O is for Optometry

When a woman (or a man) reaches a certain age in their life, they might discover that they start to have trouble seeing things. Reading tiny print can be done only in really, really good light, and with no small amount of squinting. Upcoming street signs aren’t quite as sharp as they once used to be. The ability to increase the zoom on web pages suddenly becomes a life saver. And eventually, you figure out that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to go see the eye doctor.

I’ve been near-sighted all my life – well, except for that lovely period of time after the Lazik when I didn’t need any corrective lenses at all. But lately things have been harder and harder to see, and when it occurred to me that I actually couldn’t remember when the last time was I had an eye exam, I finally decided to suck it up and go.

The optometrist put me through a whole battery of tests and hmmed and nodded and wrote down lots of notes. And the verdict is exactly what I was expecting. My prescription has gotten worse since the last time I had my eyes checked, and all that eye strain I’ve been dealing with is the result of my eyes trying desperately to compensate. Oh, and also, ladies and gentlemen, I have now reached the…um….level of maturity (the assistant and I decided that was a niftier way of saying ‘being middle aged sometimes sucks) in my life when I get to get bifocals. Huzzah.

Interestingly, he did point out something I didn’t know before – something he was surprised no one had ever diagnosed. It turns out that my eyes tend to correct too far inward, especially when I’m tired, or trying to compensate for not being able to see as clearly as I need to. I have noticed that when I’ve spent too long on the computer or other close-up work, my sight tends to blur a bit and sometimes I start seeing, well, not quite double, but double-edges on things. Turns out it’s because I’m going just a little bit cross-eyed when that happens.

So not only will I be getting bifocals, I’ll also be getting prisms, which will work to ‘fool’ my eyes into thinking that things are in a slightly different spot than they are, so they look straight ahead instead of turning too far in the wrong direction.

I’ll get my new glasses in a week or so, and I admit I’m really looking forward to them. I have a feeling there is going to be a bit of an adjustment period, but it is going to be awfully nice to go back to seeing clearly once again.

The letter O is brought to you by the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

  • The bifocals I learned to adjust to. Mostly. It’s the new cataracts that are now bugging me. They get rated on a scale from 1 – 5. And they don’t “mature” at the same rate. Currently have one eye at a 2 and the other at a 3. That is, they were the last time I had them checked. Four years ago. Have I mentioned I’m terrified of cataract surgery? Have been ever since my grandmother had it performed on her eyes back in the early 60’s when I was a young girl. Horrifying. These days it’s just a simple out-patient procedure. Both my parents had it done and were delighted to find themselves with almost 20/20 vision in their 70s. I’m still not convinced. Don’t want eye surgery! (No one ever told me I’d live this long. Neil Diamond got it wrong; it’s not breaking upl that’s the problem. Getting old is hard to do!)

  • Oh my… to say I can relate to this post might qualify as understatement of the year. I’d been putting off the whole trip to the eye doctor for over a year now… finally went… got bifocals… couldn’t see a damn thing!

    I sorta knew this wouldn’t exactly go smoothly. The first pair of bifocals were made wrong (the bifocal part was 3mm higher on one side than the other) so they were re-made. The second pair is… um… well, they’re OK as long as you don’t mind being half blind all the time. You can see great in the distance & great really close up, and nothing at all in between. So now I’m on my third pair… which are progressive bifocals, and they’re much better. Only problem is that the frame came back 10mm wider than advertised so they look ridiculous. So I’m about to order pair number 4.

    In the meantime I’ve got separate reading glasses, computer glasses and distance glasses, and I still have to figure out what to do about sunglasses (which are a necessity for me because of an eye problem caused by an injury in my youth) – not sure if I should try for progressive sunglasses, or distance ones – even with the progressives it’s quite disconcerting not to be able to see the ground, which is sorta bad for things like bike riding and gardening.

    Anyhow… I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’m gonna have a whole grocery sack full of glasses before this little adventure is over. Thank god for el-cheapo optical (zennni – your home for cheap glasses made in China.)

    May your adventures in optometry go much smoother than mine have!

  • I didn’t realize how much my vision had deteriorated until my eye exam at 49. Once I had glasses, I realized how crisp the world had become while I was waiting for my eye appointment. Hard to admit when we’re not 20/20…. Enjoying your post. Your writing style is so enjoyable!

  • I failed the reading test at my last eye exam in December and I bit the bullet and got bifocals. It does help with eye strain a lot! And I didn’t really notice the “adjustment” that some people talked about. Apparently, the sooner you get them (i.e. with a lower prescription for reading) the easier it is to adjust to the progressives. I love them.

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