Posted on July 27, 2011, 11:42 am by Dr. Virginia Donati
I am experiencing barrel distortion with my new frames and progressive lenses. When I scan from side to side, looking at a flat surface, the surface warps and teeter-totters.
The last time I changed my lenses and frames two years ago, I got the barrel distortion looking out of the top of my lenses, such that the roofs of houses, or tops of fences looked warped as I scanned by them.
This time, I have got progressive lenses for the first time and the barrel distortion is apparent only when I am looking through the middle to bottom of the lenses.
A few questions if you are willing:
1)I have Multiple Sclerosis . Does this make me more likely to see barrel distortion? I have balance problems and vertigo from the M.S., which makes this barrel distortion really hard to cope with.
2) I was 43 years old the first time that new frames and lenses ever gave me this problem. Is seeing barrel distortion age related? (Incidently, the first time I got this problem, my frame size was being downsized. Presently, my frame size has been upsized to accomodate the progressive prescription )
3) Are progressive lenses more likely to cause this problem than regular lenses? My optition has never encountered anyone like me before and right away was talking about giving up on the progressive lenses. Is that the solution?
4) If my brain can adjust, then what is the longest time I should give this?
5) I have got the most expensive Digital Freeform Progressive lenses, 1.6 index plastic thin and the base curve kept the same as the last two lense changes. Is there anything better than Digital Freeform Brand?
6) My prescription is OD -4.50/-0.75 x 110 + 1.25 PD:61.00
OS: -5.75 Sph + 1.25. Does this problem have anything to do with my prescription?
Thank so much for your Q&A website. This is a very disabling problem and it is good to have the availability of a second opinion.
Dr. Virginia Donati's response:
Thank you for your questions, Kelly.
To answer them respectively:
I am not aware of MS being more likely to cause spectacle-distortion.
Increasing age does not increase the likelihood of spectacle-distortion.
It is common for patients to describe unusual visual disturbances when adjusting to progressive lenses for the first time, but not barrel distortion specifically, and you mentioned that you had experienced this distortion in your previous pair of glasses (before the progressives). With that in mind, I would not say that it is fair to blame the progressives.
Although you have a moderate amount of near-sightedness, I would not say that you have a complicated prescription. I highly doubt that it is to blame.
Keeping the base curves constant is a great idea, as is using a digital lens.
My best guess (without seeing you) would be that it has something to do with your frame-choice, or something to do with the fit of the frame. Check to make sure that the frame is not warped in such a way that it “wraps” around your temples. Ask your optometrist to ensure that the lenses are centered correctly to your pupils, and that the frames sit correctly on your face. I would also recommend that you ask your optometrist to verify that the lenses themselves are not warped.
I hope you find an answer to this frustration condition soon!