Too close… too far… juuuust right!

So… it’s been a weird progression over the last few years. First, I find out my eyes are getting worse and go to get a new prescription for my glasses. The optometrist tells me I have cataracts but can correct for them with lenses in the meantime. Then it progresses to even worse and I get my optometrist to schedule me for surgery. We don’t bother upgrading my prescription because, well, my eyes would just quickly get worse and the money would have been wasted.

Over the six months waiting for my surgery my eyes do get steadily worse. Pretty soon my prescription glasses don’t seem to make much difference at all. Then, at my eye measurement appointment, the doctor suggests I simply get some cheap drug store reading glasses. I take her suggestion and find reading glasses with a +2.0 rating allow me to read again. Joy! Sure the frames are kind of small and the arms dig into my head above my ears, but it’s a small price to pay to be able to read again.

Then, the surgery, and my left eye clears up like never before. I haven’t seen this clearly since I was in my twenties. It’s glorious. The doctor tests me the following morning and says, for distance vision, I have 20/20. For close up work, though, they’re completely unfocused. I definitely will need reading glasses.

Now, however, the cheap reading glasses I got from the drug store only let me read when the book / computer / text / whatever is fairly close to my face. Working on a computer at a table becomes awkward again. I have to drag the monitor close to my face for the text to become clear.

Today I went back to the drug store willing to pay another thirty to forty dollars to find the right quasi-prescription that lets me read at arms’ length.

My discovery? The more powerful the prescription, the closer the text needs to be. So, after trying a few on, I discover that a prescription of +1.25 is pretty good. They don’t go lower than that, though, so I hem and haw a bit. I don’t want to spend money if a slightly lower prescription would work better. I decide to leave it alone for a while and try again later.

Then, as I’m walking home, a thought occurs to me.

My original glasses were actually pretty weak. I seem to recall the optometrist saying they were barely a +1. I go home, I put them on, I sit at my computer.

Perfect. Well, maybe not 100% perfect, but definitely workable. I can now work on my computer with the screen at slightly more than arms’ length away. And the frames fit comfortably!

Win/win/win.

I can see again… sort of.

Ultrasonic Eyeball Scan

Relax, this won't hurt a bit

The eye measurement was… odd. Most of it simply involved staring into some device with a light at the center while it flashed and strobed other lights into my eyeball. One measurement, however, used sonar and involved having a cup placed against my eyeball and then filled with liquid. A very odd sensation to say the least.

My surgery is now a few hours less than two weeks away and I’m dying to see it done.

A side benefit of my measurement appointment, however, was some advice the doctor gave me. She was talking about after care for my surgery and I asked her about how I would go about getting my prescription updated for my glasses. I was wondering of I would just get one lense done at a time as each eye was operated on. She advised against it. Apparently it takes up to six weeks for eyes to fully heal and settle into their final shape, so getting a new prescription any time before that would be premature and, probably, a pretty big waste of money. Instead, she said, I would be better off just buying a pair of reading glasses from the rack at the drug store for a temporary crude fix until my eyes were ready. Just take in some reading material and try glasses on until I could read with relative comfort.

Of course, I thought, how simple.

I took that advice and put it to use today. The prescription I picked out is, naturally, much stronger than my regular glasses… +2 in both lenses… but I can read, and that’s the important bit. I can read normal text and even some small text. This will go a long, long way to making the next two weeks much more bearable, and all for the cost of a night out at the movies.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been learning the computerized systems at work. As I’ve done so I’d swear my eyes have grown steadily worse. By the middle of last week I was forced to use the computer at work with my left eye shut just to keep my right eye from overcompensating for it. It was literally the only way I could read the text on the screen. And you’d think keeping one eye closed is a simple thing, but I suggest you try it for an hour or so. The accumulated strain results in a spectacular headache. Luckily simply relaxing with both eyes open can ease that ache considerably, but as soon as you have to go back to working with one eye that headache comes right back at full force.

Today I’ve been using my computer for a few hours with the reading glasses on and while I can feel the muscles in my eye having to work and re-work at focusing, I haven’t developed a headache yet. Best of all, I can read everything.

Yesterday was the first test of my apartment’s social functionality. I had a group of friends over for gaming around the big black table and I have to say it was a fair success. I may need to invest in some tv tables to give people a little more space for their stuff, but it seems like my place may become gaming central for our group since I’m centrally located.

Which is fine by me.