I enjoyed seeing life through 20/20 vision. I used to ask people with vision issues, “So, how did you know the first time you needed to wear glasses?” The notion that one could determine when their vision acuity was decreasing was so intriguing to me.
Intriguing and awfully naïve. Little did I realize then how quickly (and obvious) the need for vision correction would occur as I got older.
It began around age 48 when I noticed how simple reading became such a chore. I had to squint and pull away the page to make out a story, a newspaper article or a recipe. I finally gave up and purchased my first pair of readers – over-the-counter reading glasses. I started with 1.25 magnification and all was clear once more. What handy little helpers!!! I learned quickly that I needed to have more than one pair handy at all times (in my purse, in my office, in the kitchen, on my nightstand) because I never knew when I was going to have to read something. Wherever I went (Nordstrom Rack, Steinmart, Charming Charlie, Tai Pan Trading, Dollar Tree), I bee-lined over to the reader section and added to my necessary collection. I favored half-readers so that I could both read and look up to talk to someone without having to keep removing the readers or get dizzy in the process. I also learned how important it was to clean those readers often. Wow—what a difference clean glasses made!!
Today, at age 54, my magnification is 2.75 and even that isn’t all that clear. Not only do I require readers for reading, but for cooking (chopping was getting a tad dangerous), cleaning (I was missing crumbs on the sink and dust on my tables) and driving (what did those messages on my dashboard say?). I mentioned this decline to my physician at my last regular check-up and she suggested it was probably time for full-time glasses. Oh my.
It had been two years since my last eye exam. The ophthalmologist told me not to worry. People begin losing visual acuity as early as age 20 and by age 50, all people need some kind of corrective eyewear. He said, “If they aren’t wearing prescriptive glasses by then, they are just lying to themselves.” Wow. Harsh. I guess that made me feel a tad better knowing I wasn’t a liar.
How to buy glasses?
I have had some experience purchasing glasses in the past with other family members. Our oldest daughter required eye glasses from the time she was 3 years old until she was around 10. We let her pick out whatever she wanted, no matter the cost, because we heard about the teasing and self-esteem issues that come with kids wearing glasses. (Ever hear the chant, Hey Four Eyes?)
And through the years, I have accompanied my husband with his various eye glass updates. What these experiences taught me was that eye glasses are as much of an emotional decision as a financial and physical one.
Costco was recommended to me as a great location where I could fill my prescription inexpensively and have a wide variety of frames to pick from. The technician was very patient with me while I tried on several different “looks.” Finally, after about a half hour of on and off, I had narrowed it down to five possiblities. Not feeling confident that I could make the final decision on my own (after all, we’re talking about my future identity here), I called my husband to come and meet me and offer his opinion. Luckily, he agreed with my top choices; both the look AND the price.
The cost for three pairs of designer glasses? $445.00. That was less than the one pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that my husband purchased in the spring!!!
How long before I can see clearly? It takes Costco 1-1/2 weeks to fill a prescription. Currently, exactly one week has gone by. I have been notified that two of my three pairs are ready for pick-up. I’m just waiting on hearing back on the last one so that I can get all three adjusted at the same visit.
A new look. The ability to see clearly at all times. What a first!! I’m anxiously looking forward to these new changes. Because if anything I’ve learned from the past, a “first” experience always opens the door to a whole world of new opportunities.