I’ve switched back to wearing glasses after having worn a contact lens since 1986. This was a surprisingly big deal for me.
I’ve only ever worn a contact on my right eye, as my left eye was hard to fit back in ’86 and was only very slightly nearsighted anyway. Since I turned 50, with my contact in I need to carry reading glasses everywhere. I also wear sunglasses outside in all but overcast weather. I was carrying or wearing glasses most of the time anyway. Wearing regular glasses is less hassle!
Also, for the last five years or so my contact has been set so that I could comfortably read at my computer, trading away a little crispness in the distance. It was a fair trade, but now that I’m back to glasses I have a pair for my computer and a pair for everything else. It is nice to be able to read all of the street signs while driving again.
My optometrist suggested bifocals, but I balked. Instead, he wrote one prescription for distance and one a little less strong for reading my computer screen. Uncorrected, my eyes can read up close just fine, so no need for a third prescription or reading glasses.
I bought one pair of glasses at the optometrist’s since my insurance mostly covered them. But I bought two more pairs through one of the online eyewear companies. They cost only $35-40 each! The frames are not quite as high quality as those the optometrist’s office sold me, but they’re fantastic for the price.
I also have two old pairs of old glasses still in service for watching television, one upstairs on my nightstand and the other in the family room next to my easy chair. I find that I don’t need to wear glasses everywhere; I can move around fine without them. I wear glasses at my computer and while driving, often (but not always) while out and about on foot or on the bike, and seldom around the house. My right eye is -2.75 nearsighted and my left eye is +1.00 farsighted, and they don’t work together. I switch between them at will. When I don’t have glasses on, I use my left eye to navigate my world and my right eye to read things. It’s not perfect as the left eye is weak from decades of light use, but it works well enough.
I am blown away by how happy I am not to have to care for my contact lens anymore. It feels freeing to not have to clean it at night and insert it in the morning. I didn’t realize how often I had to fiddle with it because it had become uncomfortable. All of this was just the norm in my life and I had adapted to it. But now, I don’t ever want to go back to it.
Once upon a time, I had full, dark eyebrows. In middle age, they’ve gone sparse. For years I chose light metal or wire frames for comfort. But now I’m choosing big plastic frames that cover my thinned-out brows. I think they give my face back some of the character it’s lost.
This reminds me of why I switched to contacts all those years ago. Something about my vision forced me into glass lenses in the 1980s. My glasses were heavy and uncomfortable. They sometimes blistered my nose. But now I can wear light polycarbonate lenses. My metal-framed glasses feel like they’re hardly there, and even the plastic-framed glasses are comfortable enough.
At the moment I use clip-on sunglasses when I wear my glasses outside. Given how inexpensively I can buy prescription sunglasses online, I might give them a whirl. Either way, I’m carrying something, the clip-ons or the sunglasses, when I’m out and about. This has been the only hassle I’ve encountered so far that I wish I didn’t have to deal with.
There’s one last reason I’ve switched back to glasses. It’s my droopy right eyelid. My optometrist referred me to an ophthalmologist, who has scheduled surgery to lift the eyelid, as it covers half of my iris and interferes with my vision. Surgery happens Friday. The doctor said it’s likely that 37 years of pulling on the corner of my eye to pop out my gas-permeable lens has damaged the eyelid muscle. He says it will be wise for me to not keep doing that. I think it’s a fair trade so I don’t look like Popeye in photographs anymore.
So far, glasses have not made it harder for me to use my cameras. I’ll learn more about this as I cycle through my collection in the months to come.