Old Man

I have passed another milestone of the aging process: last week I picked up my new pair of glasses, my first with progressive lenses. If there was any uphill left in life it is now certainly in the rearview mirror.

My eyes are still adjusting, which is kind of always the case with me. I have a nutty prescription – both bad nearsightedness and serious astigmatism – and have weak corneas. Combine all that and even in the best of circumstances it’s tough to get perfectly corrected vision. If the angle of the lenses or the correction is off by just a hair, it can throw either part of the prescription off by enough to be noticeable to me. And my weak corneas mean my prescription is always in flux. I’ll see great for awhile then suddenly everything is out of whack for a few weeks before it returns to center.

In other words, I’m a pain in the ass. Or at least my eyes are.

Anyways…I’m still getting used to the new lenses. I will say they’ve gotten better over the past two days, so hopefully I’m getting locked in. But there is still a chance I will need to go back and have the lenses checked and, perhaps, redone.

The one big win is the whole reason you get progressive lenses: my up-close vision has improved dramatically. I had reached the point where it was impossible to read anything that was in tiny print, because that meant bringing the object near my face, where my eyes just didn’t work anymore. I had become one of those people who took a picture of, say, the directions on a bottle of medication with my phone and then looked at the image on screen to figure out the proper dosage.

Sad and pathetic.

But now I can read that shit!

For those of you not in the progressive world, it has been a little tricky getting used to the “tunnels” of vision these lenses offer. It’s frustrating to have to move my eyes or head a few degrees up or down to bring something into clear focus. That’s the one area where I worry about whether these lenses are correct, because at times it seems like I’m working too hard to find that perfect spot. And I don’t know if that’s just something I need to get used to, or only happening because the lenses are off by just a hair.

Two other downsides to the new glasses.

1) I had to go to a bigger lens/frame size to accommodate the progressive correction. I’m not wearing 1980s Phil Donahue lenses, but they are certainly bigger than what I’ve been wearing since I went to specs full time a decade ago. I’ve also been wearing Oakley frames for years and didn’t love the ones they offered that would take progressive lenses. The frames I chose are decent, but I also don’t love them like I loved my old Oakleys.

2) Holy crap these are expensive! I already had expensive glasses because of my prescription. Damn near doubled that already significant cost. And I’m going to need new sunglasses once I’m sure these lenses are correct. We could put a couple more kids into private grade school for the cost of my glasses now. I mean, I need to see, right? But that seems a little ridiculous. I do go to one of the fancier eye places in the city, only because my doc is the uncle of one of S’s best friends. But I’m starting to think I may have to go to a less fancy place that charges 15% less for my next set. I’m thinking about braving the discount glasses world for my sunglasses, although I worry about fit and getting the prescription right at those places. We’ll see.

So, nine years old = first pair of glasses. Fifteen = contacts. Thirty-seven = back to glasses only. Forty-six = progressive lenses.

Now I shall go curse whichever one of my ancestors are responsible for my terrible eyes.