We have a patient who comes to our practice at least three times a week.  It’s now at that stage where, around 4.30pm, we nervously eye the door.

She was tested a couple of months ago and went for varifocals with Transitions lenses.  She collected her glasses a week or two after the test and they were fine.  A few days later, she was back complaining that they were slipping down her face.

“These ones don’t do that,” she said, subconsciously pushing her old specs up her nose while handing us the new pair to adjust.  I adjusted the bend and she seemed quite happy so away she went.  A couple of days passed and she was back: the bend was annoying her – she thought you could see it (under her masses of hair).  Her old glasses didn’t sit like that, you see.  I trimmed the excess length and filed it until smooth.  She seemed happy so away she went again.

A few days later, she comes back.  The glasses are hurting her.  They move too much when they are loosened but hurt when they are tightened.  My boss tells her to pick another frame.

She chooses a much lighter, smaller frame and they are glazed.  When she collects them, she seems happy but, again, a couple of days pass and she’s back.

As a side note, her son and her husband accompany her sometimes.  The son was quite aggressive to us, thinking we were trying to fob off his mum but, after seeing how much we’ve tried to accommodate her, he’s on our side now.  They had an argument outside the shop once and we heard every word.  He was telling her to stop moaning, that she was embarrassing herself.  I felt sorry for her then.

Anyway, the new frames are hurting her ear and her nose.  She’s worn them all day to show me how bad it is.  She removes the specs and points to a non-existent red line where the glasses are “cutting into” her.  I changed the nose pads from the standard ones to gel pads and I adjust the sides again.

She leaves, only to return the next day.  She’s sorry to be a bother.  She’s in so much pain because of her glasses.

I said that the lenses (she’s a +5.00DS) are quite heavy so maybe that’s the problem.  She gets new 1.59 polycarbonate lenses.  She has to pay for them, though, as my boss has already given her two pairs of Transitions varifocals (both in designer frames) and, at this point, our patience is starting to wear thin.

Last week, she came to collect her new 1.59 polycarbonate Transitions varifocals.  I joked that she’d probably complain about the chromatic aberration from the polycarb (my husband couldn’t get on with them because of this).  Her son was with her as I think he drove her here after he finished work.

She put the specs on and immediately told C that they hurt.  I came out of my room and she had them off.  I asked her to put them on so I could see how they were sitting.  As soon as she put them near her ear, she exclaimed “Oh!” and contorted her face as if she was in agony.

I loosened them off and she went away to try them, telling me that they are always fine to start with but when she wears them, they get worse.

Yesterday, she returned.  They were too loose.  When she pushed the legs up behind her ears, the glasses moved (what the hell, why is that even a problem?).  Her old ones didn’t do that.

Every time she comes in, while I’m adjusting her specs, she tries on different glasses.  She always remarks that the ones she’s trying on are much more comfortable.

I changed the bend and had them sitting exactly the same way as her old specs.  As she was leaving, she said to me, “Next time I’m in, make sure I get a pair that actually fit me.”