I was shocked.
Up to that point, I had had exceptionally good eyesight. At one time an ophthalmologist told me I had as perfect a set of eyes as he had ever seen.
That ended when I was 40.
When I realized things were no longer clear and sharp, I went to an eye doctor in Taiwan (where we lived at the time). He measured my vision and laughed.
Then he told me I had presbyopia. I didn’t know what that was, so I asked him
He said, “Old eyes”. He also didn’t give me a prescription for glasses, telling me, instead, to get reading glasses.Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development
The last decade or so, after that visit to the eye doc I have realized that for many of us, as we grow older, we don’t like confronting the reality staring us in the face: we aren’t young as we once were.
Oh, we may do things to make people think we are in our 30s. You know, like exercise, or play sports we played when we were younger.
We can fool people, but we can’t fool ourselves, and we especially can’t stop our eyes from getting increasingly worse.
The next time you are at the grocery store look at the men and women who have to stretch their arm out really far to read labels. If they reach far out and don’t have on glasses, they are the ones in denial.
Look then for the people who attempt to discretely pull out a pair of glasses to read the labels. These are the people who, at least so far, haven’t had to progress past reading glasses that can be bought at drug stores or even the grocery stores.
The next group are those who, despite having on glasses, seem as if they are agreeing with everything. As you watch them, you’ll see they are looking through the top part of their lenses at far distances.The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully
These are the ones with bifocals. When their heads tilt back, they are reading through the bottom part of their glasses–the part for reading.
And then there are those like me: nodding their head up and down to look through the appropriate spot for three different distances. If they are struggling with it, they have just gotten their glasses. It gets easier.
The best news is that, other than your vanity, getting glasses is painless.
There are many choices for eye glasses, and a ridiculous number of places to buy them.
5 Options for Dealing With Presbyopia
1. See an optometrist — look around. Vision insurance or some discount medical plans offer discount options for optometrists. And Costco’s with vision centers are very cost effective.
2. Lasik — Obviously if you have the resources, and if your eyes meet the specifications, Lasik can be a great option for correcting your eyesight. See your optometrist.
3. Vision Insurance – This isn’t always a great deal. You have to shop around for the right plan, and you really need to have others in your family with need for glasses or contacts.
4. Contacts — There are amazing things that can be done to correct your vision via contact lenses. Again, the place to start is your optometrist. There are excellent online options for ordering contact lenses. Shop around.Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses (6 lenses/box – 1 box)
5. Eye Glasses – Yep, good old spectacles. There are innumerable options on frames and lenses. The prices can vary significantly. In my case, when I first needed something past reading glasses, I needed them fast. I had just started a new job, and reading was more than just fundamental. It was required.
Most of the major eye wear retail outlets have same day service, but you will pay more (usually much more) for same day. Costco is very affordable, but there is typically a 10 business day wait to get your new glasses.
I can also recommend ZenniOptical. We recently ordered my wife 2 pairs of new glasses through them, for less than $25.00. She loves them.
So, while presbyopia sounds scary. It isn’t. It just means your eyes are getting older, and your arms are no longer long enough to hold small print far enough away so you can read them.
In my case, when I got my first real set of glasses (I was 48), I was amazed how clear things were, and how much I had been squinting. My headaches went away, and I could read again.
You will too!
What about you? Still have young enough eyes to not need glasses? Or have you been imitating a trombone player too long? Share what you’ve learned and how getting glasses may have helped you!