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I would do anything to see (without glasses), but I won't do that

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ah, the things we think we'll never try! For me, one of those things was contact lenses. But that was before I became an optician, or even knew such a job existed. As a new optician, I was still repulsed by the idea of having a foreign object in your eye all day just to get better vision. What I didn't know then, but would soon learn, was that I was an emerging presbyope. (Beginning to need help with near vision). I blamed my struggles to read entirely on doctors handwriting. But eventually, I gave in and had my first eye exam. I was not at all pleased with the results. The doctor told me I would need glasses to see clearly and I told him that after living all these years with no glasses, I really did not want to start wearing them now. But, I needed them to see and since presbyopia is not a condition corrected by Lasik I didn't have a choice. Sigh. So reluctantly, into glasses I went. Full on bifocals- first pair. Nothing better than being told you're blind and old all at once!

Fast forward to a few months ago. I saw a picture of myself wearing glasses. Apparently I'd forgotten to take them off and someone snapped a shot. It wasn't just wasn't ME. The realization hit me that that's what I look like to everyone who sees me every day. I didn't like it. At all. Glasses make me look sad. Even when I'm smiling. Even the best possible frame out of all 1200 that we sell makes me look sad. Or tired. Or just glassesy. I don't know. Whatever it is, I decided I needed to make a change.

Over the last few years working in optical I've assisted in insertion and removal training for new contact lens wearers. This has opened my eyes to the fact that anyone can wear contacts if they are motivated to do so. Kids as young as 10 years old can wear them. Seniors past the 80 year mark can wear them. Anyone, including me, can wear them.

I decided to give insertion and removal a trial run at home before I jumped in with both feet. (FYI, this is very bad practice and NEVER recommended by any OD or licensed optician because you can get a CL stuck in your eye and it can damage your eye and cause vision loss. Don't ever do it.) My son has the same RX in his right eye (minus the presbyopia) as I do and has contacts. He never wears them and I thought they were just going to waste so I figured I'd give it a shot. Got it in without much of a problem. Removal, however, was panic inducing because I couldn't get the darn thing out to save my life! My fingers felt like gigantic clown hands and my eyes seemed like tiny mole eyes that slammed shut whenever I went in there to grab it so there was no just "pinching it" and pulling it off my eye. Google made it look so easy. After a fair amount of fear that it was stuck and I was going to have to sleep in it and ashamedly ask one of my optician coworkers to remove it the next day and trying several google taught removal techniques, I finally got it out. After that, I got determined. I was going to get good at contact lens insertion and removal whether I ever actually decided to wear them or not. After all, every optician should be.

So with my last eye exam, I asked for a contact lens fit to be included. Never in a million years would have I imagined myself making such a request, but I did. So now, we're working on finding the right strength for me with the challenging bifocal contact lenses. Once we do, I can't say I envision myself wearing them daily, but who knows. 5 years ago I couldn't envision myself even wearing glasses, and now I'm in contacts. How quickly things change! And I will admit, it is kind of nice to be able to see clearly without glasses.

Footnote: Removal is still a challenge and I am using a rather unconventional method, but at least I know I can get them out with confidence now.

Here's to trying new things in 2019 that will lead to 20/20 in 2020...sans glasses!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ha ha I'm such a weirdo, I like the glasses I suddenly was told I now need (we must be near the same age). I think they distract from the new wrinkles... maybe shop around some more for frames you like? I found a pair of Gucci frames at Costco of all places--super chic. Feels like jewelry for my face!

    I've also done the monovision thing. Half as much insertion and removal each time you wear them!
    111 days ago
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    129 days ago
    I have worn glasses since also since about 3rd grade, and with catarac surgery a few years ago, I can read without glasses, but I still wear tri-focal just so my eyes don't get so tired. They really do help, but have never even thought about contacts, not only the fact that I don't know if I could ever put anything in my eye, I would be just like you getting them back out, but also the cost.
    129 days ago
    Good for you!
    129 days ago
    glass don't bother me, it is what it is
    129 days ago
    Been wearing contacts since h.s. Glad you tried them and working out fine. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    129 days ago
    Wow, good for you! Unlike you (sigh!), I have worn glasses since I was in third grade, and I still remember how blown away I was by suddenly being able to see clearly. And for years after that, once a year I went in to get a new, much stronger prescription, until my vision suckiness levelled off at about age 18. All which is to say that I got very used to me in glasses, and what looks beyond weird to me is seeing myself in a picture without them. But the DPS thoughtfully decided that I absolutely need to, not only get familiar with seeing myself sans glasses, but share this delightful image with the entire ID-needing world. As for anyone else, friends or family, don't bother to ask to see my driver's license picture.

    I did try contacts once, and they just didn't work out. I found taking care of them to be a huge pain, and I was always losing them, which ran into some money. I can't handle bifocals, either - tried them, and they drove me crazy. So I have my distance glasses, my reading glasses, and my prescription sunglasses, and I juggle all three pairs on a daily basis. My purse is not a purse, it's a glasses repository. Ah well.
    129 days ago
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