick Bryant,

      I'm not sure what lenses options will be available to me when I need the cataracts removed. Hopefully I won't have to have that discussion for some time!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Replies
    1. Prince Lupus,

      Unfortunately you are all too right.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. I just want to second the comments praising varifocals: so much easier than swapping reading and distant vision glasses. I also like having light-reactive lenses though when you walk into somewhere dark from bright sunlight (like today in fact) you can momentarily find yourself blinded.

    My only real problem was that I also had to buy what I call my DIY glasses as it was impossibly to do close range work where one's position required looking through the top half of the lens (for example, trying to replace a ceiling light fitting).

    I'm sorry to hear about your developing cataracts. My late mother in law had this problem but they developed very slowly and she was advised not to have an operation until they got a lot worse. Eventually she gave up paper books and switched to a Kindle but never needed the op (and she was in her 90s when she died).

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    1. Mike Hall,

      I am looking forward to going back to using varifocals and light-relative lenses. I used to use both and have not felt comfortable since I stopped using them.

      The close-up problems associated with using varifocals is well known to me, but I'd never thought to get some special DIY glasses. That is a great idea!

      I'm hoping that by changing my lenses and taking targetted multi-vitamins I will slow the onset of the cataracts. Your mother's example is encouraging, and I hope that I can avoid going under the knife in the future.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  8. Vision is vitally important to the war gamer. Hard to take it for granted! I can readily sympathise. I've had cataracts in my left eye for thirteen years now. Fortunately my right eye still functions OK, but I'm starting to notice a deterioration there, as well. Might be forced to get the left eye seen to before the right racks it in altogether.

    I've been looking at easy painting methods and visual aids. Magnifying lenses can help. But I have also taken to black undercoating overlaid with white drybrushing. The helps with the details so I can see what I'm doing. But you need good 3D vision for such work, and though I still have some, it's not what you'd call 'good'.

    I agree with others' comments re 'varifocals'. I got mine four or five years back, and took to them at once.

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    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      We do take our vision for granted, and probably don't take enough care of it whilst it seems to be unaffected.

      I'm very sorry to read that you have had to cope with cataracts in one eye for so long. It sounds as if you are in greater need of medical attention that I will for some time to come.

      I've never got on with magnifying lenses. I've tried using them, but the results were no better and my temper was a lot worse. The white dry-brush over black undercoat is not a method I have ever tried, but it sounds as if it might be worth trying. I've tried the black undercoat and white undercoat methods with varying success, but found that the former seemed to make the end result too dark. The latter seemed to work better if I used a stain rather than straight paint over the undercoat. Using a combination of the two might produce a better result ... so I'll have to give it as go as soon as I can.

      Varifocals are definitely the way forward for me, and I look forward to wearing and using them again when my new glasses arrive in a fortnight or so.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  9. I am sorry about your vision problems. I have worn glasses for near-sightedness since age 9. I am now 68 and when my eye doctor announced that my cataracts had developed to the point where new glasses would no longer be able to fully correct my vision, I had laser surgery and new lenses implanted in early 2017. I now use cheap drugstore for reading and close work as my uncorrected vision now focuses at about 4 feet from my eyes. I can still paint 15mm pretty well - better than before the surgery.

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    1. Jay Stribling,

      Our stories seem to have almost paralleled one another, although my cataracts are only just beginning to appear. With luck I will not need surgery for some time to come and in the meantime treatment and new glasses should suffice to meet my needs.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  10. Sorry to hear this Bob. I'm one of those who can't handle progressive or multi function glasses, something about my astigmatism that makes the eye pause to refocus every time my vision slid from one. Drove me crazy during the years my old doctor insisted I just needed to keep trying, didn't dare to look down when going downstairs. Luckily my current eye doctor explained why I had the problem and that I wasn't unique. He also explained why drug store reading glasses would solve my aging nearsightedness. Its a bit of a pain to switch glasses for painting vs reading vs driving but it works as long as I grab the right ones!

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    1. Ross Mac,

      I know that varifocals are not for everyone, but once I got used to wearing them in the past, I had no problems. For the last year or so trying to make sure that I had the right glasses to hand when I needed them has been a pain, and I suspect that the constant switching might have made my eyesight worse.

      With luck the 'new' combination will do the trick, and I can quite literally look forward to seeing things better!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  11. Seems a lot of us are vision-challenged in various ways. I tried varifocals once and couldn't get used to them. I use one pair for general purpose, a different one for computer use, and drugstore reading glasses for painting miniatures. And no glasses for reading or playing tabletop games.

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    1. Fitz-Badger,

      It took me a little time to get used to varifocals when I first had them ... and it took time for me to adjust when I stopped wearing them.

      I find that I never seem to have the right glasses to hand when I need them, hence my move back to varifocals and light-reactive lenses.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  12. Been there, had the surgery, vision greatly improved.
    10mm - no problem, 28mm - same problems as always.

    Although I did change the way I paint, and produced better figures anyway. Basic block colours, ink wash normally with a watery brown ink, on larger scales dry brush any highlights required, varnish and base.

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    1. Bertalucci,

      Your method of painting figures sounds similar to the one I use for 'modern' figures. I use Nut Brown ink for my ink wash as it seems to work with most shades of green and brown, and covers up (or tones down) some of the mistakes I have made whilst block painting the figures.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  13. Vexed to hear about your eyes. Have you considered 40mm as a scale? I find they are an excellent scale compromise between 28 and 54.
    Alan

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    1. Tradgardmastare,

      The idea has crossed my mind several times! The range of figures is quite wide, and would cover most if my needs.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  14. Like many of the other comments, I've worn varifocals for years. For painting I have a separate pair of strong reading glasses I keep with my painting stuff.

    Despite being as blind as a bat, I can still paint 6mm and 2mm stuff using my painting glasses.

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    1. Martin Rapier,

      I regret taking the advice to ditch wearing varifocals; it was a mistake ... and now I'm going back to them.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  15. Bob,
    Hope your eye problems can be sorted out to your satisfaction. I have one pair of glasses for normal wear- reading, hobby work etc and another pair especially for the Computer. My Computer screen is large -almost 2ft across...have no interest in anything smaller. As long as I can measure 0.5mm - I'm happy with my lot. Best Wishes. KEV.

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    1. Kev Robertson,

      I'm hoping that my new glasses will help sort the problems out. As to my computer screen ... well I bought the biggest I could fit onto my desk.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  16. Sorry to hear that Bob. I hope that nothing deteriorates far enough to prevent you gaming.
    I have noticed in the past few days that reading small print and painting detail on 6mm figures is getting more difficult. Until now I have needed spectacles for driving and watching TV, but the process seems to be reversing.

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    1. Whiskers,

      Cheers! I'm hoping that my eye problems will not hinder my wargaming for the forseeable future.

      Your eyes change as you age. Mine got better for a few years, then deteriorated for a few. Now the change has slowed down but still needs correcting.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  17. Dad need about your deteriorating vision, but it sounds like with an ounce of prevention measures that you’ll have many years of wargaming left. I always thought that if / when my eyes started to go and I had to give up painting that it would be a very small sacrifice as I don’t paint all that great anyway. The worry is loosing the ability to see or differentiate units on the table.

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    1. That was supposed to be SAD news, not Dad news.. y’all aboi not being able to see...😀

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    2. Stew,

      You are right. By taking the necessary precautions early enough, the onset of the cataracts can be delayed. As to painting my figures ... well I have done less and less of it over the years, and it would not be too difficult to pass that task on to someone else if I had to.

      All the best,

      Bob

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