Friday, March 26, 2010

Vision Decision

After wearing a pair of contacts meant to be disposed after a months' wear since last September, I finally went to see a new eye doctor yesterday. Man, those guys do NOT like to hear that you've been putting things 7-months expired into your eyes.

Also, speaking from experience, mums the word that you periodically put your contact lens case in the dishwasher. That little detail almost gave my last eye doctor a full-body seizure. What is the big deal—if I can eat out of it, why can't I put it in my eye?

Never mind that. Here's my situation: I wear contact lenses, coupled with generic reading glasses for (duh) reading. Without corrective lenses, my vision is almost nonexistent. For instance, while you might see this:

Without glasses or contacts, this is my view:

I'll drive! Hey! Want me to drive?
You guys can drink all night, I'll be the driver!

Throw in this wonderful thing we call aging, and correcting my vision is a challenge for every doctor. I had a great experience yesterday, but I still had to walk away with these contact lens options:

1) Distance vision will be great, but reading glasses absolutely imperative.

2) Distance good, but a little fuzzy, some reading possible without further correction, but reading glasses necessary for flat-out reading, a book, computer use, etc.

My eyes were previously corrected to the #2 choice. 

I chose, however, a trial run on Option #1. When I look out the window or down the road, it's as if I have binoculars for eyes! I am the bionic woman, scanning street signs and tree buds. I can read the rolling credits! I can see a bird's toenails when it flies overhead! It's amazing!

However. What I thought I could live without seeing yesterday afternoon has become apparent immediately. Needed to call the doctor back. Cannot read his business card. Order dinner. Cannot see menu. Phone is ringing. Cannot read caller ID. Need to make phone call. Cannot see numbers. Read magazine while drying hair? Fuhgeddabout it. Blog? Can't see monitor.

It looks like I will be carrying reading glasses with me everywhere now, and wearing them a lot more often. I've got a couple of weeks to figure out which is the lesser of my 2 evil choices.*

What would you do?

*I do also have a pair of "real" glasses for wearing all the time, but that's definitely not my full-time choice right now. Fogging up in cold or humid weather, switching to Rx sun glasses and back, I've done it before, and I'll do it again someday. When I have to.


  1. I have a colleague who has your problem. Fortunately he can get off the rack reading glasses - not prescription. So he has a pair by his computer at work, another in his coat pocket a pair or two in his car, a couple at home.

    He did once, however, manage to lose them ALL at the same time...

  2. Since I'm nearsighted, I wear contacts for distance and reading glasses for close work. It seems to work well for me. If I don't have my contacts in, I can read things just fine, but miss everything 3 feet away. I like my arrangement much better than trying to wear bi-focals.

  3. they make bifocal contacts!

  4. Anonymous3:31 PM

    was it really necessary to write the last part so small that I had to put on my other glasses to read it? It stinks getting older and having your eyesite change so much.

  5. I have NO problem reading or seeing up close without glasses. In fact, glasses make seeing up close/fine detail a pain. It's DRIVING I cannot ever, ever, ever go without glasses for. Which is a change, since I never wore glasses before I was 30.

    It's been over 5 years and I am STILL getting used to the idea that I have glasses.

  6. Jazz: Most of my reading glasses are off the rack also, but I've managed to find a few that are cheap and warped and make me sick. I've been given an Rx for the reading lens, and am considering having a pair made, for one purpose: I don't lose expensive glasses. Cheap ones...I'm like your coworker.

    CHITW: I used to be able to read with no corrective lenses whatsoever. No mas; my nose is too long to get the book that close to my face.

    DaisyAmy: The last doctor I had tried those on me. They're weighted, so that the bifocal section stays on the bottom, and they irritated my eyes so much that I couldn't even get out of the office with them. Too bad, perfect solution.

    Anon-Kelly: Zoom! Zoom in!

    Loquacious: Night vision driving is what will take me down before my time, I'm afraid. Dim light blinds me, and forget about driving at night, in the rain. I'm the crazy person everyone behind me hates, and I avoid it at all costs.

  7. My uncorrected vision is just like yours - aren't we lucky??

    Last year, I tried the "monovision" contacts - one at the correct strength, one just a little under-strength for reading and close work. I hated it. Yes, I could see up close, but I always felt like my left eye just wasn't in focus...'cause it wasn't.

    I went back to your option #1. Bought several inexpensive pairs of reading glasses and stowed them in crucial spots, including my purse.

    Ultimately, I plan to get Lasik surgery. When I can afford it. Which may or may not happen before I die.

  8. I have my "movie theater" glasses which are a prescription and maybe 6 pairs of drugstore reading glasses. The eye doctor actually wrote me a prescription for reading glasses saying that my eyes were different, but I'm okay with the store ones, plus it would cost a fortune to make 6 pairs. I have nothing to advise regarding contacts because I never wore them (or glasses) and had Superman vision until I became old and decrepit.

  9. Last night I dreamt that I had to drive to a play in which I was performing, but I couldn't find my glasses. No big deal, I thought, in my dream. I can see fine! I made it to the play, but couldn't remember my lines. Anyhoo, remember when we shared stories about early pre-contact lens mornings? you greeted the floor lamp, thinking it was Rick. and I petted my black slippers because I thought they were Baron. Visual impairment: funny! except you can't see.

  10. SS: I am laughing my ass off right, now. When I blurred the 1st photo, I absolutely thought that Sylvia could very well be your slippers, which of course reminded me of my greeting the floor lamp.

    It's right up there with Purple Wayne.

  11. Did you talk your doctor about monovision or better yet the new progressive contact lenses?
    I can't wear contacts all the time but I have been using the purevision multifocal lenses with the high add. I can't read real little print but I can read a menu.

  12. I can't even begin to tell you the similar stuff I've been through regarding glasses, contacts, and age-related vision decline! I basically gave up on my multifocal contacts a while back; they weren't doing the job anymore (I couldn't see well either near OR far). I got glasses I like a lot instead (though I have no sunglasses now).

    I'd love to go back to contacts, if they'd work for me, but it's so difficult. And personally, I don't find your option #1 a good one. Being able to see distance but not read labels in grocery stores, menus, etc., was why I went to contacts in the first place! I don't want to wear contacts and then also have to wear glasses most of the time...but that's just me.

    The eye doc I went to last time has these contacts that are partly hard and partly soft; they're supposed to provide great vision for distance and close-up while also having the comfort of disposable lenses. However, at something like $250 per lens, with a lifespan of a year, I won't be able to check out that option anytime soon...

  13. Lisa, I am finding this trial option cumbersome. I was at the pet store yesterday, and someone had put the kitty bed I wanted in the wrong place, and I couldn't read the price tags on the shelf to figure out what the thing costed. Disconcerting also, even though I don't have to read, is that I can't see my plate; my food is all blurry. Though I'm loving the distance vision, I may have to give option #2 a spin before I make up my mind.


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