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The Better To See You With

2005-10-06

Category: General

It is now been a full week since I began wearing glasses full time. In the effort to get it out of my system I will say the experience has given me a new clarity of vision. With that bit of crap out of way, I?ll go on.

As some of you know, I used to be an optician. I actually made glasses for other people for many years. At the time, I did not need prescription glasses. Sure, I wore safety glasses (as anyone with a brain will when working on things) but the lenses were large and had no refractive power. (NOTE: Refractive power is how the lens bends light. The more power, the stronger the lens.)

Eventually I did get a prescription. It was for reading glasses. The strength was low and I only needed to wear them when doing a great deal of reading. They reduced my eye strain. Age tends to affect vision in most people. I knew I was just getting started on the whole glasses thing.

As a maker of spectacles, it was imperative that my little reading glasses be of high caliber. They were drill-mounted rimless with the lenses custom cut to a custom size and shape. People would comment on how nice they were. I would respond, ?Thanks, I made them myself.?

Knowing that no one in this area would be able to duplicate my favorite glasses is probably one of the main reasons I didn?t go to the optometrist earlier. I could tell that I needed a stronger prescription. Circumstances would compel me to buy new glasses that were not as nice as my old ones. More importantly, I would not make the ext pair.

Still, reality set in and I had to see the eye doctor. I needed my glasses more all the time. Even wearing my specs was no guarantee that things would be in focus. There was no choice.

So, now I wear glasses all the time. The prescription doubled since my last one. I am slowly adapting. They aren?t as annoying as I imagined they would be.

First, I can see. There was no previous realization of how bad my vision had become. Everything looks bigger now, but it?s all in focus.

Secondly, I can read or stare at the computer for long periods without my eyes getting tired. That?s really important. I?m a full time student and part time software engineer. That?s a lot of wear and tear on the old peepers.

There are a few minor difficulties, of course. One night driving, I looked at the cross traffic and saw the nearest car was safely distant. As I turned my head, the light was refracted in an odd way so there appeared a set of headlights coming at me from an odd angle. The moment of terror passed as I moved my head around and the oncoming car vanished.

The frame is a bit of an issue as well. I can see it. It?s there constantly. There?s a good side to that as well; I have a clear idea where the lenses stop and start. That makes it easier for me to align my head to see things.

The real pain is my peripheral vision. I have always had a wide range of peripheral vision. I rely on being able to see to both sides at the same time. Since my eyes focus to make the best use of the lenses, the peripheral vision is unfocused. This may not seem like too big a problem, but you have to remember that I?m a polite guy. Most of my girl-watching uses that vision on the side and if things are blurry it?s just not as fun. Now I have to turn to look directly at women and sometimes they think that?s rude. Then there?s all that stuff about stairs being blurry when I?m going down them, but that?s no where near as bad as the girl-watching thing.

The new glasses are being an adventure. Sure, there are plenty of people who have worn glasses for decades. I realize that my new visual prosthetic is nothing new to the world and is, in fact, quite normal. That doesn?t make it any less of an experience to me. Despite my rambling on about it, I actually am enjoying the new condition. I heartily encourage everyone to get your eye exam at least every two years and wear the corrective lenses that your optometrist or ophthalmologist prescribes.


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