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Ocular Shockular

I need glasses.

I suppose I should explain why this sudden statement has occured out of the blue, and why it leaves me with such a mixed emotional state.

Your intrepid blogger has from a young age been freaking people out with her distance vision. The phrase "You can read that all the way over there?" dotted her childhood...

However, over the last six months to a year, I have begun to realise that I am no longer capable of scaring people with my distance vision. In fact, signs that were unreadable to me were often readable to the Fraternal Unit, frequent utterer of the above-mentioned phrase. Yesterday, these observations came to a head, when I couldn't read a sign with very large writing, though it was quite close. I decided to visit my optometrist.

I haven't had my eyes tested in years, and I must say, it's kinda fun. The nice lady sat me in a chair, and asked me a few family history questions, as well as what led me to believe I might have a vision problem. All the while, I was thinking things weren't too bad, you know! My eyesight is pretty good, still, I thought.

Then she measured my eyes with this cool machine.

She then began showing me charts of letters. A lot of them were blurry, but I made my best guesses. She always said "good", so I figured I was doing well.

Then, one time, I spotted a K and a D. They were extremely blurry, but I took a chance and made my guess.

"Good," she said.

Then she changed the lens over my eye. It wasn't a K and a D at all! It was an N and a P! Clear as day! What the hell? She'd been saying good no matter WHAT I saw! Now I was worried. Oh no! How many of these damn things had I actually been getting right?

After that, we looked at dots. I was asked to pick the clearest picture out of two sets of dots. I didn't realise this at the time, but she was clearly figuring out just how bad my eyesight was! I still thought I was doing okay, that she'd say my vision was a little worse than it had been, but not to worry. I was very optimistic about the whole process.

And then she tested my close-up vision, getting me to tell her which lines were clearest and so forth.

Then she takes away her weird machinery and informs me that I am short-sighted. My right eye is short-sighted, and my left eye makes the right look brilliant! I won't need to wear glasses 100% of the time, she says. But for driving, going to the movies, watching TV, going to lectures or doing ANYTHING where the object I'm looking at is a fair distance away, I'll need glasses.

I remained sceptical. Surely it isn't THAT bad. I voiced these concerns, as she fitted some lenses onto a little test glasses thing. Then she directed me to look straight ahead.

Now... there were these grey blobs on the wall that I figured were just a trick of the light, they were so very pale. They just looked like shadow. I was sitting not three metres from the wall, I should point out. I dutifully looked at these shadows, awaiting her to project the next bunch of letters onto the screen. Then she sticks the little glasses things in front of my eyes.

Fuck me.

They were letters. With the little test glasses covering my vision, those faint grey blobs, BARELY VISIBLE, turned out to be letters of about four or five centimetres high.

So... I am no longer scary perfect vision Kayt. I have been given directives, I must not look at things close up for more than 15 minutes at a time. I have to constantly be looking at the far away things too. I must NOT squint. My eye is changing shape all the time, and if I squint to see things, I will only get worse faster, apparently. And thirdly, I must purchase glasses.

While my apparent short-sightedness explains why I do well in every aspect of my driving tests accept observation skills, I'm still somewhat at a loss.

One day, you are able to see everything with frightening accuracy. And then, a time comes and you're informed otherwise. It cannot be fixed. I'll never again see the way I used to, with my naked eyes. In fact, it's going to grow worse and worse every day of my life until one day I can't see an elephant trundling towards me until it gets close enough to squash me, and I die.

I am in mourning for my eyesight!

I know lots of people wear glasses. Half the Flist does. But... it's still a shock. I need glasses. I... Need... Glasses.

Gradually noticing my eyesight getting worse, I kind of ignored it. It never seemed like it was that bad. But seeing those faint blurs not three metres off suddenly become large letters was just a massive system shock.

I think it's the permanency of the whole thing. That it can never go back.

I'm making a big fuss over nothing, but I'm just in shock.

Anyway, FYI.

I need glasses.

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Comments

( 14 comments! — Make Remark! )
flippyfrog
May. 8th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
It's the computer. That's the problem with it, you spend so long on the computer staring at something so close your eyes dumb down. I usually go to the optomotrist once every two years and they all tell me the same thing. I have fantastic eyesight, but lazy focusing. The lazy focusing is caused by constant computer usage, and if i don't train my eyes i'm going to be in the same boat as you.

And don't stress about glasses, i personally think they look classy. They make you appear so much more intelligent, which of course you need :P
katiefoolery
May. 8th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
And it's so much fun choosing glasses! In fact, it can be quite bewildering.

I also have a lazy eye which should have been spotted when I was little. My mum knew something was wrong with it, but she couldn't get our optometrists of the time to agree. I would have loved to wear a piratical eye-patch...
the_kaytinator
May. 8th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
THat's what she told me.

Although not puta specifically. She gave me a list of things. All things I spend a lot of time doing.

I read a lot. I use the computer. I watch a lot of TV. I write. My job involves reading and writing. I study, so there's reading and computers. The optometrist was just like "My God!"

So, I have to look into the distance a lot. And NO SQUINTING!!!

I'm not worried about having to have glasses, so much. It's just the shock of realising my vision is that bad. Especially because it used to be so notably excellent.
katiefoolery
May. 8th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
I always like visiting the optometrist. All those gadgets and stuff are just so fascinating. And they help me to see! Another thing I didn't realise was how much my eyesight affected my perception of colour. When I went to update my prescription a couple of years ago (after having the same glasses for EVER), the store was full of these printed signs, advertising discounts. I thought they had a shoddy printer, because the ink was very grey... or so I thought, until I put my new glasses on. The signs were printed in crisp black ink, but my shocking eyes had seen grey.

I love optometrists.
the_kaytinator
May. 8th, 2006 05:15 am (UTC)
I loved the one where she showed me crisscrossed lines in green and red. And she said "which is blacker, the vertical or the horizontal"
And I said vertical, because it was dark red as opposed to bright green. Then she flicked something and they were BRIGHT red and DARK green.

It was so cool!!!
blindmouse
May. 8th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
It's all rather tragic, isn't it? You just assume your eyesight is 20/20 until you get evidence to the contrary - I think everyone does. I assumed I had perfect eyesight until the day I tried on my friend's new glasses and everything went into focus - it was kind of shocking, there were all these distant trees that suddenly had individual leaves. It happens so gradually you really don't notice.

And it is permanent. Mostly I don't mind - although I worry about my sight deteriorating much more when I'm old - but I miss my night-sky vision. Depending on how recent my prescription is I can still see all the stars clearly, of course - but Astronomy's such a delicate business that you need exact vision to know what you're looking at, half the time. And I used to be able to see six of the Seven Sisters with the naked eye...

BUT... I do kind of like glasses. They give your face definition. You have something to push up your nose when you want to look down on someone. You can clean your glasses if you don't want to look at someone, or you're trying to buy time to think of what to say. And you can always bitch about the rain more than your friend who also has to walk through it, because you can't see because of all the surrealist-effect raindrops on your glasses :p

__

Those tests always give me performance anxiety. What if I get it wrong? What if I say the second one was clearer when actually the first one was? Nobody can correct me and then they'll give me the wrong prescription...
the_kaytinator
May. 8th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)
I felt performance anxiety too! It's scary! I thought maybe it was that which made her think I needed glasses. Until those blobs turned into letters and I recieved a massive wake up call.

I imagine it's going to be like when I get my ears drained. All of a sudden, there's a whole world of sound I never realised I was missing! I imagine my glasses will be just the same, only with vision.
flippyfrog
May. 8th, 2006 07:02 am (UTC)
Those tests always give me performance anxiety. What if I get it wrong? What if I say the second one was clearer when actually the first one was? Nobody can correct me and then they'll give me the wrong prescription...
That's me! I have a mild panic attack when i sit in that chair. I keep thinking i must have done something wrong. The only time i needed glasses was because they thought i was getting headache because of my lazy focusing. But it turned out the headaches were purely stress related. But when the glasses didn't help, i was convinced it was because i picked the wrong set of lines...
minnn
May. 8th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)
Ooh, no, glasses are exciting, especially when you don't have to wear them all the time. It's like...well, being superman :P you put two different faces to the world :P
I'm longsighted, so it's close-up things that are my problem - reading and computers. Don't need to wear them driving. Of course, computers caused it...lazy focus...etc.

I remember getting the same scary feeling when they put a pair of glasses on me at the optomitrist and everything *snapped* into incredibly sharp focus. When I picked up my glasses and checked out the world again, things were so...bright...clear. It was really awesome.

If you really don't like them, you can always get contacts. But good luck. Have you selected your frames yet? You have to post us a piccie!
the_kaytinator
May. 8th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
I haven't picked frames yet. I called my mother after I got out and she was like "Darn. Money."

:P

We have to talk about it whe I get home. I certainly can't afford to pay for my own glasses, and we need to figure out what our health insurance will cover. It covers glasses, but my parents both have them, so we're not sure if that takes us over the limit or if there's a per person limit.

I kind of like the idea of being able to just whip my glasses on and off and become a different person. And I'll even FEEL different, cos I'l be able to see different things.

Also... I wonder if it'll help my headaches...
rilla06
May. 8th, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
Welcome to the Short-sighted-people-with-glassses Club :P

rigel_7
May. 8th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
Welcome to the club!

I also cannot focus on objects far away! Tis very annoyign for photography because if I don't wear my glasses all the photos turn out blurry because I have focussed the lens until it looks right to my crappy eyes :P

And yes. Glasses will be covered as will the visit to the optometerist. You get one pair a year per person. :D
kangaruth
May. 8th, 2006 08:09 am (UTC)
The exact same thing happened to me about a year ago. Now I wear my glasses pretty much all the time, because it's so good to be able to recognise people when you see them across the cafeteria.

But I'm still in denial. I don't need glasses. They just help a little.
squarmi
May. 9th, 2006 06:56 am (UTC)
Kayt Kayt Kayt... and the rest of you. The eye expert commeth. Ask all your questions of the almost qualified Orthoptist who works in an Optometrist's. Health Funds allow a certain amount of money towards glasses per person. How much depends on the fund, and it's also a different amount towards lenses as to frames as to contacts, all depending on the fund. We also get one full consultation every 2 years and subsequent consultations covered by Medicare :)

I get "performance anxiety" whenever I have my eyes checked too. But there's "no wrong answer" as they tell us. Sort of. And the bright red adn green that's how the optometrist knows if they've corrected you enough or too much. The red should be brighter or clearer or both about the same.

Oh! And it hasn't actually been proven that lots of computer usage causes short-sightedness (or Myopia!). It's just your natural anatomy. And everyone's eyes are constantly changing pretty much. They stablise around 21 and then once you hit about forty presbyopia steps in making you more long-sighted :)

Dear Buneater, most optometrists don't know the first thing about lazy eyes. Orthoptists and Ophthalmologists are much better. Especially Orthoptists. It's our specialty.

Enjoy dear people! Incidently, I'm myopic with an astigmatism and have glasses and contacts that I wear interchangeably :)

SMILE :)
( 14 comments! — Make Remark! )

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