WANTED: A new pair of eyes


I have worn some form of glasses or contacts, or at times a combination of both, since 4th grade.

Wait-that needs a correction. I was supposed to wear some form or other of corrective vision device since 4th grade. Unbeknownst to just about everyone, the rebel in me refused, for many long years, to go along with the prescribed vision correction and after I left the house for school, the glasses came off not to reappear on my face again until arriving home.

I became really, really adept at squinting until such time as I could convince the optometrist that I was ready for contacts. That came somewhere between 7th and 9th grade.

As a kid I felt like I had so little going for myself. Tall, awkward, uncoordinated, badly in need of braces, weird kid hair cuts, shy…just the all around odd little girl who wanted to be anything but. Jamming a pair of glasses onto my face was not going to improve anything in my opinion, and so I simply didn’t.

The day I was able to get my first pair of contacts was truly a sea change, beyond profound in fact.

Fast forward through years of on-again, off-again contact lens wear versus hay fever type allergies that targeted not only my nose but my eyes and the day came when comfort won out. I also managed to mature a bit as well, realizing that seeing could be more important all-around than buying into a need to look a certain way.

For quite a few years I have had one eye that is nearsighted and one that is farsighted. Then, a few years back came the politically correct voice of my optometrist informing me that as eyes age it is very common to find oneself needing bifocals so I jumped on that bandwagon as well.

Today this same man, politically correct as usual, informed me that things are going downhill faster than I anticipated.

Did you know that everyone after the age of 45 starts to develop cataracts? I did not know this until today. Actually, what happens initially is a yellowing of the lens that over time may become a cataract. My eyes are winners in this contest and behaving well on their path to old age with this yellow development right on schedule in both eyes. That bit of news began to help explain why, in just the last year, my eye sight has been declining even after getting new lenses just last year.

This news, in and of itself is not horrible because the changes aren’t major. They in fact are pretty much right in line with 54-year-old eyes. The problem comes when you add in astigmatism, plus other eye changes in the lens itself like a “wrinkly, bubbly lens” (optometrist words) and a darkening around the edge of the lens (associated with that whole cataract thing again).

Good news is that I’m not going blind. Bad news is that cataract surgery will be in the cards for me sooner rather than later, at least for my right eye.

I was told that there is no need to rush, this isn’t a major issue no matter how irritating it is. I can see, drive, function. The downside comes when I am doing work on the computer mostly. The lenses in my glasses are attempting to correct my vision issues but are then impaired in their work by this anatomical lens issue. The outcome then is a perpetual blurry area that just won’t come into clear focus.

I really started noticing all this about 6-8 months ago when I found myself limited to one small area of the right glasses lens that I could see clearly through while trying to read textbooks or write research papers.

Right now all of this is just a pain in the ass. The critical decision to actually do something about the issue comes when I get frustrated enough with what I am now going to call crinkly saran-wrap vision or CSWA (because that just sounds impressive, it was sort of the example given to me by the optometrist, and I love acronyms).

In a few weeks I will have re-worked lenses that should help to even out my vision for the time being. I was gently informed that I might very well muddle along like this for years, changing glasses every year or so if I chose that option. It’s my call at this point on the surgery option as well. I know what cataract surgery entails and it freaks me out. I was assured that “happy pills” will be made available–triple dose please.

For now wine will do.


One thought on “WANTED: A new pair of eyes”

  1. my parents both just had cataract surgery… now except for needing reading glasses their eyes are 20/20, no need for regular glasses after almost 70 years each! They both said it’s extremely weird not to need glasses after all these years to see, so much so that my mom still wears glasses and just has glass in the top part and readers on the bottom. Someday I think I’m probably doomed for the same fate. I’ve had glasses since I was 5 and it wasn’t an option not to wear them. Hope you get it all figured out!


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