Once upon a time I had 20/20 vision. I was born with it and lived a glorious 20/20 view of life. Growing up, three out of the five people in my family had glasses either for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or strabismus. Later, I married a man who developed some vision issues which required full time wearing of glasses. Most of my close circle of friends wore either contacts or glasses for their vision problems. As I gloried in my perfect vision world, I would often ask my friends and family how did they know they needed glasses. I was so intrigued with the whole notion of gazing through life with impaired vision. Their experiences yielded all kinds of symptoms: from blurriness to headaches; dizziness; unable to see clearly; blobs in the distance; blobs on a page. I was so grateful that I didn’t have to deal with eye problems. I cherished my perfect vision and the freedom it afforded me.
That is, until 3 years ago. All of a sudden, I couldn’t read clearly any more. Just a tad. Only briefly. In a really blurry kind of way. Of course, I denied it at first. I would try to simply try to rub it away. But it continued and all so gradually, the words on a page that I valued and yearned for so much in my life, became less and less discernible. There was a lot of squinting and holding the material as far as possible from my face going on. I now understood firsthand what it was like to have your vision deteriorate.
About that time, I had my annual physical and brought this new concern up with my doctor. His response, “Welcome to getting older.” He explained loosing visual acuity is a natural process of aging. (Arrrrggg- everything that goes awry these days is attributed to ‘just aging’). My doctor said I could either make an eye appointment and be referred for some very expensive reading glasses. Or, I could just pick up some less expensive readers at the local drugstore. Being the tightwad that I am, off to the drugstore I went.
There are various styles of reading glasses. I tried on several pairs and decided on the mini-half lens type aka “granny glasses.” Since I only require assistance when reading, I didn’t want a pair of the complete-lens glasses because with those, I would have to keep putting them on and off again, especially in a classroom setting where I need to look down to read, then look out to call on a student. Same with church. Yes, I needed help looking at a hymn book but at the same time, I wanted to be able to peruse the congregation.
Finding the right aperture is easy. At the kiosk for glasses, there is a sample reading chart. Simply put on a pair of glasses that you think will do the trick, then read the chart. The line that is the clearest for you, without giving you a headache or added eye strain, is the right degree for you. The magnification starts at 1.00 and goes up in .25 increments all the way up to 4. My first pair of readers had a magnification of 1.5. I have just graduated to 1.75, which believe it or not, made a huge difference. I do have one pair that is a 3.5. Those are only used for real detailed, up close work like my sewing.
I used to get away with only occasionally needing some help with reading. Now, I can’t get along without them at all. I keep readers available for use at any place or any time:
There is the pair in the kitchen drawer, at my computer, and in my sewing room.
Then, I have a pair in my brown purse, my black purse, and my school bag.
And, of course, there are a pair at my nightstand.
I am grateful for little these great little devices that allow me to return to the perfect vision I was accustomed to. How is your view of the world these days?