I can’t see

So it turns out I can’t see without my glasses.

Which I left at a random tumbling gym about an hour from my house.

Um… shit?

I can’t really believe that I can’t see without my glasses. That may seem like a strange thing to say, but it’s true. For the last twenty years it was only my left eye that was bad (I have a diagonal astigmatism), and so my right eye compensated. I had glasses and I sometimes (rarely) wore them, because I could see just fine without them. Over the years, as my left eye got worse and worse, my brain just stopped registering it. My right eye had 20/20 vision so I was fine.

But in the past year, especially since my pregnancy, I’ve had a harder and harder time seeing. At my last optometrist appointment the doctor said that my right eye has an astigmatism too now. It’s very mild at this point but it’s there. I’m assuming, like my left eye, it will just get worse over time.

So now my left eye is basically a blurry mess and my right eye is starting to go. Now when I don’t wear my glasses I can’t read some things. I’ve called the wrong extension at school over a dozen times (I think that page is especially hard for me to read because it’s to my left when I stand at my phone, so I’m seeing it primarily with my crappy eye). I can’t read street signs when I’m driving. I have a hard time reading the small fonts on my phone and I have my computer screen zoomed to over 140%. I spend a lot of time squinting and moving things closer to my face. I feel like my mother.

The weird thing is that moving things closer to my face doesn’t help me see them any better. I’m not near or far sighted, my sight doesn’t improve or get better depending on where I am in relation to what I’m trying to see. My vision is just blurry, no matter what I’m looking at. Sure smaller stuff is harder to make out because it blurs together more easily, so things that are farther away are inherently harder to see, but really, if it’s small enough, I can’t see it, even if it’s right in front of my face.

I can’t really believe that I need glasses. To see. As in, I can’t see well without my glasses. I will have to wear glasses for the rest of my life. That is kind of a terrifying proposition for me. I don’t want to wear glasses forever. I kind of hate wearing glasses. They give me headaches, no matter how light they are, if I wear them all day. They slip off my nose when I sweat, they get dirty and need to be cleaned. I lose them and have to spend hundreds of dollars replacing them.

I can’t wear contacts because diagonal astigmatisms are the most sensitive and if my contacts were to turn ever so slightly, everything would look even more blurry than they do already. I’ve been advised not to try them.

And with my chronic dry eye condition that seems like a recommendation I’ll take to heart.

So glasses it is. For the rest of my life. I know how lucky I am that I haven’t needed them until now, but it’s hard to incorporate them into my identity. I’m just not someone who wears glasses, and I don’t really want to be.

God, I’m going to waste a small fortune on eye wear over the rest of my life. It depresses me just to think about it.

Do you wear glasses? If so, do you more frequently wear glasses or contacts? Any tips for someone whose just starting to wear glasses on a regular basis? Where is the cheapest place to get prescription glasses (because of my astigmatism I have to get my glasses made; it’s never quick or inexpensive.) Am I being melodramatic in feeling so down about having to wear glasses every day? 

10 responses

  1. I am a glasses wearer! Started in my 20s, used to buy contacts but now mainly glasses. In fact people tell me they don’t even realise I wear contacts they are so used to my glasses! Ha ha. It’s just a way of life. I had one lazy eye and then over the years my other eye got bad and now I can’t see without them. It honestly doesn’t phase me only when I would like to wear sunnies without contact lenses. Some cool lenses out there at the moment so embrace it!

  2. oh my we have very similar opthalmic issues. My left eye can’t see for shit, I had 2 surgeries as a kid for my astigmatism, but still. But my right eye (thankfully) had perfect vision so I haven’t worn glasses since I was about 7 and they realized that I wasn’t using my left eye regardless. I’ve actually been given one contact for my left eye but I am weird about my eyes and it would take me an hour to get it in and then I got headaches.
    I feel your dismay at having to wear glasses for life. I’m noticing that things are harder for me to see these days, too—maybe I need to get my right eye re-checked, I don’t think I’m 20/20 anymore.

  3. I had 20/300 vision before I got eye surgery a few years ago. Basically, I got glasses at 10 years old, and it got progressively worse until I was “legally blind” without glasses/contacts as an adult. Fun. 😛 At any rate, it’s not that big of a deal – you truly will get used to wearing them all the time. It will be just as normal as putting on a bra in the morning, and similarly, it’s important to get a pair that fits you well so you aren’t uncomfortable in them!

  4. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in 4th grade. Before I got them I was looking forward to getting them, as I knew I would eventually-both parents wore glasses and all of my older siblings (3) had glasses. I was fine with my glasses until middle school started. At least once per year (usually the volleyball unit in phy ed) I would get hit in the face, which would require a trip to Shopko (where we got my glasses) for an adjustment so that they weren’t sitting crooked on my face.

    I learned, from my older siblings, that the birthday gift from my dad when we turned 16 was our first pair of contacts. I didn’t want them. The thought of poking my eyeball out trying to get a contact in or out freaked me out. I soon got over that, as I requested them for the Christmas after I turned 16–my birthday’s in October. It took a few months to find the right contacts that fit my eye, but I’m so glad I have contacts.

    When I was in college, one eye doctor was so excited that I had an astigmatism because he wanted someone to test out the “new” toric lenses. They fit my eye, but they did not give me very crisp vision. So, much to that docs surprise, I went back to my acuvue lenses. I guess not all astigmatisms are the same.

    Are you seeing an optometrist or an ophthalmologist? With your concerns, it may be better to consult with an ophthalmologist. Also, are you a candidate for lasik?

  5. Are you a candidate for Lasik surgery? Ryan had it done 10 years ago and has been really pleased with the results. I’m really nearsighted and wear contacts, but some day I hope I can get the surgery. I feel the same way about glasses as you do, but I’m sure it’s one of those things that just takes getting used to. Thankfully, there are so many options and cute frames out there- you’ll look great!

  6. I’ve worn glasses every day of my life since I was 8 years old. You really do get used to them so fast and they will feel so normal, you start to feel naked without them! I wear glasses even when I don’t wear a bra (as the commenter above said). Get a good pair and never take them off, it’s no problem losing them because they are always on.

    I do wear contacts too, but if you don’t want to, then don’t. Sounds like glasses are the way to go for you. A good pair will last years and years, and cost less than the aggravation of not seeing anything. They can be cute/hot, too!

  7. I got glasses in first grade and have been wearing contacts since sixth grade! My left eye is the shitty one too. I can read (though not comfortably nowadays) with just my right eye but it’s been years since I tried driving without my contacts or glasses. Getting old sucks 🙂

  8. I actually can’t wear glasses (opposite problem). My nearsightedness is SO bad that I can’t see from my eye to the glasses lens (really, it’s too far), so they can’t fully correct my vision with glasses. The bonus is my contacts are covered by medical insurance. The bad news ( aside from blindness), is if my vision gets any worse, I’ll have to wear glasses and contacts at the same time to get anywhere near corrected vision. And no, LASIK wouldn’t work ( everyone asks), because my vision is so bad I would need corneal transplants. Awesome. So yeah…I get you. It sucks!

  9. Longtime reader, extremely infrequent commenter here. I wear contact lenses. I also don’t love wearing my glasses. I agree that they are sweaty and they fall off my face. And it would be annoying to have to constantly change back and forth with prescription sunglasses. I lose my sunglasses pretty frequently — I can’t imagine having to keep track of both sunglasses and regular glasses, not to mention expensive prescription ones. But, lots of people wear glasses (no contacts) and they apparently are doing fine and don’t hate it as much as we do. Good luck!

    By the way, the more I read your blog, the more I think that I may actually have ADD, particularly when you discuss the ADD symptoms that are more common in women than in men. It really never occurred to me until I realized that so much of what you attribute to your ADD is stuff I’ve been dealing with since I was a little girl.

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