Archives for posts with tag: Vision

As you get older, your eyesight weakens and your focal point lengthens, meaning you need glasses to see the detail.

For many people, this means a short trip to the local pharmacist to pick up a standard strength of reading glasses for a few bucks.

Unfortunately, I use my eyes for close up work a lot. I’m in front of my computer most of the day so I need decent glasses to protect my eyesight for the long term. I started out with some prescription reading glasses, and that was all I needed them for; reading a book and working on the computer. Two years later I needed stronger reading glasses and started to have to bring them with me wherever I went, or face squinting at menus, price tags and parking meters like an octogenarian.

Pretty soon they were not sufficient either. Believe it or not, I now use 3 separate pairs of glasses, each costing a few hundred bucks, to get by:

  • A pair of ‘professional’ tinted lenses that have 3 distances, to take the glare off close-up screen work, mid-range stuff and 3-metre range for watching the TV
  • A pair of varifocals for driving and general inside wandering around stuff. The professional lenses don’t have the long range view for driving – and you can’t fit them in the lens since it already has 3 ranges – and I can no longer read the dashboard numbers unaided
  • A pair of varifocal sunglasses for driving and general outside wandering around stuff

It’s an expensive business. I hope I get some longevity out of them, otherwise I’m looking at 3 replacements.

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Is it just me or have eyes failed to to keep up? While peace, our understanding of nutrition and farming techniques mean that we are bigger, stronger, faster and we’re living longer than ever before, the eyes don’t appear to have got the message.

Take me for instance. Into my sixth decade, but not by much, I have 3 pairs of glasses. I have a pair for screen-work, phones, laptops, TV and other devices. I have one for driving, because I can see perfectly well into the long range but I can’t read the dashboard numbers and letters. And I have a pair of sunglasses for sunny or bright-light driving and so that I can read prices in shops and books when I’m sitting on a lounger by the pool.

I’ve always had perfect eyesight, except that mid-way through the fifth decade the focal point for close-up work had lengthened to the point where I couldn’t hold a book far away enough or reach the keyboard with the target in focus. From there it’s been regular and expensive trips to the opticians. More pricier than the occasional trip to the physio.

What was life expectancy as recently as a thousand years ago? Half what is is now? The eyes don’t have it any more. We’re living too long and it’s not like we can retrain┬áthem like other muscles. I know of no exercise program focused on strengthening the optic nerve and the muscles that control focusing, if indeed they are muscles. All we can do is have corrective surgery in some cases or wear corrective equipment in other.

I’m happy to acknowledge that all my experiences and observations might be coloured by the fact that up close attention to the typed word is my life. I’m both a publisher and consumer of it, for many hours a day, so that may have contributed to the speed of the decline. But even so, if all the magnifying tools in the world disappeared overnight, or I found myself washed up on a deserted island, I would be, to use a crudity, buggered.