Michaeline: PSA: For Your Eyes Only

A Japanese woman writing on a scroll of paper.

Glasses: another tool of the craft? (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Just a quick public service announcement: if your vision is blurry and you are finding it hard to read, make an appointment with the eye doctor.

I’ve been struggling for about five years with aging eyes. Oh, sure, I could still read stuff, if I slid my glasses way down my nose and put the screen about 10 cm from my eyeballs. I could read until my hand fell asleep that way. It was a workable solution.

But Thursday, I finally went in and got reading glasses. It took them a half an hour to put together a reasonable package of frames and lenses, and as a result, yesterday I could read about half of Pratchett’s Hogfather on yellowing paperback pages. I also found my computer work to go a little more smoothly. I still slide my glasses down my nose to look at the cell phone, but I think that’s mostly pernicious habit.

My point is, it’s an easy fix. Why didn’t I do it? Some horrible combination of vanity, plus a dread of hassle and spending money, I suppose.

Still, it’s done, and I’m very glad. Dare I hope it translates into more and better writing? Who knows? One does have to fill the well of creativity, and I find reading to be the best way to fill it.

Here’s an article from Reader’s Digest that will confirm your suspicions: https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/need-reading-glasses/

And here are some ideas from the American Association of Ophthalmology to help you decide what you need. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/tips-choosing-right-reading-glasses

And here, amidst the myth-busting, Harvard Health Publishing shares some ideas for keeping your eyesight in tip-top condition. Eat your veggies, take breaks every hour, and make a conscious effort to blink. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/safeguarding-your-sight

8 thoughts on “Michaeline: PSA: For Your Eyes Only

  1. I’ve been horribly short-sighted for the last forty-something years, got my first contact lenses at age eleven. They were seriously expensive and very uncomfortable, but at that age vanity/insecurity trumps all else, so huge thanks to my granddad who saved me from the terrible fate of jam-jar spectacles.

    Recently I’ve developed the need for a bifocal prescription, and wonder of wonders, I discovered that contact lenses now come in an ultra-comfortable, daily disposable, multifocal version. They have alternating concentric rings of long-sight prescription, short-sight prescription–apparently the brain figures out how to use them. It’s at times like these I take a moment to ponder the amazing changes for the better that have crept up on us over the last half-century.

    • I sometimes wish I could wear contacts. I had dry eye with them about . . . OMG, twenty years ago? And my mother also had quite a few problems with dry eye and contacts, as well, so I gave up and went back to glasses. (-: It’s still quite a miracle what they can do, though, isn’t it? Have you tried the new ones with concentric rings? I’d like to hear how they go when/if you do!

      • Contact lenses have changed a lot in 20 years, Michaeline. They have a much higher water content now, which makes them very comfortable to wear. Might be worth trying a pair sometime to see if you still have the dry eye problem. I use daily disposables, which means there’s no cleaning or messing around, just throw them away and open a new pair in the morning. I switched to the ones with concentric rings about six months ago and so far I really like them. My eyesight is extremely poor, so to me they do seem miraculous.

  2. I’ve been wearing glasses for 200 years also, and my story is very similar to Jilly’s. Lately I’ve been having trouble seeing as clearly as I like, which is very frustrating for my ophthalmologist, who can get me to 20/20 when I’m in the chair. It’s just that when I go out into real life, I clearly am not 20/20 at distance.

    She has tried all kinds of things, contact lenses of different sizes and shapes, the mono-vision thing (one side corrected for close-up, one for distance), the bi-focal option—-nothing works. Just with this last visit, she developed a theory that my eyelids, always very droopy, are now SO droopy that they push down the lenses on my eyes, and thus put the power of the correction not in the correct place. So she wants me to get an eyelid tuck!

    I shrink at the idea of “cosmetic” surgery, but she thinks this will work to correct my vision. (And I think Jenny had this operation, too, for the same reason.) So I’m thinking about it. No decision yet.

    Good on you for going to the eye doc, Michaeline! It is penny wise and pound foolish to ignore your health, especially your eyes, so I’m happy you went and that the solution was fairly simple. Also, reading glasses make you look cool, you know. Everybody’s wearing them.

    • Out of the three pairs of glasses I’ve gotten this month, only one pair is really seeming to work! The reading glasses are pretty good. But the prescription sunglasses are fuzzy. Only the regular ones for short-sightedness are doing a great job — and of course, my reading is truly lousy with those.

      My father-in-law had the eyelid surgery last year, but his eyelids are drooping again, and they recommend he do it again! IDK. I wonder if you could do a trial run with eyelid tape — tape up the lids, and if it seems great, then maybe you would be happier with the surgery?

      I’m really glad I got my glasses. I kind of want to spread the word, but I know I’m not the only one evangelizing out there, LOL. It’s the kind of message you don’t hear until you are ready to hear it!

  3. My seeing glasses (as I call my prescription glasses) are progressive trifocals – distance, computer, reading. I pay extra to have the trifocal area extend all the way across the lenses instead of just a skinny line down the middle of the lens. It’s expensive but worth every penny. I also have transition lenses (go to sunglass darkness in the sunlight). I’m sure you can imagine my eyeglass bill for those suckers. It’s pretty high. And then I have a million pairs of dollar store reading glasses in every level from 1.5 to 2.5. In addition to the $1 pair of 1.5 strength I have on right now to see the computer, I have 4 pairs of varying strength in my desk drawer, another pair in my purse and at least one pair in most rooms of my house. Oh, and a pair in the car. Thank god for the dollar store.

    • Oh, that sounds like a good option to have the trifocal area extend all the way across! I’m afraid of spending $400 for a pair of glasses only to find them not very useful, I guess. Which is basically what happened with my sunglasses; I need to go back and bother them about the prescription, I think. I hate conflict, though. Even low-level stuff like this.

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