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Jewelry Making and Vision Problems


#1

Hello Fellow Orchidians -

I’ve been searching the archives for posts about this issue and I’ve
found a lot of them, but none have the I am looking for,
so I will throw myself on the mercy of the community and hope that
one of you knows a solution.

I am extremely nearsighted, I have the inevitable presbyopia that
accompanies those of us of a certain age, and I don’t do well with
bifocals.

When I sit down to work with jewelry I have my distance-only lenses,
my bifocal reading/computer lenses, and my super-up-close-lenses,
plus the kind of optivisor with interchangeable lenses, all of which
I am constantly switching between, or combining, and it’s making me
crazy. (Plus I can’t get the optivisor to stay on my head because as
soon as it’s tight enough to not fall down, it pops right off my
head because my hair is so soft and silky.)

None of these are a good solution for various reasons. The ideal
solution would be one pair of glasses that I wear to work on jewelry
that combines both distance for when I need to look up, and extreme
closeup for working with tiny stones, and a range in-between for
everything else.

I have done a google search, and I have found a few solutions:

Zeiss clip loupe magnifiers -
http://www.myoptica.com/ZeissClipLoupe.cfm

Optical loupes on safety frames, and other types of frames -
http://www.eagleoptical.com/optical_loupes_safety_frames.htm
http://www.eagleoptical.com/surgical_loupes.htm

Loupes on Titanium frames (but no word on whether those frames can
hold prescription lenses) -
http://perioptix.com

More loupes on frames: http://www.sheervision.com/store/index.html

The one that interests me out of all of these is the Zeiss clip-ons
because they are also the least expensive, and I think clip-ons
might be useful.

My question is this: have any of you tried any of these? Do you have
others that you recommend? What are the pros and cons of using these
types of loupes? Are there any better solutions?

Oh, and is there anybody on this list who is a jewelry-maker and
optician who can help me communicate what I need to my optician, or
do you know anybody in the San Francisco Bay Area that I can go and
see? I’ve talked to several doctors now, none of whom seem to
understand a jeweler’s vision needs, and frankly seem uninterested
in understanding.

I took a stone-setting class, and I want to work with the instructor
again, but he won’t work with me until I address the vision thing.

I thank you in advance for any help you can offer. I just want to
see!

Linda


#2

Hi Linda,

I’m not sure I suffer from the same vision problems you do, but I
wear trifocals. When I’m working at the bench (or other close work),
I use a pair of OpticAid magnifiers made by the EDROY company.
They’re clip on’s & the magnifier extends about 2" in front of your
glasses. The nice thing about them is they are extremely light weight
& every part of them except the spring that clips on to the glasses
is clear plastic. No annoying black to obstruct your vision or
distract you. They’re around $19.00 & come in 5 different powers (I
think). I’m not sure who all carries them, but I got mine from
Stullers.

The only negative & it may not be a negative if you’re handy with a
pliers, is that the wire clips that are used to attach them to the
glasses work best with the large aviator style of glasses. I have
successfully formed the wires to fit smaller glasses though.

Usual disclaimers, just a very satisfied customer!

Dave


#3
The one that interests me out of all of these is the Zeiss
clip-ons because they are also the least expensive, and I think
clip-ons might be useful. 

My husband Mike uses these all the time and finds them invaluable
when he is doing things like changing watch batteries, fine
soldering, etc.

He tells the customers, “It’s gonna get expensive now, I had to get
out my extra eyes!”

:Making note to self: Might be a good idea to add a few of these
to our inventory for the beaders using those darned tiny seed beads
and Delicas ::

Deb
Weller’s Jewelry and Beads
www.wellersjewelryandbeads.com
Mesa, AZ


#4

hello linda, I use the clip-on type of loupe on a pr of safety
glasses for stone setting, I can see better through this arrangement
than through my regular specs, and i can flip them up out of the way
when I am looking at something else - works well for me,

Christine


#5

Hi, Linda,

I feel your pain!

You say you don’t do well with bifocals, but I encourage you to get
a pair of progressive lenses, then wear them, in spite of headaches,
disorientation, maybe even nausea, until your brain gives in and
learns to use them.

I have a love-hate relationship with my glasses. It took me months
to get used to each of my last three pairs (all progressive) but
eventually, I stopped seeing distortion, and started seeing. There
is a spot for every distance, somewhere in my field of vision. My
newest lenses, I had the optician strengthen the prescription so I
can see closer. The extreme range, from far to very near, makes
these lenses far harder to use than my previous ones, but I could no
longer see close enough with those-- or far enough either.

Since you are nearsighted, you might actually have a little bit
easier time (not as strong close-up). But regardless, it just takes
what it takes to get used to them, and you have to force yourself,
unless you can get eye surgery to correct your vision (come at my
eyes with a scalpel? While I’m awake? Um, no!)

I totally sympathize with your problem, but I’ve also had students
in my classes who couldn’t see what they were doing, and it just
doesn’t work out.

Good luck!
Noel


#6

My favorite magnifiers are the Mag-Eyes, which are very light, have
interchangeable lenses, and slide on like a sports visor. I have
progressive bifocals, and with this magnifier I can adjust which
part of my bifocals is magnified, allowing for various depths of
field.

Janet Kofoed


#7

Hi Deb

Making note to self: Might be a good idea to add a few of these to
our inventory for the beaders using those darned tiny seed beads
and Delicas 

Excellent idea. I currently work using a 5 power magnifier lamp and
my neck and back can’t take it. I have been following this thread
with great interest. I looked at the loupes mentioned in one post,
but I can’t cough up 795.00 right now. The 19.95 clip-ons sound good
so far.

Kim Starbard


#8

Ah, Linda,

I have the same problem, plus astigmatism. I was able to get accepted
by the Low Vision Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry (I
was referred by Rehab) and they put a team of interns to work on the
problem. The result: trifocals that sort of work. At least they work
better than any of the other options I’ve tried (like Optivisors), so
you might want to give the Clinic a call.

Nevertheless, I still find myself pulling them off, without even
thinking, and holding whatever I’m working on up to my eyes. That’s
the only way I can get truly comfortable acuity anymore. This is the
primary reason I’ve lost interest in any process that involves a
large torch. When I’ve fused fine silver, I’ve used a mini torch,
put on plain safety glasses, carefully tied my hair back (in honor of
Lynne Merchant), stuck my nose right next to the tripod screen, and
prayed that I don’t lose my balance.

Good luck!
Lisa Orlando


#9

Another idea about vision, as we age, there are changes to the lens
within our eyes. This change is so gradual, there is little to ring
a bell, until it hits you. this is called cataracts.

They no longer approach your eyes with scalpels, you need not be
awake. Only the day after your first eye was operated upon, will you
realize just how much you had been missing. Not only clarity, but
color. The second eye will be done within two months and can be done
to give you monovision. One eye lens give you reading, the other
gives you distance. The eyes will adjust to this and seem totally
normal whether driving or reading/

The first word out of several friends post surgery was "Miracle."
Most people do not need glasses or contacts at all. I certainly
don’t.

My surgery was 10 minutes total, I was dressed and out the door 15
minutes later. Only restriction were no bending or exertion. A
follow up visit the next day. That was all.

Do not be afraid, the success rate is phenomenal. One friend who has
worn glasses since childhood and contacts since they were invented,
now marvels, there is nothing in her eyes, or in front of them. She
blesses the days of her surgery.

Terrie


#10

Hi Linda,

I am extremely nearsighted, I have the inevitable presbyopia that
accompanies those of us of a certain age, and I don't do well with
bifocals. 

I have similar problems, I’m so nearsighted my useful vision without
glasses is about 2 inches deep and just about at the end of my nose. I
have a set of Clip-ons like the Zeiss clip loupe made by Eschenbach
that I got at Otto Frie here in San Francisco, they also come in a 3
lens set that give you more options. You can got to the downtown Otto
Frie office and try them out to see if fit your glasses well and if
you like them…the do take a little getting used to as does any
strong lenses. Take a Stone set ring or something to look at with
them so you know if they will work for your needs.

As for glasses, it’s really not possible to get one set of glasses
that does everything with out Bi, Tri, or Progressive (all of which I
also hate and don’t use).

For a good eye Doctor may I suggest visiting Dr. Nicholas Vrouvas @
450 Sutter St, SF ( I forget his suite number) he’s very nice and
will listen to your needs and try to explain what will and won’t
work. Take you Clip-ons and a Stone set ring and show him your
issues. Nothing better than a visual aid.

Thank You
from
gWebber - Feverdreams.com


#11

I got a pair of glasses that have only the close-up prescription,
not blended lenses. (I have these, too, for daily wear) I find it
much easier on my eyes when I am working not to continually search
for the focal point. I add optivisors when necessary for fine detail.

Alana Clearlake


#12

Has anyone considered or investigated using a digital camera output
to a nice flat screen monitor?

The medical people are using similar systems for some very fancy
procedures -even remotely.

Then there are the young women in Tampa Launching missiles into
relatively pinpoint targets in Iraq.

It puts everything in a plane to fit you eyes with whatever
magnification you want.

A bit of a learning curve and not free but it will come.
jesse


#13

I haven’t been following this thread so far, so I appologise if this
has been said before.

About 10 years ago, I was in China for a conference (not jewellery
relate and our group visited a machine embroidery factory. During our
visit, the whole staff were taken out into the courtyard and stood
there for 10 minutes doing eye exercises. This happened several times
a day. The factory management had reaslised that if they didn’t do
these exercises, they would loose valuable employees to eye disease
of some kind, cause by the intensive concentration of the eyes for
long periods on the work being done. Basically it would be a kind of
RSI in the eye muscles.

These problems occur with any long, concentrated work process which
only involves a few muscles of the body being used intensively. I try
to do eye exercises at least once a day, and notice a big improvement
in lack of “eye strain”. The exercises that I do I learned at a yoga
class many years ago. The first is to image that there is a Big Ben
clock face right up close to your face. Rotate the head in full
circles in both directions. and then backwards and forwards - from
the 12 to the six, one to seven, two to eight etc. This will help the
neck muscles. Don’t worry about all the crunching noises you hear.
They will gradually subside if you keep up the exercises. Then just
do the same thing with your eyes. Rotate in both directions, and then
up and down - 12 - 6, 1 - 7, 2- 8 etc until you have been right
around the clock.

Hope this helps.
Elizabeth Gordon-Mills


#14

For working in my shop, I have a trifocal right lense in my glasses
as well as my lupes.

Jerry


#15

Linda,

there is another solution to what you are looking for, and that is to
have a pair of glasses custom-made for your specific prescriptions.
I, too, tried for a long time to deal with an optivisor, mask, and
"reading glasses" which were almost useless. I went to my optometrist
and ordered a really cheap Kenmark frame (they can be had for about
$30 - not pretty, but they’re quite functional in the studio). Then I
had a pair of LARGE bifocal glasses prepared – the top half is half
as strong as my regular reading prescription, so that I can actually
see my torch. The bottom half is twice my reading prescription, so
that I can see my work at about the 4-6" distance. Great for
closeups! Now I no longer struggle with the Optivisor. And this
solution was truly not more expensive than a good pair of optical
visors.

regards,
Donna


#16

I have the opposite vision problem in that I am farsighted with an
astigmatism. I explained in detail what I do to my Opthamologist and
she of course said no one pair of glasses can help with everything. I
had her write me a prescription for my normal tasks and an additional
prescription with a much stronger bifocal area which I use only when
I work. It allows me to see normal for distance but acutely magnifies
for close work. It is not perfect but definitely helps. I find as I
get older I need a different pair of glasses for many things.


#17
I had a pair of LARGE bifocal glasses prepared -- the top half is
half as strong as my regular reading prescription, so that I can
actually see my torch. The bottom half is twice my reading
prescription, so that I can see my work at about the 4-6" distance. 

I think this is a great solution, Donna. And for those with a budget
crunch, I have a possible further refinement.

You can buy magnifying readers at a drug store for &10-12, if your
eyes are the same and no astigmatism. You could then add on a pair
of suction-adhesive close-up lenses for about $25. I haven’t bought
these for several years, but I have seen them in drug stores. I
can’t recall the name they were sold under, but they were discussed
here a few years ago. They are little half-circle soft plastic
lenses that you wet and stick on sunglasses, safety glasses, welding
glasses, whatever. I used to use them, and they work quite well.

Noel


#18

I recommend subscribing to the newsgroup sci.med.vision
http://groups.google.co.nz/group/sci.med.vision or use a newsreader
application (in fact my email app picks up newsgroups as well as
email).

You may post questions as an end-user and might expect a range of
opinions from expert to crazy. The several long-standing experts,
all either opthalmologists or optometrists, often make sensible
responses. They sometimes debate among themselves and the discussions
can be enlightening.

Be ready to supply your actual prescription (get it from your
optometrist if you don’t know it) and to be clear about what you’re
asking.

Remember that it’s open to anyone to subscribe and is NOT moderated,
so don’t be put off by any impractical replies you might get.

Me? I had a cataract removal operation earlier this year and an
Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) fitted. Now I can’t wear my own fancy
eyeglasses!!! Mamma mia!

Brian

B r i a n A d a m a n d R u t h B a i r d
AUCKLAND New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz www.ruthbaird.com


#19

On the subject of vision problems, My doctor believes I may be
getting cataracts as an exacerbation of Crohn’s disease. Have any of
you, my fellow Orchidians, ever had cataracts? More to the point,
have you had them removed and how was your vision afterwords? Marya
(seriously bummed out in central Ohio)

Primate
Marya DeBlasi
614-374-3591


#20
Has anyone considered or investigated using a digital camera
out put to a nice flat screen monitor? The medical people are using
similar systems for some very fancy procedures -even remotely. Then
there are the young women in Tampa Launching missiles into
relatively pinpoint targets in Iraq. It puts everything in a plane
to fit you eyes with whatever magnification you want. A bit of a
learning curve and not free but it will come. 

Interesting idea, though not quite as easy as it sounds having had
some experience with doing something like this. It’s pretty hard to
zero in on small targets while looking up and away from your hands at
a screen (a lot of practice). Mean while I’ll have to see if any of
my camera gear will do both live feed and macro at a level that will
allow for at least some experiments. Could be fun.

Thank You
from
gWebber -
http://www.feverdreams.com