Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Older and, one hopes, wiser

I've been extremely nearsighted for most of my life.  It was fourth grade when I discovered my visual impairment; writing on the board was illegible from my spot in the back of the room.  When I got my first pair of glasses, the difference was remarkable.  I couldn't believe that other people saw this sharply all the time.  Gone was the fuzz and blur that I thought was normal.

In eighth grade I switched to daily wear contact lenses, along with many dire warnings from doctors and parents about proper care of the expensive little pieces of plastic.  And for the last thirty years or so, that's been my life.  Wake up blind, pop in the lenses, acquire vision.  At one doctor's appointment I'll never forget, the acuity in my left eye wasn't measured with the typical 20/100 type scale, but with fingers, as in "could distinguish three fingers held up in front of the light."

My prescription hasn't changed that much in all those years -- a few tweaks a few years ago, I seem to recall, but nothing major.  My doctor has been asking me about reading vision lately, and I've gotten the little card that's attached close to your head.  But my extreme nearsightedness apparently protected me from the onset of age-related farsightedness for awhile.

Those days are over.  I've known since this fall that I needed to go get my prescription adjusted.  For awhile I could pretend it was variations in the humidity; my sight seemed to come and go based on how well hydrated I was, how dried out my eyes would get.  It got worse as the day went on, deteriorating with exposure to glare and if I forgot to look away from the computer every once in awhile.  But now it's  problematic from the moment I get up.  Time to make that appointment and enter the world of bifocals or whatever is in the cards.

I hope the adjustment will produce the same dramatic results I remember from fourth grade.  It would be wonderful to open up my computer or a book or newspaper and see the print sharp and clean.  I know it's not going to get any bigger, but it would be nice if it didn't wiggle around on me and if F was easily distinguishable from P.

1 comment:

Meaghan said...

They've made lots of advances in contact lenses these days, and you might be able to try some multifocal contact lenses (which correct for near and far!) and avoid having to wear bifocals or reading glasses. Hopefully you and your eye doctor will be able to find something you like and you can avoid the dreaded bifocals ;) Don't hesitate to ask me or Matt if you have any questions. I'm still an optometry student, but Matt's been practicing for few years now. Good luck!