The Dread Day has Come!

I’ve been nearsighted for 40 years
, but it has always been a source of some pleasure to me that I could take off my glasses and read comfortably.

Until two nights ago, when suddenly I found myself unable to read some printed material — in 12 point Ariel, no less — no matter where I put my hand. My glasses were useless, and I found myself having to beg a pair of my husband’s reading glasses from him (he has them all over the house, because he loses them/sits on them every day). But his glasses were 1.75 magnification; too strong, I was left in a lurch.

And so, I have ordered my first pair of reading glasses. I guess this means there are bifocals in my future, but for now at least these are cute.

Am I going to become one of those ladies who wears her glasses on a chain around her neck?

I have decided to blame all of this not on age, but on my beloved kindle, which allows me to increase size type and therefore kid myself that my vision is not changing. Dear and evil Kindle!

Speaking of which, thanks to the unknown but thoughtful readers who recently ordered this kindle and this humidifier at Amazon via this site. Your purchases generate a small kickback my way, which I very much appreciate. Recently, I was able to use some of that to send a big shipment of dry goods and provender to a monastic community in need. It’s wonderful to be able to do that, so easily, and at no additional cost to anyone! Thanks!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Ellen

    I’ve worn glasses since the 3rd grade, but when it got that I couldn’t read labels on bottles, I got bifocals. Unfortunately, I got a terrible pain in my neck from tilting my head back to read the computer screen at work. So I got progressive lenses. Problem solved. You might look into them – they are more expensive, but to me worth every penny.

  • RGB

    Been there, done that! Good luck! I wear not bifocals, but still manage to read without glasses by bringing the reading material close to my nose, which is still more comfortable than the glasses. Oh, the joys of old age!

  • Vox borealis

    Yeah, I got bifocals…er,progressive lense… a few years ago, and I’m younger than you, Elizabeth. It hurts from a pride perspective, but from a practical perspective it’s awesome. I got over it pretty quick.

  • Stan

    Been wearing bifocals since I was 14. Started with the ones where the lines showed. Fortunately, technology has evolved to where no lines can be seen.

  • Peter Brown

    Offer it up, Anchoress. There *is* life (and continued grace) after bifocals :-).

    While I can’t say I’m completely happy with mine (progressives, but the near-focus window isn’t full-width, so sometimes I find things going into or out of focus as I turn my head :-(), I’m nonetheless thankful that they let me function about as well as I did before I needed them.

  • EMS

    I’ve worn glasses since age 10; they’re a part of my face, so I don’t even notice them. In theory, I should be wearing progressives. Can’t – I get dizzy and both eyes are too drastically different to make them easy to get used to. Can’t wear contacts; my eyes are too dry. Can’t get lasik because I’m getting cataracts. Can’t get cataract surgery – eyes not bad enough. :-(((((

    My glasses are at the midpoint range, which means the glasses slide up and down my nose depending on whether I’m reading, driving or at the computer. Have to take them off to read the fine print on labels. But I’ve been doing that for years, so it seems normal now. Can’t wait for the cataract surgery to kick in!

    Good luck with yours!

  • TXRed

    Glasses since the 4th grade and bifocals since I was in my early 30s. I read up to 350 pages a day at times, usually six hours to eight hours at one sitting. When I told the optometrist the situation, he shook his head and said, “You should try reading less.” Sorry, Doc, not an option. Even my dark glasses are bifocal, for reading charts as well as the gauges and seeing outside the plane.

  • Amy

    Bifocals cause neck strain when sitting at a computer or working on a laptop. I talked with my eye doctor and she suggested mono vision for contacts and eye glasses. I don’t wear contacts daily yet I see very well when I do use them. The glasses took some time to adjust to and I sometimes have to take them off to read, but they work well while at the computer or laptop. I tried Progessive lenses…couldn’t stand them. Mono vision isn’t for everyone. I am glad it is working for me.

  • Ellen

    Love my progressive lenses. Sorry I waited so long!
    Husband shares my experience

  • dry valleys

    Happily, I can see without glasses, and I’ve got big enough windows to barely need to use artificial light in summer. But perhaps you’d like this for your reading:

    I can’t speak of it with any authority, as I’ve just sent off for a brochure and haven’t received it yet (I like to examine these things in print). But it looks promising. I’ve got ideas to invest in this and some new heating systems, the latest German designs that they’ve only just invented. Perhaps it will be a way to save and all-round benefit in the long term.

    I’ve tried on people’s glasses before, but it was just strange and made things look blurry.

  • lethargic

    I’ve had to wear glasses since age 7. In my teen years, back in the 70′s, I had contacts. In my 20′s, I couldn’t handle those any more and had to revert to glasses. At age 38, I had to get bifocals. Count yourself lucky.

    BTW, they have wonderful new lenses these days called “progressive” lenses (sorry for the political sound of it) that give you bifocal function without the telltale line on the lens. Give it a try; in the modern world, no sense is more important to you than your vision.

  • Stefanie

    Ack, I went there a few years ago — having suddenly developed migranes. Migranes went away as soon as I got my reading glasses. Now I have three glasses — my too-cool-for-school sunglasses, my distance glasses (since I’m blind-as-a-bat since 3rd grade), and my reading glasses. I like that I get three varieties of ‘looks’ — and don’t mind switching them off/on throughout the day.

    And since reading glasses have to be ‘fixed’ to a certain distance, and I chose a distance at which I can read the computer screen at my desk and my Breviary in my hand, mine are no good ‘close up’ (like for threading a needle) — so gotta go with my original eyes for that.

    Celebrate the fact that you get to wear more eyeglasses — they are quite fashionable!

  • Teresa

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 6. In the early adult years my glasses were big and heavy. The only way to go is progressive because as visually impaired as I am they are lightweight. After all those early years it is a blessing. It won’t take long to get used to it I’m sure.