Sunday, June 19, 2011

New glasses (Oct. 22, 2007)

Current mood: happy

The reason for my bike ride the other day was to pick up my new eyeglasses. Wow, was I overdue for a new prescription. I could see reasonably well with the old glasses, so long as I was not looking at something up close, but in the last couple of years, to do that I could actually see better without. That meant I wore my glasses on my hair more than my eyes most of the time. They got moved around so much that one of the horizontal supports actually snapped off a few months ago.

I am slightly near-sighted. I think I was 12 or 13 when Mom trooped my sisters and I off to the eye doctor for a routine exam. "He needs glasses, Mum," he said, and a week later I got my first nerdy pair, making it easier to see writing on blackboards. I've been getting nerdy looking rims ever since.

The solution to the current dilemma, I guessed correctly, was bifocals. At age 49 (almost), I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. What did surprise me was that the distance prescription had not changed. Even without glasses I can read the top line or two on the standard eye chart, but with the distance lenses, I can read the 20/15 line. That translates to being able to discern "13C Perry Hwy Exp" from "13F West View Exp" on a headsign from about three blocks away.

I opted for the low-cost type, with the obvious line between the two lenses. For a couple dozen more I could have gotten the line-free type, and for a couple dozen beyond that I could have gotten an even fancier multiply-graduated type. Not necessary, I said.

They're taking a bit of getting used to. They fit well enough, and when I drive I hardly notice them, as the separation line is exactly at the level of the dashboard. Around the house, though, they're a bit weird, especially when scanning up and down, such as trying to find the jelly in the refrigerator. I think I won't use them on the bicycle, at least for a while, if only because the lenses are a tad smaller than the old ones and so don't work quite as well as a windscreen.

It is good to once again be able to read labels, dates on coins (I've been a numismatist it seems like forever), to see the notes I'm taking, and do such mundane things like write checks and sign my name. Yet it's weird to have to learn to tip my head in a different manner, depending on what I need to look at. It's not much of a tip, and I'm sure it will become reflexive eventually, but I'm not there yet.

Still, even though the acquisition of bifocals probably means I have officially entered The Realm Of Old-Fart-Dom, I'm happy to be able to see properly once again!

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