View Full Version : Best length of focus for glasses?

phil in sofla
09-23-2003, 06:42 PM
I've been forced to go to bifocals (Varilux gradient lenses now on order), but I ordered a single prescription pair of glasses to shoot pool.

I got them in time to try them at Qmasters at the Open, and they weren't right, so I used my older glasses instead. Checking with the optometrist, he'd taken the bifocal prescription, which focuses best at 16 inches, and gone to a 55% attenuation of that, making the best focus point about 3 feet. I think I see the problem, as it were.

Since I play with a locked bridge arm, my eyes are about 3 feet away from the cue ball when I set up. If I were shooting from one short rail to the other one, I'd be almost 12 feet away.

Sharpening up the distance blurs up the near vision, so there's a tradeoff. He even suggested going with a shorter focus lense on one eye, and the longer on the other. He said that was getting common with contact lense wearers that needed bifocals, although he'd never heard of it used in glasses.

Since my left eye has weakened while my right eye stayed almost the same over 5 years, my right is a strong dominant eye, and I don't want to go through the grief of trying to re-image lines to balls from that side of my head, let alone SWITCH eye perspectives shot to shot, depending on length. Knowing the brain, yes, I think it could be learned, but not if I can avoid it. (Anyone shooting with different contact lense prescriptions out there?)

Based on the optometrist's diagram of what was going on, there's maybe 2 feet on either side of the focus point that still are well in focus, and then a fall off beyond that. So, to go out 12 feet, a 10 foot focal length would do. What do you think is the best focal length? I'm thinking 5 or 6 feet, with 2 feet more and less covering the vast majority of shots. But if there is conventional wisdom, what's the preferred length? TIA.

09-23-2003, 07:27 PM

I wear contacts and single lens glasses when I take the contacts out. I can't answer your Q but my Optometrist is really into that I play pool and makes my contacts as acute as they can be.

You should work with your Optometrist and if you don't get any satisfaction, get a second opinion - and a third!

And if you still don't get any satisfaction, pm me. I opened my Dr's eyes when he went and played some pool - and he wears glasses! He may know someone in your area that you can go to. He's a consultant or maybe just on the board of Bausch and Lomb.

Barbara~~~Lasik is not for me - not at least for a few years...

Chris in NC
09-24-2003, 12:07 AM
Phil, I am near-sighted and wear glasses. I use contacts only for playing pool, as I cannot get my head low enough over the cue to wear glasses while playing.

On my visits to my eye doctor roughly every 2 years, I stress how important it is that I see as best I can for pool with my contacts - up to distances no more than 10 feet away. In my opinion, for shotmaking it's more important that you see the edge of the object ball in the distance clearer than you must see the cue-ball.

So, when I read the eye chart on the wall to hone in on my proper prescription for my glasses, the eye chart is the standard 20 feet away. Then, we they're finding the proper prescription for my contacts (for playing pool), the eye chart (I'm looking at when determining which lenses the letters look clearest) is being held at 10 feet away. My guess is this contact prescription (optimum vision at a 10 foot distance) is likely not quite as strong a prescription as the glasses prescription.

I can tell you that this works really well for me, as I can really see the balls well now. My doctor also told me about possibly setting up the prescription so that one eye sees close up and one eye sees in the distance. I believe the problem for this in pool playing (as you stated) is that where you sight your head and eyes over the cue is based on which eye is more dominant, and that line would be all screwed up if one eye is able to focus in on the cue ball best whereas the other eye focuses best on the distant object ball. Hope this helps and good luck. - Chris in NC

Rich R.
09-24-2003, 04:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote phil in sofla:</font><hr> He even suggested going with a shorter focus lense on one eye, and the longer on the other. He said that was getting common with contact lense wearers that needed bifocals, although he'd never heard of it used in glasses. <hr /></blockquote>
Phil, this system does not work well for everyone. My wife wore contact lenses for over 30 years. When it came time to wear bifocals, she tried three different versions, with contact lenses, before going back to wearing glasses. They just didn't work for her.

I do know that some people have glasses dedicated to playing pool, but I don't know the focus point.

Good luck.

09-24-2003, 06:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote phil in sofla:</font><hr> I'm thinking 5 or 6 feet, with 2 feet more and less covering the vast majority of shots.
<hr /></blockquote>

If you are playing mostly on 9' tables, the range you would want to cover should be from about 3 to 10 feet. If you want the mid point to be the best focus point, you are looking at about 6.5 feet. Explain to your doctor what you need and why, and he should be able to advise you. If not, find another doctor.

09-24-2003, 09:41 AM

09-24-2003, 09:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote whitewolf:</font><hr> I got laser vision surgery after being terribly nearsighted for 50 years. Now I can see far far away (20/13 in my dominant eye and 20/15 in my other eye), but I need glasses (175s) to read. When I shoot pool now, I could give a cr#p about not being able to see close up. It's the long shots you want the vision for.
<hr /></blockquote>

I once felt the same way (I shoot with contacts), but lately it seems my focusing ability is not what it once was. I have to hold things further away than before for reading, etc.

Although my contacts are perfect for distance, there are times when I need to get down really close to the cue ball and maybe a potential interfering ball to see if there's "light" between them, and I have trouble seeing it as well as I used to. I hate to consider playing with contacts plus readers on my nose like a little old grandpa, but I can see that someday I'm going to be in that boat.


09-24-2003, 10:40 AM
i get so upset w/ myself at times because of my vision.
Im only 25 and i am not blind but anything more then 5ft away is pretty blurry.

its like do i strain my neck to shoot w/ my glasses or do i play without them and just learn location. it has really taken a toll on my cutting game.

i was thinking about lasik or something but i think i want to wait till i hit at least 30. Im 26 now.

i also motorcycle race and wear my glasses. i tend not to blink alot exspecially when concentrating alot, so that will be a huge factor in the contact situation.

yes, i have had them in the past.

09-24-2003, 11:25 AM
Damn, talk about taking a long time to write a post ! /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

You started this post you were 25 and finnished it at 26 !!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

09-24-2003, 12:11 PM
lol. typo on my part. ill be 26 soon tho. just another 6 months.

09-24-2003, 12:38 PM
Of course, I was just kidding /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Rich R.
09-25-2003, 04:50 AM
Phil, check your PM's.

09-25-2003, 08:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Phil, check your PM's. <hr /></blockquote>Hi Rich,

What's the deal? Do you have interesting info on this topic that you're reluctant to share with the rest of us?

Just curious,

SPetty~~~ not a good candidate for lasik, nor can I wear contacts, nor can I wear my stupid regular glasses...